Forget Black Friday, there’s an Autumn sale going on in the housing market

Get your coat on, it maybe getting chilly outside but you’re off house hunting. Sorry to be pushy about this, as you sit inside all warm and cosy maybe having parked your house hunt until the New Year. After all what’s the rush? The papers are full of doom and gloom about the housing market ‘crisis’ and over coffee with friends, there is all this talk of ‘people they know’ who just can’t sell their London home.

We are not going to pretend that that isn’t happening in some pockets of the capital but there are also an awful of people – most of our clients this year in fact – who have, for various reasons, decided that the move just can’t wait any longer. Having priced their homes sensibly, they have achieved their desired sale and are now settling into life in the country.

The lesson our clients have learned is that, in this market, you need to banish all thoughts of past valuations of your property, and stop mulling over the figure that your property could have achieved a couple of years ago. The market has changed, and your expectations need to follow suit.

Although we are sure you’d love to secure the old figure for your home, the reality was that as your home elevated in value, the house prices’ down here were also creeping up. Clutching onto that old number will paralyse you and cause you no end of frustration as your house continues to remain unsold and begins to look like there is something wrong with it. There is – the price is too high!

The good news is of course, if you do secure that sale, even at a slightly lower amount then the knock on effect has filtered down here, so you will find similarly realistically priced houses at this end. You may even get a house that you would never have been able to stretch to a couple of years ago.

The latest data and analysis from Rightmove out last week, revealed that as many as 37% of properties already on the market have reduced their asking price since first listing – a five year high for this time of year. Interestingly, although more sellers are trimming prices, the 0.8% fall (-£2,392) is the smallest that Rightmove has recorded in November since 2007.

However, with the largest proportion of current sellers at this time of year since 2012 who have reduced their initial asking prices, Rightmove says many of this month’s new sellers are being too optimistic by not discounting by a greater factor than 0.8%. For those who have had to reduce their asking price at least once, the average size of reduction between first marketing price and current asking price is 6.3%. Analysis of those properties that actually sold last month after having reduced their prices shows that their average reduction between initial and last advertised asking price was also 6.3%.

So what’s the lesson here? Be realistic, talk to your local agent about what prices is really achievable and if you think it sounds too high or too good to be true, then your potential buyers will too.

Further insights from Rightmove reveal that out of 100,000 properties that successfully sold, those that sell typically generate over 40% more online interest in the first three weeks than those that do not sell. So, if the price is too high to start with then it won’t get the online traffic, or the footfall through the door.

If you are in rented or do not have a property to sell in order to buy, then there is almost what could be described as an impromptu Autumn sale, with the largest proportion of sellers on the market having reduced their initial asking prices at this time of year since 2012.

So, going back to our original point, what are you waiting for? Get your coat on (and maybe even some wellies if you are house hunting in the countryside) and get yourself a sensibly priced home for the first time in years!

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