It’s a flat market out there so if you are going to sell your home in a reasonable timescale you need to make sure you give yourself the best chance.
Here are the first 5 tips on selling your new house
1. Get financial advice – first thing
Hey I’m giving you these tips for free – so you have to excuse the “plug”. But in all seriousness what’s the point in selling your home if you don’t know that you can raise the money for the new one.
A good broker will do the following things:
- Make sure you can get and afford the mortgage required
- Breakdown all the costs and when they are payable
- Chase down documentation and manage the process
Also if things move quickly you’ve done the ground work already……
2. Choose the right estate agent
Selling a house is a stressful business so choosing the right estate agent is important
Rule of 3
Contact AT LEAST 3 estate agents. Ask your friends, family and neighbours for recommendations then:
- Look on – line and have a look at their listings – are they eye catching with plenty of photo’s. Do the descriptions “sell the property” There is no point in a cheap estate agent who doesn’t put any effort in.
- Mystery shop the agency – you can then see the sort of service and welcome your potential purchasers can expect.
- Don’t necessarily go for the one with the highest valuation as this is an old trick to try and get your instruction. If your property is overpriced it will sit there.
- Make sure you get a mix of corporate and independent estate agents. The larger ones may have policies to adhere to meaning they can less flexible on price unless pushed.
Negotiate on price
I know of Estate agents who will sign people up at 2%+ if they don’t haggle. Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate. Prices vary from area to area. However as a rule of thumb you want to look at getting below 1.5% of the sale price. However you may be able to get down to 1.25% or even 1% if you go Sole agency and the estate agent is low on stock.
Sole or Multi agency
- Multi Agency – You can have as many estate agents as you like but you will pay a higher fee and they may not put as much effort in as they are less likely to win the deal.
- Sole Agency – You’ll pay a lower fee and the estate agent is likely to be more focused on your sale. Watch out for the tie in period- Many estate agents will try and tie you in to a 12 week contact, go for 4 weeks tops or one weeks written notice if you can get it. This will incentivise them to get as many viewings in as quickly as possible. You can also “bin” them sooner if they are not performing
Flat free or %
One is a set figure and one is a percentage of the selling price (this is more usual)
Read the conditions of the contract
Make sure there are no hidden nasty’s that you are not aware of.
Play them off against each other
Get your lowest price and then speak to the one that you have the best feeling about and ask them to match the price to win the deal.
If you are not getting the viewings or the service you expect tell them you are going multi agency. Some will attempt to hike the fees but tell them you will sack them and most will back down.
So in summary
- Get 3 estate agents
- Haggle to get the lowest price
- Get the shortest tie in period
- Switch agents if not getting the results
3.Pricing your property
- Get Real – If similar properties have sold down your road are you really going to get £50k more for yours because you’ve got nice wallpaper and laminate floor?
- Be wary of using online pricing indexes – These are often conflicting and are not the last word in accuracy
- Do rely on your estate agents expertise – They are selling properties in your area all of the time. Perhaps taking an average of the 3 estate agents valuations could be a good starting point.
- Price lower than the competition – Now bear with me on this – I know everyone wants the maximum price for their house. However have a look at the price properties are advertised for in your area, most people will expect to drop their price so they may have “overpriced” somewhat. However if you are lower in price you will more likely get more viewings, which means more chance of finding that buyer that falls in love with your property. You just may have to be a bit more resistant to being bartered down and state politely that it has already been “priced to sell”.
Avoid online “conveyancing houses”
Try to avoid the online call centre type “conveyancing houses” they may be a bit cheaper but they generally turn into a nightmare. You have heard the phrase “if you pay peanuts you get monkeys” this applies to these operation’s. Firstly these guys are going to be responsible for the transaction of £100’s of thousands of your property so I wouldn’t want “monkeys” doing this. Secondly If you want to use the type of operation were you will have to wait 30 minutes to get through, that never return your call, make mistakes and you never speak to the same person twice be my guest…but you have been warned.
Speak to your Broker, if he works closely with a solicitor then there are a few things you should be assured of
a) They are most likely to be good. Speaking from experience I went through a dozen before I settled on one that I have used for the last 7 years. If they are not good then you can shout at your Broker and he in turn will shout at the solicitor. I never get shouted at – that’s how I know mine are good!!
b) I speak to my solicitors on most days, a good Broker shouldn’t leave his client’s to deal with this one the own but have a foot in both the financial and the legal processes so he can help move things along. He can also assist you with the paperwork.
c) You will be important to them – As a broker I place 100’s clients with my solicitors. That makes me and therefore YOU very important to them. It also means I have a strong relationship with them, I have one dedicated contact, they do return my call and they do “pull it out of the bag” if I need them to.
Make sure you have the total cost of the legal’s not just the their fee.
5. Get the word out
Always have a board out, tell your neighbours, friends and families. Word of mouth is a powerful tool. What about social media – if you updated to say are selling your property and you have 200 friends and they each had 200 friends. That’s 40,000 people who know you are selling your property – one of them could be your potential buyer and it costs nothing!
5 More House selling tips in the next blog………….
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
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