We all want a quick sale on our house when we put in on the market. The process dragging on means we have to put our lives on hold, not to mention the stress of cleaning and tidying every time somebody wants to have a look round. Then surely if you were to put your house on the market and one week later you have agreed a sale price you would be happy, right?
Well, maybe you shouldn’t be. Maybe you have made a mistake by undervaluing your house. You can sell any property quickly if you put the price low enough. The housing market is dictated by the laws of supply and demand, and if the demand is strong enough, then the price should be higher.
You need to work out the right balance when putting your house on the market, not too high it scares off any potential buyers, and not too low that somebody gets a steal.
If you live in a big city at a time when the housing market is booming, there is little risk that you agree a sale price too low, because you should quickly get the message that many people would be willing to buy your property at that price, and they can enter a bidding war.
In a smaller area, where the housing market is far from booming, you might not have that luxury. The number of potential buyers is much smaller, and there are not many transactions, so if you want to achieve a fair price, you can’t rely on this strategy.
Gaging house prices is a difficult skill to master because it is part science and part art, and as such there is no real answer. Your estate agent should be there to help guide you through it, but you need to try and get a good feel for the value yourself to make sure that you are put on the market at the right price. There are many different ways to do this, but a good way is to look on the internet at the prices similar properties in the area sold for, making adjustments for things like house price inflation and significant improvements in the area that add value.
Jason Hinde FPFS, Cert SMP – Chartered Financial Planner
14th August 2017