Here at Swift Residential we have put together this short selling guide to help you navigate the process of selling your home
Preparing to sell:
- What do you want to include in the sale? Usually built in wardrobes, fixtures and fittings are included but you can also include white goods. These can be negotiated on a separate occasion.
- Handing over as much information and certificates as you can will be helpful as we can then pass this information onto prospective buyers. This can be how much it costs to run your property, council tax, utility bills etc. If you have any electricity, gas and building regulation certificates, this will also be helpful to hand in. Do you have to pay any service charges or ground rents?
Preparing your home for viewings:
- Make your home look as de-cluttered as possible but make sure it is still personalised, you don’t want it to look like a hotel. If you have lots of large furniture, take it into account that it may make the room feel bigger if there is less of this.
- Make sure that your home is clean and ready for buyers to see the place. Fix any small repairs that need fixing e.g. cracked tiles, worn carpets, holes in walls etc. Having a tidy garden helps the buyers to imagine themselves using the garden. So, cut that grass, trim the bushes, jet spray that patio if needed.
- Wall mirrors really help to make smaller rooms seem bigger and adds extra light to hallways. Have the lights on, if you have a dark corner, make sure there is a lamp there.
- Go that extra mile. Do you have a fire that you could light on a cold evening? Add fresh flowers or house plants, they give off a nice aroma and they add colour to a room. Adding to a nice aroma, make sure you get rid of any bad smells, if you’re a smoker, put bowls of distilled (white) vinegar in places around your home and leave out for up to three days. The vinegar will smell but once you open the windows, the smell will go quickly and it will take most of the stale smoke smell out with it.
- You’ve received an offer, congratulations! Be conscious of the fact that the highest bidder may not be the best option. Consider these:
- Having a cash buyer will speed up the process of exchanging contracts as mortgage approval will take some time and could delay things.
- Being in a chain will slow things down also. The longer the chain, the longer the process.
Accepting the offer:
- If you do secure an offer, it will usually be ‘subject to survey’ which in summary means if everything goes smoothly with the survey, the buyer will keep their offer at the same amount. This will take some time so be patient. You will need either a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer to start the process of transferring the legal ownership of property or land from one person to another.
Exchanging Contracts & Completion:
- This is the final phase of the legal process after which, the buyer would lose their deposit if they were to pull out. If you then pull out without a due reason, the buyer’s deposit will be returned, and you could be sued. Once this is done, you will agree on the contents of the contract, what fixtures and fittings will be included, will there be any discount due to any problems flagged up in the survey and so forth. A completion date will then be set, usually this will be between 7 and 28 days after the exchange of contracts. This gives you time to arrange to move your things from one place to the next. When you exchange contracts with the buyer, this becomes legally binding.
- Make sure that you leave the property clean.
- When you’re packing your things up, it is a good idea to have a sort through of things that you no longer need or use. There is no point moving things that you simply don’t need.
- If you are using a removal company, make sure that your possessions are insured for transit. Most companies will provide the insurance but do make sure you read the fine print.
- It will be much easier to move if you have someone look after your children or pets.
- Take meter readings (photos help too) of both properties on the day you move.
- Redirect your mail for a few weeks, a good provision against identity theft.
- Keep a small box of essentials close by. Having a cuppa will go a long way when you first get to the new house!
- It is a nice good will gesture to write a ‘fact file’ for your old home for the new owners. This can include the boiler details, instruction leaflets, recycling schemes etc.
- Check that all the water, heating, smoke alarm etc. all work in your new home.
- Tell relevant companies that you have moved including, the local council, employers and the DVLA.