Selling a house can be a daunting task, especially if the owner is considering buying a new one at the same time. The quality of decisions made and the steps taken could determine – to a large extent – whether the owner will be saving or losing money. Below is a step-by-step guide you can follow to sell your house and make a fortune.
This is the first question you should ask yourself if you really want to sell your house. If you really want to, then ask yourself the question, “Why do I want to sell?” Several people sell their houses because they think they need more space. If that is your reason, have you considered extending your building by constructing an extension, digging out the basement or evacuating the attic? It might be wiser to do that, rather than sell the house and go through the stress of looking for a new place.
Moving costs are much higher now, due to stamp duty rates. You should also consider the prevalent housing prices, the trend in the market and negative equity. If house prices are rising very fast, then it might suggest you’re most likely to spend more than the amount you got from selling your previous home to buy a new one. Sorting out this decision takes a lot of thought, enquiries and research, because ultimately you want to sell your house to make some profit for yourself.
It is important to contact your mortgage lender, informing them of your plan to sell off your house. In doing so, it is imperative to find out how big your outstanding mortgage is, as well as if there are any penalties resulting from early mortgage redemption. You should then seek to value your house, to know how much you will receive after the sale. Compare this to how much you will be paying for the mortgage. This will help factor how much you will have left after payment.
If you are selling to buy yourself a new property, you should also put into consideration how much the mortgage for the new property costs, pressing also on the mortgage lenders to find out which their packages best suit your needs and requirements. In the initial stages, you will be working with just estimates, but once contracts are exchanged, the figures are accurate, so it is imperative to plan ahead to avoid being stuck during any point of the process.
If the property to be sold is your only property, you are sure to need a new place to stay. The question at this point is, do you rent or buy a new home? The stress of seeking a new home just after selling off your old one could be quite overwhelming, thus making the thought of renting seem appealing at first. Renting avoids the pressures that come with seeking a new house to buy, and saves the frustration of selling off your property at a less than worthy price. At the same time, renting saves you from buying a less than perfect home, since you would have found a buyer for your old house. The only disadvantage of renting is that in the long run, you might spend a little more than you actually budgeted for.
There are three ways to sell your home: decide to sell yourself, seek the services of a traditional High Street agent or sign up for the services of an online agent. In using a High Street agent, you should carry out detailed research, looking out for how efficient they are, how quickly they sell off properties, how close to the asking price they sell and of course, their charges. You might also be considering if you want to use just one agent or – depending on the urgency – multiple agents. Opting for the online estate agents who seem to gain popularity very fast, might be what works for you.
There are a plethora of estate agencies of the internet, with each one boasting unique benefits to their prospective clients. You should also carry out extensive research before making your choice, but be sure to check out their conversion ratio, their charges and how well they sell, close to the asking price. Online agencies are known to save quite an amount of cash for the seller, so you should make a comparison to see which agency best suits your needs. Deciding to sell by yourself could be a viable option only if you are not in so much of a rush to let go of the property. You need a great deal of patience and willpower to do this, and must be ready to work hard. This is usually a better option for someone with previous experience.
This is usually one of the most difficult tasks in selling a house. It can truly be agonising to fix a price at which you can sell. It is best to seek the services of several agents to help value the property. Prior to this, it is important to have taken an in-depth study of the prevalent prices and trends in the local market. After the agents have provided you with an array of prices, seek out which best suits you. This price does not necessarily need to be the highest. Also, ensure to add about 5% to 10% to cover negotiations, so that you still end up falling on the actual asking price – or somewhere close – after the sale.
Fixing your home before a sale might cost you a little bit, but it comes with great advantages. Firstly, it makes your home more attractive.
Prospective buyers who come to viewings are sure to be serenaded by the new paint or any recent fixes. Secondly, it increases the value of the home, as it will be lacking in flaws. You can therefore make a profit to cover the costs of the renovation. Thirdly, when attraction meets value, the house is most likely to be sold on time. There are several ways to make your house look attractive without spending much: you can rearrange to make sure items and decorations are appealing to the eyes, add some beautiful lights to improve the ambience, fix broken pipes, light up the fireplace, and more.
You need someone to handle the legalities that accrue with a change of ownership. To this end, you should hire the services of a solicitor or conveyancer to prepare the transfer of ownership documents and endorse the process. It is important to decide on the company you want to use before the sale is made; you can opt for the solicitor suggested by the estate agent you chose. However, look out for others, as this will help in making comparisons – especially price-wise. Note that there is always a huge referral fee attached to the conveyancer suggested by an estate agent. The conveyancer will provide you with a couple of forms to fill, which provide the buyer with the relevant information about the sale. It is important to complete these before the sale takes place.
The estate agent is required to pass all offers to the seller, no matter how ridiculous they may be. It is now the responsibility of the seller to decide to accept the offer or not. If the offer seems too unrealistic, the seller can choose to reject it outright or instruct the agent to negotiate the deal upwards. If the offer is favourable however, the seller can accept and ask the estate agent to take the property off the market. Accepting an offer is not legally binding though; you can reverse your decision if you want, especially if you get a better offer.
After an offer has been accepted, both parties (in this case the buyer and seller) need to decide on a few parameters, such as: how long it will take between exchange and completion (usually between 7 and 28 days), the fixtures and fittings to be included (and how much is to be paid for them) and if there will be any discounts resulting from the survey. Exchanging contracts means that both parties are legally bound by an agreement. Pulling out at this point may result in being sued or having to give a total refund.
After moving out, the next stage is the completion of the deal. Completion is a three-in-one stage, which involves transfer of ownership to the buyer, acceptance of payment and the handing over of keys. The transfer is registered with the Land Registry by the solicitor or conveyancer.
After you have been paid and the deal is completed, you now have the task of settling off the impending bills such as outstanding mortgage, estate agent fees and solicitor/conveyancer fees.