1. Research your local market
Deciding on how much to try to sell your home for is a big responsibility. Property prices can fluctuate over just a few months, so it pays to do your pricing research as close as possible to when your house will hit the market.
With so much pricing information available online, it can be tempting to set your sale price by yourself.
Bear in mind that while the web is a great place to get an idea of what your house might sell for, your local estate agent will have up-to-date knowledge and can use their experience to strike the fine balance between getting the price you want and scaring buyers off.
2. Be realistic about the condition of your property
Being honest with yourself about the current state of your property is essential if you want to arrive at a realistic asking price. Potential buyers can be a fussy bunch and will quickly find faults, even if you’ve tried to cover them up.
3. Compare like with like
When you’re looking at other properties to gauge how much yours could be worth, it’s important to compare like with like. For example, setting an asking price for a detached house in your area when yours is a semi-detached will impact on viewings and offers.
4. Know what type of offer you’d like
There are three main options open to you when setting your asking price: fixed price, offers in the region of, and offers over.
Fixed price: when you put your property up for sale at a fixed price, you’re giving buyers clarity in terms of what you’re willing to accept. Be prepared that you may still receive lower offers.
Offers in the region of: this gives potential buyers an indication of the ballpark you’re looking for and comes with the inference that you’re happy to accept less than the stated figure.
Offers over: your offers over price is a starting point for bids and lets interested parties know you’re looking to achieve a higher amount.
It’s worth bearing in mind that the 2015 Which? home-moving survey found that 73% of buyers initially offered below a property’s asking price. Some 66% of the 1,990 recent home movers who took part said they successfully secured their new property for less than the asking price.
5. Understand how much tax potential buyers would have to pay
The Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) in Scotland set the rates of tax payable depending on the finalised sale price of a property.
When deciding on your asking price, there’s little point in asking for just above one of the threshold amounts as buyers will typically always bid less to avoid paying the extra tax.