Tips For Selling Your Home
With so many things to think about, it can be hard to know where to start when you decide to sell your home. Here, we share some top tips for selling your home, from finding an estate agent and a conveyancer, to improving your home’s kerb appeal.
There is more to selling a property than simply putting it on the market. Picking the right estate agents to work with and showing your home in the best light are vital in ensuring you not only clinch a sale, but get the best possible price for your home too.
Read on for our top tips on selling your home.
How to find the right estate agent
There are many different aspects to consider when it comes to selecting an estate agent. Local expertise is an important factor and estate agents who specialise in a particular area may be best placed to know how much a property is likely to fetch, as well as what the demand is likely to be. They may even have a buyer in mind already when they see your property.
You’ll also want to consider how comprehensive the level of service is. Some estate agents will handle everything from start to finish – taking the photos of your property, putting together the listings and then leading each of the viewings. Other no-frills estate agents may leave you to conduct viewings or take the photos for the listing yourself.
And then there are the fees, which can vary significantly between agents. Some charge a flat fee, though generally you will be charged a percentage of the sum raised through the sale.
It’s worth remembering that you don’t actually have to make use of an estate agent at all. There are now a host of websites that allow you to sell your home yourself, and therefore avoid the fees that you would have to hand over to an estate agent.
Of course, selling in this way will inevitably involve a larger workload ‒ you’ll be responsible not only for putting together the listing for your property and taking photographs, but also handling all of the viewings and negotiating the eventual sales price.
If you use an estate agent, be clear if there are any contractual obligations to stay with that agent for a period of time and any fees associated with changing agents.
» MORE: Should I rent or buy a house?
How to get your home valued
You need to get a good idea of what your house is worth before you put it up for sale.
You can do some of this work yourself. The Land Registry keeps records of housing transactions, and it’s absolutely free to use. You can break down the results by all sorts of criteria to get a rough idea of what similar homes in your area have sold for.
This same information is also used by property portals, such as Zoopla and Rightmove, to give you an indication of what your home might be worth. However, this is only a guide.
Some people opt to get their homes valued by two or three different estate agents, taking an average of the valuations. If you only get your home valued by a single estate agent, there is a danger it could be over- or undervalued. By getting a few different valuations, you can calculate an average.
These valuations tend to be free ‒ estate agents view it as an opportunity to convince you to use them to sell your home.
» MORE: How a house valuation works
How to find a conveyancer
A conveyancer handles the legal side of a property transaction, so it’s important that you find a firm that you trust.
Conveyancers are property specialists, which means that they will be handling cases like yours on a regular basis and are best placed to spot any issues that might arise from the transaction.
You can find a conveyancer by using a comparison site that allows you to compare quotes from conveyancers in your area. Alternatively, it’s worth speaking to local friends and family to see if they have any recommendations. It’s a good idea to do your homework on what level of service you can expect from the conveyancer, as well as noting the likely cost.
If you are using a mortgage broker, they may point you in the direction of conveyancers they work with. It’s worth remembering that your broker will likely earn a commission from their referral, but this may be a more convenient option for you than finding one yourself and may be beneficial for the broker to have an established relationship with your conveyancer
Decluttering your home
Cutting the clutter in a property can help you sell it because it makes it easier for prospective buyers to visualise themselves in that home.
The aim of decluttering is to emphasise how much space there is in each room, so remove anything that doesn’t need to be there.
Ultimately, it’s up to you how far you want to go with this. Some people advocate removing all personal items ‒ pictures of the family and knick-knacks, for example – anything that is specific to you and the people you live with.
Improve the kerb appeal
Kerb appeal is essentially the first impression your home has on a would-be buyer. When they first lay eyes on the property, will it excite them or put them off before they have even stepped through the door?
There are plenty of things you can do to improve that kerb appeal, and therefore boost your chances of securing a sale. Ensure the windows and roof are in excellent condition, hide the bins, tidy the front garden and make sure any driveway is well maintained.
» MORE: Tips for improving kerb appeal
Image source: Getty Images
John Fitzsimons has been writing about finance since 2007. He is the former editor of Mortgage Solutions and loveMONEY and his work has appeared in The Sunday Times, The Mirror, The Sun and Forbes. Read more