In a normal year, the housing market slows down significantly over the winter months. This year, however, is definitely not a normal year. This year, buyers will be racing to beat the clock as it ticks down on the Stamp Duty holiday. Sellers, therefore, have an excellent chance of making a sale, if they take the right approach. Here are some tips.
Organise your paperwork
If 2020 has one bright spot for home-sellers, it’s that this is likely to be a year when buyers are super-motivated to complete quickly. In fact, you may even see more buyers prepared to buy a new property before they’ve sold their old one. This would ensure that they get at least some benefit from the Stamp Duty holiday.
They will therefore be very keen to have reassurance that you really are a motivated seller. Letting them know, or better still see, that you have all documentation ready and waiting will be a very positive sign for them.
Be sensible about pricing
Remember that the Stamp Duty holiday was introduced as part of the government’s Plan for Jobs. The general idea was to make home-buying more affordable and hence easier. It was not for sellers to put up their prices to what they would have been with Stamp Duty so that they could pocket the difference.
You don’t have to drive your price down into “bargain-basement” territory. You do, however, need to be realistic about the fact that a lot of buyers are likely to be wanting to spend as little as possible. In other words, if you’re looking for a quick sale, price on the lower end of sensible. Basically, make sure buyers feel like they’re getting a bargain.
Offer an online video tour
It’s long been standard practice for online home listings to contain floorplans and photos as well as a detailed text description of the property and its key features. If you’re working with a real-world estate agent, they’ll probably arrange this for you. If you’re working with an online estate agent, they’ll probably offer this as an extra service. If so, it’s well worth considering.
Now that COVID19 is here, video tours have ceased to be reserved for multi-million-pound properties. In fact, they’re becoming increasingly popular. The good news is that you don’t need any special skills or equipment to record a basic video tour of your property. Your phone will do just fine and you can upload the results to YouTube and put the link in your listing.
You do, however, need to keep safety in mind at all times. Make sure that any personally-identifiable information stays off-camera and keep all valuables out of sight. Remember that this includes Christmas presents under the tree and, these days, sadly pets.
Keep health and safety in mind
Obviously, you’ll need to be COVID19 aware, but remember that general health and safety still applies too. In particular, keep in mind that days are short in winter. This means that there’s a strong chance that people coming to view your house will be coming in the dark. Make sure that you have plenty of outdoor lighting for them to find their way to your door.
Present your home (and garden) appropriately
All the usual home (and garden) presentation rules still apply. This means that you might want to give some thought to your choice of Christmas decorations. It’s fine to have the house decorated. Just make sure that your choice of decor is neutral, or, at the very least, unlikely to cause offence. For example, if you’re into “naughty Santas”, keep them for another year.