Dealing with the number of selling clients that we do, we come across many people that have been trying to sell their homes with local, High Street agents for months and months.

There are two reasons, predominantly, that a property sticks. One, lack of marketing exposure and that’s a big issue with old fashioned agents that still rely on shop windows and newspaper ads that no serious buyer has any regard for. Many ‘bricks and mortar’ agents advertise on Rightmove but none of them advertise across the breadth of property portals that eMoov.co.uk do. Zoopla, FindaProperty, Prime Location, Globrix, UK Property Shop, NeedaProperty, Nestoria, MSN, eBay, Gumtree, Property Place etc are all vital too.

The other reason is price. And pricing by High Street agents has begun to reach shocking levels of inaccuracy.

Would you believe that many property firms have a policy of ‘over valuation’?

Sounds suicidal, especially in the current challenging market where price is so sensitive, but their reasoning is one of bamboozling you with a flattering valuation which then results in you signing into their ridiculously long sole agency agreement which binds you to them for months. During this time, out of frustration, you’ll end up reducing your price and will sell eventually. And they still get their fee.

This is a deceptive and scandalous practice and goes on every day in every town across the nation. In our previous lives as High Street agents, our directors attest to having employed staff from the big corporate estate agencies that say that their prior training by those companies involved purposely misleading the public with over optimistic valuations.

Setting a price that is too high is wholly unproductive at best. It can even ensure that once you do reduce, you achieve a lower price than you wouldhave done as by then your home will look stale.

It is about time that the Office of Fair Trading and their foot soldiers, Trading Standards, cracked down on this sharp practice. It messes with people’s lives and is yet another reason that people mis-trust estate agents.

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