The housing market has been challenging throughout the recession, and while recent statistics show gradual recovery, the situation remains difficult for many homeowners hoping to sell quickly. Halifax recently reported a 0.6% reduction in house prices for June 2014 – the fourth monthly price drop since December 2013 – but the society’s figures also revealed that average house prices have risen by £16,000 in the last year.
Howard Archer, the UK chief of Global Insight, commented: “While [the 0.6% drop] may be a sign that house prices are starting to lose momentum in reaction to the recent moderation in activity, June’s drop must be treated with a high degree of caution as it followed a jump of 4.0% month-on-month in May. At the moment, house prices still look more likely than not to see clear increases over the coming months, although it is looking increasingly probable that there will be some easing back in house price gains from the recent strong increases.”
House prices in all regions of the UK have shown increases during the second quarter of 2014 except for Scotland, where prices remained steady. This overall price leap marks the largest increase in seven years, bringing up the average cost of buying a home to over £180,000.
Stephen Noakes, mortgage director at Halifax, explained: “Housing demand continues to be supported by an economic recovery that is gathering pace, with employment levels growing and rising consumer confidence, although real earnings growth remains sluggish.”
So how do you negotiate a tricky housing market and successfully sell your home? While the prospect of high prices may be enticing when you’re trying to sell, it can also mean that making a sale is harder to achieve. Here are a few tips from the property law experts at Frances Lindsay & Co:
- Keep your target market in mind and tailor your property accordingly. Would your home best suit a commuter, a professional couple, a family, or retirees? Consider the best layout for your targeted market and make it easy for them to envision themselves living in your home – for example, a small bedroom could be turned into a nursery or a home office.
- Time it right; key selling times are often during the spring (between February and March) and autumn (September) when demand overtakes supply.
- Start with a clean slate. De-personalise your home and provide an empty canvas for prospective buyers so that they can clearly see the space available. Getting rid of clutter also helps make rooms look larger and cleaner.
- Keep your home clean and fresh. A coat of paint can work wonders, as can a quick re-grout of the bathroom, or some new lighter curtains to make the place appear bright and welcoming.
- Don’t forget the exterior of your house and any garden areas. Providing ‘kerbside appeal’ means that prospective buyers will be impressed by their very first impression of your home, so make sure your front entrance looks inviting and well maintained. You don’t need to spend hundreds on landscaping to make your garden look great – just keep it tidy and show the potential of the space.
- Call on your solicitor to take care of conveyancing and get your finances in place for purchasing your new place as early as you can so that you’re in the best possible position to make a quick sale. Your solicitor can apply for title deeds, prepare a draft contract and help you get your paperwork in order, such as building certificates and work guarantees.
- Get a good valuation. Try to get at least three agents to value your property and check the cost of similar homes in your area to make sure you are offering a realistic price.
If you’re based in Berkshire or Buckinghamshire and are planning a move, our team of property solicitors can help you to sell your home quickly and efficiently. Get in touch with us for advice and guidance on getting a great price for your property.conveyancing solicitor Berkshire, conveyancing solicitor Buckinghamshire, property lawyer Thames Valley, property lawyer Windsor, property solicitor Beaconsfield, property solicitor Berkshire, property solicitor Buckinghamshire, property solicitor Maidenhead, property solicitor Thames Valley, property solicitor Windsor