Playing the odds with agents

What if I told you there was a 40% greater chance of selling your house if you picked one Bath estate agent over another? That’s a pretty substantial difference to your odds of moving just for choosing the right agent. You might not believe me but read on and I’ll explain.

Have you ever asked an estate agent about their success rate?

If you want to choose an agent to get your property sold, it is probably the most important metric you need to consider.

You might often see agents advertising new properties they have put on the market or sales they have agreed but how successful are they overall? The best way to tell is to look at averages over a decent period of time – how many properties have they launched and, of that, how many have they actually agreed sales on?

Lets start with citywide averages;



Now look at the numbers for the top 8 estate agents in Bath at present – to clarify, these are the top 8 for sales agreed year to date based on Rightmove data;


As you can see, there is a whopping 40.8% difference in success rate! To put it another way, two of the agents on the list are only selling around half of the properties they take on whereas one is selling nearly 9 out of every 10 instructions. Which one would you trust with the sale of your home with those odds?

What are the downsides to this data? Well, there is a chance that multiple sales can be agreed on one property (sale falls through, sells again and repeat) which might inflate sale numbers in isolated cases. Equally, you could argue several agents in this list operate in higher value markets where properties may sell significantly slower or owners only choose to sell if they get the price they want. Lastly, some of the new instruction numbers can be distorted if the agent deals in new build homes (where developers insist on listing multiple plots simultaneously). However, we are deliberately looking at these numbers over a lengthy period of time in the market, which should help to smooth out some of the lumps and bumps. You could also argue that any of these potential issues could be shared by any estate agent.

If you’re asking agents over to value your home, why not ask them to bring their success rate figures with them!


Edit 06/10/23 – extra info just added

Have you ever asked agents about their reduction rate?

What is a reduction rate? If you take the number of available properties an agent has against the number of those properties that they have reduced in price, you’ve got their reduction rate. As an example, if Agent A had 40 available properties of which they reduced 16, their reduction rate would be 40%.

If you then compare those reduction rates across a wide variety of agents and over a decent period of time, what conclusions could you draw? Have a look at the figures below – we’ve used the current top 8 estate agents in Bath for volume of sales and listed both their success rates (new instructions vs sales agreed) and their reduction rates from 1st Jan this year to now.


If you need more info, how about the latest news from Rightmove regarding how to price your home;

Accurately priced properties succeed in finding a buyer in less than half the time that it takes those that need a reduction, and when they do find a buyer the sale is also 50% less likely to fall through. 

If a property for sale receives its first buyer enquiry on the first day of marketing rather than after two weeks, then Rightmove data shows that property is 60% more likely to find a buyer and be marked Sold Subject To Contract.

Source; Rightmove October 2023 House Price Index



For more information on our services or details of our latest properties for sale in Bath, visit our main website homepage or follow us on Facebook

P.S – we won’t name agents 1 or 3-8 but Madison Oakley are Agent 2 on the lists.