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Guide for First-Time Property Sellers

Selling a property for the first time? Here’s a helpful guide to help you navigate the process.

Putting your property on the market can be stressful at the best of times, and even more so if you’ve never done it before. But don’t worry. With planning and preparation, you can avoid some common property pitfalls.

 

Let’s assume that you’ve made up your mind that it’s time to sell. Here are the next steps that you need to take.

 

Do your research

Look at similar properties already on the market and note their asking price and state of repair. How does your home compare? If it needs a spruce-up/declutter, make a to-do list and get started. You’d be surprised what a difference a lick of paint and a few minor tweaks can make.

 

Nail your admin

Go through bank statements and get a clear picture of your earnings and expenditure (no cheating), so you know what you can afford in terms of mortgage repayments. It’s also worth getting together all the paperwork for your home: deeds and details of leasehold or share of freehold arrangements (if applicable). This will speed things up further along the selling process.

 

Money talks

Your big move will most likely involve purchasing another property, so discuss your financing options with an independent mortgage adviser. Be aware that if you have an existing mortgage, you may get hit with an early exit fee if you sell and move mortgages to a different provider.

 

Choose an agent

Recommendations from family and friends can provide a useful starting point but always talk to more than one agent. We suggest you invite three agents around to value your property. Ask lots of questions and be wary of agents giving unrealistically high valuations – they’re telling you porkies to land the listing.

 

Also, steer clear of agents trying to lock you into an extended tie-in (some make you commit for 24 weeks and an additional 28-day notice period). If they need half a year to sell your home, they’re not very good.

 

Instruct a solicitor

It’s useful to have a legal eagle on board before the sales process kicks into full swing. Again, ask around for recommendations and talk to your agent, who will also have contacts. As with choosing an agent, the cheapest isn’t always the best. Go for a solicitor with a good reputation.

 

Get an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

You’ll need to get an EPC (it’s a legal requirement), and your agent will help you arrange this.

 

Dress your home

When it’s time for your property’s marketing photos, talk to your agent about how best to present your home. Take their suggestions on board because first impressions really do matter.

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