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If you are selling an existing home you will need to make it as attractive as possible to potential buyers. This may sound obvious, but many people do not realise how their home is presented to strangers seeing it for the first time. Follow the tips below to give yourself the best chance of finding a buyer quickly.
If you set the price too high there will be little interest. If you then reduce the price it could look like you are desperate and may attract even lower offers. Check out what similar homes sold for in your road using Zoopla or OurProperty websites.
Get the house builder to Part-Exchange. This will save you all the trouble and expense of selling your current home yourself. However, some builders offset this benefit against other incentives or discounts that may be available.
Ensure that your property is on the market in the Spring in time for the Easter and May Bank Holidays. You will have the best chance of selling at this time. The weather is better, people have additional free time to view and it is before the traditional summer holiday season. People do not generally want to view homes during the dark cold winter months.
Despite the ease and cost-effectiveness of selling your home yourself by marketing it online, it is surprising how many people still use a traditional local estate agent. You need to be mindful that you negotiate the commission rate in advance and get at least three independent valuations before deciding the asking price. Commission rates vary geographically with a national average of 1.5% according to the National Association of Estate Agents. All agents will claim they do not negotiate on fees, but most will! The Office of Fair Trading has published a useful a guide for selling your home.
Ideally, they will be after a 2%-2.5%, Sole Agency agreement for six months. However, there is no reason why this could not be for six weeks or less. If you then discover the agent is not performing you are free to switch without cost. It is probably best not to tie yourself to one "Sole Agent". It is worth paying a bit more commission so you can change agents if necessary. A good way of ensuring your agent works for you is to agree say a 1.5% commission up to the guide price and 2% for anything above that.
With local estate agents charging an average of 2% of the sale price, (a total of £6,000 (including vat) for a home selling for £250,000), many people are choosing to sell their home themselves, marketing their home online and saving thousands of pounds. Unlike high street estate agents, online agents charge a flat fee between £200 and £900 depending on the services provided. Sellers should not be taken in by anything local estate agents say to justify their sky-high fees and you have nothing to lose by using an online agent.
There are normally three options
1. A flat one-time 'all inclusive' fee. This will include measuring and floor plans, photographs, for sale board, valuation, arranging viewings, feedback, negotiating offers, and progressing the sale. Most importantly, the property is posted on major property portal sites such as Rightmove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation until it is sold. In fact everything is included with the exception of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which is around £90 extra.
2. No sale no fee - around £900 (incl vat) fee only payable if the property is sold.
3. Pay as you go - An initial £99 fee and then £599 on completion
With housesimple.co.uk prices start at £695 and £1,495 for a no sale no fee. For this you get photographs, measurements, floor plan and viewings organised. If you want your property to have a premium listing on Prime Location, Rightmove and Zoopla it costs an additional £125 a month and £90 for the EPC. For more information on selling your house yourself
This is a link to a popular forum that not only enables you to share your experiences with others, but we also have a place where you can advertise your home for sale completely FREE for 6 months.
Decide what fixtures and fittings you are going to sell with the house. Include some at an additional cost; these can then be given as part of the deal during negotiations. Most people do not want to take carpets with them so always include these with the sale. You will not want to be taking up and dumping old carpets on moving day.
A lot of people will ‘drive-by’ view from the outside before making an appointment to view. You do not get a second chance to make a first impression. Pay particular attention to your front door. Clean or re paint it if necessary and polish any brass fittings. If your front door looks in pristine condition, your buyer will think the whole house is. Consider adding some planted tubs. Make sure your door bell works!
People need to imagine themselves living in your property. It is a good idea to pack away photos, personal items and any collections or hobbies
You will have to do this before moving anyway. Clear your home of clutter. Remove papers, magazines and dirty or drying laundry. Empty any bins and put them out of site. De cluttering can make a room look bigger.
Make sure your house is clean and tidy at all times. Pay particular attention to bathrooms, toilets and the kitchen. It is usually women who make the decision to buy in most cases! Do not leave washing up in the sink or on the draining board. Ensure the windows are spotless for each viewing, especially patio doors or picture windows.
Unfinished DIY will put off buyers, encourage them to make lower offers and a survey or Home-buyers report will highlight all work that needs doing.
Avoid trying to market an empty property
House builder’s always furnish their show homes! People will find it more difficult to imagine how a room will look furnished.
Never under estimate the power of psychology and body language. Use it to your advantage when preparing and showing potential buyers around your home.
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