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How to Handle with Overpriced Property

As prospective sellers begin to believe that the market may have bottomed out, the issue of saleable pricing is likely to come sharply into focus (not that it ever really went away!)

In this market there is no place for properties that are clearly too expensive – they will cost you time, money and reputation. Even if you do find someone prepared to pay an inflated figure – will they get a mortgage? As I have always said – rather have a handful of saleable properties than a smorgasbord of overpriced ones.

So here are a couple of ideas which I hope will help you persuade your sellers to quote your recommended asking price, or reduce to it quickly.

Firstly, during their initial phone call inviting you to “value” their property (I hate that term) why not tell them that you will be bringing details of pricing comparables with you, and ask them what price “range” you should be researching before you come? They’ll give you two figures – the highest they hope for, and the minimum they’d take! This is really useful for you to know when it comes to helping them pitch at the right level!

Then, if they want to quote a stupid price (even though you would love the instruction), why not suggest that you offer it to your hottest buyers at that price for a week, before advertising the property or putting a board up. If these buyers don’t buy it, nobody will. After the week, you can remind them that the strongest element of the market has rejected the price, and suggest that they now take it to market at your suggested realistic figure. This way, the property is still “new to market” rather than “reduced” when first advertised. And if you can get them to agree to this in advance then there is nothing to stop you bringing buyers registered at the lower lever round the “expensive” property in that first week anyway, knowing that the seller is due to reduce the price within days. This technique also reduces the time between “For Sale” and “Sold” boards!

Finally, how about taking a tip from the Scottish system and suggesting they quote a low “offers over” price. Then encourage buyers to submit their best and final offer over this figure in writing. Whatever offer comes in will still be a reflection of market value.

Whatever you do, think creatively, but above all, decide first at what price will you walk away from the instruction.