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How we value your property differently from other South West London estate agencies

Estate agents are unfortunately not known for honest tactics… and in many cases, they live up to that negative stereotype. But if you’re selling your South West London property, you're going to have to deal with estate agents at some point.



Estate agents are unfortunately not known for honest tactics… and in many cases, they live up to that negative stereotype. But if you’re selling your South West London property, you're going to have to deal with estate agents at some point.

Since arranging a valuation is the first step in listing your property, it doesn’t hurt to familiarise yourself with the process and know what to expect in advance.

Here’s what usually happens when valuing your property – and what we do differently.

What most estate agents do when valuing your home

Estate agents use a range of methods when determining the value of your property in Richmond, Twickenham and Teddington. It's worth noting that individual estate agents may have slightly different approaches to property valuation, and their expertise can vary.

It’s fair to say that most estate agents will already have an idea of the value of your home before they even set foot in the door. As soon as you book the valuation, they’ll research current sales on your street via property marketing platforms like Rightmove, OnTheMarket, and Zoopla.

South West London estate agents consider local factors such as the neighbourhood's desirability, availability of schools, transport links, and proximity to amenities. Hopefully the estate agent is familiar with the area and knows of any new developments – but this can be hit-and-miss. All too often you’re stuck with an agent who relies on Google and Rightmove!

After researching the area, they’ll look at your home on an individual level, focussing on various factors such as house size, the number of rooms/bathrooms, garages, gardens, and other unique features. Estate agents should also do more in-depth research using reputable sources such as the Land Registry.

A physical inspection is essential to assess the condition of the house and any potential problems. An estate agent will note any necessary repairs or improvements that could affect the property’s value. However, many valuations are now done online, which not only makes them less accurate, but also means you're missing out on the expert eye of an estate agent.  

The goal when valuing a home is to determine a competitive and realistic selling price. You want to attract potential buyers while maximising your return. However, estate agents are known for using all kinds of shady tactics to secure a listing. So how do you know the price they are quoting is realistic?

Deliberately overvaluing your property

As a homeowner, it can be tempting to accept the highest valuation on your home. But unscrupulous estate agents have a tendency to overvalue your home to win your business and then drop the price later.

This underhand tactic is also known as the ‘top it, drop it, sell it’ strategy. Some estate agents in South West London deliberately go in with a high, overinflated figure and then drop the price within weeks to try to sell it.

At Bartlett & Partners, we strongly disagree with this practice - it’s sleazy and just doesn’t work. Dropping the price reduces interest and viewings because buyers wonder why the price has changed.

If you ‘top’ your property – in other words, overvalue your home – you will not get the footfall your property deserves in the first two weeks. The first two weeks are key to marketing and generating interest while it has a ‘fresh to the market’ appeal. You must get this initial interest!

Lowering the price so quickly isn’t a good look. This tactic also backfires spectacularly because the perceived drop in value puts potential buyers off, resulting in it languishing on the market. If a property remains unsold for longer than average, it only attracts offers that are on the low side.

In the meantime, the seller didn’t realise the price was too high. In fact, around 8% of homeowners are overly optimistic about their home’s value. It’s tough to view your home objectively. Imagine the frustration of having to lower the price when you already thought it was fair!

Using current properties for sale

Many estate agents use current prices to value their property. This is a problem because looking at the houses currently for sale doesn’t give you an accurate idea of accepted offers and final prices. These houses haven’t sold yet, which means they could also be overvalued…

Did you know that on average only 20-30% of properties actually sell? Research shows that in this year’s second quarter, 25% of sales fell through before completion. While that’s better than last year’s 31% – and a vast improvement on the whopping 55% of sales that fell through at the beginning of 2023 –  it still means a quarter of all sales are not being completed. So, you can't look at other houses on the market for the accurate value of your home.

South West London estate agents should instead look at the sold data for the specific area. For an accurate valuation, they need to research current demand and the prices achieved rather than advertised listings.

How Bartlett and Partners value your South West London property

At Bartlett & Partners, we do things differently from other estate agents in South West London. We never overvalue your property.

