Preparing to sell your home this Spring
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
British springtime is coming, and it couldn’t come a moment sooner! As the weather starts to warm, we shrug off that winter fog and start to turn our attentions to what we want to achieve this year.
If moving home is on the agenda this year, then here are our top tips to help you make it a success.
This is probably the best, but least advised tip you’ll get. Remember, estate-agents will say whatever they can (within reason) to win your business. This means they will probably be overly ‘gushy’ about your property, rather than point out any potential flaws.
Buyers are notoriously fickle, if your property is packed to the rafters then it could get in the way of them imagining how they would live in your home. If you’re serious about moving, you may want to consider renting some additional space to temporarily store items which disrupt the flow of the home. Treadmill in the living room, we are looking at you.
Touch up your paintwork
You know all those jobs you’ve been putting off? Well, it’s time to get them done. You don’t need to go overboard here – we don’t mean completely repainting your home. Simply touching up the wear and tear so that your viewers focus isn’t pulled away from the property itself is enough. Take a viewing through your own home, imagine you are a prospective purchaser yourself and note down anything which immediately stands out.
Curb appeal is real
First impressions are very important! Step outside your property and make sure there isn’t anything off-putting. Have you weeded your front garden and jet-washed the driveway? It’s the tiny noticeable things which will all work together to have a big impact. Wheelie bin storage and a clear path to the property are important things to consider.
Get your garden in order
Like your painting, you don’t need to go overboard. However, since the pandemic, outdoor space is creeping higher and higher on buyers lists of must haves. Spend some time clearing your garden from weeds, clutter and old or damaged furniture. Consider where the sun hits the garden and help paint a picture of how the garden can be used.
Make necessary repairs
Like your paintwork, get those small snags fixed. Something as small as a broken door handle or a kitchen cabinet could be enough to put off a prospective buyer. Sounds ridiculous in the grand scheme of things but many of these ‘small’ factors will contribute to how the viewers feels about the property when they are reflecting on it later.
Once you are happy with how your property is presented, it’s time to contact some estate agents. Most homeowners opt for 3 different valuations. That would be our advice!
These days there are more than one type of estate agent. In most towns you’ll have the following:
- Self- Employed Agent
- Corporate Estate Agent
- Online Estate Agent
- Local Estate Agent
Self – Employed Agents
Self-Employed agents are on the rise. They will usually be supported by a larger umbrella company but generally work to their own schedule. They will typically only be paid commission (no basic salary). This could mean that they are more motivated to sell your property, but you should judge this for yourself.
Corporate Estate Agents work for larger and sometimes national companies. Corporate estate agents tend to have multiple offices and will use their network of branches to help match buyers to sellers up and down the country. Bigger doesn’t always mean better, so make sure they understand your local market well before choosing them.
Online Estate Agents
Online agents exist to challenge the current model of Estate Agency. Rather than paying your fee once you’ve exchanged contracts, online agents generally charge their fee at the beginning of the process. Some believe that this will make the agent less motivated to sell your home as you’ve already paid them – just something to keep in mind when you speak to them.
Well established local companies and corporate agents will usually be fighting for the top spot in your town. At least, in terms of number of houses sold. Local agents will tend to have only the one office. Although, some of the more successful ones may have opened more in neighbouring towns.
Who should you choose?
First off, do your research. Choosing the right agent is important as they will be dealing with the final negotiations for your sale. Calling the agents first and posing as a buyer is a great way to gauge how they will deal with potential viewers for your home.
Focus on your outcome
Try to keep your ‘net figure’ in mind. By this, we mean to consider how much you’ll have left once you’ve paid their fees.
Valuation – £250,000
Fee – £2,500
Net – £247,500
Valuation – £265,000
Fee – £3,500
Net – £261,500
As the above example shows, Agent B who quoted £3,500 may have seen like the more expensive choice, but if they achieve their valuation then you will end up with more money than you could have by choosing Agent A.
Just because an agent values your property higher than others, it doesn’t mean that they’ll achieve that price.
When receiving valuations that are vastly different, it is vital that you ask to see how they’ve arrived at their figures. If an agent is telling you they can get £25,000 more than their competitors, ask them to give you examples of similar properties that they’ve achieved this on. If they are plucking a figure out of thin air, it could prove to be a costly mistake which will only see you reducing the market price further down the line.
Prepare your finances
- How much can you afford to pay for your new home?
- What will your monthly repayments look like?
- How can you afford to sell your home for?
- Is there anything which will stop you from moving?
It is crucial that you ask these questions before you decide to put your property on the market. Otherwise, you could be putting your time and energy into something which isn’t going to work out. This will help to reduce the stress caused by moving home as you’ll be in a position where you know what to expect and how flexible you can be financially.
How can you prepare financially?
It’s a good idea to have a conversation with a broker beforehand as they’ll be able to give you the heads up on any additional documents which you may require. Doing this before putting your house on the market will reduce the chance of a last-minute document request from a lender which could postpone, or worse, collapse your sale.
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