Sometimes our circumstances in life mean that we need to sell our largest investment, our homes, quickly and without taking a huge financial hit. Is there anything that you, the seller, can do to speed up the process and ensure the best possible price?
1. Avoid traditional estate agents. Not only are many failing to find buyers at all in the current market, but according to the January 2010 Hometrack Report, when they do manage to sell it is taking an average of 8.6 weeks. Depending upon the price range and the location of the property, in many cases it is taking much, much longer.
2. Price your property attractively. The odds are stacked heavily in favour of buyers in the current housing market and holding out for top prices could result in a lengthy period to sell or complete failure to find a buyer. Express Estate Agency specialises in selling properties quickly through clever pricing (at around 5% or more lower than market value) and unrivalled online advertising.
3. Go where the buyers are. Unlike the traditional approach to selling properties, Express Estate Agency proactively seeks buyers who have their finances in place, their solicitors appointed and are ready to move quickly, and then matches them to sellers who are willing to make a slight reduction on their asking prices and also need to move fast.
4. Make sure that your property gives a great first impression. From the minute prospective buyers take a first glimpse of your house, they will be measuring it up, so make sure that your garden is free of toys, that any hedges or trees are neatly clipped, that the lawn is cut and that front and garage doors are freshly painted.
5. Make sure that the interior of your house is clean, tidy and presentable. Always ensure that any ongoing DIY jobs are completed before you put your house on the market and that all regular maintenance is up to date. As well as giving it a thorough spring clean, give it a de-clutter too. Apart from making your property look much bigger, potential buyers need to be able to imagine how their own possessions will look when they move in and giving them a depersonalised and clutter-free view allows them to do this much more easily.
6. Tone things down. Taste in colour and pattern is highly subjective, so by making your surroundings look more neutral you will automatically appeal to more of your potential buyers. Whilst it may not be to your taste, you will only have to live with it for a short space of time and you can return to your own preference once you have moved on.
7. Make sure your potential buyers can see instantly what each room is for. You might use your third bedroom as a store room, but if it does not look like a bedroom, your buyers will think of your house as having two, rather than three bedrooms and bid accordingly. The same goes for living and dining rooms. If you use all or part of either as a work area, for example, then make other arrangements while your house is up for sale so that viewers can see the full potential of the room as it is intended to be used.
8. Make sure that your house smells nice. It might sound like a trivial thing, but there is nothing more off-putting to potential buyers than strong pet, tobacco or cooking smells.
The housing market might be tough for sellers at the moment, but quick sales are still very much achievable if you adopt the right strategy.