We don’t want to create unrealistic expectations or disappoint our clients so we’ll always tell you the true value of your home. We save the disillusionment and frustration to other UK estate agencies.  

So essentially, to value a property, we look at real and meaningful figures. In other words, the local SOLD prices, not what is listed for sale. We have access to data on houses that have sold recently and have actually gone through. All our information comes from the Land Registry and our subscription to Rightmove.

Plus, you can’t underestimate our local knowledge and experience in selling similar properties in the area. We live and work in the Borough of Richmond upon Thames and know the area inside out. If there are any changes in the area, such as a new school, a leisure complex or transport links, we’ll understand how these developments impact prices.

We combine this local insight with our knowledge of broader real estate trends to provide an accurate valuation based on a range of factors, including:

  • Property size and plot size
  • Number of rooms – reception rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, etc
  • Property features – detached, garden, parking, garage, extensions, swimming pools, outside offices, etc
  • The property’s condition – including the quality of work and internal elements, such as double-glazing, flooring and finishes
  • The property’s location – flood risk, conservation area, council tax band, and broadband coverage
  • Neighbourhood details and amenities – schools, shops, transport, medical facilities, green spaces, etc
  • Comparable sold prices for similar houses in the area

A quick reminder for buyers: Just because a house is up for sale near them at a certain price, doesn't mean it will sell for that. It depends on demand and how well the house has been valued in the first place.

Staging your home to get the best sale price

At Bartlett & Partners, we value your home to get you the best sale price. But we don’t stop there… We also give you advice on presenting your home so it appeals to more buyers and sells at the price you want.

We’ll even call in the pros to give our most luxurious Richmond properties the VIP treatment.

Here are our top tips for staging your home for a fast sale.

Tip 1: Clean thoroughly

Make sure everywhere is spick and span. A deep clean ensures that everything from windows to worktops is sparkling.

Tip 2: Declutter the space

Put things away in cupboards, remove too many accessories, and clear surfaces. While homely is nice, busy and crowded with nick-nacks is a no-no. A minimalist feel allows potential buyers to imagine their own furnishings and belongings in the space.

Tip 3: Use neutral colours

If the walls are dark, consider repainting them with neutral, lighter colours. If your walls are already neutral, you could give them a lick of paint to cover any marks and stains.

Tip 4: Add fresh flowers

Freshly cut flowers make the space more inviting. They add life to a space and look great on shelves, dining room tables, or coffee tables – they also make an elegant addition to entrances and hallways.

Tip 5: Tidy your garden

Remove any fallen leaves, clear up any children’s toys, and weed the flower beds to make it as attractive as possible. Don’t forget to put away any gardening tools or machinery and replace broken garden furniture. It’s also not a bad idea to give your sheds and fences some TLC with some maintenance and a fresh paint job.

Tip 6: Kerb appeal

Remember that people DO judge a book by its cover, so make a good first impression on your driveways, front garden, and front door. If you want to make an extra effort, some ideas include repainting the door, power-cleaning the paving or adding hanging baskets to the front of your house.

Tip 7: Hiring professionals

If you struggle with the staging, you can hire professionals. Sometimes Bartlett & Partners will arrange expert staging for you, as we have access to the best home stagers in Richmond, Teddington and Twickenham. They’ll know the best furniture arrangements, lighting and accessories to give your home the wow factor necessary to secure a quick and profitable sale.

Don’t get caught up by sleazy sales tactics

Now you’re clued up on the tricks some estate agents use to value properties, you’re better placed to select a good one.

Don’t worry, honest estate agents in South West London do exist – we’re one of them!

Of course, it helps to prepare for a valuation. To protect yourself:

  • Do your research: Familiarise yourself with local property prices and recent sales.
  • Get multiple valuations: If selling, get valuations from several estate agents.
  • Trust your instincts: If something feels off, question it.
  • Seek transparency: Ensure they are transparent and don’t avoid questions.
  • Hire a reputable agent: Check reviews and testimonials, and seek referrals from friends or family.

As a leading Richmond luxury estate agent, Bartlett & Partners is honest and transparent about the valuation process. No games, no shady tactics – just a straightforward quote.

If you‘re thinking of selling your home, please get in touch to arrange a free valuation.


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