How to sell property quickly? Can you? These are fifty million dollar (pound) questions when selling in a slump. You can sell quickly in any kind of market but the key issue is at what cost? Do you drop your price, spend hard cash doing your property up or give up, and stay put? And if you have to sell we'll let you know how to do that too.
Lets start by confirming that all things are possible. It depends how flexible you are on price, how much effort you'll put in to selling and how motivated you are to sell. Sure. We all want to get property off our hands as quickly as possible. It's convenient. But do you really need to sell in a speedy fashsion?
What you're up against
Considerations of how to sell property quickly in a slump should start with a brief nod to the economics of the situation: at most points in a downturn sellers outnumber buyers. This seems to be the case at the moment: the Council of Mortgage Lenders admits house seller numbers outweigh buyer numbers (April 2010). This means that buyers have the luxury of being able to pick and choose even if it turns out they can't buy anyway. Some buyers, whether agents know it or not, are still not "proceedable" - meaning they aren't able to buy there and then. So not really a buyer at all.
Will you beat the slump?
Good news? Not all properties are equally impacted by the downturn. Some homes, in some locations are shifting. So the quick sale of property even in a downturn is perfectly possible using agents.
There are different reasons for this. Demand for certain types of properties varies by location. For example. In Edinburgh family homes in the £400,000+ bracket have weathered the downturn well. Sub £120,000 flats in non central areas have been hard hit. Although some types of property may have strong appeal, the buyers for these properties must be in the market to buy, even in a downturn.
The in the ins and outs of how to sell property quickly - even in a slump - can mean making the most of your property. Many sellers over estimate how "sellable" there property actually is. You can influence the appeal of your own property by spending some hard cash on it. We're not talking about renovation, more freshening up. Anything that can be done at low-ish cost and quickly. Most of us can't see the "issues" in our own properties but others can. In the slump if two properties in the same street are on at the same price, the "fresher", more well cared for property will get the sale all things being equal. So bring yours up to scratch.
So what things to focus on? The outside of your property is a good place to start as initial impressions can influence everything that comes after. Think front doors newly painted with glossy paint, quality door furniture, tidy front garden etc.
Inside, above all else your property should be clean and tidy. Beyond that a lick of paint always works in neural colours. There are lots of books to inspire you. The key here is to grasp that nicer property sells best in a slump whereas in a fast market sold signs spring up regardless! Think smart rather than loads of money, as you may not get a return on your spend in the current market. And anyway, if you're reading a page about how to sell property quickly, you'll be most focused on quick fixes!
Pricing your property to sell
You probably won't be surprised to hear that how to sell property quickly when the market is slow can come down to price. Even surveyors are confused by the current market! It's an invidious job trying to value property in streets where no house has sold for more than two years! Free valuation sites like Zoopla are OK, but we still prefer Hometrack for which you'll need to pay. In some cases you need more than one source of data anyway.
Bear in mind nearly all property is taking longer to sell. A good estate agent will have their ear to the ground, as will solicitor/estate agents in Scotland.
We notice two trends. Asking prices or Home Report valuations are still higher than most people want to pay for average properties. And there are buyers who'll be looking for "distressed" vendors. Good estate agents are now asking sellers to be realistic about asking prices, but the culture of asking and selling prices being different means buyers still want money off! Unless your agent can persuade them otherwise of course.
Pitch the price at a level you can live with..taking account of how quickly you need to sell and the level of activity in your immediate area. In Scotland the trend seems to be for property being offered at Home Report valuation levels - at least for 3-4 weeks. In England it seems to be about about the final sale price + 5% to 10% - although it varies widely. However, especially now, you'd be unwise to over-rule your agent and pitch an asking price higher than they suggest.
If this "see if it sucks" approach won't work for you then you should reduce your price with an eye to being at least cheaper than equivalent properties in your area. If there are none, seek your agent's advice, and in England and Wales you may think of getting some form of survey done for your own peace of mind. This can range from a "desk top" to an actual survey valuation.
People can be deaf to the notion that their property is worth less than they think. Just remember in the current market you're not doing buyers a favour selling them your house! It's the other way around.
How to sell property quickly with / without estate agents
If you have good reason to avoid all the palaver above we may be able to help. This is the crux of the matter if you are looking to have your sale completed quickly without complication. Regardless of whether your property is currently for sale with an estate agent or not we be able to show you how to sell property quickly, even in the slump. However it is practicable if you take responsibility for getting to grips with the small print in your agents contract.