Get The Best Deal: ‘I Sell’ Techniques For The UK Property Market
Selling a property in the UK can be a stressful and challenging process, especially in uncertain markets. Vendors naturally want to obtain the maximum price possible and sell quickly with minimum hassle. In a property market shaped by complex factors like buyer demand, pricing, condition and location, having the right sales skills and strategy is essential. This article explores professional ‘I sell’ approaches and insider techniques to help homeowners get the best possible deal when selling up.
Know Your Motivation And Goals
First, reflect carefully on why you are selling and what you want to achieve. Key motivations might include:
- Relocating for a new job, school or lifestyle
- Releasing equity to downsize or invest elsewhere
- Ending a relationship and dividing assets
- Letting an inheritance or investment property
- Cashing in on house price gains
Define your ideal objectives upfront. Do you need a quick sale, maximum price, or flexible completion? Be realistic about expectations given the current state of the market. Setting clear goals steers your approach so you can best position the property to suit buyers.
Research Local Property Values
Thoroughly researching your local market provides a benchmark to set the right listing price. A fair price aligned with current area values will attract more buyer interest.
- Check prices of comparable sold properties in the last 6 months, looking at size, condition and location.
- Review the asking prices of homes currently on the market. But remember asking prices often get negotiated down.
- Seek professional guidance from estate agents on pricing and demand in your area and for your type of home. Their insights are invaluable.
- Consider supply and demand dynamics. If lots of homes are coming to market locally, you may need to pitch slightly undervalue to generate interest.
- Factor in any work you’ve done to improve or extend the property. Cosmetic refurbishments can boost value.
Hire An Estate Agent Or Go It Alone
The two main options are using an estate agent or selling privately. Agents charge fees but handle viewings, marketing and negotiations. Private selling means more effort but you keep the full proceeds.
Consider the time you have, your need for support, and your confidence in negotiating. Be realistic – selling privately in a slow market takes considerable commitment. For most, hiring an agent makes sense of their experience guiding sales from valuation through to completion.
Choose The Right Agent
The quality of the agent you appoint can make or break the sale. Make sure you:
- Ask trusted local contacts for recommendations – Friends and family who have sold nearby can suggest good performers.
- Check online reviews – Websites like Trustpilot reveal customer feedback on agents’ pricing, communication, marketing reach and sale success rates.
- Compare local agents – Invite 3-4 to value your home. Go with those giving realistic prices and demonstrating extensive area knowledge.
- Assess marketing plans – The agent should outline a comprehensive plan to market your property online and locally.
- Check their network and office resources – Large regional and national chains have broad reach. Smaller independents boast intimate local knowledge.
- Gauge rapport and communication – You need an agent you trust and can communicate with. Make sure personalities gel.
Reputation and results matter more than fees. An expert agent adds huge value through effective pricing, marketing, negotiation and conveyancing management.
Stage And Style Your Property
First impressions matter greatly when buyers view them. Properties that look attractive online and then deliver in person stand the best chance of selling:
- Declutter ruthlessly to make rooms feel spacious and tidy. Put furniture into storage and remove personal items.
- Clean and freshen with neutral paint tones. Fix any damage. Ensure bathrooms and kitchen gleam. Outdoor spaces should also look neat.
- Let in light by opening blinds and curtains. Bright airy rooms feel more appealing.
- Add styling touches – Flowers, houseplants, scented candles. Update bedding and towels for a luxury hotel feel.
- Accentuate selling points like large gardens, original features and views over the surrounding scenery.
- Keep pets and children out during viewings so buyers can imagine themselves living there.
Take professional advice on presentation – a good agent will guide you on maximising impact.
Be Flexible And Realistic When Pricing
How you pitch your listing price is key. The sweet spot is slightly below a level attracting maximum interest from buyers to generate competitive bids.
- The price is too high and it may not sell. Too low and you lose money.
- Consider slightly dropping your price 2-3 weeks after listing if interest is low.
- Be willing to negotiate to complete the sale. A lower offer today is better than an uncertain higher one tomorrow.
- Remember paying 1-2% more for the right agent can achieve a better price through exposure to more buyers.
- Seek a quick sale? Then consider pricing below market norms. Gaining interest quickly builds momentum.
Pricing must balance your needs and market realities. Time on the market is the enemy – staying firm on an unrealistic price means you risk still being unsold in 6 months.
Prepare For Viewings
Viewings make or break a sale. Follow these tips to ensure buyers love your property in person:
- Keep it clean and tidy – Especially high traffic areas like hallways and kitchens.
- Let it breathe – Ventilate rooms well in advance so they feel fresh. Consider using essential oil room sprays.
- Keep pets occupied – You don’t want barking dogs or curious cats interrupting viewings.
- Avoid interruptions – Turn phones off and keep family members and visitors out of the way.
