FIRST TIME SELLER’S GUIDE- it is not just newbie buyers who need a helping hand- Nigel Harvey Seekers Director reveals how to make the most of your next move.
When should I put my house on the market?
Apart from the Christmas period there is no “bad” time to market your home but there are better times! Spring, Summer & Autumn will have your home looking its best. This is more important in the countryside than in the towns. In the town’s buyer demand tends to be consistent throughout the year.
Your home should be attracting viewings-or even be under offer- before you start putting in offers on a property. If you have not had an offer accepted on your home and you are selling on or below £300,000 then you are likely to be ditched in favour of a first- time buyer with no housing baggage.
How much is my property worth?
The main on- line portals offer free valuations based on sold prices in your neighbourhood. Many estate agents also have a tool on their web site also giving you a suggested price. Whilst this will put you in the ballpark, they are only an estimate. By far the best way to value your home is to invite an Estate Agent in, there should be no charge for this service. Be wary of instructing an agent who overvalues your property to get the instruction. Be realistic on price: the longer a home is on the market, the worse it looks for buyers who will start to think something is wrong with the property. Selling a house is time consuming, so choose an agent who will host the viewings, negotiate the price for you to get you the best deal. Avoid firms that charge extras for certain services such as viewings. Many of the on-line agents do charge extras. Traditional high street agents are unlikely to do so.
How much will it cost?
Traditional Estate Agents tend to charge between 1% & 2 % + vat (no sale no fee). To escape your current mortgage, you may have to pay a redemption fee usually somewhere between £50 & £300. Or you may be liable for an early repayment fee, which is a % of your outstanding mortgage debt. One way to avoid such charges is to port your mortgage over to the next property. This does restrict you in shopping around for the best deal. Obtaining a mortgage is more complicated than it used to be. Some lenders will only take around 60 % of overtime or commission into account. You are likely to have to pay stamp duty- check the HMRC website for the current thresholds. There are also legal fees so get quotes from solicitors as they do vary.
What should I do to prepare for viewings?
Now for the fun part: getting your house ready for visitors. You are preparing your home for viewing but equally importantly for photography. Most agents use professional photography to maximise impact. Decluttering is essential if you want prospective buyers to be able to imagine themselves in the space. So this needs you to be unsentimental and remove ironic holiday souvenirs! A good way to see your home through fresh eyes is to invite your least tactful friend over for tea to tell you what needs to go.
As with most things first and last impressions count. Weed the garden, maybe paint the front door and garden gate . Give your property kerb appeal. One your home is a sight to behold, it is time to assault your buyers senses. Maybe invest in oil diffuser's or candles- or splash out on a designer room display. After the viewing ensure your agent provides feedback on how the viewing went.
When should I accept an offer?
Negotiations often come down to circumstance: how desperate are you to move quickly? Is your buyer chain-free ?Are house prices boyant or sliding? An agents’ job is to get their client the best possible price. Don’t leave it to chance. Make sure you instruct a good local agent, read on line reviews and tell the agent exactly what you want to get out of the sale. I attach Seekers 25 point plan to get you the best price for your property.