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House valuation in a slow market - tips

House valuation in a slow market

House valuation in a slow market can be problematic for all involved.

It's a dilemma for homeowners, surveyors and estate agents.

And if you're wondering, cash property buyers are caught up in the drama too.

Valuations and agents' market appraisals are based on historical

information. But when the market is undergoing change - up or down, historical information becomes a less reliable guide.

House values aren't static. Most of us are used to house values going up. And house values do go up over the long term. In some instances very dramatically. But at a specific point in time if you wish to price your property to sell, a realistic market appraisal may produce a value which


is less than the value a surveyor might come up with.

House valuation in a slow market needs to rely heavily on local knowledge.

Hometrack valuation reports are useful here because they provide trend information on "time to sell" in weeks and trend information on the number of buyers registering with estate agents and the number of properties coming on to the market.

So who should be concerned about house valuation in a slow market?

House valuation in a slow market will have less impact on:

- homeowners with time on their side to wait for a buyer and in no hurry to sell

- people seeking to buy their "forever" home

- people buying and selling within the same area

- people selling first time buyer properties in good locations




Where does house valuation in a slow market leave everyone else?

Particular care should be taken with valuing your home if:

- there are many similar properties for sale in your area for similar prices

- people selling family homes who want to sell promptly

- people selling first time buyer properties including ex council properties in secondary locations

- individuals pricing their properties for a quick sale

When you  contract with a estate agent they don't guarantee to sell your property or find you a buyer.

Of course they want to sell it and of course they want to get the best price for you - and for them. After all, the vast majority of agents are paid on commission.

But you do need to strike a balance. House valuation in a slow market means you'll be dealing with more cautious buyers and crucially, they'll be fewer of them.

So price your property attractively.

When the market is slowing down, the fact your neighbour sold a house similar to yours three months ago for 120,000 does not mean your property will fetch the same price now.

By all means test the water. This isn't a bad choice if you can wait four to six months to find a buyer. No one wants to throw money away. But keep talking to your agent and asking for feedback. No viewings? If the agent's marketing is OK chances are your house valuation for a slow market is too high. This means your property is over-priced for current market conditions.

Wishful thinking won't sell your property. Your house valuation in a slow market should be realistic. Price your property to sell. Better to price sensibly than to panic and go the multi agency route with more than two agents. It can make you look desperate and buyers can begin to suspect there is a problem with your property.

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