Gilson Bailey


‘Mind the Gap’ With Your Helpful Agent

As summer rapidly approaches, on the back of a more than buoyant spring, homemovers are achieving good asking prices and getting offers accepted on their new homes. House prices are firming up, instead of rapidly rising, due to sensibly paced house price inflation. This creates good buying and selling conditions; however, it’s as important as ever to price your home correctly, so you can ‘mind the gap’.

What does ‘mind the gap’ mean? 

‘Minding the gap’ refers to the difference between the asking price a vendor is willing to accept and the agreed selling price of a home. The good news is the gap is narrowing, with the average difference between the asking price and the agreed sale price growing smaller, with average discounts at 3.9% in March, falling from 4.5% in November 2023.* These figures are yet more proof of an improving market. In some cases, this gap may not exist and it’s also worth remembering that homes are usually priced knowing that there will be room for negotiation.

The art of negotiation

When an agent places a value on your home, they will do so knowing that buyers, will more often than not, try to negotiate on price, so they will take this into account. As a seller, you want to achieve the best possible price for your home and as a buyer, you want to get a lower than asking price offer accepted. Your agent or agents, if you are selling with one and buying with another, are working in your best interests. So, when it’s time to negotiate, even though it’s completely up to you what price you want to offer or accept, listening carefully to your agent’s advice is crucial.

 Your home and your position in the market are unique 

Your home is as unique as you are, and may achieve more than the asking price, if it gets a lot of buyer interest. This could bring about a sealed bid. Even if this does not happen, you may not have a gap between your asking price and the agreed selling price of your home. On the other hand, if a cash buyer makes an offer below your asking price, then you may decide to accept the offer so you can make your move more quickly. Setting the asking price correctly in the first place should mean you will not have to reduce your price by too much. But, that does not mean you should simply choose the agent who places the highest value on your home.

The best valuations are not always the highest 

A good agent will value your home thoroughly, which is what you want. This is because they will find the features and positives of your home, its location, and the local market, so you can achieve a good selling price. It may be tempting to choose the agent who places the highest value on your home; however, it’s not always a good idea. Overvaluing your home can lead to your sale becoming stale. Some homemovers have found that they sell with a second agent, after not selling with their first choice, because the asking price was set too high.

Know your market 

In March, the percentage of asking prices achieved in the UK stood at 96.1% and with a 9% increase in sales agreed, the market is getting stronger.** However, your local estate agent will be an expert in your local market and in advising you on how to prepare your home for sale. They will also put local market analysis and a database of buyers to good use which will help your home find the right buyer at the right price. It’s good to keep track of the market yourself, by checking out recently sold prices, and comparing the condition of other similar properties. Then you can come up with the right pricing strategy with your agent, that gets you to where you want to be, without a big gap.


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Published On: 5 July 2024

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