There doesn’t seem to be a day that goes by where there isn’t some news, speculation or movement concerning the property market. Whether it’s interest rates, the number of houses being built or spiralling prices, it can be a little daunting if you’re in the mindset of selling. We’re told that demand is outstripping supply and therefore it should be a sellers market, but that doesn’t mean the process is stress-free. However, if you understand the process you can put your mind at rest.
- Consider why you are selling
Perhaps it is to upsize or downsize, or to release some equity in your property investment. Whatever the circumstance is, be clear on why you are selling and don’t make a rushed decision. And don’t sell if you don’t need to. If you’re looking for a bigger property maybe you can extend what you have? If you’re looking for ways to increase income, maybe you can rent one of your rooms out? Don’t forget that selling your house can be an expensive process, when you factor in legal fees and estate agent fees.
- Contact your mortgage lender
If you’ve made a decision to sell your home, you should get in touch with your mortgage lender. Depending on what mortgage deal you are on you need to check what your financial options are regarding selling. Some mortgage lenders will have expensive early repayment charges, so be aware! Also have a chat with your lender about what is outstanding on the mortgage as this will help give you an understanding what your potential deposit for your next property might be, or what equity you can release from the property if you’re not looking to buy another property.
- Get a valuation
You need a good understanding of the value of your property. Markets are moving very quickly, especially in areas where there is a shortage of properties. Property prices are moving at a rate of +4-5% annually, in some cases even more than that. Seek a number of valuations so that you get a good understanding as to what price you may be able to get.
- Consider how you wish to sell your home
You do not need to go down the traditional estate agent route these days if you do not want to. There are other options like selling your house at an auction, or to specialist investors. It depends how quickly you are looking to sell. That said, estate agents are fighting for business and the fees charged are lower than have been seen historically. But estate agents are still typically charging 1% fees, and be prepared that the time taken to sell your house could be 6 months+
- Always be prepared for the perfect buyer
It’s important that you are ready to sell your house when the right buyer comes along. That may be the first viewing that takes place; it could be after several months of trying to sell your home. Treat each viewing as a potential buyer. Keep the house tidy, clean and decorate if the house is a little grubby. Treat your house like a show home – use decorative trinkets, and mirrors to help create light and space. You don’t need to spend a fortune to make your home desirable to potential buyers.
- Accept an offer and instruct your solicitor
Your estate agent (if you go down that route) must forward all offers through to you. You can give them instructions on the figure you are looking to sell for and they will try to achieve that for you, but it is your responsibility to accept, reject or negotiate an offer. Once you’ve agreed a price, a memorandum of sale from the estate agent will detail all the relevant information of the sale, and this will be sent through to your solicitor. Don’t forget that legal fees for selling a home can come to several hundred pounds.
- Exchange and Completion
The exchange and completion process is usually where the fun begins! Trying to tie timescales can be challenging, particularly if a chain is involved. Give yourself several weeks time for exchange and completion to take place. Your buyer will have undertaken surveys on the property to ensure it is in good order, and you will have agreed which fixtures and fittings are included as part of the sale. The legal process of exchanging will involve a deposit on the property, which is legally binding. A date on completion can then be confirmed and at that point you must have vacated the property.
If you would like advice on selling your property, mortgages, or anything related, please contact the Grange Mortgage team by clicking here.