Estate agents are only as good as the number of houses they are able to actually sell. Not a lot these days.
So many of them are going wrong because they don’t actually know how to do a proper house valuation, so they’re getting all the asking prices wrong! This confusion is what’s slowing the housing market down.
An increasing number of people actually want to move, need to move - even in the downturn. The problem therefore needs sorting out urgently.
Better advice should be provided by estate agents, using more exact evaluation methods, when advising owners putting houses on the market for the first time.
Unfortunately having discussed this with several of them recently they seem to have no inkling whatsoever that the problem is of their making!
Until they understand this, nothing can be done to improve the chances of buying and selling in what has become a chaotic marketplace; even though many people wish to move house and have needed to for some time. Many are instead being forced to let and then rent their next house themselves.
One of the primary reasons for owning one’s own home was so that the owner would have control and so could move to another house as and when they decided to.
Unfortunately, this advantage seems to have been decimated by the chaotic pricing variations we are seeing across the market. You might expect agents to be in control of this, as it is their business to sell houses. Sadly you’d be wrong. The result is uncertainty and less business for everyone - including the agents themselves, rather ironically. If only the asking prices being quoted bore some resemblance to one another, then moving would still be do-able, even in a downturn.
I blame the agents. They should have seen this coming and put far better evaluation methods into practice in order to advise their selling clients more appropriately.
It will take some while for things to shake themselves out if no-one is prepared to grasp the nettle and devise a better way to market houses.
If anyone can explain these apparent deficiencies in estate agency methods and practices, they are welcome to do so and contribute to this attempt to help the housing market back to health in 2012.
At least we, at Property Match (UK), have a plan to help get the people who really want to, moving house once again.
Posted by: Property Match (UK)/Asking_Prices: Peter Hendry, Consultant in Housing Valuation, Property Match (UK).