Having achieved one major milestone and got your foot on the property ladder it might be time to work your way up the rung and gain your first experience of being a first-time home seller, so that you can trade up to your next property.
Just as being a first-time buyer can be an intimidating experience at times, there are definitely some rules of engagement to get to grips with when it is your first time selling a house.
Here is a look at some of the steps that you will need to take in order to achieve a successful sale and a few tips on what to expect so that you are ready for any bumps in the road before you achieve a sale of your first-time property.
It is much easier to combine a sale and subsequent purchase at the same time rather than sell and then start to look for another property to move in to, although it might not seem like it at the time.
Give serious consideration to where you want to live next once your home has been solved. Planning ahead will often save time and money in the long run, and if you have found another home that you want to buy, arrange to get preapproved for your mortgage in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises at a later stage.
Many sellers agree to purchase another home based on the proviso that they manage to sell theirs and this will create a chain that might involve multiple house sales that are all dependent on their existing home being successfully sold.
Pick an estate agent
It is sometimes tempting to consider the idea of selling the house yourself in order to save on costs, but although estate agents fees will have to be factored into your budget, a good estate agent can be beneficial in a number of ways.
Ask friends and relatives in your area of their experiences with certain agents and see if you can gauge from the feedback who would be a good choice to instruct, provided their fees meet your expectations.
If you can’t get any personal referrals, check online and look for reliable forums where you might be able to read unbiased reviews from customers who have used the estate agent already and try to get a shortlist of three agents, to invite to your home for a valuation and to quote for your business.
A good estate agent will work hard to get you a buyer at the best possible price, then verify their ability to proceed, and subsequently chase up solicitors and provide you with regular updates on progress.
Get the price right
The market will always decide if a house is overpriced and another key factor when using an estate agent to sell through, is their ability to suggest a suitable valuation that will get you a fair price but attract enough buyers to achieve a sale.
Getting the asking price of your home right is pivotal as it will enable you to attract a steady level of interest and viewings whereas if prospective buyers believe that your house is overpriced, nothing will deter them more.
You will soon know if your home is overpriced as the buyers will simply stay away and your property will stay on the market for longer than it should. This also has a negative effect as house-hunters will notice that your home has been on the market for a while if they are searching regularly.
Cutting the price to attract buyers is also a negative and shouldn’t always be necessary if the correct price point is found in the first place.
Preparing to sell
You will need to provide an energy performance certificate for the property before you can sell and you should also give consideration to things like what fixtures and fittings you will be including in the sale, as this forms part of the basis of the contract of sale and can’t be amended once it has been submitted to your solicitor.
Also gather together important documents that the buyer and their solicitor sill want to see such as any gas and electrical safety certificates, NHBC guarantees if the house is less than 10 years old and copies of utility bills, so that a potential buyer can work out their running costs.
Try to get rid of clutter and unwanted items before you put your house on the market, as this will help the house look more spacious and will also mean you have less to move when the time comes to pack.
Selling your first property will be another new experience and if you follow a basic strategy that has worked for others in the past, you should soon be moving another step up the property ladder.
Emily R. Mitchell is a personal finance advisor. She loves writing about money-related issues. Look for her posts on many money and real estate blogs.