Here’s our guide to some of the key things that you might come across as you look to sell your home. By making yourself aware of all of these you’ll be best placed to weigh up the way forward for your house sale.
Let’s be honest, no-one really wants to have to deal with estate agents, do they? A recent poll for YouGov showed that just 15 per cent of people actually trust them to tell the truth. Only politicians and national newspaper journalists are trusted less than estate agents. If you don’t trust the person you are dealing with then it’s only natural to feel uneasy, especially when you are relying on that person to recover full value for your most precious and high-valued asset. Estate agent jargon and terminology can often seem like a language in its own right and becoming fluent in this would be a time-consuming and thankless task.
When you sell a house the ‘traditional way’ you are very often not in control of your own destiny. You’ll sometimes find yourself in a ‘chain’, which means that you are reliant on being able to make your sale in order for you to be able to buy. The most complex of upward chains can contain several people – all banking on each other to be able to see their own plan through to fruition. Yet traditional sales do very often fall through. A study from Which? found that almost a third of people – 28% – said that they had had an offer accepted on a property only to see the sale fall through. In just over a fifth of cases, this was put down to a collapse elsewhere in the chain. A house sale collapse is a costly business too, causing an average loss of almost £3,000.
If you’re selling your house the traditional way, then that means having to find a buyer. Buyers can be picky and all will want to come and look at your property – probably more than once. That means having to make yourself available at a time that suits them (maybe even at the drop of a hat), having to keep the house clean and tidy and maybe even having to act as a salesman – fielding questions and promoting your property. This can feel invasive, stressful and pretty frustrating – especially if people are coming for viewings but aren’t really serious about making an offer.
Speaking of viewings, you also need to get your home in the best possible shape in order to make a successful sale. This might mean repainting some rooms in neutral colours, taking down family photos and maybe putting some belongings into storage. Not only is that all a hassle in its own right, but it can also leave you having to live in a sanitised version of your home for the last weeks and months. Your property might stop feeling like your home, which will only serve to enhance the stress you feel before you’re in a position to move out. The trend of ‘staging’ a home for sale has long been popular in America and is increasingly coming to this country as people look to try to stand out from the crowd and secure a buyer. In the States people have been known to spend thousands of dollars on this and there is an industry of professional ‘stagers’.
No matter how you get your home looking, you’ll need lots of photos of it to try to entice people to part with their cash, but this can be a real pain. You try getting a photo of your bathroom that doesn’t make it look tiny, or a ‘good angle’ of your bedroom. Even pros struggle with this. There are plenty of examples of truly terrible pictures being used to try to sell houses – avoiding adding your own home to this can be tricky.
What’s a fair price for your house? Getting this right can be really tricky. First of all, it’s likely that you’re going to be a little biased. The kitchen you fitted, garden you shaped or living room you decorated could well be your pride and joy but you have to face up to the fact that they might not be to other people’s tastes. The money you spent on them won’t necessarily mean that your house is worth any more.
By valuing your property too highly you risk not showing up in the searches of the people you need to attract (people will set an upper limit when browsing online). You might be tempted to sign up with the estate agent who values your property the highest but if they can’t then sell it that value is just a number and represents false hope. If you get this wrong at the start you can reduce the price, but your would-be buyer will also know you’ve done this and will come armed with this knowledge. Even after all of that, you have to accept that your asking price is largely immaterial. Three quarters of buyers make an offer below this and two thirds are successful. By agreeing a price straight away through us you can avoid this game of cat and mouse and guesswork.
Once you’ve battled with the estate agents, sorted your price, got your photos taken and cancelled all of your social engagements it’s time to do something that is possibly the worst part of the whole process: wait. Selling your house can take a long time and it’s easy to feel like your entire life is on hold while you sit tight and hope for an offer. The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) found the average time is 91 days – although clearly this could be much longer if you’re not careful or depending on the part of the UK in which you live.
Don’t like the sound of all of that? That’s where we can come in. Avoid the estate agents, the viewings, the chains, the waiting game, the pricing cat and mouse and need to turn your house into a cheesy show home by coming to us for a swift and hassle-free sale. You can read more about how our service works here.