When is the best time to sell a house?

When is the best time to sell a house?

Selling a home has long been known to be one of the most stressful experiences you can go through. However, with a little bit of research, it is possible to increase the saleability of your home and make life a little easier.

What time of year do homes sell quickly?

If you’re deciding whether to sell your home and would like to know the best time to sell, a quick chat with anyone who works in the property industry will reveal that there two periods each year that are considered the best time to sell. But why is this?

Those who are lucky enough to live in countries with a warm climate and dependably long days often don’t realise how good they have it. In the UK, the colder weather and varying hours of sunlight are a huge hurdle for those who are trying to present their home in the best way possible1.

Similar to attempting a sale at an exhibition, your house is a product as well as an asset, and to engage a consumer – or in this case, a potential buyer – it’s always important to get the lighting right and portray your home as a product worth buying. The problem is that British winters appear to go out of their way to shroud your home in darkness 18 hours a day – making any effort you invested in increasing its aesthetic power feel like wasted time1.

With longer hours, the number of viewings you are able to fit into a single day increases, and the more willing potential buyers will be to attend them2.

As a result, many within the industry prefer to choose their optimal selling times based on the season.

Is there an optimum season for selling?

Spring is widely considered to be the best time to sell a house. This is thanks to the mental boost many people experience as they head out of the colder months and towards the warm embrace of summer. This seasonal shift has, in the past, been known to act as a catalyst for buyers and sellers alike to spring into action – and the resulting increase in sales, and increase in house prices across the UK reflects this3.

While it is entirely possible to sell a home in winter, if you need to sell your home fast, you may be in for a disappointing result – this is not to say that you can’t sell your home fast but you may be forced to accept an offer below that which you expected4.

Many people – wrongly – believe that summer can be a great time to sell their home, which is understandable given the extra hours of daylight. However, summers are often an inconvenient time for buyers to look for a home thanks to the likely increase of spending on holidays and outdoor activities – and if they have children, dealing with a house move during a school holiday can often be too much stress to bear5.

While autumn is the best ‘runner-up’ with regard to seasonal selling, it still pales in comparison to spring in terms of the number of active potential buyers5.

Is there a best month to sell a house?

The worst month to sell a home is undoubtedly December due to the added complications that arrive with the festive period1. With shorter, darker days combined with school holidays and the extra expenditure on meals and presents – few buyers will be considering a purchase until the new year is in full swing6.

Obviously, you can place your house on the market during December but by time February rolls round, many potential buyers will find themselves asking why your home has been on the market for two months without a sale.

In a buyer’s mind, if a house has been on the market without a sale – then it’s not worth taking a chance on unless the sold house price is substantially lower than it was originally4.

The best months to sell a house, however, arrive as winter draws its last breath – and with so many things in life, it appears to be the early bird who catches the worm6.

Winter comes to an end towards the latter half of March, so those who make sure that their house is listed with an agent and displayed on a property portal such as RightMove are likely to enjoy higher levels of success than those who bide their time5.

In fact, there are industry professionals who believe that you should begin to advertise your home as early as late February, although the general consensus for the best month to sell your home is either March or April.

At this time of year, children are in school, the clocks have just gone forward and buyers are preparing to hit the market hard. And thanks to the number of properties available to them, purchases tend to happen faster than you might think, which is why it is vitally important to make sure your own home is listed.

In June there can often be a dip in market activity once the first wave of completed sales has occurred, rebounding somewhat for a brief period in July.

Of course, market conditions can fluctuate from year to year – but traditions do not – so if you want to have the greatest volume of potential buyers attending viewings, go with the crowd and stick to March or April.

Is there a best day to sell a house?

Interestingly, yes there is.

While a single day from any given month can not be pin-pointed as being ‘the best day to sell a house’, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that the day of the week you choose to put your house on the market can make a huge difference to the time it takes to sell.

In 2017, Which? Money analysed 12 months of data from the Land Registry and found that houses placed on the market at the beginning of the week were selling up to a month faster than those placed on the market at the weekend7.

In fact, properties that were listed on a Monday sold after an average of 176 days – whereas homes that were listed on a Sunday took an average of 213 days7. But why is this?

Many people try to make the most of their weekends, and therefore tend not to spend as much time in front of their phone, tablet or computer browsing properties as they would during the week1. This means that if you publish a listing over the weekend, once the masses start searching for properties after work on a Monday, your home is likely to become buried beneath the newer listings from if a user decides to sort by new.

