Thinking about putting your home on the market? Selling your home to the right buyer for the right asking price can be challenging, but following a few simple steps could make the process easier. Here are some pointers for a seamless home selling experience.
1. Budget for selling costs 💰
First, check with your mortgage lender if you’d have to pay any early repayment charges, which can be between 1-5% of your remaining mortgage. If these would be costly, it might be worth waiting and selling closer to the end of your current mortgage deal. If you plan to buy a new home at the same time as selling, find out whether you can port your mortgage, meaning take it with you. Don’t forget to budget for the upfront costs of selling a home as well, including estate agent fees, conveyancing fees, stamp duty and removal costs.
2. Increase your kerb appeal 🌟
Ever heard of ‘staging’ your home? Decluttering beforehand could help your home sell faster and potentially increase its value. A tidy home will also help potential buyers envisage how they would use the space. Don’t neglect the exterior, either! It’s worth washing your windows and cleaning up your front entrance in advance, as first impressions are crucial. You might even want to consider whether larger-scale home improvements could add value to your home. Seek advice from an estate agent to weigh up whether spending money on renovations would be worthwhile, or if a lick of paint would be enough.
3. Get a property valuation 🔎
Once your home is looking its best, it’s time to get it valued. Start by investing time into looking up how much your home could be worth. You can check the recent sales history of similar local properties with an online agent, such as Zoopla or Rightmove to get a rough estimate of the value of your home. This will help guide you when you come to set your asking price. When selling a home, it’s best practice to ask three trusted local estate agents to value the property and take an average, as valuations can vary. Ask each agent why they think the property is worth that amount and to provide examples of similar properties they’ve sold recently.
4. Set the right asking price 🤑
When setting your asking price, it’s crucial to choose one that you’re happy with, but also one that’s also fair and realistic. Use the previous estimates you received from estate agents as a guide. If the asking price is too high, your home could sit on the market for a long time or put off potential buyers. You also risk buyers pulling out later if their lender gives a lower valuation. However, if it’s too low, you could short-change yourself and miss out on making a good profit! You can list your property asking for “offers in excess of” or “offers over” a certain amount, although buyers will only offer what they’re able to.
5. Put your home on the market 🏠
There are various different ways to sell a home. You can either put it on the market with a high street estate agent or online agent, sell at auction, or arrange a private sale (for example, to a neighbour or friend). If you go down the estate agent route, make sure to compare several firms by their sales record and service levels. Estate agent fees are usually 1% plus VAT for one sole agent and between 2-3% plus VAT if you have multiple agencies marketing the property, although fees are usually negotiable. They’ll prepare marketing materials, including a floor plan, and will send someone round to take professional pictures. This is where investing time at step 2 can pay off!
6. Host viewings and review offers 👪
If you’re using an estate agent, they’ll arrange viewings with potential buyers. They are legally obliged to present all offers to you for review, so you can decide whether to reject, accept or wait for a better offer. If your home has been on the market for a while and you’re in a rush to move, it might be time to think about dropping the price. Once you’ve received an offer you’re happy with, you’ll need to formally accept it in writing, but the transaction isn’t legally binding until you and the buyer have exchanged contracts. Choosing the right buyer can be a tough decision, especially if you’ve lived in your home for a long time and want to leave it in good hands. If moving quickly is a priority for you, find a cash buyer, first-time buyer or chain-free buyer! Look out for savvy buyers with a Mortgage in Principle too.
7. Close the deal 📝
Finally, it’s time to accept an offer and seal the deal! At this stage, conveyancing will take place and you’ll negotiate with the buyer on a completion date and how long you’ll leave between exchange and completion. You’ll also discuss which fixtures and fittings (such as the washing machine) you’ll include with the sale and how much you’ll charge for these. Be prepared in case their home survey throws up any issues and they ask you to lower the price or fund repairs in advance. Finally, once searches on your property (and if applicable, the one you’re buying) have been finalised, you’ll exchange and complete. Congratulations on selling your home!
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.