Selling a Property

PREPARATION

The difference between selling your property and having it on the market for a long period of time can be dependant on how you prepare your property correctly. Therefore before you have any potential buyers to view make sure you have covered the following:


  1. Complete any small DIY jobs such as painting, get a professional for larger tasks that you cannot handle
  2. Clear away any clutter. If possible store it off-site, storage facilities exist across the country and are relatively inexpensive
  3. Clean everywhere. This point cannot be overstressed. Get carpets professionally cleaned, clean windows and curtains
  4. Air the property by opening windows. Also remember that some buyers may be allergic to pets so make sure that all signs of animal smells and hair are removed
  5. If any of the rooms have very bright colours or carpets, you may want to neutralise them. This does not mean you need to buy an expensive carpet. A coat of paint and rugs/cushions can be enough to make a difference.
  6. If your bathroom or kitchen looks tired apply some of the following practises to make a difference
  7. Re-paint the ceiling and walls
  8. Clean or re-grout any tiled areas that are going black
  9. It may even pay to install new white bathroom or kitchen
  10. Cut the lawns and tidy the gardens, including shed or garage
  11. Make sure front door is immaculate as first impressions count
  12. De-personalise by removing personal items such as family photos until the property is sold
  13. Choose the correct lighting for each space, which can improve the mood of the room
  14. Organise rooms so that their purpose is obvious


During this process always remember that you have now decided to sell your property and not to get personal about any changes. The changes that you implement are to attract the widest possible buyers in your area.


SET YOUR ASKING PRICE

When selling your property, the asking price is critical in attracting potential buyers. Too low and you could lose thousands of pounds, too high and nobody comes to view. Contrary to popular belief Estate Agents do not set property prices. All they do is estimate a reasonable asking price of a property based on their knowledge of the property market. At the end of the day buyers determine the price of a property based on what they are willing to pay. Follow the steps below and you will be able to easily price and set your asking price like professional Estate Agents. When setting your property price do not be tempted to inflate your price as this will simply drive buyers away and your home will take longer to sell.


Get three different Estate Agents to value your property. Then use the mean average as a guide Find out what other properties in your street have sold for over the last 18 months. This is a good reference (http://uk.houseprices.yahoo.net) You could hire the services of a professional property valuer. These are the people used by the Mortgage companies to ensure a property is the correct value for a mortgage. To find a professional property valuer visit The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (http://www.rics.org)



TIME TO SELL

There are always buyers looking for the right property. Spring is the time when demand is highest followed by September after the summer holidays. Christmas and August are low demand times when buyers are busy. Home improvements and presentation make a massive impact and a clean and tidy home will always be worth more than a dirty home.



MARKETING YOUR PROPERTY

Engage a local Estate Agent who will know the area well, have an established reputation and be prepared to escort potential buyers if required. Decide how you want to market the property, Sole Agency, Sole Selling or Multi Agency * It is commonly believed that Estate Agents fees are expensive, but the best Agents easily pay for themselves. Charging typically 1% to 2%, the best Agents will be able to justify this by achieving a higher selling price for you.


The main advantages of an Agent are:

  1. They do all the work for you. You have to do very little
  2. They arrange the viewings
  3. They photograph and prepare your brochure details
  4. They advertise your home in newspapers and the internet
  5. They assemble the board
  6. They take all phone calls
  7. They negotiate with the buyers to maximise your price



VIEWINGS

Have a diary set-up so that you can manage your viewings. For each potential buyer make sure that you have taken their name and number just in case you have to re-arrange the appointment, and also in case they are late or have just got lost.


Before a viewing:

  1. Have a print out of your property details, as they may want to take this away
  2. A blank piece of paper so that you can take any notes while you are showing the buyers around
  3. Know how much the council tax is
  4. Know how much a quarterly gas and electric bill is
  5. Know how much your water and sewage rates are
  6. All the doors are shut so that you can present the room to them
  7. You have planned a route through the property
  8. Your have prepared your property
  9. Any pets are out of the way



SHOWING PEOPLE AROUND

  1. Always lead the buyers through the property. When you open a door to the room let the viewer enter first
  2. State the positives of each room. Paint a picture for them and help them imagining living in their new home
  3. If a room is too small to fit everybody in then allow the buyers to enter the room while you stand outside pointing out positive points.
  4. During the course of viewing gather some information about the buyer for example:
  5. Are they a first time buyer
  6. Are they in a chain and how many in the chain
  7. Do they have to get a mortgage and if so have they got an amount authorised


By gathering information about the buyer, this may help to determine whom you sell to if several offers are received. Ask you agent to gather constructive feedback from potential buyers, don't ask them yourself at the end of the viewing as they will feel duty-bound to say something positive. If you are not getting a steady stream of viewings, or your property has been on the market for more 10 weeks without an offer: ask your Agent why! You are paying them to work for you.



ACCEPTING AN OFFER

If you are happy with the offer you are now ready to get a Solicitor involved. Your Estate Agent can recommend if you don't know one already


  1. Make a list of items that are included in the sale price such as washing machine.
  2. Take details of buyer
    1. Name
    2. Address
    3. Telephone Number
  3. Take details of buyerís Solicitor if available.
    1. Solicitorís name
    2. Solicitorís address
    3. Solicitorís telephone number
  4. Pass these details on to your Solicitor.


The next step is for the buyer or the buyerís mortgage company to arrange a survey on your property. Once a property is surveyed you know that the buyer is serious, as money is being spent in anticipation of a sale. Once your Solicitor has confirmed that the Contracts have been signed and exchanged your sale is complete and you can look forward to moving to your next home.



ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATES

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) are still required for the sale of a home in the UK since the scrapping of HIPs in May 2010. Sellers will still be required to commission, but won't need to have received an EPC before marketing their property.

The official government website for EPCs can be seen here


As of 21st May 2010 HIPs (Home Information Packs) were suspended by the Government and are no longer required to sell a home.


*Sole agency also means the Estate Agent is the only one with the right to sell your house but if you find a buyer yourself, you won't have to pay the Agent. Sole selling means your Estate Agent is the only one with the right to sell your house. Even if you find a buyer yourself, you'll still have to pay the agent. Multi agency means that you can choose several Estate Agents to market your house but you will only have to pay commission to the one who sells it.