But why is it important to sell your house fast?

In essence, the longer your house stays on the market, the less saleable it is, and the more likely you are to have to reduce your asking price in order to compete with the fresher listings that have appeared8.

When is the best time to sell your house?

Of course, while biding your time for the perfect moment to sell is great if you aren’t in a rush – life can often throw you a curveball, forcing you to sell as soon as possible.

In these situations, many individuals have found themselves benefiting from the services of house buying companies such as National Homebuyers.

National Homebuyers specialises in expediting the house buying process in order to help those who are unable to wait for a sale through the traditional house selling process.

The benefits of using a house buying company is that you will always receive a non-obligatory offer, regardless of location, situation or structural condition – helping you to bypass the established delays associated with valuations and Homebuyers Reports, allowing you to move on with your life9.

Selling a home is never an easy task to undertake, but it is important to remember that there is an immense amount of luck involved in marketing your house. It often depends on your property’s visibility in the marketplace via your agent and accompanying internet portals such as Rightmove, as well as being lucky enough to have the appropriate users in the market for a home such as yours at any one time.

If, however, you are not compelled to sell as a matter or urgency, following the advice in this blog should give you the best chance to sell in as shorter time frame as possible.

Need to sell right away? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property before it’s too late.

Sources:

1 Brazg, G. (2016). When Is The Best Time To Sell Your House?. Available: https://www.theadvisory.co.uk/house-selling/best-time-to-sell-house/. Last accessed 11th Oct 2019.

2 Butterworth, M. (2016). What is the best time of year to sell your home?. Available: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/property/article-3628998/When-best-time-sell-home.html. Last accessed 11th Oct 2019.

3 Clark, Ele. (2019). What will Brexit mean for house prices?. Available: https://www.which.co.uk/news/2019/10/what-will-brexit-mean-for-house-prices/. Last accessed 11th Oct 2019.

4 Osborne, H. (2012). Would a reduced house price deter you from buying?. Available: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2012/mar/14/reduced-house-price-deter-buying. Last accessed 11th Oct 2019.

5 Anon. (2016). When is the best time to sell my home? . Available: https://hoa.org.uk/advice/guides-for-homeowners/i-am-selling/when-is-the-best-time-to-sell-my-house/. Last accessed 11th Oct 2019.

6 Chandler, D. (2018). What’s the best time of year to sell a home?. Available: https://themortgagereports.com/44135/whats-the-best-time-of-year-to-sell-a-home. Last accessed 11th Oct 2019.

7 Calver, T. (2017). The best day of the week to put your house on the market. Available: https://www.which.co.uk/news/2017/03/the-best-day-of-the-week-to-put-your-house-on-the-market/. Last accessed 11th Oct 2019.

8 Fahy, L. (2019). 5 Reasons Your House Is Not Selling & What To Do About It. Available: https://moneytothemasses.com/owning-a-home/buying-or-selling-a-home/5-reasons-reasons-your-house-is-not-selling-what-to-do-about-it. Last accessed 11th Oct 2019.

9 Brazg, G. (2016). I Need to Sell My House Fast, What Are My Options?. Available: https://www.theadvisory.co.uk/sell-house-fast/. Last accessed 11th Oct 2019.

How to sell your house in winter?

While many property professionals prefer to advise their customers not to aim for a winter house sale, many vendors find that it is unavoidable for a variety of reasons. Luckily, the chances of selling a house in winter aren’t low as many people believe.

When is the best time of year to sell a house?

There are many people who like to pass on their opinion of the best time of year to sell a house based on their prior experience. Fortunately, we don’t have to rely on the subjective approach to the matter thanks to the vast amounts of data available from estate agents, lenders, banks and conveyancers.

Without a doubt, if you can afford to wait until it comes around, then March is always the best time of year to sell a house1.

Why? During March, the hours are beginning to get longer, allowing for more viewings and more natural light to help your home looks its best. Furthermore, with the onset of spring people are generally more jovial and if they wish to buy, they prefer to do it before summer arrives.

There are certain individuals who believe that selling a home in January is a great idea as it is the start of a new year and the Christmas holiday celebrations have been and gone. However, while certain types of valued property can sell early in the year such as one or two bedroomed flats or houses2 – often due to young people having ‘enjoyed’ one Xmas too many in the family home – but more often than not, you will have lower levels of success than in March.

