Need to sell your home as quickly as possible? Read on for a few highly effective tips.
Until recently, selling property in the UK was a relatively long and arduous task, with some homes remaining on the market for many months.
However, as a result of the recent stamp duty holiday, rock-bottom mortgage deposit requirements and huge demand stemming from the need for home working space and improved living conditions following the COVID-19 crisis, the speed of a typical sale has skyrocketed.
As of Spring 2021, properties were spending an average of 45 days on the market – and, at one point, around one in four properties with a sale agreed had been on the market for less than a single week.
Now that the stamp duty holiday is winding down, the market has begun to gradually mellow. However, it is still performing at a far higher rate than in previous years – making this a great time to sell your home fast.
If you want to receive a suitable offer on your property in as little as five days, read on. In this article, we’ll explain how to influence the speed and success of your sale to make things happen as quickly as possible.
In this article:
Do Your Research
Don’t go rushing in head first without taking a good look around.
Explore online information about your neighbourhood to discover the prices for which similar nearby properties have sold recently. This should give you a good idea of what your home may be worth.
You should also make sure you’ve considered all potential ways to sell. Estate agents aren’t the only way; you could also choose to go to auction or to get a quote from an established cash home-buying company.
The latter are often experienced in completing transactions within a week, and may enable you to achieve up to 75% of your property’s market value.
If you do decide to use an estate agent, be sure to compare reviews of different specialists and choose one that has lengthy experience of selling in your particular area, as they will have the most relevant knowledge and the best understanding of the steps to take in your unique case.
It is also possible to sell your home completely off your own back – but this is likely to take longer than the other options, as you are unlikely to have the large platform and advertising means available to most property specialists.
What’s more, you will need to study all of the legalities and processes involved to avoid making a mistake – something which is, in itself, highly time consuming and involved.
Determine an Appropriate Price
Once you’ve found out how much other properties in the area have sold for, you may have a ballpark figure prepared for your own. However, it is best to discuss this matter with a real estate expert, as they may have access to further information that will affect pricing.
Remember: pricing too high may deter potential buyers and delay a sale, but too low a figure may convince house hunters that there is something wrong with the property and prevent offers from coming in.
If you hit a sweet spot, you’re likely to have multiple buyers vying for your home, with the offers and counter-offers climbing higher and higher until requesting Best and Final is the only option.
This approach will make it very likely that you’ll receive an offer that is greater than your original asking price without having to start off too high.
Declutter and Redecorate
Before viewings begin, you need to get your property in the best possible condition. To do this, remove all clutter and give scuffed walls a fresh coat of paint.
Clean floors, tackle stains, sand down chips and scratches, polish furniture and vacuum every room to make sure each space is as neat and tidy as it can be.
Your home needs to look fresh and inviting. If you leave too many of your belongings lying around, potential buyers will see it as “your” house. However, if spaces are clear and uncluttered, they’ll be able to more easily imagine their own items – and themselves – in situ.
Spruce Up Your Facade
Curb appeal is one of the most effective tools you can employ to attract buyers fast.
Generally, the first image most potential buyers see of a property – whether online or in person – is a photograph of the facade. It is right at this first moment that your home will start to be compared against others.
For this reason, you need to make sure your property stands out and looks as attractive as possible.
Get your windows cleaned, tidy up any outside space out front, paint fences, fix squeaking gates and rectify any other issues to make viewers fall in love with your home as soon as they see it in a picture.
Keep it Clean
Once your property is looking great, keep it that way! Continue to vacuum, dust and put items back in the correct place so that you’re ready to accept a viewing at short notice.
Take Great Photographs
If possible, choose a bright and sunny day to take images of your house. Open curtains and doors to let in as much natural light as possible, and ensure that all of your spaces look neat and tidy.
Many estate agents allow homeowners to take their own photographs – so, if you have a decent camera and feel confident that you can show your home in the best possible light, why not give it a try?
Never use filters or special lenses to distort the shape of your rooms. If potential buyers feel like they are being misled with wide angle lenses and other technical wizardry, they are less likely to trust you as a seller. Plus, they’ll know they’ve been duped as soon as they set foot in the door!
