Establishing a selling price.
The first course of action if selling privately is to decide how much to sell for. This will be the backbone for your selling strategy. In other words, if you ask too much for your property, people will not even bother to view it and will prefer to buy via estate agents. Ask too little for your property, and you are potentially giving away part of your assets! The right asking price is the perhaps the most essential ingredient in the art of selling your property privately and is the result of thorough market research. Don't settle for the figure you want to hear, find out the true market value. What have comparable properties have been sold for? And what other owners with similar properties are asking? If your property is unique, then this will allow you to ask for a higher asking price as it cannot easily be reproduced?
The most experienced agents will of course provide a valuable source of market information, and will help you reach a conclusion as to a proper valuation and a correct asking price for your property. At the end of the day you must be convinced that you are asking as much as you possibly can, whilst still attracting buyers. You must take into consideration the amount you are saving by selling your property privately and take enough of this off your asking price to make your property attractive to buyers. However, you must also take into consideration marketing costs, eg advertising in papers and on websites, although this should only be in the hundreds rather than the thousands. An asking price is not necessarily going to be the sales price at the end of the day. Therefore, the intelligent seller should also consider building in a reasonable margin for negotiation into their asking price.
However, remember that if you do not take enough off then you must be prepared for a lot less interest from both prospective buyers, resulting in fewer showings of the property and a waiting game.
Beware of agents who tell you what you want to hear: too many agents purposely overvalue homes to get a listing and let their sellers down over a period of time. Consequently, there are too many overpriced properties on the market, sitting there with no viewings whilst the seller has assumed that the asking price was reasonable.
Providing market conditions are favourable, and there is an abundance of clients looking for property similar to yours, a successful sales strategy should result in at least two or more showings per month. Finding a buyer is, in many respects purely a numbers game: the more people who view the property, the more likelihood that one of them will fall in love with it and put in an offer. Some buyers will negotiate with a you, and others will be less difficult. But it's easier to refuse a low offer if you are showing your property frequently.
Agents in a resort area such as Marbella will usually ask between 5 and 10% commission. For example 10% on a �250,000 villa will cost you �25,000!! So you could save �10,000 and reduce your asking price by �15,000!!!! Which should attract buyers keen eyes!
TIPS FOR SELLING YOUR PROPERTY PRIVATELY:
� Create a "For Sale" sign. You can do this yourself or preferably buy one. This always results in enquiries.
� Take good, well lit, pictures showing off your properties best assets and views.
� Take time to write a short description of your property, too long and people won�t read it all, but make sure you SELL it. Add any selling points, terraces, views, talk about the neighbourhood, social events, shops etc, how far it is to the airport etc. If you can provide a video clip then state this as this is obviously highly beneficial and you can email this to enquirers.
� Facilitate viewings on as short a notice as possible. If you leave your keys with a neighbour who plays golf three times a week, you might be losing a vital chance to show the property at the buyers convenience.
� Ensure that curtains and shutters are open and lots of light floods the property when it is shown.
� If there are any small repairs or repainting that would enhance the overall appeal of the property, it's well worthwhile getting this work done. Although it goes without saying, a clean house is a desirable house, and many buyers are put off if the property is grubby or untidy. Make sure the place is spotless and you will instantly create a favourable impression.
� If you intend to sell your property with some furniture, it is most important to make an inventory right at the beginning and list these. Many a sale has been on the brink of falling though when a buyer thought that the painting over the fireplace was included, and felt that the seller was "too mean" when he learned that it was not! Negative energy during a negotiation can be avoided by having a clear inventory in writing from the outset.
� If you are frequently travelling, it often makes sense to leave a power of attorney with your lawyer enabling him to sign a private contract on your written fax instructions. You can negotiate the details of the sale with your buyer�s solicitor by telephone, fax and email. The power of attorney allows the "first step" towards the sale, which is the signing a private contract, to take place without delay.
� Make sure that you are fully aware of your tax obligations when you put your property on the market. Meet with your lawyer and tax advisor, and find out the options open to you, to ensure there are no surprises when you eventually enter into negotiations to sell your property.
� Remember that selling a property in a resort area is not usually a rapid procedure, even in good market conditions. Properties can stay on the market from three months to over a year, depending on the market, the location, condition and general desirability of the property, the effectiveness of the sales strategy and, of course, the asking price.
� Once a sale is accomplished, your lawyer should take the lead role, and draft the sales contract and supervise the eventual completion of the sale.
� Points to consider when a negotiation is taking place: Is the buyer expecting a counter offer from you or has he given you a one-and-only, take-it-or-leave-it offer? Does he have other properties in mind if he doesn't buy yours? Is his offer a fair one? Are all details included in the offer - price, target contract date, deposit, completion date, precise understanding of what is included in the sale in the way of fixtures, fittings and furniture, and who pays the municipal "plus val�a" tax? These items should be agreed upon at the outset and before lawyers are instructed and above all, should not be negotiated "piecemeal", to avoid unpleasant surprises.
� Once you make up your mind to proceed, and with an understanding of "emotional factor" of the buyers of second or retirement homes, where they can change their minds abruptly, move quickly (but surely) to close the deal.
You can list your property on sites that advertise private property for sale, in newspapers (which is cheaper than you might think) and by word of mouth.
In summary, selling a property privately can be as easy or as complicated as any task involving personal affairs. Competent, honest, professional help by lawyers and tax advisors can go a long way to help you manage a sale objectively and more easily.
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