What Percentage of Houses Sell?
March 23rd, 2023
I’ve been asked recently “What percentage of houses sell?” No one really knows how many houses sell as a percentage of those that are listed. The reason is that estate agents don’t ‘show their wares’ or disclose how many properties they have sold. It’s sort of a trade secret, for some reason.
It’s different in other countries, where house sales are often associated with an estate agent, and so you can see who are the best agents at selling and who aren’t so good – something we could probably do with here in the UK, but not something I can see happening any time soon!
If agents did show their stats and figures, then perhaps the customer would be able to make a more informed decision as to which agent they use to sell their own property.
There are various data companies out there who claim to monitor property sales, but none are 100% accurate. There are situations quite often where the owner will take their house off the market and then put it back on a few weeks or months later. A movement like this will count against the agent as an unsold property, when in actual fact they may well sell it when the owner puts it back on the market, but they just had challenging circumstances the first time round.
Similarly, a house may sell and then fall through and then sell again. We’re not 100% sure how these data companies calculate their data, but in this situation, if they are counting that listing as 1 listing, but 2 sales, then they are crediting the agent with 2 sales and 1 listing, which is frankly an impossibility!
As a general guide, from nothing more than experience of working within the industry for many years, agents tend to agree sales (note the term ‘agree sales’ and not ‘sell’) on around 65%-70% of properties, with around 20%-25% of these sales falling through. If you do the maths on that, it means they actually sell around 55% of the properties they put on the market.
Of course, it all depends on market conditions. In 2008-2009, only around 35% of properties were selling, but during Covid times, it was more like 90%! If you’d like to have a chat about current market conditions and see if I can help you just use this link to book a call at a time that suits you https://calendly.com/craigthompsonbespoke/30min or click here for an in person valuation appointment https://craigthompson.exp.uk.com/contact-us/
A Guide to Instant Online Valuations
March 13th, 2023
They are everywhere at the moment. Almost every agent has one and they can be useful, but also quite annoying. Here is a guide to instant online valuations and how you treat the results. I’ve even got one on my homepage, so after you’ve read this article take a look and see what yours “could” be worth https://craigthompson.exp.uk.com/
You see an advert on Facebook asking if you’d like to ‘know the value of your house within 60 seconds’
You enter your postcode, address, the number of bedrooms and your email address and up pops an instant online valuation, literally within a few seconds.
Are you disappointed, surprised or neither?
Instant online valuations can be useful for a quick guide as to what your property *might* be worth, but a guide is all they are.
The way they are done is through a number of data points of what your property sold for previously, what other neighbouring properties sold for and then seeing the market conditions since. However, there are a number of problems with this method.
Firstly, what you paid for it has no bearing on what it might be worth, especially if you have improved the property or extended it.
Secondly, the average price rises in one part of the area you live in can be very different to another area, let alone the differences around the country!
The one piece of advice I can give when it comes to getting an instant online valuation is not to ‘blame’ the estate agent for providing you with a figure that is too low, or too high – take the instant valuation tool for exactly what it is, which is a guide that might, or might not, be right.
So instant valuations can give you a guide and they are useful to help you plan best and worst case scenarios, but while this technology is still in its early stages of development, there is nothing better than getting an actual estate agent out to value the property and give you a real view of current market conditions in your area, along with the right marketing strategy for your property.
If you are considering selling and would like me to pop round at a t time that suits you, you can request an appointment here https://craigthompson.exp.uk.com/contact-us/
What is Sales Progression?
March 7th, 2023
If you are buying or selling in Christchurch, Bournemouth, or Poole at some point you’ll come across this term and think “What is sales progression?”
Sales progression is the term that agents use for getting a sale through to exchange & completion after a sale has been agreed.
Once you accept an offer on the property you’re selling, or have had an offer accepted on a property you want to buy, the agent will organise a memorandum of sale and issue this to both the seller and the buyer, as well as their respective solicitors/conveyancers.
At this point, it is over to the conveyancers to organise the legal details of the house sale/purchase and it is up to the buyer to apply for finances (assuming they’re getting a mortgage.)
Although the estate agent is not able to directly effect the sales process, they are able to chase people up, including other estate agents in the chain, conveyancers, surveyors and mortgage brokers, and this is essentially what ‘sales progression’ is – keeping on top of a sale whilst it is going through the legal processes.
It’s a useful service and one that some agents embrace and others just do on a proactive basis.
Either way, it’s an important part of the process to help keep the sale ‘on track’
Make sure you ask agents when you first meet them what their approach to sales progression is and see if it fits with your expectations.
I always recommend using a local solicitor to handle your sale or purchase as this can speed things up considerably. My solicitor of choice is https://mm4law.co.uk/ and in particular, Lalitha Dodwell. She is fantastic and gets the job done!
