Research among 200,000 recent house sales listed on Zoopla has revealed a link between how much agents charge to sell a home and the valuation they give in order to win the instruction.
Over the weekend The Times said its research suggested that several leading estate agents including Foxtons, Chancellors, Hamptons International, Romans and Barnard Marcus have been over-valuing homes by a up to a fifth to win instructions while also charging some of the highest percentage fees.
Foxtons, which charges a 3% sales fee, is highlighted the most within the article which reveals that two thirds of its listings are reduced prior to a sale.
The report also claims that the ten agents which overvalue the most charge twice as much on average as the ten agents who overvalue the least.
Two of the agents named in the report, Foxtons and Chancellors, both said they ‘price properties competitively’ and ‘strive to get the best price for their customers’.
The NAEA told The Times it agreed that the research did not ‘put the industry in a good light’.
But Marcus Bradbury-Ross (below) of buying agent The London Resolution thinks the criticism is unfair.
“The first time any property is accurately valued is by a valuation surveyor at any future point of mortgage, or for tax reasons, or divorce, or another time when a professional opinion is required,” he says.
“Therefore, to blame estate agents outright is partly unfair. There are some estate agents who are disreputable, unscrupulous and out for every last buck.
“There are also some very decent and fair estate agents. The fact that it has been discovered that there is a great number of seemingly “over-priced” property only illustrates the need for greater checks and balances.”
Read the article in full.