Matthews IFA Ltd
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Twelve days!

We all know that the longer it takes to sell something, the lower the price is likely to be. After all, if someone loved it enough to pay a high price, they would have bought it straight away. With this in mind, it's no surprise to find that homes sold after 12 days typically achieve more than their asking price. 

The research, conducted using HomeOwners Alliance's EstateAgent4Me tool, found that 12 days is the optimum length of time for a property to be listed on the market in order to achieve the maximum sales price, with properties sold on that day achieving an average 100.89% of the stated price. After the 12 days, selling becomes a whole lot more difficult. Perhaps surprisingly though, homes sold in less than 12 days also tend to go for less than their original asking price, at an average 97% of the property's asking price. 

Still, the longer it takes to sell a property, the harder it becomes to get a decent deal, with the figures showing that the price paid for a property steadily decreases over time. Indeed, after four weeks on the market sellers typically accept just over 98% of their original asking price, and this drops to 96% after eight weeks and below 94% after three months. 

These may seem like small differences, but when you consider that the average UK home now sells for over £200,000, these discrepancies can add up quite a bit. For instance, the estate agent with the 12-day selling record managed to gain its clients an average of £8,360 over their original asking price, while the lowest-performing estate agent cost sellers more than £25,000 apiece, achieving just 84% of the asking price. 

On average, a 12-day sale will 'win' an owner an additional £1,940 on top of their asking price, while after three months on the market, sellers will have to contend with losing an average of £13,603 from their asking price. Paula Higgins, chief executive of the HomeOwners Alliance, commented on the figures: "This research is equally useful for home buyers as sellers. Those selling a home which has been listed for a number of weeks may want to consider switching agent. If so, they should investigate criteria such as success rate, share of local market and average price achieved. 

On the other hand, this finding gives even more weight to home buyers negotiating on the asking price for properties that have been on the market for a number of weeks. Most property search websites post the date that a property was first listed. It might just be worth scrolling down that list to find a home that can be snapped up for a bargain price." 

What next? 

Are you thinking of selling your house? Then make sure it's as ready as it can be, and that you pick an estate agent with a great record, so you can hopefully achieve a 12-day sale. Of course, if your house does sell that fast, be ready to buy a new one with a top mortgage found by an independent broker, so that you're not left suddenly homeless in the middle of winter.

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