Martin Bikhit
MANAGING DIRECTOR OF PRIME CENTRAL LONDON ESTATE AGENCY KAY & CO.

Q. I have had three agents value my home. Two were around the same level but one was much higher. What shall I do?

A. It is always very tempting to go for the highest valuation. However, it might not be the correct valuation and you do not want your property to linger on the market at an overinflated price and not attract any interest.

I think you need to ask a few more questions of the higher agent – how have they come up with the figure? What similar homes have they sold recently to make them think they can get this figure for you? You can also do your own basic research – take a look at the property portals to see what other people are asking.

That said, it will be more advantageous to look at websites such as nethouseprice.co.uk to see what has actually sold rather than what people are asking. But these sites also have limitations since they cannot tell you the property’s condition, the length of the lease or what floor it was on for example – all these factors have a big influence on value.

If you remain unconvinced, they are probably trying to buy your business by giving you a high valuation. If all else fails and you still remain unsure, give them one week to get in their best buyers. If someone bites then great, if not I would instruct one of two agents who were accurate in the first place and tell the higher agent not to waste your time.

Q. I want to sell my home but don’t know whether I should use more than one agent. What are the advantages and disadvantages?

A. You can either instruct a sole agent which involves giving your home to a single agency or you can instruct a number of agents on a multiple agency basis.

The sole option is generally less expensive as the agent has more chance of gaining a good fee. The multiple agency option arguably gives your property wider market exposure.

That said, most agents tend to advertise on the same websites so agents with a good track record and well-positioned offices are probably your best bet.

Multiple agency instruction tend to generate healthy competition between agencies, but there are disadvantages. For example, if you were to get two offers through two different estate agents, both will tell you that they have the better buyer.

Whereas if you have two offers through one agent you are more likely to be presented with more than one buyer. Whatever you do, do not instruct too many agents, particularly if your home stands out because you will appear desperate.