If you would like to have an informal chat about anything property related you can request a phone call with me using my handy calendar link at time that suits you, I’m available 7 days a week and often work outside of normal business hours https://craigthompson.exp.uk.com/contact-us/
How Do You Value a House?
September 7th, 2022
How do you value a house?
This is the first thing you need to do when you’re thinking of selling.
But do you really need to get an estate agent out to value your house?
Here are a few ways that you can determine the value of your own house and how estate agents come to the conclusion they do…
It’s fairly straightforward to get an idea of what the value of your house is. Firstly, go to this link – https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale.html – although Zoopla has some great tools, I think Rightmove just edges it, simply because more agents use Rightmove and so it has by default held more property records that are For Sale and so can give a fuller picture. (If only agents used Zoopla instead of Rightmove as the actual tools on Zoopla are better, but anyway, I digress…)
Pop your postcode into Rightmove and search for properties in your postcode and ¼ of a mile around. Make sure you tick the box to ‘include under offer, sold stc’
Generally speaking, you should look at the ones that are ‘For Sale’ as your competition, and not base the value of your house on the asking price of houses that are ‘For Sale’. Properties that are ‘For Sale’ can give you a guide, but only a guide. The ones to look at closely, are the ones that have got the green sticker on them, that say ‘Sold, stc’ or ‘Under offer’.
The reason for this is simple – the ones that are ‘For Sale’ may be on the market for too much money and this may be why the property hasn’t sold. The ones that are under offer or sold stc, are ‘proof’ that someone has bought that house at a price. The tricky thing is, you don’t know what price was achieved and the agent probably won’t tell you.
If you see a house that’s the same as yours on for £200,000 and it’s under offer, that makes your house worth £200,000 as well, right?
Perhaps, but what if it only sold for £180,000? This is why agents claim to be able to value properties better as they will know what that property actually sold for.
The second thing to do is to go here – https://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices.html – pop your postcode in and see what other properties have sold, and what they actually sold for according to land registry data. This is actual true data from land registry so can be relied upon as fact and not what someone told you down the pub!
Remember though, that land registry doesn’t document the price until around 3 months after the house sale has gone through, so if you spot a ‘Sold’ board going up at your neighbours house and you’re desperate to find out if they got what they were asking, you’re either going to have to bite the bullet and ask them directly, or you’re going to have to be patient and wait for land registry to publish the update…
At this link, you will see the properties listed in the order of the most recent date of completion first. You can also extend the area to ¼ or a mile, ½ a mile, a mile, 3, 5 and 10 miles. If you’re in a built up area of similar properties, then I would suggest no more than ½ a mile. If you’re in a rural area or your house is worth more than say £1m, and there are less houses to compare too, then search for a wider radius.
When the list comes up, you will also see some of the addresses are ‘linked’ and coloured in blue. Click on these links and you can often see all the photos from when it last sold, along with a floorplan. This can really help you to value your own home as you will be able to see what your house is like, compared to the one that sold up the road. Is yours better, bigger, smaller, etc, etc. The tricky part for you (and this is where estate agents come in), is knowing what an extension has added in value, what a loft conversion has added in value, what a South facing garden compared to a North facing garden adds in value.
The next thing to do is head on over to https://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-value.html – this is a similar area to an area called ‘Rightmove Plus’ that only estate agents get access too, but this is essentially a slightly watered down version of what I can see, and can give you a really good idea of properties that didn’t sell.
Ones that didn’t sell may have been asking too much money, or they could have just been badly presented by the estate agent.
As a general rule when looking at all these areas, you must be objective about it. The biggest mistake I see and hear is when potential sellers get wrapped up in a house that was asking £250k and was on for 6 months and didn’t ever sell, when the one a few doors down achieved £200k in the space of a few weeks. We often have customers tell us that their neighbour who sold for the lower price were “desperate to sell and so took a lower offer to get moved.”
Although that could be the case, it is often not the case. As long as it was marketed to its maximum with the maximum coverage, then it’s probably achieved what it’s worth and the owner perhaps didn’t ‘undersell’ it.
So those are the best ways to value your own house.
Of course, if you are unable to do this, or you need a second opinion, then the best bet is to get an estate agent to come and value the property.
As estate agents, our job is not just to advise on the value of the property, but also to advise on the correct asking price and marketing strategy that will help you to maximise the value of the property, depending on the circumstances you are in.
If you’re ready for that, then don’t hesitate to give me a call! You can book a face to face appointment or just a phone call to begin with to see if you think I might be a good fit by using my handy calendar https://craigthompson.exp.uk.com/contact-us/