Tips for selling your home in a buyer’s market

When there are more people selling properties than buying them, what can you to to make your home stand out from the crowd?

Estate agent signs

What is a buyer’s market?

A buyer’s market is when supply exceeds demand. From a buyer’s perspective, a buyer's market means more choice and a greater likelihood that sellers will compromise in order to make a sale.

How can I increase my chances of selling my home?

Choose the right estate agent

It may sound obvious, but choosing the right agent can make all the difference.

Ask potential agents about their track record in your local area over the past six months. Look at the standard of the agent's marketing on their website and the property portals. Try to adopt a buyer's perspective. How well is your property likely to come across compared to those listed with competitor agents?

Don't be seduced by agents offering suspiciously high valuations. A high valuation will be tempting, but you don’t want your property sitting on the market for too long. You may then have to reduce the asking price and buyers may wonder what’s wrong with the property.

Get a few valuations from different agents. Check how realistic the agent's valuations are with an online house price checker.

A good agent will give you a realistic valuation and should be able to demonstrate how your home compares to other similar homes they have sold.

If you are looking for a quick sale, your agent can advise you on where to pitch the asking price to help you sell faster.

Estate agent contracts - What should I check before signing?

Give your estate agent plenty of detail

Tell your agent everything that you think makes your home appealing, however small these details may be. Your agent wants to show your home in the best possible light.

Is there anything unique about it? What were you looking for when you found your property? What do you love about living there? Is it the natural light, the garden, the cottage feel, the spacious living room?

If your home has a wow factor, make sure your estate agent is primed to make the most of it.

Give the agent an extensive tour, so that you feel they know your home as well as they possibly can before they start selling it for you.

Who are you most likely to be selling to?

Your estate agent can help you with this: creating a likely buyer’s profile will help inform which elements of your home will appeal the most.

Are you selling a family home, a bungalow, a flat that may suit a young couple? Once you’ve established this, work out which features might be most attractive to the likely profile of buyer.

Think about the benefits of the local area

What are the benefits of the local area and the position of the property? How these might appeal to buyers?

Consider schools, transport links or the peace and quiet you enjoy. Your house may be very similar to another being sold on the next street, but how is yours better situated?

Some of the benefits may not be obvious, even to your agent. Make sure the agent is aware of these points and that they are highlighted in the sales particulars.

In a buyer’s market, you can’t afford to overlook any small elements that could give you the edge.

You will also improve your chances of a sale by:

  • Selling in the spring (statistically the best time to sell)
  • De-cluttering
  • Work on kerb appeal - tidy the front garden, remove dead plants, paint the front door etc.
  • Get minor repairs done to increase the ‘ready to move in to’ feel
  • Neutralise colour schemes so buyers see a blank canvas

Read more:

When is the best time of year to sell my home?

Be ready to go

Once you have accepted an offer, you don't want to lose your buyer because of delays in the conveyancing process. Being prepared is key. Make sure you have chosen and instructed a conveyancing solicitor before you find a buyer.

The solicitor will carry out all of the preliminary work that could delay a transaction, such as collating information, completing forms and applying for managing agent information (on a leasehold property).

Read more:

When is the best time to instruct a conveyancing solicitor?

In summary

The key to selling your home in a buyer’s market is attention to detail, in both your choice of agent and in extolling the benefits of your home and its surrounding area.

If you receive a low offer, the buyer may be trying it on. In making an offer, the buyer has revealed their interest in buying your property. If you enter negotiations there is no need to accept the first low offer that you receive. Trust your agent's experience and be realistic about the price.

Read more:

My home has been on the market for a while - what can I do?

What must a seller disclose when selling a property?

Your next step

If you are buying, selling, remortgaging or transferring equity in a home, we can help you find an expert conveyancing solicitor.

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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Author:
Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher