This year has been a strange one for the property market. We had the shock referendum result, which made people worry about the market’s stability (needlessly, as it turns out), as well as news of Theresa May’s house-building ambitions and the brick shortage that might dampen them a bit!
Then of course there are the age-old concerns that are still with us – renters trying to raise deposits so they can finally start to think about approaching South East London estate agents, worries about potential interest rate rises – no wonder people feel nervous!
This is where good old human kindness comes in to save the day. The property market is usually seen as dog-eat-dog, but it doesn’t have to be that way, especially in uncertain times. No-one’s saying that sellers should knock off 20% of the asking price “because economy”, but there are a few things that will attract and encourage buyers, as well as make them feel like they’re dealing with an actual human being.
Offer to leave your buyers some of your equipment or furniture
You might be moving because you’re downsizing, or you’re going somewhere where your existing furniture won’t be a good match or fit anymore. You might be going overseas and you find it’s cheaper to buy new at the other end than to ship everything you own over. Equipment like gardening supplies and tools, as well as a paddling pool and a barbecue set might not make the cut either, so you could offer these items to your buyers. You’re not losing any money from the sale of your house, but you’ll certainly be saving your buyers at least a few hundreds of pounds – buying a house is expensive, so most people will be more than grateful.
Throw in a year’s free gym membership
If you are members at your local gym, ask if you can transfer your remaining months of membership over to the people buying your house, as well as top them up to a year if possible. If your buyers are new to the area, this gesture will help them to fit in and meet people that little bit faster. If your gym won’t allow you to transfer your membership, it might be worth buying a year upfront just to help the sale go through.
Offer to help with the legal fees or the stamp duty
If your buyers are first-timers, chances are that even with some help from the Bank of Mum & Dad they’re struggling to pay their conveyancing fees and stamp duty. There’s always the risk that not being able to pay these fees becomes a huge stumbling block and ends up derailing your sale. If you can afford it, absorb some or all of these fees and taxes into your own expenses, especially if it makes things happen. In a way, it’s paying it forward and you never know, in the future, someone might do exactly the same for you when you come to upgrade further.