When it comes to selling a property for the first time, there are many things to consider. In this post, we will offer some of our best tips on timing, presentation, which estate agent to choose, and much more so that when you’re ready to put your property on the market, you’ll be in the best position to get the best response from potential buyers.
When Is The Best Time To Sell My Property?
Spring (February to June) is often considered the best time to sell your house quickly. The second-best time of year for a fast sale is Autumn (Mid-September to October).
July and August are comparatively quiet in the property market as many people are on holiday. The approach to Christmas (Mid-November to December) is traditionally the least favoured time of year to try to sell your property quickly.
The risk of putting your house for sale during quiet periods is that potential buyers may come to think that there is something wrong if it remains on the market for a long time. Buyers will expect to be able to negotiate the price down.
Economic changes such as stamp duty rates/holidays, interest rates and currency fluctuations, as well as political factors such as Brexit or a pandemic can all have an effect on how fast your property sells.
Furthermore, local factors such as a building site or rubbish dump can also have an impact and can put potential buyers off.
Get To Know The Market
Here is a closer look at some of the important factors that can influence property sales, including demand, season and government policy.
Make some basic online searches: do you live in a highly sought-after area or is your particular property very popular right now? Use our online search tool to find out how many properties like yours local estate agents have sold in your area recently.
Government policies can have a significant effect on the property market, so it is worth being aware of the latest budget to understand what proposals have been put forward. For instance, the government has recently launched and updated some schemes, such as the mortgage guarantee scheme and the help to buy scheme to encourage first-time house buyers and others to get and remain on the property ladder. The Stamp Duty holiday was also introduced during the pandemic to sustain the market.
Keep your paperwork in one place as you begin to think about putting your house on the market.
Key documents include:
- Title deeds
- Fensa Window Certificates
- Gas safety inspection certificate and electrical safety inspection certificates
- Planning permission, plans, and building regulations
- Council tax details
- buildings and content insurance bills
- Mortgage papers
Fees For Selling Your Home
Unfortunately, there are fees involved in selling your home. Make sure you budget for the following:
- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
- Your EPC is an essential document that documents your home’s energy performance. All properties must have an EPC before they’re sold. Your estate agent can sort this out for you but it might be easier to organise it yourself.
- Your house might already have an EPC: They are valid for 10 years, and you can use the one purchased by the previous owner.
- Estate Agent Fees
- High street agents typically charge around 1.5% of the sale price, or pre-agreed fixed estate agent fees. For example, even on a 1.5% commission you will pay £4,500 if you sell your home for £300,000. With online agents, packages range from about £300 to £1000. If you do choose an online estate agent, always get a few local estate agents to value your home first. This will give you an idea of a reasonable asking price.
- If you can’t decide which estate agent to use, we can help. We compare the performance of every active estate agent in the UK and using basic information about your home, we can provide you with a list of estate agents near you and their fees.
- Solicitor Or Conveyancing Fees
- Conveyancers carry out all the legal aspects of selling your home. Their prices will vary depending on the value of the property and what you’ve asked them to do. Be sure to ask for a quote upfront, as well as a comprehensive list of services, fees and potential extras.
- Contact your lender to check whether you will have to pay early repayment charges for switching your mortgage to a different lender or property. Allow time to get your finances in order and discuss with your provider what to expect.
- It will cost you to move your possessions to your new property, so do your research and book early.
Staging Your Home For Sale
When you prepare your home for sale, you’re trying to make it look clean, appealing and neutral. Take a look at our article on Home Makeovers On A Budget for inspiration.
Here are some staging tips:
- Declutter – Decluttering your home is one of the most essential things you can do to boost your home’s appeal. It means you can present it as a blank canvas which potential buyers can imagine turi=ning into their home. It also allows viewers to concentrate on the space and not your belongings.
- Depersonalise – Sellers should depersonalise their house to give prospective buyers a clean, impersonal and neutral space in which they can imagine themselves living.
- Make Repairs – This is often overlooked. Replace any door handles. Fix the leaky taps and make sure the kitchen tiles are in good order etc. Paint over any peeling paintwork. These are relatively quick fixes but you can never underestimate how important a small thing like that could be to a buyer, especially in a competitive market
- Keep Clean And Tidy – Keep on top of housework to minimise any possible distractions when someone new comes to view. Try to avoid cooking with especially smelly foods and generally prevent any unpleasant odours from lingering. If you have a pet, clean up after them; dog leads and any hair they may have left on furniture and carpets can leave a lasting impression.
- Boost Kerb Appeal – Kerb appeal is the first impressions a prospective buyer gets when they look at your house from outside. It can set the tone for their entire viewing experience. So freshen up the paint on your front door — or even your entire exterior if needs be. Replace your old doormat with a new one. Add some flower pots outside your front door. Clean up your front garden and trim any overgrown shrubs and repair any cracks in your brickwork. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
Which estate agent is going to be the best one to sell your home?
Compare Agents compares the performance of every active estate agent in the UK and will provide you with a list of estate agents and their fees that cover your postcode and how they perform against each other.