With the UK officially in recession for the first time in 11 years, we could be on the brink of a buyer’s market, meaning more homes up for sale than there are willing buyers.
As the furlough scheme — which has been keeping millions of people in work during the coronavirus pandemic — comes to an end on October 1st, there is likely to be a surge in national unemployment. Add to this the withdrawal of low-deposit mortgages for first-time buyers by multiple lenders, and the pool of potential buyers is set to shrink significantly for many properties. This means buyers can cherry-pick their new homes and potentially beat sellers down on price.
If you’re eager to sell and can’t afford to wait for the economy and the housing market to recover, you may be wondering how you can sell your house quickly in a buyer’s market?
What Is a Buyer’s Market?
A buyer’s market occurs when there are more properties for sale than there are people interested in buying them. It’s a quintessential case of supply and demand. Available properties, interest rates and the economic climate all impact the status of the housing market.
A buyer’s market doesn’t mean it’s impossible to sell, it’s just likely to take longer. You may also need to compromise on the sale price because when the buyer has plenty of options to choose from, they are in a stronger position to negotiate. For these reasons, some homeowners will hold fire on marketing top tier property until the market picks up and conditions become more favourable for sellers.
However, some people don’t have the luxury of time on their side and a quick sale is necessary, be that due to separation, the need to relocate for work, financial difficulties or a host of other reasons.
Tips for Selling Quickly in a Buyer’s Market
- Set Realistic Expectations
There’s no point setting a sky-high asking price if there are five other local properties just like yours that are available for much less. Don’t get hung up on what you “could” get for your home if you were in a seller’s market, be realistic about what you can achieve at the moment. This may mean compromising on the asking price and the final sale price you agree — in a buyer’s market, there’s likely to be some haggling involved. And remember, if you’re planning to sell your home to fund the purchase of another property, you can take advantage of the buyer’s market too, by paying less for your new home.
- Sell to a Cash Buying Company
The best way to sell your house quickly is to use a cash buying company that has the funds ready to buy and the expertise to speed the sale through — this can be in as little as seven days after valuation. Most of these companies will buy any property, in any condition or location. The price offered will be slightly below your home’s market value, but there will be no estate agent or legal fees to pay. Furthermore, you won’t need to spend money on expensive repairs or refurbishment in a bid to attract buyers, and you’ll avoid the inconvenience of viewings.
- Boost Your Property’s Appeal to Buyers
If you have the budget, it’s worth completing any minor repairs and cosmetic improvements such as repainting flaking woodwork and tidying up a scruffy garden. When buyers are spoilt for choice, they can afford to be picky about the work they are willing to undertake. If your property needs significant updating or has highly personalised decor, you could lose a buyer to a better-presented property. Property insiders have noticed a change in buying trends since the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK. With more people working remotely, a growing number of buyers are prioritising gardens and office space. Make the most of these if you have them, or create them where possible.
- Draw Attention to Your Home’s Unique Selling Points
You need to make your home stand out from other, similar properties on the local market. Make the most of quirky or character features by updating the decor to emphasise these, and make sure the photographs used to advertise your property highlight these unique selling points. Consider who your ideal buyer is. If you’re selling a large family home, be sure to highlight its proximity to outstanding local schools. Perhaps your home is a swanky city centre apartment — make sure potential buyers know about the onsite gym and concierge service. When smartening up your home, advertising and conducting viewings, make a point of highlighting anything that sets your home a grade above the norm.
- Make Use of Technology
There may be an extra fee involved, but adding features such as online video tours to your property advert can help attract more buyers for viewings, which will increase your chances of clinching a sale. Many people are still apprehensive about visiting other peoples’ homes due to the risk of transmitting COVID-19. Offering online viewings will encourage these potential buyers to take a look around your home.
Selling a house quickly can be challenging in a buyer’s market, but it’s certainly not impossible. Set realistic expectations, and make it easy for potential buyers to view your home and appreciate its unique selling points. Alternatively, consider a house buying service that will offer a fast guaranteed sale.