Feature by Maria Stokes
Buying or selling a home can feel daunting, and not just for our first-time buyers – it can be a confusing and complex time no matter how many times you have been through the process. However, we’re here to settle your worries and take some of the stress away, making your move as smooth as possible. That’s why we’ve answered some of our customers most common fears when it comes to buying and selling property.
Fear #1 – Will I have to pay fees even if my property doesn’t sell?
No, we guarantee a ‘No Sale, No Fee’ policy. The only time you pay our fee is upon completion of the sale of your property, once the monies have cleared with the solicitors. We won’t upsell or charge you hidden extras. Our competitive rates include everything you need to market your home, from quality photography to floorplans and marketing details. However, if we don’t sell your property, you don’t pay us a penny, so long as you give us 28 days notice.
Fear #2 – Will I be tied into a contract?
We will not tie you into a long-term contract and you won’t be charged an exit fee if you decide to list with another agency. You can leave at any time with no penalties, simply give us 28 days written notice. Although once you’ve worked with us, we’re certain you won’t want to go anywhere else.
Fear #3 – What if I can’t find an onward property?
We will be honest with buyers about your chain and will therefore make it clear from the start that you will need time to find somewhere. And, as a valued Arden customer, we’ll make sure that you hear about our new properties first, before they hit Rightmove, Zoopla and other property portals. If you still can’t find anywhere and your buyer cannot wait any longer for you to find, so you therefore decide not to move, then we can inform the buyer and cease marketing. If you then find somewhere at a later date, it is only a click of a button for us to re-launch the marketing and start looking for a buyer again!
Fear #4 – Do I have to have a For Sale board?
You don’t have to have a board, however we find them to be very useful for several reasons, the main reason is that a lot of buyers like to drive past before arranging a viewing, so they tend to look for a board to indicate which property it is that’s for sale. But we will never enforce that you have a for sale board if you do not want one.
Fear #5 – Will I have to do my own viewings?
We are happy to accompany all viewings for you as part of the service we offer. We can accompany viewings in the week and Saturdays, so we can usually work around the majority of buyers’ availability. We may sometimes ask if you’d like to carry out an evening or Sunday viewing yourself, but if you’d rather not, that’s ok, just let us know.
Fear #6 What if my property is not in the best condition to sell?
When we come out to value your property, we’ll tell you what we think could change in order to help sell it quicker and for the best price. It may just need a de-clutter, but if you require more, we can help. At a very competitive price, we can organise painters and decorators, we even have in-house property stagers who can provide some furnishings and accessories just for the photos, or fully stage an empty property leaving items in place for 8-12 weeks to help ensure you sell.
Fear #7 – Will you continue to market my property if it struggles to sell?
We will market your property for as long as it takes to sell. Along the way we can make changes to the marketing to keep it fresh and to get new buyers interested. You will only pay us once we have sold it and the sale has completed.
Fear #8 – What if my buyer pulls out of buying my property?
We’re not going to lie, it happens! Unfortunately, sometimes sales fall through. Often it can be down to problems found during the survey, you or your purchaser may become frustrated by timescales, or personal circumstances can change for your buyer forcing them to pull out of the purchase. However, we are not interested in making a quick sale for you with the wrong buyer. We will do everything that we can to make sure that your purchasers are not only motivated, but can financially afford it, carrying out financial checks before we mark your property as SSTC. We also have experienced sales progressors who will help negotiate through any issues which may be raised during the survey or over the course of the sale, ensuring the maximum amount of properties reach completion. Don’t forget, you won’t pay us a penny until your property completes its sale, so we’ll do everything we can to make this happen.
Fear #9 – I’m emotional about selling my property
Sometimes selling your home isn’t entirely your choice. You may be going through a separation or divorce, income may have changed forcing you to move, or you may need to sell a loved one’s property after they’ve passed away. Any of these reasons can feel depressing and no one could blame you if selling your property makes you feel emotional. Even happy sales can feel emotional. Homes are our safe haven, where many happy memories are made and milestones are reached, so they can be hard to let go of. Whatever your situation, it’s important to concentrate on why you need to sell. Begin the detachment process, allow yourself to grieve, say goodbye, but don’t overthink it and if you’re making an onward purchase, try to make positive plans for your new house.
Fear #10 – What happens if I pull out of a property I’m buying?
