Guide to Selling a House

publication date: Dec 30, 2010
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

Guide to Selling a House

Selling a home in a recession is a tricky thing to do, particularly during this recession when even if someone wants to buy, securing a mortgage is very difficult as this is reducing the number of people looking to buy.

There are three golden rules to abide by when selling your home:-

  1. Make sure you sell it as a ‘complete wreck’ or a ‘show home’ with pictures on-line to appeal to the two types of buyer that currently exist. 
  2. It is essential to employ an agent and make sure they are the right agent to sell your property. DON’T go for the cheapest agent or the one that valued your property for more than anyone else, you won’t sell! 
  3. Market your property at a ‘value’ price. Sellers that price properties at more than others in their street are unlikely to sell and will be lucky to even get viewings!

Prepare your Home for Selling
Because money is very tight from mortgage lenders at the moment, the types of buyers are ones with money to spare and are looking to ‘do up’ a property having secured it at a bargain, OR they want to buy a property they don’t have to spend any money on at all as they’ve put everything they have into a deposit.

If your property is half done up and half a wreck, you won’t get a price ‘in between’ you just won’t sell as you won’t appeal to either type of buyer!

Employ the Right Agent to Sell a House
Most people have bad experiences with agents because they don’t spend any time choosing them. Good agent’s do exist! Take your time to find the agent that prices your property fairly and explains why they think it’s worth that price through similar properties they have sold before. If you think your property is worth more for a reason, then ask why they aren’t pricing it higher. A good agent will be able to rationalise the price they recommend.

It is also important to find an agent that can ‘progress the sale’ for you. Call centres aren’t always very good at this, but a good local agent with up to five offices often has someone that spends all of their time calling buyers and sellers in the chain to check that mortgage offers are being confirmed and the legal/surveys are being done.

Market your Property to Sell
When people sell their property most think the higher they put the marketing price, the more money they will get – it doesn’t work like that in a recession! In fact the reverse happens. Buyers assume that you aren’t being realistic about what your property is worth and as they have a bit of choice at the moment, they won’t even view your property. If you don’t sell within three months, then everyone will assume there is something wrong with your property and any viewers will be determined to make ‘cheeky’ offers, so typically you end up selling for less than you would have done if you’d priced your property fairly at the start!

If there are four properties like yours available for sale, make sure your property is priced in the ‘bottom two’. This helps to get more people around to view your property and ideally you’ll get two parties competing to buy your home. It works for auction houses for a reason – so best to adopt the professionals approach if you really want to sell!

Need help selling a home? If you haven’t sold a property for a while, or are new to selling, our Sellers' Pack and three months one to one support is essential for a smooth sale!


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