How to Sell Your Flat or Home
The following article looks at the commercial process, the advertising process, the legal process and logistical process of selling your flat or home in the United Kingdom. Question whether you actually need to sell your home in the first place? In a difficult buyers market, many home sellers have opted to let out their home to tenants as a buy to let property. This is because recent flats and house price falls and a lack of mortgage availability have scared off homebuyers. Some sellers are choosing to hang on to their home for a number of years until house prices recover onto an upward trend. In particular, many buyers who bought during the later part of the property boom years, using very large mortgages, are now finding themselves in negative equity. However, if you have to sell your home out of necessity, (due to a change of job, divorce, debt problem, or other personal issue), then you have a number of options available…
Local Estate Agents for decades, the use of a local estate agent has been preferred mechanism for home sellers. their prominent high street presence means they’ll have a client list of potential buyers, a good knowledge of valuation of the property and be experienced in advertising and marketing your flat or home for sale. In difficult economic times, it is worth negotiating the commission the estate agent should receive, as it is likely you will be able to shop around for local estate agents to sell your property. Beware, sometimes this can be a false economy if the estate agents are not focused on your property and cannot successfully attract or qualify potential buyers. It is sensible to get three separate valuations, from three separate estate agents, before choosing your preferred agent. Most estate agents will also have their own website, and some of their data there will also appear on major property portals (see below). Fundamentally though, estate agents have the advantage over online only property websites, in that as a seller, you can discuss your personal situation, general thoughts and feelings face to face with the agent.
You will be obliged to produce a Home Information Pack to support the sale of your property. This document contains the statement summarising the terms of the sale, evidence of title, local authorities standard searches and an energy performance certificate, required to meet regulatory requirements. This will give potential homebuyers the confidence that you are serious and that the property is relatively defect free. It normally takes around 10 days to put the document together and assistance can be provided from your estate agent or a local HIP provider. Many sellers of flats and homes are now using standardised conveyancing online services. They are providing fixed fee services, to save money, in case the sale falls through.
Property Portals – there are literally hundreds of online property portals available to help you sell your home. Most of these provide advanced search facilities and directories to help buyers find exactly what they’re looking for within seconds. Using this type of medium is the first port of call homebuyers seeking flats and properties, before they contact local estate agents. It provides useful price comparisons and area information, to narrow down the list of possible areas and property types. The sellers can list the property for sale to be sold privately or via a property agent. In America, for sale by owner (fsbo), has been around for a number of years and is a recognized method of selling homes. In the UK, FSBO is a fairly new phenomenon. Sellers use this type of service, in order to cut out the middleman’s commission.
The process of advertising is fairly similar, across most of the major property portals. After registering an account and validating an e-mail, you will be able to list your property sale, upload any relevant photographs and edit your advert at any time. Most portals provide the capability for buyers to contact the seller either via a secure messaging form, or if the seller has placed their phone number on the advert accordingly. The cost of online property advertising ranges from £10 to around £100, for a three monthly advert for it expires.
Auctions selling your flat or home at auction can be exciting as well as risky venture. Many repossessed homes are sold this way, from lenders who have repossessed homes where the homebuyer defaulted on the mortgage. The auctioneer will catalogue details of the property around three to four weeks prior to the auction. This includes taking the home details and photographs and inserting this in an auction catalogue. The catalogue is distributed to any potential homebuyers, well in advance of the auction day.
The auction house provides a non-binding guide price, setting buyers’ expectations for the auction day. The three-week lead-time will also give homebuyers and buy to let investors, chance to visit the flat or property in question. They may choose to pay for a survey on the property, if it is in need of repair or an older property. The reserve price is agreed privately between you and the auctioneer and is generally not printed in the catalogue. It is the lowest amount that you are prepared to sell the property. Normally you expect the auction final price to be considerably higher than the reserve price.
At the end of the auction, the home sale will be binding on both the buyer and the seller. In this difficult market, homebuyers are seeking bargains and perceive that the auction is a good market to pick up a bargain. The auctioneers fees related to the sale value (similar to the estate agents), are approximately 1.5%. There may also be a fee for entry into the auction catalogue. Other fees include the cost of employing a solicitor to finalise the exchange on completion with the buyer’s solicitor. As auctions attract many buyers at once, it is an ideal opportunity for home sellers to sell their property quickly. Be aware that the buyer is committed when the hammer falls, and they also know that the buyer will not be in a situation where they are stuck in any home sale chain.
The completion of the sale usually takes place around 28 days after the auction day. This means that as a seller you must be completely ready to leave your current property and have made arrangements to move elsewhere, prior to the exchange and completion date. Although the number of buy to let landlords has drastically diminished, since the liquidity crisis, selling a property at auction is likely to attract the remaining landlords. Auctions remain a popular place for buy to let landlords, seeking bargain prices and development opportunities.
Newspapers – a traditional form of advertising a home for sale is in a local property newspaper. Many estate agents buy bulk advertising space in local newspapers, in the property sections. There is nothing to stop private seller advertising in the classified section at the same time. The advert will be highly relevant as the papers will be delivered to local area. In addition, many newspapers also have online versions of their content for people who do not live in the area, to search for properties accordingly. Many people are still not connected to the Internet and prefer to search for information using newspapers and face-to-face contact. The cost of the classified advertisement, typically two columns wide by 5 cm, is around £200. It is worth checking the circulation figures of the classifieds and newspapers in the area, to justify the upfront expense.
For a Home Insurance Quote contact Assetsure. We are able to offer insurance for a wide range of Uk property types including nonstandard construction