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How Long Should it take to Sell a Property?

How long should it take to get an offer? How ling should it take until contracts are exchanged? How do you know if your agent is doing the best job. Find out.

How Long Should it Take to Sell a Property

This question has two parts.

  1. The time it takes to get an offer accepted on your property and marked Sold Subject to Contract
  2. The time it takes to reach the completion date where parties exchange contracts and title deeds.

The first is the direct responsibility of the estate agent, and is what this article will focus on.

The second is in the hands of conveyancing solicitors and how complex a chain you have entered into. However, we do have a specialist dedicated team to help facilitate the easy exchange of information between conveyancing solicitors. This helps speed up the process on your behalf.

You Should Have Offers Within 4 Weeks

A good rule of thumb is that you should have a number of offers on the property within 4 weeks. The average time to sell may be different based on location, property type, and even the property seller themselves. It may take slightly longer to work through the offers from buyers and accept one you are happy with. However, that is an acceptable delay and may stretch the timescale to 6-8 weeks.

In reality though, you want to get offers on your property as quickly as possible.

You Have Ten Days to Make the Best First Impression

You have a ten day window of opportunity to get the most out of your property coming to market. Miss that window and you miss the best opportunity to maximise interest and selling price.

The more days on the market the more the interest in your property disappears. Your agent should have a number of viewings in the first few weeks. If they have failed to do this, it is likely they will need to reduce the property in order sell; unless they have another marketing strategy up their sleeves.

30 days is long enough to determine the effectiveness of an estate agent. How many viewings have you had? What was the feedback from the prospective buyers? How many offers have you had? What has your agent communicated to you through the process? Do you feel like they are working hard to push your property?

It’s not an easy task to effectively sell a property. It has to be priced just right to be appealing to buyers, whilst allowing competing bidders to drive up the price. Pricing your property at £20,000 over it’s actual value will not help you achieve the true value. People believe they have to overvalue their property in order for below asking price offers to come in. This strategy doesn't work, it simply removes all interest from the property from the people that can afford it.

Buyers aren’t stupid. They do research and they also have a price range in their head. Going above your property’s actual value discourages the buyers that would pay the realistic asking price. It also devalues your property in the eyes of those with larger budgets. They will see a house with less to offer than other properties at the same price point.

Generating Interest in Your Property

If you wish to sell your house fast, you need to generate as much interest as possible as early as possible.

That’s why we utilise our trademarked Property Launch event method when selling your home. All prospective buyers attend an open house event to view the property. This means all viewings are carried out on the same day and potential buyers compete to make offers. We’ve tested this method 3,000 times. We know on average it produces a sale 48 days quicker and for £7.5k more.

We also embark on a marketing campaign that begins before your property is even launched to the market. We contact known buyers looking for properties in your area to let them know the property is going to be available.

Having the best marketing strategies helps us push your property to more people. More people looking at your property leads to more viewings and competing offers.

What We Do

We utilise the latest social media advertising, and push properties through google adwords. We have a dedicated team to call buyers showcasing your property. We have done hours and hours of marketing before your property even opens up on Rightmove, Zoopla or On The Market . Meaning you are ahead of the game.

If your agent has not got any offers on your property in the first couple weeks it is likely their marketing strategy was flawed. If you have no solid offers within the first 30 days, start considering a move to a different agent. However, if your agent is keeping you informed on new strategies they are implementing, it might be worth sticking with them. Assuming of course, you are happy with their new plan and believe it will generate the much needed interest.

What Happens When Offers Don't Come In?

With the best will in the world, sometimes properties don’t generate the interest people want. It can be for a variety of issues such as location, price, condition etc. However, every property will have a price range that it could potentially sell for. The upper limit of what people are willing to pay is dictated by market conditions not the estate agent. However, not every estate agent is capable of getting that upper limit for their clients.

The key to maximising value in these scenarios, is to market heavily across a wide range of mediums. This will at least get you to the upper limit on that property’s value. Most agents would market at what we would consider a mediocre level. If they are not taking advantage of multiple property portals, social media and paid advertising, then what are they doing? Where is your money being spent?

Selling a House Timescale.

In an ideal Preston Baker World the timescale to selling a house would be as follows.

  • Day 1. House valuation carried out face to face. Preston Baker Instructed. Launch date set for property launch.
  • Day 2-3. Professional photography, video, presenter led video tour, brochure, floorplan and description created and signed off by client.
  • Day 4. Pre calls carried out to all interested parties in our database.
  • Day 5. We launch the property to market with a ten day lead time for the Property Launch. Property is placed on Rightmove, Zoopla and On The Market using Premium and featured listings to boost engagement.
  • Day 5-14. Social media campaigns. Social Media paid advertising. Google Adwords. Email campaigns. Outbound calling. Dedicated landing page. Youtube video. All designed to drive as much interest to the launch event as possible. Multiple interested parties booked in for the launch event.
  • Day 15. Launch event is held. Dedicated staff members attend the event and showcase your property to all interested parties.
  • Day 16-18. All viewers contacted for feedback. Any offers collected and passed to you.
  • Day 19. Depending on the offers that come in, we formulate a bespoke follow up campaign whilst interest is still high.
  • Day 20. We anticipate we have multiple offers for you by this point.

One of the key weapons in the Preston Baker arsenal is pre-qualifying buyers on your behalf. We strongly encourage buyers to utilise our in house financial services team. Our mortgage advisers will go through a detailed income and expenditure statement with a prospective buyer.

This gives a much better idea of what a buyer’s actual affordability is. With simple mortgage calculators a buyer can believe that they can borrow more than mortgage companies are willing to lend. A mortgage in principle doesn’t always carry out a full credit search. If you have a poor credit rating, this can impact a mortgage application when a full search is eventually carried out.

By carrying out pre-qualifying work on our buyers we have halved the rate at which fall throughs occur. A fall through is where the sale doesn’t happen for whatever reason. However, the most common reason for fall throughs relates to financing issues.

Ultimately we get more because we do more. We offer more services in house than most agents. We cover a wider range of marketing tools and best of all we don’t charge up front. All our sales operate on a no sale no fee basis. If we aren’t successful you pay nothing. If you want to exit the process with more money in your back pocket, you know where to look.