SEABOARD PROPERTIES SELLERS GUIDE.
Selling your house is a big step, and your main goal would be to sell your property in the shortest possible time with maximum financial return. This Sellers Guide will take you through the processes encountered when selling a house or condominium, and provide you with useful tips from understanding the property market and property fix-ups, and choosing the right Estate Agent.
Step 1 – Selling through an Estate Agent or privately.
There are many pros and cons to both options, but to get more out of your property sale, we recommended that you go through a qualified Estate Agent. Here is why:
While selling a property privately seems like a great way to save money, it also means that you will have to do all the hard work yourself.
This includes deciding on a selling price, marketing the property, being available for show days, paying advertising costs and negotiating the sale.
Often, the main reason a Seller uses the services of a qualified Estate Agent to sell their property is for the convenience.
The Estate Agent, because of their expertise, is better equipped at handling the sale process and takes on much of the responsibility on your behalf.
Because an Estate Agent works for commission, it is in his or her best interest to help you sell your home successfully by finding the qualified group of potential Buyers.
It is possible to sell your property privately, but there are significant risks attached. For most people, selling a home is the biggest and most important transaction they will ever make. Using professionals for each part of the process provides you with expert knowledge and legal protection. Besides, selling on your own can be expensive and time consuming.
You will be responsible for:
- Setting the price
- Arranging viewings
- Negotiating the offers
- Progressing the sale through solicitors and conveyancers.
Private sale websites are usually only popular with one type of person - other sellers. There is not usually enough property stock on these websites to lure serious buyers and keep them there.
In order to give Buyers and Sellers the best possible protection and service, Seaboard Properties does not accept property advertisements from private sellers or private landlords.
We recommend using a professional real estate agency who can apply their expertise, local knowledge and marketing power to add real value to your sale.
Estate agents spend all day, every day selling property and as a result have built up a vast knowledge and expertise in the whole buying and selling process. They will conduct a valuation on your property, handle viewings and negotiations on your behalf and make sure your property is marketed efficiently. They will strive to achieve the best possible price for your property and the best buyer, thereby avoiding disappointment and stress from less serious potential buyers.
A good estate agent will also be able to offer you plenty of advice along the way. This includes guidance on conveyancing and financial services.
How to choose the right Property Agent.
The most common ways to find an Estate Agent are via word of mouth, sign boards in your area and online. If an Estate Agent has a good reputation, Sellers will recommend them. So ask around and get an idea of who can potentially work well with selling your property. When searching online, you will often find a more extensive list of registered Estate Agencies and Estate Agents who are active in your area. It’s important that an Agent has a good online reputation as well. The more avenues that an Estate Agent makes use of, the better the chance they have of reaching potential Buyers.
It is beneficial should your chosen Estate Agent belong to a reputable Estate Agency, whether small or large, as the backing of a well-known Estate Agency with good market experience can increase your chances of a successful sale.
Your Estate Agent should also be able to demonstrate that he or she has experience in selling houses as well as the necessary qualifications.
Use an Estate Agent who has been recommended to you personally or an estate agent who you have used previously.
Remember, the fee isn't the most important factor in choosing an Estate Agent. A good estate agent will give you great service, keep you informed throughout the process and negotiate the best deal on your behalf.
Ask what marketing your estate agent will do on your behalf. Estate agents who are running advertisement campaigns and promoting your property on many property websites have benefits.
Well established and experienced should your estate agent be, with a good reputation and a proven track record in selling residential properties. Once you have chosen your agent, he will handle all aspects of your property sale, from pricing, marketing and showings to the intricate steps involved in closing the deal. Your agent should partner with you from day one, taking time to discuss your unique needs and goals then to present a customized marketing plan outlining how best to generate awareness of your home. Your agent will also: guide the entire process; ensure discretion, report to you regularly, promote your listing to the widest possible buyer audience via web and print outlets and to the entire brokerage community, seek pre-qualified buyer prospects and provide personal representation at every showing. Once offers come in, your agent will skillfully negotiate on your behalf with full knowledge of all activity associated with your property to secure the best price and the quickest closing and will work to bring the sale to its successful conclusion, helping you navigate building rules and all the details of transfer of ownership.
Step 2 Preparing to sell.
People have different reasons for selling, from disposing of an investment property to simply relocating home.
Once you have decided to sell, think about what you want to include in the sale. Normally, fixtures and fittings such as fitted storage heaters are included in the price but other moveable things can be up for negotiation.
If you are getting rid of items you no longer need, do it before you start marketing your property as the less clutter you have the faster your house will sell.
Before you have your home valued, you will need to fix up your house to ensure the best possible price can be obtained. There are many ways in which to increase the value of a property and to give your home appeal for potential Buyers
Give your agent other useful documents and facts about your property, which they can mention to potential buyers, such as:
- Copy of titled deed.
- Copy of building permit.
- Council tax, utility, buildings and contents insurance bills - so potential buyers can estimate running costs.
- Service charges and ground rent bills.
In addition, you could ask your agent if it's worth giving potential buyers other information such as:
- Environmental Searches. These provide useful information such as the flood risk, radon levels or if there are local mines in the area.
- A Home Condition Report - provides more information about the condition of your property, although your buyer will probably still need to get their own survey done.
Step 3. Fixing up your property for a fast sale.
