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News: How To Sell Homes In a Struggling Market

Thu, 07 Aug 08

Selling a property when the housing market is downbeat can be a tough proposition for the unprepared.

Most of the battle when moving house is selling your existing home, however even in today's struggling market, the seemingly impossible can be achieved. With the right approach and a bit of know how, it is possible to beat the current trend and achieve a sale at a good price.

Ben Smith, sales director at Bellway Homes, reveals the secrets of selling your existing home and gives his three smart steps to achieving a sale.

Ben said: 'There's an understandable air of caution about the property market at the moment, and there's no denying that the current market is tough, however that doesn't mean your existing home simply will not sell.

'People do still want to move, however there is no sense of urgency amongst buyers. This means they take their time in selecting the home they want. So making your home the best on the market and being a little bit clever in the marketing of your home should help you to achieve a good price and get moving fast'.

Three smart ideas to help sell your cuurent home:

1. Keep your home in pristine condition

It may sound obvious, but the first step to achieving a good sale is keeping your home in tip top condition. This means cleaning everything from floor to ceiling, making everything tidy and presentable and choosing accessories and décor that will appeal to a range of buyers.

Ben warns: 'As buyers are in no rush and may be a little spoilt for choice, they will inspect and scrutinise every aspect of a home that's on the market. Sellers must be aware of this and ensure that their home is in pristine condition.'

2. Highlight any features that give your home an edge

Homes that have an edge or a unique selling point will always get snapped up quickly, and sellers should highlight any features that might particularly interest buyers.

These could include breathtaking views, privacy, a waterside location, proximity to schools and absence of noise.

Writing up a pros and cons list of the features of your home will keep you ahead of the marketing game. It will highlight characteristics that will help sell the home and areas that you might not want to draw attention to.

Ben advises, 'It's important to really play on the positive aspects of your home, especially if there are any negative points. It is rare that buyers will ever tick all the boxes on their perfect home list, however if sufficiently impressed by one or two fantastic features of a home, they might just be bowled over enough to put in an offer.'

3. It's all in the marketing

Pricing is a sensitive subject but there's no way around it - a realistic price will sell your home. A property is only worth what a buyer will pay for it so vendors have to be flexible. Conduct market research on comparable properties for sale in your area and ensure you are priced just below this level to entice potential buyers.

Ben adds: 'It's natural that vendors will worry about losing money on the sale their home, however it should be remembered that even though sellers may have to price their property at say 10 per cent less than they hoped to achieve, the new home they go on to buy will also be priced at 10 per cent less than it was a few months ago.

'So for buyers moving up to larger properties this is actually a very good time to make a move. Another idea is to invite potential buyers to spend some time in the house, perhaps for a coffee or drink in the afternoon. This will help them to really get a feel for the place, start to like it and therefore put in an offer.'

 See also: Home Selling

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