So, you’ve decided to sell your house. Perhaps you need to move for work, or your family have outgrown your first home and need some extra space? Or maybe you’ve found your dream property and you’re ready to take your next step on the property ladder.
Whatever the reason, the prospect of selling a property can be daunting, so we’re here to break down all the important questions you need to answer before you embark on the journey.
IS SELLING YOUR HOUSE THE BEST OPTION FOR YOU?
Selling your property can be a long and expensive process, so it’s important that you’re 100% sure selling is the right option for you. Depending on why you’re selling your house, there may be cheaper alternatives that could work better for you in both the long and short term. For example:
PROPERTY UPGRADES V EXTENSIONS
If you’re selling to upgrade to a bigger property but you’re happy in the area you’re currently living in – consider re-mortgaging and extending your current home instead. Not only will you be able to enhance a home you already love, but the extra work will likely add value to your current home in the long run, making it easier to afford an even bigger property further down the line.
LOCATION CHANGES V TEMPORARY RENTING
If you’re moving away for work, selling your home might seem like the most sensible option. However, it’s worth thinking about what other opportunities are available. For example, if house prices are on the rise in your area, an alternative to selling right away could be to rent your home out for a while. This will keep your mortgage paid, (and potentially earn you a yield!) while, depending on the market in your area, increase your profits when you eventually decide to sell.
DOWNSIZING V MODIFICATION
If you’re looking to downsize your property, it could be worth considering how you can modify your current home to suit your needs first. Selling and buying homes is expensive. The same can be true for modifying a home to suit individual mobility needs. However, the latter can be a more cost-effective route and it allows you to keep your beloved home.
CAN YOU AFFORD TO SELL YOUR HOUSE?
Unfortunately, selling your home isn’t as straightforward as simply handing your key to someone in exchange for a bag of money. In fact, there are a number of extra costs that you’ll need to consider. These include:
Estate agent fees
While these costs aren’t eye-watering, they do add up. Add an unexpected cost while you’re in the process of selling and you’ll feel the pinch if you haven’t budgeted for these expenses.
HOW SHOULD YOU CHOOSE YOUR ESTATE AGENT?
Estate agents will charge anywhere between 1 – 2.5 per cent of your house value to sell your home for you, so it’s important you understand what’s included in their price before choosing them.
With so much choice available, it’s vital you do your research: read reviews, check their processes and talk to a variety of companies and get a feel for how they operate. It’s also a good idea to talk to the individual agents themselves! By working with people who you like and get along with you can make a stressful situation far less challenging. Note down what each estate agent offers as part of their service, and how their fees measure up against each other.
Many people choose to use a variety of estate agents in order to get a bigger market exposure. If you chose to do this too, be aware that whichever agent sells your property for you will be the ones you’ll need to pay – so repeat the above process with each agent you select!
WHAT WILL YOU DO AFTER SELLING YOUR HOUSE?
Before you put your home on the market, you’ll most likely have a good idea about what you plan to do. Most people will buy another property – while others may pocket any profit for whatever they have planned next.
Either way, considering your plan for after selling is vital. Will you start renting another property, or are you looking to buy again?
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO TO GET YOUR HOUSE READY TO SELL?
In today’s world of Instagram filters and pristine Pinterest boards – there have never been higher expectations to meet. Home buyers want to walk into a house and be wowed – so if your home doesn’t have the “wow factor” then selling it might be an uphill struggle.
Avoid the stress of low, or even no offers, by making sure your house is well painted, well-furnished and well tiled before you invite any serious viewers in. Regardless of whether the new owner will redecorate, it’s the presentation side of things that really stands out to potential buyers. So, get the paint brushes out!
HOW MUCH DO YOU WANT FOR THE PROPERTY?
The unpredictability of the property market can mean that even if you have a selling figure in mind, that figure may no longer be achievable – or it could be really undervalued! That’s why it’s vital you get your property valued by a professional before you put it on the market.
Recently, Irish property prices have been on the rise – so, depending on when you bought your home, it’s easy to assume that you’ll be able to sell your home for a profit. However, depending on where you live and how much you bought your property for, this may not be the case. That’s why being aware of how much your house is actually worth is really important. Firstly, this insight will speed up offers, as you’ll be advertising your house in line with the current market’s prices. Secondly, you’ll end up with the best possible selling price for your market.
HOW SHOULD YOU CHOOSE A CONVEYANCING SOLICITOR?
In order to sell your house, you’ll need the help of a solicitor. They’ll do everything from drawing up the draft contract to organising a completion date – so it’s important you find a fully qualified property solicitor who has a great track record.
However, just a good track record isn’t everything. Because selling property can be such a trying experience, choosing a solicitor that shows a human side and empathises with the stress and financial implications of selling property can make the process far less challenging.
Check what previous clients have to say about the law firm and you’ll get a good idea of how a company treats their clients in general. It’s also worth talking to a combination of national or local conveyancing solicitors before you make your decision. While some local solicitors tend to offer a more friendly and attentive service, national conveyancing specialists can also provide an extremely valuable service. Find out about how we help clients all over Ireland sell their properties.
ARE YOU PREPARED TO WAIT IN A PROPERTY CHAIN?
When selling a property, it’s likely you’ll end up in some sort of property chain. This means you’ll be waiting until either your seller or your buyer – or both – have exchanged their contracts on the other properties they’re buying or selling. For anyone who’s looking for a quick sell, it’s important to only accept offers where the chain is short or non-existent – otherwise you might find yourself stuck waiting for longer than you’d like.
First time buyers are often a good bet for people who need to sell quickly, as they’re not waiting to sell their own property. Cash buyers are also a good option, as they’re not waiting for their property to be sold to be able to afford to buy their next one.
ARE YOU SELLING A FREEHOLD OR A LEASEHOLD PROPERTY?
If you’re selling a leasehold property, it means that you’re only the owner of the property and not the land it sits on. This is often the case with flats and apartments, although some houses can also be set up this way. Your land “ownership” will be for a fixed number of years, so you’ll need to bear this in mind when it comes to selling, as you may be selling a much shorter leasehold than when you bought the property. A good conveyancing solicitor will be able to advise you on this issue so you don’t run into any trouble.
HOW GIBSON & ASSOCIATES LLP CAN HELP YOU
At Gibson & Associates LLP, we offer conveyancing with the heart and soul of a local service, but we help people across the whole of Ireland.
We understand how stressful selling a property is, which is why we go out of our way to provide you with a service that provides the peace of mind you need. Our team has a wealth of experience when it comes to successfully closing property deals quickly, cleanly and efficiently across the country – from Dublin to Galway; from Cork to Donegal.
To find out more about our conveyancing service, get in touch with our friendly team using the contact form below.