Selling A Property

Different Options


Introduction

Housing prices in the U.K. rose by 0.8% in December, 2009 and by 2.9% in the final quarter of the year, but, even before the latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), economists were predicting that recovery of the housing market would not be sustained throughout 2010, with further price falls expected in the second half of the year. In fact, the CML figures revealed that mortgage lending fell 32% to 9.1 billion in January, 2010, its lowest level for nearly 10 years, after the Stamp Duty "holiday" - which had seen the threshold for Stamp Duty raised, temporarily, to 175,000, since September, 2008 - came to an end. It is not unusual for mortgage lending to fall in January, as buyers put their plans aside over the Christmas period, but the latest sudden fall has rekindled fears of a further housing price crash.

Selling Your Property

When it comes to selling your property, your choice essentially boils down to the traditional method, using an estate agent, or selling your property yourself. Both methods have their pros and cons and your final choice is typically a trade-off between the amount of money you want to spend on selling your property and the amount of time you want, or are able, to devote to the selling process.

If you decide on the estate agent route, it is important to choose an agent that is a member of a professional trade organisation, such as the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) or the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). These organisations have a strict code of conduct governing the behaviour of their members. Furthermore, it is also worth checking, either on the High Street or online, that the agent is advertising properties similar to your own. Of course, fixing a price is another important element and it may pay not to be too ambitious, given the subdued state of the housing market.

Bear in mind, too, that estate agents typically charge commission of between 1% and 3% of the selling price of a property, plus V.A.T., for their services. You can, however, deny an estate agent the opportunity to earn money from the sale of your property - which, with the average U.K. house currently valued at just over 200,000, can amount to several thousand pounds - by selling it privately. It is worth having your property valued by an estate agent, but thereafter, you can take control of the entire selling process. You will, of course, need to advertise your property online, or elsewhere, arrange viewings, etc., but, given that you already need to gather information on the property for a Home Information Pack (HIP), the amount of extra work involved need not be huge.

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