Generally, you want to sell your home when the majority of buyers are looking, and they won’t be doing so when they’re busy – that means school and Christmas holidays are out. Buyers are also more likely to consider purchasing if they can attend a viewing in the evening after work while there is still daylight outside.

This is why many professionals will push their clients to sell at the beginning of spring, and if not aim for early autumn once the schools re-open3.

Why selling a house in the winter is smart

  • The benefits of selling your home winter always start with the obvious answer – there is a huge lack of competition amongst sellers4. Many of those who aren’t in a rush will be hanging around for the March sales-window, without realising that the increased competition will always leave the sold property prices in favour of buyers.
  • People will always need to buy a home, regardless of time of year. If an individual decides to permanently move to a new house as part of a career choice, they may believe that there’s a good deal to be made during the market’s quieter seasons.
  • Solicitors, conveyancers and agents tend to be busier during the warmer seasons, as do those intending to sell. This often leads to house moves getting delayed due to lengthy chains. In winter, this is generally much less of a problem.
  • With colder weather, people are more likely to spend time at home on the internet browsing properties – making newly added properies stand-out.
  • Stay heated – during viewings, the contrast between the cold weather outside and the warm temperatures inside your home will make your property seem much cosier and welcoming than during the summer months5.
  • People who are willing to come for a viewing when it’s the middle of winter tend to be a lot more serious about purchasing than the ‘serial-viewers´ in summer, who often visit homes on sale solely out of curiosity.

Will Your House Sell in the Winter?

The ancient Chinese general and philosopher Sun Tzu once said that “if you know your enemy well and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles”. And this is very true for those who wish to beat their competitors to sell their house during winter first. So, yes, it’s definitely possible to do – but only if you exploit the benefits of being on the market when the pickings are slim.

Those who own cheaper houses such as one or two bed flats and house can certainly prosper as smaller homes tend to be bought by younger people who can’t face another holiday season at the family home, and so tend to shift quite quickly2. Larger houses can take longer, but that doesn’t mean it’s a lost cause to attempt to sell in winter.

Although miserable and cold, winter can benefit those sellers who are savvy enough to realise that in this cold period, many potential buyers would prefer not to be traipsing up and down the high street looking through estate agents’ windows in the rain.

Of course, what many people forget, is that you can ALWAYS sell your home in the winter if you think outside the box. For a large number of homeowners, the need to sell can be extremely time-sensitive – and for that reason, many owners are finding themselves discovering the benefits of selling to a home-buying company.

The benefits of home-buying companies such as National Homebuyers is that from first point of contact, the sale will often be completed in as little as two weeks, allowing the buyer to regain capital in a short space of time.

Another advantage is that home-buying companies are not put-off by certain details that your average buyer may be deterred by; such as distance from shops, unappealing paintwork and structural issues etc.

The benefits of selling in winter are far-reaching for vendors, especially when safe in the knowledge that the people who are thinking about buying a home will be spending the cold evenings browsing web portals such as Rightmove, eMoov and Purple Bricks, so maybe it’s worth considering how to make your home stand out from the other listings?

Tips for selling your home fast in winter

So, you want to ensure a fast winter house sale? Thanks to the ‘ever-wonderful’ weather in the UK, many property market professionals have shared some fantastic ideas that can help you tip the odds in your favour:

  • By adding attractive outdoor lighting to your home for dark photos in winter, you can make the entrance seem much more inviting that the average house, helping it to stand out in photos. Many designers consider this ‘kerb appeal’ to be extremely important5 – especially in town houses – as it always adds an element of prestige.
  • Why stop at external lighting? By brightening up your home with a variation of direct, indirect and candle sourced room lighting, you can make your home seem especially alluring to those looking to buy a new winter house6.
  • Make sure you decorate for the season. Many sellers try to go for the sterile approach that works so well in summer. Due to joint consciousness of the human condition, however, we seek out comfort and cosiness when it is cold outside7, so try adding touches such as a cosy sofa throw or an attractive rug in the bathroom? Remember though – don’t let your personality be reflected in these simple ideas.
  • Ensure that your garden is kept tidy – even though it is unlikely to be in use during winter, it should still look attractive when it is viewed from inside the house.
  • Odours can often be easier to notice when you try to sell your home in the winter. This is because moisture builds up inside the home from coats, shoes, and of course – pets. You can easily use a dehumidifier to dry the air, but these can be costly. An easier way to cover up the odours is to use the old trick of fabric softener or furniture polish on heated radiators8. Thanks to how drift-heating works, within an hour your home will be showroom fresh.
  • Take the time to sand and varnish external window frames and sills, while also cleaning the windows – a dirty façade can often be emphasised by accident in a photo depending on the way it is processed.
  • Ensure that any photos on your listings are free from clutter – nobody wants to move into a disaster zone.
  • Take photos of your home during the summer for use in the winter – it’s always important to show how wonderful your home can look all year round.

