Home sellers setting unrealistic price expectationsResidential property sales continue steady rise

10 January 2012

Brick house

Some property sellers are setting unrealistically high prices

Residential property sales are holding up relatively well, according to the latest Housing Market Survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

However, sales expectations for the coming three months have dipped slightly - with surveyors highlighting unrealistic price expectations on the part of some sellers.

New homes on the market

12% more surveyors reported rises rather than falls in the number of new homes coming onto the market. 

London saw the biggest increase in the supply of new homes: The 38% rise was the biggest increase since January 2005.

Prices still falling

House prices continued to fall in most areas of the country during December, though at a slower rate than in the previous six months. 

London was the only region to see property price net increases, while the West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside reported the biggest falls in price.

Sellers asking too much?

Demand from potential buyers also seems to be fairly steady across the UK. However, according to respondents, a lack of mortgage finance is still hampering many of those keen to get on to the property ladder.

Another factor dragging down house sales is the unrealistic price expectations of many potential sellers. It seems that many house sales are being held up by sellers unwilling to price their properties low enough to genuinely reflect market conditions.

Setting a realistic price

If you're trying to sell your home - and aren't sure what price to set - follow these three property valuation tips:

  • Look in local newspapers, estate agents' windows and online to see how much similar properties are on the market for. Try to come up with three to five properties that are comparable to yours in size and features.
  • Next, bring in three agents which have recently sold similar properties and ask them for a valuation. Don't simply pick the highest amount - use the research you have done to work out a realistic level to set your house price at.
  • Consider the minimum price that you can accept for your house and still be able to afford the property you want to move to. Be realistic, and don't forget that you may be able to recoup whatever discount you give on your own house with a similar discount on the one you're buying.

Pick the right buyer

However, it's not all about the money. If more than one prospective buyer is interested, pick the one who's most likely to see the process through - not necessarily the one who makes the highest offer.

In order, the safest buyers to choose are those who've already sold their house, first-time buyers, buyers who have sold their home subject to contract and buyers who have not sold their home.

If you are selling privately, find out whether viewers are serious by asking them whether they have sold their property, why they are buying a home and what else they have viewed.

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