If you’re aiming to secure the best price for your home, selling via a reputable local estate agent is essential. But here’s the catch: the average house sale tends to take nearly 6 months!
So, how can you speed up this process and ensure a swift sale at the best possible price?
My 9 top tips to sell your home quickly for the best price are:
- Choose the right estate agent.
- Maintain momentum.
- Set a realistic asking price.
- Tidy & declutter.
- High-quality photos & floorplan.
- Easy access for viewings.
- Negotiate offers tactically.
- Pick a low-risk buyer.
- Oversee sales progression.
I’ve personally bought and sold nearly 150 properties worth over £16m, and assisted homeowners with hundreds of property sales. I’ve condensed my experience and knowledge into these 9 top tips to help you sell your home quickly for the best price.
In this article, I will explain each of my 9 top tips in greater detail, including how to pick the right estate agent for you and how to set a realistic asking price.
You will learn how to negotiate offers and master sales progression, and how one easy household chore can earn you thousands!
Keep in mind that you’ll never be able to sell with an estate agent in 2 weeks (like you can with a cash house-buying company), but you will be able to speed the process up dramatically if you follow my top tips.
If you want to cut right to the chase and find out your perfect home selling method, I’ve designed a short quiz to help. Hit the link below to get started:
How to sell your house fast for the best price?
There are three main ways to sell your house:
- With an estate agent;
- Via property auction;
- Or you can sell directly to a house-buying company.
Genuine cash house-buying companies are the fastest way to sell, and also offer the greatest level of certainty.
However, speed and certainty come at a price. You should expect an offer of approximately 80-85% of your property’s market value.
Generally, the only way to sell your house for full market value is to sell via an estate agent.
However, this sales method is not known for its quick results!
On average, it takes just under 6 months to sell a house with an estate agent. Remember this is just the average, so for some unlucky home sellers it can take even longer!
The good news is there are plenty of things you can do to speed up this process.
Let’s take a look at my 9 top tips on how to sell your house fast for the best price…
1. Choose the best estate agent
One of the most important decisions a home seller will make is choosing the right estate agent.
The three main things you pay an estate agent to do are:
- Get your property in front of as many buyers as possible.
- Negotiate with buyers to get you the highest price.
- Help progress the sale and carry it through to completion.
All three of these things can have a massive impact on the speed, success and price achieved for your home sale. So, it’s vital you get the best estate agent on your team.
I’ve sold several hundred properties for myself and my clients during my career and, in that time, I’ve paid over £300,000 of my own money in estate agent fees alone…
It’s given me a really unique insight into the UK property market and has helped me figure out how to find the best estate agent and which ones to avoid.
Here are my top tips on how to pick the best estate agent for the job:
- Always pick a local estate agent. Picking a local estate agent is your best option as they will know the area and will be able to market your property at the correct price.
- Avoid free or low-cost online estate agents. Low-cost (or free) estate agents can charge less because they compromise on service. Although it might be the cheapest way to sell your home, it can work out more expensive in the long run if you achieve a lower selling price for your home.
- Don’t be afraid of fees. Focus on the overall profit you could make (like a business owner), rather than the fees you will pay. A good estate agent should find you more buyers and negotiate more effectively for you. This results in a higher overall selling price – one that more than covers their fee – and bigger profit for you.
- Get recommendations from neighbours, local friends and family. Try to get a recommendation from a neighbour or friends and family who live locally. They will be able to tell you first hand if they were happy with the service they received.
- Don’t just go with the highest valuation. Most home sellers get three valuations and go with the highest one. Estate agents know that if they give you the highest valuation, they’re more likely to get your business. However, an overpriced property will delay your sale as you’ll probably need to reduce the price to generate any interest. Bottom line is you cannot pick the best estate agent based solely on numbers!
- Find an estate agent with “hot buyers”. This means an estate agent who has recently sold a similar property on your road or in your building. They might already have interested buyers on their books who missed out on that property and who are still looking for similar properties in your area.
1.1 How to find an estate agent with “hot buyers”
There are a couple of ways to find an estate agent with “hot buyers”.
The first method is to look at what has recently sold nearby on property websites such as Rightmove. The listing will have the name of the estate agent and their contact details – add these to your shortlist.
Alternatively, if a similar house to yours is marked “sold” on your road, go and have a chat with your neighbour.
You should ask them if they were happy with the service levels, how long it took to sell, how many viewings they had and the number of offers they received.
If the feedback was positive, make a note of the estate agent from the sold sign.
Once you’ve got a shortlist of estate agents, get on the phone, and ask each of them the following questions:
- Have you sold a similar property to mine nearby?
- How long did it take for the property to sell?
- How many viewings did you get?
- Did you get many offers?
If the estate agent generated multiple viewings and offers on a similar property to yours, it’s likely that they’ll have some “hot buyers” on their books who just missed out on their dream home.
I’ve had some great results using this method and have been able to secure a fast sale for an even better price, as the buyer doesn’t want to miss out again.
