Step 1 – Valuations
How much is your home worth?
When selling your property, one of the first and most important tasks is to obtain an accurate valuation. This is not simply a case of settling for the highest valuation, it is about trusting your agent to interpret the appetite and direction of the local property market to deliver an accurate valuation that will ensure your home will sell for the best price possible and in a time scale that suits your needs.
If you plan to buy a new house following the sale of yours it’s also important to organise your finances as soon as possible, whether you’re remortgaging or applying for a new mortgage. This is especially important now because of the Mortgage Market Review, which involves lenders conducting thorough screening processes to double check borrowers can definitely afford the mortgage repayments, based on their specific incomings and outgoings.
Organising how much you can borrow early on will give you a better idea of not only what you can afford to buy next but also how much you need your home to sell for in order to move successfully.
Step 2 – Choosing an Estate Agent
Although it is possible to sell your property privately, the task of setting the price, marketing the property, arranging viewings, negotiating offers and progressing the sale through solicitors, can be an overwhelming undertaking. Most sellers choose to engage an estate agent who acts on your behalf to find you the right buyer at the right price.
Recent research has indicated that 88% of sellers do not base their choice of estate agent on price alone but also consider factors such as local reputation, success in selling property similar to yours, the experience and training of the team, specialised or innovative marketing techniques, support services, membership of regulatory bodies and any professional awards.
Kassam and Co has nearly 2 years’ experience in the residential property industry, and over this time we have learnt that both buyers and sellers really value an estate agent with in-depth local knowledge, as this ensures they will have an instant understanding of the appeal of your property to local buyers and will therefore get you the right price.
In addition to finding buyers, selling through Kassam and Co offers other benefits to ease the stress associated with selling your home. We help you arrange a legally required Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), market your property, accompany viewings if required, conduct negotiations for the sale and facilitate the whole sales process using our dedicated Team.
Step 3 – Marketing your property
There are many methods that can be used to drum up interest in your property. Before choosing an agent, find out how they market their properties. Do they use photography that will represent your property in the best light? Do they advertise in local newspapers? Visit their website and see how their properties are advertised online.
At Kassam and Co we use the following to advertise homes our client’s properties:
Direct communication with registered buyers we think would be interested in your property, bearing in mind your personal timescales and price expectations
Brochures for issuing at viewings and via the post which will contain accurate floor plans, dimensions and professional photography
Internet promotion on both our website and national property portals
‘For Sale’ signs (never underestimate the power of traditional for sale signs as many homes sell as a result of a friend or neighbour spotting the board and spreading the word)
Regular eye-catching adverts in local press, lifestyle magazines and national press, when appropriate
Our top tip: Put yourself in your buyer’s shoes, visit your estate agent’s branch and website and question whether the branch is a welcoming environment with friendly staff and if the website easy to navigate?
Step 4 – Viewings
If you choose to host the viewing yourself remember to highlight all the good points that are not immediately obvious such as friendly neighbours, south facing gardens and in-built storage. First impressions really do count when potential buyers view your property.
Kassam and Co can take buyers on viewings for you or if you prefer, you can guide buyers around your own home for a personal touch.
Give your property ‘kerb appeal’*, if the outside of your home looks shabby it does not make potential buyers optimistic about the inside. We suggest that you step outside your property and imagine what a buyer will think on their first approach. A tidy lawn and clean windows and doors will give a much better impression so it is worth taking the time to enhance the exterior of your house (look out for visible bins, chipped paint and any outdoor clutter).
*Kerb appeal is industry jargon for the first impressions a property makes on a buyer before he/she has even walked through the front door.
Potential buyers will want to imagine themselves living in your property, so above all your home needs to be clean, comfortable and clutter-free. We suggest the following to make them feel at home:
Control the temperature: keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter
De-clutter: remember buyers may look in cupboards and drawers to investigate storage space
DIY jobs: it is worth finishing off any niggling jobs that may put off buyers
If you are thinking of redecorating, use neutral tones so buyers can picture their own furniture in the rooms
Replace any odours of smoke or pets with flowers or freshly brewed coffee or baked bread
Our top tip: Listening to feedback from viewings can be helpful to determine how to make your property even more attractive to buyers.
It is important to be prepared for potential buyer’s questions such as; which fixtures and fittings are included? What are the neighbours like? What are your reasons for moving? We recommend discussing your answers with our staff to consider answers which will not discourage buyers to make an offer. This will also ensure we are on the same page if the buyer asks the questions of your estate agent after the viewing.
Step 5 – Negotiation
Your estate agent will handle negotiations between you and the buyer. It is important that you consider how much you would be prepared to accept if a buyer offers a price different from the asking price, especially if this will affect the amount you can borrow for the mortgage on your next home. The buyer’s position may also impact your decision. Consideration should be given to the position and ability of the buyer along with the price being offered and how they fit in with your requirements, are they paying cash, do they already have a mortgage “agreed in principle”, are they first time buyers, are they in a short chain, or can they work to your timescales better than other buyers?
Whatever happens, you should never feel pressured into accepting an offer you are not comfortable with. Estate agents are acting on your behalf, not the buyers, so we will work with you to get the best price. Your estate agent will be able to advise you as they will be taking into account the response to the marketing so far, interest from any other parties and any recent comparable sales.
Remember: A survey may reveal repairs are needed on your property which could affect the price a buyer is willing to pay. If you are concerned about potential issues with your property, arrange an independent survey prior to the sale.
Step 6 – Accepting an offer and finding the right mortgage
Once negotiations have reached a positive conclusion and you are happy to accept an offer, you will need to instruct a property solicitor/conveyancer, if you haven’t already done so. Kassam and Co offers conveyancing services to assist the sale to a swift completion. Your estate agent will then issue a memorandum of sale detailing the specifics of the sale and circulate it to all parties.
At this stage you can also take your own mortgage application further, if you haven’t already, as you now know how much your money you will make from the sale of your home.
Our top tip: Stay in the loop: Kassam and Co conveyancing services will keep you up-to-date with updates via text messages, emails and even online case trackers.
Step 7 – Exchange
The exchange of contracts is the point where a non-refundable deposit (normally 10% of the purchase price) is transferred over to your property lawyer/conveyancer/solicitor and all the legal work has been carried out, meaning contracts can be signed and exchanged. From this point both parties are legally bound to go through with the transaction.
Your completion date will normally be set at this stage, around two weeks after the exchange or any other mutually convenient timescales.
Step 8 – Completion and moving in
On completion day your money will be transferred and your buyer will be able to move in to their new property. If you want to remove an element of stress from the day contact Kassam and Co and ask for their recommended removal companies. We have contacts to help pack, move and unpack your belongings quickly and carefully.
Before you leave remember to take meter readings and re-direct your post. We recommend you leave some notes for the new owner to explain how things work and where to find the essentials such as the boiler switch, they are sure to be appreciative (which may be helpful in redirecting any of your post!)
Our top tip: If you can leave a few days between moving out and moving in to your new home this is a great time to get some decorating done or carpets cleaned.