A Vendor’s Guide to the Selling Market

by Ben Moser

October 2016


By Ben Moser

There are many different reasons for selling property; from disposing of an investment property, to simply moving home.

Once you have decided to sell, you need to consider what you want to include in the sale. Normally fixtures and fittings such as fitted storage heaters are included in the price, but other moveable items can be also be negotiated.

If you are planning to get rid of items you no longer need, do so before you begin to market your property as an uncluttered house will sell quicker. Many councils take large items away and sometimes even for free.

Giving your agent useful documents and facts about your property will help them to inform potential buyers. Such information includes:

  • Gas and electrical certificate checks
  • Building regulation certificates
  • Council tax, utility, buildings and contents insurance bills; so that potential buyers can estimate running costs.
  • Service charges and ground rent bills (for flats)


The Advantages of Using an Estate Agent

Estate agents spend all day, every day selling property and have built up a vast amount of knowledge and expertise as a result. Agents will conduct a valuation on your property, handle viewings and negotiations on your behalf, and make sure your property is marketed properly. They will strive to achieve the best possible price for your property, as well as the best buyer. They will thereby avoid disappointment and stress from any less serious potential buyers.

Moreover, a good estate agent will also be able to offer you plenty of advice throughout the process. This includes guidance on conveyancing and financial services.

Once you have signed a contract with an estate agent, you will need to prepare your home for viewings to give it the best chance of selling. First impression count so put yourself in the buyers shoes and think about how to enhance your property.

Even consider the “kerb appeal”; the first thing potential buyers will see before even getting past the front door.

Gothic black fireplace against white walls

Here are some things to look out for:

  • Does the front of your house need smartening up?
  • Could the front garden be tidier?
  • Would the front door look better with a fresh lick of paint?
  • Could the front windows do with a clean?

Be sure to examine the inside with a critical eye as well. Keep the space clean and tidy by de-cluttering and using sensible storage. Potential buyers will want to visualise how they can fill the space. Be sure to undertake any minor repairs that need doing so that potential buyers will not be able to find any negatives.

If you’re looking to redecorate, choose neutral tones to appeal to a wider audience and do be sure to consider the weather by making the space cool on a hot day or warm in the winter. Banish all smoke or pet odours and open the windows. It’s also a good idea to brew some fresh coffee and add finishing touches such as fresh flowers to brighten the place up.

Try to bring out your properties best features such as the fireplaces, and use mirrors to open the space. Once you have received an offer, be prepared to negotiate. However, do remember that you don’t necessarily have to sell to the highest bigger; a lower bid might be more suitable if they are:

  • Paying in cash (so you don’t need to wait for mortgage approval)
  • They already have a mortgage ‘agreed in principle’
  • They don’t have to sell a property first (they may be first-time buyers or investors or within a short chain)
  • They can fit in with your timescale better than other buyers


If it isn’t selling:

If you’re having trouble selling property, ask your agent for feedback from the viewings. Can your estate agent ‘freshen up’ your property details on Rightmove with better photo and a more engaging description? Was the exterior photo clearly taken a long time ago and in a different season? Also, consider whether you need to reduce the price. If a survey reveals that there is a specific problem that might be leading buyers to renegotiate or pull out, consider getting repairs.

If you’re interested in selling in Edgware, West Dulwich, or Herne Hill, have a look at our relevant pages.


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