Sunday, June 22, 2008

Valued Opinion?

In today’s challenging sales market it is more important than ever to make sure you price your home as accurately and competitively as possible. No doubt you will have had it’s marketing price appraised by more than one estate agent, but did you actually appraise how their figures were arrived at?

Today’s agent has more tools available for arriving at an accurate figure than ever before but a recent statistic from the country’s leading property website, Rightmove, shocked me. Every agent advertising on the site has access to a tool called ‘Best Price Guide’ which enables agents to compare the property they are going out to look at with similar properties that are or have been advertised by themselves plus all other agents. The properties may be sold subject to contract, for sale or withdrawn. Another feature is the Land Registry recorded sale price. You would have thought that this section of the website would have been suffering from server overload in these difficult times but a Rightmove representative told me that more than 50% of the agents advertising had never ever used this facility!

It could be that they are using another method such as Hometrack ( ) Hometrack is the UK's leading provider of residential property and housing information. Established in 1999 the business has developed into a market leader in the provision of information and analysis, which enables agents, developers and lenders to enhance the way they do business.

The Hometrack Estate Agency Marketing Report is an independent market activity report. Each report is unique and provides the agent with unparalleled market data to help justify and formulate valuation figures. When we visit a property to provide marketing and pricing advice we go armed with both the Hometrack report and the Rightmove Best Price Guide, as well as details of properties we have recently sold.

With the arrival of HIPS all agents had to become members of a redress scheme and the most popular is the Ombudsman for Estate Agents ( ). Some agents chose to only become members for the purposes of HIPS but full members, like us, have to abide by a code of practice. The relevant section relating to giving advice on pricing is reproduced below:

So, when your chosen estate agents sit down with you in your living room, to give you their opinion on price make sure they provide you with some facts as well as a glowing insight into their sales abilities!

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