To optimise the price you sell your house for, avoid being labelled a “distressed house seller”. Even if you are under huge pressure to sell your home quickly, for whatever reason.

The housing market is no place for an unconfident person. It may sound callous, but everyone, apart from you, approaches the sale of your house as a cold business transaction. Do not be under the illusion that the residential market is a nice and cosy place where everyone has your best interests at heart.

Your buyer

Buyers are looking to pay the least amount of their money that they can get away with. They have no emotional attachment to your home yet. Negotiations are a means for them to reduce the price of the property below market value if they can. You are not a charity case and they do not want to give you more than they absolutely have to.

Your estate agent

Your estate agent is supposed to be working for you. In reality, they will sell your house for whatever they can persuade you to sell if for. They, are, after all, sales people. They get a hard time, but most are incredibly hard working. It helps to understand their perspective. If they are on 1% fee, and your house is sold for £1m, they gain £10,000 that they didn’t have before and you get £1m. But if they sell it for £900k, they’ve gained £9,000. That’s a difference of £1,000 to them but to you it’s a “loss” of £100,000. It’s better for them to sell it for less quickly than to hang on for a better offer. And they will persuade you to accept the lower price. Stating market conditions, the covid pandemic, Brexit, and anything else they can come up with. They are human and they have targets to meet.

You will not optimise the price you sell your house for if you are labelled a distressed seller.

So, what are the signs and how do you avoid being labelled a “distressed house seller”?


Whether you’re selling due a marriage breakdown, to downsize or because someone has to move into care and this needs paying for. It is not necessary to tell your estate agent the whole truth. That doesn’t mean lie. It means that whilst you are keen to sell, you need to be very clear that you are not selling at “any price”.

Don’t mention divorce

Buying from a divorcing couple can put some buyers off. This can be due to the chain now doubling as you both have to find places to move to, or because of the potential issues arising from one side making things as difficult as possible for the sale. And this happens more than you’d like to think. Reassure potential buyers that you’re minimising the risk as much as possible by moving into rented or with family and that you are both in agreement for moving forward. And get some truth behind it.

Changing estate agents or having Joint agents

Choose your estate agent carefully and get it right first time round. Switching agents is a sign that the buyer is anxious to sell. If you’re selling through two or more agents, this is a clear sign that you want to sell quickly.

Out of date marketing

If your property that has been on the market for a while, don’t panic. However, out of date photos (Winter and it’s now Summer) increases the likelihood that a potential buyer will think a bargain is in the offing. It might involve a bit more expense and time for the estate agent, but having a relaunch with new photos breathes life back into the sale.

Scruffy or un-loved house

Preparing your house for sale is the first step we always recommend – tidying the garden, optimising kerb appeal, decluttering inside, etc. If your house is scruffy, or looks like half empty because of a divorce, it will not give off good vibes. You want prospective buyers to fall in love with your home so that they do have an emotional attachment when it comes to the negotiation.

Employ your own property expert

Whether selling your house for the first time in 50 years, or just moving on, employ a professional third party. It gives you strength. With them, you can discuss which estate agent to use. They can help you prepare the house for sale. They can coach you in tactics for pricing and support you through the negotiations. This can save you thousands of pounds and much angst. They are only on your side and only have your best intentions at heart.

Take control and do everything you can to give yourself the confidence to have the upper hand in the negotiations. To optimise the price you sell your house for, avoid being labelled a “distressed house seller”.

If you would like a chat about how the Homemover Specialist could help you avoid being a “distressed seller” and save you time and stress with your move, contact us on 01483 255895 or book a free 30-minute chat here. For more top tips and latest news from this new budding sector make sure you follow our Facebook  Twitter and Instagram pages.

Photo by Doug Tunison on Unsplash