26th June 2010

Top tips on selling your home

Useful advice to maximise your chances of a sale while keeping costs down


Advertise your property everywhere you can such as in the local paper and property websites to increase exposure of your property. Advertising through such means is always much cheaper than using an estate agent. Estate agents charge a typical commission of between 1 to 3% of your property sale price.

On a £250,000 property, you would expect to pay a commission of £5875 (2% of £250k + Vat). Most local papers and property websites charge a negligible fee for advertising your property (usually in the order of £10 - £30). On Glass Bob you can advertise your property for free.

For Sale By Owner

Even if you do use an estate agent, it is generally a good idea to be present to answer any questions potential buyers may have. Estate agent representatives are often faced with questions they simply should but do not know, such as council tax and utility charges.

Doing your own viewings is considered best for potential buyers as you're most likely to know your home inside out, and be able to answer all their questions.

Clean your home

You don't need to go overboard. Most people will not be expecting a "lived in" property to look like a show home. But first impressions are extremely important. So a thorough vacuum and tidy up is a bare minimum if you want to show your property in the best light. Also, make sure your toilets have been cleaned and bathroom(s) smell fresh. There is nothing worse than walking into a house with bad odours looming in the air.

Less is better

Avoid having too many occupants in your home during a viewing, especially in a smaller home. Keeping a property devoid of other occupants maximises the appearance of space inside, giving it the greatest perception of size. It also encourages the viewers to take their time in looking around without feeling awkward that they are being watched.

Keeps pets away

Not everyone is a fond of animals. Some people may be afraid of dogs, or even have an allergy to cats. Where possible, try to keep your pets away from your potential buyers. And if there are any strong odours from your pet(s) then try to eliminate them with some cleaning and/or by spraying air freshener.

Conveyancing solicitor

There are plenty of independent solicitors that can offer a fast and quality conveyancing service at very reasonable costs. Estate agents will offer you their recommended conveyancing service, but they are likely to make a commission out of this, which is probably going to be reflected in the conveyancing fees. Remember, there is no obligation to use the estate agent's conveyancing service. So shop around on the internet, or ask your friends and family for their recommendations on a good conveyancing solicitor. You'll save a good amount of money.

Sell or property hunt first?

This is a real chicken and egg situation, and no one can really advise one way or the other. Most people will say get an offer on your own property first, before starting your house hunt so that you're in a position to put an offer in when you find your ideal home.

But what do you do if you can't find a suitable property in a reasonable time frame, and your buyers start getting fidgety? You could start looking around first, then find your dream home for it to be frustratingly snapped up by someone else while you're still waiting for that crucial offer on yours. Unfortunately there is no right way round, and this is a real problem for most people looking to move, and part of the reason why moving home is so stressful.

There is an alternative which is becoming more and more popular these days. And that is to do a home swap. A home swap is simply where home owners end up buying eachothers property. This means that you buy and sell to the same individual, with the huge advantage of being complete chain free. (A chain is often found in a traditional sale where each person is waiting for the next to sell their property before the transaction can proceed).

Just swap it

Granted, it is hard enough trying to find a property you like, let alone trying to find one where the owner will also want your property. That is why there are websites now designed soley for this purpose.
Homeswap websites analyse huge volumes of property and criteria data in order to find users their potential property swaps. A potential swap is one where 2 individuals may be interested in eachothers home and therefore likely buyers for each property.

Property swapping is an increasingly popular means of moving home, and should never be ruled out as a viable option.

Press article on homeswapping

Glass Bob - Swap your home for free