Given the challenging nature of the property market in 2019, it is crucial that buyers and vendors are aware of risks and challenges, and some agents don’t act in a client’s best interest.

This situation has come to the fore again due to an investigation by The Times. They analysed Zoopla data and found that many estate agents would overvalue sellers’ properties. One of the most exciting aspects of the study was that the more significant estate agents were the companies most likely to overvalue the properties.

Agents are keen to win instructions

The reason that some agents decide to overvalue property is that it undoubtedly helps them win obstructions. If a vendor thinks that they can sell their home for a high fee with one agent while another or all other agents suggest a smaller fee, it is human nature to go with the agent who promises the most substantial sales price.

However, many agents cannot fulfil their promise and The Times investigation found that the asking price on a third of properties was reduced by £23,400 on average, which amounts to a fall of 6.9%. It is not as though estate agents are stating higher prices to gain more substantial commissions; the sales price of property dictates the commission. However, there is no denying that inflated valuations can help a company gain more instructions from clients.

Therefore, vendors need to be aware that some agents state high prices in an attempt to win their business as opposed to looking to win business by offering dependable services and valid promotion in a local area.

Sometimes it is best to choose a smaller estate agent

It is interesting the worst offenders, according to The Times investigation, was larger firms. As an independent company who cares about the local area, we believe we offer vendors a significant number of reasons to call on us. We don’t feel the need to inflate the value of a property solely to gain instructions.

Skilled and experienced local agents can help you get the best possible price for your home, through effective marketing, promotion and negotiation.

One issue that vendors need to be wary of is some buyers are cautious when property prices fall. Savvy buyers will question why properties fall in price, and they may have concerns that the property is defective or not worth the money they would have to spend. Therefore, while some agents believe overpricing and then reducing the price of a property is a suitable strategy, it can be harmful.

At Oaks Estate Agents, we take immense pride in offering a complete and honest experience for our clients. We aim to take you from start to end of the sales process, and we are happy to talk you through every action. The recent investigation by The Times hasn’t made for pleasant reading regarding estate agents, but not all agents act in this manner. If you’re looking for help from a local estate agent that cares about the community, contact us, and we’ll be happy to help.

The Property Ombudsman Trading Standards Rightmove Zoopla Primelocation MyDeposits CMP