Why the rush?
So why would you want to sell up quickly rather than biding your time with the property market, both sluggish and volatile in equal measures? A change in personal circumstances is often the driving force behind a speedy sale, such as a relocation for work, family or change of pace, perhaps a family split with a division of assets. You might need to release money from your desirable British property at short notice – perhaps a family member is moving into sheltered accommodation and needs the proceeds to fund it or maybe you’ve inherited a property and selling up is the most practical approach for you and several other benefactors.
Once you’ve made the decision to sell, you’ll likely encounter different types of business vowing to kick-start your sale in double-quick time, from those offering to pay you the market value up front, to estate agencies boasting to waive the fees in the event they can’t find you a buyer within a specified timeframe.
You’ll meet companies specialising in dressing your house to sell, others will host open house days, you could sell up via an auction or even run a lottery to get things, in this case you, moving. But there are several quick wins that can make your property stand out from the crowd when it comes to the scramble to sell up fast.
What’s your best price?
Reasons for moving are unique to every individual sale, but one way to accelerate the process is to not be set in stone when it comes to getting the asking price. Be realistic about the lowest possible sum you would be willing to accept and if you get an offer in that area, it’s a good time to remind yourself how quickly you wanted to make that move before you rush in to politely decline. Yours might not be the only one on their shopping list and offering the route of least traction can sometimes help seal the deal for a busy property developer or frequent buyer.
A seamless sale
From being as flexible as you can on any offers that come in, to throwing in your white goods, fixtures, fittings or other desirable extras to sweeten the deal, making the whole package as appealing and as ready-to-go as you can will give prospective buyers confidence in the value of the deal on the table. See if you can settle on the moving date from those very first conversations and give this sometimes faceless exchange even more of a human touch and they may feel less inclined to lead you on a fruitless pursuit of a deal.
Be prepared to jump
If you’re serious about moving fast, you need to prove this to your prospective buyers who may not share your sense of urgency. They certainly won’t take your plea to make their best offer soon seriously if it looks like you’re going nowhere fast. So organise that energy certificate, service the boiler and make all documentation available that they might possibly request. Look out the warranties and policies on your windows, extensions, decking… and address anything you’re aware of that might stall the sale before it becomes a stumbling point. Start packing up that clutter that says you’re going nowhere fast (speeding up your own retreat in the process) and create that blank canvas ready for your future buyers to imagine stamping their own mark on it.
Yes, it’s inconvenient if prospective buyers want to view your property on the one evening you’ve got plans or people coming round. Maybe you’d rather your estate agents didn’t book viewings while you’re at work, the cat’s in and the kids’ cereal bowls have been abandoned in the sink. Perhaps another Saturday morning hanging out in the park to keep the kids out from under foot isn’t top of your to-do list, but the more people coming through the door – and on their terms – the more likely you are to get your house sold in your preferred timescale. If you’re going for a quick move you can’t be seen to drag your heels too much or your wishes will not be taken seriously.
Finish the job
You want your home to charm prospective buyers, so be quick to fix anything cosmetic that could prove a deal staller. Why not get an acquaintance over who will see those little niggles that you’ve long learned to look past. Fix that broken door handle, hire someone to take the dog out for walkies for the afternoon, clean that niggly spot out of the carpet, mow the lawn and rehang that saggy curtain to give your pad a polished facade that screams, “Minimum fuss”.
Your prospective buyers might well be up for a project, but you don’t want them put off by the projects you’ve not got around to finishing or your property might just seem a little overpriced or too much for them to take on. Yes, there’s a good chance they might move in and decide to give it a complete overhaul, but let them spring to that conclusion rather than coming in with a list of problems they might want fixing or the asking price adjusting before making their any offer.
Also, remember the power of kerb appeal. Many property purchasing decisions are made before a buyer sets foot over the threshold, so smarten the hedge, declutter the garden, paint the door, clean those windows and hide the bins!
Depersonalise your space
You want prospective buyers to be able to visualise themselves living in your home, so present them with a blank canvas that still conveys a homely and welcoming feel. Yes, you’re moving, so you’re likely to have boxes or belongings in sight, but they don’t need to see your children’s entire cuddly toy collection or your whole displaced and dusty library. That just suggests a lack of organisation and a lot of packing still needed before you’re ready to move. As a rule, if you can live without it for a bit, it’s best to hide it away and let prospective buyers paint their own picture rather than be distracted by all of yours.
Types of buyer
When looking to sell your property fast, it’s worth making sure your home appeals to the broadest cross-section of prospective buyers possible. Your most likely purchaser might be a private landlord looking to add to their portfolio, or they could be a developer wanting to make money on your plot of land. They could be private buyers or a first-time buyer, someone buying to let. They could be an investor, a down-sizer or empty-nester. They could reimagine your open-plan living space as the next HMO for their rapidly-expanding student property portfolio. In short, don’t tell the buyer what you think they want to buy, give them the space to form their own plan.
Recent reports claim that the UK property market is finally turning a corner with the solid majority coming out of the 2019 General Election and the firm stance on Brexit giving investors from home and overseas the confidence to start investing in British property once more. The value of the pound is also relatively stable compared to the perpetual state of flux it has been in of late. So if you are serious about selling your property, it’s time to take serious steps to get things moving.