Top 10 Tips to Selling a Home in a Falling Market

publication date: Nov 20, 2008
author/source: Kate Faulkner

Anyone trying to sell a home in a falling market is probably a bit fed up, frustrated and worried just now. However, with a bit of help you can either sell your home, or accept that it might be better to stay where you are for a while, or even improve your home so you don't need to move at all.

Check whether your property CAN sell
Whether you are thinking of selling, or are already marketing your property, chat to local estate agents to establish if there are any buyers who are currently in a financial position to purchase your home. Ask if any properties like your have been sold recently and if so at what price.

Unfortunately at the moment, as there are so few buyers and lenders lending criteria is so tight, properties that might be worth £150,000 might only sell for £135,000 or less - as there will always be someone that 'has to sell' and they will keep dropping the price until someone buys. 

Consider Investing in a RICS Survey
To help your property stand out and to speed up a potential sale, it might be worth getting an independent survey, which shows what work needs to be done OR that no work is required.
Either way you can then be honest with buyers to say the property needs no major work; that work is required but you will negotiate on the price; OR that the work required has already been priced into the property's value. It can reassure buyers about purchasing your property over and above someone elses. 

Showcase an Electrical and Gas Safety Certificate
Although required for rental properties, bizarrely these are not required when selling a home, but if you have can give your gas and electrics a clean bill of health, that can be very attractive to buyers and make your property more likely to be chosen over others.

Choose the Best Agent
It's advisable to gain a valuation from at least one agent that either has someone in their office who is experienced at selling in a falling market (ie the 1990s) or was operating during the 1990s. The reason being is they are likely to better understand how to price properties to sell.

To find an agent that CAN sell properties during these difficult times check the local newspapers and property portals to see which agents have actually SOLD properties similar to yours, not ones just advertising them for sale. Alternatively contact Designs on Property to find who the best selling agent is locally. This service costs just £9.99!

Be a Buyer for a Day!
A great way to work out how to sell your property is to be the buyer. Look at other properties on-line and even visit them to see whether they offer more for a buyer's money than yours and make changes accordingly. One thing that is essential is to look for is the pictures of your property on-line - do they encourage the buyer to visit or put them off? People buy properties for their views, the kitchen/bathroom, a wow factor for example the garden. So make sure that the first pictures really show off your property in it's best light. Ideally don't actually put huge numbers of properties on-line, otherwise people might think they have 'seen' the whole property so they don't bother to visit.

Make sure your property stands out from the crowd
Anyone buying at the moment will want a deal, but they will also want to buy a home to live in. Make sure your property is targeted at the right buyer. If it's someone that wants a doer upper, don't spend money preparing it for sale. If it's someone who wants to just move straight in - make sure they can and prepare the home well.

Price your Property Right
In a normal market, most homes that are priced correctly, will receive an offer within eight weeks after an average of ten viewings. In the current market, the only properties that will sell are the ones that are competitively priced versus everything else on the market. So if you have a three bedroom 1930s property and there are three for sale locally, or even in your street, it's only the lowest priced property that will sell.

Always use a For Sale Board
Unless you are in a rural area, it's a good idea to have a for sale board as most people move within three miles of where they live - so they are likely to see your board and then enquire about the property.

Prepare all your Paperwork
Many people see a Home Information Pack (HIP) as a waste of time - it is if you don't put the effort in to make the most use of it. Fill in the Property Information and Fixtures and Fittings Form; make sure that your property is as energy efficient as possible; ensure that any paperwork such as planning permission and/or building regulations is readily available. If you really must move, progress your legals to contract stage, then when you do get an offer, you can proceed quickly and are less likely to lose your buyer due to delays.

If there are not takers - can you rent it out, improve or stay?
Unfortunately the market has so few buyers at the moment, that it just may not be possible to find one for your home without crashing the price. If you don't want to do that, why not consider renting it out and still moving, improving your current home so you don't need to move, or even just staying put for a few years until the market recovers enough to sell, which is likely to take a couple of years.

Get a helping hand with our new Sellers Service for just £19.99!

Property expert, Kate Faulkner, has joined forces with B&Q and other industry experts to offer a unique service, where you purchase a ‘property project pack’ that gives you:-
  • An A4 ‘how to’ guide (approx 80 pages), containing Dos and Don’ts, Factsheets, Checklists, Handy Tips and Forms
  • Access to Kate and her team, by phone and email, for any queries you might have during your project.

See the full list of Kate Faulkner's unique Property Services here!

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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