How To Sell A Property Quickly
Looking to sell your property quickly? Last year, it was reported that it took an average of 57 days to sell a house on the open market. If you want to sell your home fast, you may consider this too long to wait.
Whether you need to sell to complete on the purchase of your next property, you’re relocating, or you need to move due to a change in personal circumstance, a quick home sale might be needed.
Luckily, there are a few tried and tested tricks that can speed up a house sale, and many of them start with some simple research and preparation…
Know when to sell your house
One of the best ways to set yourself up for success is to have an understanding of the peaks and troughs of the British property market. Knowing the best time to sell can be invaluable.
Research has shown that the spring and summer months are traditionally the best time to sell, while buyer demand drops off in the autumn and winter months.
According to Rightmove, asking prices drop to their lowest point at the turn of the year, and have done every year since 2001. They normally begin to recover towards the end of February, gather steam in April through June, and peak in the summer. In fact, by June, prices in London were as much as 30 per cent higher than they were at their lowest point in January.
Selling in spring and summer
There are a number of reasons why buyers head out on the house hunt in the warmer months – the longer days, better light and generally nicer weather all encourage people out to viewings.
The spring and summer also lend themselves well to kerb appeal, as flowers are in bloom and leaves are on the trees, which often makes for an inviting first impression.
Families, in particular, are more likely to be in the market for a property in the summer months. As the school year ends, it’s a good time to move so as not to disrupt children, plus parents taking time off during the summer holidays are available to see more properties.
Selling in winter
During the winter months, however, the inevitable belt-tightening that comes with the Christmas period, combined with the general busyness of these months, make it difficult to sell a house quickly.
Why isn’t my house selling?
Some property owners who put their house on the open market and struggle to find a buyer end up asking themselves why isn’t my house selling? Typically, the speed of a house sale will depend on the number of people viewing a property and how it is priced.
The higher the interest and better the competition, the more buyers are likely to be willing to pay, which can actually result in you achieving more than market value.
If you are having difficulty selling your home and it stays on the market for a long time, this can be seen by some buyers as a red flag. To avoid potential buyers becoming weary, you may need to adjust the asking price or invest some money in staging and kerb appeal in a bid to attract more interest.
If you want to sell your house quickly, opting for spring and summer months will better the chances of not only a fast sale, but also achieving your asking price.
If you need to sell in the winter months, utilising some of the tips and tricks in this article may help. While these timings are generally accurate, there are always exceptions to the rule. For example, owing to uncertainty surrounding Brexit, sales volumes have been subdued. It’s therefore important to keep an eye on national events and the UK’s wider housing market, in addition to studying your local market, to give yourself the best chances of a swift sale. Some tips for doing this include:
- Following property portals and news outlets on social media.
- Registering for e-newsletters from news providers and estate agents to keep up to date with information.
- Speak with friends and family, especially those who’ve sold recently.
- Chat to local estate agents.
Ensure the price is right
When it comes to selling your property quickly, ensuring it is listed at fair market value is essential.
A figure that’s too high can price you out of the market, while a price that’s too low could actually be seen as a red flag to some buyers, not to mention you’ll lose profit. Ensuring you strike the right balance, coming up with something that is realistic and appealing to buyers, whilst still ensuring you make a profit, is key. See: Homeowners Over-Valuing Their Properties
Some tips to ensure you price your home properly:
- Have more than one valuation carried out and compare results.
- Search online for homes recently sold in your area and see what price they achieved. Sources like Rightmove have a purpose-built sold price database just for this.
- Consider the state of your local property market, and buyer confidence nationally as well.
If you are keen to sell your house quickly, instructing a good estate agent can play a crucial part in the success of your sale.
Word of mouth is a great starting point, so as soon as you’re thinking of selling your property, ask your friends and family if they have any recommendations.
The HomeOwners Alliance has a great, free tool that provides impartial information about estate agents in your local area, which can be really helpful. You can also venture into high street estate agents to ask about their services.
Questions to ask estate agents:
- Do they have experience in selling properties similar to yours?
