The ‘P’ principles of buying and selling a home

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The ‘P’ principles of buying and selling a home

Someone once told me the secret to selling is having plenty of “P’s”. Now I’ve got your attention, let me explain before you reach the wrong conclusion.

“Correctly pricing a good product to attract quality purchasers” may sound like a quote from a business management textbook but I believe it’s the mantra for successful estate agency in the current economic climate. It’s a timely reminder that applying some of this thinking could seriously improve your chances of moving over the next 6 to 9 months.

 It is said that valuation is an art not a science and as such it explains to a certain degree the variance that can arise when different estate agents appraise the same property for sale. What I don’t quite grasp is why some owners, perhaps aided and abetted by their appointed agents, then seem to think buyers will ignore market evidence, quote an excessive asking price that can’t be justified, and said owners then wonder why months later they have not still not sold, and a big price reduction is being recommended. So if you want to sell in 2019 please ensure you correctly ‘P’ for Price your home, however much more you think it’s worth when compared to the neighbour who sold for less last autumn.

I mentioned good product earlier. We all have an opinion as to what constitutes appealing in a home with layout, decor or location being just a few examples. However what sellers can sometimes forget is that buyers are increasingly astute and will not ignore flaws in condition, especially those that might have been covered with the liberal use of the latest shade of Farrow and Ball paint. Yes you might attract buyers by virtue of design or setting but please make sure your home (aka P for Product) is in good saleable condition and capable of passing a detailed survey.

If you are a purchaser, please remember sellers are also astute. So through their agents, they are entitled to quiz you about your chain of related sales to establish your true status as a buyer. I continue to be surprised by the number of potential ‘P’ for Purchasers who purport to be cash buyers and then it transpires their definition constitutes “cash” from the likes of Santander and “cash” from their own sale.

Whilst these might be my primary “P’s”, there are a number of others that also contribute to effective estate agency and where the various stakeholders to a transaction can work to mutual advantage. ‘P’ for Paperwork maybe an old-fashioned phrase in a digital world, but whether it’s in electronic or hard copy form, it is an essential constituent to the process and has to be addressed if you want things to happen sooner rather than later. ‘P’ for Professionalism is a word that some do not automatically associate with estate agency, and I can recall a few instances where my dealings with others might warrant such a view. But these have been very rare, and where we work in an environment that can be highly charged by human emotion, not helped by flaws of the Subject to Contract process. Estate agents have the expertise and skill to help those who might only buy and sell a few times during their adult lives and this brings me to ‘P’ for Patience.

As my esteemed colleague Richard Lister reiterates, it’s a unique skill he has mastered over many years, and where some might say I am still learning!

Tim Waring FRICS is Head of Residential at Lister Haigh 01423 730700