Selling your home?

Selling your home?

Selling a home can be a long and complex process, but there are certain steps you can follow to make it as smooth as possible.

Find out how much your home is worth

Ask a selection of estate agents to value your property, and look in your local paper’s property section and online to find out the asking price of similar homes. Remember that the final selling price will not necessarily be as much as the asking price, if you want to find out how much local properties have been fetching you can use a site like house prices.

Decide whether to use an estate agent

Nearly all of us trying to sell our homes do so through an agency. Estate agents bring properties on to the market and introduce buyers. However, you can market the property yourself to avoid agent’s fees, which can be between 1.5 per cent and 4 per cent of the sale price of the property. If you do opt to use an agent, don’t just choose the one that gives the highest valuation - think about which one you got on with best, what you’ve heard from other people, and which one you’ve seen the most Sold signs for.

Prepare your home: Make sure your home looks its best for any viewings. Tidy any mess and clear unwanted clutter to maximise space. If you have time, you may wish to try to make the decoration as neutral as possible to attract buyers, and make any minor repairs such as fixing leaking taps. Also have all your household bills on hand for prospective buyers to view.

Wait for offers: The estate agent will get in touch with you when an offer has been made on your property - he or she must tell you about every offer that is made, regardless of whether you are likely to accept it. Your agent should be able to advise you whether it is a good offer, but the final decision is up to you.

Accept an offer: When you are happy with an offer you can accept it “subject to survey and contract”. Your estate agent will then write to you, the buyer and both sets of solicitors to confirm the property sale, and requesting that the solicitors draw up a draft contract. At this point, you do not legally have to take the property off the market, but your buyer may ask you to do so, and if the offer is good there is not much point leaving the For sale sign up.

Renegotiate the price if necessary: If the buyer’s survey reveals lots of work that needs doing on the property, he or she may want to renegotiate the offer. If, however, you cannot reach a compromise with the buyer, you are within your rights to pull out of the sale. Be aware that you may actually lose money by starting the selling process again

Organise your move: You will have to move out of the property once the sale completes, so it’s time to book transport and start packing.

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