Selling Your Home in a Buyers Market

Selling a home is a tough task at the moment. Buyers are hunting for bargains and with banks and building societies reluctant to lend many potential homebuyers are struggling to raise finance.

But while sellers could be forgiven for thinking that doom and gloom headlines mean they have no chance of ever shifting a property, this is not necessarily the case.

Upmarket estate agent Savills reported recently that buyers willing to price their home down 25% from its peak 2007 value, were getting plenty of viewings and offers.

Getting the price right is essential, but selling your home successfully is about more than that. Here are five simple tips to help get your home sold.

Check out the competition
Estate agents report many buyers basing asking prices on what they think their home was worth at the peak of the market in late 2007 – minus a little bit. It may be a bitter pill to swallow but this is unrealistic. The Nationwide house price index shows prices down 20% since then and buyers will be expecting a further 5% to 10% off that. See what rival properties are selling for – your potential buyer will.

Get the price right
Bite the bullet and price realistically and then hope you get plenty of interested potential buyers.

As a strategy for selling this beats putting your home on at a high value and not getting anyone through the door.

Despite the economic problems and mortgage market difficulties, there will be plenty of people hoping to take advantage of lower house prices and make a move this spring. If you want to sell, grab then while you can.

First impressions count
Your potential buyer is likely to first see your home on the internet or in the local paper, so make sure those first views look good. Ensure your estate agent takes flattering photos that are well lit, easy to make out and show the best aspects of your home. If you are not happy with them, tell them and get them changed. Don't forget that the first thing your potential buyer will see when they arrive is the outside of your house.

Kerb appeal is vital and that means tidying up the front garden, perhaps a lick of paint or varnish and trimming back the out of control hedge you have been meaning to tackle for months.

Have a makeover
A swift paint job can work wonders on tired rooms. Remove clutter and set furniture attractively and imagine how your potential buyer will use your property. Little touches like resealing bathrooms and kitchens can make a massive difference.

Move the pile of old newspapers, tidy things into cupboards and don't leave your storage areas bursting at the seams. Buyers like personal touches – a show home can be very cold – but remember they may not share your quirky taste, so calm any excesses.

Don't go overboard
Fitting a new bathroom or kitchen is rarely worthwhile when selling. It is unlikely you will recoup the cost. A brand new extension, fancy shed or huge patio is also rarely a good move. What can be advantageous is showing a buyer the potential of your home and suggesting how you've always thought about extending or putting in patio doors.

If you've got planning permission get the documents to hand and show the potential buyer – they may not act on the plans but knowing there is the possibility can be a major selling point.

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