PLANNING TO MOVE
by Ron Hastings
are the days when marketing a property involved putting up a 'for
sale' sign, deciding on a brief description of the accommodation
and a photograph. Although there are those that still ascribe to
that theory, the smart sellers realise that to make the most of
their sale it pays to do a bit more planning. The interest in the
property market over recent years generated by television programs
such as "Property Ladder" has led to a more sophisticated
approach both by selling agents and their clients. These days we
are more than likely to be called in at an early stage to give advice
on what can be done to the property to prepare it for the market.
Is it worth doing up the kitchen? Will I get my money back or would
it be better to leave improvements for the choice of the new owner?
it is not as simple as that as one of the strange factors in recent
times has been the prices that can be achieved for properties that
are in a condition which in the former years would have been classed
as "unsellable". Nowadays its practically a case of "no
roof - no problem!" In a perverse way the market has in some
respects been turned upside down with higher prices being achieved
for unimproved properties, leaving purchasers, or at least those
with funds to spend, with a blank canvas and the pleasure of becoming
a mini property developer. The jury is out on whether there is money
to be made in developing such properties in the Borders and at the
end of the day it will always depend on margins but location is
crucial and a stone built property in the right location will achieve
a great deal of interest whether it is in its undeveloped state
or ready-to-move-in condition.
is of course important to consider your next move and there is no
point in selling a house and making yourself homeless. You may prefer
to move in with relatives or to rent somewhere in the interim but
you should have a plan. Many who have ended up in rented accommodation
have seen the market move on and having stepped off the property
ladder for a few months find they have difficulty getting on again.
Whilst there is good money to be made on property you must remember
that if you are buying in the same market, if you are not careful
you can pay just as much again for your purchase.
are of course buyers who are less enthusiastic about getting their
hands dirty doing up property or taking on the potential headache
of co-ordinating the various tradesmen this requires. However cash
rich buyers, particularly from the hot spots in the South and the
central belt who aspire to the nirvana of "mortgage free living"
are generally prepared to pay extra for what they want. A word of
caution, it pays to plan ahead ands seek advice from local experts
at an early stage in the process. It can be dramatic enough moving
to a different area, adjusting lifestyle and all that goes with
it, without having the dream move tarnished by disputes over title
issues, contractual disputes with builders and the frustrations
of being unable to get anything done.
with the property market appealing to different sectors it is important
when selling a property to choose the right approach and target
your marketing at those who are likely to be interested in what
your property has to offer. The top property websites in the borders
attract a great deal of interest and dedicated buyers are onto a
property as soon as it appears on the net in the hope that they
will be able to tempt sellers with a "pre-emptive offer".
While any offer should be given serious consideration the benefits
for buyers of generating sufficient interest to take the property
to a closing date under the Scottish system has been proved time
and time again as the best way to achieve the top selling price.
It is not unknown for prospective purchasers having submitted an
initial offer at a lower level to increase their earlier offer by
over 10% and prices achieved at closing date frequently achieve
upwards of 20% over the asking price set.
your property is an investment or your family home the question
of whether and how to market it deserves serious consideration.
A little thought and careful attention to the project can pay dividends.