Agents warn of quieter market and 'unrealistic sellers' – Estate Agent Today

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Estate agents have seen a more muted start to the year for seller and buyer activity but there is concern about how realistic vendors are being about pricing.
Two separate surveys from agency comparison website GetAgent and trade body Propertymark have shone a spotlight about the current mood of the market 
GetAgent commissioned a survey of 532 UK estate agents and found 57% are less busy than they were this time last year.
A quarter have seen a consistent level of buyer interest, with just 18% stating they are now busier.
Half of estate agents also stated that they are currently sitting on a lower level of for sale stock versus the start of 2022, with 45% seeing a dip in the number of new enquiries from those looking to sell a home. 
For those who are seeing buyers act with intent, half stated that they were doing so with offers below asking price, with just 11% seeing buyers offer above asking pric.
Perhaps more worringly, 44% of estate agents have seen an increased number of transactions falling through for reasons such as a buyer seeing their mortgage offer amended during the transaction process and 52% have seen an uptick in the number of homes being down valued by surveyors.
Mal McCallion, chief operating officer for GetAgent, said: “It certainly presents a challenge for the nation’s estate agents who will have to prove they are the very best in their respective market in order to entice sellers onto the books. 
"Of course, these are all comparisons with what has been an incredible couple of years for the industry. As ever, transactions continue to occur at the right price across all localities.”
It comes as estate agency trade body Propertymark released its annual review and outlook on the UK housing market, uncovering that 71% of estate agents believe sellers are being unrealistic in terms of achievable pricing for their properties.
Agents believe sellers are overvaluing their properties, thinking they have the best house on the street or can sell at a price which will enable their next move, not what their property is actually worth.
Its members are encouraging their sellers to think twice about if they are being realistic when listing their property for sale.
Propertymark registered agent Liana Loporto-Browne said a four-bed terraced house in Greater London was with several other agents before it landed with her.
The original asking price of the property was £1.15m and had already been on the market for several months before it was reduced to £950,000 by Liana Loporto Property, selling in the same months for £925,000.
The property market in the UK’s expensive major cities can be less attractive when buyer’s budgets are constrained but quieter and more affordable areas such as the North West are holding their value, Propertymark said.
Its research found viewings per property among members had fallen 71% per cent from April to December 2022. This decline shows the cooling off in buyer demand, causing a direct effect on prices achieved.
Nathan Emerson, chief executive of Propertymark, said: “The largest shift we have seen in the sales market is prices agreed, compared to normal asking prices. 2022, started as a seller’s market, and ended the year back to normality as a buyer’s market.
“The best price is usually achieved in the first four to six weeks of marketing, so we urge sellers not to compare their property to other homes on the market which may not have sold yet, and ensure they receive valuations from a qualified and accredited estate agent.”
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