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How to Sell a House Fast in a Slow Market?

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In a slow property market, the question of how to sell a house fast for cash often comes up whether you are a motivated seller talking to prospective estate agents or if you happen to find yourself in circumstances where you need access to money quickly.

You have put your home on the market, hoping that it gets sold quickly, but the interest generated hasn’t resulted in any offers.

Whether you blame the market or simply your luck, in this guide we’ll give you some tips on how to sell your fast in a slow market.

Table of Contents

How to sell your house when the market is slow?

Your house is your biggest asset, and it is also the most expensive item a prospective buyer will be buying; therefore, residential property is one of the most difficult assets to liquidate into cash because of several hurdles that you and your potential buyer must jump through including:

  • Can solicitors acting for your buyers act efficiently to achieve a speedy sale?
  • Can your buyer get a mortgage offer that allows them to buy your home?
  • Do you need to sell your house with urgency because of your personal circumstances AND
  • Is your property suitable as a mortgageable security, and do you have all warranties and documents ready?

Theoretically, the process of selling a house should be quite straightforward and, dare I say, simple:

  1. Marketing gives your property exposure.
  2. Exposure results in viewings.
  3. Viewings lead to offers.
  4. Offers allow you the ability to start negotiating the price.
  5. And finally, you and your buyer will agree on a completion date!
How to sell a house in any market?
Unusual properties are difficult to sell so it is all about improving the appeal of the home to would-be buyers including incentives offered.

Reduction in asking prices

It is no surprise that estate agents overvalue properties to win instructions.  Often, an estate agent is driven by the seller’s price expectation as opposed to a realistic price.  Naturally, we are biased, and all our houses are fantastic.  But the real proof is when the house hits the market.

If you start to notice a reduction in asking prices on Rightmove, you will see that the property was unrealistically priced.  If you see several reductions, then this may be a sign of a weak market.  On the other hand, if homes are going under offer very quickly after being put up for sale, then this indicates a strong market.

It is important to see how long it takes to sell a property – and it is not unusual for this period to be a couple of months or more.

How to sell your house fast in a slow market?
Understanding your local market is key to success. If they are too many properties up for sale, it might not be wise to put your home up for sale!

Supply of housing stock

If there’s a shortage of a particular type of home, then this will drive up the demand with multiple offers, and potentially a house selling for over its original asking price.  You need to look at the percentage of properties that are under offer vs the total availability of all properties up for sale.

On Rightmove.co.uk, enter the postcode of your town/city, for example, PO12, then select ‘for sale’, then tick the box that says include ‘under offer/sold subject to contract’ and see how many results you get.  Let’s say it is 100 properties.  Now go to Filter, unselect the box, and see how many results you get.  Let’s say you get 80 properties.

This tells us that 20% of properties are under offer which means 8 out of 10 properties are up for sale.  This gives you a general indication of the property market in your area – and it will include a £100,000 studio flat to a £4,000,000 mansion.

If you want a more tailored result, you’ll need to change the number of bedrooms and type of properties to match it to yours to see how well the market is doing.

In a hot property market, almost all properties will be under offer or sold subject to contract, whereas in a slow market expect around 20% or less to have a sale price agreed.

We believe that sold subject to contract is a misleading phrase because it implies that a home has been sold whereas the reality is that an offer has been accepted and it is going through the legal conveyancing process.  Many things can lead to an abortive sale from a buyer or seller changing their mind, property title issues, lack of building regulations or planning permission, solicitors arguing over petty matters and the condition of a property that can result in a bank withdrawing their mortgage offer.

How to sell a house in slow market
How about you offer additional incentive to your estate agent if your property is sold by a certain date?

Why is my house not selling?

If you have verified that the market is not as slow as expected, then the fact the house still hasn’t sold could be down for several reasons.  The great news is that you are in control and if you need to sell within a timeframe, you can take action to ensure a speedy sale.

Is your home priced to sell?

Estate agents will often overprice your property to win your business.  This results in disappointment, delay, and frustration if the property fails to sell.

Incorrectly priced property results in potential buyers ignoring your listing – resulting in little interest in viewings.

Let’s demonstrate with an example.  Say your property is worth £100,000.  You want a quick sale and therefore will accept any offers more than £90,000.  The buyers appreciate that your property is reasonably priced and are likely to make offers and potentially this could lead to a bidding war.  You’ll probably be inundated with viewing requests.

Now if your estate agent has told you to put your property at £100,000, then again that is a fair price – but in a slow market, buyers will take their time to come forward and, if you are lucky, offer £95,000.  You might have to reduce your price to £90,000 and expect to get an offer close to £88,000 or £89,000.  This pricing strategy wouldn’t create the bidding frenzy of property being a bargain!

Let’s say that your estate agent is enthusiastic and puts your property up for sale at £110,000 hoping to achieve £100,000.  You are less likely to get £100,000 as your only option will be to reduce the price a few months later.

