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The importance of appraisal

It has been a successful but eye-opening week here at Romans with some exciting properties now on the books coupled with missing out on a couple of instructions as well. Rather than crying over spilt milk it’s important to research and evaluate whilst maintaining a sense of pragmatism. Of course, you can’t win every instruction you appraise but you should try to.

It is that mindset from Estate Agents that will be the focus of this week’s blog, is a “win at all costs” mentality bad for the industry? In particular overvaluing properties at appraisal to secure business. We believe so and here’s 5 facts to support this.

A recent study by Which? indicated that by substantially overvaluing properties estate agents are costing sellers nearly 8% of the value of the home.

Unsurprisingly the study also found that properties which had been reduced by more than 5% took an average of 64 days longer to sell than those which sold without such a significant reduction of the asking price.

41% of people who have sold a house in the past five years, said the price they finally sold for was lower than their original target.

There were more than eight agents in the south-east who had heavily reduced at least 25% of their properties despite the national average being 12%.

Complaints to the ombudsman rose by 16% last year to 6,462.

Richard Headland, editor of Which? said: “When selling your home, make sure your agent can provide evidence of similar sales to back up the valuation. If the valuation is not realistic, you could end up thousands of pounds worse off and wasting a lot of time.”

Paul Higgins, chief executive at the Homeowners Alliance, which represents homeowners, said: “The problem is that greedy sellers attract greedy estate agents. If an estate agent tells a seller they can get 10% more than other agents for their home they are likely to choose them. But sellers shouldn’t just consider the price agents claim they can get. They should be thinking about how the agent is going to sell the property and whether they are asking the right questions”.

Estate Agent fees are of course another determining factor, the natural inclination is to want to get the best possible deal but be careful not to choose an agent that is willing to negotiate down on their fee too easily. Not only is it bad practice for agents to withhold their best possible price from the start but when it comes to the crunch it is that same agent that will be negotiating on your property. This decision could potentially cost you tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of pounds so choose the agent that’s on your team and one that will negotiate hard for you not with you.

Far from blowing the whistle on our competition to many inside and outside of the industry we are simply reiterating well known truths but as online agencies such as Purple Bricks continue to grow at an unprecedented rate now really is the time for “High Street Agents” to carry out a complete overhaul of these and other outdated practices.

At Romans, we will always operate with the up most integrity and transparency and that means fixed rate fees. After all the best businesses don’t sell, they brand. It is with that in mind that we will continue to develop our own brand image and build enduring and trusting relationships from the first appraisal by doing things the right way, even at the detriment of financial gain.