Agents want a realistic price for your property
Knowing the correct market value of your house before you stick up a for sale sign is critical if you are a serious seller and are keen to move up the property ladder yourself.
Typically most property sellers will call a number of estate agents in to value their property before choosing which agent will receive the mandate to sell the house.
Estate agent valuations can differ vastly though, so sellers need to keep a level head and not allow whimsical hope or greed to guide the process, as the pitfalls of an overpriced home are numerous.
Brendan Miller, principle of Lew Geffen Sotheby's International Realty in Atlantic Seaboard, says irrespective of a weak or strong market, overpriced property doesn't sell. "If you agree to a price tag for your house that is unrealistic it will deter serious buyers as well as speculative investors," he says.
When a house is valued by an agent they base their valuation on the erf size and habital size and adjust this according to the standard finishes within the house. "A key factor when determining the price of the house is of course location. Other factors include the view, the direction the property faces, the condition the property is in and whether or not there is parking available," says Miller.
Sellers need to be truthful with themselves as to the quality and value of investments they've made into a property over the years. A new kitchen might have added value when you first renovated but if that kitchen is now ten years old its value in the eyes of buyers will have diminished, no matter what you paid for it at the time.
Miller asserts that property can quickly become stigmatised in the eyes of active buyers who see that it hasn't sold and remains on the market for longer than similar properties in the area. 'Serious buyers notice these things and will dig in their heels because they assume the seller will get desperate and drop the price and this is very often the case,' he says.
Miller says the best advice for sellers who have received vastly different valuations is to establish asking price versus actual sale price in the neighbourhood for similar property and then compare it to valuations you have received from estate agents.
"Once we have established a reasonable sales price with the seller, we allow them a margin of comfort for negotiation and for their protection," says Miller.
Lew Geffen Sotheby's International Realty Press Release