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What To Consider When Preparing to Sell Your Home

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Preparing to sell your house is an essential moment in anyone’s life. Whether you’ve been building up to this for a long time or it has sprung upon you suddenly, you will want to ensure that everything is ‘in order’ when the time arrives.

It is natural to feel nervous about this process, but with the right preparation, things can be made a lot easier. Creating a ‘checklist’ of things to do and making sure everything is completed with plenty of time will undoubtedly make you feel better and also result in a far more successful sale.

In the blog below, we have outlined all the key things to consider when selling your property. Keep reading for our top tips.

What time of year to sell your house

Your first major decision is when you will sell your house. Sometimes, you have to act quickly and cannot afford to be picky about this subject—for example, if your workplace is relocating or if you are going through a divorce.

But if you have the luxury of lots of time, then you will want to sell at a time of the year that is most convenient for you. Many families choose to avoid the Christmas period and the Summer holidays, as selling at such a busy time can be inconvenient. 

On the other hand, the more ‘popular’ seasons to sell, like Spring and Autumn, are usually busier. Removal costs can increase—perhaps you want to avoid this rush and think outside the box.

Your personal calendar will also make a big difference. You may want to plan your house sale around major events, such as a wedding, upcoming holidays, or birthdays.

What route to sell your house through

You will also need to consider what route you will go to sell your house. Although most people go straight to a high street estate agent and sell on the open market, this is not the only option available. 

Selling directly to a cash house buyer or going through an auction house both have advantages and drawbacks and may be more compatible with your situation.

For example, going to a cash buyer can be useful for any of the following reasons:

  • Buyer withdrawn
  • Divorce
  • Financial difficulties
  • Facing repossession
  • Estate agent is not delivering
  • Inherited a property
  • Offloading a buy-to-let
  • Selling a house in poor condition

Many of these circumstances would make you unattractive to potential buyers on the open market, or they may require you to sell your house within an extremely short time frame (i.e. a couple of weeks). Cash buyers can be useful for these emergencies. At the same time, an estate agent may be better if you have plenty of time and want to get the maximum value for your house.

Whatever route that you decide is best, there are a few more preparations that you still need to make.

Which organisation will you use to sell it?

Once you’ve decided on the best-selling route, you will need to select a trustworthy organisation that can make it happen. In this instance, you may want to ask friends and family for recommendations or check online reviews to see which companies have plenty of satisfied customers.

If speed is important to you, going with the most fully booked organisations may not always be the best idea. You should seek out a company that best suits your needs and ideally has in-depth local market knowledge.

What price are you willing to accept

You must decide on a price you will accept for your house. Ideally, you will get your property valued by more than one independent expert, as this can give you a non-biased perspective on what it would sell for in the current market.

While an estate agent can help you to maximise your sale price, using a cash buyer may require you to compromise on the figure. These are important considerations, and your aspirations may impact what number you deem ‘acceptable’.

Making your house look ‘presentable’

If you are conducting viewings for your property to attract the highest possible price, you want it to look good. While square footage, garden space, driveways, and more are important considerations, so is how your house looks and feels inside.

Decluttering is one of the most important steps in preparing for a sale. Having many items everywhere can make the house look messy and the rooms look smaller. In this instance, ‘less is more’, as you want your viewers to be able to imagine themselves living there.

You will also want to tidy, clean and dust as much as possible. In an ideal world, the dishes should be done, the tiles should be scrubbed, and all the old antiques should be dusted. You may want to dedicate a day or two to doing this yourself or hire a cleaner to come in and do it for you.

Paying attention to the exterior of your house, such as the front and back garden (if applicable), is important. Mowing the lawn, raking leaves, and sanding down any pavement may give a ‘finished’ look that makes your house look far more attractive from the outside.

What your next steps are

When you enter into a property chain, you will not only need to think about selling your existing property but also about moving into your new one. You could have a range of options regarding the path forward and have to decide which one makes sense. For example:

  • Buying a new property (upsizing, downsizing, or staying the same)
  • Renting
  • Moving in with friends or family

Preparation is important for any of these things, as you will need to review your finances to ensure that you can afford whatever comes next. 

There may also be a psychological transition needed, such as moving to a new neighbourhood or significantly decreasing the size of your house.

Which solicitor to use

The speed at which your house sale moves along mainly depends on your solicitor, so you need to consider which company/professional to use. If you have had positive experiences with a specific organisation or if your friends have recommendations, these may be factors you consider. Pricing could also be necessary, as solicitors can cost several thousand.

Getting all your paperwork in order

Although not the most exciting part of selling a house, getting your documentation in order is essential. Your solicitor can guide if you are unsure about what is explicitly needed. 

Gathering all the paperwork – such as your Energy Performance Certificate, Title Deeds, proof of ID, and plenty more – can take a while, so you should give plenty of time to this task.

Which removal company to use

Lastly, on removal day, you will want to be supported by a highly efficient company. Looking online for reviews and asking for recommendations in the local area can give you the best chance of success. 

You may want to get price quotations from several organisations to determine the likely cost.

Keep in mind that removal companies often get booked a long time in advance, so you should organise this as soon as you know your official moving date and where you are moving to.

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