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The UK housing market has hit a bit of a sticky period with figures released by the Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors last month showing the fewest number of houses on the market since 1978. A shortage of available properties means houses should be easier to sell, after all with fewer homes to choose from it ought to be a sellers market. Unfortunately this scenario isn’t playing out for everyone, so if you’re a homeowner who is struggling to sell their property right now, here are a few alternatives you might want to consider.
Rent it out
Research released by the National Landlords Association (NLA) earlier this year, puts the number of landlords who came to rent out their property accidentally at almost one in four. With a shortage of houses for sale, rental demand is high and letting out your home can be a good option if you’re confident the yield will cover your mortgage. It’s no surprise therefore that the number of accidental landlords has been growing for some time.
If you’re thinking of joining the ranks and plan on purchasing another property too, depending on your individual circumstances you may find it tricky to secure a mortgage on a second property. You’ll also need to consider whether you have the time to deal with the day-to-day aspects of being a landlord or will need to hire an agent. The NLA website has some great information for those who are considering becoming a landlord for the first time.
Make it into a holiday home
Short term letting can bring higher yields than long term lets and you may be able to offset the cost of improving the property or buying furniture if yourspend is in line with HMRC rules. With an increasing number of people seeking out alternatives to traditional hotels and B&Bs when they travel, your property needn’t be in a rural setting to consider letting it out as a holiday property.
That said, as the market has opened up considerably in recent years, you may want to consider ways to make yours stand out from the crowds. Holidaymakers will often search for particular features when looking for somewhere to stay for example, filtering their search to seek out dog friendly areas or homes with hot tubs. While it may seem like an expensive addition, fitting a hot tub in your home or in an outdoor patio area complete with easy access provided by bi-fold doors is the kind of change that will help give your home extra appeal. If you choose to offer your home for let through an agency they should be able offer suggestions of other improvements you can make to maximise your income long term.
Sell to a house buying company
If you’ve not had any serious bites with your home for sale on the open market and simply can’t afford to wait any longer, you could opt to hawk your home to one of the growing number of companies that specialise in buying properties across the UK, fast. For a ‘guaranteed sale’ you can expect to receive less than market value for your property and perhaps significantly so (some offer as little as 60 per cent of market value). If you head down this route, you’ll need to check the reputation of the company you are dealing with, ensure that any valuations and offers they provide are given for free so that you don’t incur costs simply by exploring the possibility. It’s also worth checking the paperwork carefully to ensure the sale is likely to go through as fast as you need it to.
Improve don’t move
Nobody takes the decision to move lightly but if your home isn’t stirring buyer’s interests right now it may be time to seriously consider a route around the problem. If you’re selling because your home doesn’t quite meet your needs and wants rather than relocating for a new job, improving rather than moving might be worth considering – even if it involves a serious project such as an extension. There may also be additional benefits should you choose to stay put – for example, being able to stick with a good fixed interest rate attached to your current mortgage.
Is improving rather than moving out of the question for you? Are you exhausted with the whole home selling process? Perhaps you’ve tried selling your home privately online through a virtual estate agent platform? If you have any hints, tips or horror stories please share them below. It’s always interesting to learn about the experiences of others and it’s possible that your story might help someone else in a similar situation.