£4 billion in lost commission

July 17th, 2018

How good are you at selling properties? Really sold, as in completed? We took an extensive look at properties that either completed or were withdrawn from the market in 2017 in our latest research report.

You can download a complimentary copy of the report here.

The results are quite astounding and I hope this will serve as a prompt to agents who may not be tracking the impact of withdrawn stock on their businesses.

Last year, Reapit introduced a new Management Information dashboard to monitor properties withdrawn from sale. During testing, we observed some agents had large numbers of recently withdrawn properties, yet few were monitoring this or taking steps to combat it.

This issue was brought into sharp focus by leading industry trainer, Josh Phegan, who talked of a client who had seen a third of their stock withdrawn: “Imagine a third of your customers actively recommending against using your agency.” Perception is truth to the customer – and that perception would simply be that the agent had failed, regardless of market conditions or any stubborn refusal to be realistic over pricing.

We decided to look more closely at this issue and commissioned Dataloft, an independent data analysis company, to establish a benchmark by which agents could assess their own performance. The findings are quite simply staggering, with the UK industry losing an estimated £4 billion in agency commission last year due to withdrawn properties.

The analysis of over 100,000 properties was conducted by measuring the ratio of withdrawals to sales and then looking at a range of variables including location, price band and time on the market to find patterns in the data. This is a snapshot of a single year, 2017 – which may be exceptional, or typical. As we build up the series over time – seasonal and cyclical patterns will emerge more clearly. Here are the key findings:

• Nearly half of all properties taken off the market in 2017 were withdrawn rather than sold

• Estate agents are incurring significant cost to market and serve withdrawn properties, subsidised by those which do complete

• Higher priced homes were far more likely to be withdrawn; below £500,000, sales outweighed withdrawals and above that, the balance reversed

• 38% of properties withdrawn had received an offer, but in most cases, these were not accepted

• Half of the properties withdrawn had been marketed for less than 4 months

The report itself goes into more detail on the above and also examines agency fees and the effect property pricing has on fees.

Withdrawn stock has a widespread financial and reputational impact across our industry. We are committed to helping our clients improve their business performance and we continue to work on real-time tools to proactively identify and deal with issues like withdrawals.