estate agents
tips and advice to sell your home

It’s a common misconception that the process of selling your home starts when your property hits the market. However there are some things you can do now to ensure that the selling process runs that little bit smoother.

Check when your mortgage deal ends

Before you do anything, make sure you’re clear on the terms of your mortgage agreement and if you’ll have to pay any penalty fees for moving early. Usually if you’re on a lender’s standard variable rate there shouldn’t be any penalties. This is the rate your mortgage reverts to when a fixed-rate or tracker period ends.

If you’re still on an introductory rate, it’s worth finding out if you can transfer your current mortgage product to a new property at no extra cost. This is known as a ‘portable’ mortgage.

Even if your mortgage is portable in theory, there are no guarantees that your lender will give you the green light. You’ll have to make sure they are happy with the new property, the price you’re paying for it and pass affordability checks.

If your mortgage isn’t portable and you’re still on the introductory rate, you’ll likely have to pay an early repayment charge if you want to move. This can be anywhere between 1 and 5% of the remainder of your mortgage debt which could amount to a pretty hefty sum depending on your situation.

Even so, you might find it’s a price worth paying depending on the rate you can secure for your new mortgage. Money Saving Expert offer a great online calculator to help you get a rough idea of the cost of ditching your current mortgage.

It’s a good idea to get your head around this now, ahead of your move, to determine when the right time to sell up might be and whether it might be worth waiting a while before going ahead.

Carefully consider your next move

It might sound obvious, but having a clear idea of what your next move is will help make the process of selling your home so much smoother. Whilst you might think you need to buy a home to sell a home, there are actually a couple of other options available. You could sell your home and move into rented accommodation or leave homeownership altogether.

Knowing what your next step is will help you determine how you go about selling your current property. For example if you’re selling your home and buying a new property to move into immediately, you’ll have to consider the implications of being in a chain.

Crunch the numbers

When you’re selling your home it’s easy to forget that the process itself can be pretty expensive. It’s important to have an idea of what those costs will be.

Your costs will differ depending on your individual circumstances however it’s a good idea to consider the following when estimating the cost of selling:

  • Estate agents
  • Legal fees
  • Energy performance certificates
  • Removals.

Consider extending your lease

It may sound obvious but homes with long leases are generally more attractive to buyers than short leases. If your home is a leasehold property it might be worth extending your lease to boost your chance of selling and potentially increase the value of your home too.

Extending a lease can cost thousands of pounds but you could more than make this back in property value.

The most important thing to remember is that extending a lease becomes significantly more expensive once your lease drops below 80 years. This is something a buyer may factor this future expense into their offer. They might also struggle to get a mortgage which could hamper your sale.

A buyer won’t be able to extend the lease until they’ve lived in the property for two years so they may use a short lease as a reason to either not buy at all or to haggle on the asking price.

If a buyer asks you to extend the lease as a condition of the sale, you should remember that the legal process can take weeks if not much longer so factor this in.

Give your home a glow up

Now is a great time to make your home more attractive to buyers by giving the place a spruce up.

Focus on both exterior and interior. Could you tidy up your garden? Does the kitchen need a lick of paint? Could you upgrade the lighting or give the bathroom a refresh? All of these things could help attract potential buyers later down the line.

Check out our full guide to the most cost effective DIY projects you can do to add value to your home.

Get your energy performance certificate

It’s a legal requirement to have an EPC when you sell your property. An EPC rates your property on its energy efficiency from A (the best) to G (the worst).

An EPC is valid for ten years and you can check the validity of yours on the EPC register. If it’s expired it’s important to sort out a new one before you look to sell; it’ll cost anywhere from £40 to £120 depending on the size and location of your home.

Given the cost of living crisis, it’s hardly surprising that energy efficiency is top of most buyers requirements. There are plenty of ways to improve the efficiency of your property - take a look at our guide here.

Get your home valued

Knowing the value of your home is imperative to a smooth sale. Price it incorrectly and you could end up with your property being on the market for a long time or selling it for less than it’s worth.

The best way to get an accurate valuation is to use an estate agent that you trust. We’d recommend getting a second and third opinion too in order to find the number that feels the most accurate. It’s also worth looking at similar homes to yours on Rightmove and Zoopla to understand the market.

Getting a valuation from an estate agent does not mean you are under obligation to use them for the sale - ultimately you should go with an agent you feel comfortable with and that you feel will get you the best possible price for your property.

We offer free valuations or get in touch with our friendly team for a chat.