So you have decided to sell your property. The first thing to do would be to list your property on the market. Here is a list of what you should be looking out for when selling your property.
1) Hiring a property agent
Get a property agent who is familiar with the area. In today’s digital age, a simple Google search will show what types of properties a particular agent is selling. Ask for some transaction data and ask for some of the past transactions which the agent has concluded. Look up his or her track record. Search for the agent on the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) website to see whether this particular agent is licensed and whether there have been any disciplinary actions taken against him or her. It is your duty to interview and discuss your housing options with the agent. You should highlight things like when you will need to move to your new place and whether you can afford to make a purchase first before selling. Listen to how the agent would handle the situation and then make a decision whether to hire him or her.
2) Hire an agent on an exclusive basis
If you need to sell your property in the shortest period of time, hire a good real estate agent on an exclusive basis. Here are a few reasons to do so.
- A dedicated exclusive agent will ensure a dedicated sales process. You only need to receive reports from one agent and not multiple agents.
- A dedicated exclusive agent will maintain a fixed price across all advertising platforms. If you have multiple agents, they may try to entice buyers and cobroke agents to view the property through them by telling them a lower closing price.
- A dedicated exclusive agent will send your properties to prospective cobroke agents to ensure that other agents bring their buyers to view your unit.
- You only have to arrange with one exclusive agent when it comes to viewing appointments.
- Your exclusive agent will know your financial situation and requirements when it comes to the timing of the sales transaction.
3) Firm up a marketing strategy
Once you have your exclusive agent, you should firm up a marketing strategy with your agent. Discuss other properties which are on sale in the area and come up with a comparative market analysis (CMA). The CMA will state clearly what are the competing units on the market and help you to price your property appropriately. If you are working on a limited timeframe to sell your property, never overprice your property. The CMA can help you decide on a suitable price for your property. If your property is not in a presentable condition, consider home staging to make your property more appealing.
4) Prepare for viewing
- Ensure that the house is clean and try to declutter as much as possible. Having things lying around tends to make the house seem messy and unappealing.
- If there are any unsightly cracks or stains, make sure that these are fixed and patched before letting potential buyers view the property.
- Any damaged lights or switches should be repaired before buyers enter the house.
- If there are loud noises from a nearby road or rail track, you may want to close the windows if that shuts off the noise.
- Sinks and taps cleaned and any sign of mould or watermarks on mirrors and shower screens removed.
5) Things to expect during a house viewing
Try to arrange for buyers to view at a fixed viewing timing if possible. Having more than one group of buyers at a particular viewing will tend to create a greater sense of urgency among buyers. Also, having all the viewings at a particular timing will ensure that you do not spend a lot of time waiting at home for prospective buyers. Buyers tend to ask questions about the property while viewing. At times they would like to speak to you, the owner. You can answer them cordially but do not seem too hasty in trying to oversell the good points about your house. However, try to leave any negotiation about pricing to your exclusive agent. Home owners tend to stumble when buyers ask them about pricing.
6) Getting an offer
After some time of marketing, an offer should come in. Sometimes an offer may come in on the first viewing and on other occasions it may take 3-6 months to get an offer. Once an offer is tabled, discuss your options with your agent. In a slow property market, consider accepting any respectable offers. Always ask about the eligibility of the buyer, his ability to finance his purchase, the completion timeline, your legal obligations when issuing an option and your next purchase.
7) Completing the sale of your property
Your property is usually sold with vacant possession. Pack up earlier to avoid any last minute hiccups. Arrange for your movers to clear your property days before the date which you have to hand over the property to the buyer. You must take note not to remove fittings like the air conditioner or lights. In the event that you are unsure about what needs to be done, you should check with your property agent.