ively maximise your chance of a sale

This time last year, the outlook for house prices, and sales, was more dispiriting than this year. Commentators, are still, however, predicting that the market will flat-line.

Despite the increasing activity, we have seen in the past few months. It is better news, for prospective buyers, saving to afford the deposit on a property, than those people who are considering selling their home. What is possible and achievable to maximise a property sale when you need to sell fast?

quick house sales

  1. The Estate Agent – your choice

An estate agent, doesn’t need to sell your home for you. Make a careful considerate choice, with the estate agent, if you decide on that road. The market is still slow, so an estate agent, that has a good reputation, and a lot of recent house sales under his belt, so to speak is a wise decision. Recommendations, from family and friends, should be acknowledged. Agents that are selling properties, that are of a similar type to yours, could be a good choice. Don’t just pick the first one, from the telephone directory, interview, at least three or four. Ask them to give a valuation on your property.

You are in control, and it is your choice, who you decide to sell your house. Enthusiasm, is the key to a good estate agent, who is positive,and reassures you, that the property will sell.your house, needs to be marketed, find out where it will be placed on the market. Do some research yourself,primarily, check the internet. Sites such as Rightmove and Prime Location are noteworthy. Don’t forget that local newspapers, offer property for sale too. If the agent of your choosing, is part of a chain, your property should be on the database, in other branches, for house hunters to look at.

The agent, should keep in regular touch with you, you need to have a rapport with him, and you should find him both approachable and informative, when you have any queries. Check that you meet or speak to the valuer, before you decide if you can trust his judgement.

  1. Fees

The first quote, that is given is not necessarily, the best one. You may get a better quote, if you shop around for them elsewhere. Land registry figures, reveal that prices, have been down, year on year, so a loss could be incurred on your home. Savings, should be made to accommodate any loss that might be anticipated. This saving, could be made, if your agent is willing to equal the percentage that could be charged, by the cheapest agent that you interviewed, but didn’t use. Or go half way, to doing this and meeting midway. A small percent on a house sale is worth a considerable amount of money.

  1. The Price must be right

Be realistic, when it comes to listing your property. Forget, trying to aim for the highest valuation you receive, if it will be unachievable. Do some research, check the selling prices of similar houses, to give you an expected price. The national house price indices, give market trends, however, in some areas, certain elements of the market have been picking up, while others have stayed static. If your price is too high, your property will take longer to sell. It could be unclaimed, by potential buyers, because it is out of their affordable price range. A lower price, will attract, more interest, and may even increase competitive bidding, and the property may sell over the guide price.

  1. Organisation is the key

It is important, to gather relevant paperwork together. All documents, concerning anything to do with your home, should be collected together and placed in a suitable file. This should include certificates for gas and electrical work, council tax bills, any guarantees for repairs, and any other relevant documentation. The solicitor, will require these. You, also need to provide proof of your identity, including your address, to your solicitor. Find your passport, and a current utility bill, which will be sufficient. Don’t take too long to collect this important paperwork. This could create, unsettled feelings about the housing market, and indeed scare off your prospective buyer.

  1. De-Clutter

Clear out your clutter. If you are preparing for a house viewing, keep the rooms exceptionally tidy, attend to dusting and hoovering duties, making sure the kitchen surfaces are clear, dishes aren’t left on the draining board. First impressions count, so make rooms look attractive and organised. Good storage systems, should house personal items. Remove family photos, and de-personalise your home. There are similar properties on the market to yours. To make a sale, your property must stand out from the rest.

  1. Making Improvements

Don’t get into a panic, and feel the need to completely re-decorate your property, or gut the whole premises. But, obvious repairs, such as leaks, stains or cracks, must be addressed, without delay. Money needs to be spent. A first time buyer, hasn’t got extra money to sort out these issues. They need the property to be ready to move into straight away. Rooms, should be painted in neutral colours, not bright bold colours. Prospective buyers, need to visualise themselves, living in your home, so minimise your possessions, so they can do this.

