Tag: How to sell my house

You may have seen Harrisons Homes have been in the news recently with another incredible achievement.  We have achieved the impressive milestone of 100 Property Sales Being Secured By Reservation Agreements.  Harrisons are the second agent in the UK to achieve this target. As well as being one of only a handful of agents that offer their clients peace of mind by offering these type of agreements.  We are in no doubt that having these agreements in place has contributed to us having one of the lowest fall through rates in the UK. Just 4% compared to the national average of 33%.

What is a reservation agreement?

Reservation agreements are legally binding guarantees that commit the buyer and seller to proceeding with the deal once the offer has been agreed. Both parties agree to the terms under which the deal can be broken. They both pay a deposit, to seal the deal. If the deal is broken by either party for reasons other than those agreed, there is a penalty that must be paid to compensate the other.

It works like this:
The buyer views the property, and express’ an interest that they are considering making an offer.
The seller has already completed a buyer information pack. This is then sent to the buyer to review before an offer is made.  A better-informed buyer is less likely to pull out. And more likely to be bold in putting forward their best offer.
Once an offer is agreed. It is reserved, to protect you from Gazumping/Gazundering. You’ll be safe in the knowledge that your property sale is secure before legal exchange of contracts.

Is this the future the housing market?

We believe reservation agreements will become the norm for property sales in the future.  Before the pandemic hit, the UK government were at the point of running a trial of reservation agreements.  Unfortunately this was cancelled due to Covid-19.
However, property technology company Gazeal created their own reservation agreements, which have now helped people to buy and sell over £200 million worth of property in the past two years. Now government and many industry bodies are very interested in how this was done.
Last Friday, Bryan Mansell, the chief executive of Gazeal, met with the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities as they review the merits of going ahead with a trial.  

The call for the change in law and for the introduction of reservation agreements has been picking up a lot of support recently.  The past 18 months in the housing market have been unprecedented. The flaws in the current system have been more obvious to see.  We believe these agreements are the future as do many others.

National newspaper, The Times, has launched a campaign called “Get Britain Moving: Speed up. Streamline. Save money”.  With two main objectives: to reduce uncertainty by calling for the introduction of reservation agreements (making offers legally binding) and greater transparency through the use of digital innovation to create a faster, more secure and less stressful way to buy property.

Tag: How to sell my house

How Long Does it Take to Sell a House?

In 2021 the average time to sell a house in the UK, from offer being agreed to completion is just over 11 weeks, 81 days to be exact.  Here at Harrisons Homes we are agreeing sales within 16 days of going to the market.  So from listing to completion you are looking at 97 days, or 13.9 weeks.

However, it can take longer for homes in poor condition or that are an unusual building. Additional factors, such as the time of year and the “heat” of the market can also affect how long it takes to sell a property. Last year houses took longer to complete due to the backlog of house sales caused by the first lockdown in March and the pressure on conveyancing as a result of the demand caused by the stamp duty holiday.

My House Is Not Selling – What should I Do?

If you’ve identified that your house sale is sticking, here are some suggestions of what you can do to increase your chances of finding a buyer and selling your home.

  • Asking price. Sadly, some agents, who are financially rewarded for the number of houses they put up for sale, rather than the number of houses they sell. can inflate their valuation in a bid to get your business. This can result in a high asking price that puts people off.  Very few people will put in a “cheeky offer” on a house that they believe is overpriced.  Take a look at similar properties (size, location, condition, etc.) that have sold recently in your area.  Then look at those that have been sitting on the market for some time. This is a simple way that you can research prices and should give you a good idea if you’ve priced your home too high.
  • Switch estate agents. Currently houses are selling very quickly.  If your home hasn’t sold within four weeks it’s time to have a serious conversation with your estate agent.  Ask for their advice and suggestions to get your house infront of active buyers who are able to make an offer.  You should only have buyers coming through your door for a viewing that are either chain free, under offer or true cash buyers.  If you aren’t satisfied with how your agent is performing, you can switch.  Shop around and ask friends for recommendations. There are also some helpful estate agent comparison tools online. Try to understand why your current agent isn’t getting results.  Then take your list of expectations to some different agencies to find one that can serve you better.
  • Prepare Your Home for Viewings. Make sure that the property is de-cluttered and clean for viewings.  Consider staging the rooms, for example, placing fresh flowers around your home, lay the table for meals.  Or, with so many people working from home, create a designated home office space.  When it comes to presenting your home for viewings, the little touches really help.
  • Ask for feedback. Asking potential buyers for feedback after viewings can provide valuable insight into why the property isn’t selling.  Consider what they are saying with this feed back. For example, if people are people put off by the messy garden. It is worth spending a little time or money giving it a good tidy.
  • Vet Offers Before Accepting. If you receive multiple offers, consider the bidders’ circumstances and how much they are willing to pay for your property. Do they have an agreement in principle from a mortgage company? Are they in a property chain, or are they a cash buyer? Opt for the buyer who is most likely to see the deal through to completion. Over the one who makes a high offer but is part of a lengthy chain or has yet to secure the finance they need.

