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To sell or not to sell…?

To sell or not to sell…?

That is the question on every house seller’s lips this year.

More importantly, do you put your own property on the market before finding your next home to buy?

This is one of the most common questions we hear from vendors. Many will try and find their next home before they put their own house on the market, frustrated by a lack of perceived stock on the web portals and the added worry that they will be put under pressure by any buyer. In a rural area such as West Berkshire, there just aren’t masses of chimney pots, so you are unlikely to ever have a large choice of properties to choose from. Supply is more of a drip feed and as a house comes to the market it sells only to be followed by another and so on.

This approach rarely results in success. With the aforementioned drip feed of property, vendors with houses to sell will be competing with not only those who already have their home under offer but also those who have deliberately gone into rented in order to be able to “pounce” on the best properties as they come up.

Typically those with houses to sell either miss houses that go under offer even before they can get theirs to the market or in some cases sellers won’t even take a viewing from buyers who aren’t at least on the market, narrowing further access to what’s available.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Putting your house on the market before finding, if handled in an open and transparent way, with effective communication, by a professional agent can mean you can have your cake and eat it.

Firstly, you don’t have to go fully on the market, at Winkworth we offer a service called “low-key” marketing. This is a halfway house between not being on the market and full marketing. We can have professional photography taken when the weather is suitable, prepare a glossy brochure and then choose only buyers in rented or those with flexible timescales to suit you. No internet advertising, no newspapers, no boards, no pressure.

With “low key” marketing when a buyer is found they already know that they have to be prepared to wait for the vendor to find, so no nasty surprises. They also don’t undertake any legal work, surveys, mortgage applications or searches until the chain is complete.

Many buyers are acutely aware that many vendors need time to find their next home and will actively promote themselves as being “able to wait”. Thus putting themselves ahead of competing buyers and giving a vendor a more relaxed approach to moving.

The other benefit with “low key” marketing is that if your dream home does suddenly pop up your house can be put fully on the open market at the click of a mouse and in a few hours.

So as a seller don’t be daunted by the process, engage early in your search with a good, local, professional agent, who will listen to what you are trying to achieve and help you to achieve it in a transparent and stress free way.

Ian Haines is a local property expert and Director of Winkworth Estate Agents in Newbury, he has been an estate agent for 22 years most of this time spent in Newbury. Winkworth is part of a 100 office network, with 60 offices in London, a country house department in Mayfair and are one of Newbury’s leading estate agencies.

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