DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL LONDON ESTATE AGENT KAY & CO
Q.I have had my property on the market for six months with two different agents. I have had over fifty viewings, but only two offers, and they were both at a discount of 30 per cent of the asking price. The second agent has been telling me from day one that he feels the asking price suggested by the first agent was far too high. I did reduce the price a little when I gave it to him, but it didn’t make any difference. Do you think I should try another agent?
A.The fact that from 50 viewings you have had only two “low” offers during the six months you have been on the market suggests to me that the price you are asking for is indeed too high. If you are serious about selling then I would think seriously about reducing the price to the level that is being suggested by your agent – they should be able to justify their figure to you based on similar sales – simply chopping and changing agents all the time will not help you to sell your property, in fact, it will just make you seem desperate, which will be counterproductive.
Q.I have agreed to sell my flat privately to my neighbour but they are now dragging their feet and their lawyers do not seem to be making the right noises. What can I do to speed things up?
A.It is always difficult when you try to do a deal with a friend or neighbour, as in the absence of professional advice to ensure that the momentum of a sale is maintained they can tend to drag their feet.
The first thing to do is to establish whether they still want to buy your flat, or whether they have changed their mind. If they do want to buy the flat you need to establish what stage they are at with things like solicitors enquiries, local searches and mortgage offers.
Based upon that, you can set a workable timescale within which they should be able to exchange contracts. If you remain unconvinced of their true intentions or ability to purchase your property, let them know that if they cannot do it by a certain date then you will put it on the market with a local agent instead. This might just push them into getting a move on.
Martin Bikhit is the managing director of central London estate agents and block managers Kay & Co. It specialises in the sale, rental and management of property throughout Marylebone, Mayfair, Regent's Park, Hyde Park, Bayswater, Paddington, Fitzrovia and the West End. www.kayandco.com