Between football, Wimbledon, and a downturn in the real estate market, UK home sellers have been having a difficult time as of late. Coupled with the fact that there are far more sellers than buyers outside of the London market, selling a home in under two months can seem like a monumental task for today’s home sellers.
In fact, according to Housetrack, the average home in today’s market takes nearly three months to sell, and it sells for approximately 10 per cent less than the asking price.
So, how can you make your house stand out from the crowd and get snagged up before the paint dries? Here are ten tips to help you do just that.
Select the right agent
Talk to numerous agents and ask them to show you similar properties to yours that they have recently sold. Then, talk to some of their previous clients or have a family member or friend view another property that they are selling and ask them for their feedback on the competency of the estate agent. According to Wooster & Stock’s Becky Munday, the agent should also have an easily navigable website with properly functioning property portals.
Insist on a quality brochure
Seek out and find a premium-quality brochure for a comparable house in your local area and insist that your agent produces a brochure that is just as good. The brochure should include the home’s floor plan, an enticing description of each room in your home, and a description of your neighbourhood. The brochures should be printed and ready to hand out before anyone ever steps foot in your home to view the property.
Make your home available to see at all times
Other than a disheveled lawn, there is nothing that buyers loathe more than not being able to view a home when their schedule dictates. According to Nicola Oddy, an agent at Stacks Property Search, you should be flexible with your viewing times and be prepared to show the home even if your agent cannot be there to supervise the viewing. If you have a dog, be prepared to take it out for a walk whenever a viewing is taking place.
Have an open house
If your home has sat on the market for longer than a week or two, ensure that your agent organises, plans, and executes an open house for both buyers and fellow brokers. Have your agent send out invitations, provide food, and bring extra staff to make each visitor feel warm and invited. David Adams of John Taylor, a central London estate agency, adamantly believes that this decidedly American home selling technique creates a buzz about the home and regularly leads to earlier offers, bidding wars, and higher sales prices.
Utilise flattering photography
Premium colour shots of the exterior grounds and inside of your home is an absolute necessity for marketing purposes. In addition to these standard photographs, aerial shots of an impressive property should also be considered to showcase the property’s size and features.
Provide your agent with added incentives
Offer to provide your agent with an additional per cent if the home sells within the first month. At the same time, an agent should never be given a 12-week contract, because if the home has not garnered any reasonable offers after one month, you will have the option to bring in another agent to promote competition.
Get your home in tip-top shape
Many times, buyers will dismiss a house before they walk through the front door. So, make sure the lawn is mowed, the flower beds are blooming, and the entire outside of the home is as manicured and inviting as possible. Inside, complete any DIY projects and give the home a fresh coat of neutral-coloured paint, because the majority of buyers want a move-in ready home they can envision themselves in.
Be ready to move
Unfortunately, nearly one-third of all sales fall through before the papers are signed. So, hire a conveyancing solicitor to have the paperwork ready and do not provide your buyer with any added time. A delay will allow the buyer to change their mind and use it as an excuse to back out of the deal.
Have flexible terms
If the buyer wants to move in on a specific date, let them. If you must, rent a temporary residence until you secure your next home. In a difficult market, buyers need to be ready to lock in the deal and experience a short-term hassle for a long-term gain.
Clean and de-clutter
Buyers are just as concerned about space as they are the number of bedrooms a home has. A cluttered home will create the illusion that your home has less space than it actually does, so make sure the toys and knick knacks are cleared off of the floors, tables, and countertops. If need be, rent a storage cabin or ask a friend or family member to store some of your clothes and items for you until the home is sold. Anything that helps buyers ignore distractions and focus on making you an offer will be well worth it.