- Be informative but not overbearing – Let the agent lead but be ready to answer questions. Don’t try overly hard to sell the place.
- Accentuate key features – Mention recent refurbishments. If you have one, highlight the garden.
- Discuss motivations calmly – Explain why you are selling if asked but don’t overshare disputes or problems. Stay positive.
- Have key information ready – Like details of insulation, boiler service history etc. Buyers often ask technical questions.
The right ambience and etiquette help buyers imagine this as their new home rather than someone else’s.
Negotiate Offers Pragmatically
Once you start receiving offers, keep a level head:
- Consider all offers – Even if below the asking price. Cancelled sales due to changing markets are common. Cash buyers able to proceed quickly appeal most in uncertain times.
- Know your bottom line – The minimum you’ll accept factoring in your motivations and current market conditions.
- Make quick counteroffers if an offer seems too low – e.g. splitting the difference. Going back and forth risks the buyer walking away.
- Be ready to compromise – If you get an offer at 90% of the asking price after a month on the market, it may be prudent to take it.
- Keep communication open – Through your agent, establish a good rapport with the buyer so you can explain motivations and find mutual ground.
- Stay flexible on timing – Being adaptable on completion dates makes sales more likely to proceed.
Don’t get too attached or emotional. A pragmatic approach gets deals over the line. Let your agent negotiate to get the best price.
Prepare Your Property For Sale
Before listing your home, undertake key legal and practical preparations:
- Tidy paperwork – Locate the title deed, service records, parking permits, warranties on refurbishments etc. Buyers will request.
- Check for consents – Any extensions, loft conversions or conservatories added will need local authority planning and building regulation consents.
- Organise an EPC – Energy Performance Certificates showing efficiency ratings are legally required.
- Review lease terms – For leasehold flats, check ground rent, management fees, major works bills and sub-letting rules.
- Get the property surveyed – A homebuyer’s survey or full structural survey can identify issues needing fixing in advance. This prevents sales from falling through later.
- Deep clean – From carpets and windows to the oven, every part buyers inspect should sparkle. A bad smell or grime damages your prospects.
- Fix minor repairs – Cracked tiles, torn carpets, squeaky doors, dripping taps – rectify anything that looks potentially concerning to buyers.
- Declutter completely – Clear out lofts, storage and garages so they can be viewed properly. Remove excess furniture to make rooms seem larger.
Preparation protects you during the conveyancing process. Presenting a property ‘ready to go’ makes buyers more confident.
Market Your Property Online And Locally
Your agent will handle marketing. But things you can do to support this include:
- Share online listings – Send website and social media links to friends, family and work colleagues asking them to share. Local Facebook groups are great.
- Host a viewing – Consider inviting a few neighbours round for a sneak peek. Word of mouth spreads fast.
- Glowing reviews – Honestly review the property or agent online to build credibility.
In the Community
- Eye-catching ‘For Sale’ signs – Physical signs showing your home is available still work.
- Leaflet drops – Your agent can deliver professional flyers around the neighbourhood.
- Open houses – Invite residents to view the property and spread awareness.
- Community noticeboards – Pin listing details on boards in local shops, gyms, churches etc.
Use all channels possible to publicise the property. The more buyers that know about it and view it, the greater the potential bidding war.
Keep Sales Momentum Going
Avoid delays that could derail sales progress:
- Respond quickly to buyers’ solicitor’s enquiries. Missing documents can hold up surveys and contracts.
- If the buyer needs to sell to purchase, try to be accommodating on timings so their sale doesn’t fall through.
- Communicate openly with the buyer about plans and motivations to build trust.
- Keep the property looking its best throughout – you never know when another viewer might pop around.
- Try not to take holidays during the process. It helps answer questions promptly to prevent glitches.
- Follow up regularly with your agent to check on progress. Don’t just wait for updates.
Frustrated buyers may walk away if sales drag. Stay attentive and flexible to maintain momentum from listing through to completion day.
Selling property in the UK requires careful planning, realistic pricing and professional support to achieve the optimal deal. By researching the local market thoroughly, preparing your home extensively and being pragmatic when negotiating offers, vendors give themselves the best chance of selling for the right price and within a reasonable timeframe.
While uncertainty exists in the market, homes priced keenly and marketed well continue to sell. Appointing an experienced local estate agent is advisable for most homeowners and takes the stress out of navigating viewings, offers and sales progression. By adopting the techniques and proactive ‘I sell’ mentality explored here, you can get your moving plans back on track and complete sales even in testing conditions.
So while challenges exist, with the right approach, owning a home in demand still presents opportunities to secure your ideal onward purchase. Selling successfully hinges on having motivation, patience and a trusted property professional to act as your guide. By putting yourself in the buyer’s shoes, and being flexible to secure a deal that meets your needs, you can achieve a sale price that reflects your property’s true market value.