The right agent to sell a house fast in a slow market
Like any good sports team, to get to the top of a competitive league, you need the best possible manager, so pick your estate agent carefully. Do your research to see who’s performing best in your area and with houses in your price range, and ‘road test’ your agent to see how fast, friendly and knowledgeable their responses are. The right agent can make a huge difference if you want to sell a house fast in a slow market.
“The right agent can make a huge difference if you want to sell a house fast in a slow market”
Of course, the better the agent, the busier they will be, so be prepared to help them out and to work hard to keep your property at the front of their mind. Check that their description includes all the big selling points, and don’t be afraid to rewrite it if it doesn’t. Your agent will usually appreciate the help from someone who knows the property much better than they do. Stay in touch with them and build a relationship, so that they get to know you and want to help you, but be careful not to pester them, or you could find yourself shunted to the bottom of the pile.
The right presentation to sell a house fast in a slow market
It goes without saying that to sell a house fast in a slow market, you have to present it at its absolute best, inside and out. You may love the ‘little quirks’ of your home, but if you expect your buyers to do the same, you’ll only end up limiting your potential market even further.
Take a good, honest look at your home, from front to back, and put right anything that would put you off if you were a buyer. It is time to finally get round to doing all those little repairs and decorating jobs that you’ve been putting off and living without.
“To sell a house fast in a slow market, you have to present it at its absolute best, inside and out”
Weed the flower beds and cut the lawn to give it ‘kerb appeal’. Fill in those old raw-plug holes and paint the walls. Get rid of all that clutter (you’ll be glad you did when it comes to moving) and make your house ready to move into, with as little work as possible required. Given the choice between a fixer-upper and a move-ready home, most buyers will choose the latter.
Frustratingly, this will make your home better for the next owners than it has been for you, but that’s just the way it is. That said, you don’t want to spend too much money to make someone else’s home better, but a little investment here and there is well worthwhile. For example, if your kitchen is looking tired, you could paint or replace the doors relatively cheaply, rather than refitting the kitchen at a cost of thousands.
The right mindset to sell a house fast in a slow market
In a sellers’ market, you can afford to be bold with your asking price, and to hold out for at least that figure from your buyers. However, when lots of homes are competing for relatively few buyers, you need to be more open-minded and flexible. Make sure you base your asking price on what similar homes in your area are actually selling for, not their original asking price. You could find that there is a significant difference. Agents will often overvalue properties to impress you and secure your business, so talk to them about how realistic their valuation is in the current market.
“In a slow market, you have to be prepared to be flexible on price and consider all offers carefully”
You also need to be prepared to accept offers below the asking price. In a fast-moving market, the rule usually is to reject the first offer, but to sell a house fast in a slow market, that first offer could be your best shot. If you reject it, you could have a long time to wait for the next one.
Other ways to sell a house fast in a slow market
As we talked about earlier, there is only so much you can do to sell a house fast in a slow market, and absolutely nothing you can do to change the market’s overall speed. However, there are alternative ways to sell that can speed things up a bit:
- Part exchange – if you are moving to a new build development, the homebuilder may take your old house in part exchange. This will usually be at a fair market price, but the new home will have to be significantly more expensive than your old one to qualify.
- Selling at auction – selling at auction can get you a buyer the same day, or within four weeks, depending on the type of auction you choose, with completion 4-8 weeks later. However, you may have to wait a month or two for the next auction and chances are you will get a lower price for your property.
The guaranteed way to sell a house fast in a slow market
The only guaranteed way to sell a house fast in a slow market is to use a cash house buying company. This will give you an offer in 24 hours and a sale in as little as around 3 weeks if you are in a real rush. You’ll get a less for your property, but you’ll have a lot less to do to make the sale.
You’ll enjoy lots of benefits when you sell a house fast in a slow market to a cash homebuyer, including:
- No cost or effort to fix up your home, they buy in any condition
- No dealing with estate agents and trying to get their attention
- No estate agent fees, which set you back around 1.5%+VAT
- No need to keep your home ‘viewer-ready’ for weeks on end
- No waiting for lengthy conveyancing (currently around 16 weeks)
- No broken chains or failed sales
- No last-minute drops in price or gazundering
Faced with months of hard work and waiting, followed by up to 16 nervous weeks waiting for the sale to complete, choosing to sell a house fast in a slow market to a cash buyer can be very attractive. It costs you nothing to get a price on your home and see what this speedy service will cost you, so you have nothing to lose. It’s hard to put a price on your time, your stress levels and your mental health, but you could find the difference in price to be a very good deal all things considered, especially when your chances of a quick sale on the open market are so slim.