There are many reasons that you and your home are no longer the perfect couple.

It could be you have run out of space, need less space, the garden has become a chore rather than a hobby or you just yearn for the good life growing your own.

The Reason

Whatever the reason selling or moving home is recognised as one of the most stressful things you can do even surpassing divorce! So it makes sense to weigh up the pros and cons of taking on this major life event.

There are many cost effective ways to create more space by simply using the space you have more wisely with the many storage solutions available or revamping a kitchen or bathroom. If it is extra rooms you need then the option to extend or convert a garage or loft into useable living space can often avoid the need to move altogether. Downsizing creates another dilemma. Will there be enough space for my belongings? How many rooms do I still need for family when they visit?

Once the decision has been reached to move it can often be a relief and focus can be put on where to move to location Location Location! Do your homework into the types of properties and their values that have recently sold and are on the market at the moment in the area in which you live and the area you want to move to. This is an important factor when you are calculating how much you need to sell your current home for and in order to realise the buying price of your new home. Don’t forget to factor in the following:-

  • Cost of any Refurbishment to current home
  • Survey Costs
  • Estate Agent Fees
  • Solicitors Fees
  • Moving costs
  • Immediate purchases for new home.

Always remember that property values are volatile and subject to many differing indicators besides the individual property condition. Economic conditions and current and future local development or regeneration can have a positive or negative impact. So again I cannot stress the importance of getting interested in where you want to move to and equally look for positives in your own area which can be used as a selling tool to prospective buyers.

So you have decided to sell your house (it is no longer your home) with this in mind begin to depersonalise, store, sell, donate or dump all items that you don’t regularly use. Suddenly you will begin to see what your property really looks like, warts and all…its best features will shine and you can get started staging your property for sale.

Staging is important to make the best impression to prospective usually only get one chance to make that first impression! It is often said that neutralising your home is necessary for optimum selling impact but don’t be afraid to make a splash with colour it can add interest to a room, reflect light or accentuate a unique feature.

Walk through your property try to look through the eyes of a prospective buyer or get a trusted friend to give you an unbiased opinion. Don’t take it personally it isn’t your home any longer its for sale!!

Unless you are selling yourself you will need to instruct an estate agent and solicitor to handle the sale. Perhaps you have an agent and solicitor you have used in the past but feel free to get a few quotes for comparison.

Who will sell your house? Look around local estate agents, see who is selling in your area but don’t forget to look for good deals every penny saved gives you more money to play with for negotiation and even £500 can make the difference between getting an offer agreed. With this in mind online estate agents are fantastic value for money due to low overheads their savings can be passed on to the vendor without compromising the selling process. They will have a large online presence as well which gives maximum advertising of your property.

The process.

Your agent will visit with you draw up a contract for selling and generally have a good look over your property. They will advise if there are any formal requirements to be made including obtaining an Energy Performance Certificate EPC. You can obtain this for yourself between or your agent can organise. If you have one for the property they are valid for 10 years.

Point out your propertys best features and selling points, all positives from good local schools and transport to south facing garden! Remember to have your house ready for photographs to present it at its best. If you need them to do viewings for you make this clear. If you have any particular viewing arrangements especially if you are doing them yourself, again let your agent know. Most agents only do viewings in office hours 9-5 and possibly some Saturdays. Online estate agents are very flexible and will usually do viewings until 8 pm in the evening and daytime Saturday and Sunday.

Property photos and details will be uploaded by your agent on to the many property portals such as PropertyNews, Rightmove and Zoopla.

So now everyone knows you want to move. If you are doing the viewings yourself try to be as flexible as you can without compromising your ability to fully engage with the buyer. Answer any questions they may have and following the tips below can give you the best chance of receiving an offer.

Preparation is key so following a few simple rules can make it less stressful for everyone.

You will have already went through each room and repaired replaced and removed where necessary. This in itself will already have given each room a mini facelift and allows a potential buyer to make a relaxed and honest assessment of their interest to buy.

Don’t forget the outside of your property, bins cleaned and stored, paths cleaned and cleared, gardens cut and the all important front door, dust free, working order including the bell and light, with a few pot plants gives a great first impression.

It can be a good idea to arrange several viewings in an evening and have your house tidy also buyers see competition when a new buyer arrives.

Before your viewers arrive make sure house cool (summer) and warm (winter) pets under control or out for a walk and their food, baskets and litter trays out of sight and smell!

Put the coffee pot on!

Make a note of buyers names and times they are arriving. Ask each viewer their name on arrival to make sure you know who they are when your agent gives you feedback.

If you have very light carpets it is quite acceptable to ask a potential buyer to use shoe covers, have a few pairs they may have family with them. Let buyers walk into each room first to show space, leave your best room or feature until last with them leaving on a high note.

Listen to what your viewer asks you and what their main requirements are answer your viewers questions honestly. Be consistent with what will be included in sale if you are undecided say so and you can relay to your agent at a later date, sometimes this can be a deal closer if you are leaving white goods, curtains, blinds etc.

Now all you have to do is wait for feedback whether positive or negative all feedback is good. Your agent should come back to you within 24 hours with this hopefully leading to a second viewing.

Remember don’t take it personally you want to sell you need to do whatever it takes.


Dorothy Moore

Nu Move Northern Ireland

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