July Update – What To Do Before Marketing Your Home

Saturday 10th July 2021

Hope you are having a super summer! Rumour has it that the weather will be improving next week, so fingers crossed we will finally get some sunshine back, for more than the occasional hour or so!  If we are to stay in the UK for our summer holiday, the least we can have is the sun to sip a glass of wine under!

Despite the end of the main bit of the stamp duty incentive, Sam and I are still extremely busy. In the past 30-ish weeks of being freelance, under the Martin and Co umbrella, we have agreed sales on 27 properties, 14 of which have now Completed, and 13 Under Offer and going through the conveyancing period.  We have some smashing properties currently on the market, (some under the radar and not online), and have some really pretty houses photographed and ready for launch over the next few weeks.   We are so grateful for each and every client for entrusting their homes to us to sell, and enjoy every bit of so doing. 

We were really honoured to have been approached to sponsor the Wonston Village Fete this weekend, and were more than delighted to do so. We popped along earlier today to say hello, and thrilled to have won a bottle of gin in the (beautifully named) ‘Ginbola’. 

Wonston is one of those beautiful villages of thatched cottages, beautiful old church, and the much heralded Wonston Arms pub (if you haven’t been, then it is definitely worth a visit!).

I thought I would write a bit today on what to do before looking to sell your property.  My advice will always be that the estate agent bit is not necessarily the first place to start.  Assuming that you are looking to sell, and also to buy, do start by checking your existing mortgage to see whether you have any tie-in periods (or redemptions to pay if you leave early). This is really important as you could potentially have tens of thousands of pounds in forfeitures if you leave a tie-in period early.  Then, speak to an independent financial advisor (they have access to more lenders than going online to comparison web sites, and more options than your current lenders might have).  Let them check the mortgage markets for you – you might well find that they have access to some amazing deals which could even be worth absorbing the redemptions potentially payable. They may not … and they might also give you the worrying news that the mortgage you have now may not be transferrable, or that the criteria you borrowed under when you took your mortgage might have changed meaning that you might not even get the mortgage you have now if you move house.  Unlikely, but possible. 

This is a good place to start. 

Once you have sorted your finances, know what you can borrow, and that you simply CAN borrow, it is worth getting your estate agents around. Unless you know and trust one really well, it is worth getting two or three over, and getting their thoughts and advice. You can still use your favourite one, but use advice from others to formulate your marketing strategy with your chosen representative.

Then get your home on the market.

My advice is to tidy/clean/and clear your home so that there is little clutter and nice clean surfaces. This will enable buyers to see your house as a wonderful potential home for themselves, rather than a house full of you, rather than ‘them’.  If there is too much clutter, all that many buyers will remember will be the things/busy-ness of your home, rather than envisage themselves in it. 

Vases of simple flowers, like daffodils, tulips, or peonies, not expensive, but pretty, are always a good suggestion, but please steer clear of highly scented flowers like lilies, which can give buyers a headache, as beautiful as they may be.

Meanwhile, alert/choose/instruct a solicitor. 

Let them know you are selling your home, so that they can get the deeds ready, and forward you the property information paperwork on your house so you can start filling out paperwork in readiness for finding a buyer.   Believe me, this can save invaluable time and stress for when you do find a buyer.

When you find a house to buy, and have a buyer for your own, it is also then helpful to be able to say to that agent that you are not only under offer (if you are!), but that you have a solicitor who has all your instruction paperwork and property forms, which they are sending/have sent to your buyers’ solicitor.  This can save at least a fortnight at the outset of your selling process and, in turn, can make you an attractive buyer for their seller to consider when you make your bid on that house.  You will, by then, have also sorted your finances for buying and selling – which again makes you a good potential buyer for the house you are now wishing to offer on. 

So, to summarise, my advice to consider before marketing is to speak to an independent mortgage advisor (even if you are thinking of staying with your current lender), instruct a solicitor, choose your estate agent, prepare and clear your home for photographs and visits.

  Do feel free to call Sam or me for advice at any time (including, if you need any, mortgage advisors and solicitors)  – we are always here and more than delighted to share our thoughts and experience with you!

Have a wonderful July!