Why the price must be right

RAH Blog
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7 November 2016
by Chris Arnold

Sitting in Cambridge it is easy to think that the housing market is immune from the ups and downs of the wider UK economy. Prices for prime city properties are holding up well. Even with less buyers around since Brexit, the lack of supply means there is still competition for the best houses.  The best locations will always sell well. 

Overall however, it feels like the Cambridge property market is in a state of flux. So, if you want to sell and you aren’t living in a stunning Georgian house overlooking Jesus Green or Midsummer Common, how can you maximise your chances of finding a buyer?

Well the simple truth at the moment is that the right valuation will make or break your sale. Under-pricing your home risks leaving money on the table while over-pricing means you may wind up sitting on the market for weeks until you have no choice but to lower the price to gain more attention.

After a home sits on the market for an extended period, many people will think that it hasn’t sold because something is wrong with it. Buyers will assume that an old listing does not live up to its online promise or has had a problem with a survey.  Don’t let your home become stale because it’s overpriced

So, what are the secrets to pricing property so that it sells?

Firstly, you need to understand your competition.  How many similar houses are on the market in your neighbourhood at the moment? If there are several properties on the market, you will need to price aggressively in order to get buyers to choose yours. If there are no other similar houses locally, you may be able to go for a more ambitious asking price. 

Then you need to be completely honest about the condition of your home. You cannot make a true comparison with other properties through rose-tinted glasses. Evaluate your home the way a picky buyer would and realign your expectations to match. If there are some quick cosmetic fixes that will improve the first impression of your home, such as tidying the front garden, decluttering and the odd lick of paint, now is the time to get on with them.

If you think that people will fall in love with your home and offer you more than it’s worth – think again. Today’s buyers have so much pricing information at their fingertips. Rightmove and Zoopla give them actual sold prices, together with photographs and floorplans.  They know exactly what has sold in your area and for how much. Buyers may not even view if they think the asking price is too high. They take away the message that if you are oblivious to the state of the current market, you are probably not very serious about selling.  Either that or they simply wait until the guide price is reduced.

An experienced, independent agent will market properties at the right price.  At Redmayne Arnold & Harris we have 25 years of local market knowledge and the history of what has sold in specific roads.  Also, we have the latest information about the competition.  The sales data on the online portals is typically three months out of date as they rely on completion data coming through from the Land Registry. We know what’s coming onto the market, how many viewings are actually taking place and what sales have just been agreed? We can advise on presenting your home in the best way and about setting your asking price so that your home stands out online.

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