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Great(er) Expectations: Why Luton Home Sellers are Having to Reduce Their Asking Prices by an Average of £15,500 Each

Great(er) Expectations: Why Luton Home Sellers are Having to Reduce Their Asking Prices by an Average of £15,500 Each

As we leave the memorably hot summer behind us, some interesting statistics have come to light on the Luton Property Market which will be thought provoking for both homeowners and buy to let landlords alike.

Over the last 12 months 2,009 households have changed hands in Luton, interesting when compared with the 10-year average of 2,172 households per year.

Yet, for the purpose of this week’s article, I want to discuss the pricing of the current crop of Luton’s property sellers and the prices they are asking for their homes and the prices they are achieving (or not as the case may be). It is so important for all property owners to know the real story, so they can judge for themselves where they stand in the current Luton housing market, thus enabling them to make suitable and informed decisions… and that is why, in my blog about the Luton Property Market, I pride myself in telling the people of Luton the real answers, not just the ones they want to hear.

The national average of homes selling at or above the asking price currently stands at around 10%, so around 90% go below the asking price – but by how much? Well according to Rightmove, in the Luton area, the average difference between the ‘FINAL asking price’ to the price agreed is 3.1% … yet note I highlighted the word FINAL in the last statement.

You see some Estate Agents will deliberately over inflate the suggested initial asking price to the house seller, because it gives them a greater chance to secure the property on that agent’s books, as opposed to a competitor. This practice is called overvaluing. Now of course, each homeowner wants to get the most for their property, it is quite often their biggest asset – yet some agents know this and prey on those house sellers. You might ask, what is the issue with that?

Well, you only get one chance of hitting the market as a new property. Everyone has access to the internet, Rightmove and Zoopla etc, and your potential buyers will know the market like the back of their hand. If you have a 3 bed semi that is on the market for a 3 bed detached house price.. those buyers will ignore you. Your Luton property sticks on the market, potential buyers will keep seeing your Luton property on Rightmove each week, then start to think there is something wrong with it, dismiss it even further, until you, as the house seller have to reduce the asking price so much (to make it appear inexpensive) to get it away. According to our own research, the average house buyer only views between 4 and 5 houses before buying – so don’t assume viewers will come round your optimistically priced (i.e. overvalued) property, thinking they will knock you down – no quite the opposite!

So how widespread is overvaluing in Luton? The results might surprise you …

37.8% of properties in Luton, currently on the market, have reduced their asking price by an average reduction of 5.0% (which equates to £15,500 each)

So, all I ask is this.. be realistic and you will sell at a decent price to a decent buyer. First time – every time – enabling you to move on to the next chapter of your life.

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William Walsh

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