There are several things you can think about well in advance of putting your house on the market. Every little helps and you could potentially be making your house more appealing to buyers a little more every day. The more you can do before your house hits the market the better. By planning ahead, your house can stand out from the rest in a competitive market, lifting some of the stress involved in selling property.
First Impressions Count
Go across the road and take a look at your house. What stands out? If it’s the lovely foliage or the immaculately painted sash windows, you’re probably doing fine. If it’s a broken roof tile and/or a peeling door frame you might want to have a tidy up of your house’s exterior. Buyers will often drive past a property (several times) to get a first impression before they decide to view. They might do the same when they are deciding whether to make an offer. Tidy up the garden, de-clutter the driveway, give the front door a makeover with some fresh paint or door furniture, whatever it takes. Every little helps.
Do Those Repairs
…the ones you might have been putting off for a while, like re-hanging the door that doesn’t close or putting a washer on that dripping tap. Repairs can be easily ignored when you see them every day, but when a buyer comes to view they stand out a mile and can make the place look a bit shabby. You don’t want them wondering what else they might find. Go around every room in your house and make a fix it list then get them sorted.
Minor Touch Ups
Take a step back for a moment and try to view your home objectively. Are there any areas that could be tidied up by a quick coat of paint. Are there any door handles coming loose or carpets looking lumpy? There’s no need to go overboard – it’s good to show some personality, but resolving issues before a potential buyer has time to even worry about them is always a good idea.
It is never too early to start decluttering. Getting rid of a little bit each day can make a huge difference to the process, meaning less of a huge task when it comes to moving. It also means you don’t have to hide a multitude of belongings at every viewing. This becomes extremely tiresome after a while.
Also, buyers often struggle to see themselves and all their possessions in your house if it is extremely cluttered. If you clear away particularly distinctive decor/furnishings and arrange your belongings in an attractive fashion, your potential buyers are more likely to envisage themselves and their own belongings in your home. Consider putting non essential, space consuming items into storage until you move.
Why I Am Selling My Property?
Think about why you are moving. This is a question that will definitely be asked by potential buyers, so plan your answer in advance. The reasons you give for selling could impact the negotiating process. For example, if you are relocating and speed is of the essence, unscrupulous buyers might try and lower the price at the last minute. If it is because the house needs repairs you can’t afford or your finances mean you need to downsize, the same applies. Think of the appropriate answers that apply to your house move. Maybe you are starting a family or moving to be closer to work. Whether it’s a matter of space , location, or that you have come into some money, know your reason inside and out.
Budget: The Cost Of Selling A Property
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
In England and Wales a seller must provide an EPC for the property to potential buyers. This document details the energy efficiency of the home, “A” being the most efficient and “G” being the least efficient. It costs between £60 and £120 to get your property on the EPC register. Since costs vary, shop around and compare a few quotes. Also make sure your assessor is registered.
You can often lower the cost of an energy performance certificate by arranging your assessment directly rather than through an estate agent. You can find an assessor in your area by checking on the EPC register.
Estate Agent Fees
Estate agent fees vary. Gather as much information as you can before booking a valuation and ask more about the agent’s services on offer.
Estate Agency fees include advertising your property and conducting viewings, as well as liaising with other parties involved to get the sale to completion. When it comes to fees, estate agents often charge a percentage fee, which can be anywhere between 0.75% and 3.0%+VAT of the agreed selling price for your home. This can depend on the type of contract you opt for with your estate agent. Do not worry about trying to negotiate fees, many agents are prepared to be flexible. Also look out for any hidden fees: The estate agent is required by law to tell you what is included.
A solicitor or conveyancer will deal with all the legal aspects of selling your home. The cost will depend on the sale value of your property, but is considerably lower than fees involved when buying a property. For a sale and purchase, conveyancing solicitor fees range from around £400-£1,500 and tend to be broken down into standard legal fees and disbursements. Don’t forget to add Stamp Duty onto this.
Disbursements include local searches and can cost up to £300 on top of this as well. The overall cost of conveyancing is payable directly to your conveyancing solicitor. This will generally cover their time, registrations and costs they incur over the course of the transaction. Solicitor fees vary depending on which company you use so shop around and get several quotes.
Removal companies offer a variety of services such as packing, unpacking, assembly of furniture and so on. If you would like them to do more than just transport your furniture, make sure you determine the cost with the removals assessor. There are a range of additional costs that you might need to consider.
The cost will also vary depending on how much you are moving and how far you have to go. As a ball-park figure you might pay just £300 to simply move your belongings from a 1 bedroom flat or up to £1000 for packing up and moving up a 4 bedroom family home with extras. It is hard to tell without a proper valuation and quote. Get quotes from several removal companies well ahead of time. Ask people for recommendations and look for reviews on review sites as well as social media. Make a shortlist of the best ones for your timeframe and location, then get some of them around to give you a quote.
In Scotland sellers are required to provide a Home Report. This includes three separate reports; a Property Questionnaire; a Single Survey; and an Energy Report. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in Scotland has stated that Home Reports will cost between £585 and £820. This will depend on the size of your home and which surveyor you decide to use. You should always ask for quotes from several surveyors to ensure you get a competitive price.