Quite simply, this is the amount of money that the seller is asking any potential buyer to pay for their property. However, to complicate things, buyers put prefixes in front of the asking price. For example: “Offers Over”, “Fixed Price”, “Offers Around”, or “Offers in the Region Of” and even “Offers Under”.
With the exception of ‘Fixed Price’, which at least suggests that the seller wants the asking price and just the asking price, the others are a bit more difficult to quantify.
Depending on the state of the property market at the time, ‘Offers in the Region Of’ might mean, ‘offer me 10% below my asking price and I might just bite your hand off’ or it could mean ‘I think my property is worth at least the asking price but I’m hoping that with a bit of competition between potential buyers here I might get 10% over the asking price’.
It is certainly a good idea for a buyer to seek out good advice on the state of the property market and what these asking price prefixes translate into at any given time from somebody who really understands the property market. A solicitor with good experience of the property market is probably the best person to ask about this. Particularly where they have a busy property sales department they will be able to check with their sales department about what a realistic valuation of the property really is. They can also research resources that are available only to solicitors and estate agents such as the archived sales data for the local solicitors property centre or on Rightmove to see what similar properties have sold for. Some might even be able to have an informal chat with chartered surveyors to find out what a realistic price should be, if they have a good relationship with a firm of surveyors that they regularly use.