Real estate valuations

Dear Editor,

I have asked to have my name and address withheld as this is a sensitive issue even though I suspect that one or more of the agents in question may guess who I am from this letter. I own a villa in Carvoeiro and have lived here more or less full time for the past 15 years since I retired and moved over from the UK with my wife. It is only now, due to health problems, that we had decided to place our home on the market and return to the UK full time, also enabling us to see more of our family.

We had been led to believe a few years ago by the agent who originally sold us the house back in 1997, that it would easily sell for around €700.000. I am fully aware that we are in the midst of a recession and that prices have been eroded but I was shocked by the differing valuations I have been given by the three different estate agencies we have been talking to and as a result of this we have decided not to place the property on the market and are considering renting it out and using the money to rent in the UK. In fact we would actually make a healthy profit from doing this as all we need in the UK is an apartment whilst our 3 bedroom villa with pool should, so we are told, fetch a handsome price for holiday rentals.  But back to my main point and the reason for my lack of confidence in placing the property on the market. Agent one, the same one I originally brought from, suggested I place the property on the market at €560.000 (20% less than his original valuation). Agent two told me that there was no point putting it on the market any higher than €450,000 (35% less) and to expect offers as low as €350,000 (50%!) whilst agent three suggested an asking price of €600,000 giving no idea of how much he expected offers to come in at. I find it totally bemusing how three agents in the same area can suggest marketing the same property at such wildly different prices. I must say however that the one who made most sense was agent two with the lower valuation, explaining that my property had probably been overvalued in the first place and showing me examples of other properties in the area similar to mine that they have recently sold.

Name and address withheld

By email