This time last year, the outlook for house prices, and sales, was more dispiriting than this year. Commentators, are still, however, predicting that the market will flat-line.
Despite the increasing activity, we have seen in the past few months. It is better news, for prospective buyers, saving to afford the deposit on a property, than those people who are considering selling their home. What is possible and achievable to maximise a property sale when you need to sell fast?
- The Estate Agent – your choice
An estate agent, doesn’t need to sell your home for you. Make a careful considerate choice, with the estate agent, if you decide on that road. The market is still slow, so an estate agent, that has a good reputation, and a lot of recent house sales under his belt, so to speak is a wise decision. Recommendations, from family and friends, should be acknowledged. Agents that are selling properties, that are of a similar type to yours, could be a good choice. Don’t just pick the first one, from the telephone directory, interview, at least three or four. Ask them to give a valuation on your property.
You are in control, and it is your choice, who you decide to sell your house. Enthusiasm, is the key to a good estate agent, who is positive,and reassures you, that the property will sell.your house, needs to be marketed, find out where it will be placed on the market. Do some research yourself,primarily, check the internet. Sites such as Rightmove and Prime Location are noteworthy. Don’t forget that local newspapers, offer property for sale too. If the agent of your choosing, is part of a chain, your property should be on the database, in other branches, for house hunters to look at.
The agent, should keep in regular touch with you, you need to have a rapport with him, and you should find him both approachable and informative, when you have any queries. Check that you meet or speak to the valuer, before you decide if you can trust his judgement.
The first quote, that is given is not necessarily, the best one. You may get a better quote, if you shop around for them elsewhere. Land registry figures, reveal that prices, have been down, year on year, so a loss could be incurred on your home. Savings, should be made to accommodate any loss that might be anticipated. This saving, could be made, if your agent is willing to equal the percentage that could be charged, by the cheapest agent that you interviewed, but didn’t use. Or go half way, to doing this and meeting midway. A small percent on a house sale is worth a considerable amount of money.
- The Price must be right
Be realistic, when it comes to listing your property. Forget, trying to aim for the highest valuation you receive, if it will be unachievable. Do some research, check the selling prices of similar houses, to give you an expected price. The national house price indices, give market trends, however, in some areas, certain elements of the market have been picking up, while others have stayed static. If your price is too high, your property will take longer to sell. It could be unclaimed, by potential buyers, because it is out of their affordable price range. A lower price, will attract, more interest, and may even increase competitive bidding, and the property may sell over the guide price.
- Organisation is the key
It is important, to gather relevant paperwork together. All documents, concerning anything to do with your home, should be collected together and placed in a suitable file. This should include certificates for gas and electrical work, council tax bills, any guarantees for repairs, and any other relevant documentation. The solicitor, will require these. You, also need to provide proof of your identity, including your address, to your solicitor. Find your passport, and a current utility bill, which will be sufficient. Don’t take too long to collect this important paperwork. This could create, unsettled feelings about the housing market, and indeed scare off your prospective buyer.
Clear out your clutter. If you are preparing for a house viewing, keep the rooms exceptionally tidy, attend to dusting and hoovering duties, making sure the kitchen surfaces are clear, dishes aren’t left on the draining board. First impressions count, so make rooms look attractive and organised. Good storage systems, should house personal items. Remove family photos, and de-personalise your home. There are similar properties on the market to yours. To make a sale, your property must stand out from the rest.
- Making Improvements
Don’t get into a panic, and feel the need to completely re-decorate your property, or gut the whole premises. But, obvious repairs, such as leaks, stains or cracks, must be addressed, without delay. Money needs to be spent. A first time buyer, hasn’t got extra money to sort out these issues. They need the property to be ready to move into straight away. Rooms, should be painted in neutral colours, not bright bold colours. Prospective buyers, need to visualise themselves, living in your home, so minimise your possessions, so they can do this.
First impressions, and kerb appeal need to be your focus. The front door and the garden, need to be as welcoming as possible. If the front entrance is poor, the prospective buyer may be loathe to step over the threshold, and proceed any further. Avoid, the property appearing shabby and unkempt, make sure the building inside and outside is well maintained.
- Count the Pennies
Don’t waste money on what you think buyers may like. They want to make their own mark on the property, establishing their ownership. Clean carpets, don’t spend money replacing them. You may not make your money back, if you start replacing a tired kitchen for instance.
If the estate agent, is worth his salt, so to speak, he will show prospective buyers around a property, included as part of the service, so let them do this for you. If you are at home, welcome buyers, but allow them to wander through the house themselves at their own steam. Pets and children, should be kept out of the way. So viewers, feel they are not imposing on your family time. Don’t make the viewer, uncomfortable. If you are present, be discreet, they need opportunities to talk about the property between themselves. Answer their questions, if they ask any, but don’t ramble on, giving them information they haven’t asked for.
- Chase your Estate agent
A good estate agent, will keep you updated on viewings, and inform you of any changes that are happening. Ask why, your house may not be selling, as opposed to similar properties in the area. An agent should, sell the positives in your property, and be enthusiastic. If this isn’t happening, perhaps it is best to part company, and assign another estate agent to handle and manage your sale.
- In Conclusion
If the property, is on the market for a lengthy period of time, perhaps, the problem maybe down to the price. Take the property off the market, for a while and reflect, and consider your next move.
When, you have decided to start again, and put the property back on the market, get a new estate agent, new photos and new price. You may need a new HIP pack, if you voluntarily took the property off the market. However, if your sale has fallen through, and that’s the reason, for its removal, the HIP package, is still valid for up to 28 days.