5 ways property vendors can achieve a quick sale.

How to set and achieve the asking price for your home

A home is not just a financial purchase, it is an emotional investment. And with residential property in the UK now changing hands for an average of £286,133, it’s no wonder vendors and purchasers feel they have had an extended ride on a super-size emotional rollercoaster by the time contracts are exchanged and a move date is set.

But some of the emotional peaks and troughs that are a natural consequence of buying and selling property can be made less steep if vendors take some simple steps before launching their home on the market. Here are the answers from Peach Properties, an estate agent in Shoreditch to five questions that frequently occur to vendors.

1. How do I set a realistic asking price for my property? The majority of vendors think their property is worth more than market trends dictate. While the average price paid for a residential property over the past 12 months in, say, trendy Shoreditch in east London may be a few thousand pounds short of £650,000, sold values achieved this year in this part of the capital range from £180,000 to in excess of £1.3m.

To get a true idea of the value of your property, contact at least three estate agents based in the area the property is located in. They have the best knowledge of the local property market and will be happy to give you an up to the minute valuation of your most valuable asset.

When setting the asking price of your home, market it at the highest estimate given by the estate agents you have consulted but be prepared to accept the lowest valuation. This gives you all-important room for manoeuvre.

Britons are not very well practiced in the art of haggling. This is demonstrated by tales of tourists in parts of the world such as North Africa, who return home having paid two or three times over the odds for local handicrafts. While paying £10, £20 or even £50 more for a holiday souvenir is unlikely to plunge house-buyers into long-term financial turmoil, receiving 10% less than your bottom-line figure for a property worth £500,000 will leave you staring into a £50,000 black hole.

When the stakes are this high, it is no wonder emotions come under fire.

2. How do I achieve that asking price? Most viewers of your property will have already decided on their preferred location and set their budget, but to get them to put in an offer at or very near the asking price you need to convince them that your home is the answer to all their property dreams.

Start by asking your estate agent about the typical buyer persona of the property you want to sell (this will typically reflect you at the time you bought the property).

Next, add items to your home that reflect their dreams. If you are selling a family home, display photographs of family groups or children at play in the living areas and maybe a swing or children’s slide in the garden. It does not matter if these photos are not of your own family, or if the play equipment will not be used because you do not have children or they have outgrown kit for young ages.

For live/workspaces, put technology on display. If your computer equipment is not the most up to date, why not hire the latest kit?

The trick is to get viewers imagining themselves being happy in your home, and visual prompts can help sell them the dream.

3. Should I carry out repairs or alterations? It depends on whether they will deliver a return on investment. Many pieces of advice about selling houses that can be found online advocate updating the condition of your property or increasing its kerb appeal. This can do no harm when it comes to receiving offers that meet your asking price quickly, but the research you have previously carried out should have accurately established the value of your home in its current state or repair and the target market.

4. What about having a clear-out? Most viewers who put in an acceptable offer for your home will have already been sold the dream and pictured their own possessions in it. However, making maximum use of the space your property has can certainly help create a positive impression.

If you intend to throw away, sell or recycle some or all of your possessions before moving into your new place, then it makes sense to do it before putting the home you are leaving on the market. Otherwise, see question five.

But different rules apply to garage space. Garages were built for cars, not junk. As part of your efforts to sell viewers a property dream, clear out the junk from the garage and replace it with a car when viewings are taking place. It doesn’t have to be your car. In some cases it can be worth hiring a new vehicle for a day to help sell the dream to viewers.

5. Should I tidy up before a viewing? Yes. Treat every viewing as if your hygiene-obsessed aunt was coming round for tea. First impressions count, and a clean and tidy property never makes a bad impression.

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