90pc of properties are selling for different sum to the asking price
Nine out of every 10 homes put on the market are being sold for substantially different sums than the advertised asking price.
First-time buyers and families hoping to secure a home are being invited to view properties which end up selling for figures vastly different from those advertised by estate agents.
Just five out of 65 properties offered for sale on website Daft.ie in early March sold for the asking price, an analysis shows.
More than half, 34 or 52pc, sold for higher prices, and 26 were lower (40pc).
The differences in some cases were substantial.
For properties which sold for more than the asking price, the differences range from 2.3pc and 60pc above the asking price, which equated to sums ranging from €4,000 to €95,000.
The sharpest increase of more than the asking price was for a property on Ontario Terrace in Ranelagh, Dublin 6.
The advertised price was €895,000, but it sold for €990,000 - 10.6pc higher.
In the case of a property in Glanmire, Co Cork, it was advertised for €100,000 but sold for €160,000 - 60pc more.
The selling prices were gleaned from the Property Price Register, which records the price paid for residential homes across the State.
This figure was compared with the asking price on Daft.ie.
The findings highlight how rising property prices are distorting the market and making it difficult to ascertain the value of homes.
The houses and apartments are located across 16 counties, but asking prices were least accurate in Dublin.
Of 28 properties tracked, just two were sold for the asking price - 18 were above, and eight were below.
In Kildare, four properties were sold, of which three were more than the asking price and one less than.
The Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers (IPAV) said properties should not be advertised for sums less than the expected price, in the expectation of luring potential buyers in.
"That shouldn't be the case because properties are scarce," chief executive Pat Davitt said.
"There should be no thing about trying to get people in. "I wouldn't like to think people would purposely value properties low. I wouldn't say in the market we're in, that that is the case."
He said that under rules from the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA), estate agents and vendors were obliged to sign a contract and set out the Advertised Market Value.
If the selling price was 10pc or more than or less than this level, the PSRA could take action against the agent.
The PSRA was not available for comment.
The analysis also shows that for the 26 homes which sold for less than the asking price, the differences ranged from 2.2pc to 15.4pc, or from €3,000 to more than €80,000.
A house at Meadowvale in Arklow, Co Wicklow, sold for €211,453 - the asking price was €250,000, a difference of 15.4pc.
The biggest single drop was for a house on St Margaret's Road, Malahide, which sold for €1.5m, almost €80,500 less than the asking price, or 5pc.
Mr Davitt said that estate agents looked at the market in the area before a price was set, which would take into account the type of property and location.
Houses with 'extras' such as expensive kitchens or conservatories could fetch more, but he said in some cases prices were bumped up because of "special purchasers".
"There are special purchasers for any and all properties, who are prepared to pay more money than someone else because it's beside their work, or a school, or their mother's house," he said. "You may have properties that people will pay more for."
He added that in some cases, houses sold by receivers might not be at the "right price".