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Advice for Sellers
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Selling a Property – Advice

The Market in 2012

The good news is that there is a market out there! Waterfront property is selling. True, volumes are down. In fact niche market agents report a 50% drop in sales volumes in the four years since the market peak in 2007 and ensuing financial crisis of 2008 and beyond. Those owners able and in need are turning to letting instead. The demand here is strong and a sensible alternative for buyers and sellers who want to move on at this stage of uncertainty. Others who want to sell, but who do not want to follow the signals for market pricing, may instruct agents to market their property at unachievable levels. They will sit there and eventually begin to look tired to a buying market savvy in its expectation of not having to pay more than it has to for anything at the moment. And yet property is selling and it is important that if you really want to achieve a result at this point that you follow the seller’s code to give yourself the best chance of success. Nowadays properties won’t sell themselves and sadly the waterfront market is no exception. You need to make yours stand out from the crowd:
  1. Choose a proactive agent
  2. Consider pricing
  3. Assess timing
  4. Present the property in its best light
  5. Promote your property ahead of the rest
Brighton Marina, Sussex

How to choose an agent

  1. You will need a good agent to understand your own circumstances and tailor a marketing package. The cheapest is not generally the best and you will need the best in this market. It is likely to take a proactive agent longer to sell your property today than it did in 2007. If they are good they will earn their money.
  2. Make sure your agent is focused on your style of property.
  3. A top tip as to determining proactiveness is to ask your agent how many properties of your type they have actually sold over recent months and compare that to others.
  4. Having chosen your agent listen to their advice, don’t instruct them to do what they know is wrong.
  5. You must be confident at all times that your agent is working for you. Communication is king. You should almost feel part of the agency team in that you are kept aware of the response to the marketing of your property on a regular basis. This will allow you, via your agent to fine tune aspects of marketing to achieve that sale.
Hythe Marina Village, Southampton
Selling a property advice

Considering Price

  1. It is the agent’s job to get you the highest price possible for your property, but agents aren’t miracle workers and it is unlikely that they are going to get you your money back if you bought in 2007.
  2. When considering price, listen to what your agent is telling you, they have been immersed in the market throughout the downturn and know what is selling, what is not and for how much.
  3. If in doubt, do your own research just as your agent, and more importantly your buyer, would do. Recent historical pricing is more relevant to setting a price than some current marketing prices. Various websites including www.nethouseprices.com will tell you what has sold for what in your street, although beware because this information can be a little out of date. Pay lip service to those sites which seek to tell you what your property is worth now by applying a far too simplistic algorithm.
  4. Guide price is often a good caveat when offering your property for sale. It does not pin you down to accepting a specific offer.

Assess Timing

  1. Give yourself ample time, not only to prepare your property, but to achieve a sale. These days it can take longer as there are just less people looking to buy.
Advice on selling your property
Isle of Wight

Presentation

  1. First impressions count for a lot.
  2. Ensure that when a potential buyer crosses your threshold for the first time they are likely to want to come back.
  3. De-clutter, clean and tidy, remove/repaint non neutral colours from walls and ceilings, complete those maintenance jobs that you have been meaning to do. The same applies for garages and gardens.

Promotion

  1. Consider with your agent options which will make your property stand out from the crowd.
  2. These may be monetary incentives such as including furniture or reductions for quick sale, but could also be more adventurous. A recent promotion of a marina property included a new £20,000 boat in the price.
  3. Every property will sell.  What you need to do is prepare properly to give yourself the best chance of achieving the best price possible.
Ocean Village, Southampton