Category Archives: Selling Property

Selling Property After Bereavement

For many people, one of the hardest things they ever have to do is sell the family home after parents/relatives have passed away or gone into care. It can be a very sensitive time and the stress of having to put a property on the market coupled with the grief of losing a loved one can sometimes be too much to bear. In addition, there may be several family members involved who do not all agree on the best way forward and this can causes added tensions.

FlowersIn many instances, if the relative was elderly, it may be that the property is in need of updating and modernisation.  There may well be years and years of clutter that has built up throughout the property leaving it in rather a ‘busy’ state.

Here are a set of easy-to-follow guidelines that should help to get the property shifted relatively quickly on  the open market:

Firstly, give yourself enough time before you decide to sell. Returning to the property and letting in Estate  Agents and strange people will be upsetting, so GIVE YOURSELF ENOUGH TIME after a bereavement.

Invite over at least 3 Estate Agents and listen to their valuation figures carefully. If the property is rather dated (as is often  the case) be prepared for some modest figures. Go with the agent that provides the most compelling evidence to back up their suggested sale price.

Clear the property of all the clutter and personal belongings. However, you will want to leave some basic furniture in the property (even if it’s old and a bit cranky). This will help to give an identity to each room, it will also make the place feel warmer and more inviting. Completely empty houses always look sad and lonely, in addition photographs of empty rooms do not make pretty pictures.

Let the Estate Agent take all of the viewings. Potential buyers will be talking about “refitting the kitchen” and “tearing out that old bath suite”, not things you will want to hear if you grew up in the property.

Finally, make sure that all  family members involved in the sale are easily contactable: time can be of the essence when offers start coming in from interested buyers. You should all agree well in advance what you are prepared to accept in the way of offers. If offers are not forthcoming within a few weeks then be prepared to drop the price a little.

If you stick to these guidelines then you should find a buyer relatively quickly. Bereavement properties often attract a lot of interest due to their modest prices and lack of onward chain.

How long will it take to sell my property?

Let me just dust off the crystal ball and I’ll tell you………..

No seriously, it’s a perfectly natural question to ask if your property is going on the market. Should I start packing straight away? Do I need to start emptying all of that ‘junk’ out of the attic? After all, it’s going to take about 15 runs to the tip!!

More importantly, do I need to start looking for a property to buy or rent? If my house sells within a few weeks and I haven’t even started looking for a new home, I could be left in the lurch? And what could be worse than having to move in with the in-laws?

In truth, no-one can ever tell you for certain how long it might take to find a suitable buyer and beyond that how long the solicitors will take to push the process through to completion. After all, there are always so many unknown variables. So the best advice has to be simply to try and be as relaxed as possible about the whole process. There are several measures you can of course take to ensure that you have the best chance to get a quick, effective sale.

Firstly, choose the right Estate Agent and go on sale at a realistic market value price. It makes sense to invite 3 agents to your property and brief them all that you want a realistic valuation, not a ‘pie-in-the-sky’ figure. Don’t be afraid to ask them how they’ve reached their valuation figure. BearMoving Home in mind that the agent’s principle aim is to get your business in the first place so he may be generous with his valuation to try and stand out from the competition. Don’t be fooled, if you get 3 figures back and one sticks out like a saw thumb then it may be wise to ignore it and listen to the other 2 agents.

If you go on sale at the correct asking price with an agent that knows how to market your property well, then you have every chance (even in the current climate) of achieving a quick and stress-free sale. Go on to the market at a sky high price and even with the best Estate Agent in the world and the greatest marketing regime, you are heading for a long, drawn out, blood pressure rocketing experience. Not to be recommended!!
And of course, don’t forget the kerb appeal! Your property must look its best during all of the viewings in order to get a quick sale.

If you want professional advice on how to market your property effectively, call George at Elizabeth Davenport Estate Agents on 02476 010105.

The Pros & Cons of Estate Agents

It’s become everybody’s favourite pastime in recent years, dragging Estate Agents through the mud, criticising the service they provide and (in some cases) questioning their professionalism. The tabloid press have had a field day and in many surveys, Estate Agents now figure as one of the most hated professions in the country.

In some cases of course, the criticism has been justified but in many cases it has been a case of journalists and armchair commentators simply jumping on the bandwagon. Estate Agents are an easy target of course, a high proportion of the population are home-owners and the house buying process is a very slow, stressful process. With Estate Agents being right in the firing line during what often takes several months from sale to completion, somebody was always going to get the blame.

The latest trend is to dismiss estate agents as being surplus to requirements and encourage vendors to sell their property privately. “Save thousands” are the headlines. I recently read a review of an Estate Agent: the vendor explained how they had been forced to shell out thousands of pounds for the agent to simply “upload the pictures to the web”. It was all very hysterical.

Good Estate Agents
Many Estate Agents deserve a better reputation.

My Estate Agency recently completed a house sale for which we received a fee of £1500. The work involved in earning that fee included the following:
1. Two hours research before travelling to the house to carry out the valuation which took up a further 2 hours including travel time.
2. Letters and contracts sent to the vendor before going on sale. Then another 2.5 hour visit to the property to take photos, draw floorplans and collect data for the Energy Survey. A full days work ensued to process all of the photos, create brochures submit the Energy Survey and upload all of the details to our own website and the other web portals.
3. Sending the brochures to a professional printers and paying the cost of.
5. Advertising the property in the local press with a half page splash (£380 per page)
4. Dozens of phone calls to arrange the 15 viewing appointments it took to sell the property. We accompanied all of the appointments ourselves at approximately 1.5 man hours per appointment.
5. Negotiating on the 3 offers that were received and achieving a SOLD price that the vendor was happy with.
6. Sending out letters and Memorandums of Sale to solicitors and other parties.
7. Returning to the property 3 further times to let in a Mortgage Valuer, a Surveyor and the buyer again so that they could “show their Mum”.
8. Many further phone calls chasing up solicitors and Mortgage advisors when things seemed to be grinding to a halt.
9. Renegotiating on price when the Mortgage Valuer undervalued the property due to the current state of the market.
10. Releasing keys on the day of completion and finally sending our invoice.

This story had a happy ending with a sale being achieved for the vendor and us receiving our fee. Many houses in the current climate do not end up selling and we receive no fee whatsoever despite carrying out most of the work described above. We have office rent to pay, wages for staff, car and petrol costs, telephone expenses, business rates, £1000 per month fee to Rightmove, £300 per month to PrimeLocation, newspaper advertising, web development costs, purchase of For Sale boards, fees to erect For Sale boards, the list is endless.

If you want to sell your house there is a lot that an Estate Agent can do for you and the costs involved are fairly modest (usually 1-1.5% of the sale figure) By comparison in the USA the figure is more like 5-6% of the sale figure of the property (where strangely Estate Agents have a much better reputation). The service that you receive if you choose the right Estate Agent will be good and help to sell your house at full market value in the minimum amount of time possible.

Don’t believe everything you read in the newspapers………………….