Selling property in a slow market

publication date: Feb 14, 2014
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

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Selling property in a slow market


It is tough for buyers when the market is so busy, but I do think it is worse for sellers when the market is slow and you’ve decided to move, but no-one seems to want your home. That can be sole destroying.

How do you know if your market is moving slowly? The best way to see this is to watch 'for sale' and 'sold' boards locally. Basically, count all the ‘for sale’ boards and the ‘sold boards’. If around four or more out of 10 are sold, it’s a good market, if there are lots of for sale boards and say only one or two are sold, it’s a slow market.

Then you just need to understand what sells in a slow market. This is typically:-

  1. A property which is in a good location ie. not next to a busy school or a sub-station, on a very busy road (bar city centres).
  2. A property which is ‘ready to move into’ ie. there is no work to be done at all. If six out of seven rooms are perfect and one needs doing up, get it finished.
  3. Pricing fairly – this means what it's worth versus other properties on the market. Normally in a slow market, if there are 10 similar properties for sale, 10 being the most expensive, the ones which are priced from 1-4 are the ones that sell first.
  4. A property which is listed with the right estate agent. There are some agents that are good at getting properties listed because they offer a ‘high price’ for your property – more than other agents. These agents won’t sell your property though. After four weeks they will then ask you to reduce the price. If you really want to sell for the best price, think how they do it at auctions – price low to get more people viewing and hope people bid up.
  5. Think about selling at auction. Not all properties are ‘bad properties’ and yours might be under offer on one day and sold four weeks later, allowing you to move on.

And, even if you can’t sell at all, it doesn’t mean you can’t move. Some people put their property up for rent and move into rented accommodation themselves, or if affordable, move the existing property onto a buy to let mortgage, releasing capital for you to buy. 

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