How To Sell Your Home During Tough Economic Times
31st July 2012

Selling a house during the best of economic times can be hard enough. Now we’ve entered into a double-dip recession it’s a more trying time than ever before. There will be a few questions going through your head right now – Should I use an Estate Agent? Where do I start to think about my asking price? I am writing this article to help those of you who are in need of a little guidance and a helping hand to make this process as easy and as successful as possible. Below I hope to give you a few ideas.

Cheap Fixes

Adding a spot of paint to that room in need of a little updating is a great place to start. Most people out there will be looking for a house that they can move straight into without having to do too much work to it. Turning that 1990’s reject room into a refreshed, warm, neutral coloured room is the way to go. You need to try to create a blank canvas for the prospective buyers as they will be picturing themselves and their belongings in the house as they take a look around.

Start packing! Remove those books and DVDs from the shelf, pack away the coats, scarves and shoes by the door, box up those much loved board games from the top of the wardrobe and while you’re there, take the bulky clothes out that haven’t seen the light of day since the 1990’s reject room last saw DIY action. Have a really good ‘Spring Clean’ make everywhere shiny, clean and spotless but make sure you hide all the cleaning products afterwards.

Other handy tips are using air fresheners and displaying some lovely, fresh flowers. Making the property looking and feel inviting is a much more appealing prospect than have the house dingy and smelling of last night’s tea of kippers and mackerel. Mowing the lawn in the garden also ensures that prospective buyers aren’t buying a section of the Amazon rainforest (but with a year round monsoon season in this country!) When you’ve finally turned your garden back into a nice, neat, maintained garden again, giving the fences a lick of paint will also make it look a much loved entertainment area.

Un-Clutter That Cluttered House

Clutter makes any house look smaller. Your aim is to try and make the house look as though there is more room than there actually is, so throw away that collection of glass bottles you started collecting then quickly lost interest in. In this situation, less is most definitely more. Having an un-cluttered house is much more appealing to potential buyers.

To Estate Agent or Not To Estate Agent? – That Is The Question

In these technological times, it is possible to advertise the sale of your house on the internet without having to go through an Estate Agent. Websites such as are a great way to advertise the property and save you thousands of pounds in Estate Agents fees. From £299+VAT you can buy yourself and advert with pictures, will also buy you marketing on websites such as right move and find a property which will advertise to a wider, online audience.

An alternative to the selling online method is that you can sell your house through an Estate Agent. Estate Agents fees can be anywhere from 1%-3% of the selling price plus VAT. If you want to pay lower scale fees, you can negotiate these but you will have to negotiate hard. Using an Estate Agents means that you don’t have to do the work that would have to be done if you didn’t use them. The Agents will conduct viewings, handle any enquires about the property, take pictures of the house, advertise the property in their shop windows and negotiate with the potential buyers, all that that you would have to do yourself if you advertised online.


Getting The Price Right

Getting the right asking price is monumental in the selling process. The price of the property is going to be one of the first things that the prospective buyer is going to see. When I walk down the high street on my lunch, I take a look at the houses up for sale in Estate Agent’s windows. I take a look at the pictures of the house then I take a look at the price. It’s the same way online, first the pictures, then the price. Sometimes I think to myself “There is no way on earth that I would pay that much for that house!” So you need to make sure your house isn’t the one that I’m making that comment about.

It’s highly advised that you have a professional valuation taken out on your home. Future buyers are willing to paying what the house is worth, not what you think it’s worth.

House price surveys track the price of residential housing and can be useful for determining your property’s value. Surveys can done conducted by Mortgage Lenders, government bodies and property websites.

Surveys of house prices can show you whether house prices are rising or falling, by how much and in which areas of the country. That said, property markets work at a much more local level than most house price surveys, so while they can be useful, they should not replace the research you carry out yourself by talking to local estate agents and looking at properties that have sold in your local area.

Get The News Out and About!

Word of mouth is a completely underestimated tool nowadays. As you see your neighbour on your way to/from work let them know that you’re selling up. Odds are that they will tell other people that they know and you never know who in your area have had their eye on your house and have been waiting to snap at the change to own it. Also, back to technology, use the social networking sites as a platform to advertise, it’s a free way to get the word out!

And Finally…

When you’ve had that offer, you need to choose a Solicitor who is willing and keen to help you make those final steps. PLS Solicitors is a Solicitors firm based in Hale, Altrincham near Manchester.  Our residential conveyancing team aim to run a paperless office and communicate with other solicitors and clients via email wherever possible; this dramatically reduces timescales making your move quicker and easier. At PLS Solicitors we pride ourselves on our local connections and a large majority of the residential conveyancing is carried out in the following local locations:-

  • Knutsford
  • Timperley
  • Hale
  • Hale Barns
  • Didsbury
  • Chorlton
  • Wythenshawe
  • Sale
  • Longsight
  • Wilmslow
  • Alderley Edge
  • Stockport

We also help people to move home nationwide, so even if you’re sat reading this article in Kent, don’t be afraid to call, e-mail or write to us, we will help you wherever you are and whatever the query. You can also check out our Guide to Conveyancing on our website at

Get a Free Quote From PLS
If you need any help or simply have a question, please get in touch...