You can help your house sell despite tough market
WITH less than eight weeks to go before Christmas, there is little time left in 2012 to attract a buyer to purchase your property.
Agreeing sales in the current market is exceptionally hard work, which I am sure is your agent's response when you tackle them on why your sale has not yet been agreed.
The answer is not easy to explain and one which would take far more than the 400 words allowed in this article.
However, these principles need to be:
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Look objectively at your home within the context of other houses which may have recently come to the market after the launch of your sale. Your agent will be constantly reviewing the property market, but I do recommend doing this yourself. You may find that if you have been on the market for more than four to six months with little interest, hopefully by looking at comparable properties, you will see some reasons why.
Is the description of the property as good as it should be?
Are the photographs doing the property justice?
Does the asking price reflect the current market conditions?
All of these points can be addressed with your agent, but I recommend you take an active interest in this now.
Similarly, like so many of the property programmes suggest, first impressions are so important, so ask a friend to come and critically appraise the way the house is presented. Often a few subtle changes, like making sure the light bulbs work and clutter is tidied away, can help enormously.
So if you have not guessed already, we in the South West are currently experiencing very tough market conditions with far fewer buyers who are active in the market. This is not true of the whole of the UK, as our eight offices in Central London have seen price increases of 10 per cent already this year as Russians, Iranians, Kazakhstanis and Chinese, to name a few, continue to invest trillions into this highly sought-after market.
This has been aided by the fact that we are the only UK-based agency to be affiliated with Christies International Real Estate, where our properties guided at a certain price will appear on websites and in more than 1,000 offices in 42 countries around the world.
Surely this increase should filter down into the South West?
Well, we are aware of a few sales which we have agreed this year to buyers from Central London who have profited from this demand. But they, along with the former bank bonus buyers from the capital, are very much in the minority, with the latter now rewarded in share options, rather than cash.
However, there are ways of attracting buyers down; our National Open House Day attracted many out-of-the-area buyers who spent the day visiting a selection of our properties, which did result in the sale of a property at its full asking price.
This good news does not stop there; with the launch of a lotted farm around Thorverton in the summer, we marketed three cottages at attractive and very sensible guide prices. After more than 100 viewings, we agreed the sales at an average of just over 13 per cent of the quoted guide prices.
Therefore, if you are about to select a selling agent, don't just select the agent who tells you the highest price, as if the property is really worth more, then the buyers will still happily pay over the asking price.