Selling and moving

Seller's checklist

If you plan to sell up and move home there are a number of things you can do to ensure a successful sale.

Putting your property on the market

  • Choose an estate agent
    Talk to friends who have sold recently and count the ‘sold’ boards in your area to find out which agents have the highest success rates
  • Get valuations from two or three estate agents
    Don’t choose an agent simply because he/she has given you the highest valuation, unless you are sure the price is realistic
  • Make sure the estate agent’s description is correct
    Check the dimensions given for rooms and make sure features such as French windows, walk-in wardrobes and double-glazing are mentioned
  • Make a list of all answers to the questions viewers are likely to ask
    These are likely to concern amenities nearby, the standard of local schools, and public transport

Before a viewing

  • Tidy the garden
    Focus on any outdoor space in front of your house and make sure the front of your home has ‘kerb appeal’.  Potted plants are inexpensive and you can take them with you when you move
  • Do any minor repairs
    Fix faulty door latches and squeaky hinges.  Make sure windows do not stick.  Mend guttering and fix loose roof tiles
  • Put any unnecessary furniture in storage
    Avoid letting the place appear cramped or cluttered.  Remove a few unnecessary pieces of furniture and the property will seem more spacious
  • Clean the kitchen and bathroom
    Traditionally viewers pay most attention to these rooms, so make sure they appear bright and clean
  • Treat any serious problems such as damp or dry rot
    If for any reason you are unable to do so, do not try to hide their existence from viewers, as they will be uncovered when the property is surveyed

Showing the property

  • Create a pleasant atmosphere
    Consider buying some freshly cut flowers to brighten up the property
  • Have bills on hand to show buyers
    Some buyers will ask about the cost of gas and electricity.  Have other facts available, such as whether the property carries a National House-Building Guarantee (NHBC), or if there are any damp-proofing or timber treatment guarantees
  • Make clear what you are leaving
    Tell the buyers what carpets, curtains and/or electrical appliances you intend to leave behind

DOs & DON'Ts

DO use the local paper and estate agents to research prices being asked for similar properties in your area.  If you want a quick sale, ask for less.

DON'T sell in a traditionally slow month if you can help it.  Among these are November and December, and July and August when people are away on holiday.

DO ensure photographs of the property are in colour and picture it in sunlight - ideally in summer.  Provide interiors as well as exterior shots.

DON'T be tempted to totally redecorate - potential buyers may suspect you are trying to disguise problems.

DO answer questions openly and honestly.  If the buyer sees you as a friendly and co-operative person they may be more inclined to make an offer.

DON'T hover behind viewers while they look around, but let them inspect things on their own at their own pace - they will find you if they have a question.

Article taken from 'What mortgage & remortgage' publication June 2006