Readers of previous blogs will know my views on surveys and general reports on house prices. Trying to explain to a purchaser that not all houses are selling for 10% less than the Home Report valuation is difficult, especially when they have read in newspaper articles that they should simply offer 10% lower than the asking price! Each property purchase requires its own individual strategy which can depend on the property type, the asking price and the psychology of the seller.
I guess this reinforces the importance of speaking to an expert in the property market to achieve your best possible price. Sellers often find it difficult to understand that the focus should be less on the price they achieve for their property and more focus should be on the cost of change, especially if they are moving within a similar property market (as 90% of sellers do).
What do I mean by cost of change? Well, if you are selling a property and your expectation is £100,000 and the property you are looking to purchase in the local area is £200,000 then the straight cost of change is £100,000. If you require to take a 15% hit in terms of your asking price to sell your property but your Solicitor manages to negotiate a similar deal at the other end (or better, which is always my challenge!) i.e. purchasing for £170,000, then the cost of change is actually £85,000 rather than the £100,000 and you are £15,000 better off – not to mention a potential reduction in Stamp Duty and other Government outlays.
Even with the Home Report we still get properties marketed at low asking prices to attract interest and we also have cases where the Home Report valuation is too high which again needs to be portrayed to the seller as part of the purchasing process.
The property market is tough at the moment and I would advise anyone selling or purchasing property to get the best possible specialist advice.