How to sell your house - 10 tips from top property developers

Wanting to sell your house? Photo: Tom Gowanlock/Shutterstock
Wanting to sell your house? Photo: Tom Gowanlock/Shutterstock
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Selling your home is one of the biggest financial matters most of us will ever deal with.

The decisions we make when getting our homes ready for market can have a huge impact on the return we see on our investment when the buyer signs the dotted line.

Online estate agents iMoveEstates have collated these top tips from leading property developers that any prospective seller should read.

How to Sell Your House minus the Trouble

Tip # 1: Figure Out How Much Your House is Worth and Set a Price

When you are considering selling your house, setting a price of your home should be the first step on your checklist. It is important to know how much your property is worth before you sell it. If you do not do your research well, you may either oversell it, repelling the prospective buyers or undersell it, and lose a better deal that you could have gotten fair and square.

You need to take some time in figuring this out, so that later, when you are negotiating, you will be confident that the price you have set is appropriate, and will be able to negotiate properly and in a more focused manner.

Pro Tip a: Use the Zoopla Estimate to know the worth of your home

This online tool is possibly the best out there in terms of approximating the value of houses most accurately. It takes in data about your home and calculates the price. It allows you to get an unbiased, calculated estimate about the pricing, so that you can sell your property in UK without facing the troubles of overselling or underselling.

Pro Tip b: Keep your asking price higher than the true estimate

You need to keep some breathing space for negotiation, so keep the asking price around 2 per cent to 10 per cent higher than the true value of your property, so that even if you end up lowering the price in the negotiation, you would still be getting the true value of your house in the deal.

Tip # 2: Make a Budget

Now, you may think that selling a house will not cost you anything, but think again!

There are many costs that come with selling your house, like the cost of painting, repairs, fee of the agent, lawn maintenance, upgrading curb, replacing doors, Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), etc. You need to be prepared for all of these costs, and you should list them down and plan a budget for each. This may take you some time, but once you are done with it, you will be relieved of tremendous financial troubles, as you would be prepared for these expenses, and would have set money aside for them.

Tip # 3: Settle on the Number of Agents You Wish to Use

Some of you reading this blog would prefer using an agent to sell your house, while others would prefer to do it on their own. Both choices have their own pros and cons, and since every person’s needs differ, their choices would, too. Although choosing an agent is a better option in many ways, if you already have experience in the real estate industry, and are ready to take on the responsibilities yourself and do not worry about the time frame of selling your house, then you can sell privately, too.

For those of you looking to sell your house fast, or those who are new to this experience, you should hire an agent, as they would utilise their extensive experience in helping you to sell your property fast.

Tip # 4: Improve the Curb Appeal of Your House

First impressions matter. When a prospective buyer walks past your lane, what would they look for? How comfy the exterior looks, obviously! The biggest mistake that you could make in selling your house is not paying attention to your curb.

It is understandable that the curb often gets neglected as we consider upgrading what we notice most, i.e., the interior of the house. There is no doubt that the interior of your house is important, too, but the curb is the face that sells your home, and you need to polish it.

Improving your curb appeal gives you the added advantage of standing out from your neighbours. If your house is the most attractive in the neighbourhood, buyers will definitely gravitate towards your house to get a tour of the inside. It is important that you keep your curb maintained so that when people come over to view homes in your neighbourhood, they won’t be able to resist taking a look at yours.

Tip # 5: Make Necessary Upgrades

You need to make the necessary upgrades that your house needs, both inside and outside. While adding a new bathroom may add an amenity for the prospective buyer, it may not always give you the return you expected. An article published in the Realtor Magazine in 2013 listed the renovations and additions to a house according to the cost recouped. There are some famous upgrades, like roofing or a bathroom remodelling, that people swear by to bring the highest rate of return. However, the data shows that it only recoups 56.7 per cent and 58.3 per cent, respectively. If you need more insight into what and how to renovate when you are deciding on the best upgrades, in order to sell your house fast, you can look here for guidance.