First impressions, and kerb appeal need to be your focus. The front door and the garden, need to be as welcoming as possible. If the front entrance is poor, the prospective buyer may be loathe to step over the threshold, and proceed any further. Avoid, the property appearing shabby and unkempt, make sure the building inside and outside is well maintained.

  1. Count the Pennies

Don’t waste money on what you think buyers may like. They want to make their own mark on the property, establishing their ownership. Clean carpets, don’t spend money replacing them. You may not make your money back, if you start replacing a tired kitchen for instance.

  1. Viewings

If the estate agent, is worth his salt, so to speak, he will show prospective buyers around a property, included as part of the service, so let them do this for you. If you are at home, welcome buyers, but allow them to wander through the house themselves at their own steam. Pets and children, should be kept out of the way. So viewers, feel they are not imposing on your family time. Don’t make the viewer, uncomfortable. If you are present, be discreet, they need opportunities to talk about the property between themselves. Answer their questions, if they ask any, but don’t ramble on, giving them information they haven’t asked for.

  1. Chase your Estate agent

A good estate agent, will keep you updated on viewings, and inform you of any changes that are happening. Ask why, your house may not be selling, as opposed to similar properties in the area. An agent should, sell the positives in your property, and be enthusiastic. If this isn’t happening, perhaps it is best to part company, and assign another estate agent to handle and manage your sale.

  1. In Conclusion

If the property, is on the market for a lengthy period of time, perhaps, the problem maybe down to the price. Take the property off the market, for a while and reflect, and consider your next move.

When, you have decided to start again, and put the property back on the market, get a new estate agent, new photos and new price. You may need a new HIP pack, if you voluntarily took the property off the market. However, if your sale has fallen through, and that’s the reason, for its removal, the HIP package, is still valid for up to 28 days.

Different House Surveys, Which One is right for me?

Very few people, approximately 15 percent only, acquire a professional property survey, before buying themselves a future new home. There are various thoughts on the matter of house valuations. Getting a survey, could hold up the house buying process, are costly, and some are clearly not worth paying for. A survey, can avoid stress and expense in the long run, if you research and choose the correct one for you and your sale.


A mortgage valuation – the facts

* A mortgage valuation, is very different from a survey. The valuation, just takes a brief look at the property, to undertake its worth and notes any areas that are problematic or could be in the future, affecting value.

* To obtain a mortgage, the lending company, will use registered and regulated people, who they get to do this, and who they trust to perform this service for them. Ensuring the property has enough security to secure the loan.

* This is a chargeable service, so you may have to pay. However, as an attraction for new custom, a lender may cover the costs.

* The cost of the valuation, maybe added on to the mortgage repayments in some cases.

* Mortgage valuations, can be expensive, in regards the work that is attached to them. But it is an element that buyers have no choice but to have.

* Lenders charge varying prices for mortgage valuations.

These quotes are a bit out of date now from 2012:

PROPERTY VALUE       £140,000             £360,000             £700,400         £1,00,000

Northern Rock                 £150.00             £260.00               £360.00           £500.00

RBS                                       £250.00               £340.00               £500.00           £600.00

Nationwide                       £210.00               £350.00               £540.00           £720.00

* It is best to choose a good mortgage valuation, and a company you are happy with. As opposed to saving a few hundred pounds, you will save in the long run with a lower interest rate.

* The property market is unpredictable, with many highs and lows. Mortgage valuations, often reflect this, putting generally a low value on the property. This cautious attitude, reduces the risk for the mortgage company. The home buyer, can be confused, and have problems, if the valuation suggests the property is not worth, what they are paying for it.

A Survey – The facts

*A survey, is an in depth inspection, of the condition of a property. A surveyor, is paid to inspect the property, and alert you to the flaws in the building, that need attention.