Are you looking to sell your home during the winter? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property before it’s too late.

Sources:

1Turrill, K. (2017). Selling your home? This is the best MONTH to put your property on the market. Available: https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/property/794435/selling-your-home-house-tips. Last accessed 24 Sept 2019.

2Brazg, G. (2016). When Is The Best Time To Sell Your House? Available: https://www.theadvisory.co.uk/house-selling/best-time-to-sell-house/. Last accessed 24 Sept 2019.

3Norwood, G. (2010). How to sell your house in the autumn market. Available: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/property/buying-selling-moving/7964544/How-to-sell-your-house-in-the-autumn-market.html. Last accessed 24 Sept 2019.

4Butterworth, M. (2016). Want to sell your home this winter? Follow these seven tips to win over buyers and get it sold. Available: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/property/article-3960370/Seven-tips-sell-home-winter.html. Last accessed 24 Sept 2019.

5Anon. (2017). How to sell your home in winter. Available: https://hoa.org.uk/2017/11/how-to-sell-your-home-in-winter/. Last accessed 24 Sept 2019.

6Robson, I. (2017). Selling your house this winter? 9 tips to tempt buyers to make an offer. Available: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/property-news/selling-your-house-winter-9-13973477. Last accessed 24 Sept 2019.

7Harris, B. (2015). 10 Ways To Create A Cozy Home For Winter. Available: https://www.forbes.com/sites/houzz/2015/12/10/10-ways-to-create-a-cozy-home-for-winter/. Last accessed 24 Sept 2019.

8Brennan, S. (2016). Store bedding in a pillowcase, clean radiators with fabric softener and wet wipe the carpet: Women reveal their VERY clever life hacks for busy mothers. Available: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3790960/Women-reveal-clever-life-hacks-busy-mothers.html. Last accessed 24 Sept 2019.

What Does a Recession Mean for House Prices?

With rumours growing over recent months surrounding the possibility of another severe recession taking place sometime in the near future, many homeowners are asking how this could affect the value of their home.

What is a recession?

If you have lived through the eighties, nineties and noughties – it’s more than likely that you will have been experienced the consequences of a recession. But what exactly is a recession?

In the UK, a recession takes place when the economy experiences two consecutive months of negative growth¹. Negative growth is when the GDP – or gross domestic product – falls over a six-month phase¹.

Using this definition, it can be shown that over the last 70 years, there have been six clear recessions that have had a negative effect on the UK economy – 1974, 1975, 1980, 1981, 1991 and 2008².

A recession itself can be short-term, but its effects can certainly be felt for years after, especially in areas of moderate to severe deprivation. However, the way a recession affects certain industries often depends on the time during which it occurs.

During the Great Depression in the 1930s, for example, it was recent introduction of the gold standard that caused the most suffering, putting a strain on many financial institutions, and ultimately leading to the UK leaving the gold standard in 1931³.

In the 1970s, the political fallout of the Yom Kippur War led to an embargo on oil products from wealthy Arab nations, almost quadrupling the cost of fuel overnight and leading to many companies in industries that were reliant on a steady flow of the resource to collapse within weeks.⁴

The latest recession that took place in the UK was the 2008 ‘Great Recession’ as a result of the sub-prime mortgage crisis by banks on both sides of the Atlantic and is considered the worst financial crisis since the Second World War. During this time, the unemployment rose by a shocking 8.3%, and manufacturing output fell by 7% – the worst statistics since 1994⁵.

It was during this time, however, that many financial banks and lenders found themselves needing to be bailed out by the government, leaving those who had borrowed money from these lenders for purchases such as housing mortgages in dire straits6.

How does a recession affect property?

The effect that a recession has on property is often dependent on the rate of inflation leading up to the crisis itself.

