How to sell your property quickly
Selling your home can seem like a daunting task. It can also be a very emotional one; if we are talking about the house you currently live in, you might have been in there years, raised your children there, seen special family members come and go and made some of the most important memories of your life in that one home.
We can therefore understand why so many sellers want the process to be quick. Long delays and broken chains can cause stress, headache and leave your property on the open market for far longer than you have envisaged, making the entire process more costly than planned. Coronavirus has certainly added another layer of complexity to the whole process this year.
Here are a few practical tips you can follow to ensure your house sells as quickly as possible during these difficult and unprecedented times:
1. Use a recommended estate agent
You need someone with strong knowledge of the local area, credibility and a good reputation amongst the local community. When you are shortlisting an agent to work with, here are some helpful questions you should think about asking them before you sign on the dotted line:
· What are your fees?
· How long have you been operating for?
· What platforms do you use e.g Rightmove, Zoopla etc
· What type of contracts do they offer?
· Have they had experience of selling your type of property?
· Have they have experience selling properties on your road in the last 12 months?
· How do they carry out viewings and will they be considering virtual, viewings during this time?
· Are they affiliated with reputable trade bodies, such as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors or National Association of Estate Agents?
2. Chose the optimum time of year to sell
We appreciate this will not always be in your power and circumstances may mean you need to sell at a time that you might not have wanted. However, it is always useful to consider the pros and cons at selling in the UK during the various seasons and how this might effect your sale process.
According to Prime Location, Spring is a great time to sell. Better weather than the winter and more sunlight will help add to the appeal of your property. Your garden – if you have one – might also be in bloom and starting the process at this time aligns with families looking to align with the academic year and be out of theirs and into yours by the Summer, ready for school in September. Summer can stall transactions due to school holidays so try to get it on the market as early as possible during the summer months. Autumn is traditionally a good time to sell, people are back to work and in full flow with business tasks. Buyers are also keen to get the process completed before Christmas so the earlier you can begin, the better. Winter is considered to be a hard time to sell traditionally and agents might recommend waiting until the New Year.
3. Don’t be slow to get the conveyancing started
Conveyancing can take a long time, and right now in 2020, it is taking longer than ever. With solicitors and surveyors inundated with work thanks to the recent Stamp Duty Tax Relief, you might find this process takes a lot longer than usual.
Chose a solicitor early on and instruct them as soon as you can. When you are sent paperwork to complete, get it done in a timely manner and do everything in your power to speed the process up.
4. Set a realistic sale price
Many homeowners assume their house is worth a lot more than it really is and this can actually cause more harm than good. As well as listening to the advice of your trusted estate agent, do some research yourself. Find our what comparable properties have sold for in your area over the last 12 months – is your sale price in line with this? Not all buyers want to negotiate and go back and forth on price so while yours sits too high, you will be losing out on offers that you should really have considered.
You could also consider getting several different local estate agents to value your home free of charge. This will give you a few estimates and it is always smart to chose an average of these, rather than shooting for the highest and hoping for the best. That said, you can always come down and you cannot go back up, so don’t sell yourself short either. A happy medium should prove to be most fruitful for the process.
5. Get your house ready for sale
Although this one may seem obvious, you would be surprised at the states in which some people do try and sell their house. It is important to declutter, deep clean and make the property as presentable as possible. It is important for people viewing to see the house in all its glory and feel the true size of the property and each individual room.
Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer and disassociate yourself from the property as much as possible. If you have a garden, spruce it up! Clean the dog poo, throw away old plants and make sure it is looking as pretty as possible. Do the same indoors – get rid of old items you have been meaning to clear out for some time and if some walls need a lick of paint, this is a great time to get that done. Spending a little on tidying the house up now will be worth it in the long run and could help accelerate the sale.
6. Chose the most suitable buyer
It is important to gather information about buyers during viewings so you can make a speedy decision once offers have been placed. Find out whether they are cash buyers or using a mortgage and how long their chains are, if there are any at all. Cash buyers are always preferable because there is no lending involved which can often add time to the process. Anyone who is also chain free will help you get the sale complete quickly as there are not other people being depended upon. Remember that the best buyer for your house is not always the one with the highest offer and it is good to consider all the above points before making a decision.
There is lots to consider when selling your home and it is important to be prepared before you start the process. There are other people involved such as solicitors and estate agents, so it is good to get familiar with how they work as well before the viewings commence. Remember to remove as much emotion as possible from the process to ensure the best price for your house can be achieved in the shortest amount of time.