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How to Sell Your Property

Moving home is the third most stressful life event after death and divorce, so it's ok if you need a little bit of help!

With property prices gradually climbing and the recession well and truly behind us, the outlook for house prices may not be quite as gloomy as you first thought!

If you're planning to sell, find out what you can do to maximise your chance of a sale FAST...

Choose your Estate Agent Well

Choosing the right estate agent is essential, especially in a slow market where your property isn't exactly going to sell itself. In order to find someone who's enthusiastic about selling your house, be sure to ask friends, family members or neighbours for recommendations based on their own experiences. It's advisable to invite at least two or three agents over to give you a valuation. Finding an estate agent who has sold similar properties to your own and sees, and will sell, the positives is a must. Ask as many questions as possible to find out exactly where your property will be marketed - you need to ensure maximum exposure for your listing.

The More Feedback You Get From Your Estate Agent the Better

After each viewing a good estate agent will give you feedback about your property and be brutally honest about anything that needs changing. If yours doesn't, be sure it ask! The sooner you find out what made buyers choose another property over your own the quicker you'll be able to sell. If you're not fully happy with the level of the level of service you're receiving from your agent, don't hesitate to give notice to close your agreement and move on to another.

Get the Price Right

Although it may be incredibly tempting to go with the highest valuation you receive, you're going to have to be realistic. To gage an understanding of what price to expect, compare your home with similar properties already listed in your area. Although property prices are on the up, some areas have seen their values increase more than others. Don't price yourself out of the market, if your property is on the market for too high a price it will only hang around - costing you more in the long run. Lower prices will attract more interest and increase the chance of getting competitive bidding. 

Be As Flexible As Possible

Chances are, viewing times that suit potential buyers aren't always going to be as convenient for you. However, if you want to sell your house fast, you're going to have to grin and bear it. Buyers don't want to hear 'a viewing doesn’t suit the vendor’. Being flexible with timings, even if they're inconvenient is sure to pay off in the long run. If you need to be at home while the viewing is taking place, ensure that you're welcoming but discreet and keep pets and children out of the way.

Rid Your Property of Clutter

Space is a major factor when people are visualising themselves in your home. Putting things you don't use on a daily basis either in the attic or in storage will help to demonstrate an attractive, functional home. Get rid of any ornaments, photos or posters that may not be to potential buyers taste - first impressions count, and you'll want the house to appeal to as many people as possible. Leaving your belongings lying around may create the impression that there isn't enough space, so make sure that you clear away any coats and shoes in the hallway; hide all products in the bathroom and rid worktops of appliances and jars in the kitchen.

Finding the Best Buyer

Believe it or not, the person who offers the highest price isn't always the best choice. Before committing, ensure that you listen to your agent's advice. If need be, ask your agent to find out as much about the buyers' circumstances as possible. Be aware that the initial offer you receive will probably be 5 to 10% lower than the asking price. Remember you don't have to accept or reject offers straight away, you can always bargain with potential buyers before making any decisions - compromise on both sides is often the key to securing a deal.

How to Decide which Offer to Accept

There are a few things that you need to take into account before accepting an offer. Calculating how much you need to borrow on your next home, how much equity (if any) you have in your current property and whether or not you have enough money to cover stamp duty, the cost of a solicitor and general buying and selling fees, should help to determine the best figure for you. 

Holding the Deal Together

Once you've accepted an offer on your property ensure that you keep on top of your solicitor, this will help to safeguard your deal and make it run as smooth and speedy as possible. If you've been waiting a while to sell your home it'll be shame if the sale falls through because of delays. We'd recommend putting together a file containing all documents to do with your house including guarantees for repairs, certificates for gas and electrical work and any other important documentation. 

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