How to strategically price your property


There are a lot of factors that need to be accounted for when pricing a property. Take a look at these five top tips.

If you’re reading this then you’re either in the early stages of selling your property or you’re already knee-deep in some of trickiest decisions you’ll ever have to make. Sorry. Selling a property, whether it’s your current home, a buy to let investment or you’re selling on behalf of someone else, is difficult because at some point you have made a considerable investment and you are naturally keen to get the greatest return possible.

But there are often a lot of extenuating factors that need to be accounted for when pricing a property. Take a look at these top tips to help you on your way to a stress-free sale.

Set the scene
This is an obvious one, but before you market your house it’s important to do as much as possible to the property so it appeals to potential buyers. If you have an audience in mind – a young family, for example, or selling to a landlord – you can dress and finish your property accordingly. A clean, bright and well maintained property will always pay dividends when it comes to marketing.

Do your homework
Although your agent will be on hand to offer advice and guidance on how to price your property, it is you who makes the ultimate decision, but try and remain pragmatic. Again: this is a big decision, and it’s important that you are comfortable. So, look at similar properties in the area and also previous sales within the last year or so. Good research means you’ll be much better informed.

Ask around
If your mortgage lender or current estate agent isn’t local, they will often rely on broad figures collected by larger, national organisations. These can often lack the local nuance which can often make or break a sale – the quality of schools for example, any longstanding transport plans or building developments, or down to the section of the street. Local agents should have this knowledge and value accordingly.

And remember, according to the Home Owners Alliance, mortgage lenders can often give low valuations to protect the mortgage lender. The difference between estate agent and mortgage valuations can be as much as 20% of the value of the property.

Get ready to negotiate
Right from the start, when you begin running the early numbers, you need to remember that any buyers will be expecting to negotiate. You did it when you bought the property, and you’ll do it when you buy your next one. Once you have a realistic value based on solid comparables that you’re comfortable with, ask for 5-10% above that, if the strategy allows. Or price to sell, and play with a harder ball. Each has its upsides.

Move fast, or slow
When you’re selling a property, the speed at which you want things to move can dictate the price. Fast sales, in the case of an inheritance for example, or to free up some collateral, are often put on at the lower end of your price bracket. Doing this is a good way to attract cash buyers, allowing you to swerve the dreaded chain. And if you ask for final offers upfront, they will often be higher than they would be otherwise. However, if you have the time to wait you can start with a high valuation and get a realistic view of what you can expect to achieve. Or you can go in low and try to create a bidding war between buyers, pushing the price up. Both come with risks, but remember, an offer is not a binding contract, often the real work is in holding the deal together and bringing the offer home to exchange.