Are you thinking about selling your home soon? Great, we hope it goes well and that the sale goes through smoothly. However, you may want to curb your enthusiasm before you put your house on the market. There is a lot to think about, so take down that ‘For Sale’ sign down for just a moment, and consider the following advice.
1. Think about why you are selling
It’s unlikely you just got up one morning and decided to sell, but your reasons for doing so may not be totally valid. For example, you may feel like a change or your new neighbours may be intolerable, but there may be ways to resolve these issues without packing up your bags and heading out of town. Giving your current home a makeover is a start, and there are smart ways to deal with difficult neighbours, without having to give in to their nuisance behaviour. Make sure you are selling for the right reasons, such as a change in your family situation, and then continue with the rest of the advice on this list. Remember: there is no going back when your house has been sold, and you don’t want to regret this very expensive decision later on.
2. Consider your property needs
Unless you are descending on friends or family for an extended stay, you will need to start the search for your next home in earnest. This means looking for the right property for your needs and lifestyle. Downsizing is fine, for example, especially if money is an issue, but consider where your life may be in five or ten years. Upgrading is also fine, provided you have the bank balance to accommodate the change. When looking for your next home, there are other factors to consider. For example, how close is your workplace? Is the neighbourhood safe? Is there enough room to swing your cat (not that we would advise it)? Don’t buy something without a thorough inspection, and introspection, as you may not have the finances to move out quickly if mistakes are made.
3. Get ready for the sale
It’s unlikely you will be able to afford to move into a new house until you have sold your current one, so you need to get ready for the sale. Even luxury home sales fail when the prep work hasn’t taken place. From repairing damages to adding a little value to the property, do what you can to ensure it doesn’t stay on the market for long. When your home is prepped and ready to go on the market, you should still pause for thought. Is your next home ready to move into? You don’t want to move into a money pit or have the sellers back down at last minute. Should you wait until later in the year, or hold on until the property market is on the rise? Again, money is the key, so keep an eye on the market or get professional advice to make sure you only sell your property when the time is right to do so.
4. Find a decent real estate agent
Not every real estate agent is the same. They might talk the talk but can they walk the walk? You need to cut through the hype in their advertising techniques and find somebody who is going to serve the best interests of you and your property. To help you, this advice should get you started. When you think you have found somebody, ask them what they will do to market and sell your home. If you are unsure about their plans, check with other agents before you commit to hiring their services. There is nothing wrong with getting a second or third opinion, so commit yourself to some research before hiring the first real estate agent who catches your eye on the high street.
5. Speak to your bank
Now is the time to get some financial advice. For example, one of the issues many people face is dealing with the existing mortgage. You may be able to amalgamate payments with your new mortgage, but this isn’t always possible. There is also the danger of exit fees. Your bank should give you the advice you need, but there is some helpful information here that can explain possible options. When you have sorted out your existing mortgage, you then need to compare rates and fees when trying to organise a new mortgage. You don’t need to stick with your current lender, so shop around. Banks are in competition with each other, and you may get a better deal with somebody else.
Selling your home isn’t easy, and neither is the search for a new property. Still, despite the stress, the move will be worth it, provided you heeded the advice of number 1 on our list. Good luck and we hope you enjoy your new home when you finally get there.