The estimated selling price or indicative selling price or agent price guide are all the same thing. It is a legal requirement for the agent to provide it in the statement of information which must be provided on all web site advertisements. The owner’s reserve price often sits within this range but in a rising market your main concern is what price other buyers will pay. .
An apartment may sell above both the estimated selling price and the owners reserve because buyers compete at auction and bid the price up.
It’s important to remember that the agent selling the property is acting for the seller and their job is to encourage as much interest in the apartment as possible to create competition and negotiate or bid the price up.
Many years ago, there was a practice known as underquoting where the estimated selling price was set below both the market value and the owners reserve specifically to encourage buyer interest. Legislation now prohibits this practice but if the market is rising rapidly then it is not unusual for the sale price to be well above everyone’s expectations. This is not necessarily underquoting.
Sometimes an owner also just changes their mind on the acceptable price or reserve.
For these and other reasons try not to be too focused on the agents estimated selling price. While it may feel frustrating understanding how the agents estimated selling price relates to the owner’s reserve and market value but rather than debating the merits of all the rules and behaviours by all parties, here are two important things for buyers to keep in mind.
The first one is that the agent is engaged (and paid) by the seller of the apartment and their job is to get the highest price possible for that seller. A buyer should be under no illusion that somehow that agent will act in their best interest as well.
The second thing to consider is you are about to spend a large amount of money to buy an apartment, so please don’t base your value judgement on advice from the seller’s appointed agent. You may wish to either engage a buyer’s agent to advise you or better still follow the Apartment Hunters MAP process and make your own value assessment based on the adjusted sale price of similar recent apartment sales. This way you can negotiate or bid with confidence at a value you know is fair, and you don’t waste time, money or dreams on apartments not in your price range.