Article by Nick Berriman.
As I write this article in mid June the weather is positively tropical, Summer is here and the temperature is definitely very hot. And the housing market? Not so tropical. It is very definitely cooling…
But before any would be sellers start to panic, it must be noted that the market is only cooling, it is not dying. Sale agreed figures are still strong. Last month our Tettenhall Office alone agreed sales on far more than our normal ‘pre-pandemic’ targets, and this is reassuring to say the least. We all know that the post-pandemic market was overly heated and unsustainable, but to return to normality at higher levels of interest than in 2019 is encouraging.
So how do you, as sellers, react to a cooling market? It all goes back to the old rules of ‘presentation and price’. Gone are the days that you can name your own price for your home and hope that someone will buy, realism is the name of the game.
This does not mean that you need to ‘give’ your house away, it just means that you need to react to market demand. One of our leading competitors recently posted on social media that they were surprised how many price reductions their ‘rival’ agencies were advertising.
This struck me as strange. Surely our job as an estate agent is to achieve the highest possible price for our selling clients? I would always recommend that you ask the highest price that is feasible. As long as this is a reasonable price, it will normally work and a buyer will be found. In the event that the market does not react as favourably as you would wish, the asking price can be reviewed.
This does not necessarily mean that the property was over valued initially, it just means that a sensible seller is listening to what the market is saying. As I have already said twice in this piece,
it comes down to being realistic. Any agent can sell cheaply. It takes a good agent to maximise the price of what is, for most people, their most valuable asset.
And presentation? It goes without saying that if you are trying to sell, you need to show your home in the best light possible. Tidy your property, make sure it is sparkling clean and plump up all of those cushions! Brewing fresh coffee and baking bread is, however, going a bit too far. Whenever I visit a property and smell freshly baked goods and hear the coffee machine going I wonder what is being hidden!
There is an interesting phrase, I believe originating from America – the ‘broken window problem’.
In essence this means that if you have a broken window and ignore it for long enough you will get used to the problem and it will go away. Think back – is there anything you meant to do to improve your home and time got in the way? If so, now is the time to carry out that work. It could prove invaluable to your sale!
If you want a realistic and achievable valuation choose your agent carefully. Don’t use an agent that will undervalue to achieve a ‘quick sale’. Get the best price you can, and if you work closely with your agent, this should not be a problem!