Selling your home: Top tips from Tony Morris-Eyton of Savills
In this month's What House? regional newspapers, we are casting the spotlight on selling your home. With many estate agents reporting an significant upturn in demand in recent months and a lack of properties coming on to the market, now could be the ideal time to sell your home.
Here Tony Morris-Eyton, head of office at Savills in Telford, offers his top tips for selling your property and achieving the best possible price.
What can sellers do to make their home more attractive to prospective buyers?
It is important to remember that people make up their minds incredibly quickly. First impressions therefore need to be as positive and appealing as possible. There are simple things that a vendor can do, such as re-gravelling the drive or pathway in a rural scenario, tidying up any paint work and painting the front door, dressing the hall to make it welcoming and ensuring the garden and outbuildings look presentable.
With modern living, most buyers for country properties are looking for a large living kitchen, which needs to be clean and clutter-free. Buyers need to arrive with a smile, enjoy looking round the house, and similarly leave with a smile.
What should prospective sellers consider before approaching an estate agent?
It is important to select an agent who deals in your type of house and your locality. Sellers need to make sure that they are ready and they need to be motivated. Timing is important as is having all your legal documentation in order.
It is very easy to look through the web at comparable properties to your own. Online marketing is now absolutely paramount, with over 90% of buyers coming through the web. You should choose an agent who pays particular attention to presentation and detail. With the web the principal shot needs to be as eye-catching as possible.
Is now the right time to put your property on the market?
If it is an urban or village property it is much less affected by seasonality. If the property is a country property with a pretty garden and mature trees, it would be significantly better to wait for the leaves to come out. The reality is that leaves only start coming out at the end of April and are not fully out until mid-May.
Our research suggests that prices are gently rising in the West Midlands and we expect the first 6 months of 2014 to be more active than the latter half of the year. The West Midlands have fantastic transport links and industry, and we are seeing more and more new money buyers plus ex pats. Over the next 5 years we are likely to see a rise of 23.4%
Why should sellers use an estate agent rather than selling privately?
If you choose the right and appropriate agent who can give you market coverage not only in the locality but also regionally and possibly nationally, you give yourself the very best chance of achieving the optimum price for your property.
The Savills website as an example has web traffic of around one million visits a month, which a private individual would never be able to achieve. We also have a database of buyers with wide search requirements.
The sale process is significantly more complex than just attracting the buyer. We have found here at Savills that at least a third of the process is monitoring the time between agreeing the sale and exchange of contracts. An experienced agent will also be able to verify and qualify the potential buyer. Most professional agents will ensure that a prospective purchaser has the funds to be able to proceed for the sum offered. They will also have the experience to check the chain through agents, if indeed there is a chain.