There is something truly special about your first home. Owning your own property is no mean feat, especially in today’s property market. You’re likely to have a strong emotional connection to your first home. However, what if you’ve come to the conclusion that it’s just not meeting your needs any longer? Perhaps you need more space, or the location’s no longer right for you? These are my top tips for selling your first home.
Try to be objective when prepping your property for sale
You have, no doubt, spent a great deal of time, money and effort getting your home exactly how you want it. Your furniture, colour scheme, accessories; everything, will have been lovingly put together to create the perfect home for you. When it comes to selling your first home, it’s important that you’re able to take a step back from your emotional connection to your home to consider what potential buyers will be looking for in a property. It’s not like selling your car, it’s a lot more emotional. Most buyers are looking for space and light, so it’s important to consider how you can maximise both of these in your property, ready for marketing photographs and viewings. Concentrate of getting the exterior look of your property right also.
Research the market
It’s important to be aware of what else is on the market and how your property compares. This can help you to be realistic about how much you might achieve for your property and help you to get it looking its best so it’s ready to sell. Properties that are initially overpriced take an average of 50% longer to sell and can quickly become ‘stale’ if other properties are selling more quickly, so it’s important to get it right from the start and price it to sell.
Give yourself time to process the emotional aspect of the process
Moving house is always an emotional experience. This is increasingly true when you’re moving from your first property. It’s important that you give yourself time to process the emotional aspect of moving and talk to friends and family about it. This will help you to avoid any last minute ‘freak out’ when you get close to exchanging contracts. David and I cried so much on our last visit to our first flat.
Be honest and realistic about your search criteria (and what your budget will get you)
Property prices have grown at crazy rates over the last year. This is great news for the price you might achieve for your property, but also means that your next step property will also have gone up in price. It’s important to be honest about your search criteria, what is an essential and what is just a ‘nice to have’. You should also keep an eye on various different property websites to help you get a realistic idea of what your budget will get you in different areas. Make sure you get an agreement in principle from your mortgage lender before you book any property viewings, so you have an accurate idea of your maximum budget.
Be prepared for the unexpected
Unfortunately, the property market is notoriously unpredictable. Of all the offers that get accepted, around a third will fall through before completion. Some sellers will experience a few ‘false starts’ before a successful sale, so although it’s very exciting to have your offer accepted on a property, it’s important to remember that the sale isn’t guaranteed until the exchange of contracts. If you’ve found your dream home and need a quick or guaranteed sale, you could explore more reliable routes of sale. Although you’re likely to achieve less money for your property if you go through a professional home buying company or property auction, you’re likely to get a much quicker sale and minimise, or even completely eliminate, the chances of your sale falling through.
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