Act Today

In a perfect world, the home selling process would be straightforward and quick. You’d list your home for sale, schedule viewings, receive multiple offers, and sell your home fast and above list price. Unfortunately, selling your house isn’t always that simple and your home could end up sitting on the market longer than you anticipated.

If you are concerned about the amount of time that it is taking to sell your house, why not give our team a call on 01795 474848 for some no obligation, no pressure to switch to us, just some honest advice.

Tag: How to sell my house

How to get the best price for your home, may be something that is concerning you if you are thinking of moving home next year.  You may feel like you have missed out on the boom in house prices and demand that we have seen in 2021.  All of this talk of the rising cost of living, increases in mortgage rates and so on has got you feeling like you have missed out on getting the best price for your home.

House Prices in 2022

In our recent blog, “are property prices going down?” We discuss how the housing market is predicted to perform next year.  Even with these negative factors affecting affordability, house prices are still predicted to rise next year.

That said, anyone thinking of moving next year needs to be prepared and savvy about their sale.  To get the best price for your home, you need to be thinking about your sale now

When to be “sale ready”

Traditionally, the best time to sell your home is in the spring, winter is normally a slower period.  However, January is usually a very busy month for property listings.  In 2022 it’s probably best to look at the current market, rather than traditional trends.

To achieve the best price for your house next year, there is no doubt that you need have it listed for sale in the first quarter of the year.  This is when the highest rise in house prices will happen, before the affordability issues come into play.

If you want to maximise your chances of getting the best price for your home, start thinking and planning now by doing the following:

  • Gather together any house related paperwork.  Remember to include HM Land Registry title documents. Energy Performance certificate.  Gas and electrical safety checks.  Planning permission and building regulation completion certificates and builder’s guarantee certificates for alterations or additions.  FENSA or CERTAS certificates for windows. Subsidence guarantees/warranties. Damp guarantees/warranties. Party wall agreements (if relevant).  Any title insurance policies you may have taken out to solve title defects.
  • Estate agents and mortgage companies are required by law to check your identity to prevent money laundering.  Ensure you have the relevant ID documents.  You will need a photo proof of identity such as a drivers licence or passport.  Along with a proof of address such as a bank or utility statement.  A full list of acceptable ID documents can be found on the government website
  • Clear the clutter.  This can make a massive difference when selling a property.  Clear away all clutter to leave rooms feeling spacious and clean.  Consider putting some items into storage.
  • Consider your kerb appeal.  Houses do not look their best over the winter months.  However, it’s the perfect time to make a list of jobs to improve your jerk appeal.  Does anything need painting? Fix and clear getters. Does the garden need a tidy? do you need to wash nets and curtains?
  • Finish any unfinished DIY projects.  This may put off potential buyers.
  • Get finances in place.  With mortgage rates currently very low, get your mortgage in principal agreed.  This will give you an idea of your budget and put you in a good position once your home goes under offer.
  • Research estate agents.  Before you get a valuation on your home, it is important to make a shortlist of which agents are performing best in your local area

Getting valuations

Before putting your home on the market, invite your shortlist of agents to value your home.  With Coronavirus looking likely to be with us for a while yet, you may be uncomfortable inviting agents into your home.  Ask about socially distanced valuations, this will give you a good indication of your properties value before you go onto the market.

When to put your home onto the market to get the best price

In order to get the best price possible for your home in 2022, ideally you want to sell it within the first quarter of the year.  Good estate agents are currently selling houses in just over two weeks on average.  Therefore, the ideal time to start marketing your home is January, certainly no later than mid February.

To prevent any disappointment, ensure you do not have a contract of longer than four weeks with any estate agent.  If an agent is confident in their valuation, they will not tie you into a long contract length.  If your home doesn’t sell quickly, ensure your agent is being proactive, marketing to active buyers and not just to those on the property portals.

Why to consider Harrisons Get the Best Price for Your Home in 2022?

Here at Harrisons Homes we have been helping people locally to get the best price in every type of market for years.  If you would like to find out what else makes us different, call our team on 01795 474848.

Tag: How to sell my house

Selling your home is a big deal, it’s not something to be rushed into.  There is a lot to consider.  What will you gain from a move? were will you move to? what are your key requirements? the list goes on and on. Then you get to the questions about finances.  To work out what you can afford, with or without borrowing, you will need to get and idea of what your own home is worth, but you are not ready to have your home valued in person, because you are still at the research stage and, quite frankly, you know once you invite agents in to value your home, they will be subjecting you to the hard sell, wanting you to get onto the market now, even though you are not yet ready to do so.

