Brexit Blues: Homeowners Urged To Sell Before Exit

Vendors urged to sell before Brexit
Those considering selling their homes are being advised to list their properties now, as the prospect of a no-deal Brexit looms, if they want to achieve maximum value, according to listings website Placebuzz.

Those who have been waiting to see the outcome of the Brexit negotiations before listing their homes for sale should act now rather than wait for the deadline of 31 October to arrive.

The advice comes after both Conservative leadership candidates, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt have strongly indicated that they will take the UK out of the European Union without a deal at the end of October.

Buzzplace’s analysis

Neil Tillott, Placebuzz’s Business Director said that: ‘The prospect of a no deal Brexit is looking more likely than ever and if it does happen, the outlook for the housing market could worsen considerably, with consumer confidence falling further, banks less willing to lend and a probable rise in unemployment.

‘Even if we leave with a deal, we’re likely to see three years’ worth of pent up demand from sellers prompting a rush of properties hitting the market all at the same time, creating more competition and knocking prices.

‘The market could go down in the next four months but it’s more likely to stay broadly at the same level, so savvy sellers who get their ducks in a row now, prepare their home for market and arrange their finances could be quid’s in and sold before a decision is made over Brexit,’ he says.

This follows warnings by the Bank of England governor Mark Carney in September 2018 that a no-deal Brexit could send house prices tumbling by as much as a third. In February he added that UK growth would be ‘guaranteed’ to fall.

Pricing strategy

Placebuzz suggests that would-be vendors adopt a strategy of ‘pricing to sell’ to achieve the best price for their property.

‘A lower price will generate greater footfall and competition from buyers. Starting with a slightly lower ‘offers in excess’ figure could get you more money,’ says Tillott.

Other advice

In addition to a sensible pricing strategy, vendors are encouraged to ask estate agents for examples of comparable properties that they have sold over the last three months, including the length of time the property was listed for, and the percentage of asking price achieved before making a decision on who to list their property with.

The focus should be on estate agents that achieve sales rather than securing instructions.

Choosing buyers

The listings site also recommends prioritising buyers who aren’t in a chain, or those whose property is already under offer and have their finance in place.

Sellers can facilitate sales by ensuring that all their paperwork, such as building regulation certificates, and mortgage offer are in place.

Being flexible about completion and moving dates, even if that means having to rent or stay with family for a short while could help seal the deal.

In addition, it’s always best to be open and upfront about any current or historical issues, such as knotweed or past subsidence rather than buyers finding out at a later date and potentially pulling out of the sale.

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