Can estate agents manipulate the Brighton property market?

RICS and house price capping: People are generally unaware of the games some estate agents play to gain property instructions.

Home owners are probably not aware that, especially in the corporate world, estate agent valuers are targeted on the number of instructions they gain per week. The easiest way to gain an instruction to sell, is to over value. Sellers will generally instruct the agent who quotes the highest price. Even if they don't really believe it, they 'give it a go'.

Hand in hand with over-valuation is a long sole agency (we've heard up to 6 months!!).  The owner cannot go elsewhere and, unfortunately owners rarely look at the length of a sole agency agreement until they want to instruct another agent.  As the sole agency continues, the agent whittles away at price; finally the property sells. Owners feel brow beaten and demoralised; the overvaluing agent gets the commission. Who wins?

Invidious overvaluing, all too common, hinders market stability, creates unreasonable expectations & loss of confidence amongst buyers; trust amongst sellers and the boom and bust cycle is perpetuated.

The Property Ombudsman code states:’...any figure you advise,...must be given in good faith and must reflect available information about the property and current market conditions .... You must never deliberately misrepresent the marketing value of a property’.

Has this affected you?  

Paul Bonett