When, if ever, should you drop your house price?
PUBLISHED: 09:19 27 October 2017
Laura Gangi Pond
Two estate agents give their opinion on when a seller should agree to a price reduction, if at all?
Clive Hedges, Arnolds Keys:
No vendor ever likes to drop their asking price, so the key is to start out with the correct price in the first place. It can be tempting to go with an agent who suggests an inflated, over-optimistic asking price, but if there is no chance of selling at this higher price, you may end up worse off in the long run. Anyone going to market should take the advice of an agent who has genuine experience of the local market, and, crucially, who can show evidence of comparable properties which have sold to demonstrate that their suggested price is based on what the market is actually doing, rather than what the lister hopes that it might do. If you are getting viewings, but these are not being followed up with offers, that suggests that the problem might lie elsewhere than the price – perhaps the property is not being presented as well as it could be, for example. However, if you are not getting viewings, that would generally suggest that the asking price is too high, and you may then need to take the step of reducing it.
Houses that sell quickly always sell better, so it is so important to get the price right at the beginning. Buyers tend to view properties which have seen price reductions in a negative light, and they will haggle harder to achieve an even bigger discount - whereas if the asking price is right to start with, you are more likely to achieve something close to it.
Pete Ward, William H Brown:
As estate agents, our intentions are always to achieve the best price possible for your home and therefore we would look to test the market to achieve best price, depending on your timescale. Typically, we would see the best response in the first two weeks of marketing. This is after suitable buyers on our database have been called and emailed about your home, a for sale board has been put up and the property advertised in the newspaper and on the big two websites, rightmove.co.uk and zoopla.co.uk. A good proportion of homes we sell attract the levels of interest that we would hope for, with viewings carried out and offers achieved in the initial two weeks. However, not all homes sell this quickly and typically after four weeks, interest will start to drop off. Before resorting to dropping the price, we can change the marketing of your home and at William H Brown our vendors are revisited after six weeks of marketing, when we offer a free “refresh” pack that includes new enhanced photography and a feature listing on rightmove.co.uk and zoopla.co.uk. This creates many more enquiries for a lot of vendors and a sale follows. However, if your home still hasn’t sold we may look at the asking price. Whilst this may need adjusting, we will look at your purchase price and in many instances negotiate on the one you want to buy so that any price drop is passed on to your purchase. If we do change the price, extra promotion is essential and at this time of year at William H Brown we offer a free entry into our Autumn Sale, as this additional marketing in branch, online and in the newspaper attracts interest from the most motivated buyers. Now is a great time to sell, with interest rates being so low if you’re buying on with a mortgage and many serious buyers out there.