Things seem to be quiet on the news front at the moment, so I felt that I would inflict the thoughts that I have had about selling a property into a falling market on pinsters for their opinions. I am not an estate agent and have no VI except intellectual curiosity.
As with any market, the property market is divided into buyers and sellers. The bullshit that prevails in Ireland that ‘there is no market’ or that ‘the market is dead’ is rubbish. There is always a market if a seller wants to sell badly enough. When it comes to property in the Irish setting, there are usually a number of potential buyers, if the price is right.
Finding the level of that market is the difficult part. The seller wants to get as much from their property as they can and the buyer wants to pay as little as they can.
Time was the enemy of the buyer when the market was rising, it is their friend when the market is falling. However, if the price is low enough and there are a number of potential buyers, time may become their enemy as somebody may step in before them if the price is right.
It must also be remembered that there are a limited number of buyers in each price range with available cash or access to mortgages. (There aren’t too many people with 1million plus to spend on a house at present). This is important if a number of properties are coming onto the market in a defined area in a certain price range, as the first few onto the market at an appropriate price will sell to those with most money while those that are priced too high and those that come to the market late will languish as the pool of buyers at that price range dries up and the only way to sell is to move the property into a lower price range, where there may be buyers with the resources available.
So, how to develop a strategy?
It is irrelevant to the prospective buyer what you paid for your house, therefore you have to ignore this (the difficult bit). The fortune spent on ‘interior design’ is irrelevant as it is designed to your taste, not theirs.
The first thing would be to do some research on the properties for sale in your area, what has sold and for how much and when.
Try to work out why properties haven’t sold, poor condition, poor aspect, poor position and probably asking too much. Rate your property against them and then price it accordingly. When I mean price it accordingly, I mean price it eye catchingly lower than comparible properties. Pinsters are very good at defining what good value is for a buyer.
There are buyers out there in each price range but they are limited in number.
You may feel that this is a rubbish analysis, but I feel that it may be better to sell at what feels like a loss now than have your property on the market for years, trimming a couple of thou every few months and waiting for the bottom. It must be remembered that property value declined year on year in the UK for the first fifty years of the 20th century. I feel that there will be a huge number of houses coming on the market within the next few years and those that sell earlier, for what appears to be a knockdown price will be considered to be the canniest of the canny ones.