The NAEA president explains how you can get the best out of your sale by pricing correctly

President of the NAEA Simon Gerrard

President of the NAEA Simon Gerrard - Credit: Archant

When you have taken the decision to sell, setting the right asking price is perhaps the most important aspect of marketing your property. But how do you know what the right price is?

The media will regularly carry stories of how the property market is fairing with reports issued by various organisations including the Halifax, Nationwide, Rightmove and the Land Registry. These reports offer a range opinions as each is prepared using different sets of data.

While they give an overall indication of the market, they are unlikely to accurately predict the price of your property. It’s essential to realise that housing markets are local. Even within local areas there can be a number of micro markets. Prices can even vary significantly from one end of the road to another.

You will have looked on websites to see how other properties in the area are priced, but remember, every property is unique. Houses in your road may look the same and appear to offer the same accommodation but each will have its own interior style and features which can significantly affect the demand and therefore the sale price.

If your circumstances allow it can be tempting to price high and see what offers come in. But be careful - an incorrect price at the outset will mean that your home could linger unnecessarily. Buyers are able to easily compare prices, and they won’t even bother to view a property that is blatantly over-priced, so it’s more important than ever to set the right price from the beginning.

Take advice from your agent. I have written in a previous article that you should ask three local agents to give their opinions on the value. Explain your reason for selling and if you are under any time constraints, as this will have a major bearing on the final asking price.

Given your personal circumstances and the likely demand for the type of property you are selling, the agent will be able to advice on the best marketing strategy for you and give a realistic sale price. Don’t be afraid to question the agent’s reasons for the price they are quoting. Look in detail at the comparable evidence they are offering and ask what buyers they have that may be interested in your home.

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At present demand is generally outstripping supply so if marketed correctly slightly under-pricing your home, can stimulate a lot of demand and mean that you achieve a better price than if initially marketed at too high a price.

The best way of getting the most up-to-date information you need is to consult your local NAEA agent. They will have in depth knowledge of your local market and will know what properties are selling and what prices are being achieved.

Another important aspect to setting an asking price is knowing what you’re prepared to accept - There are two figures to be aware of - the amount that you would like to achieve and the figure that you are prepared to accept. Having a clear idea of these at the outset will help you to price your home and also make your agents negotiations with buyers more straightforward. You need to be realistic.

The memories that make the house so valuable to you aren’t shared by the buyer. They are likely thinking about what they will change!

Once the price is agreed and marketing is underway potential buyers will undoubtedly test the water by making an offer. Your NAEA agent will put every offer to you, as they are legally required to do, and will be able to guide you and offer advice. But consider any offer carefully - before accepting or declining.

Take into account the potential buyers situation. If they are homeowners, it is important to ask if they have actually sold their property or whether it is on the market. Inquire if they have a mortgage in principal agreed and find out if they are part of a chain. Establish when they would want to complete. If the offer is lower than you were hoping for but they can exchange quickly consider the benefits of a quick sale.

Next fortnight Simon Gerrard will be answering your property queries. Email your questions to ham&