The task of selling your home can feel as big as a house. Once you’ve decided to make the move there’s a lot to consider, from which estate agent to choose – if you really need to use one – to knowing the best time to put the property on the market.
Before you think about selling your home…Stop! Are you still in your mortgage term?
If you’re thinking about selling up but are still within your existing mortgage term before you do anything else you’ll need check what fees you’ll be liable to pay by moving.
If you’re on your lender’s standard variable rate (SVR) – the rate your mortgage reverts to when a deal ends – then you’re fine, you can think about moving.
If you’re buying another property and your mortgage is portable, you’re also fine (as long as the lender is happy with the new property and the price and you pass its affordability tests, as you will still have to show you can afford the mortgage even when porting an existing deal).
Here, your existing mortgage moves with you to your new property at no extra cost and then when that deal comes to an end, you can simply remortgage on your new property.
But if it’s not portable, you may face large fees to get out of the mortgage before the deal you’re on ends, making moving very expensive. These are called early repayment charges and are often around 1-5% of the remainder of your mortgage debt.
So the first thing you need to do before considering moving is to find out how long you have left on your current deal. If you only have another six months, for example, it may be better to sit tight so you don’t waste money unnecessarily – you can use that time to start getting everything in order for when you do eventually think about selling. Obviously, you may not have this luxury of timing, but it is worth considering if you do.
Make your home look the best it can
Even the best-kept properties show signs of wear and tear. So before you do anything else, it’s probably best to sort these out to give you the best chance of selling your property for the maximum price.
Up your property’s curb appeal
First impressions matter, so spruce up your property from the outside in. Some top tips, which don’t cost much but might include some elbow grease, include:
- Mow the lawn and dig up weeds.
- Clean your windows and paint wooden window frames if you have them.
- Spruce up your front door. Either repaint it or get a new handle.
- Hang up a colorful hanging basket.
- If you’ve got a car in the driveway, wash it.
Sort out the interior of the property
Even without time or money to decorate your home in preparation to sell it, you can do an awful lot to make it more sellable, such as:
- Tidy up and declutter. Move those clothes from the floor and those trainers from the hallway and put them away in the wardrobe.
- Make sure any features that first attracted you to the property are visible.
- Give the whole property a thorough clean.
- Depersonalize the space to encourage viewers to see themselves in the property, ie, remove a few photo frames or, err…’unique’ artwork from the walls, and paint over busy wallpaper.
- Make sure each room clearly shows its purpose. If your dining room doubles up as an office, sort out all your papers and, if you can, get rid of the desk. If you’ve not got space to store it, see if you could sell it.
- Hang up mirrors, especially in small, cramped areas like hallways. They’ll add light and the illusion of space.
Ultimately you’ll need to do your sums to work out what’s worth spending money on to up the property’s value and what would just be throwing money down the drain. For example, kitchen renovations are expensive, but re-painting your cabinets and replacing the handles with shiny, new ones is easy and cheap.
Typically, a completely new kitchen will increase your property’s value by around 4-6% and a new bathroom by 2-3%. Remember, some people want a doer-upper, so making a room your version of perfect may not be the best way to sell. However, if there are structural issues, prioritize these over any cosmetic changes as they’ll be a huge deterrent to buyers.
Selling your house through traditional means can be a real pain and who’s to say your property will even sell. A pro tip is to work with a cash home buyer. You won’t have to go through any of the previously mentioned steps, close quick and receive cash for your home. Sound like a road you’d like to take on the journey of selling your home? Call St. Louis Realty Advisors today at 314-326-4900 to learn more.