Although the housing crisis occurred in 2008, recovery of the real estate market could best be described as a halting and often uneven process, especially in the UK. According to the BBC, home sales in 2012 failed to see the traditional spike over the spring period, and prices even fell in March. Part of this anemia in the marketplace has to do with the stamp-duty exemption – a tax rebate for first-time buyers – that came to an end on March 24th. But the reality is that selling has been tough over the last year, and the trend is only expected to continue.
Many real estate agents across the country advise those looking to sell their homes to be realistic about prices in the current market. This is due to the fact many current buyers are making hardline offers well below asking price, confident in the fact they will get a far lower resultant sale price. But there’s no need for sellers to submit to these mercenary offers because there ways to ensure homeowners get the best price for their property.
Consider a private sale
There is quite a bit of money to be saved through the private sale of a home. For example, sellers who hire an estate agent at 1.75% commission are looking at forking over thousands of pounds (depending on property value) after the sale is complete. By selling privately, not only can a seller pocket this money, but they can then afford to accommodate a lower asking price on the part of a potential buyer.
True, the idea of forgoing professional assistance and selling a home on one’s own can be nerve-wracking, but there are a number of quick tutorials geared towards alleviating some of the stress. This one by Cannel 4 is extremely helpful.
Find a good agent
Those who do opt to enlist the services of an estate agent should not come to their decision lightly. To this end, it’s crucial to meet the prospective agent and gauge their personality. An ideal agent will be a good communicator, positive and, above all else, knowledgeable. After all, an agent who knows his or her way around selling homes in a flat market is worth their weight in gold.
But there is also no reason to pay a large commission. In fact, one of the benefits to a down real estate market is that there are many good agents in competition with one another. The seller can use this to his or her advantage by having potential agents tailor their rates to the lowest offer in the pool.
Consider what the buyer is looking for
In a buyer’s market, the best thing to do is appeal to said buyer. It’s important for the seller to convey to the agent any relevant facts that might impress potential buyers or ingratiate them to the area. Some of these may include:
- Mentioning any great neighbors in the area
- Touting the quality of the local schools
- Pointing out convenient nearby transport options
- Talking up recent home improvements
- Providing statistics on the low crime rate of the area
These are just a few things to keep in mind when considering how best to market a property to a buyer. But not everything needs to be complicated. Sometimes the best way to entice a potential buyer is to simply slap a fresh coat of paint on the property, spruce up the décor and make the place as inviting as possible.
Sam Dressler is a UK based property expert. Visit Hamptons.co.uk for more information