Ignore asking prices

Ignore asking prices

I frequently remind people that there are no rules or laws covering what you can ask for a property. I tend to assume that what I see quoted is either an indication of the greed of the owners or a demonstration of the agents enthusiasm to get the job. A guide price isn’t a “if you offer me this then I’ll sell it” figure, it used to be when agents quoted “Price – £x” but these days you will see flexible asking prices like “offers around”, or “offer in the region of” which enable the seller to be nimble and adjust up or down as necessary.

Estate agents themselves say that in June the average estate agency had 350 buyers registered, 40 homes for sale & sold 11. Only 2% sold for more than the guide price. 79% for less! This is one reason why despite offing my clients the option of paying me a proportion of the saving I make on the asking price my first bit of free advice is not to opt for it. It may seem attractive but I tend to earn more this way!

Despite the advice that was offered a year ago this mews house in central London was first marketed at £3.95m but after a couple of price reductions it has actually exchanged contracts 12 months later at £2.72m. I don’t think the agent is to blame although I’m not privy to the advice that they originally gave but clearly there is a message for others – “don’t be optimistic, keep your asking price realistic”.

An asking price is just another piece of the marketing, there to encourage potential buyers to come and look. Too high and many will think that the selling team is unrealistic and move on to someone who seems less so.

This market is unforgiving. It is making sober sellers look stupid & throwing up some real opportunities for buyers prepared to tough it out. Those looking to take advantage of these market conditions may want to call in a decent buying agent to help sniff these out. Call me and I’ll happily recommend a few! 😃