Lakin & Co’s top tips to getting your property ready to sell
Posted on Monday, 20 February, 2017
Planning is fundamental when it comes to selling your property, good preparation in advance will help ensure your sale runs smoothly as possible from start to finish and potentially help you achieve more in the sale price. It is not just decorating and general DIY which sellers should be thinking about before marketing their property in readiness for viewings. This will of course play a big part in helping attract potential buyers and aid in obtaining the best possible photographs for marketing material. However, for instance some sellers forget about the legal aspects required in preparing their property for the sales market and the total costs involved. Lakin & Co help provide a complete service when it comes to legally and financially preparing clients prior to the marketing of their property and guiding them through the house selling process.
The first port of call is really to decide whether you definitely want to move, bearing in mind the selling and moving process can be stressful it is important that you are emotionally and financially ready. Then select a selling agent carefully, one that provides honest information and research to support their valuation and service claims. It’s important to instruct an agent with a good reputation for customer service and performance whom you feel will market your home to the best possible standard, and who is a member of the Property Ombudsman Scheme and the Office of Fair Trading. Remember good potential buyers will equally want to deal with a reputable agent they too have a lot at stake both emotionally and financially.
Before your property is then marketed for sale take a step back and look at your home through the eyes of potential buyers. Make your home inviting, de-clutter, put personal items away, ensure it’s clean and tidy throughout, redecorate where necessary and tidy the gardens and driveway, first impressions really do count so get your entrance looking inviting. During the winter months of marketing some viewings may take place in the evenings when dark so make sure all lights are working, replace bulbs and leave the heating on. This will help make your property welcoming and inviting to potential buyers.
Be sure to highlight and pass on to your agent, details of any particular features that first attracted you to your property; after all you know your property better than anyone. Your selected agent should work this information into the property details and answer any questions over the phone or during the viewing. This could include things you have updated during your occupancy which may not necessarily be obvious, i.e. heating system, electrics and extensions. If you have planning permission granted or plans for extension or a loft conversion for instance then leave the plans out so they can be shown to prospective buyers, this in itself can add value.
There are many legal points to consider, but being well prepared may help to speed up the process, from viewings to the eventual sale. Draw up an inventory of items that you are including or not including in the sale of the house, for example curtain poles and light fittings, to avoid confusion later down the line and let your agent know of what you intend to leave so they can answer any questions during the viewings. This again also demonstrates to the buyers that they are dealing with a serious and well organised seller and an agent who is well informed.
In addition, any building work that has been carried out on the property will result in you needing to produce building regulations and planning permissions, as well as the relevant completion certificate for the work. By law, an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate), giving information on how to make your home more energy efficient and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, needs to be provided. Lakin & Co will arrange the EPC for you prior to marketing, along with the floor plans, professional photos and brochures.
Conveyancing is the legal part of selling your property, simply put it is the act of legally transferring a property from one person to another and has, by law, to be carried out by a solicitor or licensed conveyancer. Lakin & Co’s recommended solicitors can provide helpful information and conveyancing quotations from local property lawyers before the start of the marketing process and prepare all the necessary documentation to reduce the time from offer to exchange. Often the longer the process takes, the more likely the sale may fall through so being swift and prepared will help reduce this risk and a good solicitor will be able to help you achieve what you require.
Collect any documents you have that relate to your property, no matter how trivial you think they are. The buyer’s solicitor will often expect to see all documents and by not providing them, it could result in delays. For example, windows installed after 1 April 2002 need FENSA certificates, and any remedial works should have associated guarantees and if currently let, up-to-date gas safety and electrical certificates.
Remember to ensure your home insurers are updated and you are correctly covered and take meter readings to notify the utility companies and council tax department of your move.
The above are just a small few points of advice Lakin & Co provide to clients before selling their property. Contact Lakin & Co today for a free no obligation valuation and see how they can help you.