Selling a house can be a cumbersome process, and unless you are prepared for it, you will generally find setbacks that will make the biggest financial transaction of your life into a nightmare. With selling a house in the UK, you need to be organised and prepared for every step, so that even when disaster strikes, you will be ready to face it and move on. To help you arm with the most important nuggets of information about selling your property, we are listing down all you need to know about every step of the process. Read on!
Planning is the first thing on the list of every homeowner, but what sets each of them apart is how and what they plan and put on their checklists. Here is a list of considerations to keep in mind before selling property in the UK.
1. Creating a Budget
Are you one of those who think that selling a house will not cost that much, retrace your thinking process and evaluate again. Selling a house means that you have to make upgrades in order to make it more presentable to the potential buyers and to increase the saleability of the house, to set aside money for the agent, to plan the budget for moving and to buy things like packing boxes and tape for easy moving. Creating a budget will help you deal with the expenses that come with selling your property, as you can make better decisions beforehand about what and where to spend money on, and be prepared to deal with the spending in an efficient manner.
2. Don’t Sell Your House Before You Buy Your New One
Many people make the mistake of thinking that since selling a house before buying a new one is a better choice, either because they think they can use the money for the house that they just sold to buy the new one, or that they think that the selling process would take a long time and would be a hassle, and it would be better just to sell it first and buy a new one later.
How very wrong.
The problem with this thought is that you lose precious amount of time and money if you think about selling before you have bought. It’s like putting a horse before the carriage—it just doesn’t work.
Buying a new home comes first, since you need to ensure that you have somewhere to go. If you don’t do that, the moving will be extremely difficult and costly. You will have the choice of renting a place until you shift to the new home, in which case the cost of rent and the cost of moving twice (to the rented place and to the new house) will probably empty all your savings, and put a constant strain on you as you would have to think about buying a new place and moving again. On the other hand, if you sell your house after you secure a place for your family or yourself, you get the benefit of saving on hundreds and thousands of dollars and getting the peace of mind of finally settling in a home.
3. Don’t Forget to Get an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
In the United Kingdom, you are legally bound to get an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before you sell your property. In case you don’t, you will be fined for it. You are required to show the EPC to the buyers as it helps them get an insight about the energy efficiency of your home. The ratings of EPC range from A to G, with A being the most efficient and G being the least efficient. The EPC also illustrates:
- The energy use of the house and the typical cost of energy.
- The suggestions about limiting energy use and saving money.
4. Make Your Decision about How You Want to Sell Your House
There are three ways that you can sell your home:
- On your own–the traditional way.
- Through a high street agent.
- Through an online agent.
If you or your spouse has a former experience in real estate business, and you don’t mind spending long hours searching for buyers and doing the grunt work, then by all means sell your property the traditional way.
The middle ground is using the high street agent, and the most modern and easier way to sell your house is through an online agent. Online agencies use property portals like Rightmove and Zoopla, which are checked by serious buyers, so you can ensure that the buyers that contact you are thinking about making a deal, and not just “window shopping”.
5. Make Your Decision about When You Want to Sell Your House
Almost all of the property experts agree on the matter that there are some times in the year that it is beneficial to sell, while others in which it is disadvantageous to sell. If you are not bound by any other considerations, like if you have to sell your house fast due to an emergency, then you should definitely time when you put up your house for sale.
The best and worst times to sell your property in the UK are spring and autumn, and summer and winter, respectively. Since spring and autumn are the times when people have free time to consider the lengthy process of looking for a house, there is a lot of traffic of buyers in the market. During summer, people are busy enjoying their vacations abroad, and in winter, they are preparing for Christmas, so these times are not viable for selling your house.
Now that you have planned everything, you need to prepare your house and yourself for the process of selling your house. Here are the things you need to know:
1. All about Renovations, Replacements and the Upgrades
Most of the renovations that we will discuss here are the ones that improve the curb appeal of the house. This is because spending your money on improving the curb appeal gives the most returns when you sell your house in the UK. So, here we go:
1.1. Take Care of the Basics
If you are investing money on the expensive stuff and ignore the basic upgrades like leaking ducts or broken windows, all your hopes of impressing a potential buyer will be torn, shredded and burnt to ash.
If the buyer sees that the basic necessities are up and running, they might not even mind making some upgrades on their own!
1.2. Fiberglass Attic Insulation
During winters, heating expenses increase, and if you show your viewers that you have insulation installed that will manage the expenses to an affordable level, you will get more points. Compared with other projects, this is energy efficient to boost.
1.3. Front door Replacement
More often than not, minor replacements can reap huge benefits and a front door replacement is one of them.
Replacing your front door is a simple, tried and tested method that can significantly increase the value of a home. Your front door is one of the pieces making up the curb appeal of your house and replacing it with a steel door instantly kicks up the appeal.
1.4. Manufactured Stone Veneer (Siding replacement)
See the old and worn-out siding of your house, and how it gives off an aura of neglect? Your potential buyers will notice it, too. And they will certainly not appreciate it.
You need to replace it.
Manufactured stone veneer is a great option to choose, if you are looking for siding replacement. It gives a homely feeling to the house.
1.5. New Garage Door
A new garage door will go a long way to improve the curb appeal of your house. The best part is that you can get it at quite an affordable price, so you don’t have to worry about overspending your budget, either.
1.6. Convert Your Attic into a Bedroom
Whew, we’ve talked a lot about the exterior. Let’s now talk about the interior of your home.
Thinking out of the box comes in very handy when you need to get something done in a tight budget. If you think that adding a room will increase the value of your house, why not think about converting your dusty, old attic into a bedroom? Sure, it will cost more than replacing your front door, but it will also cost less than adding a new room. There is also less hassle as you don’t need to worry about the foundation costs and dirt work.
Not having to add on your house’s footprint keeps the remodelling costs under control while adding a functioning and pleasant living space in your home.
1.7. Use Neutral Paint and Remove Personalisation
If your home is personalised to your taste, it is time to remove that. This is because the potential buyers would need a blank slate to picture their house in, and if a house already brims with your personal touch, they will have a harder time imagining it from their perspective. This is why you should use neutral paint like white and beige to make it easy for the viewers to imagine themselves living in the house.
2. Set the Price of Your House
Once you have all the necessary upgrades and renovations, you need to set a price on your house. Check the pricing of the houses in the neighbourhood, and make an estimate about the price of yours. To get a calculated estimate, you can use the online free estimate by Zoopla, which takes the information about your house and guesses the price. You can use this estimate as a head start and discuss with your agent to make a more accurate estimate.
3. Prepare Yourself for Viewers
Viewers are going to come by according to their own schedule, and the house needs to be available even when you are not home. It is very disappointing to a potential buyer to see that a home that they wanted to check out is locked, and they are unlikely to come back. In order to prevent this, simply give a spare key to your reliable agent or trusty neighbour who will do the job of showing the viewers around when you are not at home.
4. Exchange Contracts
Once you successfully negotiate the deal, you can now exchange drafts. This is the legal binding that transfers the property to the buyer. Because neither party can get out of this agreement without paying a penalty, you need to make sure that you are on the same page with your buyer and everything has been discussed and agreed upon before you exchange the contracts.
Packing (and moving out)
Once you have been through with the whole process of selling your house, you need to move out. You need to pack carefully, and it is better that you start doing that beforehand. All the items that are not in used should be boxed up so that you only need to worry about packing the essentials when it is time to make the move. If your new house is nearby, you can take all the stuff easily on your own, with some help from friends. However, if your new house is quite far, it is better if you hire a moving service to aid you.
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