Make sure you’re fully prepared before taking the plunge and selling
Selling your home is a big decision and one that can prove disruptive and very expensive if mismanaged or done for the wrong reasons. Thinking carefully before taking the plunge and being aware of all the angles will help you make the best decision and ensure things go smoothly.
Do you need to sell?
Think carefully if you haven’t already; maybe you could achieve your aims at less expense than moving?
For example, if you’re short of space maybe building an extension would be more cost effective? Conversely, if you’re thinking of downsizing to save money, how long will it take to collate savings bearing in mind the initial costs of moving?
At least factor in all your moving costs such as stamp duty and professional fees first - they can and likely will mount up.
Assess your finances
- Selling and buying - if you’re selling with a view to buying another property, you need to have a good idea as to how much you can spend, so realistic ideas of purchase prices and what your property is likely to fetch are basics you must know.
Get a professional property expert to help such as this if you’re selling (or buying) in this area of Essex. They can advise on the property market locally and value your home, so you have some concrete financial information to go on.
- Mortgage - if you have a mortgage and will continue to have one when buying again, ascertain exactly what type of offer you’ll be given. Check if there are any early repayment charges or fees that would be levied if you transfer a mortgage to a new property.
Consider renting after you sell
Selling and buying a new property in one overall step can add to the stress and pressure of the situation; you may have to take a lower offer to sell quickly if your intended house is available, but you face competition for it.
Alternatively, you may get a good offer yet have nowhere to move to if your house hunting hasn’t proved fruitful.
One way to ‘break the cycle’ is to rent for a period so you can house hunt with the pressure off to a degree. This helps put you in a good position when selling as you don’t have to rush into a sale if the offer isn’t quite right, and you can focus on your new property exclusively without worrying about the sale part of the process.
This idea won’t suit everyone, but it’s worth considering especially in property markets that move very quickly.
Choose your estate agent carefully
As mentioned earlier, it’s vital to secure the services of a competent local estate agent to help you sell and buy if you decide to house hunt along with selling.
Ideally, talk on the phone or even meet with them to see how they conduct property sales; how would they market your home? How do they communicate with you?
Ask them to value your property and assess how well they know their local market. If you ask two or three agents to value your property, don’t simply choose the one with the highest valuation - it can sometimes be a ruse to get you on their books.
Ask them how they arrived at their price for your property. Have they got some useful ideas as to how you can make your property more saleable without necessarily spending a fortune on it?
Are they creative in their advice such as ‘staging’ (undertaking certain low cost or even no cost tasks to make the property more appealing)? If they are and seem enthusiastic and resourceful that’s a good sign.
Your agent will advise, but ensure you have key paperwork to hand ready for when you put your property on the market; along with title deeds, documentation such as any building guarantees, planning permission correspondence and (if applicable) leasehold terms and maintenance arrangements should be to hand.
Overall, taking the plunge to sell is first deciding if you need to and, if so, getting organised and ensuring the right help such as an experienced professional estate agent is in your corner.