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Looking to sell your home

There are 5 discreet phases involved in selling your house. Or at least there normally is. Some people do away with the preparation period, simply putting their house on the market speculatively then suddenly finding it has been sold after several whirlwind months of activity. But normally, there are 5 phases, each of which can be relatively fast and pain free, or protracted and painful, depending on your circumstances, the property, the market and luck:

During the preparation period (which incidentally should include regular visits to this website to read up on all sorts of property matters), you should be doing three things:

Deciding how you are going to sell your house. In other words, whether you are going to use an estate agent or try to sell it privately, or even at auction. This is actually quite a big decision and one which may have quite a large bearing on the speed at which you sell your property and how much the sale process ends up costing you, so it should be given considerable thought. Find out about selling privately, using an agent or selling at auction.

Once you have worked out how you are going to sell your home, you can work out how much it is going to cost. This may not seem too important, especially if you are sitting on a fat profit from the sale, but the chances are you are going to have all sorts of relocation costs to cope with, let alone the purchase costs associated with buying your new home, so it is definitely worth figuring out exactly where you are likely to stand.

The final area of preparation involves your home. Now if you're like all of us at TheMoveChannel, you keep your home in absolutely immaculate condition and never let a single thing fall into disrepair, become dirty, or even lose its lustre. But if you're not living in cloud cuckoo fantasy land as we are, then there are probably things that you can do to make your house that little bit more attractive to a buyer.

Valuing and Marketing
Once everything is ready to pass even the stiffest of inspection, you are ready to put your home on the market. At the moment this is nice and easy to do. All that is required is for you to get a valuation, generate some publicity (either yourself or through the activities of your estate agent) and then be a charming host when hoards of desperately keen buyers come round to view your property.

It's time to shed that nice guy (or gal) persona, don your ice cool poker face and get down to the nitty gritty. How much are you prepared to accept for your home? If you think that money is the be all and end all of the negotiation you should click here, as the negotiation process should take more into account than just cold hard cash.

Once you have agreed the sale with a buyer, your solicitor will take over the reins from here on in. Unless you are extremely skilled or brave and are doing your own conveyancing work. Although the conveyancing process takes the same length of time for buyers and sellers, for the time being there is much more onus on the buyers solicitor in terms of the amount of work required. Nonetheless, your solicitor will still have plenty to do.

This is the last stage of the process. And lasts only for an instant. It is the precise moment at which the sale is complete and you no longer own the property. If you try to stay in your old home after completion, you will eventually be turfed out by the strong arm of the law.

There are 2 final points to bear in mind about the selling process:

Not much to do?
On first appearances it may seem like you aren't exactly going to have your work cut out in selling your home. It's in good condition and perhaps just needs a quick clean, you know of a good local agent that has recently been selling homes similar to yours more quickly than Aunt Maude's lovely hotcakes and you've got a good solicitor who you know can handle the conveyancing. That opinion is all very well, but it fails to account for two things:

The buyer: Gazumping is a well known term for sellers blindsiding buyers with last minute acceptance of a higher offer from another party. Buyers have some tricks up their sleeve as well, such as the less well known gazundering, or simply pulling out of the sale. Until contracts are exchanged never assume that you can rely on a buyer.

Co-ordination: It may look like there's not all that much to do, but bear in mind that you are unlikely to be doing this in isolation. Aside from the normal stresses and strains of everyday life, you are likely to have to contend with finding a new home to buy, going through the purchase and then moving house. Ensuring that everything happens smoothly and at the right time is never easy.

Change is in the air
The process of buying and selling property has come under a lot of scrutiny in recent years, and the end-to-end catalogue of activities is in the throes of undergoing radical change. In five years time, e-conveyancing will mean that the whole thing will take place in a fraction of the time, at a much lower cost and with much less stress incurred by all parties. However, as the vendor, you are going to see an increase in responsibility and workload on your side of the sale with the introduction of the seller's pack.

Useful links
Rent or buy UK property
Selling your property: Local estate agent search
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