Fri, 11 Jan 13
National estate agent Strutt & Parker looks at the best ways to plan ahead for 2013 if you didn't manage to clinch the sale of your home last year. With the market still clearly favouring buyers, those who didn't sell in 2012 need to think about what steps they need to take to make a positive start to the New Year.
There are many factors that can contribute to why a home doesn't sell as anticipated. Sellers' price expectations can differ with current realities and savvy buyers are easily able to shop around for the best deals. With the internet and rising popularity of property websites, buyers can find out exactly what price similar houses in the local area have sold for at the click of a mouse.
"In this kind of tentative market buyers are prone to sitting on the fence and any minor hiccup can be enough to scupper a deal" says Michael Fiddes head of agency at Strutt & Parker, "make sure all relevant paperwork is in order before bringing the property to the market, so once a deal is agreed the sale can move forward swiftly" he adds.
To identify what's happening in the market, we need to understand the relationship between current demand for property and supply, which differs between types of houses and postcodes. The key to understanding your own home is to get to grips with your local market - do your research into prices and find out how many properties are currently for sale which will help you think about where your home fits in.
Other factors that contribute to homes not selling include delays with solicitors not acting quickly enough and potential purchasers who say they are 'cash' buyers or have their mortgage in place, when they don't. With the help of your agent, who can ask the more personal financial questions, find out who the active buyers are and avoid disappointment.
Fiddes advises: "Underestimate the power of presentation at your peril! Make sure the house is aired and looking at its best, clean and tidy all the rooms and declutter; don't spend too much on huge improvements as the new owners may want to change things anyway."
If you didn't get the sale you wanted last year, 2013 can be looked upon as a fresh opportunity to re-evaluate your expectations, make the necessary changes and re-launch your home for a successful sale in the New Year.
See also: Home Selling Guide
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