One of the hardest decisions when selling your home, what price to put it on for. If you have ever sold a property you will know that different estate agents will suggest different figures and possibly different methods and strategies. Put it on too high, and you might not sell it. Put it on too low, and you might get far less than you should.

Do not just rely on the valuations by others – even professionals!

This is more than likely one of the biggest financial decisions you are going to take in your life – and you cannot just rely on an estate agents valuation as unfortunately there are some agents out there who may suggest an unrealistically high valuation in order to get your instruction!  Now, I know it’s very tempting to instruct the agent with the highest valuation and lowest fee but this is not always the best way to sell and could be detrimental to selling your property and even up end going ‘stale on the market’. 

Valuations given to you by estate agents or mortgage lenders – can be a mistake.   

Instructing one of the online agents or someone from out of town can often lead to an incorrect valuation as they will tend to source their information from Land Registry, which will not necessarily give them a well-informed insight into very local variations in house prices, including such factors as local school catchment areas. Choosing a local agent in your area is important.  Any good agent will be able to provide you a valuation based on their own recent sells of similar properties and sold prices achieved by neighbouring properties.  This will give you a much better understanding of the market as any asking price is irrelevant if the vendor accepted a lot less.   

Don’t Be Scared To Do Your Own Research

An easy solution to reassure yourself you have the price right is to do some of your own homework on local house prices – both how much houses have actually sold for, and how much they are on the market for.

Use websites like Zoopla or Rightmove to find out how much other houses in your area or street have sold for or are currently on sale for

In particular, find out what comparable properties have sold for.

Keep your eye on what other asking prices are in your area – look at local estate agents windows, and check their websites.

Be aware of what is happening to local house prices, as the dynamics of the market will inform whether you can be optimistic or pessimistic about the price you will get. Are house prices rising or falling? Are local houses selling quickly for their asking price?

How quickly do you want to sell?

The final decision to make is how quickly you want to move and depending on the answer, there is two different approaches you may wish to consider

Start high, but be prepared to accept a lower offer. If you sell at a high price, great but you must be prepared to reduce the price if you have no interest but you will have thoroughly tested the market.  However. The danger of this approach is that if the property sits on the market a long time, it might become blighted in the mind of potential buyers, asking “what is wrong with it?”

Start low, attract attention, and try and get a bidding war going, with purchasers bidding each other up. This obviously works best in a hot market with lots of willing buyers and few properties for sale.

To summarise, don’t always go for the highest price, do your homework and ask an agent in the local area who knows the market.   Are you are thinking about moving and would like to know how much your property is worth? I would be more than happy to provide a free market appraisal and advice on what is the best price for you and how to achieve it!