Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Why can't i sell my home?

A report from the National Housing Association released today has certainly placed more doom over the housing market. The report suggests that home ownership will fall by 10% during the next 10 years and yet during the next 5 years rents are expected to rise by 20% and property prices by 25%. The rate of home ownership has declined in recent years due to the level of house prices, the need for larger deposits and stricter lending requirements set by banks, the housing federation says.
This rather gloomy outlook comes shortly after the Rightmove report stating that 7 out of 10 homes put up for sale during 2011 have not sold.
With this backdrop is it any wonder that potential sellers are asking why can’t I sell my home?
The good news is that there are a number of positive steps that a home owner can take to enhance their chance of selling in today’s market.

Review the marketing activity from your estate agent. Are the sales particulars showing your home in its best light, are the photographs of a good quality and do the sales particulars contain a floor plan? Some forward thinking estate agents are also offering services such as 3d floor plans and virtual tours both of which enhance the property profile on the internet. Why is this important? Well 90% of potential buyers research potential properties on the internet.

In a flat market multi agency agreements create competition between Estate Agents to “earn” their fee. Beware and check out your current agreement to ensure that you will not be paying 2 sets of fees.  An online estate agency can offer a suitable alternative to a high street agency as part of a multi agency agreement and the fees are a lot lower.

Be realistic with your expectations. Price is still the key factor in the current market. If your price needs to be lowered then this differential can be negotiated on your future purchase.

Presenting your home in its best light for viewings is essential as first impressions do count. However this goes beyond “putting a pot of coffee on” or “baking a loaf of bread”. Carry out an audit of your property.
Do you have safety certificates for gas and electric?
Has the boiler been serviced?
Is the roof covering in a reasonable condition, and are there any missing tiles.
Are the rainwater goods securely fixed and in reasonable condition?
Are there any minor cracks in the walls that could be repaired?
The above represents a few issues that could be checked but for professional advice you could employ the services of a surveyor to produce a Home Report. The Home Report is essentially an “MOT” for your property. Alternatively you could pay for a survey on the property and market the property as “Survey provided”. Admittedly there is reluctance on the part of sellers to employ the services of a surveyor however our previous blog explains the real value of a survey compared to the cost and such an offering will make your property more attractive to a potential buyer. It will also highlight any major problems with your home and give you the opportunity to resolve these issues.

This list of actions is by no means exhaustive. It is meant to be thought provoking. Strategies to sell your home in the current market need to be far more proactive than in a buoyant market and I hope it as a least given some ideas on how to answer the Question Why can’t I sell my home?
This blog is written by Chris from Dickens Surveyors.

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