Last week I explained how selling a house in Winter requires a little more effort and I covered two practical steps you can take to make the process work for you. Read the article here. This week I’ll cover three more things you can do to successfully sell your home.
Step 3. Find a good agent
Find an agent who does accompanied viewings. Buyers are far more likely to ask questions and, more importantly, discuss what they want to do with the house and the changes they want to make if the owners are not present. I know it's tempting to try to "sell" your lovely home but buyers don't want to hear what you intended to do; they want to work out their own plans for change and don't want to feel embarrassed to be planning to completely change all your hard work.
Also, and I know this goes against the common perception these days, good agents do know what they're doing. They are not personally attached to the property so can offer an unbiased view, and they are incentivised to actually make a sale to get paid (at least if they are working on a commission basis) so will be keen to secure a buyer. A good agent will also be "interviewing" the potential buyers to assess their suitability and whether they are likely to follow-through and Complete. This applies to any sale, not just in the winter, but it certainly helps to keep the stress levels down when a buyer loves your home and won't let anything deflect them from Completing. Find an agent you can trust and let them do their job.
Step 4. Don't be greedy
People will only pay what they believe a house is worth, not what you think your house is worth. Look at the "competition" (all other similar houses online at the same time) and make an unbiased assessment. Ask yourself, if I was viewing properties and I had all these to choose from, which ones would I view and why. Price comes into it a lot at the stage of deciding to view a property and you need buyers to view yours to have any chance of selling it. Ask too much and you will miss all the active buyers who are waiting for the emails of new listings. It is far better to keep the price realistic and have two or three good buyers who really want the property than asking too much and then having to reduce it two months later or needing to attract the only person who is desperate enough to view. This is especially true in Winter when there are less buyers, and you need the good ones taking an active interest in yours rather than the one down the street.
Some agents will list at a high price to secure your business then lock you in for 3-5 months, knowing that you must reduce the asking price to sell. They also know they have 3-5 months to get you to reduce the price. Go with an agent that doesn't lock you in or ask why it is necessary if they are confident of selling. Again, a good agent will be honest about the selling price and will advise you on how quickly you can expect to sell at various levels. Use the agent who you feel you can trust and they will sell your house far more effectively than the one who promises you the Earth!
Step 5. Be Realistic
In the end, there are likely to be less buyers in Winter and you can expect to receive fewer viewings. Be prepared, be patient, use a good Agent, and make a little effort to present the house well. Selling is stressful but a positive mindset goes a long-way to helping you through the process. If your house is presented well and is at a realistic price it will sell. Good luck!
If you need help with selling your home this Winter, give me a call on 0118 9520 810, or send an email to email@example.com
For a general guide to selling your home, click here