Being well informed from the start lays the foundation for a worry free sale. We've put together the 7 most common questions asked by people that are thinking of selling:
When is the best time to sell my house?
Everyone has a theory on this, but the answer is actually quite surprising. Statistically, there is no significantly better or worse time. Yes, there are busier times than others, (February, March, September & October are top of the busy list, while January, August, December are quieter), but in truth, the difference is only a couple of percentage points. Our advice - move when it is best for you based on your financial and personal situation, not the season.
How is the market right now?
Ask any estate agent and the answer will be “Booming!” as they talk-up their market – you can’t knock their enthusiasm. Focusing on our local market, the national 2008 crash didn’t really hit us until 2010, and even then it was more a levelling than a fall. We have never re-sold the same property for less. 2010 to 2012 was pretty flat, not significant growth but no losses either. From 2012 onwards the market has slowly and sustainably grown year on year with 2018 showing all the signs of being the strongest year in over a decade, and I’d be surprised if we didn’t see price growth in real terms of over 5%. That level of growth gives everyone confidence and security, while not creating a “buyer’s or seller’s market”. If you want to move now, do it.
How should I prepare my home for a sale?
We’ve got a whole separate blog dedicated to this, but in short:
- First impressions count so work on your curb appeal.
- Do those remaining DIY jobs; that might seem like a 5min job to you but could put a buyer off.
- Declutter and generally tidy up for photos and viewings. If your rooms are small, give them an identity. Remember yours is not the only house potential buyers will look at, you are in competition.
- Go ‘out out’ for viewings. Buyers want to imagine their new house, not your old one.
What should and shouldn’t I tell potential buyers?
Tell your agent and let them filter what they will tell buyers – good and bad. There are certain things we legally have to let a potential buyer know, and quite rightly so, the old saying ‘treat people how you would want to be treated’ applies. However, we are here to sell and we don’t need to bombard them with personal information about the last 10 years you’ve lived there.
How much is my property worth?
If you’re still asking yourself this you either haven’t had an estate agent visit your property yet, or you don’t trust their opinion. Pick a trusted agent for a reliable track record and invite them to visit your property. They will give you their opinion on value and show you comparable research and results to back up their opinions. Just curious at this stage? Try our automatic Online Valuation tool – just bear in mind it’s a computer, it can’t see your house so works on historic sold price data and local trends: https://valuation.lancasters.org
What happens if I change my mind?
Don’t worry, you’re human, it happens. An offer to buy or sell a property is not legally binding in England and Wales until contracts are exchanged. It is important to be as sure as you can be before starting the process as your decisions may affect the lives of other families, but don’t let the fear paralyse you from doing something that could be the best decision you've ever made.
How long will the process take?
This depends on the property and anyone involved in the chain. As a guide, look at the local market to compare how long similar properties were on the market for before going ‘Under Offer’. Your agent should let you know whether the potential buyer has the money to buy now, or is in a chain before you consider any offer. Once an offer is accepted it takes around 10 weeks for solicitors to get you ready to move. At Lancasters we currently average just 7 viewings to find a successful buyer.
Remember, asking questions is the only way to enlighten yourself, so the more you ask, the less confused you’ll be. Good luck selling! If you are thinking of selling and have any questions, please get in touch.