If you’re about to put your home on the market and are hoping to move before the stamp duty deadline, we’d like to share some advice with you.

Our data analysts have studied 300,000 newly-listed homes across four months and have found that sellers are twice as likely to find a buyer if they have an offer accepted on the initial asking price.

Some sellers are tempted to ask their agent to put their home on for too high an asking price, which could lead to weeks of unnecessary delays.

We know that many of you are planning to be in a new home by the end of March, and our study revealed that the average time to find a buyer if a property is priced right is currently 21 days.

But this number rises to 47 days if a property needs to be reduced.

In fact, homes that needed to be reduced had a one in three chance of finding a buyer (32%) within the timeframe, compared to a 63% chance if priced right from the start.

Currently one in six properties (16%) on Rightmove have had at least one reduction since May. This is an improvement on the 18% for the same period last year.

The average size of a reduction is also slightly lower, at 5%, compared to 5.2% last year. This means an average reduction of almost £16,000 based on the current national average asking price of £319,497.

London is the only region with more reductions than last year, up marginally from 19% to 20%.

What do the experts say?

Our resident data expert Tim Bannister explained that pricing your property right could be the difference between completing a sale before the stamp duty deadline or not.

He said: “This analysis shows just how vital it is that sellers listen to their agent when they recommend the asking price that the property should be listed at. If sellers are serious about selling, then starting with too high an asking price can cause unnecessary delays, and also make it a lot less likely they will actually find a buyer in the end.

“The temporary stamp duty holiday means more sellers are in a hurry to get a sale through conveyancing, and with this also taking longer at the minute a realistic asking price could soon end up being the difference between completing in time or losing out on the savings. 

“A number of properties are reduced every year, and it’s important to say that not all cases are down to over-pricing. If there’s an area of lower demand than supply then a reduction may be needed if the seller needs to move.

“Also if prices have gone down in an area it’s understandable that a seller will be hesitant or may not be able to afford to put their home on for a lower price than they bought it for. But in the busy market we have right now there will also be some sellers who may think it’s worth a punt to ask for their home to be put up for sale for the same price as their neighbour across the road, when their neighbour may have extra room or their home may be in a better condition.

“A good local agent will be able to look at a number of things before valuing a home, such as the condition of the home and comparable properties, making them the experts at getting the price right first time.”

Note: We analysed all properties that were first listed on the site between 13th May and 31st July. The properties were tracked for any reductions and for the date they were marked as under offer or Sold Subject to Contract.

READ MORE: Where are homes selling within days?

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