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What Price Should I Market my Property For?

Saturday, 10th October 2009

Categories: Sales Selling Tips Property Prices

Author: Peter Barry

When choosing which agent to market your property with there are many factors to consider. You may get in 2 or 3 agents for valuations with each suggesting a different figure. But it is all too easy to automatically choose the agent who promises you the highest price.

It is entirely natural to want to achieve the best possible price for your much loved home but you need to ask yourself is this a realistic price for your house and what evidence has the agent used to arrive at this figure.

Unfortunately some unscrupulous agents will quote an over inflated valuation in a desperate attempt to drum up their business. Once on their books they will tie you into a long sole agency agreement and use this time to work the asking price down to a more realistic level. The price at which the property should have been marketed at initially.

You could find yourself several months on demoralized having had few viewings and no or only low offers. At this stage you will be left with a stale property that many potential buyers have seen & dismissed. Even reducing the price at this point may not help your situation, buyers will be asking ‘what’s wrong with it? why hasn’t it sold?’

The sting in the tail is that the property will probably end up selling for less than it would have if it had been priced correctly in the first place.

So what can you do to avoid this situation? Be realistic with your expectations. Just because your bathroom is much nicer and more modern than your neighbours does not automatically mean your house is worth £20,000 more. Ask the agent how they have arrived at the figure they are quoting you. A valuation should be founded on comparable evidence and a professional agent will be able to demonstrate how he has calculated this.

Look at what price local comparable properties have achieved. This may be quite different to the initial marketing price. There are many free websites you can access which quote prices from the land registry. 

Your agent should suggest a marketing price and an achievable price. While it is sensible to allow a small margin for negotiation from this it will become apparent if the agent is pitching the marketing price too high.  

If you are left with concerns that the marketing price may be a little over ambitious try asking the agent to agree to a shorter sole agency term i.e. 4 weeks. If they are reluctant this could be a sure sign that they were banking on a long term strategy to get the price reduced.