Selling a house is a really exciting process. It means that you are moving forward with your plans, whether that is banking money from flipping the property, or moving to a bigger property, there’s so much to be excited about with this next chapter.
If you haven’t sold a property before, you won’t be surprised to know there will be many ups and downs to the forthcoming process. However, whilst you can’t avoid the many challenges ahead, what you can do is gain an awareness of what’s to come, so that you are somewhat prepared.
Below, we want to give you a heads up on the house selling process and what to expect, so that you can feel that little bit more prepared for what’s coming. Here’s an overview of what to expect when you’re selling your house:
Before You Sell
Before you sell your house you need to know that it is the right time to actually be selling. Property markets go up and down and if you have any choice at all over when you sell, it is better to wait until the market is on the up, not when it is crashing. With the economy being as it is (very up and down) timing is everything so that you get the most money possible for your property. It’s important to do your own research about this because estate agents are sales people. Whilst they will have the expertise to give you a valuation, in reality they may not be honest about whether or not it is a good time to sell. So do combine their valuations and advise with your own market research.
If you do decide to sell, you’ll want to do any important repairs, and ideally, remove items from the house so that it becomes more of a blank canvas for viewers. This may be a case of removing some furniture, pictures and other things and putting them into the cheapest storage you can find. Cheap self storage is also a great place for DIY items you’re using to do up your home, and perhaps garden toys and accessories that visually take away from the space you’re selling.
Of course if you are living in the house until you sell, you’ll no doubt be needing certain things to stay with you. However, if you can minimise the furniture, paint everything a nice neutral colour and make sure you are clutter free, you have the best chance of not only selling, but selling at a good price.
At this stage you should also think about staging your home. This is where you ‘set up’ certain scenes with furniture and accessories so that potential buyers can see the potential in different spaces. A single bed and a study desk in a small room, for example, suggests that an older child can use the room as their bedroom and hangout space. A desk and computer under the stairs suggests a home office space, or child’s study space.
Zoning panels in the garden show how different parts of the garden can be for entertaining, wildlife and relaxation. It’s about creating a way for potential buyers to envision themselves living in your home. It helps to know your target market for this process, so that you know what kind of staging will appeal to them best.
Once you are ready to sell, you can sell on your own, but usually people will have one or several estate agents selling their home for a percentage of the sale price.
Whilst Your Property Is Up For Sale
Whilst your property is up for sale you’ll need to be aware of the fact people are coming to do viewings – so keep things tidy. You will also have people doing drive-by’s to take a look at the front of the house. So if the house has a messy front garden or there are other visual issues with it, it is a good idea to get them sorted out so that you don’t ruin your curb appeal.
The selling process is busiest during the first week or two, which is when you should be hoping to get an offer come through. This will happen if the property has been priced well, and you can then accept an offer you’re happy with.
Your Property Has Sold
When you accept an offer, things aren’t finalised on the house sale yet. Now, you’ll have to appoint a solicitor, and the buyers will too. If they have a house to sell, you’ll need to wait for that to go through so that they can complete with you. The same goes for yourselves, if you are buying a house but need your house to complete before you can complete. This is called a chain, and it is a common cause of delays in the selling and buying process.
There are lots of legal stages along the way with this journey, but there is a risk pretty much right up until the exchange. Surveys have to be done, which can cause people to drop out of the sale, or they may wish to renegotiate based on the findings.
If they drop out, you can then offer the house to other people who made offers, or you can relist it on the market. Hopefully, though, the sales process will complete quickly (usually takes at least a few months) and you’ll have happy buyers moving into the house as you then move onto your next property.
Now You’re In Your New Place…
Now that you’ve sold your first home, you can feel proud that you’ve gotten through the whole process with minimal stress (hopefully!).
If you’re reading this, however, you’re still at the beginning of the selling process so, you’ve everything yet to come! At least now, though, you’re one step ahead of the game because you know what is coming, and what to expect. Many house sales run smoothly, and although the process is challenging, it is ultimately extremely rewarding. Good luck!