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How to sell a house fast

Selling a house is an experience that many homeowners consider a necessary evil if they wish to upsize or downsize. Whether the stress comes from trying to find a decent agent, staying optimistic about viewings, or simply waiting for a buyer to make an offer – the house selling process is not one for the faint of heart. And when there is a limited time frame within which a sale must be made, anxiety levels can often shoot through the roof. However, the ability to sell a house fast is an important skill to learn for those hoping to move house for a new job, or simply to be closer to loved ones.

How to sell a house fast in a slow market

There are often times throughout the year where the property market appears to be in the midst of a massive slowdown. As a result, many vendors around the country find themselves reducing their house prices in order to remain competitive – but are they panicking unnecessarily?

In short, the answer is yes. Similar to stock markets, the world of property is heavily underpinned by consumer confidence, so even in the quietest months it doesn’t take much for the market to gain enough inertia for activity to increase rapidly. One of the best ways to ensure that you can sell a house fast in a slow market is to increase the visibility of your home to potential buyers – this means ensuring that you do not enter an agreement for any single agent to be the sole contract holder for the sale. Admittedly, you may end up paying a slightly higher commission by using multiple agents, but if you need to sell your house quickly, it is often necessary to make concessions.

Another great tip to drum-up a bit of interest in your home is to take advantage of mediums such as social media – after all, you never know whether a friend, or a friend of a friend maybe on the lookout for a new home. Plus, if you sell the home yourself, you can always pocket the commission that you would normally pay to an agent.

Sometimes, however, you need to sell your house fast, and no matter what you try, the market continues to be stagnant. In these circumstances, you can try using house buying companies who will buy any home, regardless of market conditions or location to help you move on with your life.

Tips on how to sell your house quickly

Even if the market is in full swing, selling a house quickly can still be a very stressful experience. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to increase the likelihood of a quick sale:

  • Find an agent who has experience in both your area, and also your style of home. When it comes to selling a house, experience matters.
  • Make yourself available as often as possible for any potential viewings. While this is easier said than done, the more time you can make for those looking at purchasing, the faster a sale can be achieved.
  • Offer your agent an incentive in regard to commission levels. Be clear that if a sale can be achieved in a specified time frame, the greater their earnings will be.
  • Try researching some sold property prices in your area to ensure that you aren’t asking too much, and if it is within your budget, maybe undercut the competition.
  • If you have the time, try making a list of all local amenities and their respective distances from your home. Many sellers will judge certain areas harshly without ever visiting them, so give them a great reason to consider yours.
  • Get in touch with your conveyancer early. Quite often, the greatest delays do not come from a lack of potential buyers, but from the movement of paperwork between the relevant parties.
  • If you have a choice, avoid buyers who are stuck in a chain and go for those who are able to move in straight away. And if they’re cash buyers, even better.

Choose the best time to sell your home

While there are always a large number of househunters on the prowl at any given time throughout the year, there is a marked difference in market activity between the seasons.

Traditionally the worst times to sell are always during summer and winter. A large number of potential homeowners will have children of varying ages – and as many parents can attest, the summer and winter holidays are often stressful enough without having to factor in the purchase of a new home. Moreover, during the summer months when the weather is nice, people try to avoid stress by going on holiday – a lofty expense in itself; while around the Christmas period, the cost of travelling and presents can often leave your bank account drained.

If you can afford to wait, experts will always advise a vendor to place their home on the market in either spring or autumn.

In spring, the longer days not only encourage buyers to look around for a new home, but the additional light also helps to make a house seem more aesthetically pleasing and bright than in winter. Additionally, if you have a garden, the warmer temperatures and sunshine will help your flowers bloom – a welcome sight for any potential purchaser.

In autumn, buyers with children will have a bit more time on their hands once all the schools are open again. Furthermore, those who missed the spring bubble will be keen to buy and settle in before the temperatures begin to plunge again.

Prepare your house for a quick sale

Despite all the effort you put into making your home visible to potential buyers, if it doesn’t look desirable, the chances of achieving a sale in a short time frame are very slim. So why not do everything you can to make your home as attractive as possible? It may seem obvious, but a large number of houses don’t sell simply because the owners haven’t bothered to make it look appealing to a potential buyer.

  • Go minimal – buyers are always more enthusiastic about a property if they can see themselves living there. This means removing a large amount of your personality from the décor, and replacing it with a clear, canvas upon which they can project theirs – so try neutral colours on your walls and floors.
  • Keep all laundry and clutter out of the way, and ensure that all doorways are clear from obstructions.
  • Consider re-varnishing and treating any external wooden areas such as sills, doors, and cladding to prevent your home from looking ‘old’.
  • Keep it perpetually clean – it may be tough, but you don’t want to have to turn-away viewings because you had a week where you let your house turn into a bombsite.
  • If you’re selling during the winter months, make sure you keep the heating on throughout the day – even if you’ve already moved out.
  • Keep the windows open prior to a visit, and invest in some air fresheners or odour absorbers to place around the home to remove any unwanted smells.
  • If you have kids, make sure that their toys are confined to their room during viewings – while they may be adorable, certain buyers may not find their presence as welcoming as you had hoped.
  • Keep your curtains open – a house will always look more inviting when viewed with copious amounts of natural light.

Ultimately, learning how to sell a house fast isn’t easy – but it’s always worth doing everything within your power to encourage your home to stand out from the crowd, and remind yourself that upon completing the sale, it will have all been worth it.

Looking for a fast house sale? 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.

© Dun.can (CC BY-ND 2.0)
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