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Selling Property in a Recession

by Guest on Dec 10, 2012 Real Estate 1399 Views

Ever since the US housing ‘bubble’ burst in 2008, sparking off the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, homeowners and first-time buyers have been warned off pursuing any housing business. This seems to be backed up by the wealth of statistics on the housing market thrown our way by the media everyday; house prices are down massively, with no real sign of recovery.

This has led to thousands of people looking to relocate or sell their home ‘sitting’ on their property, waiting for the housing market to recover to previous levels. Whilst there are some signs of recovery, the UK’s recent slide into a double-dip recession means that a full recovery to pre-financial crisis levels is a distant possibility at best.

Austerity should always been encouraged in times of financial crisis, but potential home sellers (and indeed buyers) shouldn’t necessarily consider the recession as a reason not to sell. Believe it or not, there are some benefits to dealing with the property market in recession, especially if you’re looking to sell and then buy a home.

If you bought your home during the ‘boom’ years, then the first step to selling your home is accepting you may not get back what you paid for your property. This is enough to put off some people at the first hurdle, but consider the opposite way – buying a home is now cheaper than before.

When selling your home, make sure you deal with a trustworthy estate agent with a good track record. The estate agent will have a good knowledge of the area your property is in as well as current house prices – one huge mistake to make in recessionary times is to overprice your property. A good estate agent will price your home accordingly.

Similarly, having an estate agent on board means that you don’t have to worry too much about gathering legal documents or listing your property – most estate agents will do this for you. Make sure to check over any property details prepared by your agent however, as they may miss something you feel is particularly important to your home.

Estate agents will also have a database of potential buyers, whom would be difficult to reach yourself, especially in the presently reduced market. Agents will organise viewings, and provide feedback from potential buyers. They can also negotiate prices and vet any potential buyers to make sure they are serious about the deal.

Despite the recession, the fundamentals of selling your home remain largely the same. View your property not as your home, but as a show room for potential buyers – consider what you would want to see from a house. This means making sure your house is tidy, has been cleaned thoroughly and also removing any potentially polarising items; you may love that garish painting of a woman draped over a motorcycle, but it may put off some buyers!

Of course, selling in a recession means that you may not actually get the price you are looking for. Whilst this may not be a massive issue for those looking to buy at the same time, for people making their money from properties it is a problem. One option is to let out your property, which means you can make money off rent to offset any maintenance fees. With a good letting agent, this option provides a far more financially viable avenue than ‘sitting’ on an empty property!

Ben Greenwood is writing on behalf of Shepherd Gilmour, estate agents specialising in Manchester property

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