It’s a stat fact
I love a bit of data. Some metrics.
I’m currently on holiday in Switzerland and am eyeing up a strawberry dessert thing, but without knowing how many calories there are in it how am I supposed to know if my run this morning [54 mins, 777 calories, average heart rate 156, training effort 3.8] burned off more or less than I’d be taking in if I scoffed it? It’ll just have to stay in the illuminated glass case and tempt someone else.
Luckily for me getting a bit of data on the housing market and how well CC&C are doing is pretty straightforward. Rightmove has it all. Rightmove knows when a house went on the market, how much for, when it was reduced, when it was sold and how much for. So I know with high accuracy how well I’m doing and how I compare with my competitors. The only difficulty is, Rightmove won’t let me tell you.
For example, there are three Cambridge estate agency offices who duke it out for second place in the number of houses they put on the market each month. One is me, the others I can’t say. The sharp amongst you might spot that there is therefore one agent who generally puts up for sale more than everyone else. Well done to you and to them, you both win.
Or do they?
Because what does that practically mean? It’s great to put loads of stuff up for sale, but what should matter to a potential client is how much of that sells. And that’s where I’m up there fighting for first place, and not in fact, with the first place agent for listings, but one of the other three. During April and May 2018, in what we consider our postcode areas, I put up for sale a total of 51 houses and found buyers for 49. That’s 96%. Not bad. AN Other and Co. estate agents listed 86 and sold 62, both more than me, but actually only a sales rate of 72%, so you’d have a better chance of finding a buyer with me than them. A 24% better chance in fact. So I win.
Other fun stats to look at are price reductions. There is one big estate agent in Cambridge who reduces a far higher proportion of their houses than anyone else. For April and May, on average, they had to reduce the price on 100% of their properties to sell them. 100%. The average is a little under 30%. Mine was 14%, since you ask. If only I could give you this data you could very easily see that the agent that gave you the super-high valuation is demonstrably using this as a tactic just to get your business and that, on average, there is a 100% probability that you will have to reduce the price to sell with them.
Another good one is % of asking price achieved. When the market was flying the best Cambridge agents were usefully over 100% on this one. It’s now either side of that, maybe 99% one month, 101% the next. For some agents it’s in the low 90s. That’s potentially tens of thousands of pounds a good agent can get you above a poor one with their negotiation skills.
Then there’s time on market. That’s the time from when something is first launched on Rightmove to the date it completes. A good agent will typically want that to be around 100 days. Ours for April and May was 107, one of our close competitors was 99. No one was under this other than a few anomalies who maybe sold one house in that time. But two estate agents you probably consider quite successful have much higher averages – one was 160 days and one 180. So if you unwittingly chose one of those two you’d probably be moving 2-3 months later than with other [better!] agents.
What I’d love to do is share with you is all of this data in detail. Who these agents are, their stats vs mine. It’s only the truth. But Rightmove says no, it’s their ball and I’m not allowed to play with it. I don’t really blame them, imagine how grumpy those other agents would get if I could incontrovertibly prove to you how much better I am at selling houses than they are. They wouldn’t like it one bit, no matter how true it was.
Unlike that strawberry dessert thing. Which I liked very much.
Stats are great, but sometimes you have to take an educated guess, and I don’t reckon it had anything like 777 calories in it.