It’s hard to get anything for free in this day and age, but when it comes to sage advice on preparing houses for sale, we’re very happy to give it away.
You’ve made it through all the hurdles of buying a property… but what happens at the other end? Which agent do I choose? Could I sell it myself? In winter or summer? Price or negotiation? Where do I even start?!
There are a huge amount of considerations when it comes to putting property for sale, and most sellers get their real estate knowledge and experience at a hefty price. But selling a house doesn’t have to be complicated or unnecessarily expensive. These 5 key tips could save you thousands when you come to sell.
1. INSIST ON A WRITTEN QUOTE
The whole point of an agent’s appraisal is for you to get their feedback on what your home might sell for in the current market. When the agent quotes a selling price, get the quote in writing with a clear condition that if your home sells below their quoted price, you don’t have to pay their fees.
With this in mind, they will be quoting you a fair market price – not an overinflated figure, just to secure your business.
Sure, if the market price genuinely falls over that time, and you believe the agent made an honest mistake, you can decide whether or not it would be right to pay a commission.
By insisting on a written quote and a condition on the commission, you’re only doing what you would normally do with any other professional.
You would ask two questions of them: What are you going to do for me? And, what are you going to charge?
2. MAXIMUM 7 WEEK SALE PERIOD
When you sign up with an agent, put a limit on the time you are ‘tied’ to them. The longest time should be 7 weeks. This gives your agent plenty of time to generate interest in the property or even change the marketing strategy if things aren’t moving quick enough, but it also puts you in control. With a time limit on the selling agreement the agent knows you are expecting results by a certain date and knows they need to perform. It also means you’re not stuck with an agent you don’t like. And you can always extend at the end of the 7 weeks if you do still like them!
3. FOCUS ON TODAY’S PRICE
Yesterday’s price is gone. Sure the price you’re offered today may be less than you could have got yesterday… but tomorrow the price could be even lower.
Too many sellers cost themselves a lot of money because they’re holding out for the ‘right’ price – often one that is no longer achievable. The longer you wait, the lower your price can become.
4. ACCEPT THE BEST OFFER
When you’re selling a property, you need the best price available in today’s market. But don’t confuse the price you want with the best price available.
Unless you’re willing to take the BEST offer in today’s market, don’t even put your property up for sale. An agent can give you a market appraisal to indicate the best price you could get for your property at that time.
5. DON’T PAY OR SIGN ANYTHING
No matter how tempted you may be or how much pressure is put on you, never pay any money to an agent for any reason until your home is sold and you are satisfied.
Also, be careful of the agent’s selling agreements – check there’s no fine print that requires you to pay advertising expenses if your property is not sold or if you change agents.
And finally, DON’T sign any contracts to sell your property until you speak with your solicitor.
There definitely is a bit to think about before putting your ‘FOR SALE’ sign up. But hopefully this will have given you a fair few pointers on what to and what not to do when you embark on selling your property.
Do give us a call if you’re considering selling – we’d be more than happy to appraise your home and let you know the best price it could achieve in today’s market.