Jane examines why the Autumn months are always a great time to get your home on the market and sell before deep Winter kicks in.
Having been in the property industry, selling and renting homes for many, many years, there are always 2 months which stand out for more property instructions to sell or rent than any other times of the year. They are September and January; the latter normally being those people who didn't get organised in time for September, or who failed to go under offer or get their sale through in time for Christmas.
So why is this?
Without really knowing the answer, we can assume a few things:
1. Summer has been a lovely relaxing time and the Autumn brings a sense of urgency for making plans to move into a bigger home and try to make the most of the longer days until the clocks go back in October and nights draw in.
2. Normal life is resumed, with the children back at school, there is a little more time to organise the house move.
3. Gardens look lovely, all of the vibrant Autumn colours really stand out and can make for pretty pictures in the marketing of your property.
4. Perhaps a visit to friends, family or holiday destinations during the Summer months has caused itchy feet for new locations.
5. Hopefully, the Summer didn't result in a family split, but instead, resulted in a family growing!
So what is the best way to go about moving home?
- Think of the estate agents who spring to mind quickly, maybe you have seen their SOLD boards around the area you live (go for Sold Boards, rather than For Sale), maybe you pass their shop and see friendly faces and a hive of activity, maybe you follow their page on social media and like what you see, or ask a friend or colleague if they have used an agency locally, who would they recommend to you?
- If time permits, it is worthwhile booking 3 valuations. Try to get them in one day and have someone with you to take notes, so that you can remember what each person says.
- Ask the valuer to properly justify the price they are suggesting to market the property at. They should come armed with, with recent comparable evidence of properties sold by them (not other properties on the market which have not sold).
- Use your gut instinct to work with someone you have an affinity with and whom, you believe, will have your best interests at heart. You can cement this instinct by asking these questions:
- What are their company USP’s (unique selling points)? What makes them different from the other agencies around and how do these points relate to you and to your property?
- What is the size of the team who will be directly working on your sale and how do they intend to market your property? Remember that in this day and age you should look for a good social media presence, use of professional photography, video, floor plans as well as the property portals.
- What does the agent knows about the location, schools, amenities and area highlights - do they live locally?
- What qualifications and affiliations does this agency have? For instance, if you are renting a property, the lettings industry has around 150 pieces of legislation to adhere to. At Moreland Estates, we belong to The Guild of Property Professionals and are the only agency selected in the Golders Green area, so we have the complete backing of The Guild along with their amazing marketing literature, all on hand for your property.
- Look at online customer reviews and testimonials on platforms such as Google, Facebook, AllAgents. At Moreland we use many review platforms and have a very good rating, which we are really proud of. A large majority of our new customers come via recommendation.
- How do the agents progress your sale? Do they do this themselves and, if so, what is their success rate of getting instructions under offer and then to completion. Any market valuer worth his / her money will have these figures at the tip of his / her tongue! Never be fooled by the agent offering the highest price or the cheapest fee, there is usually a reason for this and it’s not often a good one.
4. Once you have picked the agent you would like to market your home with, you will need to negotiate a fee to pay for selling or renting your property. Now all agencies have different fee structures. Some work on a % of the final selling price, on a no sale / no fee basis. Some work on a fixed or an upfront fee. It is worth remembering that you usually get what you pay for in this business, so opting for the cheapest fee often results in you achieving a much lower asking price in the end, and also the sale could take a lot longer to go through. The reason for this is that these agencies will tend to over-value a property, in order to win the instruction, and then the seller or landlord misses out on the optimum time to achieve an agreeable offer. If listing on a property portal, such as RIGHTMOVE, you have a window of approximately 2 weeks when your home first goes onto the portal, and the property is sent out to all of the people registered for property alerts. The number of people who see your home after 2 weeks is significantly lower, so this really is why you need to get the price right at the outset.
5. You will probably be asked to sign terms of business, be mindful not to tie yourself into a long 'sole agency' period as you cannot get out of this if you become disillusioned with the agency for any reason.
6. Now you need to tidy up, de-clutter, touch up the paintwork, make sure that 'kerb appeal' is strong and be ready for the professional photographer to work his/her magic for the property details.
If you have a home to sell in the GOLDERS GREEN area, make sure that MORELAND ESTATES are on your list of agents to invite around to value your home. You will NOT be disappointed.