Tips For First Time Home Sellers In 2023
Congratulations! After years of scrimping and saving you were finally able to afford your first home.
Looking back on all the good times and memories you have had there, you know that it is finally time to sell and move on to a bigger and better house.
However, how exactly do you sell a house? Whilst you may now be familiar with the house-buying process, selling a house as a first time home seller can be a daunting process.
In this blog post, we will be covering our tips for first time home sellers as well as whether you should sell to first time home buyers, and how you can sell your house fast and for free...
Can I sell my first-time buyer house?
Yes, you can! Once you own a house, you can sell it whenever you want! But be warned, this is not without consequences.
Whilst in the UK there is no law about the minimum amount of time you can own a house before selling it, selling a property too soon after buying it can prove troublesome. For example, some lenders will not lend to homeowners if they purchased the property they are selling within the last 6 months.
Unless you are planning to buy in cash, you may be better off waiting until you have owned the property for a little longer before you put it on the market.
You may also find that you will be at risk of early repayment fees if you put your house on the market too early after purchasing it.
As your lender expects to make a certain amount of money from lending to you, if you repay your mortgage too quickly or put it on the market too soon, they will lose money.
This is where early repayment charges come in and they can be a little hefty, depending on how long you have lived in your property.
How do I get a property valuation?
In order to get your property evaluated, there are several routes you can down.
You can use online property valuation tools as one way of getting a rough idea of what your property is worth.
There are plenty of free online valuation tools out there that can give you an estimate of what to expect when you put your home on the market.
You can also use local market data and house price indexes to get an idea of the sold properties in your area.
Using online property portals like Zoopla and Rightmove is another good way for you to get an idea of how much your property is worth. Using them you can look at sold prices in your area for similar properties to get a rough idea of how much you can make.
Another way you can get a valuation is by inviting three local estate agents round to your property to evaluate it.
Even if you do not plan to sell with a real estate agent, many will offer free valuation services. You can then use your three valuations to find the average number you can expect.
Sometimes estate agents will overvalue your property in the hopes that you sell with them when in reality your property is not worth that much and you end up spending months on the open market looking for a buyer.
By getting the opinion of three and using these figures to find a rough number is a good way to figure out how much your home is worth.
What is the average time to sell a house?
When it comes to selling on the open market, there is no one size fits all answer for how long it can take to sell your house. Some people can be sold in three months, but others can be looking for a buyer for 9 months or more! According to The Advisory, it currently takes an average of 129 days to sell a property.
Do you need an energy performance certificate when selling a house?
An energy performance certificate (EPC), is a document that lets the buyer and seller know how energy efficient a property is. The way it works is that properties are graded on a scale from A to G, with A meaning the property is as energy efficient as one can be, and G meaning it is the least energy efficient.
When it comes to selling your home, a property that has a high rating for energy efficiency is the most attractive to buyers. This is because they are not only environmentally friendly but they are also the cheapest to run.
By law, you are required to provide an EPC when selling. As the seller, it is your job to provide one, and if you don't have one then you will need to apply for a new one.
What documents will I need to sell my home?
Another handy first-time home seller tip is to keep all of your documentation close to hand. This will work in your favour as having all the relevant documents to hand will reduce waiting times further down the line. Below are some of the documents you should keep close to hand when selling:
HM Land Registry title documents
FENSA or CERTAS certificates for windows
Documents proving you have had all necessary gas checks prior to selling
Party wall agreements (if needed)
Building regulation completion certificates and builder’s guarantee certificates (for alterations and additions)
What is worth doing before selling a house?
Before you sell a house, there are a few steps that are worth taking that can not only help you to paint your home in the best light possible but also secure a good sale price and a quick house sale.
Home staging is one such practice that will help generate interest in your property, as well as setting you up with the best chance of a sale.
Home staging refers to setting your home up in an aesthetically pleasing way that will appeal to buyers without being obvious. According to a survey by Movewise, 94% of those surveyed stated that property staging increased the number of viewings they got and 100% agreed that it leads to higher-quality photos.
The following tips will help you to stage your home and have potential buyers lining up around your house:
1. Deep clean
One of the most effective ways that you can freshen up your property and get the most value for it is by performing a deep clean.
Whilst it is certainly not the most exciting or glamorous job, it is one that is key to securing a fast sale at a good price. No matter how insignificant a room may feel, you have to be careful to clean every square inch. Be sure to wipe every surface, clean every floor, and dust every room in the house.
Whilst it can be a little on the pricey side, it can be worth hiring a professional cleaner to come round and clean your property before viewings.
Another step for preparing your home for sale involves decluttering your property. You can do this by going through each room in your house and taking a critical look at each room.
This means that any items you own that aren't coming with you in the move need to be either put into storage, donated to charity or thrown away. This helps to bring a sense of order to your house and keeps it tidy for home viewings.
Decluttering is not just great for prepping for house viewings, it also helps you prepare for the move.
By sorting out what you plan to take with you from junk taking up space you can save yourself time when it comes to packing. Once you have finished decluttering, you should be able to look through your cupboards and see that they are no more than 75% full.
3. Liven up your walls
When it comes to things to do before putting your home on the market, it is important to have it looking its best. One of the most cost-effective ways that you can give your property a makeover before you start selling the property is to give it a fresh coat of paint.
