Smart Spending and Smart Saving Tips
Selling your home
Check the prices of similar properties but don't deceive yourself. If your property isn't as large/well-situated/nicely presented, you won’t get those extra thousands so price carefully. It's usually better to price realistically and make a quick sale than price too high and wait years for a buyer. Ask several local estate agents for a valuation and choose the most sensible valuation (usually the middle one). Promises to sell it for £5-£10k more than another valuation are done to lure you in but may cost dearly if it takes ages to sell or you have to reduce the price after six weeks.
You can ask a surveyor to value the house. You pay for this service but you might save later if the same surveyor re-appears as the buyer’s valuer, which is quite common in local marketplaces, and you won’t have a horrid haggle at the last minute. Get a surveyor from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, www.rics.org, 0870 3331600.
Compile 'particulars’ including room sizes and plans. Make these accurate or you could be sued. If you plan to take certain things, say so from the start.
Selling your furniture saves removals costs - your new place will probably need different stuff anyway.
Show your house by appointment only. Take the viewer’s landline number and check it by ringing back to confirm on the day. It’s amazing how many ‘no shows’ you get, especially on sunny Sunday mornings, after you've spend two hours frenziedly tidyng.. When they turn up to view, have someone else there at all times.
Don’t accept an on-the-spot now-or-never offer. That is the sign of a property developer or broker. If they’re serious they will allow you to consider.
If you want more, give them the sum and a reason. ‘I’d like another two thousand as the kitchen is new.’ Saying you want more in order to purchase your next abode, doesn't necessarily justify why this buyer should pay more for this house.
If they want to drop the price, offer to add in furniture or something you know they like, to keep it high. Be very careful of new legislation regarding 'fixtures and fittings', which should not be used as a levy.
Don’t be petty. If you create bad feeling, it escalates. This goes for anything in life, actually. What’s petty? The former owner of my house suddenly asked me for a large extra sum for the integrated fridge, although she had sold it as a fully-fitted kitchen. The solicitor said that she could legally take the fridge but not the wall-fixed cupboard in which it was housed. After I made my displeasure clear she left it, and threw in quite a lot of other fittings too, to keep the sale on-board.
Many estate agents include local press advertising in their service, they can usually buy this space for less than it would cost you as a private person.
If you are going to have a go at selling the house yourself, research the local market well and have a look at several recommended websites. www.homestagers.co.uk (0800 542 8952) offers free listings and advice for £197. www.thelittlehousecompany.co.uk, 0800 083 4241, will advertise your house from £89.
© Copyright Jane Furnival 2007, 2008