Tips on selling your home in a slow market

On behalf of Attwaters Jameson Hill posted in Residential Property on Thursday, October 11th, 2018

The property market is showing signs of a slowdown. Property prices fell by -0.5% in August, according to Nationwide. This is the largest monthly drop since July 2012, and may be due to uncertainty as to how the Brexit negotiations will play out over the coming months. So, if you’re trying to sell your property right now, what steps should you take to make your property more saleable?

Being organised and business-like can increase your chances of a successful sale. So, anything you can do to demonstrate that you’re ready to get underway is likely to help you sell. Many sellers don’t instruct a solicitor or licensed conveyancer until they have a sale agreed. Few sellers realise this, but it will speed up the process considerably if you instruct us before you put your property on the market.

Get ahead of the game

Involving us early on means we will have more time to get all the necessary legal documents prepared to complete the sale. We can get a draft contract prepared and ready to go out as soon as you have a buyer in place. There’s a popular misconception that instructing a solicitor in the early stages will mean you’ll be charged more, but this isn’t the case with our service.

There are a lot of things we can do in advance, such as: carrying out ID checks; agreeing our terms and conditions with you in writing; obtaining a copy of your legal title online from the Land Registry (£3 per copy); sending you the property information and fittings forms you will need to complete; collating planning and building regulations for any alterations; getting warranties/guarantees for heating systems, electrical certificates and windows.

The earlier we can familiarise ourselves with your property, its title and any potential defects or problems, the more prepared we will be to deal with any issues raised by your buyer’s solicitor.

If you’re selling a leasehold or share of freehold property that has a managing agent, you’ll need a leasehold sale pack from your management company and possibly Landlord’s agent, and this can take a few weeks to obtain. This provides your buyer with detailed information on important things like service charges, insurance and requirements for transferring the lease, and they will need time to go through it and raise any queries with us or the management company.

Being well-prepared means that the process between offer and exchange can be speeded up, making it less likely that the buyer will get cold feet because of delays or problems with paperwork.

Going in at the right price

Getting your property on to the market at the right price is crucial. If you overprice and the market falls, you may find you’re waiting far longer than you’d like to make a sale. Pitching your property at a realistic figure can mean that you get several buyers interested, and end up with a good offer as a result. Working with an experienced local agent who knows the market well will ensure your property details get circulated to the right potential buyers.

Good housekeeping pays

As all those TV programmes never tire of telling us, a well-presented property will be much more attractive to buyers. So, make sure your house and garden are tidy, the windows are clean, and the house smells fresh. Get good professional photographs taken, and if you’re selling a family home, don’t forget to include shots of the garden, as this can often be a major selling point.

Here to help

If you’d like to get your home sale off to a good start, then do get in touch. To speak to one of our Residential Property solicitors, call us on 0330 221 8855 or contact us online

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