Does the season make a difference when selling your home?

It's what you make of the marketplace that will help you gain the best price for your home, not necessarily the time of year...

"I am preparing to sell my second home in Blockley and having seen a number of your Sold boards springing up in the village, I have been recommended to your company for advice. I realise now is not the right time but what would be your strategy to make the most of traditional early Spring demand?"

The North Cotswold marketplace, and especially Harrison James & Hardie’s approach, doesn’t conform to the general trend and activity in sales. In fact, the autumn and winter months are unbelievably busy here - just as busy as spring and summer.

It’s highly likely that most sales we agree by the end of October will exchange before the end of the year because buyers are very motivated to secure, and ideally occupy, their new homes before Christmas. However, for vendors who are reluctant to move out during the festive season, we find buyers are usually happy to exchange with delayed completions that can be scheduled later in the New Year, for example.

Whenever you instruct us, it’s our strategy that is really important to making the most of any marketplace, not the time of year. What you think might be just simple agency - that you signed up, wrote the details, photographed the property nicely, put it on all the right websites, got a board up and waited for the phone calls - is not the case here. By the time we have launched a property online it’s among the last not the first of our tasks - more often than not, we will have already introduced the most likely purchaser.

The moment we are invited out to a property we consider who it might suit on our register and advise applicants that something might be coming up for sale, accordingly. There are ten experienced, dedicated sales heads in the company who all work very proactively with a coordinated approach, sharing information on properties and applicants quite happily because everyone benefits from every sale.

By the time we are instructed, we usually have viewings arranged in principle – certainly we will have phoned everyone registered with us in the first forty-eight hours. We arrange viewings as close together as possible, often on a specific viewing day, generating strong competition and offers within a few days. We will also launch the property online and in the local paper of course, to ensure that anyone as yet unregistered also has a chance to view – however, these buyers can find they are at a disadvantage, with offers already being considered by the vendor in some instances.

The best time to sell at the highest price is usually in the first three weeks of marketing – our approach is designed to ensure the shortest possible time on the open market in order to achieve the best possible price for our vendors. We will suggest the most sensible marketing price based on recent comparable sales and our knowledge of potential purchasers, also taking into account the preferred timescales for our vendors, of course – in the North Cotswolds it’s not always the price but the purchasers’ flexibility that determines the right deal and sometimes the fact that a buyer is local can be the deciding factor above all other considerations. Choosing which offer is best for their circumstances is always our vendors’ prerogative but we thoroughly investigate every aspect - from finances, chain details and motivation to intended timescales – before instructing solicitors on a sale.

Sales negotiation and progression are the most sophisticated disciplines where the skills of the sales team really underpin the success of the company’s strategy. We know all the pitfalls that can occur with chains and mortgages, all the sticking points that can undo a transaction, especially with period properties that attract lots of interest but can unearth issues at survey, for example.

We advise tight timescales to exchange and will continually check on progress right along the chain, delving more deeply when we suspect a problem in order to solve it as quickly as we can. More often than not, if a buyer starts inexplicably to drag their heels or if we discover problems down the chain that threaten the sale, we will already have a back-up purchaser in place. None of this happens by accident – it’s a combination of a whole team approach, long experience, consistency, knowledge, skill and intelligent thinking that makes this company so incredibly good at what it does.

To speak to one of the Harrison James & Hardie sales negotiators, contact 01608 651000.


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