One in five properties is ‘over-valued’ by estate agents – Which?

Optimistic asking prices cause slow sales

One in five properties is being “over-valued” by estate agents, according to research by consumer group Which?, and those elevated asking prices result in markedly slower sales.

Researchers looked at 370,000 property sales between October 2105 and September 2016, and found that 19% of those homes had “heavily reduced” final agreed prices compared to initial asking prices.

Punchily-priced properties took, on average, 64 days longer to sell than those with on-point valuations, while there didn’t appear to be much of a difference between final selling prices for those with optimistic, compared to realistic (“uninflected”) initial asking prices; £261,000 Vs £260,000.

Responding to allegations that such optimistic valuations are deliberate tactics to win instructions, several major estate agency brands cited stamp duty changes and the EU referendum as reasons for mark-missing prices.