They say that the whole process of selling up, buying new and moving on is one of the most stressful series of events any of us goes through in a lifetime: and yet with careful planning, attention to detail and a clear focus, the whole process can be relatively stress free.
While there will always be factors outside the control of any home seller, those factors that fall within their control sphere can proceed fluidly and smoothly when they take the time to plan and think one step ahead.
By following these 10 easy but essential steps I can guarantee you home selling success!
1. Get free valuations and priceless advice.
Real estate agents will give you a home valuation for free because ultimately they hope you’ll engage their services when it comes to selling your home. Therefore use the experience of a handful of local and trusted agents who are renowned for their selling success and invite them to come and value your home. Then, ask them their opinion on what if anything can be done to raise the value of your property to the maximum.
Real estate agents spend their entire professional lives examining properties, they know what attracts a buyer, what turns a buyer away and what can and should be done to a property to enable the seller to get maximum returns from his property – request advice based on the benefit of their experience. Most real estate agents will be happy to give you any tips they feel are applicable to your home because if you can increase the value of it, they can raise the price of it and if they are asked to represent you they will ultimately make more from the sale! It is a symbiotic process!
This whole first step will arm you with two priceless facts – firstly you will know how much money you can work with when budgeting and planning for your next home. Secondly you will have a fair idea of what action you should and can take to ensure you get the maximum price for your home thus allowing you to begin planning the work that needs to be done.
2. Speak to your current mortgage lender.
You need to contact your current mortgage lender and ask them what penalties and fees you will incur for early repayment. Inform them that you are intending to sell your home and they will give you an up to date statement of the amount remaining and exactly how much selling up is going to cost you in real terms.
3. Work out total selling, buying and moving costs.
To assist you with this step ask one of your valuation real estate agents to give you a break down of all the local fees, taxes and costs you will likely incur when selling and buying. These will most likely include the real estate agent’s fees, a lawyer’s fees, surveyor’s costs, potential gain taxation and also consider factoring in the percentage of any annual taxes or charges on your home that you will have to pay.
Add to these expenses the costs you will incur when buying a new home and remember to include any deposit, mortgage arrangement fees, survey costs and insurances.
And last but not least, get a rough quotation for removal costs which are easy to gauge based on the size of your home and the distance you are likely to move.
4. Work out your budget.
By taking the original valuation sum given to you by the real estate agent and then deducting all of the totals from step 3 you will (hopefully) be left with a positive number! This is your clear profit, this is what you can then use towards your new home.
At this stage, if you have additional sums saved and you wish to add them to the above to increase your purchasing power you should do so. You will be left with an amount you can use as a down payment on your new home.
5. Get a loan agreed in theory.
Now you have to approach a mortgage lender and work with him to determine exactly how much you can comfortably afford to borrow. He will take into account many factors but these will include the amount you have as a down payment and the amount you earn. Ultimately he will arm you with a budget with which you can now work when searching for your new home.
6. Begin searching for your new house.
Now you have a budget to work with you can begin the exciting process of searching for a new home. It may seem dull to have to get all the financial facts and figures in place before heading off to find that dream house, but by doing all the ground work first you will be less likely to fall in love with an unsuitable, unaffordable home. You will not have set yourself up for a fall; you will once again have set yourself up for success.
7. Give your home a makeover!
Take the advice given to you by the real estate agents and get to work with the repairs, renovations and heavy work needed to bring your house up to the top of the market.
8. Find the best real estate agent.
Having already met and worked with real estate agents for the valuation of your home get back in touch with your preferred agent and ask them to revalue and then market your home. If you are in doubt about which agent to choose speak to any friends, family and colleagues in your local area who have recently bought, sold or rented property through an agent and ask for personal recommendations. You need to feel comfortable with the agent you choose to represent you, you need to make sure they will sell your house as quickly, efficiently, honestly and effectively as possible and that they are trust worthy to be left to show viewers around your home.
Once you choose your agent go through their entire marketing strategy for your home and make sure you are comfortable with their approach and that they are going to do everything required of them to assist you. Furthermore, ask them to revalue your home based on the work you have done to it and any market movements that have occurred in the interim.
9. Remember – first impressions count!
Now the time has come for buyers to begin viewing your home. You have to go over every single aspect of your home with a very critical eye and consider what the potential purchaser will make of every aspect. Their first impression of your home will be as they look at it from the sidewalk, ensure the outside of your home is as clean, tidy and well presented as possible and then walk through every room and the garden and look at it with fresh eyes. What will a buyer’s eye be drawn to, the beautiful proportions of the room or the dirty window and vase of dead flowers?
Because first impressions count so very much take the time to consider every aspect of your home and then make time to clean, polish and present your home in the very best light possible.
10. Be as flexible as possible.
If you can be quick to react to a viewing request and flexible when it comes to a contract completion date you will be doing everything within your power to enable your buyer. By remaining on top of the upkeep of your home you should be able to say ‘yes’ to a viewing request at the drop of a hat. And if you remain on top of your home search and are at least mentally prepared to move out swiftly – even if this means moving into rental accommodation for a short period – you will be doing absolutely everything within your power for home selling success.