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Agency Scams 1.1

Recently I was asked to appraise the current market value of a house in Notting Hill.  Luckily (for me) this isn’t too rare an occasion.   However, my agency didn’t win it.   It got me thinking:  How do owners whittle it down to deciding who is going to represent them in what is possibly their most important sale ever?  Now I have had this thought before of course, but it made me think it all over again and this time I set no limits or parameters.

This house in particular was appraised by a number of agents, which of course is not a bad idea in itself.  However these ‘valuations’ presented back to the owners had a variance of 60% between the highest and lowest ‘valuations’.  How is this possible – and what are vendors to make of these huge disparities?  I mean one agent said £8m – which is simply ludicrous – other valuations were in the £5-6m range.

Why did this agent put on a value of £8m? He / she will have known that this was nothing near to reality.  They do it to win instructions.  To appeal to that lowest common denominator – greed!  Many vendors fall for this trick and the damage done in launching a property at an unachievable price can end up being catastrophic.

London property websites are littered with tiers of unsellable property, what is the point?  Greed may be one factor, but there is also the ‘have to be in it to win it’ mentality of so many agents while others seem to cling to the fallible adage “get the instruction to get the reduction” which in a market like today’s are all approaches that simply do not work.

Something really needs to be done to stop unscrupulous agents putting insane prices on people’s properties that in no way can be justified simply to hit valuations and instructions target!