In the decade leading up to the most the financial crisis, the value of sold house prices grew sharply creating a bubble that enticed many investors and homeowners to place themselves in position of unnecessary risk – buoyed by the confidence of the lenders who were willing to grant those without a sizeable deposit up to 95%-100% contracts7.

For those who bought their homes closer to the turn of the century, the profit they had made through sky-rocketing inflation counter-balanced the fall in house prices that occurred as a result of the crisis. Unfortunately, many who had only bought within the short period of time leading up to the recession – especially those who took high-risk mortgages – found themselves in negative equity with high interest repayments they could not afford.

 

Is a recession a good time to sell a house?

Whether or not selling a house during a recession is a good idea is very dependent on your situation. If you live in a wealthier area such London, then it is more than likely that the value will recover quite quickly once the recession is over. If, however, you live in an area that is less in-demand by buyers, the likelihood is that you could be waiting more than a decade for values to return to normal.

For example, as late as September 2018, while average properties are now 17% above where they were pre-crisis, regional differences paint a different picture. In the capital prices were over 40% higher than they were before the financial crisis, but in Northern Ireland house values were still 40% lower than they were before the recession8. For many people, they would rather lose money on their house than wait another 15 years to sell at a profit.

There will always be certain buildings that demand a premium price and are likely to weather the storm of a financial crises, but these tend to be either listed, or include unique selling points that attract wealthy buyers.

How to sell a house during a recession?

If you need to sell a home fast at a time when the vast majority of the population are struggling to cover their monthly costs – and by proxy cannot save for a deposit that would be accepted by a lender – finding a buyer can be a very difficult task. This is especially true when taking into account that the number of mortgages being approved in 2018 were still 40% lower in volume than before the 2008 crisis.8

Luckily, however, there are alternatives that many potential sellers tend to overlook.

By examining the rate of values as they fall, it’s not hard to see that waiting can often reduce your potential profit further – particularly if you live in a low-income area. In situations such as these, it is advised to sell as soon as possible, as once the recession is over there is no guarantee that your home’s value will recover in the short-term – even to the price that you manage to sell it for during a failing market.

There are, thankfully, companies who keep track of the property market and are willing to buy your house directly, for cash. The benefit of companies such as these is that they revolve around the idea of completing purchase in a much shorter space of time than a normal sale – which is great news if you are a seller and can not afford to wait around.

Furthermore, house-buying companies such as National Homebuyers will buy a house in any condition or situation, providing you with capital that can be used immediately, allowing you to capitalise on the purchasing opportunities available during a weak market, such as the possibility of buying a brand new home for a bargain-basement price from a house-building company who are desperate to shift their portfolio.

How will the housing market look in the next recession?

As of Q3 2019, fears have been growing rapidly regarding the possibility of another recession – partly fuelled by the fears of a stilted economy once the UK leaves the EU as planned9.

Even in a health economy, the ability of younger generations in the modern age to be able to afford their own home – even considering the large number of schemes put forward by the government over the last ten years – is a lost cause for the majority10.

Many analysts believe that the next recession will punish Millennials further11. While this may not seem to be an issue for many older homeowners who wish to sell, it is important to remember that the search for a willing buyer will be exponentially harder if the pool of potential buyers continues to decrease.

This means that many older homeowners who wish to downsize – trading their expensive larger houses for smaller, more affordable ones – may find the process extremely tricky, heavily affecting the status of their wealth into retirement.

It is, at this point, impossible to say how the housing market will look after the next recession. With so many variables in the air, even respected analysts are finding themselves at odds with one another. But as many economists have pointed out, the outlook would be a lot less bleak if the decision to leave the EU is reversed12.

Are you looking to sell your home due to worries about recession? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property before it’s too late.

Sources:

¹BBC (Anon) (2008) Q&A: What is a recession? Available: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7495340.stm. Last accessed 10th Sept. 2019.

²Office for National Statistics. (2013). UK GDP since 1955. Available: https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2009/nov/25/gdp-uk-1948-growth-economy. Last accessed 10th Sept 2019.

³Pettinger, T. (2017). The UK economy in the 1930s. Available: https://www.economicshelp.org/blog/7483/economics/the-uk-economy-in-the-1930s/. Last accessed 10th Sept. 2019.

⁴Smith, Charles D. (2006), Palestine and the Arab–Israeli Conflict, New York: Bedford, p329.

⁵Leaker, D. (2015). LFS: ILO unemployment rate: Great Britain: All: %: SA. Available: https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peoplenotinwork/unemployment/timeseries/ycno/lms. Last accessed 10th Sept 2019.

