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Complete Guide Selling Your House
You've decided to sell your house: congratulations! Whether it's to relocate for work, upgrade to a larger property or change your lifestyle, selling a house can be an exiting yet scary time for all homeowners. We help guide you through the process, from the legal considerations to dealing with stress in our complete guide to selling your house.
When To Sell
For some homeowners, it is not possible to choose when their houses get listed on the market as the decision to sell at a certain time is dictated by outside forces such as needing to move by a certain date to start a new job. If you have a choice to make about when to sell your home, use some property sale statistics to help you out. Most serious house buyers are looking in the period between Spring and Autumn, with little house sale transactions taking place in the winter months. It makes sense: who wants to see a new house on a dark, frosty day? Christmas and New Year are also major distractions in December and January, making house-buying a secondary concern. Placing your house on the market in March can give it plenty of exposure at the most optimum time of year. Think about important calendar dates such as the school holidays; if you house is family-friendly and in a popular school area, try and plan your sale to concur with the school summer holidays so families are able to visit with ease and move in before the new school year begins.
Should I Choose An Estate Agent?
The first major decision to make about selling your house is whether to list with estate agent or not. Selling with an agent is easier because they take care of some of the legal aspects for you, but financially speaking they will also drain your budget quickly. If you take the plunge and go it alone, there are many resources and guides online to help you along the way. Success stories from other solo home sellers can help spur you on and give you the encouragement you need to take control of selling your home. You must ensure you follow the necessary legal requirements when selling your home, such as obtaining an Energy Certificate to show prospective buyers how energy efficient your house is, or could be with a little work. When it is time to exchange contracts it is your responsibility as seller to provide the relevant paperwork and it will be necessary to consult with a property solicitor in order to avoid complications. Private house sales work best with high-demand or speciality properties that attract certain buyers who do not mind dealing with a private individual rather than an estate agent. Be careful to weigh up the pros and cons of private selling versus listing with an agent before making a decision.
Showcase Your Home
If you've ever watched a television programme about property sales such as Channel 4's popular series Location, Location, Location then you'll have spotted that houses for sale tend to be neat, tidy and de-cluttered. Of course inviting a television crew over will make homeowners go the extra mile when it comes to staging their houses for sale, but you will benefit from making some specific alterations when selling your home. Buyers almost always prefer to see houses in neutral shades such as the infamous magnolia or cream. While it might bore you silly, you need to remember that, when you decide to sell, your house is not yours anymore and making a few sensible changes in decoration could help facilitate a quick sale. Every homeowner has a list of niggling household jobs to complete; make it your duty to get those jobs ticked off the list before any buyers schedule a visit. A seemingly minor issue such as frayed carpeting or rusty fixtures could set off warning signals in the mind of potential buyers with a keen eye for detail. You will be more forgiving of your home's flaws and idiosyncrasies that a stranger would, so it is useful to ask a friend or family member to help critique it for you.
Selling For The Right Price
Deciding on what price to market your property at is tricky, especially when the declining house market has meant that many will be faced with potentially selling for less than the property was worth 7 years ago. Estate agents will be quick to value your home, but valuations can wildly differ and are subjective in nature. Have a look at houses for sale nearby and view historic sales data on websites such as Zoopla. Working out a reasonable listing price usually rests on demand: if there is high demand for your property, people will generally pay more for it. If there are few buyers on the lookout for a house that matches your criteria, then prices will get driven low. If time is no object, some sellers choose to stay on the market until the right buyer comes along. It is worth remembering, however, that the amount of time a house has been listed for sale soon becomes apparent to potential buyers, and many will question the value of a property if it appears to have been undesirable for a long period of time.
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