To sell or not to sell? Help is on hand

CPS Homes Property Sales Manager - Sian HiattWe hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and upbeat during these truly extraordinary times.

Whilst the thought of a home move may have slipped slightly down your priority list, please be reassured that whether you need us now or in the coming weeks and months, we remain on hand for all of your property needs.

Keeping you and our team safe is, above all else, our number-one priority. We’re extremely fortunate to have developed our approach over the past few years to give our team the ability to do what they do best from absolutely anywhere; helping you prepare your home for sale, achieving the highest price and giving you unprecedented levels of service and commitment.

So as we continue to face the current challenges together, we thought you may find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions by homeowners useful…

I’ve got a lot of time on my hands at the moment. What can I do to ensure I achieve the highest price for my property?

This is by far the most commonly asked question right now :-). Potential sellers are looking to get ahead of the game before the craziness of everyday life kicks back in.

Sound familiar? If so, we can make arrangements for one of the team to video call you. This simple exercise will allow you to give them a tour of your home, discuss ideas and, of course, we’ll share our expert opinion on how time spent now could really benefit you when it comes to selling.

Think of it as a virtual valuation. You’ll get the same expert advice from the same people who – ordinarily – would be sitting with you on your sofa. The benefit to you is that they’ll have to make their own tea!

Are people still putting their homes on the market?

There are a number of agents still listing properties for sale, but we have to question if this is in the best interests of both seller and agent.

The majority of enquiries (or “leads”, as we call them) come through to us within 48 hours of first listing a property. This two-day window is the position of maximum opportunity; waste it and you run the risk of becoming ‘just another property on Rightmove’.

Our thinking is: why list it now when, at best, a prospective buyer will only be able to view a video? In our opinion, it’s best to wait until this period of lockdown is over and list your property when buyers can book a physical viewing.

Yes, there will be a certain number of buyers who will put forward offers from watching a video tour, but take a moment to put yourself in that buyer’s position. Would you really commit to spending 5x your annual salary (sometimes more) on the back of just a video, photographs and a floorplan? We’d suggest not.

So not only are you exposing yourself to potential losses on solicitors’ fees if you accept an offer now, you’re also throwing away your pole and prime position as a new listing when the restrictions start to lift and normal service resumes.

Maximum sale prices are achieved when demand is high amongst buyers. With everything going on at the moment, now is not that time, unfortunately.

Our conclusion? Let’s start the process now and get your property ready to hit the market when it has the very best opportunity of achieving maximum value. Let’s use this time to work together – whether it be by video chat, email or WhatsApp.

Advising a keen seller to hold off for the time being goes against the grain (trust us!), but we honestly think it’s for the best right now.

If your property is empty, you may even consider finding a short-term tenant, which is something our Lettings Team can assist with. They're continuing to rent a great deal of rental properties during lockdown, with prospective tenants more prepared to rent based off a video than buyers are to buy, which is understandable when you consider what a commitment buying is.

Can I accept or make an offer?

You sure can, and we’ll be very happy to assist if you do.

However, as we’ve alluded to above, even buyers with the very best of intentions will want to physically view the property before parting with any money and signing on the dotted line.

On top of this, no mortgage valuations are being conducted right now, and a large number of mortgage applications via major lenders are being delayed until lockdown is lifted. This could in mean a delay in your purchaser being able to provide the required proof of funds; leaving you in limbo. So, whilst you think you have achieved a certain price, confirmation could take a while longer.

Even in a normal market there’s a risk of a sale falling through until contracts are exchanged, but that risk is arguably a lot higher right now.

I accepted an offer prior to lockdown. Is my buyer still proceeding?

We’ve had an incredibly positive response from the buyers and sellers we’re currently working with. Everybody understands that COVID-19 has wide-reaching consequences and that all parties are doing everything possible to complete transactions as soon as possible.

To help with this, there are a huge amount of solicitors working from home to progress things. Our sales team are in regular contact with them and we recommend that you, too, keep in contact with them; just to keep things ticking over. Should you need us for anything, please don’t hesitate to email sales@cpshomes.co.uk.

Stay safe,

CPS Homes.

01 May 2020

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