It is a very exciting time when you are looking to sell what for most people is their single biggest financial asset. Careful planning, timing and good communcation are all key to maximising the sale of your family home.
Here are the top 10 things to consider:
1. Think about timing - Is now the right time to sell your home? The property market has it’s peaks and troughs and it’s worth speaking to an estate agent to find out what the market is currently like in your area to see if it’s the right time for you. Find out what profit can you expect, and if it’s not as much as previously available in the market then could renovations or an extension be a good alternative?
2. Contact your mortgage lender - If you decide to go ahead with selling, contact your mortgage lender as soon as possible. Find out what your outstanding mortgage is, if applicable, and if you have to pay any penalties for opting out early. For example, if you’re in a fixed rate there may be exit fees to pay which can be a couple of percent of your outstanding balance which can really add up.
3. Think about your budget - You should have an idea about the profit you can make from selling your home from speaking to an estate agent, but will you be able to borrow any more money to buy your forever home? If you do, then remember that most mortgage lenders will only lend up to retirement age, so think about whether you want to have large monthly payments at this stage. Other costs to consider are moving costs - surveys, estate agents' fees, searches and of course, legal costs.
4. How do you want to sell your house - Selling your home yourself can save you quite a few pounds, and since the coronavirus pandemic many people have tried personal sales even taking their own photos and advertising their houses themselves, but of course this can be a lot of work. Ring round and compare rates with different estate agents, both online and on the high street.
5. Think about the price – How much money do you want for your house? If you’re working with an estate agent, they should give you a valuation. However, it’s useful to go online and find out what similar houses in your area cost. You could even go to a viewing to see the condition of other houses in the same price range. And don't forget that people tend to make an offer under the asking price. So why not add 10% to the lowest offer that you would take and put that number as your price?
6. Prepare the listing - A good listing can make all the difference. Make sure you’re happy with the photos that are being used, and that your house looks warm and welcoming. Adding flowers to the table and hanging clean towels in the bathroom make subtle differences. If you do take the pictures yourself, make sure to take them during daylight hours, if possible on a sunny day. Create a cosy, welcoming atmosphere.
7. Prepare for viewings - This is your chance for your home to make a good first impression. Make sure your home is tidy, and smells fresh.
8. Contact a solicitor or conveyancer - During the viewing process is a good time to start looking for a conveyancer. A conveyancer can help you to prepare all the legal documents and paperwork for you.
9. Accept an offer – Once you’ve received an offer think carefully before accepting it. Is it what you wanted? Are you able to negotiate? Can you get the offer up by adding extras such as white goods, or furniture? You may find these items may not work as well in your new home and saves you moving them around. Also, accepting an offer is not yet legally binding, so if you do go on to receive a better offer, you can still decline the first offer you've accepted.
10. Work with your solicitor - From that moment onwards, it is important that you have found a solicitor you can trust. They will take care of the paperwork for you and inform you of any steps you have to take.