2019 has been a tentative time for the housing market. With Brexit continuing to loom large, many homeowners have been keeping a watchful eye on house prices rather listing at a time of uncertainty.
Whatever your politics, the recent election will have gone some way to clear that blockage in 2020. This has been reflected in demand from sellers following the polls closing to list their properties and sell early in the new year. They however face the challenge of the market where more than one-in-every-two properties fail to sell within ten months.
For those looking to shift their house as soon as possible, we at Movewise have created a host of top tips to speed up your time to sale.
1. Avoid online estate agents: Online agents offer a broad, cheaper service but they simply list your property, opposed actually selling it for you. This is one of the reasons that online agents only sell one-in-two of the homes they take on, often delaying the whole process in the interest of saving cost.
2. Choose the best estate agent for you: There are over 26,000 estate agents in the UK, with many that are much better than others. Take your time to choose wisely based on experience and success with similar products, it’s this decision that will impact your sale process the most.
Online agents offer a broad, cheaper service to advertise your home nationwide but with only one-in-two properties listed actually selling, they can often delay the whole process.
3. Negotiate on the exclusivity period: This is often overlooked by novice sellers. Estate agents want this to be as long as possible to have time to market properly to their customers. This will infuriate you if you see no viewings being booked. Get this down to no longer than 12 weeks but when demand is high, six weeks is plenty of time to make an impact.
4. Go multiagent: In the UK, multiagent is a fairly underutilised strategy. In short, you’re getting more than one estate agent to work for you at the same time.
Like exclusivity, they won’t be necessarily keen but it’s worth pushing. When listed with one agent, you’ll only be marketed to their customers. With more parties involved, the potential audience and scope is extended immeasurably, with services like Movewise helping to manage the whole process.
5. List at a realistic asking price: Naturally every seller wants the highest price possible, but your house is only worth what someone will pay for it. The agents will guide you but take the time to investigate what similar houses in your area have successfully sold for recently. By ignoring these signs, you’ll only unnecessarily delay the process.
6. Not all offers are equal: Even if you get the price right and receive competing offers, you need to consider the background of the buyer. Are they in a chain, are they a first-time buyer? These things will impact the timeliness of completion. You might consider accepting a lower offer from such a buyer, especially if they have the finance in place because they’re likely to be able to complete quickly.
7. House presentation: At this time of year, when the nights are drawing in and the weather is typically miserable, your house may not look its best. Make sure to declutter as much as possible and take photos on a sunny, dry day. Buyers will want to imagine themselves in the property at the best of times and this simple trick for the presentation can make a big difference.
8. Prepare paperwork in advance: Exchange and completion in two months or less is possible, but you must be proactive. You need to fill in the crucial Property Information Form (TA6), which details boundaries, building works and neighbour-related disputes, as well as the Fittings and Contents Form (TA10). Commission a local authority search in advance as this can take weeks and no buyer will exchange without one. And dig out your property title deeds.
9. Keep in touch: Keep calling, emailing and encouraging all parties from the estate agent to the solicitor to keep up momentum. They’re all working for you so keep an eye to ensure they’re pushing until the ink is dry.