Up, Up and Away


How to sell your home for the highest value.

Do your research
Sounds simple right, but putting in the time to find out how much similar properties have sold for, is really important in helping you set a price that you’re happy with. Look locally and arrange a viewing if possible. What’s the finish like? Have they made structural changes or extended the property? How has this affected the price? You’re unlikely to find a like-for-like match, but viewing a range of properties will help you make important decisions.

Seek professional advice
You seek valuations from at least three estate agents. Ideally, the agents will be locally based, as they will have the knowledge and fully understand the demand. The Home Owners Alliance says, ‘If the mortgage valuer or estate agents are not locals, they will rely on house sales statistics from sources such as the Land Registry, which will not necessarily give them a well-informed insight into very local variations in house prices, including such factors as local school catchment areas.’ The HOA suggests choosing an estate agent based on their record of achieving asking price, and getting a range of valuations.

Play to your strengths
Those buyers looking for a full fixer-upper are in the minority. Most people want a well finished blank canvas. Creating an environment that lets potential buyers project their own lives onto the property can mean good returns. Depending on the level of work you put into ‘neutralising’ your property, you can very easily increase the price beyond the cost of any renovations.

Negotiation is a given
It's hardwired into the process and you should take full advantage of it. Price your property between 5 to 10 per cent above what you want. If you know you have a property, in a sought after area, you may even get this increased asking price. Some sellers price their properties below what they want in order to create a bidding war. That’s fine, remember, you don’t have to say yes to anyone!

Decide on a timeline
Different sellers have different needs. Some people are looking for a quick sale, others have the luxury of waiting. Both require different techniques. If you’re looking for a faster sale, you need to be more realistic and price your property competitively. This doesn’t mean you’re going to make a loss, but you will need to market your house at the lower end of the price range. The Homeowners Association also suggests sealed bids, ‘particularly if there is a lot of interest in your house, and the market is hot, you can ask for “best and final offers” by a certain date.’ If you have more time, it’s the opposite: go high! And if there’s no interest or offers, you can gradually reduce prices until you receive an offer you’re comfortable with. The key here is to not push your luck, because if your property is on the market for too long it may spook potential buyers.