Why should you look to sell your home in the winter months
Surely not! The mere thought of it…for goodness sake NO! Come on, its true…I know you will think it.
Christmas is all about focusing your thoughts on other matters such as sourcing the ultimate Christmas Turkey, ensuring the sheets are clean and aired on the spare bed for when Gran comes over on Christmas Eve. The presents….the drinks….the tree and on, and on and on..!
Well get this everyone. Surprise, surprise! (and Cilla isn’t ‘ere), the number of people viewing properties soars over the Christmas period and on into January. Who says so?
Selling your house in January with Open House Stafford & Stone
Here at Open House Stafford and Stone we know that once Christmas is out of the way, people are looking at the New Year for a new diet, new job…. a different this….a different that!. What about those that have their New Year’s Resolution as moving to a new home?!
Yes, its true, people do look at moving home in the New Year and contemplate if its the right time to sell.
Top tips for selling your home in winter
Open House Estate Agents in Stafford absolutely encourage those people who want that new year move to put their property on the market before Christmas.
Now I’m not saying that we would like to photo the tinsel, the baubles and the tree, as those are the things that people do not necessarily want to see when they are assessing the suitability of their future home. We offer some excellent hints and tips in our blog about the house selling process so please give this a read for some helpful advice.
If you can get the property on the market for that peak online viewing time you stand a good chance of selling your house fast and getting an early new year sale.
And then, of course you are in prime position to offer on that dream home you’ve been eyeing up.
What our statistics say about selling your property in January
Looking at the Statistics for Open House Stafford in 2019 – see chart below, you will see that we had as many offers on properties during January than we did in the peak of summer.
We had more property viewings this time of year than we did in February, March, April and May. However, the number of new properties being listed in January was one of the lowest months of the year.
What can we deduce from this? It is clear that the buyers are there ready and willing to view and to even make a quick offer.
However, it is also clear that sellers are less keen to put their house on the market. Perhaps its due to the long-standing misconception by sellers that houses only sell in the summer months.
Do not delay if you are considering selling your property in the new year.
Why not call Open House Estate Agents in Stafford today, we offer a free valuation and (being right on Stafford high street, we can get the ball rolling on your property sale before you think too hard about Christmas.
How can you influence the house selling process? Rob Cranwell, Director of Open House Estate Agents in Stafford discusses what the vendor and agent can do to help.
If you spend a little time reading this guide you will see how the process of selling your property should be a simple function of time on the market and the price of your home.
The role of the vendor
One of the most important jobs that a vendor can do when it comes to selling your home. Always ensure that the property is looking the best.
This is important when:
The agent comes to take photographs
When the viewings take place.
This may seem very obvious, but it is noticeable how much more quickly well-presented houses sell. If there are any odd jobs that need doing (such as fixtures and fittings) its best advice for the vendor to get them fixed before the viewers see them.
Don’t forget it will only cost you the cost of a tin of paint and some of your time to paint that scuffed wall. The viewers may see it differently – ‘The whole house needs a redecoration and that will cost me thousands’.
The price negotiating will start and the offer price will reflect any perceived cost to the buyer.
Similarly, with that misted pain of double glazing. A couple of hundred pounds to the seller to replace – the viewer may think ‘the whole of the double-glazing needs replacing’. There are other examples, but I hope you get my point.
Once you have presented the property the best way you can, presentation cannot now be a factor as to why the property won’t sell, so long as it’s the best you can do and the best you’re going to do.
If someone doesn’t like it and they cannot see how they can change it, the house may not be for them.
Let us instead focus on the people who the house could be suitable for.
The Role of the Local Estate Agent in the house selling process
Right, now some important points about estate agents and what really makes a good one.
At Open House Stafford and Stone, we do not believe its things like:
Where the agents office is
Whether the agents website has property videos
How long the directors have been doing the job.
We think its more fundamental than that. Please read on.
Valuations are based on knowing what comparative properties have sold for.
The best comparison would be if you had bought your property last week and you now wanted a valuation on the property today.
The answer is going to be roughly what you paid for it (As long as you bought it at a fair and reflective price).
Usually, we must use other properties as comparisons and so we are looking for the most similar properties in the most similar areas to where your property is situated.
