Because you know what you paid for your home, have an idea of how much you’ve spent on it since and follow the market, you might think you have a handle on its current value. However establishing an asking price can be problematic; involving not only the above, but also factors including local market conditions, the condition of the property, level of demand and location.
Some sellers may want to try their luck with a high starting price, but over anticipating the value of a property is the most common mistake owners make and could cost a vendor dear. Buyers are well informed these days and if they perceive a property to be overpriced it will be overlooked. An inflated asking price will also make comparable property appear better value when in fact it is priced correctly. Overpricing your property will help to sell your neighbours’ home, not yours.
Establishing market value is not an exact science; however here are some pointers to help ensure that your home goes on sale at just the right price:
- Study sales prices in your area - Property websites such as Rightmove, Zoopla and On The Market will give you an up to date idea of the local market. Look at the prices at which property has sold, not asking prices as these can be over inflated.
Be mindful of price differential - Although at first glance nearby property may look just like yours, there can be hidden differences which affect value - high specification fittings, new kitchen, uprated heating, larger garage or the direction the garden faces.
Location - Excellent schools or transport links nearby will set a premium as will amenities. Prices can also vary depending on position in the street, and from street to street.
Know the size of your living space - Estate agents base their valuations in part on square footage as well as the number of rooms. If your property is larger than average, buyers will pay more for it: less if it’s a bit cramped, run down, or near a busy road or railway line. Set your expectations accordingly.
Shop around for your valuation - Ask more than one agent for their opinion and to provide examples of similar properties that have sold. Local agents will also have up to date information gleaned in real time from current sales activity as well as pertinent information direct from buyers who have viewed similar properties to yours.
Don’t necessarily go with the highest valuation - If there is a shortage of stock or they’re under pressure to hit targets, some less scrupulous agents can forget the bigger picture and overvalue simply to gain vendors’ instructions to sell. Then after a short time they suggest dropping the asking price. If a valuation seems too good to be true, it probably is.
The first six to eight weeks are the optimum selling time; therefore correct pricing at the outset is paramount. Too high and your property can become stale, overtaken by fresh new stock and quite likely end up selling for less than it deserves.
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