Houses for Sale - How to Sell Your Home
So you have decided that the time is right to make a fresh start and sell your home. You’ve chosen where you would like to buy a house and may have even started looking at houses for sale. Now comes the tricky bit…selling YOUR home. It’s often said that buying and selling a home is one of the most stressful events in an individual’s life, but with a bit of planning and by following these steps you will help make the selling process as stress free as possible.
So here is our guide to selling your home.
Preparing your home
Before you invite the estate agents round you will want to get your home in the best condition possible, taking into account money and time restraints. If there are any little DIY jobs that you’ve been putting off then now is the time to get them done.
Think about the type of buyers you are looking to target. If you’re looking to attract families then you’ll want to present your home as a warm family environment. Have small family mementoes on display but clear away any unnecessary clutter. If you’re looking to appeal to young professionals who are more likely to want a home where they can entertain, then emphasise parts of the home that allow good social interaction.
The general rule of thumb when selling your home is to present it as a blank canvass. The chances that your potential buyers will have exactly the same décor tastes as you are unlikely, so you’ll want them to see your home as somewhere that they can put their own stamp on.
There are many websites that allow you to advertise your own house for sale. This can help cut out estate agents fees but will mean you’ll be solely responsible for arranging and conducting viewings, negotiating offers, liaising with solicitors and dealing with any issues that arise.
By enlisting the services of an estate agent you can rest assured that they are dealing with all the ins and outs of the selling process. They will also have a database of potential buyers whom they will canvass with details of your home to generate interest and potential viewings. They will also do all of the negotiating on your behalf in order to achieve the best price possible. Estate agency commission fees will usually be between 1% and 2% of the sale price and most agencies now offer a ‘no sale no fee’ arrangement.
Having your home in well presented condition when the estate agent comes round is always a good move. If the estate agent is feeling enthusiastic about selling your home then this will come across when they are speaking to potential buyers.
Check your estate agents notice period as well. If you become unhappy with their service you will need to know how much notice you’re required to give them before taking on another agency. Another option is to go joint agency which means hiring two estate agents to market your home. This will often add an extra half a percent to the commission fee but will increase market coverage as well as encourage the agencies to compete for the sale.
Negotiating an Offer
Everyone is familiar with the negotiating process, the seller goes in high, the buyer goes in low and usually they meet somewhere in the middle where both parties are happy. When considering an offer, take into account the amount you need to purchase your next home and don’t forget about the estate agents commission and stamp duty fees.
If the buyers offer is a little lower than you wanted and they’re unwilling to budge, then you can put other stipulations in place to help yourself. For example, you could accept their offer on the agreement that they exchange and complete by a date of your choosing.
Exchange & Completion
Once the sale has been agreed and solicitors have been instructed then all you have to do is sit back and let them work through the legal process. The solicitors will deal with any queries and will often enlist the help of your estate agent in conflict resolution. Eventually a date for exchange and completion will be set. You just have to read and sign the contract, transfer funds to your solicitor’s holding account (if there is a chain then this will often be transferred from the bottom buyer all the way up to the top) and wait for the call to tell you that the sale has completed. At this point you will be required to vacate the property to allow the new owners to move in. Arranging a removal company for the day of completion is advisable, this way as soon as you get the call from the solicitor you just have to lock up, drop your key in at the estate agent and move in to your new home.