The head of a website that contrasts the performances of rival estate agents is urging buyers to ‘drill down’ and find out the true selling statistics of an agency before instructing it with their home.
Colby Short, founder and chief executive of GetAgent, says traditionally the ‘back end’ of a sale is the most nailbiting and can also be the most protracted as the legal requirements can drag on and on between a number of parties.
However, he says that with today’s difficult market plagued by uncertainty, the longest time is actually the ‘buyer finding stage’.
His comments come as GetAgent releases data showing that on average across England and Wales, it’s currently taking 162 days for a property to sell from the moment its first listed until completion.
This breaks down as 109 days to find a buyer and accept an offer, and just 53 days for the property to go from under offer to complete.
“What’s interesting about this research is the huge differences between agents when it comes to finding a buyer and completing on a sale” says Short.
“Many agents will use selling time as a marketing tool, but this goes to show that while some may find a buyer quickly, it doesn’t mean they will complete your sale with the same speed. Our advice is to always dig down and find out exactly what they mean by ‘selling’ as finding a buyer and accepting an offer is vital when selling, but it does not mean that agent has sold a house” he adds.
Short’s research shows that the quickest postcode to currently sell a home is the M23 postcode in Manchester at 116 days, taking 91 days to find and accept an offer and 25 days to complete on the sale.
In London, Barking and Dagenham is the quickest borough when selling a property at 156, with Bexley, Hammersmith and Fulham and Havering joint second at 173 days.
Looking at the final stages of a sale, sellers appear in the strongest position in BS3 in Bristol, where it takes just 16 days on average to get a sale over the line.