As valuable capital assets, London property invariably yields handsome rewards for the astute investor by providing vital building blocks for portfolio expansion and diversification. It is vital, therefore, to regard the selling of a home as a tactical business decision to be undertaken with the aim of reducing costs and increasing the return on investment. The difference between a moderately profitable transaction and a financial windfall is usually down to the timing and levels of preparation that you’re ready to undertake and it’s in these areas that the expertise and advice of an established estate agent becomes an essential resource.
There can be many reasons for selling and some are more time sensitive than others; a career relocation, schools, new addition to the family or even a need or desire to free up capital. Even if there are no time pressures, it helps to set a schedule, so that all the different components of the sale fall into place. Set aside a period for research of, not only the local property market, but also prospective estate agents, conveyance experts and local tradespersons should you need them. Assess the costs involved as well as the time their services will require.
Estate agents who claim that they can sell your property quickly are not necessarily the right people for the job. Agents will be in regular contact with you through what is widely acknowledged to be a pretty intense and stressful period, so it is important you do your homework and choose your agent carefully. You can spot the good ones by their proven experience and willingness to be transparent. Some questions to ask are:
Good agents should be able to market your property readily, as soon as you instruct them. They should also take professional, high quality photographs that show your property in the best light possible, guaranteeing plenty of interest. They’ll also give you tips on getting the rooms ready. Benham and Reeves also provide a video and floorplan, not all agents do, so do ask them what is included, where and how they will be marketing your property to ensure it reaches the maximum audience.
Maintaining a careful balance between attracting buyers and maximising profits should start with a professional and accurate valuation of your property. This serves as a solid base for negotiation and will enable you to budget accurately as you decide how much to spend on getting the property ready for market.
Benham and Reeves offer a free online valuation that can be accessed via our website and this is a good place to start. As you research, you’ll soon recognise that the age, size and location of your home are major factors in any valuation calculation, as is the state of the economy and these are variables that are more or less out of your control. There are, however, some other things that can be done in order to give your property the best chance of attracting the full market price.
Of course, any potential buyer will also be carrying out a survey and that’s where things get a bit more detailed and it’s important to have most of these bases covered. These details are what potential buyers will be looking at:
It should be noted that once you have done your research, a formal valuation should be sought and this is best performed by a qualified agent who will need to visit your property to take a proper look at the size and condition. It is advisable to get the valuation in writing as you may need this if hoping to secure a mortgage loan in principle.Contact us if you would like to arrange a free, no obligation of your property.
So you have a property with great potential, near to vital transport links and full of attractive features. How do you add further value?The next three points focus on cost-effective strategies that can be carried with minimal fuss and bother:
Potential buyers looking for a home in London can be pretty much spoiled for choice, especially when they’re looking at a new build. So it’s wise to ensure you have the competitive edge when selling as there are likely to be other apartments for sale particularly if it’s a large scale property development built over several phases. You don’t have to make major renovations to impress. A selection of stylish and tasteful soft furnishings can transform your property from “Next, please” to “Yes please!”
Some estate agents have close relationships with interior design and furnishings experts and will make helpful suggestions regarding your property. High quality furnishings, accessories and artwork don’t have to cost the earth and their knack of providing eye-catching focal points often prove invaluable.
Services such as:
Once you have instructed an agent, every viewing of your property should be treated as a potential sale. Keep the property in tip-top condition and take notice of any feedback or suggestions that might come your way; either from the agent or a prospective buyer.
Some agents do not need you to be available for every viewing but in some instances, it can be helpful – be guided by your agent.
Don’t leave the choice of a conveyance solicitor to the last minute or to chance. Your estate agent will be able to point you to any number of experienced professionals who will be able to take on the legal heavy lifting that goes with selling a property.
Getting your property ready involves getting your paperwork ready as well. Good solicitors will have all documentation up to date and accessible before you accept any offer. They’ll then keep in touch with your agent as to the progress of the sale and have contracts ready to sign as soon as both parties are ready.
Before your property can be marketed, you will be required to complete a property information questionnaire. This will ask you to include relevant information relating to any issues you may have regarding your property boundaries or any dispute with neighbours; whether you have appropriate approvals for any building works or freeholder consent for things like loft conversions or extensions. You will also be asked to mention any known defects. It is recommended that you be as transparent as possible from the outset as answers that are vague or incomplete are most likely to come up during the conveyancing process which could delay things and cost you more money in the long run. It could also impact the outcome of your sale.
