Now that spring is here, the grass is starting to grow, trees are beginning to blossom, this is the time of year many people decide it’s time for a change and seriously consider selling up and moving on.
For most people their home is their biggest asset and when it comes to selling your biggest asset it’s important to carefully consider your strategy for selling as well as buying.
We always aim to give honest and practical advice, based on our experience of this niche market combined with 30 years experience of keeping competition horses. We thought it might be useful to share these tips with you.
Know Your Market
The first point to consider when selling your home is to think who might buy it. If your property has land and equestrian facilities, or potential, then it is highly likely that someone with horses will buy it. Obviously the more land and the more facilities you have the more likely your buyer will be equestrian. Therefore it is key to choose an agent who is likely to find the right sort or buyer, i.e. an equestrian specialist.
Carefully Choose Your Agent
When choosing your agent it is important to ask yourself a few questions. Is the agent going to work hard for you, how pro-active will they be at finding your buyer? Where will they adverti
se your property and how often? What sort of sales particulars and level of detail for the property do they produce? Personal recommendation is also a good way of choosing your agent.
Have Realistic Expectations About The Value
Valuing property is not an exact science and many factors are taken into consideration, but remain realistic about the valuation and don’t be flattered by agents over valuing your property to get your business, particular in the current climate. If you are serious about selling your property and if it is over priced you may find you have a very long wait.
Presentation Is Key
This has to be my top tip and also a difficult one to achieve for many people with horses. A lot of buyers find it difficult to imagine green fields, post and rail fencing, a tidy yard and well presented house. So if you have horses, try and keep the fields as tidy as possible, poo pick the land regularly, mend any broken fencing, roll the fields if possible, top them if the grass is long, keep the yard clean and tidy as much as possible. If you have a school, keep it tidy and if possible harrowed before viewings. Inside the house, de-clutter as much as possible, it’s better to have one cluttered room rather than several, so box up things not essential and store away out of sight.
Remember first impressions really do count…
and it’s true…. Imagine yourself as a buyer, stand at the entrance to the property, approach the front door, and really take note of what you see. This is where you really want to focus on your presentation. If the first impressions of the property are pleasing you are half way there. If a property is in immaculate condition buyers have fewer reasons to offer less.
Be Flexible With Viewings
Try and accommodate viewings as much as possible. As the evenings are now light for longer, people might like to view after work.
Consider Offers Seriously
In the current climate we are all hearing about “the credit crunch” on the news and in the papers. It remains to be seen how much of an effect this has on our niche market and particularly in the south east of England, but our advice remains the same. The person who offers the highest price is not always the best choice. Listen to your agent’s advice on buyers, and ask them to find out as much about the buyers’ circumstances as possible. If you receive an offer from a buyer in a good position, i.e. cash (not mortgage), in rented, or a very short chain, then you should seriously consider accepting it even if it is a low offer. We are hearing quotes of the housing market being affected by 10% plus so it’s important to bear this in mind when it comes to any offer.
Know Your Requirements & Budget
There is no point in looking for a property until you are absolutely sure you know what you want, and you know how much you can afford. Do your homework before you start looking.
View Lots Before You Decide
Make sure you have a chance to view a few properties, that way you have an idea about what’s important and what you can compromise with. As this will probably be your biggest purchase it’s important you don’t rush, although the saying goes “never buy the first one you see”, many people do, but to confirm it is the right house for you, try and view some others as well before agreeing to buy.
Be Prepared To Compromise
This is my top tip for buyers. When looking for an equestrian property it’s very easy to have a list of requirements a mile long. You then wonder why you can’t find the perfect p
roperty. My advice is, be prepared to compromise on things that can be added or changed, if you seriously want to move. Of course you may find that perfect property that ticks all your boxes, then you are the lucky one.
Have Imagination When Viewing
Try to look past muddy fields, they always grow back with some rest. See through a cluttered house, with your possessions it will look completely different. If a property is not initially to your liking but the fundamentals are there, like good hacking, the required acreage etc, you might be missing out on your ideal home.
Research The Area
If you find the ideal property do your own research into the area. For example if hacking is important, spend time finding out where the bridleways are. The internet is also a great tool for researching schools, train times and the area in general.
Making An Offer
Consider how long the property has been on the market and try to get an idea how keen the vendor is to sell quickly before making your offer. You don’t want to loose out on something that’s new to the market by making a low offer, yet you might be able to get a good deal on a property that’s been ‘for sale’ a while. Think carefully before you make the offer.
We hope you find some of this useful and we are always happy to help in any way. If you are thinking of selling or buying an equestrian property please call the number below at any time for a friendly chat or to arrange a free valuation.
Tel: 01737 249199