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Three very different valuations(24 Posts)
We are about to put our house on the market and have had 3 EAs come to view. The house is unusual and all three said so (I won't give details here as not necessary). We also benefit from a spectacular view.
Trouble is the EAs have valued it at 375, 400 and 445! We bought 8 years ago at 320 and have done a lot to improve it. We're in the catchment of a very desirable village school.
What should we consider in deciding who is right? We will obviously look at nearby places to compare, but they won't have our particular position. The EAs themselves all have different perks - one does virtual viewings, one is a 'posh' agent and two have good regional networks. Would appreciate any advice.
Some people will be prepared to pay a hefty premium for a stunning view and a quirky property. It might just take a while to find the right buyers.
Did you pay a hefty premium compared to similarly sized houses in the area?
With regards to EAs, I’m not sure that it makes a difference which one you go with as long as they’re professional. These days everyone looks online anyway.
Actually, I think I’d pick the agent with the best photos and write ups and made sure they make your property look and sound amazing and really worth viewing.
I’d think about who’s going to be your buyer. Are you in an area where Londoners are looking to move out to? In which case the regional links might be useful. Also virtual valuations might be good for people who are out of area, or if you’re looking to sell to people who will be particularly concerned about Covid (downsizers, maybe?). We decided against our local ‘posh’ agent as our place is marketing for FTBs and when we looked at places with them 4 years ago as FTBs ourselves I found them quite intimidating!
Wrt the valuation, it depends what your motivations are. Speedy move? Happy to wait for more money?
Be wary of the highest value - we have a firm in our town that give unrealistic valuations just to get you to sign up and then when viewings/interest is low, they suggest a reduction after 2-3 months back in line with the other agents. It's a well known ploy to get people to sign up with them. Maybe get another couple of valuations from different agents to get more opinions.
My selling experience was ruined by an unrealistic price and I had to reduce my price twice, which made me look horribly desperate. As your house is unusual, and hard to compare with others, I'd go for the £400.
The EAs themselves all have different perks - one does virtual viewings, one is a 'posh' agent and two have good regional networks. Would appreciate any advice.
Virtual viewings are likely to be very important for some time, the posh agent probably gets less clients and you need a wider base if you have a property that some would describe as quirky as people can be very conventional when it comes to houses. As for regional networks, most people use Rightmove nowadays don't they?
I'd go for the virtual viewings one if the price was the right one for you.
All really good points, thank you. Unfortunately the EA with the virtual viewings is not the one with the regional network. We are in prime 'down from Surrey' territory - we're in the SW and while this isn't a retirement house, apparently there are lots of fit 50 somethings now working from home moving down here. We feel that the middle price is perhaps the most realistic but the virtual viewings and single office agency vs an office with a regional network does feel like a tough choice! Thank you for all opinions so far.
All these doubts should dissipate of you only stop using the word 'valuation', which implies a certain level of expertise, logic and consistency, and replace it with 'guesstimates'.
The networks can be really helpful as the other offices can suggest your house to people who may not otherwise have thought of the area. Rightmove only shows you what you look for, IYSWIM?
We had our flat on with an agent based on one area, and our flat was on the edge of it, so lots of feedback was about how far away from the centre of things it was. We changed to an agent with offices in that area and the two neighbouring ones and almost immediately got a buyer referred from one of the other offices who hadn’t even considered ours before, and didn’t have the same preconceptions about where they wanted to be.
There's nothing stopping you from choosing the agents you want and the price that another agent suggested. At the end of the day, it's your property.
There's nothing stopping you from choosing the agents you want and the price that another agent suggested.
I doubt the agent who valued at 375k would be very convincing and enthusiastic if marketing at 445k.
