Despite what you might read in the press, the current market is as near a “normal” market as experienced estate agents have known for years in terms of the balance between properties available for sale and the number of willing and able buyers.
However, unlike most “normal” markets, some sellers are not as committed to selling as they might be, and are prepared to remain on the market until what they regard as an acceptable offer comes along. Likewise, some buyers, whilst generally remaining committed to a purchase, do not exhibit a great deal of urgency, and believe that they are entitled to submit a relatively low offer in the hope that the seller might just take it.
There are two issues here and we would advise caution to buyer and seller alike. Firstly, if, as a seller, your house fails to sell for whatever reason and you are on the market with a proven good agent, then it is probably priced too ambitiously for the current conditions. If you allow it to remain on the market at that price, it could become stale on the market, resulting in an inevitable fall in price greater than a minor re-positioning effected now.
From a buyer’s perspective, we suggest you focus on securing the right home for your needs, within your budget, more than on finding the greatest bargain. A percentage off the asking price is irrelevant if the asking price is too much to begin with, but a well-priced property is always in demand. Unless you act decisively, you could miss out.
So the rule of thumb is this; if you see a property that you can afford, which offers you the accommodation you need in an area you like, and you could be happy there, then snap it up, as the chances are that most of the other buyers in your price range will also want that property. Good value is good value – in any market.