The Stress of Having Your House On the Market
Once you’ve made the decision to move, you will have one objective in mind: sell your house quickly, for the best possible price. And, that’s understandable – being in limbo, with your house on the market for months and months is a painful experience.
On one hand you have the agonising process of waiting for the right person to come along (with the right budget) who will fall in love with your property and allow you in turn to start looking for your new dream home.
On the other, the effort of trying to keep your home as neat as a pin, your belongings hidden, and your family out of the way, just in case the agent wants to ‘pop’ in, can quickly mount into a stress explosion on a nuclear scale.
But, there are things you can do to speed up the process, and avoid long hold-ups preventing you from moving to the next stage of the transaction. As solicitors who only ever work on conveyancing matters, we are often asked by our friends and family for the insider approach to getting your house on the market and sold quickly. Here are the three areas that we suggest to them that they should focus on:
Practical activities the help to sell your house quickly
We’ve all seen enough episodes of Location, Location, Location to know that you should attempt to make your house feel as spacious as possible before you have your pictures taken and you start doing viewings. In fact, many people who undertake this decluttering process remark on how they wish that they had taken this minimalist approach to living years earlier – they might not have ever needed to move!
In any case, a clean and tidy house is vital but, don’t forget to pay the same attention to your garden, it really does make a difference to people looking round. Mow the lawn, prune back unruly shrubs and hedges, sweep the patio. Making the garden look easy to maintain, rather than a tricky project for Monty Don will help make your property more appealing to buyers.
While you are at it, get your boiler serviced, have the chimney swept and dig out any records that show you having done this type of maintenance on a regular basis.
Get Your Documentation Organised
So much for the ‘paperless’ world that we were forecast to be living in by the 21st century. For our business at least, that has not come to fruition. The volume of paperwork you’ll need to process during your house sale has never diminished, in fact, thanks to modern regulation, it has increased in recent years.
When it comes to documentation, it really pays to get your ducks in a row before you go on the market (and your solicitor will love you!).
For example, have you ever put new windows into your house? You will need a FENSA certificate to show that the windows have been correctly installed. Have you moved any power points around or had any new electrics installed? Find the electrical documents to show that the work was done correctly and by a reputable tradesperson.
By gathering a fact file to cover all eventualities you will quickly be able to respond to queries from your buyer’s solicitor. Reducing the time it takes to respond to each of these requests as they come through will significantly reduce the total time to complete on the sale. It’s a war of attrition.
We have a complete list of these and all the other documents you could need during your house sale, available to download here, that might help.
Make the timings work in your favour
It’s quite common to wait to instruct a solicitor until you have found a buyer but in our experience it’s a mistake.
There’s a good chance that you will want to request several quotes for conveyancing. You’ll need to ensure that whoever provides your quote has included every single cost involved in their estimate. Many firms omit fees such as acting for your mortgage lender, bank transfer fees and storing your file until the final bill, and a terrible shock, eventually comes through.
Choose and instruct your solicitor as soon as you know you want to sell. Once you have agreed a fee, they can then send the forms needed to you, ready for when you have a buyer. Once you receive these it will prompt you to get all of the above ready and ensure that you have the right documents for the sale. Good solicitors will open a file for you but not charge you unless they sell the property.
We know that this sounds like a lot of work, and, unfortunately, it is. If organisation isn’t your strong point be sure to choose a solicitor who is able to guide you through process gradually, and give you plenty of help at every stage.
Once you’ve got hold of a copy of our ‘Get Your House in Order’ checklist, and started working through our fail-safe list, you’ll be on track in no time.
If you need more advice, why not give us a ring on 01403 710742? We are always happy to chat through any difficulties you might be having, and offer some help.