Peter Illingworth of Peter Illingworth looks at the two basic questions really worth asking when it comes to selling your home.
Estate agents or online-only wannabes offer cut-price commission rates to tempt sellers, and the press bombards the public with alarming commentary on falling prices, the Brexit effect and the state of the market in central London. But selling a home still only boils down to two questions - how much can I get and how quickly can I get it?
These inescapable questions are often masked by written and spoken nonsense. So we should cut to the chase; how much, how soon are the only questions sellers need to consider. So how does a seller try to ensure a speedy sale and the highest price? Here is a simple three-point plan called DEAL:
D stands for desire. First your home should be looking as desirable as it is possible for you to make it. Remember, buyers have a choice and sometimes can't look beyond mess - especially if there is a lot of mess to look beyond. So de-clutter, de-personalise, clean, sparkle, paint and polish - not just on day one of your sales campaign but every day until you have a signed contract. Your home has become a commodity and is in competition with other commodities. Make sure yours is looking, feeling and smelling better.
E and A stand for estate agent. This is the person who is going to fight for you. This is the person who has - or should have - sold hundreds of properties, many just like yours. This is the person who knows the local market backwards, knows the value of your home, knows the likely buyers and who will be relentless in getting you the very best deal from the very best buyer. Your estate agent should also be a wizard at getting deals across the line. Remember, the real work only starts once you have an agreeable offer. Getting to completion is a long and sometimes tortuous road. So first interview several estate agents, make sure you see eye-to-eye with one of them and then, above all, listen and take advice on making your home as desirable as possible - this applies to fixing a reasonable asking price as much as to the visual delights of your home.
L stands for lawyer. Sellers may be surprised to learn that the average property sale in the UK now takes an astonishing 17 weeks. We don't need to go into all the lamentable reasons why it takes this long. But suffice it to say it is a ridiculous state of affairs. So choosing the right lawyer is vitally important. You need one who will work with your estate agent, one who will agitate, push and cajole the sale through to completion. You most certainly don't want a lawyer or conveyancing administrator who will wait around and let the whole thing take its slow meandering course. Done well, a transaction can be finalised in 8 weeks. That's still too long but it's a start.
So there you have it. Get the DEAL right and you are well on the way to achieving a top price in the shortest time.