- Can they provide any statistics about the speed of sales carried out by their agency?
- Can they provide insight into the average sale price achieved?
- What services do they offer?
- What service fees and commission do they charge?
- Are they affiliated with any mortgage lenders? (This can be useful if you are planning to buy a home)
- How well do they know the local area?
- Will they be present for viewings?
- How will they be able to help with marketing your property?
- Can they provide any referrals?
Remember to visit more than one estate agent to keep your options open, and compare services to ensure you are working with someone who is likely to help you sell your house quickly. You should also ensure that your estate agent is registered with bodies such as RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and the NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents).
Advertise for success
When it comes to selling your property quickly, ensuring it is well advertised and visible to potential buyers online is important.
At least 80 per cent of UK property searches now begin online, so it’s vital to ensure you have a great listing on property portals, as well as your estate agent’s website.
Alongside the property’s key selling points and amenities, it’s wise to advertise the area. If your estate agent has revealed that local buyers are primarily families, for example, you may want to include facts about nearby schools and parks. Highlighting things like transportation links, nearby restaurants and shops can also make the property more appealing.
If you’re working with an estate agent, they will have a professional photographer take high-quality pictures of your property to accompany the listing. You should make sure the property is in top condition and is clean and tidy prior to this taking place. Your estate agent can also help with things like EPCs and floor plans.
Perfect your presentation
If you’re looking for a quick house sale, you should get the property ready to appeal to prospective buyers during viewings. It’s important that buyers can envision themselves potentially living there.
This can be difficult if you’re selling a family home, as there is some sentimental attachment to consider. However, if you want to sell your house quickly, it’s crucial to put this aside and look at your property in the most objective light possible.
Some tips for creating an inviting space that appeals to buyers include:
- Creating as much of a blank canvas as possible. This means keeping décor neutral and rooms clear of clutter so that potential buyers are able to envision their own belongings in the rooms.
- Clear surfaces and clean each room, paying particular attention to bathrooms and kitchens.
- If you are a smoker, have pets, or have any other source of odour in the property, you may wish to consider instructing a professional deep cleaning service to tackle carpets, curtains, furniture and anything else that could harbour an off-putting smell.
- Speaking of smells, baking cookies or lighting scented candles can create a warm and homely feeling in the house and leave an inviting lingering scent in the air.
- Take care of any odd jobs, DIY and quick cosmetic changes. If you want to sell your home quickly, presenting it as a property that is move-in ready will help.
- Consider freshening up old, tired looking rooms with a lick of paint. This can be done on exterior doors and window frames, too.
- Consider kerb appeal – make sure leaves are raked up and bagged, bins are out of sight, flowerbeds are tended to and the front lawn has been mowed.
- Ensure the property entrance and hallway are clean and clear of jackets, shoes and other clutter. Research has shown that six per cent of buyers will put in an offer after just one viewing, so if you want to heighten the chances of a fast sale, making a great first impression is important!
Be ready to complete
If you are looking to sell your home fast, you should ensure you are well prepared to help the transaction close sooner.
Having a solicitor already selected will mean the conveyancing process can begin as soon as an offer has been accepted. While your solicitor will handle things like the contract and application for title deeds, you will need to present paperwork too, so have a discussion with them as soon as possible to determine what you need to prepare.
Once you have interest from a buyer, asking questions to determine their intent and ability to buy a home quickly will be key. Try to determine whether they’re stuck in a property chain, as this can impact the likelihood of a sale falling through.
Ask them about finances too – if you are speaking with an investor, they may be financing the purchase with cash, while most homeowners will have a mortgage in place.
- Bear in mind the timing – spring and summer months are generally seller’s markets.
- Do your research, and assemble a team of estate agents, solicitors and surveyors as soon as you decide to sell.
- Price your property competitively.
- Put together a great listing online.
- Have a clearout and present your property looking clean, airy and spacious.
- Utilise word of mouth wherever you can!
If you want to know more about how to sell a house quickly, why not give us a call and one of our advisers can assist with any enquiries you may have.