‘Tis the season for price reductions

For those who either didn’t listen when they were told that their home wasn’t worth what they had hoped or who picked an estate agent who told them what they wanted to hear now is the last chance to try and correct their mistake to try to get a sale before Christmas.

Many home owners thought that their property was somehow different from all the others when they put it on the market and they could ask more. Whilst some agents and a lot more lenders were still in denial at the start of the year it was clear to most that the good times were over. The number of homes that were selling each month fell by 25% at the start of 2008 rising to over 50% fewer by the end of the summer and still we could see examples of properties that were being marketed at crazy prices. Not surprisingly, many are now having to reduce their asking price to attract interest. In a falling market, you have to price ahead of the curve.

There are still over 850,000 individual properties currently for sale in the UK but with less than 7% selling each month there is huge competition to get the few committed buyers that are able to perform. These buyers appreciate that they are in the driving seat which is why many employ a buying agent who can negotiate the very best deal. 

Around one in ten properties is now quoting a “revised” guide price with the average reduction being 7%. Better to admit that you got it wrong in the first place and try to communicate that you are serious about selling than continue to ask more than the market can stand. Vendors who persist in asking too much just look foolish and unlike the good times, when a relaxed seller was prepared to wait and see, these days the stigma of too high a guide price hangs over a sale even though there is nothing necessarily wrong with the home other than an owner who is too ambitious.

Examples of 20%+ price reductions in the last few days include;-

Pit Farm holiday complex in the West Country went on the market in March at £2.5m and the guide was cut yesterday to Excess of £2m. 

A family home in Holly Park, Finchley was originally marketed at £1.375m when it went on the market. The summer photo suggest that having tried a higher price and failed that to get things going it has been reduced to £1.1m. But will it be enough?

Asking prices have fallen by about 5% over the year but often sales are being agreed at between 15 and 20% below these guides. Nothing is achieved by being too ambitious and in the age of the internet it’s all too likely that someone somewhere is making a note of your mistake. Websites like Rightmove who produce a monthly asking price survey and PropertySnake monitor asking prices and in some cases price reductions too. If you want to attract one of the very few genuine buyers this side of Christmas then the last thing you want is to look as if you are too greedy when trying to sell . Buyers know that there are already enough serious sellers out there and few are prepared to waste time buffing someone’s ego!

Here’s a longer list of properties that appear to have had significant price reductions from around the country;-

20% Ascot http://www.edwardsandelliott.co.uk/propertyDetails.php?pid=103868

14% (to £7.25m!) http://www.knightfrank.co.uk/SJW080266

14% in Essex http://www.knightfrank.co.uk/CHO080006

10% in Brighton http://www.mishonmackay.com/property-search/property-details/?m_property_propertiesID=08393

20% in Chigwell http://www.savills.co.uk/quickSearchDetail.aspx?ID=202933

16% in Reading http://web.aspasia.net/pls/davist/rv?id=9970

20% in W11 http://web.aspasia.net/pls/mountgrange/e_agent_site.pac_rep_prpsrch.prc_reg_view?p_cont_id=4078&p_which=1

18%in Bath http://www.knightfrank.co.uk/BTH080059

33% in Mill Hill http://www.richardjames.biz/large.php?alldetails=832&let_rent=&on=buying1

25% off in Belgravia http://www.savills.co.uk/quickSearchDetail.aspx?ID=218645

15% Earls Croome http://www.whitehotproperty.co.uk/07,0,0,0,564045,19572,00.htm

10%Alderley Edge http://www.andrewjnowell.co.uk/properties_details.asp?id=733

14% Cheshire http://www.bridgfords.co.uk/property-details-BRI_RPS-PRE060075

17% Derbyshire http://www.scargillmann.co.uk/propdet.asp?spropref=SAP00615&pagecount=1

17% Stratford-upon-Avon http://www.knightfrank.co.uk/STR070530