Article Four: I am desperate to sell, what are my options?

publication date: Feb 12, 2009
author/source: Kate Faulkner

Sellers' Property Problems Series
Article Four: I am desperate to sell, what are my options?

With the current buying and selling market operating at it's lowest ever levels, securing a quick sale is a really tough challenge. If you are desperate to sell your home quickly, you need someone who has the cash to buy your home and nothing to sell. This could be a cash buyer who has already organised a mortgage, or literally has the cash available to buy your property outright.

To find someone that can do this, you need to speak to all the estate agents locally to find out if they have anyone in this position who is looking for a property like yours. If your property is already up for sale with an estate agent, check your contract and approach them first to say you are desperate to sell and ask if they can liaise or mind you liaising with other agents to find out if the buyer you need is out there. Bear in mind however that to secure a quick sale you are likely to have to offer buyers a better price than other similar properties on the market.

Another way to secure a sale on your own property if you are buying too, is to consider buying a new build from a company that will offer to buy yours in return. In some cases you may have to 'trade up' by 30% or more, so for example if you are selling a property for £150,000 you'll need to buy a new build for around £195,000. However, as developers are desperate to sell at the moment, it's always worth checking what their current policy is. The only problem with buying a new build currently, is the lack of support from lenders as new builds are typically priced higher than a second hand home, so lenders are requiring anything between 15% and 40% deposit, which is not always in everyone's reach.

You can also look at selling to a property investor or a company that buys property 'for cash'. However be warned, you are likely to have to discount your property by at least 15% and in some cases more to secure a deal. The difficulty at the moment is that trying to work out how much a property is worth isn't easy as so few properties are selling, it's hard to find accurate comparables. If you are looking to find a company to purchase your property at a discount, but fast, then it's important you follow our 'check the buyer out' guide:-

Independent guide to a 'Quick Sale'
1. Always secure an independent valuation from a surveyor that you pay, it will cost around £150. If you can't afford to pay for one, find a local estate agent that is also a surveying practice. But the £150 you pay could mean you get thousands more for your property, so it's a worthwhile investment.

2. Check out the company/person that you are looking to sell to. Go on-line, check with local agents. They might be able to sell your property for more than you are being offered.

3. If you are looking at a 'sale and leaseback' where you sell your home and rent it back, then make sure you can rent it for as long as you like. Look out for clauses that say how the landlord can terminate the agreement and how they can increase the rent. Ideally get this checked by a lettings legal expert.

4. Check how much similar properties have sold for yourself, go on-line to house price data and pop in your postcode and you'll see what other properties have sold for locally.

5. Always check if there is an alternative option to selling your home.  Could you take in a lodger and earn £4,250 or reduce your mortgage payments?


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