Selling Your Property
Deciding to sell your property is never a quick or easy decision. There is so much to think about, from picking the right time to sell, what condition your house is in, and how to choose the right estate agent etc.
In this article I aim to take you through the process of selling your property, and hopefully make it a little easier to understand.
In the Beginning
When selling your property there is a starting point. That starting point is research. This normally includes why you want to sell, where you want to move to. Is it financially viable? and I am sure there are a whole host of other reasons that are too numerous to mention. Let’s break a couple of them down.
Location - where you want to move to. This is extremely important, as value of property varies from one location to the next, in some areas it can change from street to street. If you are looking at a different area to where you live now, it might be that the value of property is a lot higher than where you currently live. In this case you would need to make sure you have enough funds if selling your property isn’t enough.
That leads nicely onto is it financially viable? Can you afford to move, how much are you able to borrow and will it be enough to buy you what you require. Could selling your property put you into financial trouble? A good mortgage advisor is a definite must. They will have access to all the lenders and will be able to tell you if and how much you are able to borrow, or if they think you should wait.
If the answer to all the above is yes, you need to think about the condition of your current home. Does it need updating, if so, is the work purely cosmetic – i.e.: touching up paint here and there, or is it need of a complete overhaul such as a new kitchen etc. Most agents will advise against spending money on your house in order to sell it. Unfortunately, you rarely get your money back, and whatever you do may be in vain, as the new owner might not like it and want to start again. I always suggest asking a friend or family member for an impartial opinion. It can be very hard to be truly honest about something so personal, this will help you understand where an estate agent is come from when valuing your property.
You have done your initial research and decided you want to go ahead with selling your property. At this point you will need to appoint an estate agent. I would always recommend getting 3 valuations. When choosing the agent, it shouldn’t be just based on value or the fee. The most important criteria in my opinion is the relationship you will have with that agent. You need to go with one that you trust, feel comfortable talking to, and are confident they have you best interests at the heart of everything they do. I genuinely believe you will know who the right agent is for you as soon as you meet them.
Once an agent has been instructed it is all about the marketing when it comes to selling your property. first impressions are extremely important. Whilst the majority of people think the first impression is when they arrive at a property, in reality it is the images that go on Rightmove etc that are the true first impression. It might be that you need to have a bit of tidy up or maybe a declutter before any photos are taken. What you don’t want is for viewers to see baskets of washing lying around, or dishes in the sink waiting to be cleaned. All these things could put a potential buyer off booking an actual viewing.
On the market.
Once you are happy with the images and description of your home, you are good to go. It is now down to the estate agent to sell your property. 99% of agents will offer accompanied viewings, and definitely something you should agree to. They know exactly what to say, highlight etc. A good agent will then provide feedback from any viewings, which will help inform any future decisions that might need to be made when selling your property. It will also be up to the agent to negotiate the best possible price for you. Once an offer has been agreed, the estate agent shouldn’t take it off the market until they have seen proof of funds and are certain that the buyer can afford it. At the end of the day, your agent is there to look after you.
When it comes to selling your property accepting an offer is the point at which you need to instruct a good solicitor. Most agents have solicitors they can recommend, it will be the solicitors that progress the sale going forward. However, your estate agent should remain in touch, liaising with all parties and making sure everything is being done in a timely and efficient manner. They can also answer any questions or concerns you may have.
The final piece of selling your property is exchange and completion. Once you have exchanged contracts there is no going back. Neither party can pull out and you can relax in the knowledge that the end is in sight. All that remains is for the money to be transferred to yourself and your house is now sold. The estate agent can then release keys to the new owner. Completion can take place at the same time as exchange or at a later date, the main thing is to have a date that works for everyone.
As you can see there is a lot to think about when selling your property, however, a good estate agent and supportive family and friends should make the whole process as smooth as possible.
Till next time…