Property Guide - Sellers Guide

Things You Need to Do:

(I). Preparing to Sell
Once you have decided to sell up, consider what to include in the sale.  Normally, fittings and fixtures such as fitted storage heaters and wardrobes are included in the price, but other moveable things like furniture can be up for negotiation.
If getting rid of items you no longer need, do it before you start marketing your property as the less clutter you have the quicker the sale.  Many councils take large items away, sometimes for free.
Give your estate agent useful documents and facts about your property, which they can mention to potential buyers, such as:
•    Building regulations certificates.
•    Gas and electrical certificate checks.
•    Council tax, utility, buildings and contents insurance bills - so potential buyers can estimate running costs.
•    For flats, service charges and ground rent bills.
In addition, ask your estate agent if it might be worth giving potential buyers other information, which could also speed up the conveyancing process, such as:
•    Environmental Searches - providing useful information such as the flood risks and pollution hot spots.
•    A Home Condition Report - providing extra information about the condition of your property, although your buyer may still need to get their own survey done.

(ii). How Much Is Your Property Worth?
It is important to find out how much your property is worth.  There are a number of ways to help you decide how much you should put your house on the market for:
•    Contact an estate agent on who can offer expert advice to help you decide a realistic asking price.   
•    Use the Property Price sections on our website to check out average sold house prices in your area.
•    Search for similar properties for sale in your area and compare prices.
•    Look at trends in your area, as well as national changes.

(iii). Where to Sell
You can sell your property privately or through an estate agent.  Take a look at estate agents on to will find one which matches your needs.  For most people, selling a home is the biggest transaction they will make.  Using experienced experts for each part of the process will give you the required knowledge and legal protection.
If you decide to sell your property privately, there is a lot of work to do and it can be expensive.
You will be responsible for:
Setting the price, marketing, arranging viewings, negotiating offers, progressing the sale through solicitors and conveyancers.
Private sale websites are popular with other sellers. However, there is not usually enough property stock on these websites to lure serious buyers and keep their interest.
In order to give buyers and sellers the best possible protection and service, does not accept property advertisements from private sellers or private landlords. All the property featured on our site complies with the requirements of the Property Misdescriptions Act 1991.
Property Misdescriptions Act
The Property Misdescriptions Act 1991 makes it an offence for an estate agent or property developer to make false or misleading statements in the course of their business. The Act is enforced by Trading Standards Officers. Find out more on the DTI website.
We recommend using an agent registered on our website who can apply their expertise, local knowledge and marketing power to add real value to your sale.
Benefits of using an Estate Agents:
•    A wealth of knowledge and expertise in the whole buying and selling process.
•    Plenty of advice will be provided, such as guidance on conveyancing and financial services.
•    They will conduct a valuation on your property, handle viewings and negotiations on your behalf and make sure your property is marketed correctly.
•    They will strive to achieve the best possible price for your property and the best buyer, thereby avoiding disappointment and stress from potential buyers.

Choosing the right Estate Agent
Choose one of the reputable and highly recommended estate agents on Propfine. Ask your family, work colleagues, friends and neighbours about their recent selling experiences.
Use our online find an estate agent section, which will help you short list potential estate agents in your local area. Pick an estate agent with a proven track record in selling.  Search for your selected estate agents to see if they have experience in selling your type of property.

Top Tips for choosing an Estate Agent
•    Choose a few estate agents, they will visit your property and assess it, and then recommend an asking price.
•    Ask them for a marketing plan for your property.
•    They will take photos of the property and compile a description of it.
•    Check the terms and conditions.  Make sure you know what you have agreed to before signing the forms.

(iv).  Viewings
Now a contract has been signed with an estate agent, you can start getting your property ready for viewings and give yourself the best chance of selling.  Put yourself in the buyers’ position and think about how you can enhance your property.
Look at the outside of your property as well as the inside.  Consider the first thing potential buyers will see when they arrive outside your house.
Make sure the:
•    front garden is tidy, no weeds and rubbish.
•    front door looks clean, fresh paint, no chippings and scraps.
•    windows are clean, no dirt and cobwebs.
Look at the inside carefully too:
•    Keep the property clean and tidy.De-clutter and use sensible storage. Potential buyers will want to visualise how they can fill the space
•    Undertake any minor repairs that need doing so buyers will need to try really hard to find any faults.
•    If you want to re-decorate, go for neutral colours, which will appeal to a wider audience.
•    Make your house comfortable, cool on hot sunny days and warm in winter.
•    Banish smoke or pet odours.
•    Open the windows, brew some fresh coffee, fresh flowers, to brighten the place up.
•    Bring out the best features such as fireplaces and use mirrors to increase the sense of space.

Use or advice for handling viewings to make the best of the opportunity to sell your home.

(v). Negotiating offers
Once you have received an offer, be prepared to negotiate. But remember, you don't have to sell to the highest bidder. A lower bidder might be better if they:
•    Are paying cash (so don't have to wait for mortgage approval)
•    Already have a mortgage "agreed in principle"
•    Don't have to sell a property first (they could be first-time buyers or investors) or are in a short chain
•    Can fit in with your timescales better than other buyers

If buying from a developer, see if they will offer a part exchange to buy your property from you.
If your property is not selling…
•    Ask your estate agent why they think it's not selling.  What's the feedback from viewings?
•    Can your estate agent 'freshen up' your property details on with better photos and a more engaging description?
•    Was the exterior photo clearly taken a long time ago in a different season? If so, ask the estate agent to take a new one.
•    Do you need to reduce the price?
•    If a survey revealed a problem that led a buyer to renegotiate or pull out, consider getting repairs done.

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