Top tips for buying or selling homes in 2019

Thursday, 27th December 2018, 5:22 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th December 2018, 5:31 pm

Many people often start thinking about their first or next home once Christmas passes.

The time between Christmas and New Year sees a huge increase in traffic on the popular Rightmove website. The festive period in 2017, for example, saw a rise of 200%.

So here are top tips from Bradley Hall Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agents Bradley Hall for home buyers and sellers.

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1 - Start the ball rolling in January

Every year, the property market becomes saturated in the spring and summer, which means high supply and high demand.

Putting your property on the market during this busy period means that your property will be one of many houses for sale.

Choosing to begin the process in January means a period of high demand but low supply, resulting in your property being one of few and possibly standing out from the crowd. Be ahead of the competition.

2 - Choose your estate agent wisely

It is important to choose the right agent for you when selling your property.

Using an agent which offers professional photography is important in order to show off your property to its full potential while making it stand out from others.

This will help to secure more viewings, quicker sales and and possibly a better price.

Additionally, you need an agent with a strong presence. A physical, high street presence is still proven to be the more successful option when selling your home, with figures showing that high street estate agencies achieve a 5% higher sale price than an online agent.

Is the agent you have chosen the right one for you?

3 - Choose your area and budget

In order to find your next home, you need to start off with an idea of what you need, what you would like and what you can afford. Do you need more space, a garage for storage or a garden?

Do you need to be close to schools or public transport? It benefits to have a good idea about your ‘need to haves’ and ‘want to haves’ so you can go into the process with a clear idea of your next property.

4 - Explore your mortgage options

You will also need to know what your affordability and mortgage options will be. This all depends on how much deposit you have, how much your salary is and what your outgoings are.

If you are a first-time buyer you have a range of options available, the Government Help to Buy: Equity Loan, the Help To Buy ISA and shared ownership schemes.

In December, first-time interest rates for 95% LTV, most popular with first time buyers, fell to record low rates.

If you are not a first-time buyer then you must consider if you are able to get a new mortgage or change your mortgage to the next property and what fees will be involved.

The market is typically a minefield and "special offers" often disguise the true costs. It’s beneficial to appoint an expert who will analyse your situation and provide you with the best deal for you.

5 - Prepare your house for viewings

Now is the time to declutter and get rid of any unnecessary items which make your home look or feel over-decorated or cramped – you could even put some items into storage or give them to a friend.

It is important that viewers can envisage what the property would look like if they were living there, so try to think from their perspective.

Doing your research to find the right solicitor may save you money in the long term.

6 - Appoint a solicitor

A solicitor should be appointed to handle the legal aspect of moving home. This will ensure that the ownership of the property is transferred correctly and that all the legalities of the process are taken care of.

Most good agents can suggest a reputable solicitor. However, do your research and ensure you choose the right firm to meet your budget and requirements. Typically, solicitors’ fees can range from £500 and £1500.

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