Foxtons, Chancellors and Hamptons Are Serial Overvaluers, Claims

Some estate agency chains are overvaluing properties to mislead sellers into paying higher rates of commission, a report in The Times claims.

The newspaper says that in an analysis of 200,000 Zoopla listings chains are overvaluing properties by up to a fifth. It said that the biggest agents and those with the highest commissions are overvaluing more, and referred to Foxtons,  Chancellors and Hamptons International.

The Times offers an example: ‘Nearly two thirds of homes listed by Foxtons, the biggest agent in London, have to be reduced from their initial price before they can be sold, almost double the national average. Foxtons charges a commission of 3%, which is more than twice the average.

‘When properties marketed by Foxtons had their asking prices cut, the average reduction was 10%, or £56,000. Land Registry data on a sample of these homes shows that the sale price was lower still, falling 16% or £85,000 from the original asking price.’

When asked for a response for the article Foxtons and Chancellors told the newspaper that their policy was always to obtain the best price for a seller’s property.

In publishing the claims, the newspaper should perhaps have mentioned that the market in the south east has been softening of late, prompting some sellers to accept lower offers which they might have declined in the past. They might also have considered that valuation is rarely an exact science and that undervaluing properties by 20% probably wouldn’t be very popular with sellers.

Source The Times
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