Selling your house does not have to be a challenging and stressful experience, as there are some steps you can take to prepare properly and eliminate common mistakes, so that the transaction goes as seamlessly as possible.
Here is a look at how to sell your house in the most stress-free way possible, with some tips and advice to follow if you want to get through the process as efficiently as you can.
Preparation is key
You need to get your home ready for sale before you actually put it on the market.
Make every effort to give your property as much kerb appeal as possible by tidying up the front of the house and fixing any immediately noticeable problems such as a broken gate or removing any unsightly debris.
First impressions are vital to achieving a sale, so don’t fall at the first hurdle for the sake of a weekend spent getting your property looking neat and tidy for when prospective purchasers come to view. Try and remove as much clutter as possible inside the house and walk around as though you were the buyer, in order to spot any things that might deter someone from buying, so that you can fix it before you start getting any viewings.
Concentrate on securing a sale
It is generally considered to be a better strategy to start selling before you consider what you would like to buy next.
If you do find a property that you are interested in, the seller is not going to take you too seriously if you don’t have a sale agreed or even worse, you haven’t yet put your house on the market. Concentrate your efforts on securing a sale and when you have firm interest, that is probably the best time to arrange viewings for yourself, but window-shopping is fine in the meantime, so at least you have some plans in motion once you find a buyer.
Finding the right agent
It is definitely worth taking the time to do your research on who to appoint as your estate agent for selling your property.
Try to take a reasonably analytical approach by looking around the area and seeing who has plenty of boards up and crucially, how many are “under offer” or “sold”. It makes some sense to consider that if an agent has managed to sell a similar property to yours recently, they might have an interested buyer who missed out on that one and could be interested in yours instead.
Negotiate on fees
Price should not be your sole consideration when choosing an estate agent, but if competition is fairly fierce and you have a property that should sell easily, try to negotiate on their fees and the asking price.
Sometimes, an agent might suggest a lower than expected sale price, which probably means that they can get a quick sale agreed. You don’t want to miss out on extra revenue by accepting a lower offer as a result of a sales strategy that is based on priced-to-sell, but you also don’t want to go in too high and hang around too long for viewings, which will happen if buyers think your house is too expensive.
Try to get three valuations and don’t reveal what the other agents suggested as a sale price. That way, you should be able to get a more accurate median valuation based on the separate valuations you have had.
Getting an offer
Most buyers tend to offer below the asking price and this expected level of negotiation is often factored into the original asking price, so there is scope for agreeing a deal that both parties are happy with.
Make sure your chosen estate agent qualifies the strength of the offer. This means checking that the buyer has the means to proceed and confirming if they have a property to sell and if so, whether they have a sale agreed.
The strength of their position can often determine how acceptable the offer is to you and will help you decide if you want to accept or decline.
The legal process
Once you have agreed a sale, you will want to appoint a qualified solicitor or conveyancing firm who can handle all the legal aspects of the transaction.
Using the same diligence that you employed to find an estate agent, try to make some enquiries or get recommendations from trusted sources, so you can hopefully pick someone who can get the sale completed with the minimum of fuss.
Selling your house can be a stressful experience, but by taking some of these steps along the way, you should be able to minimise the problems or issues that you can sometimes encounter.
Daryl Calvo invests and rents UK properties. He likes to write about the latest home real estate news. His articles can be found on many real estate and property investing blogs.