What are we afraid of?

Let’s be honest, the image many of us have of an estate agent coming to value our home is not great.  In they come, armed with masses of literature, some to support their valuation and some “to leave with you” explaining why they are the only agent in the land that can sell your home, at that price, faster and smarter than their competition.

Despite when you booked the visit, being assured that they understood you were not ready to put your home on the market, the agent starts with the hard sell.  Explaining why you should sign up today, why now is the right time to be on the market, even being offered a discounted fee if you sign on the dotted line now.

And if you found the strength and energy to resist signing up. Just as you have decluttered all of the agents brochures and Rightmove reports. The phone starts to ring and ring and ring

“have you has any more thoughts around your property sale yet?”

“I wanted to tell you about a great new deal we have on”

“We have a family who are sold, they will buy your home”

Sound familiar?

No wonder people are reluctant to invite agents into their homes until they are ready to go onto the market!

Research, without the hassle

There is no better way to get an indication of what your house is worth than having an in person valuation by a reputable estate agent.  However, there may be many reasons why you are not yet ready to have a face to face valuation yet.  It could be the fear of being in the scenario above.  You may need works done on the property before it’ is ready to value.  You may be clinically vulnerable and worried about having people come into your home with Covid-19 infection rates rising, or you name be very emotionally invested in the property and you just aren’t ready it put it on the market yet.

One solution to getting an indication of what your property is worth, is by using an online valuation tool

Whilst these tools give you an instant idea of what your home may be worth.  They may not be that accurate. As they cannot take into account the finish of your home. Improvements that may appeal to buyers.  Nor can they keep up with a fast market, such as the one we are in now.

A virtual valuation

To get a much better idea, we have our virtual valuation  The virtual valuation is a form that you can complete. It asks for more specifics about your property to enable us to give a more informed valuation. You can even upload photo’s.  Once you have submitted the form, we will call you back within 24 hours with your valuation, which will be followed up with an emailed report.

After you have your valuation and report. We wont call you daily/weekly asking if you are ready to go into the market again.  You can even unsubscribe from our newsletters.

Giving you time and space to make an informed decision on the next chapter of your life

Tag: How to sell my house

Has your house been on the market for a while with not so much as the hint of an offer? Or have you only received offers far below the property’s market value? Then read our guide to 5 mistakes you may be making if your home isn’t selling

1. Your home is poorly presented

A messy, clutter-filled property sends all the wrong signals to potential buyers. Put yourself in the buyers shoes, does your home have kerb appeal? Make it look appealing outside, mow the lawn, weed the beds, clean the windows and doors and remove any rubbish.  Then, continue inside.  Clear the clutter, put some things into storage if possible.  Give buyers the opportunity to see how they may live and use the space.

2. Poor Marketing

Properties should be marketed directly to motivated buyers whose requirements match your property. Viewings should be kept to motivated buyers who are in a position to make an offer only.  Ensure your property is being marketed outside of the the portals, it should be sent to your agents database of buyers looking for a property that matches yours. It should also be shared on social media and via the agents website.

When it is listed on the portals

Many homes get lost then they are listed on the property portals.  Potential buyers have access to hundreds of properties to consider online. If your property doesn’t stand out, they will swipe past.  At the very least your home needs multiple high-quality photo’s, detailed information and floor plans.

3. Buyers not viewers

Many properties in the current market place are attracting many viewings.  This feels like a good thing until you think about who is coming through your door to view your home. Are the viewings from buyers? Buyers that have their own property under offer and have finances in place?  If they are cash buyers, does this mean that they have demonstrated they have cash in place to purchase? Or will they have to sell a property in order to buy yours for cash?

Ensure you have viewers that are able to buy before they view.  Not only is this less work and disruption for you, it’s also a legal requirement during Covid-19 restrictions.

4. The asking price is too high

One of the most common mistakes for homeowners struggling to sell is they have set the asking price too high. This can make it difficult to secure viewings, let alone offers. Properties that are priced too high and then reduced can take months longer to sell than those priced accurately in the first place.  Ask prospective agents about how many price reductions they have done in the last six months in your area.  If, in the current market this is quite high, it should be an indication that their is something wrong in their valuation process and this can cost you money if your house doesn’t sell swiftly

5. A Poor Estate Agent

The choice of estate agents can be overwhelming, from traditional high street agents to online operators. But not all agents are created equal. If yours isn’t proactive in securing viewings, has poor customer management skills or has too many clients to handle, your property will take longer to sell.  Always check reviews and ask for recommendations when selecting an estate agent to sell your home.

Read our guide How to compare Estate Agents to give you more help and advice on choosing the right agent for you