Sellers Guide

So you want to sell your home? B Estates has put together this guide to selling your house.

There are a number of costs and fees associated with selling a house that you will need to factor into your budget.
Doing this now will help ensure there are no nasty surprises further down the line. If you are also buying a house at the same time as selling, then also review the buying costs. Your Move has a team of Financial Consultants who can help you calculate these costs.
Here are six of the top costs to look out for:

1. Estate Agent fees
Estate Agency fees include advertising your property and conducting viewings, as well as liaising with other parties involved to get the sale to completion.

2. Mortgage exit fees
Check whether there are any penalties for leaving your mortgage early. You may incur an exit fee or an early repayment charge.

3. EPC
In England and Wales it is necessary for a seller to provide an EPC for the property to potential buyers. This document sets out the energy efficiency of the home, “A” being the most efficient and “G” being the least efficient. Your Move can organise this for you.

4. Home Reports
In Scotland sellers are required to provide a Home Report to buyers. The Home Report includes three separate reports; a Property Questionnaire; a Single Survey; and an Energy Report.

5. Conveyancing fees
A solicitor or legal conveyancer will deal with the legal aspects of selling your property, this is called conveyancing. The cost will depend on the sale value of your property, but is considerably lower than fees involved when buying a property.

6. Removal costs
If you are moving to a new home don’t forget to factor in moving costs. The cost will vary depending on how much you are moving and how far you are moving. Get two or three quotes and look at customer reviews to choose the most suitable removal firm for your needs.

1. Declutter
Buyers can often struggle to see past heaps of furniture and personal items, and they can make rooms feel small. Consider renting some external storage space to house items until you move. But try to strike a balance – remember people often buy into a lifestyle. Try and show them your home life at its best.

2. A fresh lick of paint
Try to step back and look at your home objectively. Right now, selling your house – and not your attachment to a particular wallpaper design – is the priority. Consider if areas can be tidied up by a quick lick of paint. Don’t go overboard though – it’s good for property’s to show some personality, rather than feeling like empty white boxes. A splash of colour to one feature wall can be really effective.

3. First impressions count
Buyers will often drive past a property to rate its curb appeal before they express any interest. Tidy up the garden or driveway, clean the windows, and give the front door a spruce with some fresh paint.

4. Fix, fix, fix
Small outstanding repairs can be easy to ignore when you see them every day, but when a buyer comes to look around your property they can make the place look really tired. Look around every room in your house, make a list of quick-fixes and get them sorted.

5. Spruce up your garden
Now more than ever buyers are looking for outdoor space, whether it’s a large lawn for the kids to play on or a small cottage garden to enjoy a glass of wine on an evening. Weeding, cutting the grass, and adding a few decorate touches are simple, cost effective ways to make the most of the outdoor space and your house even more appealing.

Choosing an estate agent
The first step once you have decided that you want to sell your property is to invite an estate agent to value your home. This will give you a clear idea of what you can sell it for in the current local property market and help you decide which agent you want to work with.

Questions To Ask Your Agent

  1. What are your fees? – this is usually a percentage of the asking price.
  2. How will you market my home? Are there additional costs for different marketing packages?
  3. Do they have a list of buyers already interested in property like yours?

Property particulars
Once you have instructed an estate agent, they will need to put together the property particulars. This will involve:

  1. Taking detailed measurements of each room in order to create a floorplan.
  2. Making notes of each room for the description.
  3. Photographing the exterior and interior of your property. In most cases they will arrange for a professional photographer to visit your house. Many estate agents now offer video tours for potential buyers to see round your property and get an idea if they are genuinely interested before viewing your home in person.  

You will be asked to approve the property particulars before your property is marketed. Don’t be afraid to ask for changes/additions if they have missed something in the description that you feel will entice potential buyers, or if you aren’t happy with one or more of the photographs.  

Receiving offers on your property can be a very exciting time, but it is always good to keep level-headed to make sure you get the right offer for you.

Considering the offer
It is normal practice for buyers to offer 5-10% less than the advertised asking price so don’t be surprised if initial offers are a little low.
There is no need to accept or reject an offer straightaway, it is perfectly normal to think things over for a day or two. You could even check local sold house prices to get an idea of what other properties in your area have gone for.
It is a good idea to find out from your estate agent the buyer’s position first before making any decisions as there are other important factors to keep in mind when deciding who to sell you house to. Here are three key questions to ask are:

What is the financial position of the potential buyer?
It is worth knowing what position the buyer is in. Find out whether the potential buyer has to sell a home in order to move, as this could delay speed of sale. If they are a cash buyer, this is often seen as a positive as it suggests a faster sale. If they are not a cash buyer and need a mortgage for the sale, it is worth asking whether they have a mortgage in principle approved. If you have offers that are quite similar in amounts, this information could be very useful.

What are your buyer’s timescales for moving?
Similar to the buyers financial position, it is good to get an idea of what sort of timescales the buyer is looking at in terms of completing the sale. Are they currently part of a chain? Depending on how big the chain is could add delay to completion. If the buyer is a cash-buyer of first-time buyer it might be worth asking how quickly they are looking to move and how flexible they are on a move date.

Also consider your own position
Do you have to move quickly in order to secure your next house? If so then you may be more interested in accepting an offer from buyers who are not part of a chain. If you are in no hurry to move, then you could hold out for a higher offer.
A buyer who is not part of a chain and who already has a mortgage approved is a more favourable purchaser than someone who needs to sell their own home in order to fund the purchase, and who hasn’t yet got a mortgage approved. Similar with a cash-buyer, as they have the money in the bank ready.
Discuss your considerations with your estate agent who are there to guide you.

Accepting the offer
If you do accept an offer it is usually ‘subject to contract’, which means as long as a survey doesn’t throw up any surprises, the buyer will most likely complete the sale. Offers will also only be made official once your estate agent can prove the buyer has the finances to purchase.
An accepted offer is not legally binding until contracts are exchanged. This means a buyer can back out of the sale at any point up until contracts are exchanged. This is also the same for the seller.

Here at B Estates we will assist you all the way in selling your property for the best price in the shortest time possible. Please feel free to contact us in order to make an appointment.

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