Legally, so long as you haven’t exchanged contracts, you can pull out of a property sale at any time in England (different rules apply if you are purchasing in Scotland). You may have incurred solicitor costs, which will need to be paid. If you are selling your property with us, we will need to let your purchasers know that you no longer have an onward purchase and this may affect timescales previously discussed. Many purchasers will wait a while for you to find another property, especially if searches by the solicitors have all been carried out. However, if your search takes longer than expected you may lose your purchaser in the long-run. We will do our very best to keep your property sale together and to help you find your next home quickly by making sure that you hear about our new properties first, before they hit Rightmove, Zoopla and other property portals.
Fear #11 – What happens if property prices fall?
At the time of writing this article (September 2022), property prices are still buoyant, and the market remains healthy. We are not carrying out as many viewings per property as we were throughout 2021, however, this means bidding wars are less frequent and the buyers looking are serious and motivated. If property prices fall during your time on the market, don’t panic, prices are relative, so it is likely that your onward purchase price will also fall.
Fear #12 – Should I be worried about interest rates rising?
If you are considering selling and moving on to a new property, we’d advise that you don’t wait. The recent increases in interest rates have not led to a fall in housing prices so far, and demand for property is still currently high. If house prices do fall, it won’t happen overnight. The UK has a relatively stable housing market, with property prices doubling every 10-15 years on average over the last century. However, trends can be unpredictable (think back to the events of 2008), and timing the market is practically impossible, but over time it always stabilises, so if you’re looking to buy, we recommend that you start your search as soon as possible.
Fear #13 – What if I get stuck in a chain?
Of course nobody wants to get held up in a long chain, we understand that. But try not to let it put you off finding your next home. Over recent years, property chains have actually decreased. Roughly, 15-20% of property sold is in fact vacant, which certainly helps break property chains. In addition, we often find vendors are willing to move into rented or with family to break chains and make things easier for a sale to progress to completion.
Fear #14 – I don’t want everyone to know my house is for sale
That’s not a problem! Some of our customers prefer the sale of their property to go under the radar or remain completely private. This can be for a variety of reasons including; divorce, disputes with neighbours, general privacy or work. We are able to offer a couple of options in these cases such as low key advertising, where your property will not have a For Sale board and it will not be advertised across website portals such as Rightmove or Zoopla. We will simply visit your property discretely, photograph it as usual to create a brochure to show potential buyers, advertise it only on our website and send it to our database of potential buyers.
Another option is Private Listings, which are completely that. This service is similar to low key, but we won’t list your property on our website, we won’t send an email to our database, instead we will make specific targeted phone calls to known buyers, only booking in viewings accordingly only after going through a strict screening process.
Fear #15 – What if I use the wrong agent?
We have heard many nightmare stories from clients that come to us after a bad experience with another agent. Every home move is different and sometimes bad things happen through no fault of the estate agent. If you’ve had a bad experience, please feel free to tell us your previous story and we’ll do our very best to make sure it doesn’t happen again to you. Things to consider when picking the right estate agent for you are; do they have a comprehensive database of suitable buyers; are they proactive; do their marketing skills show your home in its best light; and do you feel at ease when speaking to them?
It’s sensible to have two or three valuations on your property from different agents, not only will you gain a greater understanding of what you think your property is worth, you’ll also discover which agent feels like the right fit for you. Ask the agent questions that concern you, listen to their answers and after this process hopefully you’ll know which agent feels like the right one for you.
Fear #16 – How much will it cost to move?
Moving house costs money, you will need to consider estate agent fees, solicitor fees, stamp duty and removal costs. However, we will always be upfront with you about our costs. We will explain what they are, why we have them and when they will apply. We are even open to negotiation!
Fear #17 – What if my property hasn’t sold with another agent?
There could be several reasons why your home isn’t getting snapped up, but the most common is that your current advert just isn’t doing your property justice. If your current advert has gone stale then it’s time to start thinking about a re-launch. It’s really easy to do and doesn’t need to be stressful at all. Re-launching your property, changing up the marketing process and generating a whole new identity for your property will create a new surge in interest to attract your perfect buyer. We include all the latest marketing techniques, professional photography and can even provide an SOS Home Makeover – advising you on how to prepare each room of your home to best appeal to a buyer.
If you’re thinking about selling, contact your local Arden branch for a free, no obligation valuation.