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Great 'What I wish I'd known as a newbie house seller' Hunt

MSE_Jenny Posts: 1,312
First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
MSE Staff
edited 23 February 2010 at 7:33PM in House buying, renting & selling
A month ago we asked MoneySavers what they wish they'd known before buying their first pad. We were blown away by the volume of fab tips, so now want to ask folks for their best advice for newbie home sellers.

Whether it's HiPs, estate agents or enticing buyers with baking smells, please impart your hard-learned wisdom. Click reply below to add your top tips.



  • Fire_Fox
    Fire_Fox Posts: 26,026
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    The minute the house goes onto the market it becomes public property. Potential buyers need to think of it as their future home, they don't want to know that you have outgrown it and can't wait to move - declutter, declutter, declutter and clean, clean, clean.
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️
  • Hopejack
    Hopejack Posts: 507 Forumite
    Always shop around for your HIP, some EA's are charging huge prices to organise a HIP for you (some contract it out to a 3rd party and obviously get commission from that). There are some good HIP providers out there who are independent and can save you ££££s. Plus, should you wish to move EAs at some point, that HIP is yours to take as you please. Some EAs will say it's their property and ask for a fee for it if you haven't paid upfront for it.

    Negotiate on the EA's fee - most are negotiable especially in today's market. Even if it's just 0.25% off - it's still a large amount once you add VAT.
  • Hopejack
    Hopejack Posts: 507 Forumite
    Just thought of some more...

    Don't be tempted to use the solicitor or mortgage broker your EA tries to push you into (presuming you are buying another property for the latter). Again, they often get commission and some say that their mortgage brokers don't remain completely confidential about your purchase affordability....
  • Cannon_Fodder
    Cannon_Fodder Posts: 3,980 Forumite
    edited 26 February 2010 at 3:58PM
    1) Take Estate Agents "valuations", aka guesstimates, with a pinch of salt.

    A third will go high, hoping to win your business. A third will go low, looking for quick turnover and easy commission. A third will be about right.

    Telling one from the other is a minefield. Get at least 3 EAs in for comparison.

    Use family and friends for recommendations on the best/worst EAs.

    2) Do not sit back and wait for the chain to "do its thing". You have to be proactive, pushing EAs, solicitors, your buyer, your vendor if also buying, your Lender, surveyor, etc etc.

    Otherwise it will take months instead of weeks.

    3) Redirect your post well in advance.

    4) Be honest. Something discovered on the 3rd, measuring up visit, that was not mentioned at first viewing risks scuppering the deal.
  • Patr100
    Patr100 Posts: 2,545
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Post First Anniversary
    Make sure those odd jobs/decorating/tidying up is done before you instruct an EA and they come round to take the photos otherwise that broken fence, cluttered bathroom etc may be in the brochure/on Rightmove -
    either after instruction there wil be no time to do the jobs before it goes on the market or if you do no one will know by the photos and they may put off potential buyers.
    If the pics look bad, it won't matter how immaculate your home has been made since if they don't get as far as your doorstep.

    or get the EA to update the photos.
  • -If you want an agent to drop their fees, try putting your house on at the end of the month-they have targets to hit and will be more likely to drop the fees to ensure they hit these targets for new properties on the books.

    -Be realistic. It's tempting to think, oh mrs down-the-road has put hers on at £xxx, but mine's nicer so I'll try it at £yyyy which is a bit higher. As a general rule, this is going to put buyers off viewing at all as they will think you are living in cloud cuckoo land, and that you don't want to negotiate. Have a look at your immediate competition and price accordingly.

    -As another posted said, good pictures are ESSENTIAL. Most people look on rightmove, giving you approximately 20 seconds to make an impression on them. Poor photos do not make a good impression. If the EA pictures are awful, get them to retake them or take your own.
    Scar tissue that I wish you saw, sarcastic mister know it all, close your eyes and I'll kiss you cause with the birds I'll share this lonely view.
  • Hopejack
    Hopejack Posts: 507 Forumite
    edited 26 February 2010 at 4:00PM
    Be picky about the photos your EA takes - mine spent over an hour taking ours as we kept trying different shots/angles! I'm always amazed at how bad some photos are on Rightmove etc. If you don't care about how it looks why should a potential buyer be interested? Silly things like making sure toilet seat is down etc! My EA even asked me to move little things out of the room like dish drainer in kitchen for photos.

    Never overlook your garden/outside space. This is an important feature and while it doesn't have to be professionally landscaped or anything (or cost the earth), neat and tidy with a bit of greenery makes a big difference. If you can fit table/chairs outside put them there to show the space off etc.

    Likewise, if you can fit a small table/chairs in your kitchen put some in, even if you have a separate dining room with a formal table in it. A lot of people these days prefer to have a breakfasting kitchen to a formal dining room.
  • timmyt
    timmyt Posts: 1,628 Forumite
    use a solicitor firm local to you. don't go cheap. [avoid selling through national estate agents] never pay less than £500 plus VAT for any sale or purchase. If you do you will have corners cut. Remember even £500 is less than anyone in the process (estate agent, surveyor, mortgage company) are charging, yet your lawyer is your friend and is simply looking after you. They have the most important job to make sure you legally get what you are paying hundreds of thousands for.

    Go cheap, get cheap, but people still will.
    My posts are just my opinions and are not offered as legal advice - though I consider them darn fine opinions none the less.:cool2:

    My bad spelling...well I rush type these opinions on my own time, so sorry, but they are free.:o
  • Shop around for a HIP. Buyers often ignore them completely - this is one product where I would go for the cheapest buy, so long as the company doing it is vaguely competent.
  • timmyt
    timmyt Posts: 1,628 Forumite
    be careful about a cheap HIP.....we do repair jobs to defective ones. try and pay no more than £300 all in though. Cost price is just under £200 anyway, and use a local solicitor as they will then know all about your deeds and so can (1) offer you a conveyancing discount (2) may also forewarn you about problems they see, which will help speed up the sale time

    don't use a national estate agent as they will invariably have a pricey HIP and you may not even get to own it if you withdraw
    My posts are just my opinions and are not offered as legal advice - though I consider them darn fine opinions none the less.:cool2:

    My bad spelling...well I rush type these opinions on my own time, so sorry, but they are free.:o
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