Accurate valuation is the key to selling homes in less active UK property market

A property that is accurately valued is more likely to sell quickly in the current British housing market where activity is slowing, it is claimed.

New figures from a independent estate agent form 54 branches suggests that valuation is the key to avoid having to drop the asking price or accept an offer well below what is sought.

The firm, Andrews, gathered information on sales from January to June 2018 and found a clear pattern which showed that 70% of completed sales either closely met or exceeded the asking price.

It believes that at a time when more and more properties are selling for significantly less than the asking price and hanging around on the market for longer than in the past, the job of the valuer is even more important.

‘Reports which focus on vendors reducing the asking price of their property are, more often than not, tales of an inaccurate valuation in the first place. Simply, a well-priced property will sell fastest,’ said Andrews group chief executive, David Westgate.

‘We’ve seen in the first six months of this year that properties which sold either at, or above, the asking price spent just 49 days on the market which compares favourably with the industry average of 96 days,’ he explained.

The data demonstrates a linear pattern whereby the degree of price difference is directly linked to the time taken to secure a sale. A small difference between asking and selling price of 5% or less will see a sale secured within 69 days, whereas a difference of up to 10% results in a property remaining on the market for an additional 49 days, some 118 days in total.

‘A smart combination of an accurate initial valuation and hands on marketing by agents with genuine local knowledge is vital to securing a swift sale in what remains a challenging market,’ Westgate pointed out.

‘This is all about successfully managing expectations and unfortunately there remains a significant percentage of agents prepared to provide a high valuation simply to secure the listing. When this is coupled with a vendor flattered by the news that their home is worth a seemingly favourable amount, the property is placed on the market with unrealistic expectations and consequently hangs around for longer and sells for less,’ he said.

‘Of course, these figures don’t provide a fool proof recipe for sales success and recent shifts in the market mean that a certain level of haggling is almost the norm in many cases. This data does, however, suggest that accurate pricing isn’t yet standard across the industry and it’s this that’s to blame for such high levels of price reductions,’ he added.