* Repairs or alterations that are needed, perhaps rewiring, repairs to the roof etc.

* Structural problems, making an awareness of subsidence or crumbling walls.

* Written commentary, embracing everything, from the type of glazing or the type of wall structure.

Who processes the survey?

* Qualified surveyors, must be used to carry out a survey. They will give a true picture of the property.

* Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, has a wide membership. Most surveyors, who are qualified, belong to this organisation.

* It is recommended, to use a RICS qualified surveyor, because they have an indemnity insurance.

* However, a local surveyor, may have a more localised knowledge of market values.

* Do some research, it is better to employ a specialised surveyor, with experience in a specific field, if you are buying an unusual house.

Differing companies’ prices vary greatly. It is best to have at least three or four quotes from surveyors, before you make a decision on a representative.

Is a survey an necessity?

A survey, can prove useful, which will avoid unexpected surprises, like re-wiring jobs. It will give you a feeling of safety, knowing that the walls aren’t going to fall down around you. It will give you peace of mind, especially if you haven’t bought or owned a property before. It will give reassurance. the survey, and the information it provides, may make you think again about whether to buy the premises or negotiate a reduction in price. If repairs, need to be done, costing £10,000, then its not unreasonable to ask for a deduction from the house price. or the seller, could be asked to fix any problems before you buy it.

Experienced buyers, however, think surveys are expensive, and don’t bother with them. The surveyor, just suggests, what you might have and tells you to seek further professional advice. The reports, are often so cautious that they don’t give clear reports. Surveyors, may advise doing work, that isn’t essential or necessary. If it is suggested in the survey, the mortgage lender will insist on it being done. Perhaps, in certain situations, it maybe worthwhile to get a survey.

* If you have worries about any part of the property.

* It is a listed building

* The property has a thatched roof or is timber framed.

* The property is very old or an unusual property.

Different surveys – which one to choose?

There is not just one type of survey. the one to choose, depends on the age of the property and its condition, and a deciding factor, how much you can afford to spend.

Condition Report

This is the most basic of surveys. It is really a wate of money, unless you are a novice, in the property world, and need reassurance of a successful buy.

* This report, doesn’t include any advice or a valuation

* It is rarely useful, but does provide a summary of risks to the building.

* It compliments the mortgage valuation.

* It has ‘traffic light’ indications, signalling the state of parts of the property. Green, means everything is ok. Orange, shows cause for concern,and red, means serious repairs need to be instigated.

Home Buyer’s Report

A more detailed survey.

* This will bring up, major problems that are obvious, such as rot or subsidence.

* Homebuyers Reports, however, are chock a block with statements to cover all aspects of the surveyors critiques, yet can appear pointless.

* The surveyor, will not look for hidden faults, will not look behind furniture, nor lift up floor boards. So the report is limited and not in depth.

* It does, however include a valuation and insurance reinstatement value. This means (how much you would receive if the building burnt down)

Building Survey

These surveys, are expensive, but perhaps worth the money.

* Included in the survey, includes advice on repairs and provides timings and costs, and will let you know what will happen if you don’t attend to these repairs.

* This is an extended survey with reports at the end.

* The price range is between £600.00 and £2,000.00 depending on the worth of the property.

* The surveyor, will check behind walls, look between floors and ceilings.

* A building survey, can be done if you want to do more serious building works.

* A survey of this sort, is important, if the property is very old, listed, unusual in any way, like having a thatched roof or is timber framed.

My Survey – How can I get the most from mine?

Complaints, are often echoed, stating how difficult it is to know how to respond to survey reports. The following points might help get the most out of your surveyor:

* A good surveyor, who is conscientious and experienced, will be more valuable for your money.

* Do some research, involve friends and relatives. Ask for references, and check on them, and choose the report that will be more useful for your property situation.

* Ask your surveyor questions, tell them your worries and ask advice.

* Make sure, that everything is looked at by them, even moving furniture to provide an in depth survey.