25 May 2016

How much is your home worth?

Recent research by Rightmove found that the average sale price for a home in England and Wales in March 2016 rose to £303,190 (up from £200,980 in March 2006).

This increase in property prices may be good news if you’re thinking of putting your home on the market.

But when listing your property for sale, how do you decide on a realistic asking price? Too high and you may struggle to find a buyer, but too low and you could end up out of pocket.

Five ways to get your sale price right first time

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

This will depend on who is buying the property, the purchase price, and on where the property is located. Some first time buyers don’t have to pay this tax.

Tax information by region:

What does your sale price say to buyers?

Buying agent and property market commentator Henry Pryor said: ‘Setting the right asking price is the most important piece of the marketing of any property since it conveys a number of important messages including your expectations as a seller and your intent – how serious you are about selling’.

‘The guide price is not, as some mistakenly think, the seller’s stated aim. It shouldn’t be considered to be the price at which a deal can be done. “Offers around” or “offers in the region of” ensure that the guide is flexible. Buyers can’t just offer the asking price and expect a deal.’

The guide price is part of your marketing, a way of encouraging the right people to come and see your home, he says. ‘The best reaction to an asking price is for a buyer to think “Yes, I hope I don’t have to pay that much but that’s what I would expect”.’

Setting your sale price

Once you’ve set your sale price it’s time to start thinking about whether you’ll need a new mortgage. See our range of mortgages

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