Selling your home in London can be a daunting and challenging prospect. The capital’s property market is somewhat different to the rest of the UK, so it’s advisable that as a homeowner you know the factors which influence it before attempting to sell. This is particularly true for first-time sellers as the process can be a bit overwhelming as it involves multiple steps, each with varying degrees of complexity and associated costs. Here at Vivo Property Buyers, we look at what makes the London property scene unique, why it may be difficult to sell on the open market here and look at your options should you be decide to pursue an alternative house selling method.
London is a fascinating city, one that attracts around one-quarter of UK’s university graduates every year, drawn in by good career prospects and progression. As a result of the large influx of young professionals looking for accommodation in the capital, rent prices have risen significantly which has subsequently caused a knock-on effect for London house prices which, according to the UK House Price Index, is 125% higher the national average. While this may be good news for those looking to rent out their investment property it has become a huge obstacle for many London property buyers (particularly young families) looking to get their foot on the housing ladder.
In addition, London for some can be a chaotic place to reside. It has seen many people begin to sell their homes for pastures new and a slower pace of life, relocating to areas surrounding the capital’s commuter belt, such as in Kent and Surrey. Properties here tend to offer greater space and value for money. Moreover, a recent study from Hampton’s International indicated that more than 60,000 families moved out of London in 2015 and with the average price of a semi-detached in the capital being £635,616, it can be viewed that this figure is far above the budget of many first-time buyers. To further illustrate the disparity between income and house prices, data from the ONS shows that in areas such as Camden and Fulham median house prices were 21 times earnings, making home-ownership an unrealistic goal for many local residents. If you add in the detail that lending criteria has been getting tougher recently, there has been a reduction in ‘ready buyers’ which is bad news if you’re looking to get a quick buyer for your property.
However, if you own a home in one of the more affordable areas of London such as in Tower Hamlets, Croydon or Newham you are more likely to succeed in getting a relatively quick London house sale with prices still being affordable to most of the general population. You have to be fast, however, as up-and-coming areas of London often don’t stay cheap for long. This can sometimes result in the London house buyers being far pickier than in other areas of the UK, with potential buyers seeking value for money. Unfortunately, this can hold up the process (a buyer may be selling to someone, who is selling to someone…) and house chains can get quite long meaning that there is a high risk of the house sale falling through.
Now, if you’re one of the lucky ones who has managed to buy in London and are now looking to sell to move to a larger house in the city or to another location all together, you will need to consider the best method to do so which will work to your needs. We previously found that the house selling period can be one of the most stressful periods of your life. So, it’s important to understand all the common problems and how you can deal with them to have a better chance of selling your home.
The process of selling a house on the open market can be incredibly complicated and requires a high level of organisation and coordination from every party involved, and although the London property market moves quickly, this method can make for a lengthy process. One of the first hurdles which can affect timings is finding the right buyer- one who is willing to pay close to your asking price and is committed to push the sale through quickly. Even after you have found a suitable buyer, there still remains a number of legal hoops that you have to jump through, which can often be complex and time consuming, making it hard to sell your house fast in London.
Even after all the back and forth the sale still isn’t set in stone and no one is legally tied in until they have exchanged. It’s not unheard of that even after months of legal work the sale falls through at the final stage, leaving you back at square one. Due to the issues that can arise from an open market sale, it is worth exploring all the options available to you for selling your house in London before you rush into anything.
There are various ways you could choose to sell your house in London, each one has its pros and cons but it depends on the level of personal commitment and time you are willing to put into the house sale process.
This remains the most popular method of selling a house in London but it can be difficult, costly and drawn-out. If you have decided that this is the route you’d like to take, the first step before choosing an estate agent is to look at their cost structure – find out if they charge a fixed rate or a percentage based commission. If you do opt to go with an estate agent that charges a percentage rate, try to negotiate it down as most commission rates aren’t set in stone.
Furthermore, estate agent contracts can be wordy and a bit confusing. Read through everything carefully and if you are not happy with certain aspects, ask the agent if they can negotiate on this. Also, ensure not to sign a ‘sole selling rights’ agreement and only opt for ‘sole agency contracts’ or ‘multiple agency contracts’. By signing a ‘sole selling rights’ agreement, you are only allowed to sell your property via the agent. This means that even if you find your own buyer, let’s say a friend wants to buy your property, you will still have to pay the agent their commission. Similarly, a ‘sole agency agreement’ means that you are only allowed to sell your property via the appointment, however, if you do find your own buyer, there is no commission due to the agent. Finally, a ‘multiple agency contract’ means that several agents can have a go at selling your property, giving you more flexibility.
The bulk of the cost associated with a house sale comes from estate agent fees, therefore you could save money if you decide to opt for a private sale. A private sale is when the seller deals directly with the buyer, bypassing the conventional method of using an estate agent. The obvious caveat that comes with removing an estate agent from the house sale process is that most of the leg work around legalities and contracts now falls on you. It’s these details that add to the complexity of selling your house privately.
In addition to learning the legalities surrounding a house sale you also need to learn about your local property market so you can price your property correctly. Once you have a better feel for the dynamics of the local housing market it’s time to find a willing buyer. This is the longest part of the process beginning with choosing the right platform to advertise your house and scheduling time out from your daily routine to arrange viewings. This stage is made more difficult as you are not able to advertise on property portals where most house buyers search such as Rightmove, Zoopla or Primelocation as this is only for agencies to advertise one.
The trend of selling to house buying companies has been growing in popularity over the past decade due to the level of convenience that it offers the seller. Opposed to the conventional methods that can take months, by using a fast property buyer you can complete the sale, and have the funds with you in as little as 7 days. As well as the obvious benefit of speed, there are several other factors a quick London house sale with Vivo may work for you:
You probably know by now that no sale on the open market is guaranteed until you’ve exchanged. With Vivo, once you have accepted our final offer, the house sale is guaranteed. No last-minute snags, just a quick and stress-free house sale.
The excitement of selling your house can sometimes make you forget that estate agents charge a percentage of the final selling price, meaning that a proportion of the payment you receive is taken. Adding to this are all the other costs that accumulate like solicitors and legal fees. Here at Vivo Property Buyers, we also pay for all the cost associated with the house selling process, including the removal of unwanted furniture and a professional house clean, so they are no nasty surprises or hidden fees when selling to us. Not only that, we even pay for you have additional legal advice if you feel you should need it.
From what you’ve read so far it is clear that the speed of the sale can be influenced by the number of stakeholders involved in the process, not to mention how confusing all the back and forth communication can get at times. Alternatively, if you decide to sell your home to us, you have direct contact with us 24/7 if you have any questions!
Selling a house quickly in London is a daunting process and if you need more information just get in touch and we can offer you our honest and impartial advice – if we don’t feel like we are the best option for you, we will let you know!