If dealing with estate agents is starting to sound like hard work, an alternative home selling method might be for you.
Take our free quiz to explore other fast sale options:
Momentum is a key ingredient for a successful, fast home sale.
One of the biggest issues that can stall a sale is overpricing the house. As we said above, many estate agents will give you high valuations in order to win your business.
An overpriced house will often mean no viewings and a very slow start. You will inevitably have to reduce the price to get it to the correct market value in order to generate any interest.
But by then, the property will have been on the market for months. Most local buyers will recognise the listing and assume no-one else wanted it, so are unlikely to book a viewing.
You can avoid this from the outset if you are clear to the estate agent that you want a realistic valuation. Let them know that you’re not just going to go with the agent who produces the highest valuation.
Once they’ve given their valuation, they should be able to back it up with evidence, such as property comparables.
Make sure you ask them to explain how they came to that valuation. This will give you peace of mind that they’ve carried out thorough research and that the valuation is realistic.
A realistic valuation will give you a much greater chance of generating lots of interest and serious offers from the outset. This will produce plenty of momentum to set you up for a fast, successful house sale.
But how do you set the right price? Read on to find out…
3. Set the right price
Setting the right price for your home can save you months of delays, generate lots of interest from the outset and build that all-important momentum.
Try not to get seduced by estate agents’ overly high valuations. They use this tactic to try and win your business, and it will inevitably lead to price reductions.
Remember what we said above about asking your estate agent for evidence to back up their valuation? This is why it’s so important…
According to Zoopla, more than 40% of the properties listed for sale on their website have reduced asking prices!
In my experience, listing your property with an unrealistic asking price only ever draws the sale out. You will very rarely achieve more money using this approach. It will usually just waste your time.
Instead, try to set a realistic asking price using estate agent’s valuations that are evidence-backed. The valuations should be based on similar properties in your area that sold successfully.
3.1 My personal pricing strategy
I want to share with you my own pricing strategy that I use when I sell my own properties.
To do this, I analysed over 100 of my property sales and pricing strategies. From this data, I decided the best way to price a property was “offers over” around 5% less than the market value*.
This pricing strategy ensures the property is displayed in front of as many suitable buyers as possible at a competitive price. It also sets the expectation that you want to achieve a higher price with the “offers over” approach.
I found this was the most successful way to quickly generate lots of interest. It is very similar, though slightly less aggressive, to the pricing strategies used at auction.
In many situations, there were multiple buyers competing against each other within the first couple of weeks of listing the property.
This then drives up the price and gives your estate agent the chance to negotiate a great deal for you and help you pinpoint the most reliable buyer. More on this later…
*Please note that this strategy will not be suitable for rural or unique properties. There are fewer buyers for these types of properties, and so you will have to wait longer to find a suitable buyer. Setting a competitive asking price will not necessarily speed things up and could result in a lower selling price.
When selling rural or unique properties, I use a more conventional estate agent pricing method. I make sure the agents give me a realistic valuation, set that as the asking price and prepare myself to wait for the right buyer.
Don’t want to wait? Click here to discover the fastest way to sell a house.
4. Make sure the marketing photos are up to scratch
I cannot stress enough how important it is to get professional, high-quality photos and a floorplan for your property listing.
The quality of the marketing photos will affect the number of people that click into your listing and arrange a viewing.
Great marketing photos will draw buyers in and show off the space, features, and potential of a property. Bad marketing photos will mean your property is just another listing buyers scroll past.
A great way to screen the quality of an estate agent’s marketing photos is to check out their other listings on property sites such as Rightmove or Zoopla.
You want to see photos that are clear, light, show off the space well, show both the exterior and interior of the property, plus a detailed floorplan. If the house looks appealing, they’ve done their job well!
Videos are a great bonus, but not a necessity.
You should never let the agent put the listing live until you have signed off the photos.
First impressions really matter, so be clear that you want to see the photographs and floorplan before you give them the green light. It’s much easier to make a good first impression, than try and come back from a bad one!
5. Prepare the property for photos and viewings
A great way to increase your chances of selling your house fast is to prepare your property for the marketing photos and viewings. By getting the house looking its best, you significantly increase its appeal to potential buyers.
I would always recommend decluttering, cleaning, and tidying up. You want to create a clean and organised environment that allows people to see the space on offer and the property’s potential.
Investing in a professional cleaner or dedicating a weekend to getting things in order could get you thousands more for your property! There are very few situations where such minimal efforts, like tidying and cleaning your home, can equate to massively outsized returns.
A clean, tidy, and welcoming home will also increase your chances of creating an emotional connection between a prospective buyer and your property. This will often generate higher offers, spark bidding wars, and lead to quicker sales.
So, taking the time to prepare the property for marketing photos and viewings is a worthwhile investment.
6. Get the most out of your viewings
To maximise the success of your property viewings, you should always tidy and declutter your property.
It’s important to create a clean and inviting space that will allow prospective buyers to picture themselves living there. A clean and tidy environment will show off the property’s potential and the space on offer.
