Date Published 30 June 2008
Home sellers’ expectation of the price they will be able to obtain when selling their property is lowering, shows the Rightmove House Price Index. In spite of the lowest housing transactions for 30 years, new sellers had been coming to the market asking record prices. Thankfully, new sellers are now taking some proactive steps to price more realistically from the outset to attract increasingly hard-pressed buyers. It is essential your property stands out over your competition, especially with a property to buyer ratio of 15 to 1. Sales are still happening, and there is a pent-up demand for the right properties at the right price. The homes that are in special locations have strong character details or immaculate finishes are still popular if priced realistically. Run-of-the mill homes that are not much different to others on the market have to stand out as bargain buys, and badly presented homes have to be really cheap.
Lenders are trying not to lend right now and are just cherry-picking for profit. With approximately half the mortgage funds available, homes have to stand out to attract the half of buyers that can still buy. For most sellers that will mean whatever they thought of asking for their property at the peak of the boom, they need to take at least 10% off. Otherwise, their property will stagnate. Remember rental yields are up and existing landlords are looking to take advantage in a slow down in the market and add to there portfolio.
After a decade of relatively easy selling conditions, motivated sellers and their estate agent need to act together to ensure their property has the power to attract that one buyer away from the other 14 competitor homes. Many estate agents were not in the market in the early 90’s downturn and in the meantime, new technology and resources have emerged to fundamentally change successful sales techniques. The transparency and reach of the internet means buyers are much more informed, and with one million properties for sale at the moment, all of which can be easily accessed online, there is no hiding if your home is not properly priced and marketed.
Sellers need to consider the 3 P’s - Pricing, Presentation and Promotion. Pricing has to be below the competition and presentation of their property has to be the most attractive on the street. Having got those two basic elements right, it is then crucial to promote the property to really stand out from the rest. Estate agents now have to market like pro’s and sellers have to provide them with the right raw material. Once you’ve sold, this is a great market for trading up; with ample opportunity to negotiate a reduction on the one you are buying and moving into a sought after area where there is normally restricted choice.