10 top tips to help get the best price for your home
In what is seen by many as a buyers’ market, it can seem like a difficult challenge to achieve the asking price of your property. Edward Church, Head of Agency in Kent at Strutt & Parker, reveals his tips to achieve your selling price
When it comes to selling your home, negotiating the right price is a task that can require experience, expertise and precision.
Follow these tips to help achieve your home’s maximum selling price:
Choose your agent carefully: “Not all agents are the same. They offer different reach and coverage, in different ways, with different people. Choose one that you can work with and who sells property like yours all day, every day. They will have the best list of buyers.”
Establish a strategy: “Your chosen agent should work with you to try to achieve your goals. So work out what is important to you. Is time of the essence? Or do you need to achieve a particular price to deliver your goals? Do you need to be moved by the New Year? Or is next summer more convenient?”
Give yourself realistic time frames: “Typically, the most interest from buyers comes in the first month of being on the market. If you haven’t had an offer, listen to your agent to work out if you need to drop the price. Don’t do this too soon, but similarly, don’t wait too long or the property might seem stale. Deals can fall through because sellers don’t adapt to a changing market.”
Do the maths: “Ultimately, a house is worth what someone is prepared to pay. However, know the value of your property. If you don’t know what it is really worth, as opposed to what you hope it is worth, then how can your buyer know?”
Know your market: “It’s not just buyers who should do their research. Use a mixture of property websites and word of mouth from local estate agents to find out what the house next door sold for, as well as similar sized homes further afield. Don’t fall into the trap of comparing your price with other guide prices. You need to make real comparisons with sold prices. Simply asking 10% more than what you expect to achieve is a strategy that almost always fails.”
Use your poker face: “If the house is worth £500,000, stick to your guns, play it cool and listen to the advice of your agent. Remember, the best poker players know when to fold and when to play out a hand – it is a game of skill based on knowledge of the odds and not a game of chance. Selling a house should be the same.”
Consider your tactics: “The first offer might not be the best one. Always ask for an increased offer and wait. You have the property they want to call home. If the buyer is in a rush, use this to get the very best offer for your home. This is where a good agent really steps-up. But don’t be afraid to accept the first offer – make your decision based on the circumstances and on facts, not on your preconceived opinions.”
Let the agent negotiate: “Sometimes getting personally involved becomes just that – personal. The agent will have done this hundreds, if not thousands, of times before and will have your best interests at heart – to achieve a good selling price with the best possible purchaser. You should have appointed an agent that you trust and respect, so listen to their advice and make sure to ask for it.”
Find the right buyer: “Your agent has to inform you of all offers and will personally vet them all to measure their strength. They would have found out everything about the buyer and built up a rapport, even before negotiating. What they determine to be the strongest offer may not be the highest bid, but from a more committed buyer, such as a cash buyer not in a chain. You ideally want to avoid feeling let down by someone who is not in a good purchasing position.”
Expect the unexpected: “Be prepared to constantly review your expectations. I sold a house earlier this year that had been on the market for three months with no offers. When we dropped the price by five per cent it went to sealed bids that week and it actually sold for the original guide price. Anything can happen, but the best things happen if you have a good plan and implement it well. Listen, adapt, and expect the unexpected.”
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