Tips for Buyers & Sellers
Here are McCoy's tips for house buyers.
ONE. Make an offer about more than money Sellers want certainty (after all, 25% of deals fall through after an offer is accepted), so a buyer with the mortgage sorted, legal stuff in hand and clarity on timescales may be more persuasive than just a big cash bid.
TWO. Buy only good quality Avoid lower-ground-floor flats and walk-ups above the second floor. Go for well-maintained buildings, garden squares and crescents these always sell easy in the future.
THREE. Having your home under offer makes you an attractive buyer, people take you seriously and might accept a lower bid.
FOUR. Be diplomatic Too low an offer could be offensive to some vendors, so pitch the initial figure only after careful research into recent sales of similar homes nearby.
... and for sellers
ONE. Find out if your neighbourhood is hot or cold. In a hot market, consider pricing 5%-10% below market value if you want to sell fast or fuel a bidding war, or if you fear the market will soon cool. Perhaps go 5% above if your home is unique or the only one for sale, time isn’t an issue and you feel the market will stay warm. In cold markets, 70% of offers come after 90 days, to be in the fastest 30%, you need the right price and agent. If you have those, expect at least one viewing every 10 days. In a hot market, you should be under offer in 30-60 days. If you’re not, you have the wrong price or agent. Expect at least two viewings a week.
TWO. Know your market. If it’s a buyer’s market price your home accordingly, rather sell for less, knowing you are going to buy for less. Selling in this kind of market often makes the leap more achievable.
THREE. Don’t hesitate too long If Brexit is resolved (don’t laugh), a glut of wait-and-see sellers could flood the market, depressing prices even further.
FOUR. Make your home Instagrammable Decluttering and neutral colours are key, but ensure there’s a wow factor. Many buyers want to boast about a new home on social media.
FIVE. Estate agents get a bad rap, but there are some good guys out there. A good estate agent doesn’t just get you a sale, they need to be able to see it through. Make sure you’re with someone who can deal with solicitors, will chase if necessary and can cope sensibly with any hiccups.
SIX. Choose an agent with the greatest number of similar properties for sale Check the percentage of asking prices achieved. Tell agents your choice will depend not on the highest valuation, but on whether their figure is justified with evidence. Ask which properties are your competition and how yours compares in terms of price and appeal. In a cold market, your goal should be to offer the best home at the lowest price. Use a no-sale, no-fee agent. Sign an agreement for less than 12 weeks. Agents with short tie-in periods demonstrate confidence. Avoid online agents, who lack relationships with local buyers.
SEVEN. Let the agent show potential buyers around while you’re not there. Second viewings, are the times for you to be there to answer questions. Always get feedback from the agent and don’t take negative comments personally. If you keep hearing the same thing, act on it.
EIGHT. Incentivise an agent. The commission is typically 1.2%, according to the comparison website GetAgent. Some sellers offer a higher rate if a home is sold in a short fixed period, then switch to a lower commission if it takes longer.
NINE. Prioritise buyers who aren’t in a chain, or who are already under offer and have finances in place, even if it’s a lower price. Be honest about flaws upfront: surprises after a survey might hold things up.
TEN. Good removal companies are essential. Get quotes from three companies and always make sure you know how many people the quote includes. Make sure there are enough people to make the move as quickly as possible.