This seems to be a question we are hearing more and more.
Everyday clients are questioning what tools and technologies we use to provide them with an accurate value of their property in today’s market place. This goes to show how times have changed so rapidly. Only a year ago property sellers wouldn’t expect an estate agent to use any type of “tool” or “technology” to give them a valuation of their property! Its clear property owners are scrutinizing estate agents about how they can value a property in this unstable economy.
Property owners are becoming more interested in getting regular information on the value of their property (or properties) and also how prices are fluctuating generally.
I fully understand this, as with the economy not showing many signs of improvement it makes complete sense that anyone who owns a property might become nervous and concerned about if they are loosing money and if so how much.
But is an estate agent the best source of an accurate valuation?
Do you feel you could rely solely on an estate agents valuation to decide what course of action to take if you’re feeling the pinch of the economy?
I’m going to put my neck on the line and say, generally speaking, no.
It seems that estate agents are sticking to their habits and putting properties on the market at over optimistic prices. Several sellers I have spoken to over the past couple months have commented on this during conversation with me. It’s long known that estate agents will temp a seller to come on the market with them by saying they can get a better price than any other agent. Many sellers end up sitting on the market for months or in some instances years because of unrealistic marketing prices.
This is not the case with all estate agents, as I do have a good relationship with a couple agents who I believe offer realistic valuations and might even turn down listing a property if they think the seller is asking for too much, but I consider these agents to be very rare.
So what’s the answer?
Here’s my opinion –
With some fantastic online technologies you can work out just what your property might be worth without an estate agent putting a foot in the door!
Land registry information showing how much properties have sold for has been available to everyone through websites like www.nethouseprices.co.uk for some time giving great insight to what properties actually sell for rather than what they are marketed for. You can see how much other properties are being marketed for and how long they have been on the market using websites like www.rightmove.co.uk and www.zoopla.com. Zoopla features some fantastic technology that can give you a very accurate instant online valuation of a property based on historic information and current market trends using a detailed description of the condition and quality of the property that is requested from you.
Along side this many websites (including some of the above mentioned) will give you detailed statistics about how the prices have fluctuated specific to a geographic location. Other statistics might include the % of property stock that sold over a set period in a geographic location and the average asking price compared to the selling price in a geographic location. There is a phenomenal amount of information available to us all.
The point is anyone, not just an estate agent, can arm themselves with some very detailed information about property values specific to any location using clever internet technology.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask for an estate agent to value your property, but is does mean you have the facilities FREE OF CHARGE to do your own research and be confident of if an agent is leading you down the correct path.