As the property market begins to show signs of improvement, many homeowners may decide to put their home or investment on the market. However, many are not aware of the common errors made by sellers which are likely to prevent a quick and successful transaction. Below we highlight 11 of the major errors to help you navigate the pitfalls of modern conveyancing.
1) Many potential sellers decide to wait until the Spring or Summer to put their property on the market. However, as houses sell all year round, it would be beneficial to take advantage of the ‘off season’ buyers. With the rise of internet marketing, most buyers do not stop looking in the off season – alerts for new properties go straight to their smart phone.
2) Keeping the house and garden tidy and any pets at bay is another factor that sellers forget to comply with. It is important to think of a viewing as a first impression and a messy abode is likely to put off any potential buyers.
3) Being present at viewings is often seen as a wise move by the seller. This is not the case. The owner being present not only makes the potential purchasers uncomfortable but makes the estate agents job a lot harder. As long as you leave your agent with a thorough brief, it is best to leave them to it.
4) A key error made by many sellers is their failure to obtain all the correct and relevant paper work. It is important to have together documents such as title deeds, land registration documents and any leasehold information. Exclusion of any of these documents is likely to make selling the property a lot harder.
5) Sellers often make it difficult for potential buyers to view the property at times that are convenient for them, therefore putting many potential buyers off viewing at all.
6) It is important to make sure that sellers are clear when it comes to what is and is not included within the sale. Being unclear will create doubt and irritate buyers. Removing an item that technically passes with the property could leave you open to a legal challenge.
7) Another common error is forgetting to de-personalise the house prior to any viewings. A lot of potential buyers find it easier to imagine themselves living there without the owners’ possessions in sight. There is, however, an argument to the contrary, with many people believing that buyers are buying not just a property, but a lifestyle and prefer seeing personalised items whilst viewing which represent how they could be in the future.
8) It is common for sellers to offer a starting price that is too high. A property listing has the most traffic during the first two weeks of its posting and having a starting price that is too high is likely to put off any potential buyers at the online stage. Sometimes ‘testing the water’ can be counter productive.
9) Another price related error is the common rejection of early offers. Sellers should not always reject early offers that are near to the asking price because if the asking price is in line with the current market, it just means that the property is likely to have been valued correctly. Rejecting early interest could greatly increase the wait for a buyer, particularly as your web traffic slows with time.
10) Solicitors and agency fees are commonly forgotten about and a seller must be reminded that whatever the final sold price of the property, these are to be deducted from this. This often results in a rather unpleasant surprise for the seller.
11) Do not accept an estate agent’s comments on legal matters at face value. It is always preferable to at least obtain a second opinion on matters like lease terms and resale value from a qualified Chartered Surveyor.
LCB / BT / SRJ 08.02.14