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Some tips to sell your house in a difficult market
The current housing market is difficult for sellers with demand low, house prices falling and those buying having less money to invest in a property. The buyers’ market we are in now makes it tricky for sellers to sell their house quickly and for a good price.
As a result, many sellers are stuck in a situation where they face long waits to move or having to significantly drop the price of the house and risk losing money on what they thought would be a good investment.
So how can you make sure your house selling process is smoother and more successful in such a tough market?
Preparing to sell
- Deal with any DIY jobs to improve your house – Have you got some DIY jobs that you have been putting off for a while? Get them dealt with, the difference they will make are likely to have a positive effect on viewers.
- Get house paperwork in order for conveyancing process – Prepare all paperwork relating to your house even if you think it’s not important, it may well be so keep it to one side and prepare to send it to your conveyancing solicitor when the time comes.
- Get an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – Can you improve your household energy performance prior to selling? Small changes could make a big difference to buyers.
- Including fixtures, fittings, white goods and furniture – Are you taking your white goods and furniture? Are you taking the bath taps? If not, let buyers know when they view. If you are, replace things (like taps and sinks) with cheaper alternatives before leaving.
- Plan your finances for buying another house – Make sure you have the funds available, you’ll be approved for lending (if needed) and find you price bracket for your next house. Even though you need to sell your home, you also need to have somewhere to live and a suitable property lined up.
Listing the property and viewings
- Estate agent or go it alone – With online property sellers becoming more popular, we are becoming the estate agents as most sellers now do their own viewings and most marketing of properties is online. Haggle estate agent fees and your lock in period, also make sure you know your rights about unprofessionalism or breach of contract.
- Get at least 3 valuations on your home – Go to three very different estate agents to obtain valuations on your home. Go for the most realistic based on your area and check those fees and lock in periods too.
- Look into the leasehold of your house, if applicable – How long is left on it? How much is it a month? Could you afford to buy it and free the house from the lease for future owners?
- Keep the house well maintained and tidy – A nice, clean house that feels like home and is appealing to look at inside and out is usually more likely to sell than the house which doesn’t let buyers picture themselves living there.
- Inform potential buyers of everything they need to know – Council tax bands, land borders, average energy costs, transport links… these are some of the typical questions people ask when they view so be prepared.
Once the bid has been accepted
- Decide on the best buyer for you – If you want a quick sale, go for cash buyers or first time buyers. Don’t be forced into selling to someone you don’t want to though. Most people want to sell to someone they have a good feeling about, trust your gut feeling.
- Be aware that you need to keep running the house, even if you no longer live there – Even if you have already moved out of the house, you will probably need to keep paying water, council tax and energy bills (if you need to keep the house warm through winter).
- Legal costs mount up – Conveyancing fees are expensive and any unforeseen events can push the price up even further. Can you afford the costs?
- Don’t forget moving costs – You will also need to take into account the costs of hiring removal vans and storage, if applicable, when moving.
- Be prompt with paperwork and remember these things never go quickly – The house selling and buying process is never fast but be patient, prompt and practical.
For more information regarding the house buying process, get in touch with a conveyancing solicitor.