Show the best impression of a room’s size and shape by standing with your back to one corner and pointing the camera at another corner diagonally across from you.
Take pictures of every room, and be sure to capture interesting features like alcoves, outbuildings, garden areas, and period elements.
We also highly recommend photographing the best view from the property and taking a picture from across the street to show how the home looks in its surroundings.
Your pictures should be displayed in sequential order, with an attractive image of the facade first.
It’s a very good idea to include a clear floor plan of the property in your listing, as well as 3D renderings and even a video walkthrough where possible.
This will help people to pre-determine whether your house is the sort of thing they are looking for, narrowing down their search well in advance and thereby avoiding wasting your time and theirs.
Make sure the description of your property includes information about the area, including local places of interest, parks, schools, medical centres, shops, public transport hubs and anything else. We also recommend including the distance to the nearest urban centre.
If in the past you’ve received planning permission for an extension or any other changes that you have not yet undertaken, don’t forget to include this in the information about your home, as it will reveal your property’s further potential to prospective buyers.
Use Social Media
Now that you have the best listing possible, you need to share it! Join social media pages for your local area and wider region and share it there if permitted.
You should also post the same information to your own pages and streams, using the right hashtags and handles to make sure it reaches the correct audience.
Why not also undertake occasional searches to find out if anyone is seeking a home in your area? If your property fits the description they have specified, you could share the information with them to see if they are interested.
If you’ve followed all of the steps so far, all you need to do is wait for the viewings to start. Try to fit in as many as you can – the more people you get through the door, the more likely you are to receive an offer quickly. Being very flexible with dates and times will work wonders.
Remember: if you’re consistently receiving offers that are way below your asking price – or none at all – you or your estate agent may have got something wrong. Keep in touch with them and make sure you monitor what’s going on to determine whether anything needs to change.
If your home has already been on the market for some time with no success, consider dropping the asking price by a little. Around 10% should suffice to help you gain more interest, as this should render your property affordable to a wider range of people.
If an offer is made, you need to be ready to respond as soon as possible so that you can either get on with the sale, make a counter offer or turn it down and keep selling without delay.
You will also need to be ready to complete and return paperwork, hand over keys or undertake any other necessary duties quickly and effectively, so that your estate agents or solicitors can get on with their job with immediate effect.
Get Everything Prepared
Once the handover date is on the horizon, it’s time to prepare to vacate. It’s no good trying to arrange a fast sale if you aren’t ready to move yourself.
Get everything packed, book a removal company where necessary and make sure all rubbish and unwanted items are removed from the property. This will help everything to go smoothly in the final few weeks.
While most of the above points refer to traditional sales using estate agents, it is also important to make sure you have a clean, tidy home and great photographs for an auction-based sale.
It’s worth noting that the speed of a sale via auction depends on when bidding is arranged to open for your particular property. Once the winning bid is made, it will then take around 3 to 4 weeks until the exchange of contracts, and another month or so to complete.
Home Buying Specialists
Another option is the use of a home buying service. This is a popular choice for those who need to sell their property in a very short space of time – for example, if they need to move elsewhere at very short notice for a job or something similar.
To arrange this, all you need to do is to contact a trusted specialist and provide details of your home. They will respond to you as quickly as possible with a free, no obligation cash offer.
You’ll be able to exchange and complete in as little as seven days via a totally secure sale, with no legal or agency fees to pay. You may also receive up to 75% of your home’s market value.
The approaches you choose in order to speed up the sale of your home may vary depending on the type of sale you have chosen, the kind of property you are selling and the location in which you live.
As you have seen above, there are a great many ways in which you can influence the speed of the process, but it is important to remember that there are numerous external elements that will affect how quickly you can sell your home.
For example, properties are generally likely to sell faster in warmer months than in winter, and the desirability of your location, the current state of the property market and the speed of any relevant chains will also affect matters.
All you can do is undertake thorough research, present your property in the most attractive way possible, do everything you can to spread the word and make yourself as flexible and responsive as possible to ensure that nothing you are doing will hold the process up in any way.