Buying and selling houses can be a roller coaster ride, but there are ways to try to reduce stress and prevent setbacks and delays. If you are putting your house on the market, here is a handy checklist to help you prepare.
Sprucing up your home
Before you take photographs or invite estate agents to have a look around your home, it’s an excellent idea to devote a little time to sprucing up the property. Finish off DIY jobs, clean and tidy the house, declutter, mow the grass and make sure driveways and paths are clear of rubbish and debris. Simple touches can make all the difference when it comes to trying to catch a buyer’s eye and persuade them to consider making an offer. If you have bold interiors, it may also be worth painting the walls in neutral shades to make living spaces appear lighter and brighter. Many buyers prefer to inherit a blank canvas.
Valuations provide an insight into what the property is worth and what price it should go on the market for. When you have your home valued, it’s wise to invite at least three agents to give you an estimate before you decide on an asking price. It’s important to be aware that estate agent valuations may be higher than surveyor valuations, as agencies will often try to convince customers to choose them. If you have three quotes, it’s usually a good idea to aim for the middle value. If the market is buoyant and houses in your area are selling quickly, it may be possible to achieve the top price, but if there are lots of similar properties available and demand is decreasing, the offers you receive may be lower than the valuation.
Choosing an estate agent
There are various options for sellers today, including the traditional route of choosing an estate agent as well as selling online or trying to sell privately. If you want to hire an agency, take the time to meet with representatives, learn more about what they can offer you in terms of services and perks and ask around for recommendations. Read reviews and look at the agency’s track record. You want to hire estate agents who are experienced, knowledgeable and passionate about selling your home.
Purchasing an EPC
Anyone who wishes to put their home up for sale or rent must ensure that they have an EPC. Energy Performance Certificates provide a rating for each property using a scale, which will produce a letter to denote the level of energy efficiency. You can find reputable companies online. You will need to pay a fee for your EPC.
Looking for a solicitor
Selling a house is a legal process. In order to transfer ownership to a buyer, you have to enlist the services of a solicitor. Your solicitor will liaise with the buyer’s solicitor on behalf of you and keep you updated throughout the process of conducting searches, negotiating on price and exchanging contracts. If you haven’t sold a property before, it’s beneficial to ask friends, family and neighbours for recommendations and to read reviews and testimonials online. It’s important to hire a reliable firm with a high rating. It’s also helpful to compare quotes and ask for a written breakdown of costs before you decide which firm to choose.
Staging your home for photographs and viewings
When you’re selling your home, you want to ensure that it looks as attractive and appealing as possible. Many buyers start their journey online by looking through listings. The first job for sellers is to make sure the property looks the business in the photographs that will be used in online listings and brochures. Hire professionals, take images on sunny days and tidy and declutter before the photographer arrives. If you are selling online and the agency doesn’t offer photography services, use a high-quality camera and take several shots from different angles. You can then choose the best images.
If you have viewings booked, make sure you give yourself time to prepare in advance. Clean and tidy each room, add touches like plants and vases of flowers and ensure that your home smells fresh and inviting. Open the curtains and blinds, let the light flood in and make sure you unlock all the doors so that your agent can show buyers around properly. Give the garden some TLC and keep the driveway clear.
Are you preparing to put your home up for sale? If so, it’s a great idea to work through this essential checklist to maximise the chances of a quick sale and prevent stress.