Consumer champion organisation Which? has launched a scathing report on sales agents that will make painful and probably infuriating reading for many.
Its research found that of the 370,000 property sales it looked at between October 2105 and September 2016, one in five had been heavily reduced in price between asking and final agreed price, and that the optimistically-valued properties sold more slowly and for less.
More controversially, Which? says online-only and hybrid agents sold more homes that hadn’t been reduced in price compared to traditional agents.
Also, Which? says its data suggests overvalued properties take 64 days longer to sell than the rest, and that properties that start out over-priced don’t generally later achieve a higher one than an ‘uninflated’ one.
The best-performing agents across the UK for selling above the asking price are also revealed, as are those Which? says are the ‘worst’.
In London these include Fine & Country, James Pendleton, EasyProperty, Camerons Stiff & Co, Watson Bull & Porter, Faron Sutaria, Chestertons and Marsh & Parsons.
Outside London it includes Redferns in the SW, Nick Tart in the West Midlands, Boxall Brown & Jones in the East Midlands, Aldreds in the East of England, Whitegates in Yorkshire, Colin Lilley in the NE, Proctors in the NW and Property Plus Wales.
The agents were given the chance to respond to the data and their answers are within the report including Chestertons and Marsh & Parsons, both of which said the EU Referendum and stamp duty changes had affected their local markets.
The best – agents who sold the fewest properties under the asking price and the most over it – included House & Co in the SW, Next Place Property Agents in the West Midlands, Quarters Estate Agents in the East of England, Spencers in Yorkshire, Coast and Castle in the NE, Watersons in the NW and Mr Homes in Wales.
Which? also looked at traditional agents’ asking price performance versus online-only agents and found that properties sold through the latter sold 38 days quicker.
“We welcome today’s report from Which?, which highlights the need for more transparency in estate agency,” says Michael Bruce, CEO of Purplebricks (pictured, left)
Is it really over-pricing, or just the effect of different opinions on potential value?
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