House prices have soared since the end of the first COVID-19 lockdown in May 2021, and estate agents are still struggling to keep up with buyer demand. The most popular properties are sold before many potential buyers have the chance to view them. In this market, selling a property is relatively easy (unless you have a hard-to-sell home).
But how can you achieve a quick house sale in a buyer’s market? House prices are expected to fall when the government’s job retention scheme and the stamp duty holiday end on 30 September 2021. A smaller pool of potential buyers means that anyone wanting to sell their home later in the year will need to make a little more effort to seal the deal.
- Set a Realistic Asking Price
Setting a high asking price is the top reason why homeowners struggle to sell their property. Sellers who later reduce the listed price have to wait longer to find a buyer, whereas setting the right price from the start can double the chances of a sale.
Get at least three valuations from different estate agents, even if you don’t plan to use one to market and sell your property. However, don’t rely entirely on estate agents to help you choose the right asking price. Some will quote an inflated figure to win your business. Do your own research by looking online at the recently sold prices or similar properties for sale in the local area. Take note of how long each property took to sell. It might be tempting to set a high asking price. However, if it means your property will sit on the market for months, and you could end up losing money (not to mention the stress and inconvenience of ongoing viewings and uncertainty while you wait for a buyer to materialise).
- Make Your Home More Appealing to Buyers
If there are more properties for sale than buyers looking to purchase them, you might need to make a few improvements to make your home stand out.
Boost your property’s kerb appeal by tidying up the exterior — repaint windows and doors, tidy the garden or drive. Many people will drive past a house they are interested in to check it out before committing to a viewing. And, as with many things in life, first impressions count.
Make sure that any minor repairs are completed and consider updating the decor. Neutral colours work best as they allow people to see the potential to put their own stamp on the property.
Once your property is spic and span inside and out, have some professional photographs taken. A video tour can also help to drive interest, especially while the coronavirus continues to make some people apprehensive about visiting a stranger’s home. Some research suggests that virtual tours can even boost a property’s value by more than £14,000.
- Make the Most of Must-Have Features
Buying trends have changed significantly over the past year. Top of the wish list, or for some, the must-have list, is space, a garden, fast-wi-fi and a country location.
If your property boasts any of these features, be sure to make the most of them! Tidy up the garden, include details of the location and local amenities in the property listing and de-clutter to emphasise how spacious your home is. Potential buyers must be aware of these bonuses when they see your property ad and when they view your property, be that in-person or virtually.
- Know When to Compromise
If you can’t wait for the market to pick up before selling, you may have to accept a compromise. This may mean accepting a lower offer or going with a buyer in a less than ideal situation, such as a lengthy property chain. Only you can know when to accept an offer on your house. Weigh up the pros and cons of waiting for a higher offer versus a quick sale for a lower price.
Selling on the open market can take months or even years in a slow market, especially if your property is in poor condition or in an unpopular area. There are ways to sell your house fast, even in a buyer’s market, but you’ll probably have to accept a below market value price. However, if you’re selling your current home to buy another, you’ll probably also be able to negotiate the price down on your new home, so you may not be any worse off financially.
If the market cools later in the year, don’t give up hope of selling your house. It may require a little more planning, effort and perhaps compromise, but there are plenty of ways to achieve a quick house sale however the market is performing. Consider your priorities, do your research, keep an open mind and you’ll be selling up and moving on in no time.