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Top Tips when you come to Sell your Home

February 2020

How should you prepare your property? What are the pitfalls? Tricks of the trade?


Top Tips when you come to Sell your Home

Full transcript below:

So really the talk is in two halves, you’ve got selling your home and then once you’ve done that you then go on the buy your next property. So, really initially it’s when you come to sell your personal home, and this is where you are coming from as the homeowner and the way that you should do things or the way that I sort of advise my clients when you come to sell. Now, in an ideal world you should ideally always try and go into rented accommodation. Sadly, the times that we’re in, if we had this conversation five/ten years ago you could have got away with it and you could say well Alex you know well I’ve spotted that great flat that I’d like to downsize to, I’m now going to go on the market and we’ll all very nicely merge everything together. Sadly, for various reasons it just doesn’t work that way. It’s very stressful, you get involved in chains and when you start getting involved in chains, very high risk and this is where it starts then getting into the newspapers and again estate agency gets tarnished with the wrong brush. So, I always say to clients go into rented for a couple of reasons, number one, when you come to sell, you are selling from a position of strength. You are chain-free, you hold the ace card you can call the shots. When you then come to move its low stress, low pressure and you’re then in rented accommodation watching and waiting for the right property, and you then pounce on the right property. The only disadvantage of course going into rented, it’s the ladies that are nodding now, it’s two moves. But, I have to say going into rented is absolute ideally top priority.

The next thing where people often fall foul when they come to put their property on the market, no one really sort of tells you this until it’s too late is actually appointing your conveyancing solicitor pretty much at the same time you appoint your estate agent. And when I say appoint your solicitor what I actually mean is ring them up, get a file opened for you, get client ID signed off, so you need to send your solicitor a copy of your passport, and recent utility bill, they’ll sign that off. They may ask for nominal funds upfront to cover any searches that they may go and do. And when you’re on the selling side they will want to get the title deeds, the information of the property, check it and if there are any problems or anomalies, get some indemnity insurance for £20/50, whatever it is, then you are ready to sell. The number of occasions in my career where we’ve done a great job, you’ve got the answer and all of a sudden, the vendor, the house owner is saying well actually I hadn’t thought about solicitor, the running around and they’ve basically wasted a week or ten days trying to find a solicitor, get all the client information, get all the title deeds, sort out the problem. This issue with that is your buyer who was initially extremely keen, champing at the bit, want to do the deal, you’ve chipped away at his confidence straight away and you’ve actually given him the buyer the upper hand. So, again top tip is really to get your solicitor on board at a early stage.

The other thing, I was joking with Carolyn at the beginning, again a bug bear of estate agents and indeed solicitors is building regulations in that people accidentally forget the inform the council and the planning department that we’ve gone into the roof, we’ve converted the garage and they’ve kept it very low key which is great and they’ve enjoyed it, however when you come to sell it may be that you’ve taken a view and you’re buyer may take a view, but Carolyn I’m sure will go on to talk through, you’ve got to think legally, its got to be black and white. So, if you have been forgetful shall we say about getting building regs or planning sign off, it’s not the end of the world but it just takes a bit of time to sort. You can get retrospective planning permission where you go back to the council and get it signed off or you can get a form of insurance to cover you, but don’t run the risk.

When it comes to presentation please ignore the media – top tip. Because Phil and Kirsty off the TV will say take everything out your house, paint the walls white, take all photographs down, totally the wrong advice and I’ll tell you why. Because house purchase is one of the very few emotional purchases that you actually do in life. If you walk into a sanitised hospital feel of a house, or one like going to hospital, why would you want to go and buy one? Its as simple as that. So, again people want to see the photographs out, the newspapers out. They then talk about the smell of coffee and all of that, they mean it in a genuine sense because someone is buying into a lifestyle at the end of the day and obviously please don’t take it to the other extreme where you’ve got clutter and boxes, it’s all piled up falling over you. It’s about striking that sensible medium in the middle. So, just take the media as always with a bit of caution.

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