Tip # 6: Take Professional Pictures

Humans respond to and process visual data better than any other type of data. So, no matter if the description beside the picture of your house lists down the best amenities and the best price, if it is not visually pleasing, your prospective buyer would move on to the next house on the list. Whether you are selling your house online, or are placing ads the traditional way, the pictures that you use for your home should be of high quality and should be able to convince a buyer to consider your house.

It is a good idea to hire a professional photographer to take pictures of your home in the best angles and light that enhances its beauty and hides any of its flaws. Make sure that the upgrades you have made to your house are included in the pictures clearly.

After you have collected lots of images, you need to sit down, relax, and carefully sift the best ones from the pile. These images will help you attract buyers to visit and consider your house for buying.

Tip # 7: Price it Right, but Sweeten the Deal with Additional Benefits

In marketing, one of the main rules is to never underestimate the value of added benefits. When you are about to sell your home, you are essentially treading the path of a marketer. Take this tip from the best, and add an incentive for the buyer. It could be anything—a transferable home warranty to offering or pay the closing costs—that would set you apart from the same-priced houses in the market, and would help you close a deal quicker.

Tip # 8: Select the Right Time to Sell Your Property

Property dealers agree that there are some seasons that provide the best deals for sellers while other seasons prove to be quite some trouble to close a good deal in, as a partner at Hart Brown, David Knapp, explained:

“There are times of the year when it’s better to sell, and times when waiting a little longer can pay off in the long run.”

Here are the seasons categorised according to the best and worst times to sell your house in UK.

Best times to sell your house:

Spring and autumn are generally the best seasons to sell a house.

In spring, specifically mid-spring, the time is ripe for selling. It is the time of the end of the school year, which makes families comfortable in buying a house in this season, so as not to put too much strain on their children. They are more likely to close a deal at a rate beneficial for you than they would be in any other season.

Autumn is the second-best season in which you can to sell your house fast. People have returned from their vacations, and would be willing to close the deal before winter, so that they won’t be encumbered at Christmas.

Worst times to sell your house:

The worst times to sell are winter and summer.

Summer break brings about a flurry of activity as people prepare to spend their much-needed vacation. This means that the market of buyers becomes depleted and you have less people to target to, which decrease your chance of closing a good deal on your house.

Same is the case with winter, as people refrain from buying houses during, or along the time of Christmas.

Tip # 9: Make Sure that Your House is Available for Viewing

Nothing irks more to the buyer than showing up for a tour of the house, and finding it unavailable for access. It is understandable that you would have a daily routine in which you would be unavailable at times; nevertheless, you need to make sure that the house is available for viewing. You could do this by giving a spare key to your trustworthy and reliable agent, instructing them to call before they arrive, and to provide you with the details later, so that you can record the viewings of your house, even when you are not at home.

Tip # 10: Be Confident but Flexible while Negotiating

Buyers would love to get a house at rock bottom price. They would scour the entire neighbourhood to see which one has the lowest price, and some are prone to haggle until you wish to pull your hair out. In order to keep your cool, know the rules of the game:

The buyer expects you to lower the price.

Yes, that is the only rule.

Remember how we mentioned in the beginning that you need to set your asking price higher than the true value? Well, the thing is, buyers know this secret, too, and they would assume that you have already set the price higher, so there should be no trouble lowering the amount.

If you have played it right and have set the price higher than the true value, then you only need to make sure that you do not lower the price below the true value of the house. Be confident that you have made the right choice in setting the price and only lower the price in the range that you have already set.

However, if you need to sell your house fast during the winter or summer, when the sales are low, keep your expectations lower and realistic.

Bottom Line

Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Take a stroll outside, and imagine you are the one buying a house. What are the flaws in your house that would put you off? What are the benefits that would make you consider buying the house?

Note these observations and make the necessary changes that you need to make to your house in order to improve its saleability and to make sure that you get your money’s worth.