Selling your home, is it as easy as it sounds…By Jon Nuttall
Many people considering selling their property assume it will be a seamless simple transaction that will be dealt with by others. Those who have sold or tried to sell a property recently will know this is not the case.
With lending institutions becoming more and more difficult and certain areas of the country struggling to recover from the crash back in 2007 / 2008 selling your home could prove to be slow, traumatic and extremely stressful. There are many factors to consider when selling your home, some of which have been detailed below.
The first thing a seller will need to do is instruct an estate agent.
The world of estate agents continues to change and there are a number of different options available to sellers. The traditional approach is to instruct a local estate agent with a shop frontage and high street presence who will upload the property to the main portals [Rightmove / Zoopla etc], erect a for sale sign outside the property and advertise it in the local press.
A local estate agent will typically charge between 1 – 2% of the agreed sale price plus VAT. The estate agent will visit the property, measure up, take photos and prepare the description for marketing purposes. There will be limited input from the seller at this stage.
More and more vendors are choosing to instruct the services of an online estate agent generally due to the reduced cost associated with dealing with them. Typically, they will charge between £300 – £1,000 but the seller may have to take their own photos and email them over to the online agent with details of what rooms the property comprises of and the condition of each room…. Is it possible to be confident selling a house that you have not been inside?
The final option available is for sellers to use a website where they can upload their own photos and descriptions, take care of any inbound enquiries and carry out viewings themselves. Some would argue the person who owns the property is the best positioned to sell it.
That said, are we all sales people? Do sellers want the stress of trying to sell their own home? Ultimately, everyone is different and everyone will have their own thoughts on which estate agent to instruct.
Once the seller has decided what type of estate agent to instruct, the next stage is to carry out due diligence about the estate agency.
It is imperative to know who you are dealing with and what experience they have. Has the estate agent got access to the portals to advertise the property online?
Is the agent a member of the Property Ombudsman Redress Scheme? Does the agent have sufficient professional indemnity insurance? Does the estate agent do viewings in the evenings / weekends? Is it a no sale, no fee arrangement? How long is the contract duration?
What is the fee? Does the estate agent qualify potential buyers correctly? There is no point showing ten people round a house if they cannot afford to buy it….. There are many questions a seller will need answers to before deciding who to instruct to sell their home.
So, let’s assume you have made the decision about who to instruct to sell your home, what next? PRICE – how much do we advertise the property for?
Getting the price right is paramount to the success of selling anything. A property is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Vendors looking to sell a property will need to take guidance on valuation from the estate agent.
A local agent who has 25 years experience in the area should know what the property is worth before they even look around. Having said that, in my experience, estate agents will regularly overvalue and overglorify the property and number of potential buyers they have ‘on their books’ with a view to winning the instruction.
Typically, an agent will call the vendor around two weeks after the property has been marketed to suggest a decrease in the purchase price. This suggested reduction can infuriate some vendors who feel they have been misled from the start, not a great start to the relationship between vendor and agent! What can you do to prevent this?
Ask the agent to show evidence that other similar properties in the area are selling for around the figure they are looking to market the property for. You can use Rightmove and Zoopla to do this yourself and I suggest you have an idea of what you feel the property is worth before you pick up the phone or visit the agent.
The final piece of the puzzle involves finding a conveyancing solicitor to look after your sale and potentially purchase also.
Finding the right solicitor is critical as you need to ensure your interest is protected. Solicitors are regulated by the SRA and you can check to make sure the solicitor you are considering dealing with is regulated. You should also google the name of the firm and review the search results to see if there is any adverse entries on any forums.
Visit the solicitor in their office to get an idea of how professional they are. Look at the fees and compare with another firm or two. Ask the individual how many transactions they have completed. I would also suggest you ask about their current workload – do they have capacity to act for you or are they simply too busy?
If you are selling a leasehold property, there are other things to consider – is the management company available and willing to reply to any enquires raised? How long is the lease? How much is the ground rent and service charge per annum? Will this put off potential buyers? Is the property considered mortgagable in the current climate? Your conveyancer should be able to help you with this…..
To summarise the above, selling a property is not as easy as it may sound. That said, some people are lucky and instruct a good estate agent who prices the property sensibly, finds a buyer quickly who doesn’t struggle to obtain a mortgage and completes quickly in a timescales that suits the seller.
I would suggest this happens in a very small percentage of property sales. There are so many variables involved in selling a home and so many people who need to play a part that sales regularly fall through. It is common not to be able to determine who is at fault but there is an alternative available to those looking for an easy life and a hassle free sale.
There are a number of specialist cash buyers, one of which is UK Homebuyers Ltd, who are set up to buy property, for cash, very quickly. UK Homebuyers have completed transactions in as little as 7 days but typically, sales take between 7 – 28 days.
There are a number of benefits to the vendor of using companies such as UK Homebuyers, the main one being the hassle free nature of the sale. UK Homebuyers team will do the majority of the work for you to make your life as easy as they can.
They will instruct a conveyancer from their panel to act for the vendor and they will even pay the legal fees. They will progress the case to completion and ensure the sale completes on the day requested by the seller. If you are concerned about losing the onward purchase of your dream home, it is certainly worth making contact with UK Homebuyers to see what they can offer you for your property!
If you decide to try the quick sale market, carry out due diligence on the cash buyer, use google to search for any complaints made against the company you are considering dealing with, find out if they are approved member of the Property Ombudsman Redress Scheme & if they have professional indemnity insurance. Finally, make sure you meet the person you are dealing with. Whatever route you decide to take, take your time, do not rush any decisions and I am sure you will get the right result! Good luck.