How reducing the asking price could reap rewards in the end

Kirsty McLuckie on why finding the right entry price point could lead to a sale before the end of the year.

If a property has been on the market for some months, particularly if the owners are keen to move as soon as possible, it is probably time to revisit the price, and adjust it downwards.At this time of year, with people keen to move and the property market quietening down, buyers should be on the lookout for price reductions if they want to take advantage of those ready and willing to agree a sale before the end of the year.

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Diane Jennings of Simpson and Marwick says: “Reducing a property’s price is a proactive and positive step to bringing forward a buyer for a property perhaps with a home report value that has probably been a bit optimistic, which has been on the market for some time.”She says that remarketing a property at a new price can be approached in different ways. “There are two marketing strategies, both of which serve to re-highlight the property on homes’ websites.

“The first is moving to a fixed price. This will show the market the price that you will accept, and this strategy can also increase impetus on buyers as they will know they need to progress quickly because the first acceptable offer received will secure the property.”Offering a concrete price tends to make buyers who were prevaricating make up their minds because they are faced with possible competition.

Cherrytrees, North Berwick. Picture: Simpson and Marwick

The second strategy, according to Jennings, is to reduce the offers over figure: “This will generally pull a property into a different search criteria (in online searches) that may highlight it to potential purchasers that will not have considered it before.“We find this generates new interest and by leaving the marketing at offers over there is still the opportunity to set a closing date or negotiate any offer received.”Therefore sellers can still rest assured that they received the best price possible.

Jennings says that both strategies have been successful in bringing forward figures that clients have been happy with and, particularly at this time of year, a price change can add a push to a house that might otherwise have had to be taken off the market until spring.Cherrytrees, Old Abbey Road, North Berwick is a large detached family house set in its own grounds. The home report valuation is £1,250,000, but after being marketed at offer over £1,175,000, the price has just been reduced to offers over £999,000, which seems incredibly good value in this location.Moving to a fixed price can work well with modern houses because as a seller you may be competing against brand new homes priced in the same way.

Cherrytrees, North Berwick. Picture: Simpson and Marwick

What’s more, a secondhand modern house is usually cheaper than a brand new one and a fixed price lets purchasers compare more easily. 35 Moffat Place in North Berwick, was built by Cala Homes some years ago. The four-bedroomed house has just changed its asking price from offers over £465,000 a fixed price of £467,500. Unlike a home bought from a developer, it features an additional conservatory extension.

35, Moffat Place. Picture: Simpson and Marwick

35 Moffat Place. Picture: Simpson and Marwick

Developers themselves will often be keen to reduce prices towards the end of a build on a particular site.

Stronvar, Loch Voil. Picture: Galbraith.

Two completed houses at Stronvar, on the shores of Loch Voil in The Trossachs, have just had prices reduced by £25,000 to £550,000.