If you’re relocating for a new job, going through a divorce or facing repossession, waiting months or even years for your house to sell is not an option.
What can you do to speed up the house sale process?
The housing market has been booming since the end of the first COVID-19 lockdown in May 2020, but there are signs that sales are beginning to slow. And even in a fast-moving market, not all properties will sell quickly. If you live in an unusual or rundown home, or your property is located in an unpopular area, it could take years to sell. And don’t forget, one in four house sales fall through every year in the UK. If this happens, you’ll have to start looking for a buyer all over again, significantly increasing the time it takes to sell up and move on.
If you’re in a hurry to sell your property in Birmingham, check out our top tips for selling fast in 2022 and beyond.
- Set a Realistic Asking Price
Buyer demand has outstripped housing supply during the past 18 months. This has led to a fiercely competitive market, with buyers frequently offering well above the advertised asking price.
However, research has shown that a seller who sets the asking price too high and subsequently reduces it will have much less chance of securing a quick house sale. Listing a property with an accurate valuation from day one doubles the chances of finding a buyer.
Top Tip: Request valuations from at least three estate agents and do your own research. Look at the recently sold prices or local properties similar to yours. Notice any properties that have been on the market a long time — this could be a sign that the asking price is too high. Once you understand how much your home is worth, set a realistic asking price to give yourself the best chance of selling fast.
- Spruce Up Your Property
First impressions count. If your property looks scruffy and uncared for, this will affect the number of viewings booked, which will impact the time it takes to sell. Many people forget to improve the exterior of their homes when selling, but boosting your property’s kerb appeal can go a long way to enticing potential buyers! Many people will drive past a house before booking a viewing, and photographs showing your property in its best light are essential for online advertising.
Top Tip: You don’t need a big budget or months of free time to improve the exterior of your home significantly. Mow any grass, tidy up flower beds, add a lick of paint to window and door trims and hide unsightly dustbins. All of these small, low-cost improvements will help create a positive first impression.
- Highlight Popular Property Features
Research the market and talk to local estate agents to find out the current buying trends. Are large gardens top of most buyers’ wish lists? Or is a home office the star attraction? Individual buyers will have their own unique needs and preferences, but there are often trends that savvy sellers can tap into. For example, after the COVID-19 lockdowns, estate agents noticed a sharp rise in demand for properties with a garden, fast wifi and space for a home office.
Top Tip: If your home has any in-demand features, make sure these are highlighted front and centre of the property listing and any other marketing. Add as much information as possible and invest in professional photographs to showcase these features. Making changes to tap into buying trends, such as converting dead space into a small work area or “office”, could help attract more buyers. Focus on the target market — families, young professionals, retirees, etc. What is most important to them, and does your home offer this?
- Change Your Estate Agent or Sell without One
If your estate agent is drowning in a heavy workload or isn’t proactive, your house will take longer to sell. Signs that you might want to shop around for another estate agent — or ditch them altogether — include poor communication, few viewings, no feedback from sellers, inadequate marketing and unclear price structures.
Top Tip: Save thousands of pounds on estate agent fees and avoid viewings by selling to a cash house buying company.
- Sell Off-Market
Selling on-market with an estate agent is the most traditional way to sell a house, but there are several alternatives to consider if you need to sell a house fast.
If you’re selling to buy a new build property, part exchange will allow you to sell and buy in one easy transaction. Selling to a developer is a much lower risk than selling to a private buyer who is entitled to change their minds any time until the point of exchange.
Traditional and modern auctions typically offer a faster route to sale than selling on-market. In a traditional auction, the buyer must complete their purchase within 28 days and in a modern auction, within 56 days. However, auction house fees can be high, and there is no guarantee your property will sell. Beginners may also be caught out by the intricacies of the auctioneering process. The asking price must be within 10% of the reserve price, so if you set the asking price too low, you could be forced to sell for a lot less than you’d hoped to achieve!
A third option is to sell to a cash house buying company. There are some unscrupulous companies in operation, so be sure to do your due diligence and check that any organisation you decide to sell to is a genuine cash buyer. If you find a reputable company, a quick house sale is the fastest way to sell a house — completion can be achieved in as little as seven days!
Top Tip: Research all the options available to you for selling. Don’t just blindly go with an estate agent — you could be missing out on a much quicker route to sale.
If you’re eager to sell your Birmingham property fast, set a realistic asking price, present your home to showcase it in its best light and explore all the possible ways to sell — marketing with an estate agent in the traditional way could take a lot longer than selling at auction, part-exchanging for a newbuild home or selling to a quick house sale company.