Consider that first offer – or risk lingering on the market
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