The national average for house sales across the country is six weeks, with that average dropping to just a month in Greater London where all aspects of the property market are exaggerated. But sometimes properties can take much longer to be sold.
Aside from the obvious tricks of making your house look as appealing as possible for any viewings, and ensuring that it is valued at a fair price for the quality and area (get multiple valuations from different agents and make sure you investigate what other similar properties in the area are selling for), it’s important to consider what time of year you’re trying to sell.
It’s not surprising that the market slows down in the winter in the lead up to Christmas and into the New Year, as well as in the school holidays and through high summer. Autumn and spring are easily the most popular times to sell, so try and align your plans to these periods. However, sometimes life gets in the way and the best-laid plans fall to pieces. So if you’re looking to make a quick sale, firstly it might be worth considering some home improvements beyond the usual de-cluttering.
If you have the time and the money, get some decorators in and turn your home into a blank canvas. Bright neutral colours will help any prospective buyers imagine what the property will look like when they’ve made their own mark on it. Shampoo the carpets and have the property deep cleaned. No doubt you live in an incredibly clean property, but put yourself in a buyers shoes, because they will be trying to see into the future and imagine what the home will look like when it’s belongs to them.
The nature of the market in London is so competitive that it is unlikely that you will find yourself with a property on your hands for very long. Demand is very much outstripping supply.
There are hundreds of companies that offer to buy your house or sell to a third party buyer in a matter of weeks, but there are also plenty of horror stories floating around, with people forgoing 10 to 25 pc of the properties original market value, and in some rare cases, sellers have lost more than 50pc. There are of course exceptions, and plenty of reputable firms are out there. But the reality is that it is a tempting, but relatively un monitored field.
The Property Ombudsman, Christopher Hamer, told the Telegraph last year that it is an area in need of legislation. “Consumers using quick house-sale firms have no access to independent redress and the risks associated with this are significant. While I note that the OFT is pursuing a self-regulatory approach, the only way of realistically ensuring all such firms provide consistent service is through legislation.”
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