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How to get your property off the market.

By on August 1, 2014
how-to-sell

Homeowners in the current market are spending weeks, even months discussing the future prospects and possibilities of their current home. With the range of options available to people lucky enough to get on the property ladder, homeowners are jumping at the opportunity to cash in on the profit their property has made in recent years. Whether they choose to let or to sell, recent figures show the process of getting the property off their hands has become too stressful for some to deal with, so here is a simple set of guidelines to follow to get that completion date closer in the smoothest way possible.

1.   Market your house to your most likely customer.

It is important to establish the expected customer looking to purchase your property. If you believe a professional couple is the most likely buyer then it is important to make sure the property is as aesthetically pleasing in their eyes as possible, without alienating other potential customers. For example, if you have a modern 2 bedroom apartment in the capital, it may be safe to expect a young professional couple but that does not mean a small family would not be interested. So it is important to try and express the property in a way that would appeal to both potential buyers.

2.   Clean up and depersonalise.

This one may seem obvious but you will be surprised by the number of people who put their property on the market without doing the necessary maintenance. Research has shown that the two biggest turn offs when viewing a property are dirty kitchens and dirty bathrooms. So if you are hoping to get your full asking price, be prepared to get out the rubber gloves.One aspect of preparation often forgotten is the fact that your taste may not match that of your buyer, so perhaps hide anything that could be considered as too bold or too eccentric. The easiest way to make sure that your property is worth viewing is to simply ask yourself what condition you would want it to be in if you were in the potential buyers’ shoes.

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3.   The Valuation.

Before getting in touch with an agent you should do your own research. Steps which can be taken include: browsing the web for properties in the area similar to your own, or by looking at websites that provide you with previous sale prices such as needavaluation.com. Fundamentally it is important to have a figure in mind before getting your property valued. Most experts recommend getting at least 3 independent estate agents to value the property to provide you with an accurate figure. One of the oldest tricks in the book is to slightly over value your property in order to gain your instruction. Although this may be tempting, a higher priced valuation may not be the best as it could restrict the number of potential buyers and the agents’ ability to sell it.

4.   Deciding which estate agent to use.

Once your property has been valued by your 3 chosen estate agents it is up to you to choose which one to work with. Make sure they are active in the area and have a good knowledge of the current market. Look at their current stock and stock sold in the past few months.  It is good to have an agent with experience in selling properties similar to your own.  It is also encouraged to seek advice from people who have previously dealt with the agent you are looking to work with. Regarding agent fees, it is always cheaper to instruct on a sole agency basis rather than multi agency. It is advised to stay with one agent for the shortest time possible giving them the motivation to sell the property in the time frame they have been given. The fees and terms and conditions can often be hard to fully understand, it is best for this reason to have your solicitor explain all costs involved with selling the property.

5.   Advertising.

Every estate agent has different ways of advertising themselves and their properties. With 94% of property searches starting online, advertising your property online is considered by many within the industry, as the most effective way of advertising. Property portals have now become the first point of contact between agents and their clients. Using portals such as needaproperty.com, Rightmove and Zoopla, will allow for your property to reach thousands of potential buyers with just one click of the mouse. The rise of property portals has been such a success, that conventional ways of bringing in buyers have become unnecessary. Some agents are even choosing to remove their high street shop altogether and solely rely on the business brought in via the web.

When you do your research on the agent and their advertising methods, you should have a look at the portals they advertise on. Have a look at the way the site portrays properties and the way the agent describes similar ones to see how yours will look.

6.   Viewings.

We all know how much first impressions count and when it comes to selling your most valuable asset, they have never been more important. When a person is viewing a property for the first time, they are going to be expecting to see a house worth as much as you say it is. So make sure you put yourself in their shoes and prepare accordingly. Simple steps such as sweeping up and spraying some air freshener can make all the difference as you show them in for the first time. If you are conducting the viewings yourself there is a lot to consider, from deciding beforehand what order to show the rooms, to the details you are going to share. Try not to bombard them with facts and figures about room sizes and running costs. Mention a few positive details and let them ask the questions.

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7.   Closing a deal.

This stage of the process will involve working closely with your agent. They are essentially the middle man between you and your potential buyer. When it comes to choosing which buyer to work with, it is not as simple as picking the one with the highest offer. You will need to know as much as you can about your buyers’ situation. Find out how they are financing the purchase, whether they are a cash buyer or raising a mortgage. Are they first time buyers? Are they in the process of selling a property? These are all questions you need to know from the agent. Make sure your agent is present for any offers made, and that they are all made in writing. When you accept an offer, your solicitor should be present to assist you with the legal documents and exchange of final contracts.

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