Whether you are moving to a new area, upsizing or downsizing, making that next step on the property ladder should be exciting. Sadly, for many, the prospect of selling a home is daunting and overwhelming. We get it. There are so many processes to consider before a property goes on the market that it is difficult to know where to start. And in what order to do things so as not to slow the whole selling process down.
Here at The Home Report Company we’re often asked by clients how they should go about selling their home. So, we’ve pulled together our 2021 step-by-step guide to help make selling in Scotland that little bit easier.
DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE
The first thing to work out is whether selling is financially viable. Speak to local estate agents who have experience in your area and type of property to get their estimations on the market value of your home. This is the first part of the selling journey and allows you to get a feel for how much you could be making on the sale. But remember, this is a recommended guide to valuation – only Chartered Surveyors like us can provide actual property valuations within the Home Report which sets the price.
Then, research how much your next home will cost you and how much money you will need to make this next move. It’s also worth getting in touch with your current mortgage lender to determine your financial situation, work out the size of the outstanding mortgage, how much extra you’ll need to borrow, and find out if you could have early redemption fees on the existing mortgage.
Moving home is expensive and costs build up so it is important to do your homework before committing to anything. You need to take into account estate agent fees, legal fees, removal costs and much more.
Once you have committed to selling, it is time to sort out your Home Report. The Home Report is the only legally required part of placing your property on the market. It is a crucial pack of detailed information about the condition and value of a property. Commissioned by the seller, this must be available to potential buyers before the property goes on the market. The Home Report contains three parts – the Single Survey with Property Valuation, the Energy Performance Report (EPC) and the Property Questionnaire.
Once you have this completed, you then take this to your selling agent who will use this to market your property.
Here at the Home Report Company, we have offices across Scotland including Fife, Glasgow, Dundee, Stirling and Falkirk, Aberdeen and Edinburgh and our highly experienced Chartered Surveyors, all regulated by the RICS, are available 7 days a week, at times that suit you. We also aim to deliver your Home Report within two working days, at competitive prices.
SELECT A SELLING AGENT
I always stress how important it is to choose the right estate agent and recommend using a reputable company that has expertise in your area and a high success rate for selling similar properties. You need to find out how they will market your property, which channels they will use to advertise it and how they will ensure your home has maximum visibility to potential buyers. Also, always check whether conveyancing is included in their fees so there are no unexpected surprises down the line.
Whilst a good fee is a key factor, customer service and success rates are more fundamental for a good stress-free sale. Once you have selected your estate agent, ensure you are aligned with the price of the property – you should already have a good idea of the price from step one.
You should have already spoken to your existing lender, so you know what borrowing is available from them, but it’s worthwhile seeking independent mortgage advice. This can help you make decisions about the best mortgage options for you.
DRESSED TO SELL
Now is the time to get your property sale ready; this means ensuring that it is in as good a condition as possible. Declutter, depersonalise, clean and repair; put yourself in the mindset of a buyer and cast a critical eye over your home. Your agent should advise on key areas that need tending to, so the property looks picture ready for the schedule, video ready for COVID-safe virtual viewings and, when physical viewings take place, the home is dressed to sell.
MARKET YOUR PROPERTY & VIEWINGS
When your Home Report is complete you can decide on your asking price, taking advice from your estate agent. Now is the time for your estate agent to start marketing the property. It is recommended that all initial viewings should be done virtually before physical viewings – again, your estate agent will advise on what is best in the current climate.
ACCEPTING AN OFFER
Your estate agent is legally required to inform you of all offers made on the property. It is up to you whether you accept, refuse, or want to negotiate an offer and the estate agent will act on your behalf. Once an offer has been accepted, your home will be removed from the market. However, acceptance of an offer is not legally binding meaning you are able to accept a higher offer should it come along, or you change your mind with regard to the sale of your home.
CONCLUDING THE SALE
Once you have accepted an offer, the legal aspect of the sale takes place. Contracts will be exchanged and the legal title of property will be transferred. A moving date will be agreed upon around this time and it is always good to get planning in advance – arranging for the removal of goods, redirecting mail, and updating all your suppliers (gas, electricity, phone, broadband etc).
On the transfer or sale date, the balance of the purchase price (this is the money left over once your mortgage lender has been paid) is paid to your solicitor. Once the money is received, the estate agent releases the keys to the home and the property is sold!