Get your property valued by as many Estate Agents as you can. Never settle for just one evaluation. I would recommend at least 3. If you get just 1 evaluation; they could either under or over value your property. In result, you will either lose out on a lot of money, or your property may hang around on the market for a long time. By getting multiple evaluations, you will get a true reflection of what the value of your house is.
Additionally, check on websites like Rightmove and your local newspaper to see how much similar properties are currently on the market for.
Less is more
Don’t just work with an Estate Agent that values your property with the highest price tag. Find out what their fees are first. In the long run, they could cut into a healthy portion of your sale price, and end up being the most costly option.
Be careful of your Estate Agent
A lot of estate agents will try to tie you into an exclusive contract, which means they will be the only agency that can deal with your property. The standard contract stipulates 12-weeks; try to negotiate the minimum time possible just in case you’re not happy with their services. But make sure you find out the length of their exclusive contract before you agree to work with an estate agent.
Sole-agency or multi-agency
It’s cheaper to sell sole-agency rather than multi-agency, so I suggest you stay with one agent for the first few weeks. If your property doesn’t get as many viewings as you would have expected, then either try another agent, or switch to multi-agency. But remember, this is all dependent on the exclusive contract your initial agent will have tired into the deal.
Find out your Estate Agents Marketing Strategy
Before choosing an estate agent, interrogate their marketing strategy. Find out how they’re reaching out to buyers. This may sway your decision on which agency you work with. The agency which uses the most effective means of marketing may have a better change of finding a buyer. Of course, this may also reflect on their service charge.
Average turn around period
Find out how long it currently takes the agent to sell a property from the day it’s put on the market. Each estate agent should have a figure based on their internal sales data.
Be warned though, I wouldn’t take their answer is gospel.
The power of voice
Don’t rely on just your Estate Agent to spread the word. Make sure you have a board outside your property, and tell as many people as you can. The word of mouth is a powerful tool. You never know who may end up hearing about your property.
Property Photos & Description
Make sure you check the photos and description the Estate Agent use to promote your property. If the description is weak and the photos aren’t doing your home any justice, you need to speak up. The photos will help attract your potential buyers, so make sure they’re of a high standard. Also, make sure the photos are taken when your home is in exceptional condition (after making all those changes mentioned above).
Take Advantage of FREE Marketing resources
Over the years, several websites have emerged onto the scene that allow vendors to advertise their property online for free. Some of the websites receive thousands and thousands of visitors today, so it might be worth thinking about cutting out the middle man (the estate agent) and going for a direct sale.
Clean Properties Sell
Before getting an evaluation, make sure your house is in a good state. Clear all the clutter, and try to make the property look as spacey as possible. Pack things up in boxes and store them away if you have to. Get the duster out and get rid of all those lurking cobwebs; clean the windows; vacuum before each viewing, and hide away those rotten rugs. Essentially, try to keep all your dirty little secrets in the closet (not literally- buyers often check storage space).
Make your property appeal to the majority
In order to maximize your chances of a quick sale, you need to appeal to the audience at large. So if you have your own personal decoration style that is quite unusual, I would recommend you give your house a cheap makeover. I know this sounds like hard work and cost inefficient, but it will be worth it. For example, if you have dramatic, strong coloured walls, spending a few days giving the house a paint job with fresh neutral colours could make your house sell quicker and at a higher price.
Don’t neglect your garden
A lot of sellers neglect their garden, hoping that the interior design alone will sway the buyers. A lot of people take huge pride in their gardens, and buyers will often use the state of a garden to finalise their decision. There’s no need for an extreme makeover, but don’t neglect the presentation of your garden. Keep it clean, simple, and clutter free. If you have lawn, make sure it’s trimmed and looking fresh. Pull out the excessive weeds, and sweep away the fallen leaves. And spending a few pennies on presentable plants wouldn’t do you any harm either.
The exterior is just as important as the interior
Remember, the first thing a buyer will see is the front of your house. A buyer won’t get out of the Estate Agent’s car if she doesn’t like the presentation of the exterior. If like in the back garden you have lawn, make sure it’s trimmed and looking fresh. Don’t clutter up the front of your house with anything unnecessary. And once again, a few bright plants, and hanging baskets won’t go unnoticed. If your front door and window trims look a little worn, invest wisely in fresh paint.
Repair your home
Make necessary repairs. You have to think of a buyer as the enemy, although he/she will eventually give you a shed load of money.ï¿½ A buyer is looking for the best deal possible, so he/she will always look for faults in your property, hopingï¿½ to knock down the sale price. Make sure you fix all the necessary problems, unless you don’t mind the faults reflecting on your price tag. But remember, more often than not, the buyer will try to reduce the value of your property significantly more than it would cost to repair the damage yourself. In the short-term the fixes may put you out of pocket, but in the long-term you’ll be quids in. The problem hotspots are roofs and chimneys, plumbing problems, and electrical systems.
Calculate your costs- selling property isn’t cheap
Make sure you work out the total cost of selling your property. You’d be surprised how expensive selling property can be, especially for those who are willing to sign without asking the right questions. By the end of the deal, you may feel robbed. Make sure you know where you stand by knowingï¿½ exactly how much you’ll to have to pay for the overall sale. And don’t be too shy to haggle with your Estate Agent fees, you could save a few quid. Additionally, I recommend you shop around for a conveyancing solicitor, as prices can drastically vary.
Selling your home
The tour of your property
Usually an Estate Agent will show prospective buyers around the house. I always think it’s important that the seller stays clear during this time. If you follow the buyers around, they may feel a little uncomfortable and they probably won’t get a thorough look at the property. However, if you want to take it upon yourself to show the buyer around the house (which many do) make sure you make them feel comfortable and give them plenty of opportunity to snoop around. Try and be as informative as possible, but don’t bore them with irrelevant details. At the end of the viewing, give the buyers an opportunity to look around on their own, while you stay out of the way.
Choosing your buyer
It’s important you choose the best buyer. The person who offers the highest price isn’t necessarily the best choice. Find out important details about the buyer; find out how the buyer plans on financing the property- cash buyers are the best, and the turn around rate is pretty quick. Are the buyers in the middle of a chain? If so, has their property sold or is still on the market? Get your Estate Agent to do as much research on your buyer as possible. By picking the wrong buyer, you can end up having a long and painful sale.
Holding the deal together
Holding the deal together is often the hardest stage of the transaction when buying or selling a property. The longer it takes to reach exchange of contracts, the greater the chance of the entire deal falling through. It’s important to keep in regular communication with your solicitor to find out what stage you’re at. Stay in contact with your Estate Agent as he/she can pass on information regarding the buyer- it’s important to know the progress of your buyer as well as being aware of your own progress.