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The Process of Buying and Selling

Preparing Your Home For Sale

When buyers are looking for a new home, you want to do everything you can to show them your property’s potential.

Helping buyers to picture themselves living in your home not only means you receive better offers, but that you sell more quickly too. Here we share our top tips to prepare your home for sale:

DECLUTTER

Buyers can often struggle to see past furniture and personal items, and these things can make rooms feel small. Consider renting some external storage space to house items until you move, but try to strike a balance – remember, people often buy into a lifestyle. Try and show them your home life at its best.

A FRESH LICK OF PAINT

Creating the right first impression is very important when selling your property. Giving your walls a fresh lick of paint is all it takes to brighten up your room and can make all the difference when it comes to creating the right first impression.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT

Buyers will often drive past a property to rate its kerb appeal before they express any interest. Tidy up the garden or driveway, clean the windows, and give the front door a spruce with some fresh paint.

FIX, FIX, FIX

Small outstanding repairs can be easy to ignore when you see them every day, but when a buyer comes to look around your property they can make the place look quite tired. Look around every room in your home, make a list of quick-fixes and get them sorted.

Don’t Forget To Clean

Many people get so intimidated when it comes to cleaning when preparing to sell a home. You want everything squeaky clean. Here, we will help you remember what to clean, including places that are so easy to overlook because buyers will look everywhere.

Don’t forget to make sure you have all the supplies you need. You’ll quickly lose motivation if you have to stop to find supplies or go out and buy them.

RECEPTION AREA

  • Make sure the door and all hardware are sparkling clean

  • Wipe off any fingerprints, which are quite common in this area

  • Check for scuff marks along the walls or the bottom of the door. If there is too much dirt and too many marks, you may need to repaint the door or walls

  • Clean your welcome mat or get a new one

  • Make sure lighting fixtures and light bulbs are all in working condition and that you clean and dust them

  • Pack away unused items so there is extra room, making it look spacious

KITCHEN

  • Wipe down all the cabinets. You will be amazed just how much food splatter and grease can get on the doors and hardware

  • Clean all appliances, inside and out. This includes the entire interior of the refrigerator, dishwasher, and oven/stove.

  • Don’t forget to clean the cooker hood, both on top and underneath. Make sure that the grill is clean and the light bulb is working

  • Pull out the refrigerator and clean behind it and remember to clean underneath it too

  • Don’t forget to clean underneath the sink. Take out everything and wipe down the entire inside, including any pipes

  • Wipe down any blinds or shades and wash any curtains or throw rugs

  • Find somewhere to temporarily store any pet food, dishes and other supplies

BATHROOM

  • Common missed areas include behind the toilet and underneath the sink. Make sure that any pipes and fittings are cleaned thoroughly

  • De-cluttering your bathroom is essential. You should only have absolute necessities on display

  • Clean out under the vanity and make sure that it is organised and that you removed any unnecessary items when decluttering so that it appears spacious

  • Scrub the floors and clean the grout lines

  • After de-cluttering, you should have removed all personal items, but make sure that any that remain are neatly stored or organised. You might want to invest in a shower caddy to keep everything in one place

  • Make sure that there are fresh, or ideally new towels on display, neatly folded

  • Clean the fan and ensure that it is functioning

BEDROOM

  • Buy new sheets, blankets and comforters, or wash your existing ones

  • Wash or dry-clean curtains and rugs

  • Remove any stains on any fabrics

  • Wipe down all furniture

  • Clean the Walls and Floors

Considering & Accepting An Offer

CONSIDERING THE OFFER

It is normal practice for buyers to offer 5-10% less than the advertised asking price so don’t be surprised if initial offers are a little low.

There is no need to accept or reject an offer straight away, it is perfectly normal to think things over for a day or two.

It is a good idea to find out from your estate agent the buyer’s position first before making any decisions as there are other important factors to keep in mind when deciding who to sell your house to:

What is the financial position of the potential buyer?

  • Do they have to sell a home in order to move?

  • Are they a cash buyer?

  • Do they have a mortgage approved in principle?

What are your buyer’s timescales for moving?

  • Do they need to move quickly?

  • Are they part of a chain?

  • Are they flexible on a move date?

  • Do you have to move quickly in order to secure your next house? If so, then you may be more interested in accepting an offer from buyers who are not part of a chain

  • If you are in no hurry to move, then you could hold out for a higher offer

A buyer who is not part of a chain and who already has a mortgage approved is a more favourable purchaser than someone who needs to sell their own home in order to fund the purchase, and who hasn’t yet got a mortgage approved.

ACCEPTING THE OFFER

If you do accept an offer it is usually ‘subject to survey or engineers report,’ which means as long as the survey doesn’t throw up any surprises, the buyer will keep their offer.

The accepted offer is not legally binding until contracts are exchanged.

The Buying Process

ARRANGING YOUR MORTGAGE

Before you begin the search for your ideal property, it is recommended that you speak to a mortgage advisor to obtain information on what price range you can search. We can recommend a local broker to help you with this.

ARRANGE VIEWINGS ON SUITABLE PROPERTIES

Once you have decided what type of property and the price range you are searching for, you can then start arranging to view some properties you are interested in. You may wish to second view the property before making an offer to ensure it is the right property for you.

MAKE AN OFFER

Once you have decided which property you want to buy, you can then make an offer to the estate agent. The estate agent will most likely require information from you including your mortgage details. If you have sold your property, you may be asked for details regarding your sale.

INSTRUCT A SOLICITOR

Once you have had an offer accepted on a property, this is the stage you instruct a solicitor to act for you. We can recommend you a couple of local solicitors to help you with this if needed. Once both the buyer and seller have instructed a solicitor, the estate agent will then send a memorandum of sale to all parties involved to initiate the start of the sale.

APPLY FOR MORTGAGE

Once you have instructed your solicitor, you will then need to arrange another visit with your mortgage advisor. This will be to apply for your mortgage. The mortgage company will instruct a valuation survey on the property you are purchasing.

CONVEYANCE

While applying for your mortgage, your solicitor will begin the conveyance process. Once your solicitor has completed the relevant paperwork and they are happy with the purchase, they will ask you to sign the contracts. The conveyance process can vary dramatically in regards to time frames due to every purchase being different.

EXCHANGE OF CONTRACTS

Once your solicitor has received your mortgage offer and both solicitors hold signed contracts, they can exchange contracts. A moving / completion date must be agreed before exchange of contracts. Once you have exchanged contracts you will be in a legally binding contract to buy the property.

COMPLETION

This is the day that you legally take ownership of your new property. You will generally collect the keys for your new property from the estate agent.

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