Pricing your home: How to get it right

Pricing your home is one of the most important financial tasks homeowners will ever undertake. It is normally our largest asset, so the stakes are high. If you want to know how to get it right and extract the best price then read on.

Valuing property is both an art and a science. The vast majority of property professionals will use the comparative method to value your home, basing their value on similar properties that have recently sold.

You can do this yourself by creating a valuation matrix, listing each comparable property and rating it on its similarity to your own.

I would suggest a minimum of three properties but ideally more. The key factors to consider:

  • When did it sell? The more recently, the better
  • Location is it better or worse? Buyers will tend to pay more for a property on a quiet residential road, consider its proximity to local amenities and transport links
  • Aspect? Buyers tend to pay a premium for a southerly or westerly facing garden
  • Size is an important factor, it will help if you can measure your property or find an old floor plan
  • Condition, how is the property presented internally and externally
  • Potential, does the property have scope to extend? Could you convert a garage? Development potential will add value
  • For leasehold properties, length of the lease, cost of ground rent and service charge? Low leases and escalating ground rents can have a significant impact on value

Value is ultimately determined by what someone is willing to pay in the current market. Your property maybe worth more to one buyer than another and this will be influenced by what you are competing with.

So the next step is to envisage your property on the market and objectively compare it to what else is currently for sale in the local area. As the Chinese general Sun Tzu said, “Know thy enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles, you will never be defeated.” You should now have a good understanding of an approximate value of your property.

Now you should contact your local agent who will carry out a similar exercise, they will be able to paint a more accurate picture as they will have access to data not yet available online. For example recently agreed sales or off market transactions. As well as knowledge of current buyers and market sentiment.

Ensure your agent has access to a large database of suitable buyers and can expose your property to the widest possible audience.

Homeowners can have a huge influence on the value of their property by taking the following steps:

  • First impressions count. Ensure the front door, garden or communal hallway is in good decorative order
  • Avoid selling a vacant property. Always sell a property furnished but not cluttered, it allows buyers to visualise themselves living there
  • Play to your properties strength. If you have a large garden, try and sell during the Summer and Spring when it’s looking its best
  • Be competitive with your asking price, don’t go for a value that can’t be substantiated
  • Be flexible and accommodating for viewings

James Waight
Regional Directior | London Sales


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