How to sell your house

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Selling your house can be a stressful experience, but by following a few guidelines, you can make it run a little more smoothly.

Here are our tips:

Choose the right estate agent

It is important to pick the right estate agent to sell your house. Choose someone that understands what you want to achieve and any difficulties you might face.

For instance, do you have a family member still residing in the property that may need some gentle handling whilst the sale is going through? Is the estate agents long established? Do they know the area well? What is their website like? Consider all these points before you pick one.

Decide on your house price

There is no point setting a higher than realistic house price. All this will do is put off potential buyers. Set a realistic asking price by looking at similar properties in your area. And be prepared to accept a slightly lower offer in order to sell your house.

Be clear what’s included in the price

Have a list of items that are included in the house sale. Any fixtures and fittings that you are prepared to leave behind, make sure the buyer is aware and that they understand clearly what they are getting for their money.

Prepare your home

Complete any outstanding DIY jobs, including painting, maintenance and garden work. Make sure your house is thoroughly cleaned and decluttered before any potential buyers come through.

Mow lawns and weed garden beds. Create more space by clearing away any unnecessary clothes, books, magazines etc

Wash windows, paintwork, doors.

Ensure pathways leading up to the house are clean and tidy. Give the front door a fresh lick of paint. Put fresh plants in planters outside the front door.

Consider an open house

If it looks as though your home is not going to sell quickly, organise an open house. This is where would-be buyers are given a two-hour window to your house, alongside an estate agent.

It was David Adams, of central London estate agency John Taylor, who brought this technique to Britain from the US. “An open house creates a buzz, and possibly encourages higher and earlier offers,” he says.

Give your estate agent an incentive

If you are desperate to sell your house, why not offer your agent an extra half a per cent if the house exchanges within an allotted time frame, say 6 weeks?

And never give an agent a 12 week contract, it is far too long and restricts you from changing to a different agent. Four weeks is plenty of time.

Pick the best buyer

If you have several potential buyers, pick the one that has the best chance of seeing the process through. So cash buyers, or buyers who have already sold their homes are most likely to get to completion.

Do not just pick the one who has made the highest offer, they may fall through at the last minute.

Buyers who have not yet sold their homes are the least likely to be able to complete on time.

Be flexible and keep in touch

It is important to be flexible and agree a completion date that suits both parties, even if this means you moving into temporary accommodation before moving into your next home. This will avoid arguments which may affect the completion later down the line.

Make sure you are available to communicate with your buyer to answer any questions they may have. Silences from either side are worrying and could cause problems. If you don’t know the answer, say so and find out.

Get everything in writing

Once you have agreed a price, a date, what is included and what is not, get everything in writing and have your solicitor look it over. Only then sign the contracts and you can start packing.

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