Anyone who has ever put their property on the market keeps their fingers crossed for a quick sale. But if you have to move fast out of financial necessity, watching the days tick by with no offers can be an extremely frustrating and stressful experience.
So, what can you do to sell your house quickly and for a good price? Follow Ellis & Co's guide which is packed with tips on how to sell your house fast...
HOW TO SELL A HOUSE QUICKLY: SELL AT THE RIGHT TIME
Putting your property up for sale when buyers are actively on the hunt for a new home is key. You wouldn't sunbathe in December and, generally, you'll get an equally frosty result if you put your home up for sale in the weeks before Christmas.
Knowing the best time to sell is vital and that means keeping an eye on the property market or speaking to your local agent to find out what is happening during the seasons. As a rule, spring is the best time to sell because:
* The weather is warming up and buyers emerge from a winter hibernation
* The evenings are lighter, meaning more time in the day to view properties
* A 12-to-16-week process to complete a sale will get families into a new home before the summer holidays begin
Another good time to sell is autumn:
* The late summer weather tends to hold into September and early October
* Buyers ramp up their bid to be in a new property before Christmas
* Children are back at school in September, meaning parents have more time to view homes
On the other side of the coin, winter and summer generally see a slowdown in the property market:
* School holidays mean many families go away for a break
* Warm weather sees buyers spending time doing other fun things besides looking for a new house!
* In winter, darker evenings limit the time to view a house in good light conditions
* The fast approach of Christmas means many buyers wait until the New Year to start their property search
WATCH THE MARKET TO SELL YOUR HOUSE QUICKLY
Speak to your local Ellis & Co property experts, who will be able to advise you of market conditions at any time of the year.
Equally as importantly, watch the news and keep an eye on the local newspaper website. Are there plans for development near your property, or proposals in place for improved transport links or a new school?
All these things can add a tick to your postcode's box and may ignite interest from buyers even out of peak seasons.
WHO CAN SELL MY HOUSE QUICKLY? A GOOD AGENT!
Nothing sparks a quick sale faster than a buyer thinking they are getting a bargain. So, work out the price you can realistically afford to sell your home for.
Take some time to talk to your agent about sale prices of similar homes in the area. Compare your property with those homes and agree your selling price having weighed up your needs going forward.
Have your property valued by at least four estate agents and take some time to ponder the valuations that come back.
While the lowest figure might net you a super fast sale, the numbers might not work for you and your future plans.
Consider each agent on its merits and speak to friends and family about their experiences, as well as looking online review sites such as TrustPilot.
Ensure you ask each estate agent who values your home a series of key questions:
* What fees do you charge?
* What is your commission rate?
* Do you offer a sole agency contract or will you consider a joint agency sale?
* What experience do you have of selling homes like mine in the area?
* How will my property be marketed?
* Will you carry out viewings yourself?
PREP FOR VIEWINGS TO SELL A HOUSE FAST
First impressions are everything. If your property lacks curb appeal, the chances of selling it quickly in any market are vastly reduced.
But the good news is you don't need to spend a fortune giving it a spruce up. If you're looking to sell in spring, remove the last remnants of winter by:
* Raking up any dead leaves and detritus and giving the lawn a mow
* Jet washing pathways and walls
* Trimming back hedges and trees and giving the shed a splash of wood stain or paint
* Cleaning all windows and clearing the guttering of leaves and rubbish
* Considering painting the exterior of your property
Inside your home, remove all aspects of your personality. Yes, it's harsh, but buyers have a really hard time visualising living in a home if it's full of family images and garish wallpaper that you love but they will hate.
Go for neutral colours on the walls and pack away any pictures of the family. Rather than expecting buyers to 'visualise' through a mountain of clutter, make it easy for them. A blank canvas is the order of the day.
Most importantly, make sure your home is spotlessly clean. If needs be, call in the professionals to get stuck in to high-grime areas like kitchens and bathrooms. If your home is sparkling, the smiles of potential buyers will be, too.
SOME TOP TIPS TO SELL YOUR HOUSE FAST... ROOM BY ROOM
In your kitchen, do the following to catch the attention of search-weary buyers:
* Clear all surfaces and stash away appliances so buyers can imagine how their own things would look
* Bin those dirty cloths and sponges and put the soaked tea towels in your wash bin
* Open the windows to remove any linger cooking smells - whatever you do, do not cook a curry the night before a viewing!
* Make sure all cupboards open and close correctly - yes, buyers to try them!
* Place some flowers and a bowl of fruit in the eye line of viewers
Spruce up your bathroom by:
* Tidying away toothbrushes and soap
* Placing a bottle of Molten Brown hand wash next to the sink
* Ensuring clean towels are hanging
* Make sure the toilet seat opens and closes - yes, they test this too!
* Opening windows to air the room
In your property's bedrooms:
* Hoover the carpets and pack away clothes
* Make beds with fresh linen and plump up those cushions
Your property's living room is the heart of the home so:
* Tidy away magazines, toys and remote controls
* Dress your sofa with inviting cushions and throws if required
* Place some fresh flowers on a side unit
* Pull back curtains or raise blinds to let natural light in, but switch on corner lamps too - even in the middle of the day
Take into account the temperature in each room. If you are selling in early spring, the mornings can still pack a chill so ensure your heating is on before a viewing so the potential buyer gets a warm welcome.
In summer, open windows and keep blinds closed until the last possible moment to keep the property cool.
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT POTENTIAL BUYERS
If you are lucky enough to have early interest in your property from more than one buyer (and if you follow this guide, you should have!), use the viewings to find out more about their situation.
You could end up in a scenario where you have two offers fair close together in price, so it's worth knowing each buyer's situation before deciding which to accept.
A first-time buyer with no chain or cash buyer who has already sold their previous home are extremely appealing if you want to move quickly.
And be prepared yourself: Buyers may want to know why you are so keen to sell quickly and, given the amount of money they will be spending, will be naturally cautious. Make sure you have answers ready should those questions be posed.
KEEP ON THE CASE ONCE YOU HAVE AN OFFER
It's easy to relax once you have accepted an offer, but your quick move won't be quick at all if the conveyancing process drags its heels.
Keep the lines of communication open with your solicitor and estate agent and try to move the process on to exchange of contracts as swiftly as you can. Once you have reached this stage, the sale is lawfully binding and you should be only days away from completing that quick sale you yearned for!