Would you try this bizarre approach to selling a house?

One man cut £1,000 off his asking price every week - would it work for you?

Bizarre approach to selling a house

A house-seller in Wombourne decided to take an unusual approach to selling his home, in order to stand out from the crowd. He pledged to cut the selling price by £1,000 for every week that it was on the market. The odd idea apparently resulted in a sale after just three weeks - so should we all give it a try?

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According to the Express and Star, the owner had put his two-bed retirement flat on the market for £145,000 at the start of April, and three weeks later the estate agent confirmed that it had sold - although he did not say how much the offer was for.

It was already a great deal, as sales of one-bedroom flats in the same retirement complex had ranged between £150,000 and £174,000 in the previous 18 months - so this sale offered two bedrooms for less than the price of one.

Would it work for you?

The strategy certainly helped this property stand out. It also secured a sale, presumably from a buyer who saw the opportunity to snap up a bargain. By reducing the price weekly, he was always going to find the point at which the property would sell.

Another advantage of this approach is that each week that you drop the price, the property will fall into the price bracket for a new group of house-hunters. The way that online search engines work means that someone searching just £1 under your asking price will not see your property. This pricing strategy means that the following week, they would.

However, before anyone else gives it a go, it's worth considering the drawbacks.

First, it doesn't give you a particularly strong hand in negotiations. A buyer can come in with an offer £10,000 under the asking price, arguing that if you wait 10 weeks, it'll be this price anyway, and in the interim you will have faced all the bother and uncertainty associated with having your house on the market.

Second, market theory shows us that we are actively making buying a property less attractive when we drop the price. Technically when prices are dropping it encourages us to hold off for as long as possible, because we know it will be cheaper the following week, or the week after that.

And third, psychologically we are put off by the idea of buying something that is dropping in value. This may only be a notional price drop, but all house prices are merely notional, so it feels as real to us as any house value.

The alternative

If you want your property to stand out, there are other ways of doing it - and people have tried all sorts of approaches.

We reported yesterday on the woman from Blackheath who is raffling her £1.25 million Blackheath home, for just £5 a ticket.

You can have a bit of fun with the pictures, like the owner who dressed as a parrot and appeared in every photo. It was one of the most viewed houses so far in 2017, so it definitely attracted attention.

Alternatively, you could join the small numbers of sellers who throw in something attractive with the purchase. This is usually a desirable car or an expensive membership (like a gym or golf club), but in one instance in Indonesia, a woman also offered herself as a 'free wife' for any buyer.

However, the experts say it's worth standing out for far more boring reasons instead. If your home is well maintained, cleaned, decluttered (remove about half of everything you own), brilliantly photographed, and sensibly priced, then you have maximised your chances of a sale.

You don't have to be the cheapest on the market. You don't need a gimmick, you just need to make the most of your home, and trust that the right buyer will come along.

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