So, if you have a four-bedroom detached property in a nice residential area with a good school we look at similar properties with similar characteristics and that have sold within a close time frame to present.
This then allows us to see what the market was prepared to offer for a similar property.
We will make adjustments, of course, but that is fundamentally how it works.
Important point – Some agents will tell you how quickly they sell houses. That does not mean they have maximised the sale price for you.
To stretch the point, if I offered your house to the market at £20,000 less than its worth, then I would be pretty confident of a quick sale.
It may be that you want the best price, in which case we may have to wait a little longer to get that price.
For property valuations in Stafford, Open House Estate Agents assume that you want to get the best price for your property. Unless you tell us different.
One of the key roles of the estate agent is to present the property in the best way they can.
So, if the vendor has spent a lot of time and effort getting the house presented extremely well, it goes without saying that the agents presentation should reflect that.
People will make viewing decisions based on the look of the property. If the photos / description / floor plan aren’t good enough, how many potential buyers may be put off viewing.
Could a potential buyer that would be prepared to pay a good price early on be lost because of the photos?
Once the agent has presented the property well, presentation will now not be a factor to a no sale.
If someone decides they don’t want to view the property it will be for other reasons but not for agents presentation of the property.
There’s a small but here – but the vendor will have to decide whether the agents best is actually good enough! A point of difference between agents, perhaps!
Open House Estate Agents will not be marketing a property in Stafford unless both we and the vendors are happy with content. Right first time is a good motto here!
Responding to Interested parties – Another key role for the estate agent, to ensure that ALL enquiries and requests to view are responded to.
Here at Open House Estate Agents we will respond to all property marketing enquiries very quickly so not to lose a potential buyer.
The Role of the Online Property Portals in the house selling process.
I don’t think it will come as a major surprise when I say that the vast majority of properties are seen by potential buyers within Rightmove, Zoopla, PrimeLocation and other property portals.
Gone are the days when potential buyers would pick up brochures from estate agents. Look at how few estate agents advertise properties in the local newspapers.
Mainly, the way this is done nowadays is from the comfort of the buyers home via their tablet or device.
A top tip not to forget. If the property is on the market, it will be found by buyers looking within the property portals. The property is not invisible, it is definitely being seen.
The Selling Process
For me, the selling process is fairly simplistic and pretty much the same for all properties.
Once the vendor and the agent have presented the house to the best of both of their abilities, as I said earlier, presentation should no longer be a factor.
The House itself, the road on which it sits, the position of the house on the road, the area of the town, the views out of the windows, the neighbouring houses cannot be changed.
So, we are left with very little that we can change in order to attract the buyers.
Those who would buy your property have definitely seen your property (trust me) so, where are they then?
Assuming we have filtered away the people that would not buy your home (and every property will have these people so, don’t worry!) for one reason or another, the remaining potentially interested people will be split into three groups:-
Those that are ready to buy and are prepared to pay the asking price or near to the asking price. These people will view and offer fairly quickly. Job done ! – wasn’t that easy?
Those that are not ready to buy. Not sold their house yet, no agreement with a mortgage lender, not saved enough deposit, not seen the property online yet. The list is varied, as are the timescales in which these people become ready to offer. So, for the people in this group, we have to wait for them to be ready. We won’t necessarily know who they are or where they are in their process. They will come forward when they are ready so we may have to wait!
Those who are ready but will not pay the asking price. These people won’t necessarily make themselves known to us but we know they are there. We may have to eventually engage with these people if the people in the ‘not ready’ category are too slow coming forward.
House Selling Process – The selling equation
So, bringing all the things together, once we have reduced the number of factors we can actually influence to help the sale we are left with two.
Time on the market and
The house selling equation is a function of time and price.
Start at a realistic house price which you hope to achieve (be guided by the valuation) and then reduce gradually over the period in which you need to sell.
So, in a nutshell, you are waiting for the best price first of all and then reduce gradually if needed before accepting an offer, exchanging contracts and title deeds and transferring ownership.
This is the same for all houses no matter how big or how small. It is how we at Open House Estate Agents are successful at selling houses in Stafford.
Oh, and by the way, you don’t need to pay a fortune to do this. Come to the Best Value Estate Agents in Stafford, to Open House and let us show you how its done.