Achieving your selling price
Posted 25 January 2016 by Helen Christie
With the tax duty reform at the end of last year, sellers often saw their selling price fluctuate with buyers amending what they were prepared to pay. Negotiating the right price is a task that can require experience, expertise and precision.
Strutt & Parker’s head of agency in Kent, Edward Church shares his inside tips to help you achieve your selling price.
Choose your agent carefully
Not all agents are the same. They offer different reach and coverage, in different ways, with different people. Choose one that you can work with and who sells property like yours all day, every day, they will have the best list of buyers.
Establish a strategy
Your chosen agent should work with you to try and achieve your goals, so work out what is important to you. Is there a certain time you are hoping to move by, or are you more focused on achieving a particular price?
Typically, the most interest from buyers comes in the first month of being on the market. If you haven’t had an offer, listen to your agent to work out if you need to drop the price. Don’t do this too soon, but similarly, don’t wait too long or the property might seem stale. Deals can fall through because sellers don’t adapt to a changing market.
Know your market
It’s not just buyers that should do their research. Use a mixture of property websites and word of mouth from local estate agents to find out what the house next door sold for, as well as similar sized homes further afield. Don’t fall into the trap of comparing your price with other guide prices. You need to make real comparisons with sold prices. Simply asking 10% more than what you expect to achieve is a strategy that almost always fails.
Get your poker face on
If you know it’s a buyers’ market, don’t feel like you are powerless to concede to whatever offer you receive. If the house is worth £500,000, stick to your guns, play it cool, and listen to the advice of your agent. Remember, the best poker players know when to fold, and when to play out a hand – it is a game of skill based on knowledge of the odds and not a game of chance. Selling a house should be the same.
The first offer might not be the best one. Always ask for an increased offer and wait. You have the property they want to call home. If the buyer is in a rush, use this to get the very best offer for your home, this is where a good agent really steps up. But don’t be afraid to accept the first offer – make your decision based on the circumstances and facts.
Let the agent negotiate
Sometimes getting personally involved becomes just that - personal. The agent would have done this hundreds, if not thousands, of times before and will have your best interests at heart – to achieve a good selling price with the best possible purchaser. You should have appointed an agent that you trust and respect, so listen to their advice and make sure to ask for it.
Find the right buyer
Your agent has to inform you of all offers and will personally vet them all to measure their strength. They would have found everything about the buyer and built up a rapport, even before negotiating. What they determine to be the strongest offer may not be the highest bid, but from a more committed buyer, such as a cash buyer not in a chain. You ideally want to avoid feeling let down by someone who is not in a good purchasing position.
Anything can happen
Be prepared to constantly review your expectations. Anything can happen, but the best things happen if you have a good plan and implement it well. Listen, adapt, and expect the unexpected.