If you’re planning on selling your property there are a number of key things you need to do to get the best value out of the sale.
We have put together the steps below to help you through the process.
Prepare your home for sale
If you're planning on selling your home, you must provide an energy performance certificate (EPC), free of charge to potential buyers. An EPC gives information on the energy efficiency of a property using A to G ratings, with A being the most energy efficient and G the least efficient. The certificate is produced by an accredited domestic energy assessor.
You and anyone acting on your behalf, for example, an estate agent, must try to ensure that an EPC is available within 7 days of the property first being put on the market. More information on EPCs is available from the GOV.UK website at www.gov.uk. A certificate is valid for ten years and can be used multiple times during this period.
Clear and de-clutter
Buyers can often struggle to see past heaps of furniture and personal items, and they can make rooms feel small. Consider renting some external storage space to house items until you move. But try to strike a balance – remember people often buy into a lifestyle. Try and show them your home life at its best.
Lighting and painting
You can infuse new life into your home with some simple tricks. By tactfully placing clever mood lighting you can add warmth and ambience to a room. This also includes replacing broken light bulbs and using floor lamps rather than ceiling lights as upward lighting is more flattering and gives a cosier vibe. Also, mirrors facing windows reflect natural light and give the illusion of more space.
Consider if areas can be tidied up by a quick lick of paint. Don’t go overboard though – it’s good for property’s to show some personality, rather than feeling like empty white boxes. A splash of colour to one feature wall can be really effective.
If it’s broken, fix it
Small outstanding repairs can be easy to ignore when you see them every day, but when a buyer comes to look around your property they can make the place look really tired. Look around every room in your house, make a list of quick-fixes and get them sorted.
Don’t forget the garden
Now more than ever buyers are looking for outdoor space, whether it's a large lawn for the kids to play on or a small cottage garden to enjoy a glass of wine in an evening. Weeding, cutting the grass, and adding a few decorative touches are simple, cost effective ways to make the most of the outdoor space and your house even more appealing.
Adding Value to your home
First up, be objective. There are no doubt going to be some upgrades that will increase the value of your home… but are they worth the time, money and hard work? That’s for you to decide.
However, consider this:
Upgrade your kitchen
If it hasn’t seen an update since the other side of this Millenium, think about upgrading your kitchen as a priority. What’s more, Virgin Money recognises that an updated kitchen can add up to 6% to the value of your home. Of course, any investment should be minimal and we’d understand if you didn’t want to fork out on a brand new kitchen.
Replacing countertops or faucets can easily breathe new life into the heart of the house. And when it comes to cupboards – don’t be afraid to give them a lick of paint and change the handles for an economic upgrade. Alternatively, splash a bit more cash and invest in a reface altogether – it’s the benefit of looking like a new kitchen without costing like one.
Second to the kitchen, buyers look for the state of the bathroom as an indication as to whether or not they want to potentially buy your home. Furthermore, a new bathroom can increase your home’s value by a further 6% – sometimes more for any additional bathrooms.
Of course, refurbish only if necessary, keeping suites and colour schemes clean and neutral. If your budget is tight, be sure to at least wash shower curtains and bath mats, regrout the tiles and even install a new toilet seat.
According to research from Channel 4 Homes, a typical 4 bedroom home with an en suite to the master bedroom is worth £10,000 more than an equivalent property without en suite.
Finish major structural work
Now’s the time to finish those major projects, or at least get them ready for someone else to pick up where you left off. Be sure to have your most recent surveys, drawings and plans, planning permission and anything else to hand that the new owner will need to finish your project.
Prepare your finances before moving
Now that getting your home prepared for sale is out of the way, let’s look at your finances. Assessing your financial situation and getting your affairs in order will be the single best thing to empower you. What’s more, you’ll feel more confident and in control of your sale. Putting together a budget, which considers your current outgoings will help you sort a financial plan.
Choose us as an agent
The first step once you have decided that you want to sell your property is to invite Empire Estates’ agents to value your home. This will give you a clear idea of what you can sell it for in the current local property market, We will take care of everything and look to get the best result.
A valuation is simple – click here, or pop in to your local branch or call us on 020 8570 8855 to arrange. A local, friendly expert will come round, inspect your property and estimate how much your home is worth in light of similar houses in your area. Once you agree to sell, your house will be listed
Questions To Ask Your Agent
- What are your fees? - this is usually a percentage of the asking price.
- How will you market my home? Are there additional costs for different marketing packages?
- Do they have a list of buyers already interested in property like yours?
Once you have instructed an estate agent, they will need to put together the property particulars. This will involve:
- Taking detailed measurements of each room in order to create a floorplan.
- Making notes of each room for the description.
- Photographing the exterior and interior of your property. In most cases they will arrange for a professional photographer to visit your house. Many estate agents now offer video tours for potential buyers to see round your property and get an idea if they are genuinely interested before viewing your home in person.
You will be asked to approve the property particulars before your property is marketed. Don’t be afraid to ask for changes/additions if they have missed something in the description that you feel will entice potential buyers, or if you aren’t happy with one or more of the photographs.
Prepare your home for a viewing
Presentation matters. Buyers are coming to look around your property, and you need to make an effort to show your home at its best.
Don’t make buyers imagine how good it could be – show them. Decide on the strengths of your property and show them off. Go all out to impress!
Accept an offer
If a potential buyer makes an offer, your estate agent is legally required to pass it on to you – no matter how low or outrageous the offer may seem.
You then have the option to reject any offer outright, or to try and negotiate it upwards.
While you don’t have to sell to the highest bidder, you need to choose the buyer that is right for you. You may, for example, prefer to sell to a first-time buyer, a cash buyer, or someone who is not in a chain.
Once you are happy with an offer, you need to formally accept this.
Instruct a solicitor
Once you have accepted an offer, you will need to appoint a solicitor to handle all the legal work. Also known as ‘conveyancing,’ this process involves a solicitor drawing up a legal contract to transfer ownership from one person to another.
If you are buying and selling at the same time, it is likely to be a lot cheaper and easier to use the same solicitor for both transactions.
Once you have appointed a solicitor, you will need to complete paperwork about the property and about the sale.
This will cover matters such as the sale price, property boundaries, fixtures and fittings, planning restrictions, services to the property, such as drainage and gas, and when the sale will complete.
You are legally required to reply truthfully.
Expect to pay between £500 and £1,500 for conveyancing – but note there are a number of extra charges on top, such as title deeds, transferring ownership fee, and search fees, so make sure you budget for these.
Keep things moving
Once you’ve got to this stage, momentum is key to push the sale through to exchange and completion, so keep in regular contact with your estate agent and solicitor.
The quicker things progress, the less chance there is for any party to change their mind and pull out.
In England and Wales, exchange is the last stage of the legal process. It happens once both sides are happy with the contract, and sign final copies and send them to each other.
Once you have exchanged, you are legally committed to selling and the buyer is legally committed to buying from you. Neither side can then pull out without paying compensation.
At exchange, a date of completion will be set. This will usually be two weeks later – giving you time to arrange removals.
Organise the move
Be sure to shop around for quotes for removals firms, and be aware of the factors that can affect the price, such as the size of van (or vans) you need, how far you are moving, which day you move, which time of year you move, whether the firm does the packing or whether you do it yourself.
Completion is when the property changes ownership. As part of this process, money is transferred from the buyer to the seller, and the legal documents needed to transfer ownership are then handed to the buyer.
At this stage, your property has to be in the state agreed in the contract – including the fixtures and fittings.
All is left now is to hand your keys to the buyer and enjoy your new home.