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What issues do you need to consider if you’re selling this time of year?

Somewhere around mid-July, the property market always slows a little. If you are going away, leave a key and contact details with your agent so they can feed back on viewings and any offers. Failing that, leaving a key with a family member, friend or neighbour means you won’t risk missing the odd buyer who happens to be around in high summer when you’re not!

This is also a good time to re-evaluate every aspect of your marketing. Timescale, for example: from September to Christmas is a little less than 14 weeks - and a sale can take at least 12 weeks from finding a buyer to handing over the keys, what is your timescale? So, do you want to get moved before Christmas or aren’t you bothered? 

Next price. This is the key determinant in selling anything, so it needs to be right. If you are selling for say, £375,000, go onto one of the major portals and check out properties in your general postcode area priced at £300-£450,000. Is yours the most expensive property of its type? If so, you should have a serious talk with your agent about the price. Also, I would avoid advertising in a price band, such as £450-£500,000. More and more buyers want transparency in transactions. Price bands - and devices like ‘offers in excess of’ - don’t help people decide where to pitch an offer. Remember, you want to do everything you can to encourage offers, not discourage them!

Similarly, does your property stand out online? First impressions are critical. Imagine a buyer scrolling down a page of quite similar properties. What will get them to click through to yours? Has the agent missed a really key feature in the heading?  Is the photograph the best one? Make sure you and your agent are singing from the same hymn sheet.

Incidentally, some agents are targeted on the number of viewings they achieve, not the quality. Nothing worse than a buyer with a walking stick turning up to view a 4th floor flat without a lift! The moral: make sure your agent doesn’t simply qualify viewers by price…

So, there you are. Once you’re confident that you’ve got all your ducks in a row, it’s time to go and enjoy the beach!