How to sell a house fast in a slow market (7 top tips for the UK)


How to sell a house fast in a slow market - 7 top tips for the UK

We all know how the property market goes up as well as down. There are slow markets when house don’t sell very easily, but then there are also buoyant housing markets too.

How to sell a house fast in a slow market:

  1. Price your house right for the market conditions.
  2. Make necessary repairs.
  3. Have a flexible approach.
  4. Consider offers that you may not have done in more buoyant market conditions.
  5. Consider moving into rented accommodation.
  6. Become a landlord and rent your property to tenants.
  7. Work with a property investor.

A slowdown in the property market doesn’t mean your home won’t sell. But it does require a different approach than it does in a more buoyant market. Let me expand on the above seven tips that will help you to get a quick sale for your house.

How to sell a house fast in a slow market in more detail

1. Price your house right for the market conditions

This might not be what you were hoping to read, but it’s the reality of the timing of the housing market and when market conditions are bad. In a down turn it’s normal for house prices to fall or soften.

No matter how good or bad the housing market conditions, it’s important to get the price right for your house to sell. All houses will sell eventually, so long as the price is right for the size, location and condition of your house is for state of the housing market and time of year.

However, in a more challenge property market, you may have to be even more competitive. In a slow down of the property market there are less buyers around.

This is what’s referred to as a ‘buyer’s market‘.

This means that there are more houses being sold than there are buyers. What you need to do is to make your home stand out from the crowd.

You will have to reduce the price of your property to meet this lower demand. Lowering the price of your house to what you thought it was worth is always difficult. This is a mindset thing.

But look on the bright side, when you’re looking for your replacement home, you are then in the driving seat. Your new home will equally need to be competitively priced too. But also consider tip ‘5’ below, as this will really put you in the driving seat when you come to buy again.

One top tip to sell your house quickly is to reduce the asking price to 90% of asking price. This will really make your house stand out from the other houses on the market of the same size and location.

2. Make necessary repairs

Before you put your house on the market, make those necessary repairs. You know what they are, as these are those niggling little things that you know should have been done a long while ago.

Hopefully your house isn’t in need of any major repairs, which should make doing the repairs not too expensive and quite easy to do. If you’re happy with DIY then you can do the repairs yourself, which could include painting and decoration. But if there are any more challenging jobs, you may need to call in the services of a builder or plumber.

By changing your house from a project for a DIY-er to a nicely presented home, you immediately open it up to a larger market.

3. Have a flexible approach

In a slow property market you need to be flexible in your approach. Flexibility around the following areas is key to selling your house fast in a slow market:

  • Being ready at all times for viewings – don’t make things difficult for estate agents to arrange a viewing with potential buyers. If necessary, give a house key to the agent.
  • Consider waiting for a better month to sell, as some months are better to sell a house than others. This may not sell your house fast now, but it may mean you sell it faster at another time of year. Spring is always a good time to sell.
  • Be prepared to leave your house, so buyers are free to look on their own without you around.
  • Ask someone to look after your pets whilst you’re selling, as not everyone likes pets. This may also help to reduce any pet smells too.
  • Don’t smoke in your house whilst you’re on the market. Not everyone likes the smell of cigarette smoke.
  • Be flexible with what you’re prepared to accept as an offer (see ‘4’ below).

Having a flexible approach to selling your home will stand you in good stead to sell it as quickly as possible.

4. Consider offers that you may not have done in more buoyant market conditions

Once more, this may not be what you were hoping to read when you asked the question ‘how to sell a house fast in a slow market‘. However, as already explained, in a down turn it’s normal for house prices to fall.

In reality what this means in practice is you may have to be prepared to accept a lower offer than you might have done when the market was buoyant.

If you are keen to sell and the offer is fair, then you may be better to accept it right away.

It’s all too often that I speak with sellers who can’t sell their house. They often explain how they’ve rejected offers a few months ago, only to reduce their house price to the level of this prior offer or sometimes even lower. Sometimes ‘a bird in the hand, is worth two in the bush‘ expression is well worth keeping in mind when you’re selling your house in a slow housing market.

5. Consider moving into rented accommodation

Continuing with the above theme of being flexible, it may be worth considering moving into rented accommodation. You can always buy your next house at a later stage.

I agree that one disadvantage of this solution is that it does require you to move twice. But what this does do is to put you in the driving seat when you come to buy.

When you’re in rented accommodation, you have your deposit money sitting in a bank, you are able to move much faster than a buyer who needs to sell their house first.

Sellers love ‘cash buyers‘ and prefer them over a buyer who forms a chain of buyers and sellers. The more buyers and sellers in a chain, the more likely the chain is going to collapse for one reason or another.

It might be you still need a mortgage to buy your next house, but you are still deemed to be a cash buyer, as you’ve not got a house to sell. There’s less of a chance for the chain to break down.

This is what puts you in the driving seat. It may also mean you can be more competitive with your offer on the house you’re buying too.

By moving into rented accommodation when you sell your house means your buyer doesn’t have to wait for you to find your ideal house to buy. You can make it easy for your buyer to choose the date they move in, as it’s much easier to be flexible when renting a property than it is when buying another property.

This approach makes selling your house much less stressful by the way.

6. Become a landlord and rent your property to tenants

Whilst this tip doesn’t get your house sold right away, it will at least allow you to move on. If you need to move fast, but can’t sell your house, renting it to tenants is a good option.

You can always then sell it once the market conditions pick up or when it’s a better time of year to sell. This gives you more flexibility if you have to move for whatever the reason. This might be for a new job in a new location or if there’s a new addition to the family on its way!

But also, the other benefit of this approach is it also puts you in a better driving seat again. For the house you’re buying you are no longer dependent on selling your house. You effectively become a ‘cash buyer‘ in the eyes of the seller, this is even if you require a mortgage.

There are a few things to consider when renting out your primary residence. One such thing is to either change your mortgage to a buy to let mortgage. Or at the very least you need to inform your mortgage company of your intentions.

However, before you think about becoming a landlord and renting out your property to tenants, you need to consider the tax implications of this solution.

7. Work with a property investor

We work with many people who are finding it difficult to get rid of their house. We offer a number of solutions to the challenges that a slow down in the housing market brings.

The benefit of working with us as property investors, is that we are able to provide a realistic solution to your problem and we can act fast. For us it doesn’t matter what property market we find ourselves in, as we have a solution that should work whatever the housing market.

If you’ve read the other tips above and none of these work for you, please contact us to discuss your options.

One final point to make is to choose your estate agent carefully. You need to go with a pro-active estate agent who will work hard on selling your property. Also, speak with your estate agent about doing an open house, as this creates more interest and competition.

Open houses tend to encourage people to offer more quickly. This is a great way to generate interest in your house.

I hope you’ve got something from reading this article on how to sell a house fast in a slow market

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Also, if you have any questions, please feel free to comment below too. Alternatively, if you need more help, please feel free to contact us on our contact us page here. Or join the discussion and ask your question in the property forum.

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