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Locking down but looking forwards …

Posted on Monday, April 20, 2020

Locking down but looking forwards …

3 things you can still do if you’re looking to move in 2020

What times we’re in … Fully joined-up estate agents like So You Property find themselves divided into their two component parts. The element that’s all about valuing and appraising properties, meeting customers at home or in the office and arranging and hosting viewings is all frozen up for now. Some of the attendant activities to all of this are also currently no-go; in-home photography, measuring up and floor-planning for example. And some of the people that buyers and sellers rely on are also locked down – in particular, the surveyors.

 

However, that’s a summary of just one half of the activity of a good estate agent. If you haven’t moved recently, you’d be forgiven for thinking it leaves us with nothing to do. But that couldn’t be further from the truth because the other part of ‘what we do’ has never been busier. If you accept the cliche that moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do in life then imagine that you are on the market or under-offer during a pandemic! All the usual anxieties that we work so hard to minimise are still around and, in the background, there’s a temporarily changed world. We’re working really hard to ensure we maintain and, where possible, even improve on our usual standards in sales progression and communication. Suddenly we’re working with solicitors who have decamped to their gardens while buyers and sellers are seeing the usual stages reaching certain points that they cannot go beyond. We’re keeping up the regular contact with all clients and we’re chasing those solicitors into their shady spots under the chestnut tree in order to try and ensure that every one of the chains we’re involved in progresses as far as humanly possible. We want our clients to be ready to exchange, complete and get moving just as soon as it’s all allowed again.

 

If you’re thinking of getting on the market after all this yourself, then I advise you to bear in mind the importance of all this communication in the stages between “offer accepted” and completion. This really is where a good estate agent earns their corn and standards vary wildly. You need someone who cares.

 

I thought this a good time to think about things that you might want to do if you are on the market at the moment or thinking about getting on the market straight after lockdown. So here are our top 3 ideas for things you can do NOW in order to sell your home SOON:-

1. Research your local housing market

Do your homework on what you think the value of your home should be. Rightmove has loads of great information on previous house sales on your street or in your area. If you already have a number in mind when we come round to value or appraise your home it makes for a high quality conversation that we always enjoy.

Look at similar properties, square footage, outdoor space, parking and other factors. It’s great to start with an idea of what you think your house is worth and why.

2. Spruce up your home

We all know that first impressions mean so much to homebuyers. If you are locked down there’s never been a better time to tackle those manageable DIY projects and other jobs that you have been putting off. A job that involves a single afternoon and a tin of white paint can have a bigger effect on a viewer than something time-consuming and expensive. Try to see your own home through a stranger’s eyes. What jumps out at you?

Clean floors, clean windows and shiny surfaces all make a massive difference.

3. Stage your home

Staging your home can help to sell it faster and at a higher sale value and the good news is that staging is easy and affordable to do. Ensure the entrance to your property is smart and welcoming from the front door through to the reception areas.

When we welcome those first viewers after lockdown, little touches like fresh flowers and house plants bring the outdoors inside.  By putting plans into place now, homeowners can jump start the selling process when lockdown is lifted.

We don’t yet know when this lockdown will end but there was some suggestion last week that the property market may be one of the first things that the government allows to return to something like normality. At So You Property we are, of course, monitoring all the advice from the government as well as from our key partners like Rightmove and our friendly local solicitors. If you have ambitions to sell in 2020 and estate agents are re-launching their valuation, appraisal and viewing activities in 3 weeks, would YOU be ready to go? We certainly will be and there will still be many weeks of high-season left for you to exploit. Get ready now so that you can get straight in there!

 

Many thanks, as ever, for reading.

 

Phil

 

NB – if you, or anyone you know, is feeling lonely or isolated then tell them to give So You a call. We won’t talk about property (I promise) but we will talk and listen. We’re all in this together.

So You Property


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