So you want to sell your house on the open market: you book in a few valuations to get a feel for what your place is worth and which agents you gel with the most in order to move forward. It is at this next stage though that more and more people over the past few years have said that they have become stuck in regards to what to do next; perhaps some of the valuations have come out at a similar price, but another is considerably higher, or maybe all are far above what you expected.
At this point many peoples’ money-motivated side kicks in, and they simply go with the highest value. Don’t get me wrong: it would be short-sighted to ignore this voice in your head altogether, because you do want to make sure you are going to get the current market value. However, jumping straight to the agent who suggests the highest price can, counterintuitively be a costly mistake!
If your property is overvalued it can result in it sitting on the market for many months (or even years). During this time it may go stale, people will be likely to avoid it because “it’s that property that’s been on for ages” and will start to question what is wrong with it – be it structural issues or even Japanese knotweed, when in reality it has just been overpriced!
Whilst the next issue isn’t true for many agents, sadly some will put a higher value on your property just to secure the listing due to the market being increasingly competitive against cheap highstreet fees and online agents.
To make sure you don’t fall into the trap of your property being over valued I have put together some top tips and questions to consider. At the end of the day, both you and the agent want your property to sell, so ensuring you start off on the right path means that everyone wins.
1) Has the agent sold other properties like yours? Whether it’s a house like every other on the street, barn conversion or a quirky home, you need to ensure they are capable of selling that style.
2) Ask to see price comparisons and if you are unsure about what you have been given you, can check for yourself via sold prices on portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla. As a side note, although historical prices are a useful resource, please do not rely on the ‘estimate’ tools on these property portals: there is a lot of information they do not take into consideration and their estimates are not guaranteed in any way.
3) Consider how experienced the agents are in your area. A good local agent will know all about the area and what’s going on that might affect your value, that an out-of-area agent will not. I once worked with a lady who had her home overvalued by £200,000 with the first agent she used; at the time she went with them because of the prestigious town they were based in and the name the agents had in that area, but that didn’t correlate to her property 40 miles away and as a consequence has found herself in a completely different financial situation to what she originally thought she would be in and unable to relocate.
4) If you’re already on the market and starting to think maybe you’re asking a little bit too much, then my advice would be to have an open and honest conversation with your agent. They are probably going to be grateful to have a vendor who is happy to be realistic, it might have been that the value was right when they listed your home but the situation has changed and now a tweak on the asking price might be what is needed in order to generate more interest and offers.
As always any questions feel free to get in touch!
All photos were found on Pinterest and are not my own, they are the property of their respective publishers.