The housing market in the UK continues to be quite depressed and the picture looks gloomy across Europe, Africa, the US and most of Asia. However despite the global house price downturn, some countries are having a better time of it by bucking the gloomy economic trend. For example, Saudi Arabia has a strong market which is driven by escalating demand and prices have continued to rise for the last decade. There have been sharp price rises in the Ukraine, whilst in South America, Peru has been enjoying something of a boom.

Given this rather depressing economic picture, householders may feel that the prospects of selling their home are somewhat grim. However, it is important to remember that people still need somewhere to live and sold signs are still popping up. Before putting property on the market, it’s worth considering a sales strategy to maximise the sale price.

The first step should be to get three valuations from different estate agents or realtors. It may be tempting to go with the estate agent or realtor who comes up with the highest price; however in today’s market, it makes more sense to go with the agent who provides a realistic price and who also has a good track record in sales. Avoid the temptation to start with a high price and then reduce it. This can deter potential buyers who may not even look in the higher price bracket. Once a property has been on sale for some time, it can become harder to sell, so start out with a price based on what will sell in the current market, not what would have sold five or six years ago.

There is no requirement to use an estate agent or realtor and it is possible to adopt a DIY approach. It is fairly straightforward to work out a realistic selling price by searching online to find out the final selling prices of similar properties. And it is possible to market property on a variety of websites, using either a home-made sign, or one purchased online. The advantage of this approach is that it can save money on fees. However, there is a risk of missing out on the expertise that agents and realtors offer, especially during the tricky negotiating period until contracts are signed.

A relatively inexpensive way to add value to a property and to attract more viewers is to refresh the décor and ensure that everything has been cleaned and tidied to a high standard before viewers arrive. Potential buyers need to be able to imagine living in the property so it is worth trying to create a neutral appearance by removing personal clutter. Consider redecorating in any areas with unusual or powerful colour schemes. Try to create as much light and space as possible by using light-reflecting paint from a palette of whites, creams and blues, and try hiring tools and equipment for these jobs from a firm like Hire Station, increasing the margins of profit when your house eventually does sell. Finally, mend anything that is broken as the tiniest flaws can put people off, especially in this skewed buyers’ market.


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