Bar­gains to be had as sell­ers opt for dis­counts

New Year, new price. Now is the per­fect time to re­duce the price of your prop­erty in a Jan­uary sale. Sharon Dale re­ports.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

BUY­ERS may not be queue­ing round the block just yet, but York­shire es­tate agents have re­ported a rush of in­ter­est in their first few days of 2011 trad­ing.

Pa­trick McCutcheon, Head of Res­i­den­tial at Dacre, Son and Hart­ley, says his Ilk­ley of­fice was full to burst­ing on Tues­day lunchtime, adding that he hadn’t seen any­thing like it since the heady days of the boom in 2007.

An­drew Bead­nall, of Bead­nall Co­p­ley, was run off his feet too.

“The phones haven’t stopped ring­ing and there have been peo­ple in and out of the of­fice all day,” he says.

The new year is tra­di­tion­ally a busy time for es­tate agency as peo­ple re-as­sess their fu­ture and think about where they want to live.

For sell­ers, it can be the per­fect time to re­duce the price of a prop­erty whose For Sale board has hung around for far too long.

Pa­trick says: “Jan­uary is a good time to re­duce the price of your prop­erty. The new year sees a flush of new peo­ple com­ing to the mar­ket. Many have taken the de­ci­sion over the Christ­mas hol­i­days that they just want to get on with life, whether that means up­siz­ing, down­siz­ing, get­ting mar­ried or di­vorced. This time of year is a trig­ger point that brings a burst of buy­ers.

“Dis­count­ing can be a good way of re­fresh­ing a prop­erty that has got a bit stale in the mar­ket­place. It will ap­peal to fresh buy­ers and give it a sec­ond chance with those who have al­ready seen it.

“Price re­duc­tion can be bru­tal but ef­fec­tive.”

Though sell­ers may see a five per cent re­duc­tion as a huge fi­nan­cial loss – £20,000 on a prop­erty pre­vi­ously priced at £400,000, Pa­trick urges them to think log­i­cally.

“If you haven’t got it you haven’t lost it. Some sell­ers get fix­ated with a cer­tain price, but if the mar­ket won’t de­liver it then they and their agent should lower their as­pi­ra­tions.” An­drew Bead­nall agrees. “It’s all about dif­fer­en­tial,” he adds.” If you’re buy­ing an­other prop­erty and trad­ing up then it shouldn’t make a dif­fer­ence.

“You might also want to ques­tion whther the price you’re ask­ing is out of kil­ter with oth­ers in your area.

“If peo­ple can buy a sim­i­lar house down the road for less, why would they bother com­ing to view yours?”

There’s no shame in dis­count­ing, ac­cord­ing to An­drew, who says:

“There are two things that sell a house and they are price and mar­ket­ing.

“Peo­ple have short mem­o­ries. Even if they have seen the house be­fore at a higher price, they won’t care.

“It is the price they are look­ing at as it spins be­fore them and if that, and the house ap­peals, they’ll view. If the price doesn’t grab them they won’t come to look.”

Ben Prid­den of Sav­ills York, re­veals that dis­counts made at the end of last year paid off for him, but they were gen­er­ous.

“Price re­duc­tions in the last part of 2010 cer­tainly paid div­i­dends, of­ten re­sult­ing in sales.

“Un­for­tu­nately, re­duc­tions of much less than 10 per cent rarely make a marked dif­fer­ence. Sell­ers be­ware though, buy­ers may well still chip your price by an­other five or 10 per cent.”

Prices are not fore­cast to rise this year and they may even fall. Pre­dic­tions range from a drop of one to ten per cent, fol­lowed by slow growth in 2012.

Tim Blenkin, of Blenkin and Co, York, says: “All the pun­dits, both lo­cal and na­tional, pre­dict fur­ther price falls in the res­i­den­tial sec­tor of up to 10 per cent this year. Our mes­sage is sell early and price keenly to avoid any slip­page later in the year.”

Buy­ers, says Pa­trick McCutcheon, should see this year as a “sea of op­por­tu­nity”, as it is pre­dicted that prices will be­gin to rise slowly in 2012.

“Now is a good time to buy if you are look­ing to keep a prop­erty for the medium term,” says Pa­trick.

“Peo­ple who are se­ri­ous about sell­ing are of­fer­ing prop­erty at re­al­is­tic price lev­els and there are more com­pet­i­tive mort­gage deals around.”

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