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Selling your property

Selling your property can often cause your hands to get itchy, or ants to start roaming where they have no business being. But more often than not rushing into the sale of the property leads to choices you’ll regret later. Several points need to be remembered once you’ve decided to take the plunge and dive into the property market.

The first step to take is to have your property evaluated. The evaluation is not only to help you find out your property’s market value, but it will also help you identify the areas where your property needs improving. Before you even think about going any further it is advisable to complete any necessary maintenance and make improvements that could lift the value of your property. This phase will not only allow you to lift the property’s selling price, but it will also allow you to improve its attractiveness to buyers. A fresh coat of paint and clean surroundings will contribute as much to attracting possible buyers as the actual features of the property.

Once you’re ready to start with the listing process it’s important to notify the bank where your mortgage is of your intention to sell your property to avoid any delays in the transfer of documents once the sale is complete. Equally important is to procure the services of a conveyancer to ensure a seamless sale.

Even though it may seem daunting, the sale of your property is not a journey you have to go on alone. An estate agent can be more than a middle man during your property sale – their expertise can help you avoid unnecessary pitfalls while helping you direct your attention where it matters from the beginning. An experienced estate agent will be able to help you screen the interested parties early on, ensuring you spend the least time with those who will not continue with a purchase later on. They can also help you through the unforeseen circumstances that you may not have been able to handle on your own. The experience here is of importance, as it will ensure the highest level of knowledge in the technical field.

Although it is sometimes tempting to advertise with as many real estate companies as possible to get maximum marketing exposure, it may not be the best choice. Having one firm handle your listing from beginning to end will ensure the smoothest process when buyers become committed. It will also allow you to create a closer relationship with your real estate agent, having them as a partner in your endeavour and not part of a competition to see who can sell the property first.

Having the assistance of an estate agent doesn’t mean that you have no responsibilities, though. Making sure the property is well-maintained (having made the necessary improvements after the evaluation) and is as presentable as possible is on your shoulders. In reality, homes don’t look the way they do in property magazines or on television shows – it takes effort to make a home look both lived in and picture-perfect. Clear out as much as possible from the property while leaving essential items that create a sense of homeliness. One book on a bedside stand will do – you don’t need to impress potential buyers with all the books you’re planning on reading next. Finally, even though it’s a part of everyday life, no one needs to see your dirty laundry or dishes. Make sure your home is (and looks) clean at all times.

The final touch: ambiance. A bouquet of fragrant flowers (such as lavender, roses or geraniums) will create a welcoming aroma as buyers enter the property as well as being a functioning part of the decoration.

Now, no matter how much effort has been put in, or how perfect your listing is, sometimes properties just don’t sell. At these times it’s important to keep calm and try again. Though, maybe not immediately. Recessions, political angst, a looming tax season – all of these events and many more can cause the property market to grow a little stagnant. Potential buyers may hold back on purchases to see how the dust settles. Our advice: do the same. Remove your listing from the market, avoiding it being around too long and becoming part of the scenery, so to say. Once the market picks up again, re-list your property, allowing it to be seen with new eyes. In the interim time, you may consider renting out your property if you will not be staying there yourself.

Selling a property demands meticulous work, but following these easy steps with the necessary guidance will make it a walk in the park.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)