Are Best Bids always for the best?

They say that selling a house is one of the most stressful things we can do in our lifetime. Ivybridge and South Hams Estate Agent Chris McCaughey has spent nearly 30 years doing just that and even he admits that it can be a delicate juggling act.

Chris spent many years at the renowned Foxtons and Winkworth in London followed by almost 20 years at an established estate agents in the Westcountry rising to board level. He has now ploughed all that expertise into his own Estate Agency, Christopher’s, in the heart of Ivybridge.

He has witnessed the highs and lows of the property market at close hand – buoyant markets encouraged by cuts in stamp duty and tax changes and tougher times with rising interest rates, fuel prices going up and cost of living increases. Sound familiar?

Chris recognises that vendors want to sell their house for the best price possible in a reasonable time and often are advised to adopt or consider a ‘best bids’ approach. But he echoes the sentiments of Corporal Jones in Dad’s Army when he says “don’t panic!” 

“I firmly believe that it is my job, as an estate agent, to act in the best interest of the vendor, my client,” he says. “This means a delicate balance between achieving the best price but also selling the property within a fair time frame.

“I hear lots of talk of properties ‘flying off the shelves’. There might be 20 viewings, it goes to best and final bids and it’s sold in 48 hours. I question whether a more thoughtful and timelier attitude to the pricing strategy will see a better sale price achieved for my client. Best bids may sometimes be the best method of sale in some cases, but experience and a sound understanding of the market is an important consideration when advising on the best strategy.”

“Essentially, with this level of frantic movement, we should be seeing an increase in prices quoted for properties and yet we’re not. When many potential purchasers are continuously disappointed by being priced out of their own viewing bracket, it will inevitably give a distorted view of the local property market and economic growth of the area.

“In my view it is far better practice, and in the interest of both my client and potential purchaser, to launch a property on the market at the price that we believe it will actually achieve, rather than dangling the proverbial carrot to those who will be priced out once the bidding starts.

“Pricing needs to be structured and justified and that’s when experience comes in. Vendors might not have had their house valued in 20 years. It’s not enough to look at what properties sold for. You need to look at what you might achieve. Pricing is complicated. Selling a house in five seconds is not necessarily a good thing.

“Selling a house is complex and it used to take weeks rather than hours and days to find a buyer. One could argue that it is not best practice to rely on a best bids method for a quick sale, when with a correct marketing and pricing strategy, you could achieve a higher price for your client by waiting a day or two longer. Don’t be rushed into it.”

Please pop in for a chat or call Christopher’s out for a free, no obligation market appraisal to see what we mean.

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