There has been a lot of good news about Wales’ housing market recently, with house sales and house prices both on the up. If you’re thinking of selling, now could be a very good time, so here’s a step-by-step guide to what you need to do to make that move.
A very important first step is to get your property accurately valued. This is vital, as an overpriced property may be difficult to sell, but on the other hand, you don’t want to miss out on what your home is really worth. Estate agents are able to draw on their detailed knowledge of the local market and comparable homes in the area to accurately gauge how much your home should sell for. You can also make a note of the asking price of similar properties by checking in the property section of your local paper, or on websites like Rightmove, OnTheMarket or Zoopla.
While some people choose to market their property themselves, most choose to go through an estate agency. When choosing an estate agent, consider their reputation and how visible they are on your high street – like most industries, the level of service different agencies provide can vary hugely. It’s also important to consider the different kinds of marketing different agencies will offer your property. Their website, listings on property portals, smartphone apps and email bulletins will all offer additional opportunities to grab buyers’ attention.
Your chosen estate agent will arrange viewings with potential buyers, and where house hunters are concerned, first impressions count! Make sure your property is looking its best by tidying away clutter to make rooms appear larger, and fixing any minor repairs. You may want to repaint rooms in a fresh, neutral colour scheme to help prospective buyers imagine living there themselves.
Your agent will contact you once an offer is made on your property, and will advise you on whether you should accept or not. If you decide to accept, your agent will write to you, the buyer and both parties’ solicitors to confirm the sale. They will then ask your solicitors to draw up a contract to legally transfer ownership of the property to the seller. While you are not legally required to take the property off the market at this point, most sellers usually do.
The contract that your solicitor prepares will specify the property’s sale price, its boundaries, any fixtures and fittings included as part of the sale, and when the sale will complete. The buyer is also given the opportunity to raise any concerns that they want addressed, which you may need to negotiate on. Make sure you check if there is any additional paperwork that you need to provide, such as an Energy Performance Certificate.
Once both you and the buyers are happy with the contract, you sign and exchange contracts and become legally committed to the sale. At this point, the buyer pays their deposit, and you can start to pack for moving day! The day you hand over the keys and the home becomes the property of its new owners is called “completion”. Once this day arrives, all the hard work is over – apart from unpacking in your new home, that is!
Nick James MNAEA MARLA