Every house is different and the market is constantly evolving. Think of the market as a river and there are different currents within that river, representing different property types and sizes. The prime central London market is hyper sensitive and as such, we must look at all angles to establish likely value. Whether this is comparable sales in terms of £/sq ft rates, in terms of capital values and how these apply to the subject property. Expert local advice is paramount – is a property tube affected? If so, this may represent a reduction in the value of 50%; a local agent will understand the effect of this and severity.
In receiving advice from an agent information is key. Sadly, there are many agents out there who overvalue property and in all honesty. It’s not uncommon for us to see the return of a vendor, after six months on the market with no interest with an agent who overvalued, 90 per cent of the time the owner will come back to us seeking advice on how to achieve a sale. With the correct advice and strategy, we have then gone on to achieve a sale. Ask an agent who is providing you with a figure for supporting comparable evidence. In reporting to a client, I will always set out comparable evidence and how this applies to the subject property in order to suggest a guideline price range. Then I will discuss pricing strategy.
Ultimately the market will value a property at where the highest offer comes in at and the only variable one has control over in this sense is the asking price. It is not the case that the higher the asking, the higher the price achieved so careful attention needs to be paid to pricing strategy.
In a slower market, there are fewer sales and therefore less transactional evidence; one really has to rely on the experience of a good agent. In a challenging market, more than ever, you do need a good, realistic agent to provide proper and accurate advice.