Time Taken to Agree the Sale of a Home Falls to Lowest Level Since 2007
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The time taken from advertising a home for sale to agreeing a price has fallen to its lowest level since 2007, according to new research from leading residential agent, Hamptons International.  In the last quarter of 2013, it took on average less than eight and a half weeks to agree a price, nearly two weeks less than the same period in 2012.

Reflecting the pace of the property market in the capital, agreeing a price is speediest in London, with a property averaging less than five and a half weeks on the market before an offer is accepted.  It takes more than double this time to agree a price in Wales, where it takes an average of almost 14 and a half weeks to agree a sale.

However, agreeing a sale is just the start of the legal process required to formalise and contracts need to be exchanged for anything to be certain.  While the time taken to agree a price is at its lowest level in six years, capacity restraints and more stringent mortgage application processes have lengthened the time between an agreed sale and exchange, increasing from 10 weeks in 2012 to 11 today.

The net result is that time to exchange has fallen by five days to just under 21 and a half weeks in 2013 compared with 2012.

Hamptons International’s Top Tips To a Quick Sale

Before your home goes on the market, make sure you’re delighted with the photography.  Your first web upload is really important.  Get it wrong, and you risk missing the impact.
Kerb appeal is crucial.  Make sure the outside of your home is clean and tidy.  Decorate your garden with some colourful pot plants outside and make sure flowers and plants are appropriately pruned.
Internal presentation is of equal importance. Take time to clear and de-clutter your home before the photographs are taken and any viewings are conducted.  If you have any animals at home, make sure they are not present for viewings.  Make time to prepare for viewings, and if you need 24 hours notice to tidy up, make sure the agent is aware.
Arrange your finances without delay – even before you have found a property on which you’d like to offer - and speak with a broker.  Brokers are there to find the best deal for you and manage your application, leaving you to get on with your day job.
Instruct a good solicitor and prepare your paperwork in advance to ensure the best service and efficiency possible.
Choose your agent carefully and be realistic about your asking price.  Think about choosing an agent with a proven track record of selling your type of property.
Be open to the different forms of marketing your property: consider a For Sale board, particularly if the property is in a prominent location.  ‘Open Houses’ are also a great method of generating interest quickly.
Let your agent take control of the viewings.  Buyers will feel most comfortable when they can have a free and honest conversation with your agent.
Choose the right buyer.  Once offers have been received, work with your agent to choose the most reliable purchaser.

Anecdote from a Hamptons International Manager

Carl Davenport, Manager at Hamptons International in Sevenoaks: “In Q4 2013, we were instructed to sell a 1970s detached house in Sevenoaks.  Within two days of it going on the market, we agreed the full asking price (£850,000) to the first viewer who had travelled from Newbury to Sevenoaks in a cab at a cost of almost £500; nine other buyers who wished to view it missed out.  We exchanged contracts within eight weeks and completed two weeks later.”

For media enquiries please contact:
Aisling Gray, Senior PR Manager, Hamptons International
020 7758 8422 / 07786 118634 / graya@hamptons-int.com

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