6Morrison, C. (2018). How the global financial crisis hit the UK housing market. Available: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/global-financial-crisis-lehman-brothers-property-house-prices-uk-housing-market-a8538176.html. Last accessed 10th Sept 2019.

7Chu, B. (2018). Financial crisis 2008: How Lehman Brothers helped cause ‘the worst financial crisis in history’. Available: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/financial-crisis-2008-why-lehman-brothers-what-happened-10-years-anniversary-a8531581.html. Last accessed 10th Sept 2019.

8Bruce, A. (2018). Britain’s lasting scars from the financial crisis. Available: https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-economy-crisis-graphic/britains-lastin-scars-from-the-financial-crisis-idUKKCN1LX0FY. Last accessed 10th Sept 2019.

9Sentance, A & Blanchflower, D. (2019). Recession looms for Britain – two experts on the economic outlook. Available: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/aug/28/recession-looms-for-brexit-britain-two-experts-on-the-economic-outlook. Last accessed 10th Sept 2019.

10Inman, P. (2015). Young people in UK increasingly giving up on owning a home – Halifax survey. Available: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/apr/07/young-people-uk-increasingly-giving-up-owning-home-halifax-survey. Last accessed 10th Sept. 2019.

11Lowrey, A. (2019). The Next Recession Will Destroy Millennials. Available: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/08/millennials-are-screwed-recession/596728/. Last accessed 10th Sept 2019.

12Clark, E. (2019). What will Brexit mean for house prices? Available: https://www.which.co.uk/news/2019/09/what-will-brexit-mean-for-house-prices/. Last accessed 10th Sept 2019.

How To Sell Your Home At Auction

There have never been more options open to the prospective property seller than there are now. From fast cash buyers to part-exchange and traditional estate agent sales, the choice is yours – so why do some favour the age-old process of property auctions, and what exactly does it involve?

Why Sell At Auction?

Offering a house for auction can provide the seller with some benefits not traditionally associated with other methods of selling. Those seeking a quick sale are drawn to home auctions for their immediacy: as soon as the gavel falls, the buyer must pay a percentage deposit, and is obliged to complete the remainder of the transaction quickly – usually within 28 days[1].

The competitive nature of bidding for a property at auction can also drive up the final price. As bidding continues and confidence increases, your property moves closer and closer to achieving its best possible price. And when the hammer falls, the price agreed is the price paid – no renegotiation can take place[2]. This added certainty is another appealing reason to forgo the local area estate agents.

House auctions frequently attract different types of prospective buyers – property auctions are well known as a favourite hunting ground for those looking for an unusual project, or one which will require a substantial amount of work to be done. If you’re finding it difficult to attract interest with conventional buyers, property auctions could be the solution – pick the right auction house and your property might quickly be found by the elusive perfect buyer.

Can You Set A Minimum Price To Sell At?

When properties are placed in house auctions, all potential buyers will see ‘guide prices’, which – as the term suggests – offer rough guides to the value of the house auctions. This may not necessarily represent the final price, and could also be presented in the form of a price range.

However, as the seller, you will agree another figure – the ‘reserve price’ – confidentially, with the auction house, before the house auctions take place. The buyers will not be aware of this value, but if bidding does not meet or exceed it, your property will not sell. As a seller, you’ll need to strike a balance between a low reserve, which increases the likelihood of achieving a sale, and a high reserve, which guarantees a higher final price – if the bidders make it there. Note that in property auctions it is not usually possible to pick any value you like – often, auction houses require a reserve price that falls within a certain percentage of the guide price[3].

What Should You Do Before Auction?

As with any property sale, it’s in your interest as the seller to ensure that the house for auction appears as well-presented and attractive as possible. You can expect your auction house of choice to market your property – but just like selling with an estate agent, that doesn’t mean that you can’t help spread the word yourself. After all, the more people who know about the sale, the more potential buyers there will be to push up the bidding and increase your chances of selling quickly.

Your first big decision ahead of selling your property at auction will be to pick the best auctioneer for you and your house. Just like estate agents, some auction houses will specialize in a type of property or a geographical area, so it is vital to do your research before committing. Fees and processes can vary from one to the next, so it pays to be thorough – do your research and follow guides available online[4].

