How to sell your London home quickly
5 steps a property owner can take to increase the chances of selling their home at its maximum price in the shortest possible time
A large number of factors dictate the time it takes to sell a flat or house within the M25 and beyond. These include the current state of the market, the type of property, whether it is leasehold or freehold home, how long is remaining on the lease, whether the sale is to a cash buyer and even the time of year the property is launched on the market.
As a very rough guide, it takes between 11 and 15 weeks to complete a property sale in London after it has been listed with an estate agent, according to London property sales specialist Plaza Estates.
This includes the average of between three and four weeks the property spends on the market.
But this time can fall to 4-6 weeks if it is a cash deal for a freehold property. In a sellers’ market – when demand for property outstrips the number of homes on the market – the time spent awaiting a good offer can fall to as little as one day.
There are 5 steps a property owner can take to increase the chances of selling their home at its maximum price in the shortest possible time;
1. Gain an accurate valuation
An accurate valuation of a property is key to you achieving a good offer quickly. If a house or flat is priced too high, it will fail to generate the number of views required to attract a good offer.
The most common reason for a home remaining on the market for longer than average is the owner insists on pricing it too high, says estate agent Eden Harper, which has branches in Battersea and Brixton.
2. Prepare your home for sale
What type of buyer is most likely to buy your home? One- and two-bedroom flats, for example, are most likely to appeal to young professionals, while larger houses will attract families. Homes that are presented for sale in a way that will attract interest from the target market, such as placing children’s play equipment in a garden, sell quicker, according to Fulham estate agent Lawsons & Daughters.
3. Instruct a solicitor early
Vendors who are keen to achieve a quick sale at the right asking price should to engage legal representation before putting their property on the market.
The seller is responsible for drawing up a legal contract to transfer ownership, although this is usually done by a conveyancing solicitor who will draft the initial contract, answer questions from the buyer’s solicitor and negotiate the details of the contract.
Appointing a conveyancing solicitor at the earliest opportunity can ensure some of the documentation relating to the sale, such as extending the length of a leasehold, can be completed before receiving an offer.
4. Keep your lines of communication open
Accepting an offer for your home is not the end of a seller’s responsibility. The conveyancing process usually takes between two and six weeks, but this timeframe can be extended if all parties involved in the sale are not available to answer queries from both sets of legal representatives.
5. Find a chain-free cash buyer
The average time of four to six weeks between exchange of contracts and completion of sale can be reduced dramatically if the buyer is financing the deal with cash rather than a mortgage, advises Belgravia estate agent Best Gapp.
Many property sellers are forced to extend the period between exchange of contracts and the sale’s completion because buyers must wait for their new mortgage to come through.
This agonising wait can also be prolonged if you – or your buyer – is caught up in a property chain.