Our home and interiors expert Amanda Merchant discusses 10 steps…
Most of us know that moving house is ranked among the top three most stressful events in ones life. But need it be?
Again, most of us have seen the property programmes on TV so know that there are simple things you can do to help ensure your home is sold at the right price within a reasonable period of time. The list includes de-cluttering, spring cleaning inside and out, cleaning the windows and cutting the lawn so you can ensure your home will have that great and all important ‘first impression’.
So what else can you do?
Think to yourself, ‘Have I chosen the right agent?’ You should invite 2 or 3 agents to value your home, making sure the ones you choose are familiar with the type and location of your property. For example, it would be a little pointless to invite a town agent to market your rural country cottage with 3 acres. Think of employing an agent as you would choose a partner and ask yourself these questions: Will you be compatible and able to work well together? As after all it will be a joint effort. Do they have the experience and knowledge that gives you confidence to trust them with the sale of your most important asset – your home?
The common mistake that people make is to choose an agent solely on their fee. Although this may appear to be saving you money, a good agent will earn their slightly higher fee by negotiating a higher overall price and conducting a sale that takes the stress off your shoulders. Moreover, if your agent easily reduces their fee, don’t employ them as you are obviously a better negotiator than they are!
An agents job is a combination of marketing, ensuring that your property reaches the widest audience possible, and negotiation. Do you feel the agent will be able to negotiate the right sale for you, a sale that is a combination of quantity (price) and quality (timescales, cash buyer etc)?
Then there is the decision on pricing. Correct pricing is essential to achieve a successful sale. There is a maxim in estate agency that says ‘Over price and undersell’. In other words, if you grossly over price your home when it first comes to the market, it will remain for sale for many months (possibly years) and become stagnant. Eventually, you will drop the price to a lower figure than you may have been able to achieve initially as the property will, by that time, have the stigma of being on the market for a long period attached to it, one that is hard to remove and will deter buyers. This situation can be avoided if the property were to have come to the market at the ‘right’ price.
Employing the right solicitor to handle the conveyancing will help your dream come true. If you pick one that is slow, has too much on their plate or simply works part time, your dreams will become nightmares. Ask your friends and family who they have used and who they would recommend. Ask your agent as after all, they will know which ones are proactive as they are dealing with them every day.
Selling a property needn’t be stressful if you follow these few sensible rules from the outset.