Creating a good impression of your home will help attract a willing buyer, and fixing up the important things will increase the chances of a sale at your preferred price. Follow these guidelines to fix up your house for selling.
Your first step before spending time and money on fixing up your home is to get a professional such as an Estate Agent to evaluate whether a fix-up is necessary for selling and whether this is likely to offer good returns. Sometimes a home will be bought solely for renovation purposes and this will make any initial fix-ups unnecessary. So before you embark on an expensive revamp, consider if it is worthwhile for a successful sale.
Walk around your home and make notes on the big things that need fixing and things that don’t work correctly; it’s often these issues that turn Buyers away.
Usually these problems are found to involve faulty plug points and light fittings or wall, ceiling and floor damage. Many homes require only minor adjustments or repairs before they can be sold.
Try to anticipate any repairs (inside and out) that a potential Buyer may ask for; this will give you a head start and you can fix it up before you list your home.
Step 4 Evaluation – How much is my property worth?
Once you have ensured that your home’s interior and exterior are up to date, you can move on to determining the value of your home and setting an acceptable selling price.
Pricing your property at a realistic market-related value is one of the most important factors in a successful sale.
Most Buyers, while shopping for a home, will compare your property to others of similar value and size.
Therefore, it is important to put yourself in the mindset of a Buyer and do the same.
Start by doing your own market research and study the selling prices of homes in your area, whether they are selling through an Estate Agent or privately.
You can do this by searching online and viewing various property types.
- Get an accurate picture of trends in your area, as well as national changes from an online pricing index. Produced monthly, it analyses asking prices of properties that have just come on the market, breaking them down into regional averages.
- Search for similar properties your area and see what they are currently being marketed for. There are several ways to help you determine how much you should put your house on the market for:
- Consult your local Estate Agent who can offer expert advice to help you determine a realistic asking price.
- Search online to check out average sold house prices in your area.
Step 4 – Getting the most out of viewings.
Now you have signed a contract with a Real Estate Agent, you need to get your home ready for viewings and give your house the best chance of selling. First impressions count so put yourself in the buyers' shoes and think about how you can enhance your property's draw.
Consider its "kerb appeal"; the first thing potential buyers will see before they even get past the front door. Here are some things to look out for:
- Does the front of your house is clean?
- Could the front garden be tidier?
- Is the inside of the house clean and presentable?
- Are the windows clean?
- Keep it clean and tidy. De-clutter and use sensible storage.
- Make your house comfortable, cool on hot sunny days and warm if it's winter.
- Banish smoke or pet odours. Open the windows, brew some fresh coffee and add finishing touches such as fresh flowers, to brighten the place up.
- Bring out the best features such as fireplaces and use mirrors to increase the sense of space.
- Turn on all the indoor and outdoor lights – even during the day. At night, a lit house gives a "homey" impression when viewed from the street. During the daytime, turning on the lights prevents harsh shadows from sunlight and it brightens up any dim areas. Your house looks more homey and cheerful with the lights on.
- Pet Control. Make sure there will be no aggressive barking, attacking dog sabotaging the viewing and the last thing you want to have, is your pet running out the front door and getting lost. Since you know the viewing will take place, it would be best to try to take the pets with you while the home-buyers tour your home. If you cannot do that, It is best to keep dogs in a separate area in the back yard.
- Potential Buyers will want to visualise how they can fill the space and get a sense of how living there would feel like in a quiet and relaxed atmosphere.
More tips what to do and not to do during a potential buyer’s visit?
If you conducting selling and marketing of your property on your own:
Your home should be well arranged and looking fresh and neat. Put on some nice clothes, play beautiful music and get ready to take your potential buyers around. When they arrive, smile and be friendly but on a professional level. First, show them the nicest room that you have. In every presentation what is usually remembered best is the end and the beginning. In any room let the buyer go in first to take a look. If you go in before the potential buyers the room may look a bit smaller to them. Let the buyer ask questions and from there on – see who will be interested to purchase your house or apartment. Hopefully these house staging ideas will be useful for you.
If an real estate agent is handling the selling of your home for you:
TRY NOT TO BE HOME
Home buyers will feel like intruders if you are home when they visit, and they might not be as receptive toward viewing your home. Visit the local coffee house, cinema, or take the kids to the local park. If you absolutely cannot leave, try to remain in an “out of they way” area of the house and do not move from room to room. Do not volunteer any information, but answer any questions the agent may ask.
Once you have received an offer, be prepared to negotiate. But remember, you don't have to sell to the highest bidder. A lower bidder might be better if they:
- Are paying cash (so don't have to wait for mortgage approval).
- Already have a mortgage "agreed in principle".
- Don't have to sell a property first (they could be first-time buyers or investors) or are in a short chain.
- Can fit in with your time-scales better than other buyers.
Once you have accepted an offer and received the deposit payment you will probably be asked to take it off the market. Make sure to inform everybody involved in helping you to sell your property.
What if it’s not selling quickly...
- Ask your agent why they think it's not selling. What's the feedback from viewings?
- Can your estate agent 'freshen up' your property details on with updates photos and a more engaging description?
- Was the exterior photo clearly taken a long time ago in a different season? If so, ask the agent to take a new one.
- Do you need to reduce the price?
- If a survey revealed a problem that led a buyer to renegotiate or pull out, consider getting repairs done.