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Estate agents' valuations- can I trust their wishful thinking?

(23 Posts)
bowbluebell Tue 16-Feb-10 17:52:26


We've just had an estate agent round to value DP's flat in east London. It's a period property in a mansion block. He was pretty keen, but the valuation he has given us is waaaay more than we expected (up to 325000, we were expecting 250000). I know that they are keen to get properties on their books and that house prices are funny round here at the moment, but that seems way out. Does it sound like he's having us on? What's your experience of the, um, accuracy of their valuations? I don't want to get my hopes up, find a house to move to and then not get anywhere near the price.

If it helps, it's a two double bed, second floor flat in a mansion block in Bow, next to the station.



MarthaFarquhar Tue 16-Feb-10 17:54:38

when we had our old flat valued, the each agent came with particulars of other similar properties they'd sold recent, and what price they went for, for comparison. Did yours not do this?

salbysea Tue 16-Feb-10 17:59:44

in my experience, if they give a high valuation, then push for sole agent, yip its usually an over valuation and they know it.

Some agents just do a quick internet search of last 1/2/3/whatever you have, bed flat to be sold in your post code as they run out the door to your valuation without taking time to see if its really comparable (gardens, views, balconies etc)

I think its best to get at least 3 valuations

Chunkyrice Tue 16-Feb-10 17:59:48

I'm sure someone will be along with a better knowledge of your are.
But you need to get several valuations.

When my place was up for sale, one reputable agency suggested it was worth 60k more than the others. I concluded he thought we had another bedreoom and had just come from a liquid lunch.

Many will say what you want to hear in order to get you on their books. However, one EA was very honest up, but undervalued it. I don't think he had the sales drive.

Look at some sold house price sites for your area, and you should get an idea of what things are going for at the moment.

Also bear in mind whether you think-the agent thinks it's a bull or bear market.

LIZS Tue 16-Feb-10 18:02:01

Have any similar sold recently - check out nethouseprices or Rightmove which update form Land Registry . You probably won't get an offer accepted yourselves until you have got one on your own property unless the financing is separate.

Cosette Tue 16-Feb-10 18:02:51

suggest a different % commission depending on how much they sell the flat for. So if they sell it for say 300 - 325k pay a higher % commission than if they sell it for 250 - 300k.

Eurostar Tue 16-Feb-10 18:03:35

I read that the agents are chasing the very few properties on for sale at the moment in London and thus over valuing them to try and get the business. Have you done a search on sold house prices in the area on a site like mouseprice or zoopla?

salbysea Tue 16-Feb-10 18:05:39

ps in the mansion block I live in the flats are very irregular, as in all have different floor space (unlike many modern blocks where they are all the same or mirror images of each other) so a lazy agent who valued purely by how much the last one in the building went for could be well off the mark. A 2 bed here ranges from ridiculously pokey, almost under ground flats to 3 aspect, sea views and unbelievably spacious so the difference in value could actually be well over 100,000

TheOldestCat Tue 16-Feb-10 18:07:13

Best to get some other valuations to compare, as others suggest - and do your own research.

But then I thought our estate agent was overvaluing our place a year ago (a one-bed in SE London). We hoped we'd get 150-160K for it; he suggested putting it on for £180 (even though that was over the stamp duty barrier). We went with his advice and got an offer of £165K, which we accepted. So that worked for us.

Good luck.

bibbitybobbityhat Tue 16-Feb-10 18:13:59

Kathy - go to You can put in your address and see what other flats in your mansion block have sold for recently. Not what the asking price was, but what the actual completion price was. It is not completely up to date (usually about 3 months behind iirc) but it should give you the information you need.

violethill Tue 16-Feb-10 18:51:37

It's worth what someone else is prepared to pay for it - no more, no less.

minipie Tue 16-Feb-10 19:11:35

Hmmm. We had our flat valued (about 6 months ago) by 5 agents. How many valuations have you had? what sort of range?

One (Savills - I think they may be the new Foxtons) was WAY over the others - about 15% higher than the next highest in fact. And more to the point, it was way over what we thought the flat was worth ourselves, having seen nearby properties for sale.

We suggested a ratcheted fee - so they would get, say 2% if it got anywhere near their valuation, but only 1% if not. They didn't agree which suggested they weren't confident in their mega-price. You could use this as a test??

