Are you thinking of selling your property but don’t know where to start? We have put together a simple guide to all of the steps involved with some useful tips along the way…
Start selling before you buy
Too many people find their dream home and then decide to put their home on the market. Most sellers will only accept an offer if the buyers are in a strong position to sell and either having nothing to sell or already have an offer agreed on their property, by the time you have found a seller your dream could have already sold.
Get your finances in order
Do you have an outstanding mortgage? Is your mortgage portable, meaning can you move your mortgage to another property? If not, what are the redemption fees? Get your house valued to find out what your budget is.
You will also need to consider stamp duty, estate agent and solicitor fees when selling your home.
Get your property valued
Have a rough price in mind for what you would like to achieve and get a few valuations from different estate agents -don’t just go with the agent with the highest valuation price, everyone wants the most for their home but marketing your property too high could put potential buyers off coming through the door.
Find a trusted agent
You can sell your property yourself, use a traditional estate agent or an online estate agent.
There are pros and cons to both but always make sure you read the small print; some traditional agents can tie you in for a length of time and some online agents may seem like a cheaper option but have a lot of hidden costs and can end up very costly.
Use your valuations to find an agent you can trust, you should be able to gage from how well you get on with the agent, whether they know their stuff and the outcome from the valuation- some agents may tell you what you want to hear rather than be open and realistic, remember honesty is the best policy.
Have a look at their marketing pack, make sure the agent’s use the main property portals to advertise their proprieties such as Zoopla, Rightmove and On the Market, buyers will generally search for properties on these rather than going straight to the agent’s webpage.
Don’t forget to read up on their reviews, hearing from other experiences can help you decide who you would like to sell your home.
Prepare your home
We all love our homes and interiors but remember everyone’s tastes are different, start looking at your home through your potential buyer’s eyes…
Remember first impressions count- curb appeal is just as important as the interior for some buyers. Stand back and look back at your property, what do you notice? Rake any fallen leaves, mow the lawn, sweep the paths and drive, clean the windows, add some flowers, these are all simple things which can make your home look more desirable to others. Equally look at first impressions once you’re in your home, buyers take note of if there’s anywhere to hang your coats and store your shoes and can find it off-putting walking into a cluttered hallway.
Declutter- having too much furniture or too many decorative items out on display can make your rooms look smaller and can put those buyers off who struggle to visualise past it, keep it simple and remember you’re only storing your things away until you move into your new home.
Refresh interior -redecorating may not put much value on the home but can help sell it faster and give the buyer a blank canvass to help them visualise their home in yours. Just remember putting new kitchen and bathrooms in may make your property look more attractive but these are down to personal taste so some buyers may prefer to do that themselves.
Choose a solicitor
Choosing a solicitor can be a hard decision. Price always plays a big part but selling your property can be very stressful so sometimes it’s not about who’s the cheapest but who’s the most efficient and easiest to communicate with. We’ve had some seller’s use solicitors who are at the other side of the country and getting hold of them can be tricky, using a local solicitor where you can walk into to ask questions and get advice can be priceless.
Ask friends and family who they have used and see who your estate agent would recommend, they don’t get commission for recommending so will give you an honest opinion of their experience they have had with them.
Accept an offer
Congratulations you’ve had an offer. An estate agent is legally obliged to give you all offers that they receive, even the ridiculous ones, but remember it is always going to be your choice where you go from there…
You can reject the offer, ask the agent to negotiate until you are happy with a price or accept the offer.
Once you have formally accepted the offer, you should instruct the agent to take your property off the market and inform your solicitor to proceed with the sale process.
Negotiate the draft contract
There are a few things which will need to be agreed between you and the seller;
You can offer some of the fixtures and fittings to your buyers, they can be anything from curtains and poles to mirrors. They can either be included in the price or sold to them at an agreed cost.
If your buyer choses to get surveys done on the property and issues are flagged, they may ask for a reduction off the sale price to contribute to any works that may need to be completed.
Exchange and completion dates for the sale will need to be agreed by both parties.
Once you exchange contracts, both you and the buyer are legally committed to selling and buying the property. If you do pull out for any reason, the buyer’s deposit will be returned to them and you may be sued and likewise if the buyer pulls out they will lose their deposit and may be sued.
When selling your property you are responsible for looking after it until the sale has been completed so you should ensure that you have buildings and contents insurance cover until then.
You can move out whenever you like up until the sale completes and keys are exchanged. Completion generally happens after Midday so for a less stressful move it is always better to be as prepared as possible and have the house as clear as possible the day before completing.
Pay the mortgage
The mortgage company will have given you and your solicitor your redemption fee amount for your mortgage which needs to be paid the day of completion. As soon as the buyer’s solicitor has transferred their money to your solicitor, your solicitor will pay off the mortgage for you.
Pay solicitor fees
When your sale has completed your solicitor will send you a description of all for their costs and disbursements, with he sale price of your property and redemption of the mortgage if there is one.
If you are buying and selling at the same time the solicitor will more than likely settle up for both transactions at the same time, including paying stamp duty for the house are buying.
Your solicitor will ensure that the ownership of the property will be updated on the land registry.
Considering selling your home? If you would like more advice or a no obligation valuation, pop into our office for a chat or call us on 01763 259888.
Abode T. C.