Is a Quick Sale a good thing or not?

2nd July 2012

A quick sale is a rare thing these days but what is your view if you were trying to sell your house?

Estate Agents vary in their practice of launching a property on to the market but most strive to deliver a synchronised launch where the subject property appears on the company website, along with property portals such as Rightmove, Primelocation and Find a Property, while at the same time advertising in the local and national press, erecting a For Sale board, and trying their best to secure an editorial in the property pages. So if your property was launched on a Friday how would you feel about receiving an offer the following week? And what would your initial reactions be in considering whether or not to accept that offer?

I suspect the majority of responses would be: “Oh it’s lovely to have that offer as a fall back but its early days so let’s allow the marketing to run its full course and see what happens”. Despite the many trials and tribulations that the property market has been through over the last few years and continues to endure, one thing remains constant in my opinion, and that is that a well presented property will sell within the first two or three weeks of being launched on to the market, and it may be as swiftly as within the first 5 to 10 days. If you think about it the same goes for any product. If well marketed the aim is to catch the attention of prospective purchasers, who once they see the item want it, and it’s as simple as that.

So what equates to a successful sale? Successful implies that the client sells their property for the optimum price within a sensible time frame. In my experience the optimum price can very often be achieved at a very early stage following some negotiation. Inevitably, when an Estate Agent suggests that an early offer should be considered seriously there is a tendency for the client to think that the agent is trying to achieve a “quick sale” in order to close the deal at the minimum amount of effort and secure his commission. Such scepticism is understandable but not necessarily justified.

My best sale so far this year, for both my client and myself, involved securing the asking price of a property valued at £795,000 within 14 days of launch. It went on to exchange of contracts within 2 months. That was a quick sale, and highly successful! They sensibly listened to my advice, took it off the market and saved a lot of money by cancelling planned advertising.

Supply in the residential market currently far outstrips demand. Sensible and astute buyers are well appraised of the market and when they see a property that they like they make a sensible offer which they will usually increase by a small degree but if this is not accepted they will look elsewhere. To fall into the trap of running the full marketing period risks losing that first initial buyer as they could easily move on and find another property with a more willing vendor.

Let me give you another example. A work colleague of mine, on re-locating to Yorkshire, placed his home on the market earlier last year. Within a fortnight he had enjoyed 15 viewings with half a dozen expressions of interest, and one firm offer close to the asking price. He fell into the “trap” by thinking that he was bound to exceed the asking price and remained on the market. After a period of inactivity he ended up having to reduce the asking price later in the year, carried out many more pointless viewings as they turned out and eventually returned to his original buyer who inevitably had now found another home which he had bought. The end result is that he has had to let the property against the provisions of his mortgage, and has had to rent himself.

The lesson to be learnt by vendors is do not suspect your agent of trying to secure a “quick deal” for his own gains. Instead look positively, the reason you are one of the lucky 10% to receive an offer in today’s market is because your Agent has done a sterling job of marketing and pricing. Not only is an early offer a good thing but it could be the only offer you get so give it due consideration and do not just park it because it’s early days! Remember the old adage “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”. Judge for yourself whether a quick sale is a good thing or a bad thing but in my experience more often than not a QUICK SALE IS A SUCCESSFUL SALE.

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