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Essential considerations when selling your current home

Jun 13, 2018
Essential considerations when selling your current home

Some homes sell within the first week but others can take longer. If you’re already a homeowner and are looking to move into a new property, such as new build, you’ll probably want to sell up as quickly as possible for a great price.

This guide should hopefully help you do this.

Get your home valued

When it comes to selling your home and buying a new one, it can be helpful to find out  how much your current home is worth. You can ask a few estate agents to give you valuations or contact an RICS Surveyor for an accurate valuation, while the likes of Zoopla and Rightmove may help you to get a general idea of the value. Be aware that most people don’t get their full asking price, however. The average home currently sells for almost £11,000 less than its asking price. Once you have an idea of the value of your current home and the equity you own, combined with any savings you have in place, you’ll be able to set a realistic budget.

Choosing the right estate agent

It can be good to compare the agent fees and lock-in periods as these can vary. A lock in period is the length of time you are tied into the contract from the date you first sign up – if you change agents during this time you’ll still be liable to pay fees to your original agent. With a traditional estate agent, you should aim for a fee of one percent of your property's value and a lock-in period of one week after giving written notice. Get recommendations, find out how successful they are and try not to be tempted to just opt for the estate agent who gives you the highest valuation.
It’s important to understand the level of service you’ll be getting from your estate agent. What will they be doing to maximise the potential for a sale? Where will they be advertising your home? Does this include the big property sites online including Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location? Are they putting signage up outside your home? How quickly will this be done? You should understand all the specifics of any deal before you sign up and ensure that when the property is advertised everything is written in an engaging manner really highlighting all of the features, benefits and location. You may also find that you get the same level of service and a better deal by using an online estate agent

Settling on an asking price

someone looking at a property comparison website on a laptop and phone
If you’ve gone through the right channels and have an accurate valuation of your property, you can set the asking price with the guidance of your chosen estate agent. When you do this, it’s advisable to compare your existing home with others currently on the market in the same area. Ask yourself how your asking price matches up to similar properties and do you have any features that stand out – whether the size, garden, parking or aspect – to make your price competitive in the current market.

Consider Part Exchange

If you’re considering buying a new build property, opting for part exchange will reduce a lot of the hassle and stress of finding a buyer and being involved in a chain. At David Wilson Homes, we may be able to offer you the option of part-exchanging your existing home for a new-build property. Through our part-exchange process, once you have contacted us the first step is to arrange two independent valuations of your property. This will ensure you receive an accurate valuation and have a clear idea of the property you can purchase through part exchange. You’ll even be able to stay in your current home until your new one is ready.

Evaluating your current mortgage position

If you have a mortgage, you may want to contact your mortgage provider and find out how much is outstanding and what the early repayment charge will be. You might decide to port your mortgage, transferring it to your new property or it may work out cheaper to pay it off and get a new deal elsewhere. The world of mortgages can be confusing so for professional help, turn to a mortgage adviser or New Homes Mortgage Adviser (NHMA) if you’re buying a new build. They can give you impartial advice, tell you how much you’ll realistically be able to borrow and help you find the best deal.

Making your home more attractive

Appearances matter and you want to impress potential homebuyers from the offset. The photos that are taken to promote your home need to be professional and show your home looking light, bright and tidy. Try not to neglect your gardens and make sure the front of your property has kerbside appeal. If you’re moving because you’ve outgrown the property, consider storing some belongings elsewhere for a while. By removing clutter and bulky items you should be able to make your home seem more spacious and attractive to viewers. If you have a dog, it can be a good idea to try to arrange for them to be out of the house during viewings.
To help your home smell sweet, you could have several air fresheners dotted throughout your home, light scented candles or could even try baking some bread before viewings. If anyone in the home is a smoker, or if you have pets it’s important to do what you can to get rid of the smell before any potential buyers arrive as they’ll likely find it off-putting. Selling a home is like selling a lifestyle, so you might want to hide any overflowing laundry baskets and have fresh flowers in vases on the windowsills.

Reacting to an offer

Your estate agent is legally obliged to pass all offers to you, even if some are much lower than your asking price. Only you can decide what is an acceptable offer and what isn’t. Turning down offers and negotiating until a suitable price is reached is often part and parcel of selling a home. If a would-be buyer decides to walk away because they don’t want to increase their offer, you should try to not feel disheartened. A buyer who is willing to offer closer to the asking price, or the asking price itself, could be just around the corner.
If your home has been on the market for many months with little interest, it could be that you’re priced too high. Have a look at what else is available for the same money in the area. Maybe a price drop would increase viewings and encourage someone to make an offer? Speak to your mortgage adviser for the best advice for your situation.

Final considerations

You’ll need a solicitor to complete the conveyancing process for you when selling your home and buying a new one. You can wait until an offer has been accepted to find a solicitor but it may be beneficial to do your research beforehand so you’re ready to get things started straight away. It’s usually worth shopping around for a few quotes and comparing. Why not ask for recommendations from your estate agent, friends and family members?