First time sellers - I can’t sell, is there any point leaving my property on the market?

publication date: Jun 16, 2009
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

There is no doubt about it, but now is not the best time to sell! Unless you:-

1. Are looking to sell your home and trade up to a more expensive one
2. Have enough equity in your home to still make money out of your property when you sell
3. You are planning to stay in your new property for five or more years

Your choice as to whether you keep your property on the market or put it up for sale will also depend on what’s happening in your local market as media ‘headlines’ about what’s happening in the property market are often misleading.

For information about how to find out what’s happening in your local market:-

1. Put your postcode into Hometrack.
2. What is the average offer versus asking price? If it’s more than 95% you are in a good market to sell, if it’s less than 95% (and the current national average is 90%) then it’s likely you’ll have to drop the price to make it competitive.
3. Visit our ‘how to spot the bottom of the housing market’ in your area, purchase our Buying a Property eBook or Buying a Home Factsheets.

What to do if you have had your home on the market for more than three months?

No viewings!
If you have had no viewings at all, it’s likely to be because your property is priced too high OR you haven’t chosen the right agent to sell with, so aren’t getting the buyers through the door. Speak to your agent, read our Sellers Problems Articles, call us on 0845 838 1763 or contact us by email.

No Offers!
If you have had viewings but no offers, it may be the price is too high, but it also may be that there is something putting buyers off. Properties which are on busy roads, have a pylon next to them, next to a school or pub, don’t tend to sell well in a poor market. Properties which are ‘unbalanced’ eg five bed family home with a postage stamp for a garden are also difficult to sell.

Speak to your agent, read our Sellers Problems Articles, call us on 0845 838 1763 or contact us by email.

What to do if you haven’t put your home up for sale already
1. Make sure you can achieve the sales price you need to purchase the property you want to buy.
2. Work out the type of market you are operating in and pretend to be a buyer! Read our selling a home article for more information.
3. Find three local estate agents to recommend a valuation – but make sure each has already sold a property like yours, in a similar price bracket. For example, don’t give a £500,000 home to an agent that only lists properties up to £150,000 or a terraced two up two down to an agent that concentrates on country homes.
4. Ensure you price your property competitively. If it’s worth £185,000, put it up for under £175,000 as there is no stamp duty. A property worth £220,000 is more likely to achieve its price if you market it for £199,000 as two buyers may compete, whereas you may get no viewings at £220,000.
5. Make sure there is NOTHING the buyer can object to. Make sure the property is clean and tidy throughout, no clutter, every room does what says eg a bedroom is a bedroom, not a junk room and no bikes in the dining room!

What else can you do?
There are other ways of selling your home, some require you to buy another one:-
1. Why not consider buying a new build and if you are trading up you may be able to buy the new home while part exchanging your current home. You won’t have to pay estate agents fees if you sell in this way.
2. Sell to a property investor, but be very careful about this. There are some good guys and some very bad ones. Please note if someone offers to ‘buy and rent back the property to you’, sometimes called ‘sale and rent back’ they MUST have applied to be FSA registered by 1st July and be FSA regulated by 30th June 2010.
3. Consider swapping your home for another one – advertise in the local paper, or leaflet locally and even offer an estate agent some commission if they find someone you successfully swap with.
4. Why not ask your company/organisations you have joined/work with if you can advertise on their notice boards/on-line or in their company magazine.
5. If you are trading down to a retirement property, they may be able to organise for a trusted company to purchase your home. 

To find out how Designs on Property can advise and help with all your property related issues, visit the One to One Support section of the website, purchase our Selling a Property eBook, contact us or call 0845 838 1763.

Need help with a property problem? Have a question? Why not call Designs on Property on 07585 897128 or Contact Us via email.
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