It can liven up any room and if you choose the right shade, such as neutrals, you can even generate more interest in your home. This is because neutral can make your home feel bigger and brighter, as well as give it a showroom-like quality which can lead to a faster sale.
4. Freshen up your home
Another step you should take before putting your home on the market is to make sure that it smells fresh and clean before any viewings. A house that smells of bins or smoke is not going to sell as fast or as well as a house that smells clean and airy. The following can all produce smells and odours which can turn buyers off your property:
Before you have anyone round for viewings it is critical that you empty any bins, take care of any pet or cooking smells and ensure your home is smelling good.
You can do this through the use of scented candles, reed diffusers, air fresheners, or even fresh flowers.
5. Boost your kerb appeal
Another element of your house that is worth fixing before you begin the selling process is your gardens.
Kerb appeal plays a massive part in buyer internet, with 68% of potential buyers saying they considered it an important factor when choosing their next home when asked by HomeOwners Alliance.
Now is the time to channel your inner Alan Titchmarsh and get to work. Small changes to your garden such as cutting the grass, repainting any tired-looking fences, planting fresh flowers, and cleaning the patio can make a massive difference when it comes to selling your home faster.
Another aspect of your home that can often be overlooked before putting your house on the market is neutralising it. Whilst it may sound quite clinical and scary, it can have a big effect on your home sale.
Neutralising refers to the process of removing personal items from the home in order to give them a blank canvas to imagine themselves living in your home.
This is why you need to be careful to remove any personal items you may have on display, such as:
Trophies or certificates
It is worth keeping in mind that the reason that showrooms sell so well is that they provide a completely blank canvas to truly visualise themselves living there.
When it comes to putting your house on the open market, there are certain steps that you will need to take to ensure that you are not only getting the best price possible but also a quick sale.
One of the best ways to secure this is through making sure all general repairs in your house are taken care of.
This means any loose tiles are fixed, any broken lightbulbs are changed, mouldy bathrooms are cleaned and leaky taps are tightened.
This is because a well-cared-for home will sell for more than it is in disrepair. Every time a potential buyer looks around your home, they will reduce their asking price when they see an issue that needs fixing.
Should I accept buyers first offer?
Whether or not you should accept the first offer you receive is a subject that is often debated. Whilst it can be tempting to hold off on accepting the first offer you receive, there are several situations where it may be for the best to give it some serious consideration:
You need to sell quickly as you are relocating for work or going through a divorce
The property is inherited
The offer is in all cash and there is no lender involved
Your house has been on the market for longer than three months
You have already found your dream home and do not want the bother of two mortgages
Is it good to sell to a first-time buyer?
When it comes to selling your home, a first-time buyer is a great option to sell to. Some of the benefits include:
They are chain free- When you sell to a first-time buyer they are not reliant on any house sale in order to purchase their next property, so they already to buy as soon as you are ready to sell.
Keen- As first-time homeowners have never owned a home before, they are usually keen to move the progress along as fast as possible.
Quick Sale - You will usually achieve a quicker sale as there is no chain involved with a first-time buyer and they are usually ready to get the ball rolling.
Your Own Sale Position Will Improve- By selling to a first-time buyer, you can give yourself an extra edge on the open market as you will have the added bonus of a buyer for your property who does not have a chain.
Should I buy a house now or wait until 2024 UK?
Whether or not you should buy a house now or wait until 2024 is completely down to you. If you are in a position where you are ready to sell, then you should go for it.
The property market is an ever-changing creature, so if you are ready to get your foot onto the next rung of the property ladder then there is no time like the present.
Alternatively, another route that you can explore when selling your first home and buying your second is renting or moving in with family and friends.
By selling your property then moving in with family or friends, or renting, you can put yourself in a stronger negotiating position when the time comes. As you will have already sold your home, there are no time pressures forcing you to purchase a home you are not entirely happy with.
You will be more attractive to sellers as you will be chain free, and you will be ready to move in as soon as you complete.
Here at The Property Buying Company, we are here whenever you need us.
Whether you are looking for a quick sale in order to purchase the next property of your dreams, or because you want to become a chain-free buyer, we can buy your property in a timeline that suits you, without the legal or estate agent fees!
Can you sell your home without an estate agent?
Yes, you can! There is a way to sell your house fast and without the need for estate agents or estate agent fees.
We offer a free, fast, and hassle-free way to sell your home. We will buy any house, in any condition, and in any location!
If you don't want to spend months on the open market looking for a buyer, we can purchase your home in a timeline that suits you, whether that's three months from now or in as little as 7 days.
We are proud members of the National Association of Property Buyers and The Property Ombudsman, as well as being rated excellent on Trustpilot.
We only require one quick viewing in order to confirm our initial cash offer is correct. After you have accepted our offer, that is the amount you will have in FULL in your bank.
Plus, as a thank you for choosing us, we will cover all of the solicitor and conveyancer fees typically associated with selling a home - It's just one of the ways we make selling easy.
Looking to save on your legal house sale fees? Then give us a call today or fill in our online valuation form to receive a no-obligation CASH offer which we could have in your bank in as little as 7 days...