71% Of Agents Concerned Sellers Being Unrealistic

71% Of Agents Concerned Sellers Being Unrealistic
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24 January 2023 – New research shows what agents are most concerned about for sellers and buyers in 2023. The biggest concern for vendors are unrealistic price expectations and for buyers the ability to secure financing.

Industry body Propertymark has conducted a survey of its member estate agents, asking what they think 2023 has in store for buyers and sellers.

The survey ran between 28 December 2022 and 6 January 2023 and covered questions about the outlook for 2023. The data is based on 134 members that took part in the survey.

Biggest Concerns Agents Have For Sellers

The biggest concern estate agents have for vendors this year is being unrealistic about what price they can achieve for their home, with 71% of respondents choosing this answer.

Another big concern is conveyancing times, which 48% of estate agents have named. In third spot of concerns for sellers is the impact of sales falling through, which was selected by 41%.

But agents have also identified the greatest opportunities sellers will find in 2023. 22% have said that increased affordability for upsizers was the biggest opportunity for vendors this year.

18% of respondents have said that sellers can increase the chances of selling their home if they put them up at a realistic asking price. 15% think that the lack of housing stock will also make it more likely that sellers will be able to sell their properties.

Just under 14% of agents responded that vendors will be able to capitalise on the strong price growth in the past years. This means many sellers are likely to make a profit on the sale of their house compared to what they bought it for.

10% also thought that sellers are more likely to get more serious applications in 2023 due to the challenging economic climate.

Biggest Concerns Agents Have For Buyers

The research by Propertymark also asked their members about their fears for buyers. The biggest concern, with 83%, was for homebuyers being able to obtain financing for their home.

With elevated mortgage rates, some buyers might not be able to meet the required affordability checks for the property they want. The sharp rise in property prices during the pandemic has also made buying a house less affordable for some buyers.

42% of responding estate agents have chosen the lack of available properties on the market as a concern for buyers.

Conveyancing times, which could cause delays and risk mortgage offers expiring before completion, is a concern for 38% of agents. The same number is concerned about the impact of sales falling through on chains and buyers.

But buyers will also have some great opportunities in 2023, according to the research. The biggest opportunity, with 64%, is that house prices are predicted to fall this year.

This means the market will transform from a sellers’ market, which we have had during the past two years, to a buyers’ market. This will make it easier for homebuyers to negotiate a better price.

20% think that buyers will have more time to make a decision in 2023, as the market slows down and competition becomes less. The choice of property will also become greater, which will present opportunities for buyers in the opinion of 16% of respondents to the survey.

Less than 10% of agents also think that buyers will encounter more serious sellers in 2023.

Lukewarm Start To 2023

Meanwhile, agents have reported a quieter start to 2023 than the previous year, according to a survey by GetAgent.

The estate agent comparison site has surveyed 532 UK estate agents to get a feel for the property market. And the results show that the year started rather slowly.

Many agents seem to be experiencing a drop in buyer and seller activity, with those buyers who are making an offer doing so at below asking price straight off the bat. At the same time, we’re seeing a higher level of transactions falling through and a higher propensity for down valuations as many surveyors anticipate a reduction in house prices.

Mal McCallion, COO of GetAgent

57% of responding estate agents have reported that they have seen less buyer interest compared to the same time last year. 25% have seen the same levels of buyer activity and 18% have seen an increase in buyer interest compared to the beginning of 2022.

Stock levels are also down compared to last year, with 51% stating that they have fewer properties on the books than at the start of last year. 45% have also seen a decline in enquiries from potential new sellers.

50% have said that buyers who are making offers, offer below asking price. Only 11% said they have seen offers above asking price.

There was also an increase in homes that have been valued down by surveyors, according to 52% of respondents. This might be due to the expectations that house prices will fall this year.

A slowdown of the market has been predicted for this year by many industry insiders, which is good news for buyers. Sellers will be less pleased about this. But as long as they don’t put their home up at an unrealistic price, they should be able to sell their house.


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