One of my previous properties was very unique and difficult to value , I had four different well known and established estate agents in to value it and each one came up with a different price , they all said that it was difficult to value as there was not very much to compare to to , I eventually went with the agent I felt I could work with best ( I was very happy with each to be fair ) and I chose a mid value in the prices to start with . This worked well for my sale
At the moment it's a Sellers market if you are reasonably distanced for London and have the room and facilities to work from home , lots of people are currently looking to relocate into a slightly quieter area and to have more room to work from home at least a portion of time
On choosing a agent I would suggest that you look at having the one who is successful in selling the type of property that you have in the same type of area and price band , in other words choose someone who already has that type of client base , most agents and buyers use Rightmove , I'm always looking at property but only very rarely bother with an agents website , most of what I want to see will be on right move and I am pretty sure most other buyers would say the same
Compare the agents property photos and descriptions, there's quite a difference between some and the photo on the Internet is the very first thing a potential buyer will see , I would also only go with an agent that has floor plans as I think it's much easier to describe the layout than a written description
Start 425 to trial the price for a couple of weeks. Go with you’re favourite agency regardless of what price they suggested but negotiate lowest percentage
Do your homework and compare your house to others on the market in the same area. I know you said yours is quirky but compare room sizes, etc. Ask for it not to go live on the internet yet but they will have people on their mailing list already and ask for details to be sent to them first. Test the reaction and if you do not get a good influx of viewings in a couple of weeks you may need to reduce the price. Try and avoid the big commercial agents and use an independent one. Good luck.
I think you should pitch around 400 and as it sounds like you are somewhere that might have a lot of interest right now. You may find you have a couple of buyers who push each other up and you get a higher value anyway (worked for us).
I would never go with the top price as agree with a PP it is nearly always to get the business and then you will be asked to drop. It never looks good to reduce the price so better to attract more interest at a slightly lower price bracket. There is also something about bracketing on Rightmove that I can't quite remember (an EA explained it to me). If you pitch at 400 you get both the people looking up to and from.
Regards, agent, I agree take a look at their listings and see who photographs and writes up the best. You don't need to go with the agent's valuation, I am sure all would be happy to market the property at around 400.
I'd be tempted to get a couple more valuations
I can see quite a few of new properties coming to the market in the area I live and quite a few of them are , to say mildly, optimistically priced. Most of these Properties are in a very good condition with photos so bright colours that it almost candy like. However almost all of them are also in the crappiest part of the town with a lot of scetchy houses and characters around. I guess these sellers were deluded by their EA and will most probably get their prices corrected shortly.
You can put your postcode in at www.theadvisory.co.uk/propcast/ and see whether your market, locally, is 'hot' or 'cold', to help you decide on the price.
The top quote might be desperate for you to sign up with them (this is a strategy to pull house owners in). The lowest quote might be needing quick sales to keep the business afloat or might have someone in mind to buy your house.
Get more quotes if unsure.
Apart from the valuations, were the EA terms identical?
I recently helped my parent sell their house, and one valuation was much higher than the other.
The EA with the lower valuation had higher fees, didn't seem to understand the sort of buyer that it was best to target, and thought that they would have to do lots of work to talk (con?) people into buying it.
We weren't sure that we would sell at the higher valuation, but that EA seemed more professional and understood the likely market for the property and the need for an honest approach to the condition of the property. We went with them and sold at just under their valuation. The selling price was much more than the lower valuation.
So, I would look at the overall package that the EA offers, and how well you felt that they understood how to target and manage the right buyer.
I wouldn't necessarily turn the higher valuation 'down' and the agent.
When I sold I spent a long time researching and had a price I thought reflected that in my head. I'd used sold prices, compared decor and kitchens etc. There were loads of my style of property on the market.
I had a couple of valuations and they all agreed/compared with my price. I then had the third agent come in and his valuation was £15k higher (around 7-8% higher). I told him straight I didn't believe that was serious and he was trying to just get my business. He then offered to cut the comission if he got the price (+£10k)the other agents had suggested. He told me he was that confident (I remember laughing to others about this at the time). I agreed for him to take on the property.
He sold it within 2 weeks at he price he said and I had 5 families bidding on it. A higher price (above asking) unfortunately fell through very quickly as the buyer lost her job but the next bidders down (at asking price) eventually bought it.
I am still surprised to be honest. I check sold prices around there still and nowhere has got close to that figure! I know I had styled it nicely ( but it was only paint etc).
Same for us, three variations : 875,925 and 950. All same commission rates but the spread of valuations seems nuts to me
Thanks for all these responses. we have been running around like headless chickens because we are both working full time and the photographer is coming tomorrow! We have considered everything you've all said very carefully - but as the market here is bonkers and this particular EA has a wide network we have decided to trial the top price - and the EA has reduced his fee as well. It seems like everyone wants to move to a pretty village right now so we're going to go for it. Thank you MN for insightful and helpful advice as always. Namechange Good luck with your sale too!
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