Everything You Need to Know About Selling Your House
We’ve put together a guide to help you sell your home. This can be a challenging experience because you’ll have to learn how to market and sell your home, and even more.
Our guide will walk you through the steps you need to take in order to get your home ready to sell.
1). Start by Getting Finances in Order
The very first step to selling your home is figuring out your finances. Can you really afford to sell and move? Let’s find out.
It’s a good idea to star with your current mortgage. If you’re within the current mortgage term, then you’ll need to see if there will be early repayment charges for getting out early, or fees to “port” your mortgage to the new property.
In addition, it will be necessary to see how much you’re able to borrow if moving to a more expensive property. Another thing to consider is the lender—who will give you the best deal?
2). Stage Your Home
What does it mean to “stage your home?” This means making sure your home looks great. Now’s the time to start cleaning and getting rid of all clutter – both indoors and outdoors. Why? Because this helps prospective buyers to imagine how they will decorate and use the property.
We’re also going for curb appeal, which means you’ll need to keep the lawn mowed, weed the garden and flowerbeds, clean windows and make any repairs to help your home look better.
If you’re considering some home improvements before putting the house on the market, it’s a good idea to check with an estate agent. They can help determine if the expense of the work is worth the price.
For homes that could have major issue, then it’s a good idea to have a house survey done. This will provide you with confirmation from an independent source on how bad the problems are, how much it would cost to repair any issues, and more.
All of this information can help make the right decision on whether or not to do any home improvements or pass on the costs to a buyer. In that case, you’ll need to lower the asking price for your home.
3). Have Your Home Valued
Next, it’s time to do some research to determine the value of your home, as this information will help you set the right asking price. The asking price needs to be correct. If it’s too high, you won’t have anyone interested in the property. And if the asking price is too low, you could lose out by selling for less than your property’s worth.
You’ll need to research the selling prices in your local area by checking recent sales. Here, it’s best to get three estate agents to offer you a round value on the home.
It will be necessary to find estate agents who have sold similar properties to yours in the same area. When they get back to you with the pricing information, ask them why they believe your home is worth the amount they’ve given you. And be sure to ask for examples of how much other properties, similar to yours, have sold for in the last few months.
4). Set the Asking Price
Even though you’ve received advice on the pricing, you can set the asking price for whatever you’d like. However, if the three estate agents have provided figures that are close to yours, then you can rest assured their suggestions are correct and that your asking price is reasonable.
Watch out for estate agents that may overvalue your property. This is a method some agents used to gain business. However, avoid these estate agents, as their asking price will be too high, and your property will sit for sale for a very long time.
5). Sell Your Home a Different Way
While you’ve received home valuations your chosen estate agents, you can choose to sell your home another way. You can choose to go with:
- Online estate agents
- High-street estate agents
- Property auction
- Sell your home privately
Once you’ve decided to use an estate agent to sell your home, it’s always a good idea to make a fee comparison and negotiate for a better deal, including the tie-in and notice periods, too.
When everything is decided, the estate agent will create the contract that you’ll need to sign. The contract stipulates the terms by which they’ll be selling your home. This is known as “instructing.”
6). Preparing the Marketing Materials
Now you’re ready for the next step, which is the preparation of your home’s marketing materials. The estate agent will more than likely send out a photographer to take photos of your home.
Now’s the time to ensure your home is clean, clutters has been cleared away, toilet lids are closed, and more. Your home needs to look its best, which means it may take a lot of work to get everything ready. The outside of your home will also need to have a cleaned up yard, flowerbeds, and more.
The estate agent will also have a floorplan created for your home and create a description to go with their listing. It’s a good idea for you to review this before it’s published. Then you can see if anything is missing, or if any of the information is incorrect.
When everything is finished with the marketing materials, your estate agent will then list your home online.
7). Paperwork: Get It in Order
It’s important to have your paperwork in good order, as this will make the selling process that much faster. You’ll need the following documents:
- Property deeds
- Property details & floorplan from when you bought the house
- Energy performance certificate (if the property was bought less than 10 years ago)
- Building regulation certificates
- Planning permission certificates
- Electrical certificates
- Recent utility bills
- Buildings insurance policy
- Contents insurance policy
- Mortgage roll/account number
- Lease (if the property is a leasehold)
- Builder’s warranty (if the property is under 10 years old)
Will you be showing the house yourself? Then it’s a good idea to consider how you’ll do it. For instance, which rooms will you show? Are there features that prospective buyers might want to know about? It can be helpful to do a rehearsal before the actual viewing. Maybe a friend or a family member can give you advice on how you did and what could be done better.
On the other hand, if you go with a high-street agent, then they’ll conduct the viewings for you. They’re professionals who know how to show a home, and make sure buyers see your home in a very positive way. For this type of viewing, it’s best to be out of the home.
9). Hire the Services of a Solicitor or a Conveyancer
Now you’re ready to hire a solicitor or a conveyancer; this is the person who takes care of the legal process of transferring ownership of the property from you to the buyer.
It’s a good idea to have a person selected before you accept an offer. The reason is that this will help speed up the process.
10). What to Do If Your Home’s Not Selling
This can be difficult and frustrating, but it happens. If your home’s not selling, it’s time to consider why your home’s been on the market for so long, and why it’s not selling.
Issues could be with the estate agent, you may need to lower the price, or perhaps the photos in the marketing materials don’t present your home to the best vantage. Take time to find out what’s causing the problem, and then fix it.
11). Taking Offers
This can be an exciting time. When offers come in, the estate agent should let you know as soon as possible. If there are several offers to consider, then it’s a good idea to do some research about each buyer’s situation. For instance, consider who may be likely to pull out, or who might be the buyer that really comes through.
12). Accept an Offer
When you have a serious offer on the table, it’s time to either accept the offer or negotiate the price. Buyers tend to offer less than the asking price, hoping for a better deal. You’ll need to carefully consider if the offer is worth negotiating or not. It can feel as if this is a type of gambling game, but hold out for the price you want, as long as it’s realistic.
13). Time to House Hunt
You’ve got a serious offer! Now you’re ready to get busy house-hunting.
14). Keep the Process Going Forward
Now is the time to make sure the buyer knows exactly what is included in the price. This includes the fixture, fittings, and more. Then you’ll need to take a look at possible dates for exchange and completion, as this will help to avoid issues later. You may even want to consider drawing up an agreement of plans with the buyer. It’s not legally binding but may make it less likely for a delay or for the buyer to pull out.
During this time, communication is essential. And make sure you understand everything about the sale of your home or ask the estate agent to make sure you understand everything.
15). Exchange & Complete
Job well done! Now you’re ready to exchange contracts. This is the time when the buyer will make a deposit and the deal becomes legally binding. If you’re purchasing another home, now is the time to make sure you have buildings insurance in place—from the date of the exchange and complete.
Once the day you complete has come, it’s time to move all your belongings out and leave the key with the estate agent.
This is also the best time to complete the purchase of your new home, as you’ll be able to move everything in, without having to worry about storage.
We hope this guide gives you an overview of the selling process. If you have any questions, be sure to reach out to us—we’re looking forward to talking with you.
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