Undervalued property generates more interest

If you are selling your own home, you may want to follow the advice of a property expert - and undervalue it.

Jonathan Upton, business development director of Mouseprice, says that a home that has been priced sensibly will generate far more interest than one that buyers might perceive as being overvalued.

He described getting the pricing right as the "most obvious thing" that a seller has to do, as the for sale boards could be up for quite a while if they get it wrong.

DIY house sellers could also listen to similar advice from estate agency Cluttons, which claims that the key to selling in the current market is to "focus on creating footfall".

This can be achieved by pricing low to start with and often results in a higher than expected final sale price.

James Hyman, partner for residential sales at Cluttons, says: "It is better to undercut the current market level and consequently generate plenty of interest and lots of viewings, creating a situation when buyers are competing to secure the property."

He adds that this will "result in a faster sale and higher final sale price than [would have been generated by] pricing the property more expensively, creating less footfall and failing to attract any potential buyers."

Sellers could experiment with pricing properties at 40 per cent below the peak price of August 2007 - a move which reportedly creates serious competition among buyers and can result in sales at around 30 per cent below peak price.

Paul Collins, property editor of BuyAssociation, agrees that vendors have to be "very realistic" when selling their property.

"You sometimes have to be quite ruthless with yourself and really look at what else is going on in the market," he adds.

In January the average asking price for a property stood at £213,570, according to the Rightmove House Price Index, which represents a fall of 1.9 per cent when compared to December 2008 and 7.3 per cent in contrast to January 2008.

Furthermore, the number of new listings this month stood at 43,416 - compared to 89,110 at the same point in 2008 - so there could be less competition for DIY sellers than there was this time last year.

Meanwhile, Nationwide has reported that the average UK house price fell by 2.5 per cent in December 2008 to £153,048 - a larger drop than the 0.4 per cent witnessed in November and bringing the annual decline over the last twelve months to 15.9 per cent.

Mr Upton says that now is "absolutely" the right time to sell because buyer interest is picking up and spring is "traditionally the busiest time of year".

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Published on: January 23, 2009

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