Tips for home sellers in 2020

If you’re planning on selling your home in 2020, you’ll presumably be hoping for the best price in the shortest time.  Here are some tips on how to make this happen.

Start by pulling your paperwork together

This may seem like a dull tip, but it really does matter, so it’s as well to get it over and done with before you go into full “house-selling mode”.  Basically, gather together any and all paperwork which could be relevant to the sale of your home.

First of all, you will need to pull together any legal paperwork, which may have been mothballed since you moved in (especially if you have lived in a property a long time).  You might want to have a lawyer double-check it to see if there are any issues which could be red-flagged by the current generation of buyers and see if there are any steps you can take to remedy them before you put the property on the market.

After this, you will need to compile any administrative documents regarding your home and its contents.  This could include your EPC, warranties for any building work you had done, receipts and warranty information for any white goods you are selling with the house and so on.

For bonus points, you could take this a step further and create a folder containing all the factual information a buyer could reasonably be expected to want to know about your home and the local area.

Focus on presenting what you have rather than upgrading your home

Unless you are selling a property as in need of refurbishment, you will want your property to be in its best “move-in” condition.  What that means in practice is that you want to take care of any maintenance issues (if they’re not spotted on the viewing they may well be picked up later and delay the sale) and you want to take all reasonable steps to keep your home clean, tidy and odour-free during the sales period.

It is unlikely to be in your best interests to do any major home improvements.  First of all, they may not increase the value of your home by as much as the vendor might have suggested.  Secondly, if they do, they could end up putting your home out of the budget of some potential buyers and/or increasing the Stamp Duty payable on it.  Thirdly, if they go wrong, they could be a serious hindrance to the sales process.

What you could do is look at potential improvements a buyer might want to make to your home, see if they would need planning permission and if so see if you can either obtain permission for the change or give a compelling reason why permission would be likely to be granted.

Let the estate agent do the selling

There are two good reasons for having your estate agent take charge of the actual sales process.  The first is that it is literally how they earn their living, so they will get a lot of practice at it and will probably do a far better job than the average homeowner.  Even if you work in sales, home sales is a specialist niche and benefits from specialist knowledge

Secondly, potential buyers may be more inclined to talk freely in front of an estate agent, who will not have an emotional connection to a property, than to a homeowner, who probably will.  If buyers have concerns about a property you want them to feel able to voice them so that they can be addressed, rather than have them walk away and look at another property instead.

Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

For estate agents we act as introducer only

The FCA does not regulate estate agents


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