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Top Tips for Selling Your Home

12 August 2019

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The time has come to sell your home and move on to pastures new. You may have decided to move to a larger property with more space, relocate to a different part of the country, or downsize to save some money. Whatever the reason you will want the sale to go through as quickly and seamlessly as possible, whilst achieving a good price for the property.

True Solicitors LLP have come up with a list of top tips to make selling your home as easy as possible.

1. Ensure that you have all the paperwork

Before you put your property on the market it is advisable to have all the paperwork in order. Whilst it is unlikely that you will have in your possession old deeds to the property, it is worth checking as they contain valuable information on the history of the property. Your conveyancing solicitor will check over these for you, highlighting any issues that could potentially affect the sales process.

It is important to have all relevant documentation of work that has been done to the property over the years. This may include:

• Planning permission and building regulation certificates for any property alterations or extensions that have been built.
• Guarantee certificates such as FENSA certificates for windows and CORGI or Gas Safe certificates for the boiler and central heating.

Your property solicitor will need original copies of these certificates to pass on to the buyer’s solicitor when the sale completes. If you don’t have, or have lost, original certificates your solicitor will advise on what you can do to replace these before the buyer raises the issue.

2. Use the right conveyancing solicitor

Your solicitor is there to ensure that the sale of your property to the new owner is legally binding. The sale of your property is also often linked with the purchase of your new home, as the sale proceeds contribute towards the purchase price of the new property. It is therefore important to choose a solicitor that will help you to complete the transaction without a hitch, ensuring that all paperwork and contracts are completed properly.

Choose a conveyancing solicitor who will provide you with an excellent level of client care, operating on a fixed fee, no completion, no fee basis. Look out for solicitors who are accredited by The Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme.

3. Using the right estate agent

Choosing the right estate agent can make a huge difference to how long your property is likely to be on the market for. Take the following into consideration when picking the estate agent to market your property:

• Does the agent have a good online presence and advertise on external property sites like Zoopla and Rightmove? This is essential as over 90% of home buyers start their search online.

• How much is their commission? According to which.co.uk the average estate agent fee is 1.42% of the final selling price (inc VAT), as of July 2018. Although the figure can vary from below 1% to 3.5%. Bear in mind it is not always best to choose the estate agent that charges the cheapest rate of commission as their level of service may not be the best.

• Read reviews. It’s a good idea to read online reviews on Google and Trustpilot to get an idea of the level of service that you will likely receive. Ask friends and family for recommendations based on their past experiences.

• Local estate agent vs online estate agent. Online estate agents are becoming increasingly more popular with sellers. It is generally cheaper to use an online estate agent as they will charge a flat fee, rather than a percentage of the sale price. Using an online estate agent can have its pitfalls in the fact that there is a lack of knowledge in the local property market, viewings will have to be arranged by yourself and you will often have to liaise with the buyer and your solicitor yourself.

4. Getting the right property valuation

Getting the right property valuation can make or break the sale of your home. Properties valued too high will be harder to sell, on the contrary a valuation below market value could leave you out of pocket. It is advisable to contact 2-3 local estate agents to value your property, so that you get a fair idea of what your property could realistically sell for. Local estate agents will know what similar homes in the area have sold for and what the status of the current property market is like. This will also help to give you a more realistic idea of the time frame that you are likely to sell your property in.

Be aware that home buyers will be able to view the past selling price of your property on The Land Registry and on property websites like Zoopla. Therefore if the buyer can see that the property is on the market for a disproportionate amount higher than it was last sold for, with no evidence of any major works, they will be unlikely to offer the asking price.

5. Clean and prepare your home

Clean and prepare your home for viewings and before the professional photos are taken to market your property. Now is a good time to declutter and throw away/recycle or donate items that you don’t plan on taking with you to your new home. Give the property a good clean, paying attention to areas that attract dust such as light fittings, tops of cupboards and skirting boards.

Fix any DIY issues that you have been putting off, such as repairing or replacing broken door handles or hinges, repainting scratched and scuffed walls and replace any blown light bulbs. If you need to give walls a fresh lick of paint go for light and neutral colours that will appeal to buyers.

True Solicitors LLP offer a transparent and competitive conveyancing service for buyers and sellers of residential property. Use our handy conveyancing calculator below or contact us on 0344 854 7000 for a free, no obligation quote.

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