Woo house buy­ers with prices they can’t af­ford to ig­nore

It’s a buyer’s mar­ket and sell­ers are fac­ing an Olympian chal­lenge to se­cure a sale on their prop­erty. Sharon Dale re­ports.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

NEW sell­ers out­num­ber suc­cess­ful buy­ers by an av­er­age of nearly 2:1, ac­cord­ing to Right­move.

The prop­erty por­tal’s fig­ures also show that ven­dors com­ing to mar­ket last month dropped their ask­ing prices by 2.4 per cent – an av­er­age of £5,837. This is the largest monthly fall Right­move has ever recorded in Au­gust and fol­lows a fall of 1.7 per cent in July.

Those who put homes up for sale in the sum­mer hol­i­day sea­son of­ten have an ur­gent rea­son to sell and tra­di­tion­ally set their prices ag­gres­sively lower.

With buy­ers dis­tracted by sport and the re­ces­sion, sell­ers are com­pet­ing hard to win at­ten­tion in the up­com­ing au­tumn sell­ing sea­son so they can move be­fore Christ­mas, ac­cord­ing to Miles Ship­side, Right­move di­rec­tor and hous­ing mar­ket an­a­lyst.

At­trac­tive pric­ing is one of the best ways to get a buyer through the door.

“Es­tate agents are al­ways aim­ing to win new seller in­struc­tions, but if what’s al­ready on the mar­ket isn’t shift­ing then the best ad­vice they can give to po­ten­tial new sell­ers is to un­der­cut those prop­er­ties al­ready fail­ing to sell. It seems agents are be­ing a bit blunter on val­u­a­tions in mar­kets where sum­mer buy­ers are scarce. With the av­er­age time on the mar­ket be­ing 92 days, any seller hop­ing to move be­fore Christ­mas needs to get their skates on to tempt some­one who can pro­ceed,” says Miles.

Pre­sen­ta­tion is cru­cial and that be­gins with good pic­tures. Right­move re­search also re­veals that buy­ers rank dirty kitchens and bath­rooms as ma­jor turnoffs, along with grimy in­ter­nal decoration. The im­por­tance of kerb ap­peal is high­lighted, with un­tidy front gar­dens, poorly pre­sented façades and ex­ter­nal decoration de­ter­ring more than one in five view­ers.

Miles Ship­side says: “If buy­ers think a prop­erty’s price is too high and the ad­vert fails to tick their dream prop­erty check­list, then the chances are they may not even travel to have a look. It can be re­ally hard to get a po­ten­tial buyer to visit.

“How­ever, if it has tweaked a buyer’s emo­tions enough to visit, then sell­ers need to get the Marigolds on. Dirt in the kitchen and bath­room is the num­ber one off-put­ter. Iron­i­cally, a sparkling clean fin­ish can cost less than many other as­pects of a makeover. Whilst it is hard to keep a prop­erty in con­stant show-home con­di­tion, de­vel­op­ers of new homes have proved the con­cept sells. To get the best pos­si­ble price, a seller is well ad­vised to cover all the bases and get both in­te­rior and ex­te­rior in tip-top con­di­tion.”

Re­search into buyer be­hav­iour on the Right­move web­site shows that po­ten­tial buy­ers spend an av­er­age of just 2.7 sec­onds look­ing at a seller’s sum­mary ad­vert be­fore de­cid­ing whether to take their in­ter­est fur­ther, or move on to look at other prop­er­ties.

The per­fect com­bi­na­tion for at­tract­ing max­i­mum in­ter­est is an at­trac­tive price, com­pelling pho­to­graphs and al­lur­ing de­scrip­tion.

Good pho­to­graphs are cru­cial to cre­ate ini­tial in­ter­est. Agents oper­at­ing at the top end of the mar­ket usu­ally use a pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­pher. If your agent does not of­fer this ser­vice con­sider em­ploy­ing a pro­fes­sional prop­erty pho­tog­ra­pher your­self.

It’s hard to be ob­jec­tive about your own home. Ask your es­tate agent to be bru­tally hon­est about ar­eas that might turn a prospec­tive buyer off, then act on his or her ad­vice.

De­clut­ter and en­sure the house is tidy for view­ings, even if it means de­cant­ing your “stuff” into the car for a few hours. Never have suit­cases and boxes on top of wardrobes, kitchen ap­pli­ances on top of cup­boards and bot­tles of sham­poo and toi­letries on the bath­room win­dow sill. Make sure you have de­fined ar­eas for stor­age. This is be­com­ing much more of an is­sue for buy­ers.

Clean­li­ness is key. Scrub ev­ery­thing from skirt­ing boards to light shades and make sure your win­dows sparkle.

Make your prop­erty the best it can be. Qual­ity homes with good fin­ish and lay­out are eas­ier to sell. Poorly cared-for prop­erty is harder to sell, un­less the price or po­ten­tial it of­fers once im­proved is ex­tremely at­trac­tive.

Open house view­ings are the norm in Amer­ica and can be very ef­fec­tive as they can cre­ate a sense of com­pe­ti­tion be­tween buy­ers. Con­sider an open day and serve re­fresh­ments.

If the house has lin­gered on the mar­ket have a price check. Look at what sim­i­lar prop­er­ties have sold for. Zoopla, www.zoopla. co.uk, has a sold prices sec­tion. A price drop may reignite in­ter­est.

If you want a quick sale and cer­tainty then con­sider putting your prop­erty into auc­tion. The process from list­ing to sale takes about four weeks and once the ham­mer comes down the buyer is legally bound, so there is no chance the sale will fall through. You will have to make the guide price and re­serve at­trac­tive, as auc­tion prop­erty prices are gen­er­ally around 20 per cent less than mar­ket value.

An­other strat­egy is to price low and then put the house to ten­der. Invit­ing sealed bids en­cour­ages com­pe­ti­tion and the high­est bid wins.

ALL IN ONE: This prop­erty of­fers a multi-faceted busi­ness and a four-bed­room home all un­der one roof along­side a large gar­den.

AC­TION PLAN: Don’t let your home lan­guish on the mar­ket.

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