Six common mistakes to avoid when selling your house

Property expert reveals the latest buying trends for UK

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Most people only ever move house once or twice in their lives. It’s a massive commitment both mentally and financially so how can you avoid the pitfalls of selling before that ‘For Sale’ sign even goes up? Property experts at House Move Pro have shared a few mistakes Britons make when selling and how to combat them.

1. Choosing the wrong estate agent

An estate agent not performing is one of the key reasons that a house sale can falter.

The experts said: “There is nothing worse than being tied into a contract with an estate agent when viewings fall flat or after that initial flurry of excitement, you still haven’t had one single offer. 

“Picking the right estate agent doesn’t always mean going for the one who gives you the highest valuation or the cheapest commission rate.”

They suggested that Britons do their research and find out who people are using in the area, how quickly do they sell homes on their books, what’s their track record on achieving the asking price and how many people in their office would be able to talk enthusiastically and with knowledge about the property. 

The experts added: “Before you choose, make sure you get all the facts and if you get a valuation, ask the estate agent to explain their reasoning.”

2. Asking too much 

This is by far the most common mistake sellers make – and it can cost sellers. Of course all sellers want to get the best price for their property, but if the asking price is too high then they are already losing out on potential buyers. 

The property pros agreed: “Becoming fixated on a certain value that you think your home is worth can put a death sentence on the potential sale.”

According to Rightmove, 70 percent of interest in a house comes in the first three weeks of putting it on the market. The experts warned: “If the price is too high, your property will appear expensive and people will be instantly put off. In contrast, if your property appears to be of really good value, then you will attract lots of attention and viewings. 

“The right price will drive competition and create a buzz about your place, which in turn will push up any offers to the absolute market value.”

The longer a property is on the market, the less chance Britons have of selling it at a good price – or, in some cases, at all.

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3. Not accepting early offers

Every offer should be considered on its individual merits. Just because it’s the first one, doesn’t mean it’s a bad one. 

The property experts explained: “As a seller, you need to make sure you are aware of the buyer’s position, financial situation and most importantly motivation. 

“Many buyers will call an estate agent within one hour of walking out of a viewing to ‘lock down’ any other offers. Or they might be first in with an offer because they have been waiting months for the right house to come on the market and are therefore highly motivated to move.” Get all the facts so you can make an informed decision to move forward.

4. Showing buyers around yourself 

Surely the best person to show potential buyers around the house is the person that’s lived there, right? Well this is certainly not the case, according to the pros. 

They said: “As tempting as it is to wax lyrical about the joys of your home, sellers can often be too emotionally attached to pointing out all the finer details of their beloved home. 

“Whether you feel it’s out of politeness or courtesy, following the buyer into every room isn’t going to help. It’s important to give buyers space to look around the property in their own time.”

5. Saying “no” to viewings

Keeping a house pristine for viewings can be a hard task, especially for those also living with small kids and pets or the buyers have asked for a viewing at a really inconvenient time. 

However, the property gurus urged: “Viewings, at whatever time, are a great opportunity to sell. Prepare well in advance so you know where to store things at short notice or try to encourage block viewings to minimise disruption.”

6. Ignoring maintenance

When putting a house up for sale, it is important for other people to see the property at its best, both inside and out, in order to draw in potential buyers. 

Little things such as fresh paint on your front door, flowers and plants, de-weeding your garden, or even some simple cleaning and decluttering can make a massive difference. Don’t underestimate what people will notice.

The experts explained: “Any minor DIY jobs or repairs that need doing are key to making a first good impression. If a garden looks messy and uncared for, does that mean the inside is equally unmaintained?  

“Make sure you present your house in tiptop condition so that buyers aren’t left with that sinking feeling of what else could be wrong.”

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