A London agent is urging rivals to provide realistic valuations, even if vendors want more and despite temptations to over-value to win instructions.
Nic Pejacsevich, director of high end Prime London agency Nicolas Van Patrick, says: “This practice stood us in good stead recently when we were asked to join a parade of agents to value a house in Knightsbridge. The owner had bought the property for £3m several years ago and it is a sign of the times that we valued it at £3.35m in the current market. Given the stamp duty the vendor paid when purchasing the property, achieving this sale price would effectively mean he was losing money.”
He continues: “As we left, he told us that we had indeed given the lowest valuation of all the agents, so we thought we had missed out on the instruction. However, he chose to instruct us regardless because he understood that we were giving a truthful picture of the market, backed up by facts. We had been selling houses over the past few months in that area which justified our pricing.”
Eventually the agency agreed a deal just two per cent off asking price without even having to market the property. “Contracts were exchanged within the week” continues Pejacsevich.
He says some vendors believe they know more than agents and urge a higher asking price anticipating negotiations - as a result, they typically wait longer and may well end up with no more than a more realistic asking price would have offered in a shorter time.
“Although we are supposed to be the experts, some vendors feel they know more when it comes to their property ... Our advice is that you can never undersell a property if it is marketed properly as well-informed buyers will compete and push the price upwards, even in this tricky market” says Pejacsevich.