The single most important thing to get right to sell your house fast is the asking price. Almost every property will attract attention from buyers if the price is right so if you aren’t even getting many viewings, it could be a sign that buyers think your asking price is too high for the size and type of property compared to others in your area.
What Is The Right Asking Price To Sell A Property?
Put simply, the right asking price is a realistic price which is somewhere between the lowest price you will accept and the highest price a buyer is willing to pay.
A modern, well presented house may be an advantage compared to similar properties in the same area but the number of bedrooms and area are generally more important to buyers than decor because they cannot be changed as easily as property in need of refurbishment.
What Happens If A Property Is Priced Too High
On average, it takes 15-20 viewings to sell a property. Pricing a property too high for its size and location will result in it being shown in comparison to properties with more desirable qualities and can significantly reduce the number of people wanting to view it.
Although some estate agents make it clear when buyers are ‘open to offers’ and deliberately add negotiating room to asking prices, pricing a property too high can significantly reduce the number of people who might be able to make an acceptable offer seeing the property if they perform searches on a maximum price that is lower than the asking price.
Normally an estate agent will review the asking price based on the number of viewings a property attracts at regular intervals and lower the price accordingly however it can be a lengthy, stressful process – especially if the seller has made or wants to make an offer on another property or has any other reason for wanting to sell a property within 2 or 3 months.
Below is a screen shot of a random property being sold on Rightmove (as of Nov 2019) demonstrating what can happens when a property is listed with an unrealistic asking price. The well presented (and recently refurbished) property is still on the market 18 months after it was first listed and the price has been reduced by almost 1/3 from slightly under £100k to £69K.
Estate Agent Valuations
Most people ask estate agents to value their properties but unfortunately, because it is well known that sellers often choose the estate agent with the highest valuation/target price rather than a more realistic price (to achieve a sale within 3 months), it is often in their own interest to be ‘optimistic’ with their valuations regardless of the likelihood they think sellers will receive any offers at that asking price.
If sellers are locked to long tie in periods, many estate agents will value a property high to secure representation knowing that sellers are who want to sell within a reasonable time frame will have no choice but to stay tied to the estate agent when they realise they may have been misled or misguided and will have to lower their asking price to attract any sort of attention from buyers.
To be fair to the estate agents who provide ‘optimistic‘ valuations, no one really knows what a house is worth until the public decides what they are willing to offer at that particular time. Regardless of anyone’s expectations, no matter what condition it is in, a property is only worth what someone will pay for it, not what anyone thinks a person might or should pay for it.
It is always worth getting estate agents’ valuations but it is also worth doing some preparation beforehand so that you can compare it to your own research/estimate and ask meaningful questions about their prediction.
There may be many valid reasons why valuations are significantly higher or lower than your own, but a good estate agent will always be able to justify the difference with examples of relevant recent sales and reasoning for their estimate.
Researching Recent Sales In Your Area
The start of any DIY valuation should be recent sales of similar property in the same postcode. If there aren’t any recent sales in your street, you can look slightly further afield but you will need to take the difference in the areas into account. Take note of how long a property was advertised before it was marked as Sold Subject To Contracts (SSTC) and look for online tools so that you can track changes in the asking price.
Small cosmetic differences or slightly better/worse spec such as a marginally bigger/smaller garden should be noted and they should certainly affect negotiating powers but they are may not add significant value to a property.
The main physical aspects that significantly affect a property’s value are:
- the number of bedrooms
- the property type (detached, terraced, bugalow etc)
- the neighbourhood and proximity to amenities
- the size of the overall footprint inc gardens
- parking space/restrictions
- the property market conditions
- sole access
Alternatively, you can of course look at slightly older sales in your street together with information about whether property value has gone up or down since the sales, though bear in mind that they are made up of averages that might include a property that sold for considerably more than others because the seller was happy to wait more than 12 months for a sale rather than lower their asking price to secure a sale within 3 – 6 months so it is not as accurate as looking at recent sales for similar property in your immediate area.
What We Do
At National Residential, we always start our process working out a REALISTIC sales price with our sellers – i.e. a price based on online research and talking to our team of local estate agents in the area to see what similar properties in the same neighbourhood have sold for in the last 3 months.
Unlike estate agents with long lock-in periods (12 – 20 weeks) who are happy to happy to list properties with an unrealistic asking price (to secure representation) knowing they can suggest lowering them if there is no interest, we only list properties in our auctions with a realistic reserve price (set by sellers) that we think we can achieve because we pay for the EPC certificate and legal pack whether a property sells or not* and all our sales are NO SALE, NO FEE.
Like most auctions, the starting bid is often below the reserve price (which is generally no more than 10% in excess of the starting bid) to test the market, gauge buyer interest AND make sure the property is seen by as many people with budgets over or ‘close-to’ the reserve price as possible.
NB. There are important differences between our auctions and anyone else’s (added solely for the benefit of the seller). We know from customer feedback that many of our very happy clients were initially worried about the prospect of selling their house by auction because they mistakenly thought all auctions are the same. The headline difference between ours and other people’s auctions is what we do in the background to help bidders stay interested (e.g. we don’t just answer questions, we engage and support bidders throughout the process) and the added choices sellers have to choose the BEST option.
If you have any hesitation whatsoever, please take a look at our guide National Residential Auctions and remember if we cannot meet your reserve, you have nothing to pay so it really is risk free.
Our 28 day schedule is set so that it is short enough to make sure people realise make their serious decisions sooner than later and long enough to know any person actively looking for property in the area will see the listing and have time to make enquiries/view the property before the auction ends (assuming most active buyers check Rightmove at least once a week for new properties).
By attracting as much interest as possible; using a convenient, user friendly, transparent bidding system that is open to everyone regardless of their finance options; and supporting buyers throughout the processes; we are confident that no other company could get a better price for your property.
Plus it is a prerequisite that all our buyers are committed enough to the sale to pay a deposit to secure the sale so as well getting the best price possible, the sale is far less likely to collapse.
We think our pricing strategy is the intelligent way to sell houses and our confidence is supported by the results our strategy achieves but we also invite you to take a look at our ‘Sold Properties’ page to judge the results for yourself.
To talk to National Residential about how we would price your property, please use our Call Back form and tell us the postcode of the property you want to sell. We will call you back ASAP in office hours to discuss the best strategy to sell your house in a timescale to suit you. It’s not a problem if you disagree and we will not put you under any pressure to proceed.
Please feel free to research a selling price before you contact us and we will tell you if we think it is realistic and whether we believe we can sell it for you at that price within 28 days.