Top tips from an expert estate agent on how to sell your house – and sell it quickly
PUBLISHED: 18:02 27 November 2018 | UPDATED: 10:56 18 December 2018
If you’re looking to sell your house, the quickest way to do so is by knowing the market and how to get the most out of it – these estate agent tips will help
Just the thought of selling your home can be daunting, however the process can be made even more stress-inducing when you’re trying to find somewhere new to live at the same time. This is why it is essential to get help from the experts!
Every seller wants their sale process to be as quick as possible and the decisions made along the way can either help or hinder how fast their sale completes – Jonathan Penn is an estate agent at Jackson-Stops, and knows exactly what sellers should be doing to ensure their house sells – and fast. He shares his top tips.
What can I do to help speed up the selling process?
There are a number of things that you can do to help speed up your house selling process – from finding an appropriate agent to keeping your home clean and tidy for viewings.
“The key to success begins with finding a sector appropriate agent for your sale,” says Jonathan. “Find someone who specialises, and is active in, the market sector your house belongs to.
“You should also ensure your property is prepared for sale before it goes on the market. You need to present your property at its best, so improve your house’s presentation and fix anything that needs to be repaired as soon as you can. The house should be clean, tidy and well maintained from the very start.
“Make sure you and your agent have created good marketing material for your property – and this is all about being visual,” adds Jonathan. “The market wants top quality photographs, virtual tours and detailed, accurate floor plans.
“The time of year you choose to put your home on the market can also affect its sale. Try to avoid selling during the quieter holiday times such as August when schools are on holiday, and at Christmas as people are otherwise focussed. January or February can be a good time to sell as there are often many New Year resolution buyers, whilst the spring, summer and early autumn are traditionally active periods too”.
It is also essential to maintain your property’s clean and tidy appearance for the whole duration that it is on the market, as first impressions are vital. “Always be prepared,” adds Jonathan. “That next person who views could be your buyer.
“A final thing that can also be done to speed up a sale is making sure the solicitors are fully briefed and prepared for the sale. Instruct your solicitors to have the correct forms filled out in advance to save time.”
How can I find out how much my house is worth?
It is imperative that your house is priced correctly to ensure it sells progressively – and consulting a professional in the correct market sector for your property is the best way to get the guide price in the right bracket first time.
“Any advice given needs to be correct for the type of property being sold whether it’s a flat, a house, farmland or a country home,” explains Jonathan. “A good agent will use comparable market evidence, comparing your home to previously sold properties in the market to provide retrospective guidance but will factor in the likely attitude of buyers in the future.
“Be aware of overly optimistic advice though, and make sure you can distinguish between guide price advice and a valuation.”
Whatever the guide price suggested to you by an agent, as Jonathan explains, “the value remains to be proven and will depend on the attitude of purchasers, after they have viewed and the agents’ ability to negotiate the highest offer level from each interested party.”
How beneficial is selling my house through an estate agent?
When it comes to selling your house, you can do it yourself – although it definitely isn’t advised. Your house is likely to be your biggest asset, and when selling with an estate agent you are guaranteed to be guided, from start to finish, by a specialist, experienced professional.
“Agents are very helpful during the process,” explains Jonathan. “We work behind the scenes to keep matters on track and smooth out any bumps along the way. We are fully motivated and incentivised to reach the finishing line.
“The difference between selling with an agent and selling online is the professional service. We are expert at negotiating, meaning sellers will achieve the best market price.”
Does it cost to sell a house with an estate agent?
“Online listers charge you up front with varying costs, and watch out for any possible hidden extras, while real estate agents charge a commission based on a percentage of the sale price, which is payable at completion, direct from the sale proceeds and are therefore motivated and incentivised to secure a sale for you,” continues Jonathan.
“Their time, expertise and all aspects of their marketing is normally included within the commission. However there may be some occasions, depending on the nature of the property, where a marketing budget is agreed in addition. In the interest of transparency all real estate agents are required legally to state the amount of commission in monetary terms that will be paid.”