Three-way game plan to achiev­ing a suc­cess­ful sale

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - Tim Blenkin

BLENKIN & Co are asked to value a great num­ber and va­ri­ety of houses. By trac­ing the course of those we have seen over the last 18 months, specif­i­cally where the busi­ness was sub­se­quently taken else­where be­cause the owner felt they could ob­tain a higher price, we un­earthed some telling re­sults.

In to­tal we counted 75 such houses that ei­ther re­main for sale to­day or have been with­drawn en­tirely from the mar­ket. Many of them, af­ter lan­guish­ing a year or more with­out ig­nit­ing a spark of se­ri­ous in­ter­est, are now at far lower prices than we first ad­vised. Oth­ers have dis­ap­peared as own­ers have sim­ply given up the ghost.

Cer­tainly, some sil­ver-tongued es­tate agents are re­spon­si­ble as prop­erty own­ers are be­guiled into think­ing that their prop­erty is worth far more than ev­i­dence can demon­strate, but mis­placed pride is also at play.

The gath­er­ing of these 75 un­wanted prop­er­ties, many of which fall within a rel­a­tively tight price bracket, should send alarm bells ring­ing to all would-be ven­dors. But what, prac­ti­cally, can be done to achieve in­di­vid­ual suc­cess in the midst of a prop­erty re­ces­sion that is stag­ger­ing through its fifth year since the high point of the mar­ket in the sum­mer of 2007? At Blenkin & Co we have nat­u­rally given this much thought, and be­lieve that we have, if not a de­fin­i­tive so­lu­tion, then at least a help­ful game plan: Pric­ing, Pre­sen­ta­tion, and Prag­ma­tism. Pric­ing is para­mount: Don’t be over am­bi­tious and don’t be­come num­ber 76 on our list of the un­sold and unloved! If all the houses sim­i­lar to yours have sold for £225 per sq.ft, don’t ask £300 per sq. ft – this mar­ket will not bail you out in your life­time. Pre­sen­ta­tion: The buy­ers of to­day are not won over by wall to wall traver­tine, an en suite bath­room to ev­ery bed­room, and hard land­scap­ing in the gar­den. They want to see a struc­turally sound house that sits com­fort­ably in its own plot with good room pro­por­tions, and high qual­ity, beau­ti­fully crafted in­te­ri­ors that suc­cess­fully re­flect the scale, am­bi­tion and prove­nance of the build­ing. Buy­ers want to know that they are buy­ing a stand-out gem of a house, or at least a house with all the right el­e­ments in place and at a price that will en­able them to cre­ate some­thing out of the or­di­nary. Pre­sen­ta­tion in this in­stance re­ally does mat­ter. Prag­ma­tism: Most sell­ers get one chance in this mar­ket and if they miss that chance the next one can be a long time com­ing – and prob­a­bly at a lower price. Take the ex­am­ple of a cash-rich buyer well known to us. He made three sen­si­ble bids on three dif­fer­ent houses, and each of­fer was de­clined. Now in the po­si­tion of hav­ing bought a house, he tells us that those three houses are still on the mar­ket – and all of them at a lower price, of course, than the bid he made three or four months ago.

Our buyer has had a lucky es­cape but the sell­ers have each waved good­bye to the goose which would have laid a golden egg.

In a mar­ket de­fined by a scarcity of eq­uity rich buy­ers, it is worth con­sid­er­ing whether the best deal is star­ing you in the face.

It is a truth uni­ver­sally ac­knowl­edged that a sin­gle prop­erty, fab­u­lously pre­sented, in pos­ses­sion of the right price and a prag­matic owner, must be in want of a cash rich buyer. Cer­tainly, by ad­her­ing to and propos­ing the tenets out­lined in this ar­ti­cle, we’ve suc­cess­fully man­aged to sell the ma­jor­ity of those houses where we were in­structed.

As so elo­quently ex­pressed by the great Steve Win­wood in his iconic Arc of a Diver al­bum: “That cold grey wind is blow­ing, and it’s time you should be go­ing...while you see a chance, take it”. Such an ap­proach to life res­onates well in these un­cer­tain times. The happy seller is the one who has sold.

Tim Blenkin is owner and founder of Blenkin and Co es­tate agency in York, tel: 01904 671672, www.blenk­i­

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