Selling property can be one of the hardest and most stressful things you can do in your life. 90% of people sell through an estate agent so it must offer some advantages. So, should you do the same?
Well, it depends on time pressure you are under. When selling through an estate agent you will normally have to go through these stages:
- You need to pay for and complete any renovation and refurbishment necessary (2-3 weeks)
- You will need to conduct multiple viewings (4 to 8 weeks)
- If your estate agent finds you a buyer, you will need to wait a few months for the buyer to arrange a mortgage (8 to 14 weeks)
- If the buyer is in a chain, you will need to wait for their home to sell before yours can be purchase (2-3 weeks)
This can take between 4 to 7.5 months! That is a long time! It is a also a sad fact that 1 in 3 chains break down at the last moment due to buyers pulling out. It only takes one person to pull out and the whole chain falls apart.
How to sell in less than 4 months
However, even with these obstacles in mind it is still possible to sell your home in less than 4 months by these following tips (and having luck on your side):
- Get a reliable, reputable agent.
- Finish off any necessary DIY jobs
- Thoroughly clean and de-clutter you home
- Depersonalise your house and go neutral
It is worth remembering, “buyers are not looking to buy property. What they’re really looking to buy is a better life – property just happens to be the way they’ll get it”
The problems with Estate Agents
In response to many complaints about estate agents the Office of Fair trading conducted a study and found serious concerns over the way estate agents serve the public.The consumer group Which? has also conducted research and found evidence of serious violations of the law and a massive 50% of consumers voicing dissatisfaction over the service received from their estate agent. They said:
“Consumers entering the home-buying or selling process are substantially disadvantaged by the way estate agents currently operate”
Now, in fairness there are some great estate agents out there but they seem to be hard to find. Will you be lucky enough to uncover a good agent? Are you prepared to pay 1.5 – 2.5% +VAT (i.e. the price of a new kitchen) to find out?
So what it the alternative??
One of the more popular alternatives if you need a quick sale is using a specialist home buying company to help you. They can purchase your property directly from you with out the need to go through an estate agent.
Sell Fast to Cash Buyers & “Sell and Rent Back” Specialists
First things first, it is important that you understand that using a specialist property buying company should only be considered if your need to sell property quickly is greater than your need to sell for the best price.
Typically you find yourself in need of house buying specialist if:
- You are in financial difficulties
- You are being threatened with repossession
- You would like to sell your property & rent it back
- Your chain has collapsed and you’re totally desperate to sell
- You need money quickly and remortgaging is not an option
- Bereavement or divorce means you need to move-on as quickly as possible
- You’ve inherited property that you want to cash-in quickly
- You’re emigrating and your property is proving difficult to sell
How Quickly Can Cash Property Buyers Act?
Exchange of contracts can take anywhere between a few days and 3- 4 weeks. Completion can then be fixed to suit you but the norm is completion within 3-4 weeks.
How Much Can You Expect to Sell for?
Anywhere between 75-85% of your properties open market value (80% is the average but it will depend on the property and market conditions). Open market value is the price a property would sell on the open market within 3 months. This is typically less than the price estate agents advertise properties at as they expect to make offers.
So, the main service home buyer service can offer you is speed and a guaranteed sale.
Certainty and speed are rare commodities when selling property. For this service you have to be willing to sell at a discount. That is why they will buy your property between 75%-85% if its market value.
What other benefits can these companies provide?
A good company will offer to:
- Pay your legal fees (up to GBP 500 which normally covers
- them all)
- Pay any survey and valuation fees
- Allow you to stay in the property after selling (rent back)
- Meet their promises on price and completion date
- Adhere to some Code of Practice from a recognized body such as the National Association of Sale and Rent Back (NASRB).
A Word of Warning!
Beware of any company that does not offer the benefits above. Some companies charge for valuation fees regardless whether they buy the property or not. Also beware of companies that string you along and then reduce their offer at the last minute when you are at your most desperate.