The prospect of selling your home can be daunting especially if you are looking for another property to buy at the same time. The decisions you will make along the way can determine the amount of money you will save in the long run. Before you sell your home, there are a number of factors you should consider to do it right, get the right buyer and sell fast. Here is a step by step house selling guide:
1 – Should you sell your home?
Before you start the process of selling your home, you need to determine whether you should sell at all! If you are moving to another place or got a job transfer, selling your house is probably the best option. However, if you are considering selling your house because you need more space, there are other options you can choose to save both time and money. For instance, you can dig out the basement, convert the attic or even build an extension instead of selling your house and moving. While still considering whether to sell or not, you should research the prices of buying and selling a home to determine the condition of the market. If the prices are rising rapidly, you may have problems finding bigger space and the best option is to build an extension.
Finally, if you are selling as a result of divorce or separation, there are factors you should determine for instance, if you have negative equity to decide whether to sell or not. Depending on your current circumstances, renting your home out might be better than selling. Put all these factors into consideration and then decide whether or not to sell your home.
2 – Review your finances
Since you’ve decided to sell your home, you need to figure out your finances to avoid incurring heavy losses. The first thing you should do is to determine whether selling your house is financially viable. This is achieved by checking the condition of the current real estate market, the value of your property and moving costs. Once you’ve decided to go ahead and put your home up for sale, you should notify your mortgage lender that you are planning to sell your home so that you can discuss with them the subsequent steps.
If you are not planning to buy another home, you need to find out the size of your outstanding mortgage as well as if there are any early redemption penalties or repayments that you need to settle. However, if you are planning to buy another property (home), you need to inform your mortgage lender the size of mortgage you would like for your next property and ask them if they will be able to meet that figure.
3- Decide if you will look for a place to buy, rent or stay in your house
If you can afford to buy a new home, you can go ahead and do it to ease the pressure of selling your old home. On the other hand, you can find a place to rent for a period of time waiting to sell your home and buy a new house. Although it can add to the overall expense, you will ease the pressure of buying a new home right after selling your house.
In addition, you won’t have to sell at a low price because you can wait for the right time to sell. Finally, you will provide enough space to home stagers and viewers to view your home without causing any inconveniences. Alternatively, you can stay in your home to save all these costs but you should be looking for a good place to rent or buy after your house is bought.
4 – Pick your property expert
There are several ways you can sell your property. Here are some options to choose from:
- Local estate agent – if you are planning to use a local estate agent, you need to take your time to determine how fast they sell their houses, how close they come to achieving the asking price, how successful they are, their rates and whether they are professional and reliable. You can get recommendations from friends and family members who have sold their houses lately. Remember, you can use more than one agent to sell your home although you will incur higher fees.
- Online estate agent – with the current technological advancement, you may decide to hire an online estate agent. Just like selecting a local estate agent, do a thorough research to know the services they offer and how much they charge their services before hiring them. Get at least three online agents to compare their success rates, price range and reliability.
- Home buying company – this option is ideal for homeowners who are looking to sell their homes quickly. There are numerous home buying companies that offer competitive price ranges. You just need to research online through their websites.
- Do it yourself – you can sell your home without the help of an expert to cut the costs. However, this requires a lot of time and effort since you are doing it on your own.
5 – Decide what price to sell it for
This is a very important step because it can determine how fast you will sell your house, the number of prospective buyers who will be interested in your home and whether you will incur any loses. To get it right, you need to research the local market inside out so that you can make a valuation on your own. Even if you are not an expert, you can find out the selling price of similar houses in your area that has been sold within 12 months. With such information, you can be able to determine the right selling price on your own. Then, get a number of real estate agents who are experienced and knowledgeable about the local real estate market to do a valuation of your home.
You should not necessarily go for the highest or lowest valuation because it could be misleading. Instead, consider your financial circumstances before deciding on a final selling price. For instance, you can take the lowest offer and add around 10% because buyers will always offer a lower price. You will have to negotiate and agree on a specific figure to finalize the deal.
6 – Prepare your home
The condition of your home’s interior and exterior can determine the value of your home and how fast you will sell it. Most people prefer hiring home staging experts to make their houses presentable to potential buyers. Some of the things you can do to prepare your home is repainting, decluttering, trimming hedges and fences, decorate the interiors, repairing or removing broken furniture and fence, add a few potted plants and thorough cleaning – read our piece on home staging here..
7 – Hire a solicitor
You need the help of a solicitor when selling a home to help you handle all the legal searches and paperwork once you’ve accepted an offer and eventually transfer the ownership of the house to the buyer. In addition, if it is your first time to sell a property (house), a solicitor can help you reduce the stress and pressure associated with the selling process. To hire a good solicitor, you need to research the best solicitors in your area or ask your friends, family or real estate agent for recommendations.
8 – Evaluate and accept the offer
Legally, your real estate agent is supposed to inform you about all the offers your house receives. As an owner, you can reject, accept or ask the agent to negotiate for a better offer. Once you’ve accepted an offer from a potential buyer, your real estate agent will remove your home from the market. It is important to note that even if you have accepted the offer, you do not have a legal obligation to sell your property until contracts have been signed and exchanged officially. If you are selling the house on your own, you will decide the right offer and then include a solicitor to finalize the contract.
Finally, once you’ve accepted an offer, you will work with your solicitor to decide other details associated with the sale of the property. Some of these details include:
- What fixtures and fittings will be included in the sale?
- What is the length of time between the exchange and completion?
- The fixtures and fittings that will not be included in the sale but can be added at an extra cost
- How to deal with problems as they’ve been highlighted by the buyer in a property survey set up
9 – Complete the sale
When negotiating for a contract with the buyer, you will have to agree on a ‘completion date’. This refers to the day you will receive your payment and your solicitor registers the transfer of ownership with the Land Registry. Therefore, if you were still living in the house, you need to have packed up and moved out before the completion date.
In addition, the house should be in the same condition as agreed on the contract. Once you’ve received your payment, you just need to hand over the keys to the buyer. – job done 😀