Con­sider that first of­fer – or risk lin­ger­ing on the mar­ket

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - Tim Brown

ES­TATE agents vary in their prac­tice of launch­ing a prop­erty on to the mar­ket but most strive to de­liver a syn­chro­nised launch where the prop­erty ap­pears on the com­pany web­site, along with prop­erty por­tals such as Right­move, Primelo­ca­tion and Find a Prop­erty.

At the same time they ad­ver­tise in the lo­cal and na­tional press, erect a For Sale board, and try their best to se­cure ed­i­to­rial in the prop­erty pages. So if your home was launched on a Fri­day how would you feel about re­ceiv­ing an of­fer the fol­low­ing week? And what would your ini­tial re­ac­tions be in con­sid­er­ing whether or not to ac­cept it?

I sus­pect the ma­jor­ity of re­sponses would be: “Oh it’s lovely to have that of­fer as a fall back but it’s early days so let’s al­low the mar­ket­ing to run its full course and see what hap­pens”.

De­spite the many tri­als and tribu­la­tions that the mar­ket has been through over the last few years, one thing re­mains con­stant in my opin­ion, and that is that a well-pre­sented prop­erty will sell within the first two or three weeks of be­ing put up for sale, and it may be as swiftly as the first five to ten days. If you think about it the same goes for any prod­uct. If well mar­keted, the aim is to catch the at­ten­tion of prospec­tive pur­chasers, who once they see the item, they want it. It’s as sim­ple as that.

So what is suc­cess­ful sale? Suc­cess­ful im­plies that the client sells their prop­erty for the op­ti­mum price within a sen­si­ble time frame.

In my ex­pe­ri­ence that price can very of­ten be achieved at a very early stage fol­low­ing some ne­go­ti­a­tion. In­evitably, when an agent sug­gests that an early of­fer should be con­sid­ered se­ri­ously there is a ten­dency for the client to think that the or she is try­ing to achieve a “quick sale” in or­der to close the deal at the min­i­mum amount of ef­fort and se­cure his com­mis­sion.

Such scep­ti­cism is un­der­stand­able but not nec­es­sar­ily jus­ti­fied.

My best sale so far this year in­volved se­cur­ing the ask­ing price of a prop­erty val­ued at £795,000 within 14 days of launch. It went on to ex­change of con­tracts within two months.

The owner lis­tened to my ad­vice, took it off the mar­ket and saved a lot of money by can­celling planned ad­ver­tis­ing.

Sup­ply in the res­i­den­tial mar­ket cur­rently far out­strips de­mand. Sen­si­ble and as­tute buy­ers are well ap­praised of the mar­ket and when they see a prop­erty that they like they make a sen­si­ble of­fer, which they will usu­ally in­crease by a small de­gree but if this is not ac­cepted they will look else­where. To fall into the trap of run­ning the full mar­ket­ing pe­riod risks los­ing that first ini­tial buyer as they could eas­ily move on and find an­other prop­erty with a more will­ing ven­dor.

Let me give you an­other ex­am­ple. A work col­league of mine, on re-lo­cat­ing to York­shire, put his home up for sale ear­lier last year. Within a fort­night he had en­joyed 15 view­ings with half a dozen ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est and one firm of­fer close to the ask­ing price. He fell into the trap of think­ing that he was bound to ex­ceed the ask­ing price and re­mained on the mar­ket. Af­ter a pe­riod of in­ac­tiv­ity he ended up hav­ing to re­duce the ask­ing price later in the year, car­ried out many more point­less view­ings and even­tu­ally re­turned to his orig­i­nal buyer who, in­evitably, had found an­other home. The end re­sult is that he has had to let the prop­erty and has had to rent him­self.

The les­son is: do not sus­pect your agent of try­ing to se­cure a quick deal for his own gains. In­stead look pos­i­tively, the rea­son you are one of the lucky 10 per cent to re­ceive an of­fer in to­day’s mar­ket is be­cause your agent has done a sterling job of mar­ket­ing and pric­ing. An early of­fer is a good thing and could be the only of­fer you get, so give it due con­sid­er­a­tion and do not just park it be­cause it’s early days. Re­mem­ber the old adage “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”.

Tim Brown is Head of Res­i­den­tial at Ge­orge F. White, Bedale, www.george­fwhite.co.uk

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