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Selling Your House

Selling your house is a big step, whether you are planning on moving a few blocks or around the world, it’s definitely a period of stress and upheaval. Because of this it is vitally important to get everything right. Normally, real estate is the biggest purchase any of us make, and getting the best price we can for it is essential.

That is why we have created this guide to help you through the entire process when you have property for sale, for a stress-free result that gives you the best price for your home.

Is Timing Important?

The first step towards selling your house begins by asking a common question, is there really better times than others for selling? The answer is not clear cut. Some will tell you the spring months and the end of summer are always best, while around new year and summer the worst.

However, the reality is that for many of us, a sale is happening due to needing to move for work or other reasons, and we often have little choice as to when we do look to place our real estate for sale. In general, if you have a choice, March and April tend to have more active buyers, but if you have to sell at another time, do not think it is a huge problem as you can take steps to attract the buyers you want whatever time of year.

Getting ready for the sale

As with anything you want to sell, your home should look its best when potential buyers come to view it, and so before the house is put on the market there is plenty to be done. There are two things you want to achieve when preparing your home for sale:

  • 1. Make your property look attractive and well maintained. This begins outside, remember the first impression a buyer gets of your property for sale could be driving past the sign and looking at the exterior of the home. Giving everything a good clean is obvious, but remember the porch, and other outside facings, some fresh paint is a worthwhile investment if needed too. Also, tidy up the lawn and other visible areas if that applies, make the house look ready to move into.
  • 2. Make the inside look attractive and welcoming. A thorough clean all through the house is very important, but there is much more to do. Maximizing the space allows buyers to picture what they could do with any space without your things getting in the way. The key is to declutter the property and create a more open space. Putting as many of your own personal items and any larger furniture items you can live without during the sale process into storage can make the rooms seem much bigger as space is freed up.

Putting the property on the market

There are a couple of steps here to get the property on the market, getting all the paperwork you need ready and setting the price. Paperwork you will need to hand for an agent to start marketing your property includes copies of your heating, electrical and utility and tax bills, along with any warranties or manuals for fixtures and fittings that are to be included in the sale. If you wish your agent to show the house when you are not there, then getting a set of keys cut now can save time later. Many agents will advise you to get a pre-list home inspection, as it will uncover any issues that you can either get fixed yourself or consider when setting the price. For instance, if the property for sale was found to have an issue with the roof, you could either fix it, or lower the asking price to compensate. If you have records of repair work or alterations you have had done during your ownership, give your agent copies, they can be useful when selling too.

If you are using one of the highly-experienced agents found through Homula, they will bring a wealth of understanding of the property market in your location, and taking that and recent sales into account, provide good guidance for the pricing strategy, but always remember that it is your property. It should always be a price you are comfortable with.

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The Marketing Process

Your agent will then begin to market the property, and this should include a variety of approaches, whether online through Homula, the traditional for sale sign, their list of potential buyers or open houses, listen to your agent’s advice on the best approach for your situation.

With a good agent, you will soon find you have potential buyers showing interest in the property, and your agent will be taking appointments to show your home. Some people prefer to be involved with this and be at the property with the agent. However, it is better to stay away from the property yourself and leave the agent to do their job, but you do still have things you can do. Give the house a clean on the day of the showing, make sure you are flexible for the showing times and expect showings in the evenings if needed.

Once the house has been shown, you will start getting offers. Some properties get a few offers, some get less, it depends on the situation and the market. However, when an offer does come, consider all aspects of it carefully. Things to look out for are the price itself, the closing date the buyer wishes to take possession, the deposit they are prepared to put down and anything they would like to be included. The last one especially should be looked at carefully. If you get more than one offer, your agent will guide you through the best strategy to maximize your selling price, use their experience but do not be afraid to add your own ideas.

Once you accept an offer, the buyer is obliged to pay the agreed deposit within 24 hours, and from then on, your lawyer will handle the legal aspects of the offer and necessary paperwork.

Handing over the keys

Finally, we reach closing day, the day the sale is complete and you hand in the keys to the property. You will have signed a mountain of legal paperwork a couple of days before, and the final day they will pass the payment for the property over to you.

Don’t forget to inform your utility companies that you are moving, and make sure the city knows too, so they don’t ask you for more property tax. The very last task after the sale has been confirmed closed is to cancel the home insurance on the property.