Realistic Pricing of Property Benefits Sellers

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Realistic pricing of property for sale benefits the seller, according to the latest research by property firm Zoopla.

Properties put up for sale at an unrealistic price sell for £12,000 less than their listing price on average across England and Wales and remain longer on the market.

Overvalued properties can remain on the market up to 58 days longer than their counterparts offered at a realistic price, rising to 60 days in London.

The analysis compared the difference between the listing and sales price of properties that were not discounted, fairly priced, and those that were discounted or overpriced.

By analysing the price that properties were initially listed at and cross-referencing them with sold prices from the Land Registry database across 12 months, it found that homes in Salford, Driffield and Dronfield, on average achieved 100 per cent of the initial asking price.

The report suggests that estate agents based in these towns are particularly skilled in managing sellers’ expectations and assessing the state of the local market. The next best was Sheffield at 99.6 per cent.

The overall average in England and Wales was 96.3 per cent while the best in London the average was 94.6 per cent. The best in the capital was in the borough of Waltham Forest at 97.9 per cent.

Zoopla said that the results highlight the importance of realistic pricing property and the potential repercussions of valuing properties aggressively, either to win instructions or test the market.

‘Our research highlights the importance of accurate pricing and reveals the areas where there is the healthiest alignment between a seller’s expectations and what a buyer is willing to pay for a property,’ said Charlie Bryant, managing director of Zoopla.

‘When a home is valued too ambitiously at the start, or simply overpriced, the sales process can be derailed. Homes can languish on the market for much longer than they should, and the vendor loses control of the sale, often leading to price reductions.’

He concluded: ‘The English and Welsh average sold price, which amounts to 96.3 per cent of the asking price, indicates a market realism, and moreover a market that is transacting good values, despite wider macro-economic and political concerns.’