Over valuing for dummies(1st published in 2013)

Today, we’ve had a buyer who was rather keen on two of our customers properties who has had to stop looking for the time being because the agent they chose, over-valued their home by £100,000, so their moving plans have been temporarily scuppered.

They had spent several hundred pounds travelling down to Cornwall, booking accommodation etc for a number of visits to view homes. All of that time and money, wasted.

They had also raised the hopes of people trying to sell (our customers, amongst others).

So congratulations to the agent who over-valued that buyers property. You got the instruction on your books, you got the for sale board outside their home and another one to brag about to other potential sellers. Did you achieve a sale for them? Did you give them good advice? Do you sleep at night?


If you haven’t nodded off reading this yet I would add the following: We, as agents, do, occasionally, make mistakes, we do, occasionally, get carried away with a valuation or, have good comparables that show a property SHOULD sell at a certain figure but, for some reason or other, it just doesn’t. It happens. But, if you are having an agent out to value your home and the price seems remarkably high PLEASE, challenge that agent and don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of going for the highest valuation. Chances are, it will cost you more than it earns you.
Chris 11.6.13

I welcome feedback so please feel free to leave constructive criticisms or ask questions below. If you could also take a second to rate my blog and pass it on to others who you think may find it interesting that would be great. Thanks.

Chris Wood of PDQ Estates Ltd

PDQ Estate Agents website

About Chris Wood: Chris is an estate agent with over 25 years of property experience. His business, PDQ Estates Ltd is based in Penzance and Helston, West Cornwall. He has worked with all sizes and types of businesses from single office independents to the management team and board of RBS and Tesco. A former President Elect of the NAEA and board member of NFoPP until he resigned in 2009, Chris has always championed the highest professional standards forestate agents in the UK. No stranger to the media, he has appeared on various programs including BBC, News 24, ITV, independent and BBC radio and is a regular contributor to trade journals, local and national Newspapers. Chris is on KloutLinkedIn Ecademy Facebook and Twitter In his spare time; Chris likes to keep fit and was previously a long-standing member of the Territorial Army. In 2010 he mobilised for a tour of duty in Afghanistan with 1 Rifles as part of 3 Commando Brigade.


  • Hi Chris,

    New to your blog, but continue to enjoy the content.

    We share your sentiments on this topic completely. We are an estate agent operating on the Essex/Suffolk border and are constantly frustrated by the amount of business lost as a result of overvaluations. We believe that the solution lies in short contract terms.

    If any estate agent feels confident that they can achieve a price beyond that advised by others, then vendors should CHALLENGE that agent to put their money where their mouth is by insisting that they work on a short contract (e.g. ten days rolling notice). This will provide vendors with the security of being able to switch agents almost immediately if it turns out the agent has overvalued the house.

    We have been working a ten day contract for the past four years without any problems, in fact the vast majority of clients keep us working for them beyond the standard 12 week agency contract term, as the short contract provides reassurance.

    A short contract term rewards the good estate agent and penalises the bad!


    • Hi Gerry
      We have a longer contract than yours but still vastly shorter than the usual over-valuers (six weeks initially then a rolling 10 working day notice). Our view is that we would rather people wanted to stay with us than be stuck with us.


  • Pingback: Benefits of Selling Property Privately | Markets And Trading

  • agencynegotiation

    Absolutely agree, Chris.

    My solution, however, would be for vendors to ask for a sliding scale fee. Rather than shorter contract.
    Deliberate over- valuations from agents would be reduced, although not eliminated.
    Whilst competence of any agency is a requisite, I have lately come to more appreciate the character of an agent.
    If a vendor takes time to really get to know the agency and to understand their values and beliefs, it becomes a matter of trust rather than one of risk.
    Relational rather than transactional.


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