When you have made a selection for your house auction, you’ll need to arrange a period of time to make the property available for viewings. Due to the nature of auction sales, this is usually a comparatively short time. It may be advisable to speak to agents in the local area to get an idea of what the property is worth, and with this knowledge, you can decide on the most appropriate reserve price ahead of the property auction itself.

NATIONAL HOMEBUYERS PROPERTY EXPERT says: “If you have the time, it may be beneficial to attend an auction for a property similar to your own in your local area. You’ll get a first-hand demonstration of the process your property will go through, which can help you to prepare for your own big day!”

How Much Does Selling At Auction Cost?

You’ll need to bear in mind that the auction house will charge a commission on the sale. This is likely to be in the region of 1-3%, plus VAT – considerably more than the typical estate agent fee which lies around 1.42%[5].

You’ll also need to pay solicitor’s fees for the preparation of a legal pack for the sale which includes documents such as the property information form, tenancy agreements, planning permission documentation and more. This usually costs something in the vicinity of £200[6].

Most, if not all auction houses will also charge an entry fee[7]. This covers costs such as listing your property in the auction house’s catalogue, and the amount can fall total anything from a few hundred, to a few thousand pounds. Unlike the commission charge, which is only payable once the sale has been agreed, you may have to pay the entry fees again if the property doesn’t sell and you need to relist.

Some sellers are able to pass on these additional costs to the buyer by adding a clause into the sale contract – another benefit of selling by auction – but beware: buyers may be wise to this and it could cause them to bid a little lower to compensate.

Will Your House Sell At Auction?

With the exception of some fast property buyers, very few property sales methods can offer a 100% guarantee that your house will sell. Any property can linger on the market without tempting buyers for a variety of reasons: perhaps the asking price is too high, maybe the images in the marketing material don’t do it justice. It could even be the wrong time of year, or simply a property that is fundamentally difficult to mortgage for many other possible reasons[8].

So many factors affect the speed and likelihood of completing a successful sale that simply choosing to sell via property auctions is not a realistic way to guarantee a sale. While it’s true that an auction sale can suit certain properties much better than selling via an estate agent or other methods, when all is said and done, if buyers’ interest isn’t piqued, the property won’t sell. It’s down to the seller to prepare well and do their research – no matter the sales medium – to ensure that their house has the best possible chance from the outset. This can mean lowering expectations with regards to the final sale price, re-evaluating the way the house is presented, or even exploring other ways to sell.

Can An Auction Guarantee A Quick Sale?

On average, it took 102 days to sell a property in the UK in 2018 – six days longer than it took in 2017[9]. With the possibility that this trend could continue, many are turning to other means of selling with a view to speeding up the process. One such option is listing the house for auction. As noted above, one of the key benefits to selling via property auction is the speed with which the process can be completed once a sale has been made. A far cry from the often lengthy, drawn-out ordeal of selling with a traditional estate agent, the winning bidder in a property auction will usually be required to place at least a 10% deposit on the property on the very day of the auction, with the remaining balance due within a month[10]. For those fortunate enough to achieve a bid high enough to clear the listed reserve price, house auctions can prove very beneficial if a swift sale is desired.

Of course, that rapid completion procedure can only occur once a sale has been achieved, and merely opting for a property auction sale is not enough to guarantee this achievement. NATIONAL HOMEBUYERS PROPERTY EXPERT has this advice:

“When speed is truly of the essence, your traditional estate agent might simply take too long. House auctions can move along quickly in terms of completing an agreed sale – but only a fast cash buyer like National Homebuyers can guarantee to not only make you an offer, but to make every effort to do so within a timescale that suits you.”

What Are The Alternatives To A House Auction?

What options are there for selling your house if property auctions don’t quite fit the bill?

  • If time is not a factor, traditional local or national estate agents. While they may charge various fees, their knowledge of the region and of the property market can be valuable – but be prepared to wait.
  • Online estate agents can offer similar advantages to a high street agent, with generally lower rates – but are you missing out on the specific local area knowledge and marketing of a traditional high-street estate agent?
  • If you need a good result quickly, consider using a fast cash buyer such as National Homebuyers[11].

Compared with house auctions, National Homebuyers can offer a quicker turnaround, a lot less hassle and are guaranteed to make you an offer, regardless of the condition or value of your property. If you’re considering selling your house via property auctions, why not give National Homebuyers a call first?