If you have priced your property at the higher end of the market, then you must be able to justify that price. For instance, you may have carried out extensive development and refurbishment of the property, and therefore, you can demonstrate that the price per square foot is realistic because you have added so much area.

Are you being unreasonable?

Perhaps you are too quick to refuse any offers, and this may be perceived as being stubborn or unreasonable therefore, no counteroffers are forthcoming.  Sellers should expect to be negotiable, particularly in a challenging market.

If you get a first offer, don’t decline it; instead, try and work with your buyer to increase their offer.  Often, a first offer can be a good offer if you end up with a lower offer further down the line.

Unfinished loft conversion project
Unfinished projects can put off buyers because they want to move into a home that's ready. It also makes a house unmortgageable to lenders.

Your home isn’t selling itself

Everybody loves their own home and puts their stamp on it – but buyers might see your Elvis-inspired kitchen as a lot of work. 

You should aim for a house that is ready to move – with no work required as this is the way to sell quickly.  Decorate, but don’t get carried away, as the costs can quickly add up.

Is it a vacant property?

Here’s the problem – buyers can’t imagine living in an empty home.  We’ve got house builders to blame because their show homes practically show off how all the furniture will fit in a home – and sell a lifestyle! 

Consider staging your home – or selling it as it is but be prepared for a lower offer if your home needs work or has been vacant for several years.

How do you sell when a market is slow?

These are our top tips for selling your house in a slow or tough market:

  1. Set a realistic asking price
  2. Pick the estate agent with the most experience and who has sold the most properties in your local area
  3. Incentivise your estate agent to sell
  4. De-clutter and de-personalise
  5. Sell the lifestyle and not the home
  6. Enhance curb appeal
  7. Is the property vacant and does it need staging?

If the property still hasn’t sold, get in touch with us for a cash offer.

What is the slowest month to sell a house?
In the UK, people tend to go away for summer holidays in August.  However, arguably the toughest month to sell is December due to Christmas and New Year celebrations. 

How do you sell a house in a difficult market?

These are our top tips for selling a house in a difficult market:

  1. Set a realistic asking price
  2. Incentivise the buyer with stamp duty paid, legal fees refunded or 5% deposit contribution
  3. Hire a great estate agent and put him/her on a performance based contract
  4. Get a friend to critique your property and see to any neglected jobs
  5. Communicate well with your buyer
  6. Sell chain free if your circumstances allow.

How to sell a house that is difficult to sell?

Got an unsellable home? We share our top tips to get a difficult-to-sell house sold quickly:

  1. Make a house a home: empty houses lack personality. Dress it up to sell.
  2. Hire the very best agent in your local area.
  3. Have professional photos taken to sell the lifestyle, not the property itself.
  4. Fix any outstanding jobs.
  5. Offer incentives to your buyer and estate agent.

What is the slowest month to sell a house?

In the UK, people tend to go away for summer holidays in August.  However, arguably the toughest month to sell is December due to Christmas and New Year celebrations.  Solicitors start planning their Christmas Dos in early December. We can still buy your home!

Other considerations for selling your home

  • Hiring the most competent estate agent in your area or online
  • Ensuring your property has building regulations or planning permission
  • Offering your estate agent a bonus to sell your property within a timeframe
  • Consider the time of year to sell – avoid Christmas or winter months.
How to sell a house in a slow market
Unique properties can be difficult to value, and you need a buyer who falls in love with your home.

Your property is one off with no comparable properties

Unique properties can be difficult to value, and you need a buyer who falls in love with your home.  He/she needs to buy into the lifestyle choices that it offers, AND the price isn’t their primary consideration. 

This sort of unique home demands a premium price – and isn’t sold quickly as you must find the right buyer for it.

How to sell my house fast – with the experts!

Property Saviour has a history of buying properties all over England and Wales within a few days.

Our funds are always at the ready with our solicitors and will buy your house fast for cash today. To find out more please call 0113 320 6700.

auction hammer

Property Saviour Price Promise

  • The price we’ll offer is the price that you will receive with no hidden deductions.
  • Be careful with ‘cash buyers’ who require a valuation needed for a mortgage or bridging loan.
  • These valuations or surveys result in delays and price reductions later on.
  • We are cash buyers.  There are no surveys.
  • We always provide proof of funds with every formal offer issued.
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We'll Pay £1,500 Towards Your Legal Fees

  • No long exclusivity agreement to sign because we are the buyers.
  • You are welcome to use your own solicitor. 
  • If you don’t have one, we can ask our solicitors for recommendations.
  • We share our solicitor’s details and issue a Memorandum of Sale. 
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Sell With Certainty & Speed

  • Our approach is transparent and ethical, which is why sellers trust us.
  • 100% Discretion guaranteed. 
  • If you have another buyer, you can put us in a contracts race to see who completes first.
  • Complete in 10 days or at a timescale that works for you.  You are in control.

Sell with certainty & speed

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