I recently had Baylyn House valued (at a whopping £575,000 which we were really pleased with!) & although we mainly wanted to see how much money our new extension has put on the price of the property, it did get me thinking about moving.
Estate agents always have a brilliant way of trying to ‘sell’ you the idea of putting your house on the market. Although I was half tempted by my ultimate dream goal of a house in the country with a stable door, AGA, butler sink, chickens in the garden & rope swing for the little’s…I’m also more realistic in the fact that we’re perfectly settled with brilliant schooling & really, we don’t EVER need to move.
I also think back at the whole process of buying & selling which is never ever a nice experience. Unfortunately the system in England isn’t ideal & leaves too many opporunities for things to go wrong which ultimately leaves buyers/sellers stressed & worried.
I’ve been thinking about what advice I would give to people thinking of buying and/or selling a house –
1. Get your home sale ready –
This is the first thing you should do as it’ll improve your chance of selling your home for the best price possible. See my blog post HERE for tips on my tips to do this!
This includes the exterior too so make sure to get some kerb appeal (blog coming up soon!) for that perfect first impression.
2. Choose the right estate agent –
Estate agents don’t have the best reputation around as they are usually mainly commision based so ultimately, they are glorified salesmen/women who will do everything they possibly can to sell you not only the house you’ve just viewed but also a whole heap of other services such as surveys, mortgage advice & so on. Characteristically, they are charming people who you’ll feel you can trust & have your best interest at heart. I think it’s SO important to go with an estate agent with a great reputation.
Also one thing to remember is to read the small print before signing into any agreement with an estate agent. You don’t want to be stuck with an agent for a long period of time who you then realise is useless. The first couple of weeks of your home being on the market are the most vital so after 12 weeks of being with someone who doesn’t push your house as the best thing to have ever gone up for sale in the local area, isn’t ideal.
My top tip is to see if your estate agent will work on a sliding scale. This will appeal to their inner money driven (aren’t we all…) selves. For example, tell them if you get £100k for the house then you’ll pay them 1% interest, if they sell it for £110k then you’ll pay them 1.5% & so on. This will make them push your buyer which will work out getting you more money as well as them more commission. Win win situation.
3. Don’t be afraid to barter –
Buying & selling houses is all about being a little bit cheeky. We aren’t talking about saving you a fiver when buying a table off Gumtree & using the ‘or nearest offer’ card, this could save you THOUSANDS.
It starts when signing up an estate agent. I’d recommend inviting 3 reputable agents round to value your property who will then no doubt be all over you like an infectous disease once they get a whiff of possible putting up for sale. Ask each of them what percentage they charge, tell them you’ve got other agents you’re in discussion with, then go away & wait for them to start dropping. When I sold our last house last year, I managed to get a large nation wide estate agent to price match that of a newly set up agent who had no doubt next to no potential buyers on their books or the reputation built up. Depending on your area, aim to pay around 1%, although they’ll start out around 3% depending on how hard/easy they think it’ll be to sell your property.
Next up is obviously when you find a house you love & want to put in an offer. Depending on the level of interest it has (or the estate agent tells you it has…probably two different things entirely) it does pay off to put in a cheeky (but not insulting) offer in. You’ll pay how much you want the property at the end of the day but the lower you can get it for, the better.
Likewise, when you go to sell your house, don’t be afraid to go back & haggle with potential buyers. The liklihood is that the first offer they put in, won’t be their final & best price.
4. Get online –
The internet is the top place for people to look for houses now. Make sure your agent is registered on Rightmove, Zoopla, Mouseprice & so on. I’d recommend using the Rightmove featured listing as part of your package with your estate agent (see if they’ll chuck it in for free if you ask nicely!) which shows 3 images instead of just the front of the house as well as it being listed at the top of each search criteria in a formatted box. This increases visual impact.
5. Be involved –
Buying & selling a house is pretty much a full time job. You’ve got to be organised in order to coordinate people that probably shouldn’t need to be but if you want to push that sale through quickly then it’s needed. My top tip is to become as annoying as possible to solicitors that they’ll end up trying to get you exchanged/completed as quickly as they possibly can….daily (hey, sometimes multiple times a day!) phone calls to ‘check on progress’ or asking if you can help with anything really does help them to keep your little old file at the top of the pile.
You may find your buyer has questions as well so be prepared to help with whatever you can. Your estate agent is an expert of course, but nobody knows that property as well as you do so be prepared to get involved & be as helpful as possible.
Have you moved recently? What are your top tips for making selling/buying smooth sailing?
Love, Charlotte x