Selling your home may seem like a daunting task and you feel like you don’t know where to begin. Check out our step by step guide to selling your home to help make it that little bit easier.
Get your finances in order
The first thing to consider when selling your home is to work out whether it is financially viable. It can be an expensive affair and costs can soon build up so consider all options such as how strong is the current market? Have you considered extending your existing home in order to meet requirements if space is an option? Would you be set to make a good profit on your property if you sold right now? If you’ve ruled out all of the above and decided now is the best time to get your property on the market, get in touch with your mortgage lender and work out the size of the outstanding mortgage, how much extra you need to borrow and find out if you’re likely to face any early redemption fees on the existing mortgage.
Decide who will market your property
There are a number of ways in which you can market and sell your property. The most traditional way is through a high street estate agent, but it’s becoming more popular these days to use an online estate agent, or alternatively you can sell privately. Do your research and find out which route would be most cost effective for you and how much visibility each of the above will be able to give you (some may give you a deal to list your property on some of the most popular property portals online).
Decide on an asking price
If you opt to use an estate agent, they will be able to suggest an asking price based on a number of factors such as recently sold house prices in the same area and average selling times in the current market. You obviously want to set the right price for which will achieve you a quick sale at the highest profit.
Also remember that buyers are likely to make you an offer below asking price so factor that in to your personal financial circumstances prior to deciding on a selling price. You also don’t need to settle for the first valuation you are given, consider getting a few valuations and choose a middle ground. Many estate agents will offer a free valuation to try and get you on board to sell with them.
Prepare your property for viewings
First impressions count so it’s essential you make your property look its best for viewings. Clear your home of clutter especially the exterior as that is the first thing viewers will notice as they approach the property. You don’t need to spend a fortune to improve the look of your home and a few quick fixes such as a lick of paint, fixing loose fittings, removing or repairing broken furniture can make a massive difference.
If you have pets, it’s a good idea to ask a friend or neighbour to look after them for a few hours for you prior to and during viewings. This will give you the chance to air the property of any odours and pet hair. Also ensure your home is clean and fresh including the garden. Give the grass a cut weekly while you are trying to sell as a freshly mowed lawn looks great. Put fresh flowers in a vase in the entrance hall, open the windows and make sure blinds are open or curtains pulled back to let maximum light in.
Choose a conveyancer or solicitor
Regardless of whether you’ve chosen to sell with an estate agent or privately you’ll need a conveyancer or solicitor to deal with the legal paperwork involved with selling your home. Ask around for a few quotes and get the best price. Some estate agents may offer conveyancing services as part of the cost quoted for selling. Check at the outside when deciding how to sell your home whether or not fees for conveyancing have been factored in to your quote for selling so you don’t have any unexpected surprises at this stage.
Accepting an offer
Your estate agent is legally required to inform you of all offers made on the property. It’s up to you whether you accept, refuse or want to negotiate an offer and the estate agent will act on your behalf. Once an offer has been accepted, your home will be removed from the market, however, acceptance of an offer is not legally binding meaning you are able to accept a higher offer should it come along, or you change your mind with regards to the sale of your home.
Conveyancing is the transfer of the legal title of property from one person to another. The conveyancing process typically has two major stages, the exchanging of contracts, and completion (also known as settlement). There is a vast amount of paperwork involved at this stage which your conveyancer will deal with, however there is a form which you will be given to complete – the property questionnaire.
Once contracts have been exchanged and settlement has taken place, you’ll be required to agree a move date. Arrange a couple of weeks off if possible around the move dates so you have time to prepare for the big move. Leaving everything to the last month can result in panic and stress, so plan well ahead.
Arrange for removal of goods
Moving home can be expensive, so ask friends and family for recommendations of removal companies that are reliable that they may have use in the past. Phone round for various quotes before booking a company to carry out the move. You’ll need to give the removal company all the relevant information such as move date and time, how many vans you’ll require, and it is advisable to give them a call 24-48hrs prior to the moving date to confirm plans.
Get your personal details in order
Once you’ve sold your home, it’s essential you update all your suppliers etc of gas/electricity/council tax/banks/doctors/broadband of your change of address to ensure all future bills are sent to your new address. Consider redirecting your mail for a period of time after the move to ensure nothing is missed until you have time to update ALL contacts.
Once last clean
Before moving out of your property is common courtesy to leave it in a clean and tidy state. While given the house a once over, it provides an opportunity to check each room for any overlooked belongings. If you notice anything is broken or in need of repair, let your solicitor know.
Completion of sale and moving out
Completion of the sale happens once contracts and keys have been exchanged. At this point, payment for the property will be transferred. Once the transfer of money has taken place the deeds of the property will be exchanged via your conveyancer or solicitor who will register the transfer for the Land Registry. You can move out pf the property up until the day the sale completes. Make sure all keys (and any spares) have been collected and you have left any relevant information for ye new owners.
Enjoy your new home!
If you are looking to sell your property, the first thing you’ll need is a Home Report. We are RICS Charted Surveyors specialising in Home Reports across Scotland from as little as £85. Get in touch today to arrange a time to suit you. We offer early morning or evening and weekend appointments. Call us on 0131 608 0175 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew MacKenzie is a qualified Chartered Surveyor with over 20 years’ experience within the Scottish Property market. He specialises in all types of residential valuations including Home Reports, Private Valuation reports and Development Appraisals.
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19:27 03 Oct 23
19:11 09 Jul 23
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10:47 16 Mar 23
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