#004 How can I speed up the sale of my property?

Episode 4
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When it comes to selling your home, preparation and doing your homework early on will definitely help to make the whole process run more smoothly.

As well as the time and effort it takes to market your property and prepare it for viewings, there are also a number of legal and financial considerations you should prepare as early on in the process as possible.

When people think about preparing their house for sale, they often think about just the physical aspects such as de-cluttering, DIY and decorating in order to attract potential buyers, however finding the buyer and agreeing the offer is only one part of the sale process and very few people consider how to prepare the property legally for the remaining part of the sale process.

So here are a few essential points to consider before listing your property for sale.

  1. Choose your agent wisely. Once you are certain you want to move – and are emotionally and financially ready – choose your agent wisely. Instruct an agent with a good reputation, a proven track record in your area and whom you feel will market your home to the best of their ability. Coupled with this always look for an agency that is a member of a redress scheme such as the Property Ombudsman Scheme and the Office of Fair Trading this means that they abide by a code of practice and are held accountable for the standard of service they deliver.
  1. Look through the eyes of your buyer. Step back and look at your home through the eyes of a potential buyer. Make the most of your space, make sure the house is clean and tidy; focus on de-cluttering, giving windows and doors a lick of paint if needed, and pay some attention to your outdoor space; cutting the lawn and getting rid of any unsightly weeds. Remember first impressions really do count!
  1. Highlight the selling points. Be sure to highlight, and pass on to your agent, details of any outstanding features that first attracted you to the home. Or if you’ve made any upgrades or improvements that are unique and add value then again highlight these to your agent. Your agent will then work this information into the property details and make sure your property is presenting all its selling points and wow factors from the beginning. This could include hidden storage areas, converted loft space outdoor and BBQ areas.

So the three points so far are what many of you may already have considered in preparing your property physically for the sale. But the following points are not so widely discussed and in many cases are left until an offer is agreed. By leaving these till later on in the sale process undoubtedly adds significant time to getting to that all important sale completion.

So here are the top legal and financial points to consider to speed up your property sale.

  1. Draw up an inventory of items that you are including or not including in the sale of the house as early on in the process as possible, for example curtain poles, light fittings and fitted furniture. This will help to avoid any confusion later down the line and time delays whilst this is being carried out.
  1. Gather any documents you have that relate to the property, no matter how trivial you think they are. Buyers will expect to see all documents relating to every aspect of the property. By not being able to provide these quickly could result in delays at the crucial point, so do the hard work early on and gather these together at the start. For example, windows installed after 1 April 2002 need FENSA certificates, and any remedial works as cavity wall insulation should have associated guarantees and paperwork.

Linked to tip number five is:

  1. Certification. In addition, building work that has been carried out on the property will result in you needing to produce building regulations and planning permissions, as well as the relevant completion certificate for the work. Also by law, an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate), giving information on how to make your home more energy efficient and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, needs to be provided in order to market your property for sale and you Estate Agent will be able to assist you with this at the beginning of the marketing process.
  1. Start the Conveyancing early. This is the last legal hurdle. Put simply, it is the act of legally transferring a property from one person to another and has, by law, to be carried out by a solicitor or licensed conveyancer. At my Estate Agency our conveyancing solicitors can open the file at the start of the marketing process and prepare all the necessary documentation to reduce the time from offer to exchange. – Remember the longer the conveyancing process takes, the more chance there is that the sale could fall through.                     Having the relevant information available at the marketing stage also allows your agent to show this information to buyers, which will not only help them make informed decisions, but also demonstrate that they are dealing with a serious and organised seller.
  1. Financially plan ahead. A move to a new home may take its toll financially, but it may be wise to think about home insurance, finding the right mortgage and future financial planning at the beginning of the process so that you can budget accordingly.

So in summary. If you are considering selling your property then take the time to discuss the whole process with your Estate Agent and Solicitor/Conveyancer and pre prepare all the elements we’ve discussed today.

It’s reported that the average time from sale agreed to contracts exchanged is between 14-16 weeks with less than 5% of sellers actually being aware of this statistic and often believing it’s much faster!

So having all these points done at the beginning of the process will allow you and your Solicitor to move significantly quicker once a sale is agreed and this will help to reduce any possibility of the sale process stalling or even falling through during the conveyancing process.

So that concludes todays episode answering the question – How can I speed up the sale of my property? I hope you’ve found it useful and that it’s given you a few points to take away and plan before putting your property on the market.

So that leaves me to just say thank you very much for listening to this episode of the Podcast, don’t forget to contact us with any questions you want answering in future episodes. Through the contact links below:

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About the author, David Thomas

David Thomas is an Entrepreneur and passionate Estate Agent who loves helping others on their property journey.

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