Background and Method

In early 2017, ESPC embarked on research to gauge any differential in the sale prices achieved for properties marketed through ESPC member firms compared with the prices achieved by “independents” (non-members).
In developing a research method ESPC recognised that a wide range of variables might affect the sale price achieved for individual properties. The method adopted was designed to ensure the greatest possible consistency for comparison purposes. As such, the following approach was employed:

  • ESPC recorded properties in Edinburgh, East Lothian and the KY11 and KY12 postcodes that were listed for sale on Rightmove in a single calendar month i.e. between 1st and 30th April 2017. Rightmove property numbers were recorded for each property as part of the overall audit trail.
  • Home Reports for each property, including a market valuation and the date of the valuation, were also saved by ESPC as part of the audit trail. The sale price achieved for monitored properties was compared to the market valuation in the Home Report. This provides a fair and consistent measure, whereas price achieved against the price at which a property was marketed would be potentially skewed by the marketing price, which is determined by individual estate agents in conjunction with the vendor.
  • These properties were tracked and as properties were sold the sale price was recorded through reference to Registers of Scotland (RoS). Screenshots of the RoS entry for each property, showing the date of the sale and the sale price were saved as confirmation of the details.

ESPC produced a spreadsheet including the following fields: geographic area of the property, the Rightmove property ID, the property address, the date of the listing on Rightmove and the relevant URL, the asking price, the agent (and whether an ESPC member or an independent), the sold price and date of sale. This spreadsheet, together with the RoS screenshots and copies of Home Reports, were passed to Why Research for cross-checking and validation.


Why Research cross-checked the original data sources (RoS and Home Reports) with all entries on the spreadsheet to verify the accuracy of the information recorded. Properties with Home Report valuations dated pre 2017 or after May 2017 were excluded to maximise consistency and this left 650 properties. All of these had been listed on Rightmove between 1st and 30th April and all had Home Report valuations dated between January 2017 and May 2017; 534 were sold through ESPC member firms and 116 were sold through independents.

The following calculations shows that the percentage of the Home Report valuation price that was achieved by ESPC member firms was 106% compared with 103% for independents.


ESPC members Independents
Number of properties sold 534 116
Total of sale values £131,436,623 £27,784,277
Total Home Report values £124,502,000 £26,962,000
% of HR valuation acheived 106% 103%