United Kingdom – Big estate agencies more likely to mislead sellers about property values.
Homeowners could be tricked into paying higher rates of commission due to expensive agents misleading them over their properties’s values.
The estate agencies most commonly overvaluing properties (saying they’re worth more than they really are in order to win business) are also those that charge the highest rates of commission, according to an investigation by the Times.
The research claims that homeowners who use estate agents that have overvalued their properties end up reducing their asking prices – but still pay higher fees than they would have with other firms.
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Below, Which? takes a closer look at the research and explains how to choose the best estate agent and check the true value of your property.
Property sellers pay the price for overvalutions
The Times’ analysis of Zoopla data found that homeowners who list their property with any of the 10 estate agents that overvalue the most would pay on average double the rate of commission charged by the 10 agents that overvalued the least.
It also found that the largest estate agents were most likely to overvalue sellers’ properties.
The asking price on a third of properties was reduced by an average of £23,400 (6.9%), according to the Times.
The findings reiterate an investigation by Which? in 2017 that found estate agents that overpriced properties cost sellers £4.3 billion, as the initial asking price of one in five properties sold in England and Wales between September 2015 and 2016 had been reduced by at least 5%.
Overvalued properties can also take longer to sell, as potential buyers can be put off by the asking price or might miss seeing the property altogether if they filter their online search by price.
Author – Chloe Cheung
Original source – Which?
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