Guide to Selling your Property
The mere idea of selling your home can be enough to put you off. Getting it ready every time there is a viewing and having to pack up the entire house can be a daunting prospect. Even worse if it coupled with looking for another property to buy at the same time.
The decisions you make during this process could save you or cost you thousands.
1. Should you sell at all?
- Do you need more space?
- have you considered building an extension, converting the attic, or digging out the basement?
- The costs of moving should take into account all costs particularly legal fees and stamp duty. It might even save money to expand your existing home
- How’s the market
- house prices might affect the decision to sell? If prices are rising rapidly, you may not be able to afford a place much bigger than the one you are already in
- or your house may be in negative equity which means your borrowing capacity is lower than you think.
- What is Your Borrowing Capacity? Can you afford to sell and replace what you have?
- Are you considering selling as a result of a separation or divorce
- Is it better to buy out or be bought out and are you prepared for market values to improve if you’re after being bought out?
- Depending upon your circumstances, you might be better off renting your home out rather than selling
- You might never again have the opportunity to own an investment property so cheap.
2. Figure out your finances
- You should contact your mortgage provider that you are planning to sell your home and get a rough idea of the cost of clearing your Loan.
- You need to find out if there are any early redemption penalties due to fixed rates of mortgage type.
- With a rough idea of how much your house is worth, then you can calculate how much money you will be left with after you have paid off the mortgage. Remember valuations are not an exact science and will depend on the market on the day.
- If you are also buying a new home, you should obviously consider what size mortgage you will need for that. You should get an idea from mortgage lenders how much they would be willing to offer you.
- Figures will be approximate only as you don’t know how much you will sell your house for and you will only get a precise redemption figure for your mortgage once you have an agreed completion date when you have exchange contracts.
- Plan every step to avoid being held up and include your Solicitor in your plans. They have done
this sort of thing before.
3. Decide if you should also look for somewhere to buy or rent
- Renting for a while will increase the overall expense, but will allow you to close and move out of your Home without the critical time pressures of buying a new home to move simultaneously.
- You won’t have to compromise the sale of your home for a low price because you have found the home of your dreams. Sell fist gives you a budget you can work with.
- You will not be rushed into buying a less-than-perfect new home because you have found a buyer for your current home
- You will break out of the housing chain which means you will be a more attractive buyer.
4. Decide who will sell the property
- You can sell your home yourself, use a traditional estate agent or an online estate agent
If you use a local estate agent, you will need to do some research into which one to choose.
- Compare local estate agents based on how quickly they sell, how close they come to achieving asking price and how successful they are
- You will also need to decide whether to use a sole agent or multiple agents.
- If you have time and are organised, patient and willing to work hard, then axing the estate agent and selling your home yourself can save you money. But it’s not for the fainthearted – or inexperienced. Buyers sometimes feel uncomfortable talking about the house they are viewing with the owner as they don’t want conflict or to insult. As such you may get a false impression on the interest
5. Decide what price to sell it for
- The biggest and most difficult decisions is what price to put your home on the market for.
- What’s the Bottom Line??
- Do your research and get to know the local market inside out
- Get a number of estate agents to do valuations, but don’t necessarily go for the highest
- Remember that buyers will probably try to negotiate a discount and will have their homework done too.
6. Prepare your home
- If you “stage” your home well, you are not only more likely to sell your home faster, but you might make it more valuable too
- Tidy up, and get rid of excess clutter; give it a fresh lick of light coloured paint; fix those little snagging things and vitally “keep it clean”
- Light a fire; bake bread; put up a mirror; get rid of bad odours, the first 30 seconds arriving at the property are critical.
- You don’t get a second chance to make a Good First Impression
7. Hire a solicitor or conveyancer
- You need to choose a solicitor to handle the legal work to transfer ownership of the property to
- You should decide which firm you want to use before you agree the sale of your house. You can obviously only instruct them after you have agreed an offer
- Get an overview of how much conveyancing costs.
- By all means get a quote from the conveyancing firm recommended by your estate agent, but compare it with other quotes
8. Fill out the relevant questionnaires
- You will have a variety of forms and questionnaires to fill out, to give the buyer all the information
about the property, and about the sale.
9. Accept an offer
- When You’ve received an offer. The estate agent is legally required to pass all offers on to you, however ridiculous
- If you are not happy with it, you can either reject it outright, wait to see if a better offer comes along or tell the estate agent to try to negotiate it upwards
- Once you are happy with an offer, you need to formally accept it. You should then instruct the
estate agent to take the property off the market
- Remember that accepting an offer is not legally binding, and you can legally change your mind or accept a higher offer later (gazumping) – but remember, this can be pretty distressing to the buyer.
- If your word is your Bond stick to it, you’re regularly better off.
10. Negotiate the draft contract
You and the buyer will have to decide:
- The length of time between exchange and completion
- What fixtures and fittings will be included – and how much will they pay for them
- Any discounts due to problems flagged up by the survey
11. Exchange contracts
- When you exchange contracts with the buyer you become legally committed to selling the property – and they are legally committed to buying it from you
- If you pull out after this without due reason, the buyer’s deposit will be returned to them and you may be sued
12. Move out
- You can move out whenever you like, even up until the day of completion (although clearly, you need somewhere to move to)
- It is less stressful to move out beforehand, if that is possible
- At the time of completion, the property has to be in the condition agreed in the contract – including all the fixtures and fittings
- The buyer and estate agent may come round between your moving out and completion to ensure that everything is in place
13. Complete the sale
- Completion is when the property changes ownership, you accept payment, and hand over the keys
- It takes place on a previously agreed date and usually at midday
- On the day of completion, the money is transferred and any deeds for the property are transferred between each side’s solicitor or conveyancer
- Your solicitor will register the transfer of ownership with the Land Registry
14. Pay off the mortgage
- The mortgage company will have given you and your solicitor a precise redemption figure (outstanding amount) for your mortgage for the day of completion
- Now the buyer has transferred the money to your solicitor, they will pay off the mortgage for you
15. Settle up with the solicitor and estate agent
- After completion, your solicitor will send you an account, covering all their costs and disbursements, as well as the sale price of the house and redemption of the mortgage
- If you are buying and selling at the same time, the solicitor can settle up for both transactions at the same time, including paying stamp duty for the house you are buying
- Your solicitor will ensure that the change of ownership is registered with the Land Registry