Especially when you’re looking to move into your new dream home as soon as possible, the thought of selling your current house can seem like a terrifying, expensive and never-ending process. Therefore, we’ve created this extensive, useful and beneficial guide to help you sell your home that will save you money, time and stress.
First Things First: Should You Sell?
Selling might seem like the obvious choice dependent on your circumstance, but it’s always wise to consider other options. For example, if you’re selling because you need more space, could an extension or loft conversion be a cheaper alternative? Or if you’re in negative equity, could it be worth staying put to pay off that mortgage first, so that you don’t take additional expenses with you to your new place? Talk about your options with a trusted solicitor or accountant who can go through your finances with you.
Finances When Selling Your Home
If you do decide to sell, you will need to do the following:
- Tell your mortgage lender that you plan to sell your home and find out if there are any redemption penalties on your current mortgage.
- Determine how much your house is worth and how much you’ll be left with after you’ve paid off your mortgage.
- If you’re also buying a new home, you should work out what size mortgage you’ll need for that.
In the early stages of selling your home, these figures will be guess-work as your house may sell for more or less than you expect. However, it’s wise to have a plan to base further decisions on, such as how much you’ll spend on redecorating your current house to increase its value.
Who Will Sell Your House?
It’ll then be time to get your property on the market. You can sell your home through a high street estate agents, online estate agents or through private selling. Each option has its pros and cons:
Online Estate Agents:
- Can be a cheaper option, but an upfront cost is usually required.
- Price may not include viewings.
- The agent may not be local to your area, therefore lacking that knowledge.
High Street Estate Agents:
- Price you pay covers everything, including advertisement, viewings and dealing with potential buyers.
- Local knowledge so can help you determine a reasonable selling price.
- You have an agent in control of the whole process, who can guide and ease it.
- You can’t advertise on websites such as Rightmove or Zoopla so you’ll need to promote the property yourself.
- You’ll have to host your own viewings, so you’ll need to ensure you know your house back to front. A home survey is a good idea for any queries potential buyers may have.
If you decide to go with an estate agents, research and compare a couple based on price, how quickly they sell, how close they get to the asking price and their success rate.
Using multiple agents can also give your house a wider reach, increasing your chances of selling.
Determining The Price When Selling Your Home
Price your house too high and you may never sell it. Price it too low and you’ll lose out. To determine a fair price, you should:
- Research into the local market to see how much similar houses are selling for.
- Ask at least three estate agents to carry out valuations and find a middle ground.
- Factor in that buyers will want to negotiate the price, so add 5-10% to the price you decide.
- If you want to sell the house quickly, consider dropping the asking price to 90% of its market value.
Preparing The Home
Preparing your home is imperative to success, not only for advertising purposes, but for the staging (visits) phase.
There are many things you can do, such as:
- Declutter, tidy and clean all rooms.
- Repaint your walls in a neutral colour to make your home seem brighter and bigger.
- Fix any minor repairs, such as broken handles, cracked tiles, torn carpets or holes in walls. Refacing your kitchen cabinets is also recommended.
- Clean windows (inside and out) and put up mirrors to make the house seem lighter.
- Make the garden presentable, by mowing the lawn, planting flowers, cleaning patio furniture and cutting bushes back.
- If it’s cold and your house allows, consider lighting a fire with pinecones or incense for an inviting smell.
Improve kerb appeal too:
- Make the front lawn look pretty: plant flowers, mow the lawn and dig up weeds.
- Paint your front door.
- If you leave your car in the driveway, wash it.
An estate agent can help with viewings, whether that’s by answering difficult questions, knowing which rooms to highlight or bringing in their varied knowledge of the area.
Staging your home well will mean you’ll sell your home faster and potentially increase its value too.
You should also hire a conveyancer at this point, as they will deal with the legality of transferring property ownership, create the ‘Contract of Sale’ and be able to offer you any legal advice should you run into issues further down the line.
Forms and Questionnaires When Selling Your Home
Your conveyancer or solicitor will give you property and sale documents to fill out.
These will include:
- The (TA 6): Includes information on boundaries, disputes, any developments, council tax, utilities and insurance.
- The (TA 10): Details the fittings and fixtures to be included with the house.
- The (TA 13): Specifies when you’ll give the buyers the keys and how and when you’ll complete the sale for example.
Accepting An Offer
You don’t need to accept the first offer that comes along, especially if you believe it’s far below your asking price. You can try and negotiate a better price, reject it or wait to see if another, better offer comes along.
When you’ve accepted a price, your estate agent (if you’re using one) will take the property off the market. Nothing is legally binding until contracts are signed however. You could later accept a better offer, or the buyer could withdraw theirs.
A draft contract is firstly drawn and this will include details of:
- Time between exchange and completion.
- The fixtures and fittings that will be included.
- Any potential discounts due to issues the survey found.
When you exchange contracts, you are legally obliged to sell your house, and if you pull out, you may be sued.
Moving Out and Moving On
Up until the day of completion, you can move out whenever you like. It’s advised you move out beforehand though, so that you have time to pack up.
Don’t forget to:
- Redirect your post to a post office or new address.
- Tell banks, employers, the local council and communication providers that you’re moving.
- Check that alarms, gas, electricity, heating and water are in working order.
- Insure your possessions if you hire a removal van.
The sale is complete when the property changes ownership, you give the buyer the keys and money and the deeds are transferred. Your conveyancer or solicitor will also register this transfer with the Land Registry.
Costs To Not Forget:
- Agency Fees (Usually a percentage fee that is negotiated with your appointed selling agent, typically between 1% and 2%).
- Conveyancing Fees (£500-£1500).
- Energy Performance Certificate (£35-£120).
- Removals (dependent on size of vans, distance between locations, who packs and the time of the year).
Thinking of selling your home? Jon Simon Estate Agents can help. We are an award-winning estate agents with expansive knowledge of Greenmount, Ramsbottom, Radcliffe and Burnley. For more information on how we can help you, please call us today for a no obligation chat on the following numbers:
Radcliffe: 0161 723 1155
Burnley: 01282 427 445
Greenmount: 01204 882233
Ramsbottom: 01706 48 9966