For an estate agent, one of the most common misconceptions we hear is that there are times of year to avoid putting your house on the market.
Some clients will come to us in spring in the belief their house probably wouldn’t have sold if they’d tried between October and March as no one likes viewing in the dark.
Others will swear there’s no point in December as no one’s looking to buy a house in the run-up to Christmas.
Both are utterly wrong.
The truth is that the best time to sell your house in when someone wants to buy it – and there are no rules or guidelines which make it easier to guess when that might be. People move house for all sorts or reasons and at any and every time of year.
Having put those to bed though, there are a few other things you need to consider before you sell – and the most important is whether or not you’ve done all your home work (if you’ll pardon the pun).
Selling your home is probably one of the largest financial transactions we make in life so it makes sense to do some proper research before you pick the team you want to act on your behalf.
Naturally, at esale, we advocate the online route. It’s considerably cheaper for a start and, with EPCs, floor plans, photography and for sale boards all part of the package, it can be a simple, hassle-free option.
However, we accept it’s not for everyone; even a cursory glance at simple market statistics show traditional high street estate agents are still preferred by some so, with that in mind, our advice would be:
Visit a few agents both on and off-line, evaluate what they offer and make a list of all the things you like best. When you choose your agent, make it clear what you expect from them and make a careful note of the services they are offering in return.
Professional legal advice is going to be important – but, again, shop around. A lot of conveyance solicitors offer a package but you might not need every aspect of the service so make sure you’re not going to be paying for something you don’t want.
If you’re moving to a new home too, it can help if you already have an approved mortgage. The seller you’re buying from might be more willing to accept your offer if they know you already have your finances arranged.
Have a walk around your house with a camera, take pictures of every room and then try to look at them dispassionately to help you decide if there’s any clutter you can remove. For example, it’s always a good idea to put away the family pictures as your buyer will want to see themselves in your house and too many of your personal belongings are only going to make that harder. If you have a friend who’s happy to look after some of the bigger bits of extraneous furniture, all the better.
You remember all those DIY jobs you’ve been meaning to get round to for years? Now is a good time to fill that little hole in the kitchen ceiling where the bath above once overflowed, the garage door handle which sticks, the dent in the hallway wall where the kids once flung open the door with just a bit too much force. A complete, top-to-bottom overhaul of the decor is probably a step too far but too many niggles could prompt a seriously low offer – or none at all.
Done all that? Good. Then you’re probably about ready to call that estate agent now. But, when you do, remember this is your house; your deal. Make sure those sale boards only go up once you’re satisfied you have the service you want – or at least as close as you can get.