Moving home can be a stressful business, not to mention expensive. Moving costs, solicitor’s fees, building insurance and agency commission. If you feel like now is the right time to move, managing your finances will be top of your list and it want to save money when you come to sell there are a few top tips to keep in mind.
The first thing to decide is should you use an agent? With the communication advances the internet introduced more and more people are attempting to secure sales by going down the DIY route and advertising their property themselves. By advertising yourself you will not need to pay an agent any commission for finding a buyer and since agents can charge upwards of 1% depending on your property value the savings could be considerable.
When considering selling your property fast yourself you need to weigh up the benefit of the money you plan to save by not using an agent against the time it will take you to find a buyer. Without access to the property portals that estate agents have it can be tough getting the message out there to buyers. Social media, newspapers and local adverts may not be sufficient since most buyers use online portals now for convenience which private sellers are not permitted to use. The solution to this may be an online only agent website. For a small fee they will advertise your property on the major property portals, increasing the exposure to potential buyers. However most expect you to handle most of the other aspects of the sale yourself and with everyone such busy lives with work and family commitments usually taking priority this can become tricky. Without the help and experience of an agent to value your property, conduct viewings and negotiate offers on your behalf you may find it difficult and time consuming to find a buyer or agree an offer. By handling the sale of your property yourself, you will save money in agency commission. The risk is that an agent may have been able to use their experience to secure a better offer more quickly for the property meaning that financially you may actually be worse off.
Some online estate agents provide many of the services a high street agent does such as arranging viewings, taking pictures, creating floor plans and negotiating with buyers.
The more services you require of them, the greater the fee you are charged. This is typically an upfront or monthly fee typically irrespective of whether the property actually sells or not.
However you choose to advertise, with an agent or by yourself as peculiar as it sounds one way to save money in the long run is to price your property competitively. A common mistake sellers make is advertising their home at an inflated asking price. This results in buyers bypassing it in favour of other properties and can lead to the property remaining for sale for extended periods, years in some extreme cases. If you were to add up the number of mortgage, council tax and utility payments made in the time the property was on the market it can amount to thousands of pounds wasted and this can often outweigh marketing the property at a lower price. Finding the right balance is key and as individuals it can be difficult for us to value our property when we have such a strong emotional and financial attachment. This is why it can sometimes be best left to the experts to ensure we are doing the most to achieve the best price for your properties.
Other areas that you can save money when it comes to selling is shopping around for the best solicitors quotes. Like everything keep in mind that you get what you pay for, if you find a solicitor that is far and away the cheapest by a mile it may indicate that the service you receive will not be to the same level that a more expensive solicitor would deliver.
If your property needs an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) contacting a local assessor direct by searching online will typically be cheaper than the price an estate agent will charge. If you are buying a new property speak to a mortgage adviser to see if he can find a better deal that will save you money or a lender that offers cash back and whichever industry professional you are dealing with, don’t be afraid to haggle since competition for customers is fierce and most agents/businesses that you speak to should be prepared to negotiate their prices, you just need to be confident enough to ask.