Length of time your property is on the market
This is one of the most important factors in the sale of a property, but one which a lot of vendors do not consider when choosing an agent.
From our research, it seems as though it is just a forgotten statistic for more of our competitor agencies, simply because their aim is to win the instruction, regardless of how long it will take to sell.
In fact, we would go as far as saying, that for some agencies, the tactic is to gain an instruction at "any price" and then use the weeks and months thereafter, to chip at the price, until it is saleable.
The problem with this scenario, which has been examined by Rightmove, the largest UK sales portal, that properties which start at a higher than market value price, will eventually sell for under market price. Whereas, those initially marketed at the correct price, will sell close to that price or sometimes, even higher than the price (a lot of properties go for offers above £).
I guess the temptation, when faced with a number of different market valuations, is to pick the highest, or the middle, but rarely the lowest. However, if the agents are using the "over-valuing" tactic, then probably the lowest price is the correct one.
So what can be done to avoid this situation happening to you?
1. Be vigilant with the agents you pick to visit your property. Make sure they have SOLD property in your location, that is similar to your own. This is easy to find out, either using the portals Zoopla or Rightmove for recent transactions listed as 'under offer' (usually you need to tick the box that says 'include STC' in the property search) or use Land Registry Online, which will have public information on all historic property transactions - so you can see your own road and type of property plus the price it sold for.
2. Always ask the agent to show comparable evidence, again, please make sure that it is Under Offer or Sold, not just on the market, as that defeats the object of this exercise. The valuer should have access to the agents portal for Rightmove or Zoopla, where they can show how long it takes for a property to go under offer with their agency. Have a look at this graph:
Without naming agency names, we have taken this data from Rightmove and it shows the number of days on market - over and above the average 85 days it takes PARAMOUNT PROPERTIES to get a property sold. This is not doctored information, it is directly from the portal which the agent uses for marketing, and shows some agents taking an average of 160 days to sell a home (that's over 5 months)!
3. Remember that there is solid proof that the initial 2 weeks of marketing property will give you the best chance of selling your home. If an agent suggests "trying it at a higher price for a little while" they are doing you a disservice.
4. If you are relying on an agent to have a solid database of clients waiting to hear about your property, get them to show you the list. So many agencies will say they have people waiting, and then work on a reactive basis, advertising the property on the internet and waiting for calls to come in.
5. Internet marketing is key here. This is where the MAJORITY of your viewings will come from. So ensure your agent can deliver amazing photos, floor plans, 3D walk-throughs, videos etc.
6. Make sure you really get on with the team you'll be working with. You should be spending the next 2 months chatting daily, so take your time with the valuer, pop into the office (are they welcoming, do they offer you a cup of tea, take time to chat to you?). Whilst you're visiting what are the other staff doing? Are they on the phones, handling enquiries, chatting to clients, a busy office usually produces the most business, so it really is worth taking the time to pop in and check it out.
So Paramount delight in producing results, quickly, efficiently, with the minimum fuss. Our office is a hive of activity, and all of the team love their jobs, because not only do we work hard, but we have fun and lots of enjoyment too.
Please pop in and say hello, I think you will find out that the reason we sell our homes quicker than any of our competitors, is because we are proactive, we price right, we market our properties beautifully and we are jolly nice people to do business with!
Any questions, just give me a call - Rob Lazarus 020 7372 0202