The coronavirus pandemic has massively upended many things in the world, including how people work, what they are able to do in their free time, and even how they buy and sell houses. For example, in-person viewings of homes are trickier to organise because of social distancing. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t still possible to sell your property if you want or need to.
Why the pandemic is creating uncertainty about selling your home
Whether it’s because of mandatory lockdown and social distancing orders from the government, or simply to protect their own health, many people are wary of meeting and being in close proximity with strangers because they’re concerned about potential virus exposures. That applies in many industries, including the housing market.
There are some reports suggesting that house and flat prices in the UK might not increase much, if at all, next year. As a result, you might be thinking there’s no point in waiting to sell your home. But you need to know some key facts about how to sell during a pandemic whether it’s an auction, through an estate agent, or selling to a quick property buyer.
Selling your home at a property auction
One way that you might be able to minimise viewings and interaction with strangers is by asking an auctioneer to sell your house. They will take care of producing a listing for your property and contacting people that might be interested in bidding on your home on the day of the auction.
It’s also possible that much of the pre-auction viewing of the house or flat that you’re selling can largely be done online with live tours or pre-recorded videos showing off your property.
And auction bids can be done online sometimes, meaning you might not even have to be present on-site the day that your home goes under the hammer.
You also get the perk of knowing exactly when your house will sell, because once your home gets a winning high bid, that is considered a binding contract of sale.
But just beware that auctions are unpredictable and there’s no guarantee your home will get a lot of bids, meaning you might have to settle for less money for your property than you want or need. If your financial requirements are your top priority when it comes to selling your house or flat, you might want to consider one of the other methods for finding a buyer.
Selling your home through an estate agent
Perhaps the most traditional method for selling your home is contacting an estate agent. These experts often have great knowledge of the local housing market and can tell you a reasonable asking price for your home. And they also handle all the complicated work with selling, such as putting together a listing for your property and promoting it to get interest from people.
But selling through an estate agent typically means that they will arrange viewings, where prospective buyers come to tour your home in-person. This is a vital step in the sale process because it helps people to see the entirety of your property inside and out.
Some estate agents have now innovated by shifting to online viewings, whether it’s a pre-recorded video offering an in-depth tour of a home, or calling potential buyers and giving them a live video tour of the property. Either way, estate agents have found a way to offer viewings during the pandemic so this can still be a viable option for selling.
But know that estate agents will charge you fees for doing all of this work on your behalf, typically taken as a commission on the final sale price. That means when you get your final sale price after completing, or exchanging, contracts you’ll have to subtract those fees to reveal your total profit. If you’d like to maximise your sale profit, this might not be the best choice for you.
Selling your home to a quick property buyer
Another option for selling your home is to contact a fast home buying company. These businesses, like LDN Properties, make cash payments to buy all types of houses and flats in London and throughout the UK.
Another great benefit of selling this way is that you won’t have to host viewings or meet a lot of strangers. Instead, you can handle most of the sale through phone calls and emails, with a swift and straightforward process that’s typically completed in just a few weeks. That contrasts very favourably to the potentially much slower approach of selling through an estate agent.
And you’ll also get to keep all of the profit from selling your home to a fast property buyer. That’s because the honest quick home buying companies never charge owners any fees when they sell their properties. So you will be able to know that whatever final sale price you’re able to get from a fast home buyer will be exactly how much cash you’ll have once the sale is completed.
And it’s also very easy to check whether a fast home buyer is reputable, because the trustworthy ones are fully registered members of The Property Ombudsman (TPO). That’s an independent organisation that issues rules designed to protect sellers in the quick home buying market. Any TPO-registered buyer must comply with those regulations, meaning you can trust TPO members. Simply visit TPO’s website to find out whether your buyer is a member.