Homeowners overvaluing in declining market

Homeowners are overvaluing their properties and struggling to keep up with the changing market, according to new figures.

It seems property owners in England and Wales are struggling to keep up with falling house prices, with figures from Quick Move Now suggesting residents value their own properties an average of 15% higher than estate agents do.

Danny Luke, Quick Move Now‘s managing director, explains: “We asked thousands of homeowners in England and Wales to tell us how much they believe their property is worth. We then asked independent local estate agents to value the properties and compared the figures.

“In 2022, homeowners were overvaluing by an average of 11%. Now they are overvaluing by an average of 15%. This growing inaccuracy suggests homeowners are struggling to keep up with the declining market.

“It’s little surprise that owners are becoming less accurate in their valuations. The property market has seen some significant fluctuations over the last three years. Anyone who hasn’t bought or sold a property in that time would likely find it very challenging to gauge where the market is currently, and how much they might realistically hope to achieve for their property. This means overvaluing is far more likely.

“Nationally, the average house price has fallen by 5% over the last year and average time on market has increased by 26%, so owners are having to price their properties much more competitively to achieve a sale in the current market.”

Danny has some advice for anyone hoping to sell a property in the next 12 months:

Make the most of your estate agent

Most homeowners will only sell a couple of properties in their lifetime, whereas estate agents will sell several properties a month. It’s important to take advantage of their industry knowledge. They will know what sort of demand there is locally, what’s selling, and where to position your property in order to secure viewings and offers.

Ask for examples of recently sold properties

When discussing asking price, it’s important to look at similar properties that have recently sold. Your estate agent should be able to provide examples of similar properties to explain how much they recommend marketing your property for, and why.

Do your own research to avoid overvaluing

You can also do your own online research, but it’s important to be aware of its limitations. Lots of homeowners will quote the price their neighbour’s property is on the market for, as evidence of what their house is worth. However, in the current market, it is very unusual for a house to sell for its asking price. In fact, according to Zoopla, 42% of home sellers are achieving less than 95% of their asking price.

It’s also important to remember, when looking at sold price data, that Land Registry delays mean any figures available online will be at least 3 months old. In the current market, a lot can change in 3 months.

Be patient

Time on market has increased by 26% over the last year, and buy demand is down 23%. Patience is needed if you’re hoping to sell a property in the near future. Home are still selling, and the buyers who are looking are serious and motivated, but there are fewer of them so it’s important to set realistic expectations.

Be realistic

We’ve heard several stories recently about homeowners wanting to set their own asking price, rather than taking the estate agent’s advice. You are, of course, completely within your rights to do this, but if you asking price is wildly unrealistic, you’re very unlikely to achieve a sale without needing to reduce your asking price down the line. Properties can become ‘stale’ very quickly if they sit on the market too long, so it’s important to be realistic and price your property attractively if you want to sell in the current market.

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