Thanks to the recession, the housing market has slowed down once again, and house prices are far lower than they were just four or five years ago. The number of property sales taking place per year is down to almost half what it was in 2006, and it doesn't look like the market will recover any time soon.
Many people will be happy to stay where they are and pay down their mortgage while waiting for the housing market to recover, but if, for some reason, you need to sell your home in the next year or so, you may find it's quite a struggle. The following tips will help you to sell your home in a stagnant market :
The most important thing is to be realistic. You won't get viewers through your front door if you price yourself too high. Do lots of research and figure out what you can reasonably expect to get for your home. Set a price high enough that you'll have some room to make cuts during the bargaining phase, but low enough to attract the interest of some buyers.
Don't Waste Your Time on Gimmicks
There was a time when gimmicks such as "you can take the car in the garage too", or "I'll pay your Stamp Duty" would sway buyers. These days, there's not much point in offering such concessions - the buyer is either interested, or not. Set a reasonable price, and leave it at that.
Choose a Good Estate Agent
Get valuations from at least three estate agents. Don't just pick the agent that suggests the highest price. Ask lots of questions, and try to find the estate agent that will offer you the quickest sale, at a price you're willing to accept.
Spruce Up Your Home
Get a surveyor to look at your home before you put it on the market, and make sure that you fix every issue that they find. Tidy up your home so that it's in "show home" condition, and don't forget the outside. The first thing that buyers will see is your front door, and your front garden. Weed the garden, get rid of any litter, clean your windows, and make sure your front door is gleaming. First impressions count.
Once your prospective buyers step through your front door, make sure they get a clean smelling, bright and airy view of a home that they'd love to live in.
What's In the Neighbourhood?
If you find out that the prospective buyers are moving to the area from elsewhere (perhaps relocating for work), then go the extra mile and tell them about your neighbourhood. Do they have kids? If so, how close is the nearest school? Is it a good school? If they're younger, how much does a taxi to town cost? Does the local pizza shop make great food? How fast is the broadband in the area? Find out what your buyers like to do, and let them know how conveniently situated your house is for someone that does those things.