Agent reveals ‘magic formula’ for what a property is really worth

How should a buyer know what the ‘right’ price for a property is – as opposed to the asking price?

Stacks Property Search, which works for buyers and not sellers, made public its “magic formula” yesterday.

The firm said there is currently “lots” of property on the market that is over-priced.

Nick Wooldridge of Stacks advised purchasers: “The asking price is rarely the right buying price. Our advice is to view the asking price as a guide price on which to base your calculations.

“There are several factors to take into consideration, but if you do your research, and use this equation to make sure you don’t overlook crucial elements, you will come up with a figure that is a sound basis from which to negotiate.”

And the equation is:

B = A – M – V – Bf + CI + R


B = Buying price

A = Asking price

M = Market discount (Local market conditions and recent comparables)

V = Vendor desperation (How badly the vendor needs to sell)

Bf = Buyer flexibility and attractiveness (How flexible you are in terms of timing, cash buyer, etc.)

CI = Competitive interest (How many other buyers are interested)

R = Rarity (How often a property like this one comes on to the market)

Wooldridge added: “As equations go, it’s not entirely scientific. And it’s not straightforward putting a value on ‘buyer attractiveness’ or ‘vendor desperation’, but you can come up with educated estimates.

“For instance, if you are a cash buyer who is happy to fit in with the vendor’s desire for, say, a long completion date, then you could look at deducting somewhere between 2% and 3%.

“And if the vendors are going their separate ways and anxious to move on, then another 5% discount could be on the table.”

He went on: “A useful exercise is to ask the estate agents how they arrived at the price – was it based on some science (if so, what), or just what the vendor thought it should be?”


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  1. Robert May

    “As equations go, it’s not entirely scientific”  suggested edit  “As equations go, it’s not an equation but a list of abbreviated considerations with mathematical symbols stuck in there for pseudo intellectual  effect”

    1. Frown Please

      I hope your system is based on something more substantial.

    2. nextchapter

      Lol. That’s hilarious!

      1. Disillusioned

        or you could try

        B – U + L * L = S + H – I – T

        1. J1

          That’s funny – just laughed out loud 🙂

        2. dazman_1988

          lol comment of the day for me!

  2. smile please

    Never heard or met the fella but sounds like a complete crackpot to me! Basically saying lots of reasons not to pay asking price (no sh1t sherlock!) And trying to make himself look intelligent calling these factors a scentific equation!

  3. AgencyInsider

    Is it April 1st?

    1. Ric

      I hoped the Z buying PSG bit was a post I missed being relisted from April 1st…. Sadly not.

  4. Keith Comley

    It is probably no less or more accurate than Zoopla’s effort.


  5. Property Paddy

    Anyone heard of the Drake Equation ?

    They’re out there

    Er I mean ET !

    Local buyers are already registered and what I do is I sell them houses at a price based on supply and demand.

    I’m not sure ET wants a 3 bed semi. Who knows !

  6. yawn

    well thats five minutes of my life i wont get back….

    1. Property Paddy

      True !

      I was just trying to lighten the mood!


      1. yawn

        and you did….! i was referring to the main story!!

  7. Steve From Leicester

    My valuations aren’t based on science, they’re based on experience and knowledge of the local market, along with an understanding of the individual seller’s situation.

    I like to think that this is why I add value when compared with an on-line type model.

  8. Paulfromromsey87

    The only formula that works is the Darrowby method.  This is where you turn up at the property, wind your window down, have a good look at the house and tell yourself “Darrowby £500,000”!

  9. Clarkuk

    so here’s a formula that will give everyone the impression we are having a discount day!!!


  10. 1stTimeBuyer

    Reads fine to me.

    Any actual agents who already posted here, pretty much do just this, so many have made themselves look pretty foolish by your comments.

    1. Claire

      ‘Reads fine to me’   ?? Well, given your grammar I suppose it does!

  11. Property Paddy

    to be fair 1st time buyer

    the article was rubbish but we “agents” always work on a higher plain. Or is it Plane ?

    1. Property Paddy

      it is plane !

      Who knew ?

  12. Woodentop

    Just as accurate as Z’s on-line valuation tool and that’s a joke too.


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