Top tips to make your house sale go smoothly
Research has shown that moving house is one of the most stressful life events we can go through, only topped by the death of a loved one and divorce. At GA, we understand this and, of course, we move house too, so we try to make your move as stress free as we can.
Having helped thousands of people move, we have picked up on some helpful tips we wanted to share with you.
The decision has been made. You’re selling your house and looking for your dream home. What is the next step? Collate any paperwork and information you have about your house, so that your estate agent can include it in the valuation and your solicitor can prepare the contract pack. This could include information about window replacements, new boiler warranty or planning for an extension on the house. Recent gas checks or burglar alarm services should be included too. If in doubt, include it and let your agent or solicitor confirm what is relevant. It could save time further down the line.
- Spring clean
Is the house ready for potential viewers? A good declutter will not only help with viewings but it will be less for you to pack and unpack on removal day. Make the house as tidy and impersonal as you can, so that potential buyers can see themselves living in the house. Less clutter can also make rooms appear larger and brighter.
- Choose the right professionals
Estate agent – Making sure that you choose the right agent to act for you is essential. Do not choose just on valuation alone, the highest valuation may not necessarily be priced right for an easy sale. Also consider whether you feel the agent is motivated to sell your property, has knowledge of the area and if you like them.
Solicitor or conveyancer – be wary of cheap online services. Always check client reviews (like Google Reviews) on any firm you are considering using. The cheapest quote may actually cost you more in the long run, particularly if additional costs were not clearly outlined at the beginning. Many cheap conveyancing firms are not solicitors and do not have to operate to the same high standards, nor are they bound by such strict regulatory requirements for client protection.
Check if you will have your conveyancer’s name, direct telephone number and email if you need to speak to them. Not knowing what is happening will undoubtedly cause stress, but here at GA you will know who is acting for you and how to get hold of them if you have questions.
Removal company – ensure the company is able to accommodate your potential move date but don’t confirm the date until contracts have been exchanged as it is not legally binding until this time.
Once you have found your buyer, you will be excited and eager to move but let the professionals complete their work. Try to avoid communicating directly with the person who is buying your house. As much as you think this will move matters more swiftly, in our experience, this is rarely the case and you may end up falling out. Leave the communication to the agents and legal professionals on your behalf.
The time it takes to complete the legal side of matters depends on how long the chain is. On average a straight forward freehold sale can take approximately 6-8 weeks, but if there is a chain the average goes up to 8-12 weeks.
The chain can involve numerous parties and the logistics of organising everyone and getting everyone to agree on one day can be difficult. Sometimes “compromise” is the key in order to get an agreed date for completion.
Most of the expense of selling your house will not need to be payed until the sale has been completed (e.g. agent fees and legal fees) and will come out of the money you receive from the buyer. However, your solicitor might need to make some disbursements in your behalf, such as land registry fees, which will be required to be paid upfront.
- Moving day
There is a legal requirement that the property is vacated by lunchtime on moving day.
Sometimes, hiccups on moving day can occur such as late receipt of mortgage funds, or other delays in the chain moving monies which can impact on the day. This is why it is important to use local solicitors who are easily contactable to ensure that this stressful day can be as smooth as possible.