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Selling property tips: Selling your home

Correctly assessing the value of your house can be one of the most important factors that will decide the success of your property in a competitive market. It is necessary to set a maximum value for your home but this valuation must be realistic and inline with current market trends for similar properties.

The value of your home is effectively the maximum amount buyers are willing to pay, and as a seller are willing to accept - so don't over value your property or you run the risk of pricing yourself out of the market.

Start by researching selling prices of similar properties to yours in your local area. Many Estate Agents will offer a free no obligation valuation service, so take advantage of this offer. Estate Agents are generally not qualified to make a legal valuation but their knowledge of the area and current trends will act as a good indicator. It is common practice to obtain three valuations to establish an accurate asking price.

Take a good look at the exterior of your property. It is important when a buyer sees your home to get the impression it is well cared for and maintained.

Consider the following

Cut the grass and tidy the garden
Sweep outside making sure the pavement & surroundings are tidy
Clean the windows and window ledges
Wipe down and touch up any worn paintwork
Make sure all exterior lights are working
Clear away any unnecessary clutter

Once the exterior has been evaluated, take a careful look around the interior. Imagine you are a buyer looking around the property and concentrate your efforts on areas that will sell your house, such as a bathroom or kitchen. Make sure all the small DIY jobs have been finished; you do not want a potential buyer being put off just because you've been lazy. A little effort will go a long way in selling your property.

Consider the following

Fix any dripping taps
Get any rising damp or damage repaired
Fasten any loose cupboard/door handles
Make sure locks are working on bathroom doors etc
Check the doorbell is still in working order

Dealing With Prospective Buyers
It is important to take a common sense approach to safety and security when selling your own property. You may find you feel nervous or apprehensive about showing strangers around your house.

Find out who you are dealing with

Only release your full address when you know someone is serious about viewing your property
When someone contacts you for a viewing ask for their phone number and call them back. This way you are assured its genuine. Confirm with the buyer their name, phone number and home address.
If someone makes an offer on your property without having visited your home, treat this approach with caution.

Prepare for the viewing

Make sure a neighbour, friend or relative knows you are showing someone around and if possible ask for them to accompany you during the viewing.
Confirm a viewing time with the interested buyer after you have made arrangements with a neighbour, friend or relative to make sure they are available at that time.
Make sure any personal details (Bank details/credit card statements) or valuables are hidden away.

Showing Prospective Buyers Around
When the buyer arrives, make sure they are comfortable. Offer them a drink or some refreshments but be careful not to crowd them.

Give the buyer a chance to look around the house freely to satisfy their curiosity. They will feel less inclined to have a good look around if you are breathing down their neck. Leave a comfortable distance so that they will leave the viewing satisfied that they have given the house 'a thorough inspection'.

Fixtures & Fittings
Make sure that you point out what is and isn't included in the sale price of the property. Fixtures and fittings are often overlooked when either buying or selling a new home. It is essential that both parties are clear on what is and isn't included, make a list and agree with the buyer what you will be taking with you.

Accepting An Offer
When you receive an offer for your home there are a few things you may want to consider:

Does the offer match your asking price?
How long your property has been on the market.
Does the buyer have a home to sell?
Is the buyer part of a chain?
How quickly can they complete?
Are they cash buyers?
How competitive is the local market?

Once you have answered all these questions and you are happy to proceed it is worth sending the buyer a letter highlighting the agreed price and any items that are included in the sale.

You will need to notify your Solicitor or Licensed Conveyancer that you have agreed the sale of your property and pass on the name and address of the buyer and that of their Solicitors or Licensed Conveyancer. From this point onwards all the legal paperwork will be controlled by your Solicitor.

Once all the legal work has been finalised you can move forward to completion. Make sure you leave the property in the condition you would like to move in to. Ensure your property is clean and only remove the fixtures and fittings that you have already agreed on with the buyer.

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