High professionalism throughout the process
Our experience with Benham & Reeves Hampstead was very pleasant. High professionalism throughout the process, a great valuation and viewing organisation, not to mention that it only took a couple of weeks to get an offer. Jeremy was extremely professional and helpful, so much so that we immediately recommended him to our neighbours.
Experienced and excellent to deal with
I felt it important to express my gratitude to Tom for all his hard work, assistance and understanding in achieving the completion of my property today. Tom is experienced in sales and an excellent person to deal with. He knows how to handle a situation. He is patient and understanding. Due to his coordination with solicitors and myself we were able to push a time limited conveyance through which had a deadline for tomorrow. A genuine asset to Benham & Reeves, Tom is a sheer pleasure to work with, thoroughly reliable and honest. I wish Tom all the success going forward and I hope to deal with him in the future, again.
Sale of my apartment in W1
Throughout the selling process of my apartment which through no fault of B & R was a quite complicated sale, I found the staff of B & R to be efficient, professional and attentive. I have no hesitation in recommending them both as letting agents and selling agents.
Outstanding service by Philip
Philip has been wonderful in our house hunting in London. He listened to our needs and had been so patient in finding that right one. The whole process took a year and he was never discouraged. Instead, he was always very accommodating and positive. Now, we have finally moved into our new place. We highly recommend Philip to anyone who is looking for their dream home. In fact, we have already referred some friends to him. Thank you Philip and we appreciate all your help!
Excellent and professional services
Philip provides professional services and advice on property acquisition. Very friendly and helpful.
I just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you for providing me with an excellent service. You proactively sought out properties that met my investment criteria which led me to purchasing an ideal property. I appreciated your friendly and professional manner and felt I could really trust your judgement, which is something I did not feel with other estate agents. I would highly recommend using your company and will hopefully be purchasing another property through you soon.
A Satisfied Buyer!
I was happy with your service particularly in keeping the sale alive when the vendor was losing faith. My agent (Sofia) was invaluable in overcoming the various hurdles and concluding the sale successfully. Thank you from a satisfied buyer!
While Covid 19 uncertainty was a real concern for the London residential property market at the start of last year, demand did in fact remain strong. In 2022 we expect this resilience to continue. Sellers have been in contact with us over the last few weeks as they make plans to put their properties on the market and there is a real feeling of positivity. So as we move through January, we are seeing enquiry levels increasing already after the quieter Christmas period while valuation requests are coming in now too. Overseas investors lead the way with ultra-high-net-worth individuals making a resurgence into central London again. Stock levels remain lower than we would like though, so all of our sales teams would like to take new instructions if you are considering putting your property on the market in the next few months. Enquiry levels for January already back to 2019 levels Momentum is building although clearly this will take a several weeks to translate into the number of transactions completing. Many buyers have been planning ahead for some time, researching the market to find a property that meets their requirements. And their wish list will almost certainly have changed over the last couple of years. For the domestic market, the ‘race for space’ (in order to work from home) and the desire for outdoor space, will be trending for some time. Key drivers pushing demand Of course, the temporary Stamp Duty relief, which dominated the property headlines in 2021, was only part of the story. Arguably, other key factors were more important in London, where property prices are higher, so the ‘holiday period’ had less impact. And these other factors will remain crucial in 2022. Affordable mortgage loads remain a driving force The relative affordability of borrowing, thanks to record-low interest rates, is also very important, and we expect that even a modest increase in interest rates in 2022, is unlikely to have any significant impact on demand. In fact, if slightly higher interest rates calm the market a little, then we should see renewed interest from investors and homebuyers who have been deterred recently by the intense competition amongst buyers. Sterling remains relatively weak For overseas buyers the continuing weakness of sterling is another driving force. Demand from international buyers has been building for several months now and we’ve seen a further increase in enquiries in the first two weeks of January. Investors are researching the market online but they are also now planning to visit London to view properties, perhaps for the first time in a couple of years, as international travel becomes easier and restrictions are lifted. Overseas buyers are now looking to expand their London buy-to-let property portfolios or to invest in a pied-a-terre in the UK Capital which can provide many good uses. We are handling a number of enquiries from investors in South East Asia (both new and existing clients) who aim to hit the ground running this year and take advantage of favourable exchange rates. Contact us for a free market appraisal of your property As 2022 looks set to be a return to normality for the London residential property market and with pent-up demand still driving enquiries, this buoyant market makes it an excellent time to put your apartment or house on the market. We are urgently in need of new instructions to meet growing demand. Get in touch with our Sales team who will be able to provide a free market appraisal of your property with no obligation. READ MORE: London Property Prices Predicted to See Uplift in 2022