You can email us with your Questions on anything to do with Property and we will do our best to answer your questions below. Sometimes this will be our opinion, sometimes that of experts, either way, seek professional advice before doing anything!
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Q Charles, moving to Knightsbridge asks: “I am about to Exchange on a £2.2 million 3rd floor flat near Harrods. The owner (at the last minute) has said they want an extra £1,500 for the double American Fridge! I assumed this was included in the sale as it’s far too big to move (there is no lift, only stairs). I am infuriated at their pettiness and out of principal will not pay. What do you suggest?
A £1,500 when you are spending millions on a home is not worth being principled about. If this was not included on the original fixtures and fittings list (check with your solicitor) then they are entitled to take it with them or charge. If you really want it and can’t bring yourself to pay, try this: tell the agent the deal is off unless it is included, then suggest the agent pays for it. Rather than lose over £30,000 in commission, they will likely negotiate for you or pay up!
Q John-Thomas from Clerkenwell ponders: “I put an offer in to the estate agent on a flat I viewed. It was 15% below the asking price, but I feel the asking price was over-valued and it has been on the market 4 months with no other offers. The agent tells me my offer was refused
Q Carrie in Kentish Town asks: “I have had 4 valuations on my house, with seventy thousand pounds difference in the asking prices they suggest. Do you think I should list with the highest agent?”
A Have you checked sold property prices (Zoopla.co.uk displays them) in your street or neighbouring streets? If any properties have sold recently and seem similar to yours, use them to judge if the Estate Agent valuations are too high (or low!).
Estate Agents sometimes give a high valuation to win your instruction. I would ask the agent giving the higher valuation to explain why he thinks they can achieve this (mention the other valuations). Usually the agent you trust is the best to go with – did any of them seem to listen to You more, offer more time and attention?
You can ask any of the agents you choose to list at the higher price, or perhaps go with the lower price and state that you’d like to achieve the higher value so won’t take the first offer you get – instead choosing to create competition amongst buyers by advertising at an enticing price.
Q Johal in Pimlico asks: “I am a first time seller, should I list with all 3 local agents, as the commission charge is only 0.5% more?”
A Usually choosing one agent to list with is best. Local agents should still advertise on the large property portals, so you will achieve a wider exposure. When properties fail to sell the owner often lists with more and more agents. Seeing several agents advertising the same property makes buyers nervous. They often assume there is something wrong with the property, or assume the seller is desperate (resulting in low offer prices). At a maximum go with 2 agents: a good local agent with strong knowledge (someone who is seen as “part of the community”) and a larger, nationwide agent, who may provide more exposure.
Q Tina from Enfield asked: “I advertised my flat at £345,000 last November. The highest price achieved in my block was £315,000 in the Summer and I thought I could get alot more because mine was redecorated and had a new bath suite. I had seven viewings, no offers and nobody is coming to view anymore. Should I just cut the price to £320,000 and stay with the same agent?
A Given the property has been on the market for several months, has the agent suggested reducing price, given you feedback on what similar properties are selling, or communicated what viewers have been saying? If not … switch! If you have some time on your hands, a useful tactic can be to take the property off the market, wait a few weeks then relist at the lower price with a new agent. It may not fool everyone, but it will bring a fresh marketing campaign and if the new agent takes different pictures may look like a new flat on the market.