Estate agents’ market valuations are usually free, and because of this, it is very tempting for prospective sellers to invite a number of agents to comment and then select the agent that suggests the highest likely sale price for the property.
However, we advise caution on this issue. Some agency “valuers” are paid bonus on the number of new instructions they secure, irrespective of the saleability of the property offered for sale at their suggested value. The easiest way for an estate agent to win your business is simply to suggest a flatteringly high figure, but many people who fall into this trap live to regret it.
One of the problems is that most people have only a cursory idea of what estate agents actually do and, just as importantly, the values they cherish and what service they offer. Ironically, it tends to be the cheaper, untrained or inexperienced agents who quote the highest values, yet it is the well-trained, experienced agents who have the skills to secure the best prices for their clients in the most convenient timescale.
So when selecting your estate agent, by all means invite several to comment on value, but then choose the agent who demonstrates mastery, and who actually has a marketing plan in place, along with superb post-offer follow-up facilities.
Additionally, find an agent that you like! One who has the integrity to offer straight-talking advice and who uses superb communication skills to keep you informed every step of the way, before, during and after the sale, thereby minimising the stress of moving.
In estate agency, a high valuation does not necessarily mean you’ll get more for your property, nor does it indicate a high-value service! The agent you rate most highly will probably also be the one who suggests the correct asking price.
Neil Newstead, FARLA MNAEA
Chief Executive Officer