Estate agents lost out on an estimated £4bn last year after almost half of all properties taken off the market were withdrawn by the seller rather than sold.
Out of more than 100,000 homes which were put up for sale and then taken off the market over the course of 2017, 45% were unsold and withdrawn by the vendor, according to a new report by estate agent software services firm Reapit and data company Dataloft.
The figures covered a range of properties from across the UK, but it seems they were skewed slightly by property in London as well as higher priced homes, which recorded a much greater number of instances of properties being withdrawn rather than sold.
In the capital, a huge 61% of properties that came off the market were withdrawn, while for homes priced at £1m to £2m the withdrawal ratio was 62% compared to 38% that were sold, and for the £500,000-£750,000 range 57% were taken off while 43% were sold. For more moderately priced properties at less than £500,000, more were sold than withdrawn by the seller.
Turning a listing into a sale
According to Reapit, the losses for estate agents could have cost them an accumulative £4bn in commission. Gary Barker, Reapit’s CEO, said: “More recently, online agents have taken flak about their ability to turn a listing into a sale. Perhaps the problem is not unique to the disruptors?
“It also highlights issues with a no sale, no fee model. The scale of abortive costs has serious ramifications for those who compromise on fees.”
The time it took for these sellers to withdraw their properties was also quite surprising, with just under 40% taking their homes off the market within three months of listing them – although this could have been due to them relisting with other agents or even switching to an online agent, as the reasons behind the results were not analysed. On average, properties were listed for sale for five and a half months before being withdrawn.