Anyway we decided not to go with them or their very high price (went for next highest and got it).

minipie Tue 16-Feb-10 19:12:48

PS, some friends of ours nearby DID go with the agent that gave them the super high valuation, and they still haven't sold ...

bluecheesefiend Tue 16-Feb-10 19:17:16 will also tell you what similar properties in your area have sold and rented for recently.

always get three or four valuations - even if you take the sole agent option with one of them it's important to do your homework and find out what deals all of them can offer.

bibbitybobbityhat Tue 16-Feb-10 19:19:48

Last time I had my house valued there was £160,000 difference between the highest and lowest valuations (and it is not a big, grand house, believe me).

PanicMode Tue 16-Feb-10 19:24:46

You definitely need to get a minimum of three valuations, and ask them why they think they will achieve that price. Also, as others have suggested, check and rightmove to see what else is selling and has sold nearby.

There is a big shortage of property on the market at the moment so I think that they are probably being somewhat aggressive in order to get stuff on their books.

noddyholder Tue 16-Feb-10 19:38:07

We had that 3 weeks ago and dp thought they were hopeful!I was more optimistic and we got the top price which was at least 15% more than I expoected

bowbluebell Wed 17-Feb-10 08:11:17

Thanks ladies, this information is really helpful. Last time i sold a house was in a very different market and in the provinces, where the estate agents are a bit more laid back I suspect (Norfolk!!)

I will get some other estate agents to have a look. He showed us some similar places on the market for between 250 and 350000, depending somewhat on condition and location, but mostly it seems on what random figure an estate agent has assigned to it! I just know what I'd be willing to pay and it's certainly not 325000! Still, it's City bonus time and it has worked as a great batchelor pad and later pied a terre for us, so perhaps someone else will have the asme idea (if we just hide evidence of baby!)

MillyMollyMoo Wed 17-Feb-10 11:49:24

Well I'd certainly put it on at that price and see if somebody will pay it, you can then slash the price and make somebody feels as if they are getting a massive bargain, there's plenty of suckers still out there with more money than sense, one might come your way grin

Ohforfoxsake Wed 17-Feb-10 12:05:58

I don't know if the Olympics is getting your estate agent over excited, there'll be a lot regeneration in East London.

We just accepted an offer on ours, but were disappointed. Not because we think its not a fair price, but because the estate agent was so confident and then turned round and said he over-valued it and we should be more realistic. angry

Speckledeggy Thu 18-Feb-10 23:25:36

Get three or four valuations from different estate agents. If you want to sell within a reasonable timescale, I would go for the average.

Also, start looking at Rightmove daily. You will then start to get a feel for the houses that are priced correctly by how it long it takes for them to sell. I'm pretty accurate at predicting what will sell these days.

Any house will sell for the right price. Unfortunately, some vendors are just unrealistic about what price they can achieve. There are plenty of houses around here that have been languishing on the market for well over a year. They haven't sold because quite simply they are overpriced.

lovechoc Tue 02-Mar-10 08:46:17

we had our first valuation for our house done yesterday and the answer she gave us was what we were expecting for the current market situation in Scotland.

we have two more to get now, have one arranged for SAturday and still waiting on confirmation for the third one.

Best of three and then we're taking it from there...

Second RightMove. The website is brilliant, and you can arrange a valuation online.

Good luck!

Deaglan Tue 14-May-13 13:50:31

as an agent myself I always ask my clients to get at least 3 valuations,

secondly ask to see their comparables - its very simple its a table of sold, unsold and currently on market properties and how they relate to yours.. ok not simple but it is simple to understand like a comparison table.
this'll at least show you how they got to that price...

thirdly.. Zoopla and rightmove online valuations are enormously unreliable they can be £1000's over or under eventual sale value its a good starting point but don't take it like a real value.

also just doing a very quick look on rightmove of 2 bed flats in your area next to the station... there are 2 sold flats at the £320-350K mark however they are period large buildings, I'd need to do more research but a figure closer to £270K would be reasonable depending on the flat and how it compares in decor or anything else in the area again just to reiterate

I'd expect due to the area and nothing else £260-270K however depending on interior, square ft, proximity to station / transport type of block, surrounding area...Etc.

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