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Why less can mean more when it comes to selling...

Why less can mean more when it comes to selling...

28th February 2017


It’s no secret that buying or selling a home is the biggest investment we typically make in our lifetime. So, when the time comes to sell we naturally want to make sure we get the best possible price. However, by listing your property at an inflated price, you could actually end up losing money, as well as a considerable amount of precious time in the process.


Which? Case Study

Take the recent example by consumer watchdog Which? highlighting a seller who placed their property on the market after obtaining valuations, ranging from £480,000 to £650,000. Despite querying the higher price with the estate agent, they decided to go ahead and advertise their home at the higher figure. A natural decision you may ask? However, it took a staggering four years to sell and when it finally sold, it went for £482,000 – just £2,000 more than the lowest of the original valuations, but only after several price reductions and two changes of agent. Unsurprisingly this scenario isn’t uncommon.



Recent research carried out by Which? confirms that nearly 1 in 5 properties sold in England and Wales in 2016 had to be reduced by 5% or more in order to sell. Not only that, but properties that had been heavily reduced, on average took up to 2 months longer to sell and sold for £20,000 less than the original asking price.

With this in mind it’s essential that you get an accurate valuation of your property from the outset. Valuation is not an exact science, but sadly ‘over-valuation’ is a tactic adopted by many estate agents in an attempt to secure business.


Simple Steps You Can Take To Avoid Overvaluation:

  • Seek at least three valuations from local agents. Make sure you alert them to the fact that you do not want an inflated, unrealistic figure You want it to be accurate and reflective of current market values
  • Ask the agents to show you comparable evidence of other similar properties to yours that have sold. Some of this information is on line, but there is no substitute for good local experts who know the area and properties
  • When selecting an agent to sell, make your choice on which one gives you the greatest confidence that they will professionally handle your sale and negotiate confidently for you. You also want to know that they handle the type and price range of properties similar to yours.
  • Ask to speak to some of their past clients.
  • Don’t select on the lowest fee. Often the lowest fee will come from the weakest negotiator, not who you want handling the delicate negotiations of your most expensive asset!
  • Don’t lose control of the process. Be sure to read the small print of the agents terms and conditions. Avoid lengthy sole agency contracts. 
  • Avoid sole selling rights. This restricts you from selling to a private source of buyer for the length of your contract. You can read more about the types of agency instructions.
  • Preparing early and doing your research is key to a successful sale.

If you are thinking of moving talk to our friendly, experienced teams in one of our local branches. We can help you accurately establish what your existing property is worth, provide professional guidance on the whole process of selling and with mortgage interest rates at historic all-time lows, our experienced Mortgages Services Department will be able to offer independent advice on the best rates available to you.

When you instruct us, we are with you every step of the way.