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Why setting the right asking price at the start is paramount to a sale's success

Property investors are finding the current market climate particularly difficult to generate both the income and capital growth that was once what attracted them to the industry. Political and economic factors are squeezing landlords in all directions, and many are taking the decision to dispose of their assets and exit the market.

However, some are doing so more successfully than others, and the primary outlook for their achievements depends on the initial asking price that they set.

Particularly with the rise of the online and 'hybrid' estate agency models, and the wider socio-economic advancement towards instantaneous transactions, it's easier than ever to discover the approximate value of a property online, for free, 24 hours a day and within seconds. While these tools are useful for first engaging with professional valuers, the values they give should by no means be depended on or set your expectations. 

In reality, the first step towards setting the right price is to seek the professional opinion of several impartial local market experts. This is where online concepts come unstuck, and we recommend inviting at least three separate agents to carry out an in-depth market appraisal for your property. This should, depending on an agent's integrity, give you a range of more accurate price suggestions as well as a variety of comparables - these are alike properties which have recently sold in a similar market.

When you have received valuations from all invited agents, you should reflect on their reasoning. If one has quoted a significantly higher price, it may be because they are desperate for the business - likewise if an agent offers a lower-than-expected valuation, they might just be tricking you into giving them a quick, easy deal.

In this market, competition from similar, live available properties is the main concern, and those sellers who are realistic with their asking price, in comparison to what other stock is available, will find that their listings achieve much more interest from highly qualified, relevant prospective buyers.

There really is little point in setting too high a price for your property, even if you are willing to hold out for a long time for the right offer - in this scenario, you're better off not marketing the property for sale and even considering using Airbnb or finding long-term tenants to generate income while you wait. 

At Harrisons we invest ourselves, so we understand the trials and tribulations of our clients in the market, first hand. Our experts would be more than happy to discuss your motives for your assets, and examples of current market transactions.


Why setting the right asking price at the start is paramount to a sale's success

by Andrew Matin


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