Access is another vital part of a successful viewing. You really don’t want to keep prospective buyers waiting to view your home, as they’ll just move on to the next property.
Momentum is key if you want to achieve a fast home sale. It’s therefore vital to make sure you have access arrangements in place and get buyers in quickly for viewings.
If you’re at work, arrange for a friend, family member or neighbour to let the agent into the property. Alternatively, you can leave a set of keys with your estate agent if you don’t live close by.
If you don't like the idea of strangers traipsing around your home, there are other home selling methods that skip viewings altogether.
Take our 60-second quiz to discover the best selling method for you...
7. How to negotiate offers
Mastering the art of negotiation can make all the difference in achieving a successful, speedy house sale. It can be the difference between an unacceptable price and an acceptable offer, or securing an even better price that exceeds your expectations!
Here are my three top tips for negotiating property offers:
- Be responsive. When you have offers on the table, make sure you’re reachable as you want to keep up the momentum. In my experience, faster paced negotiations are more likely to result in higher prices.
- Don’t give away your hand. Do not let the estate agent or the buyer know that you’re prepared to accept a lower price. Say that you want to achieve the best price possible and see if the estate agent can work to negotiate this on your behalf.
- Accept an offer subject to a target completion date. Always accept an offer subject to a target completion date. Eight weeks should be more than enough for a mortgage sale. This is one of the biggest mistakes I see people make at this stage of the transaction. Setting a target completion date will focus all parties on a mutual goal and keep things progressing.
8. Pick a low-risk buyer
If you’re lucky enough to receive multiple offers on your property, it can be tempting to go straight for the highest offer.
However, it is just as important to consider the buyer’s position before you decide which offer to accept. Why? Because not all buyers are equal.
There are three types of buyers:
- Cash buyers. The money is available now, and they are not reliant on a mortgage or other property sale to complete.
- Mortgage buyers. The buyer will have to secure a mortgage before they are in a position to complete.
- Chain buyers. With chain buyers, the sale is reliant on one or more other house sales completing before yours can go through. The various buyers may also have a mortgage to contend with.
There is a timeframe and risk level attached to each type of buyer.
For example, a cash buyer might be able to complete in 4 weeks with a 90% chance of success. A chain buyer, on the other hand, could take 20 weeks to complete with a 40% chance of success. This is because the more houses there are in a chain, the more chance there is of something going wrong and the chain collapsing.
If a fast sale is important to you, you should go with a low-risk buyer. This will minimise the chances of any problems arising that could delay completion.
Your estate agent should qualify each buyer and present the pros and cons of each offer for you to consider.
8.1 How to pick the best offer for you
Here are my three steps to help you pick the best offer for your priorities:
- Step 1: Understand your buyers. It is so important to understand each buyer’s position before you accept an offer. Make sure your estate agent asks if each buyer is a cash or mortgage buyer, and if they are in a property chain or not.
- Step 2: Decide on the best offer for you. If you want to achieve a fast sale, there’s going to have to be a trade-off between the highest offer and the least risky buyer. A cash buyer, for example, will not have to apply for a mortgage and so can complete much quicker than a mortgage buyer.
- Step 3: Get proof of the buyer's position after you’ve accepted an offer. If you have multiple offers and you accept one of them, make sure your estate agent qualifies that buyer thoroughly ASAP (e.g. requests a bank statement showing proof of funds). If it turns out your buyer isn’t what they say they were, it’s much more likely that the other offers will still be on the table if you find that out within 48 hours compared to two weeks down the line.
9. Sales progression
Although sales progression should really be the job of the professionals, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and ask for regular updates.
This can speed the process up massively and help you achieve the fast sale you’re after. But remember to keep it friendly and polite!
In my experience, sellers will often fail to stay on top of their sale once an offer has been accepted.
Sometimes this is due to a busy work or home life, sometimes a rude agent or solicitor can put you off, others simply don’t want to pester.
But remember, you are the one selling and the one who will ultimately pay the fee.
So don’t be afraid to chase your agent or solicitor on at least a weekly basis, and don’t allow them to fob you off without answering your questions.
It will keep you front of mind and ensure that they are regularly progressing your sale to achieve your target completion date.
If you want to achieve the best possible price for your house, I recommend selling with a good, local estate agent. However, as we’ve seen, this isn’t the fastest way to sell a house (taking on average nearly 6 months)!
The good news is there are plenty of things you can do to improve your chances of achieving a faster sale for the highest price.
Your main goal should always be to generate as much interest as possible in the shortest space of time.
Setting the right asking price, getting good quality photographs, and choosing the right estate agent are just some of the ways you can boost your chances.
However, if you’re able to compromise on price, there are quicker home selling methods available that might be better suited to your property and priorities.
If you want to explore your options, you can discover the best selling method for you by taking our quiz.
It only takes 60-seconds and you’ll receive free, personalised advice.
Hit the link below to get started.
By Matthew Cooper, Co-Founder of Home Selling Expert