Whether you are looking to sell or merely gripped by curiosity, the price your property commands is of interest. Your home is likely to be your most expensive asset and it’s something you invest a lot of time and effort in, so it’s important to know how this investment is performing.
But how do you get a realistic assessment of the value of your property? Here are some tips on how to get this all-important judgement right…
Proper research of the state of the market is necessary to get this right. Make sure you don’t simply focus on the national picture – be as local as possible to ensure you get an accurate assessment. Look at the house sale prices paid for properties in your street and neighbourhood – ideally those of a similar age and size to your own – to gauge what others have paid. You want to keep a close eye on the time period too – a sale five years ago is no longer relevant.
Be honest with yourself. If the home two doors down sold for an astronomical fee but had benefitted from designer fittings and extensions then yours may well not follow suit. It’s important to recognise the weaknesses – as well as the strengths – of your property. Yes, you want to make money – and certainly sell for more than you paid – but manage your expectations accordingly.
Room for manoeuvre
Buyers will look to negotiate. It’s a simple fact of life. Bear in mind the fact that you will receive offers below your asking price and it’s quite natural to have to settle for five or ten per cent below this. To avoid disappointment, allow yourself a little bit of room to manoeuvre that won’t leave you out of pocket.
Make yourself aware of the points at which Stamp Duty kick in as these could prove significant. Changes to the rules surrounding Stamp Duty have made this a less important measure than it once was but the simple fact is most people will not want to pay a price that creeps into a higher bracket as it will force them to find more money up front. Be aware that the price of your property might be held down slightly if it falls around the £125,000 or £250,000 bracket, for example.
Speak to an expert. An estate agent will be directly involved with the sale of homes every single day. You’ll be able to put questions about the price of your property to them and mull over the pros and cons of setting your value at a higher or lower rate.
Pricing a property is a tricky business. It’s important to recognise this, take on board as much advice as possible and do plenty of research. Don’t let this be the end of the process either – the smart seller will carry on the hard work they put in pre-sale to ensure they keep on top of the current picture. The price you put on your home may have to fall slightly over time if circumstances change – you need to be reactive and flexible should this be required.