[1] – https://www.which.co.uk/money/mortgages-and-property/first-time-buyers/buying-a-home/property-auctions-athvb3j7lmd4

[2] – https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/team-blog/2013/09/property-auctions-can-you-bag-a-bargain/

[3] – https://www.auction-link.org.uk/what-is-an-auction-reserve-price/

[4] – https://www.which.co.uk/money/mortgages-and-property/first-time-buyers/buying-a-home/property-auctions-athvb3j7lmd4

[5] – https://www.fridaysmove.com/property-auction-fees/25162

[6] – https://www.auction-link.org.uk/auction-fees-for-selling-property/

[7] – https://www.auction-link.org.uk/auction-fees-for-selling-property/

[8] – https://www.which.co.uk/money/mortgages-and-property/home-movers/selling-a-house/why-isnt-my-house-selling-arn5j4y3m7qz

[9] – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46219904

[10] – https://www.auctionhouse.co.uk/guide/when-do-i-pay-my-deposit

[11] – https://www.nationalhomebuyers.co.uk/

Can you sell a house with asbestos in the UK?

Across the country, there are a number of older properties that still contain the toxic material, and its presence can often deter potential buyers for good reason. So how do you sell a house that contains asbestos?

Asbestos is a silicate mineral has been mined for over four thousand years around the world. With a wide range of uses, it was often hailed as a ‘wonder material’ by many prominent historical figures throughout the Roman Empire and Persia.

Why is asbestos dangerous and is it illegal to sell a house with asbestos?

Categorised into six separate classifications, it’s easy to see why asbestos was heavily used in UK property construction during the 20th century – it was resistant to fire, did not conduct electricity, and was an excellent heat insulator – but most importantly, it was mined locally and therefore extremely cost effective.

While the different available forms of asbestos vary in their potential to harm those who come into contact with it, they are all linked to a condition known as asbestosis. During its manufacturing process and implementation in many types of construction, the dust that was produced contained sharp asbestos particles that often found their way into the lungs of workers, cutting and scarring the delicate tissue inside and frequently causing tuberculosis and fibrosis. In the US alone, the handling of asbestos has led to the deaths of approximately 100,000 people since records began.

In the modern era, large-scale mining in the UK started in the late 19th century, but despite the first asbestos-related death occurring in 1906, it took until 1985 for the first partial ban to be passed through parliament.

While it isn’t illegal to sell a house with asbestos, for homeowners in the process of selling a house containing the material, the number of steps required to find a buyer can be a nightmare. But what measures need to be undertaken in order to sell a house fast?

Asbestos disclosure when selling a house in the UK

Since the repeal of the Property Misdescriptions Act in 2013, all sellers are obliged to disclose the presence of asbestos during a sale. Of course, owners are not expected to detect the presence of asbestos in their home by themselves, but more than likely this information will have been uncovered by a chartered surveyor before they moved in.

In a large majority of cases, a seller will also be using a surveyor to determine the value of their home prior to placing it on the market, and their estate agent of choice will likely query the presence of asbestos based on the age and construction type of the property. Generally, any home built before 1978 could contain the toxic material, and a failure to detect the presence of asbestos in these instances could open up both the surveyor and agent to prosecution.

However, in many cases a surveyor would only be liable if asbestos was detectable by reasonable means – i.e. a surveyor cannot be expected to detect its presence through a solid wall or other unreachable areas.

How can I sell a house with asbestos?

If a surveyor’s valuation or agent’s report have determined that there is asbestos in your house, then further inspection is needed by a qualified professional who will be able to establish whether or not it could endanger the lives of those living within the property. It is important to note that asbestos does not pose a threat if it is in good condition – it is only when the material has been damaged or disturbed that its removal may be warranted.

If the material is in good condition then the law merely requires the seller to disclose the information to potential buyers and it is up to the latter to decide whether or not it is worth pursuing a purchase. If the asbestos, however, is found to pose a hazard to health then the situation can become a little more complicated.

Asbestos removal can be expensive, with average prices reaching £75 + VAT per sq. m – so even a small 6m x 5m ceiling can reach £2200 + VAT. For a seller, it comes down to a choice between having the material removed themselves at great cost, or placing the house on the market at a reduced rate to encourage a sale – although the number of potential buyers is likely to be limited due to health concerns.

House buying companies, however, are always happy to offer competitive prices to owners regardless of the presence of asbestos. Those looking to move house in a short time-frame often find this to be a preferable method, with sales completed in as little as two weeks.

Finding it hard to sell? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.