We recently got the flat we live in valued. What a learning curve!
We met our first estate agent, saw some new homes with them and then got our place valued. After their valuation, all I can say is WOW! I was SO chuffed! If I could sell for the price they quoted, I’d have made Â£100, 000 on my flat in 4 years. This means we’d have more of a budget in terms of buying! I was so tempted to sign on the dotted line and instruct them to sell the flat but I didn’t. Thanks goodness! I’ll explain why later.
After seeing a few places with them we fell for one place inÂ particular. The person who valued our home said that the person selling would accept Â£50 000 less than the asking price because ‘he’s done it backwards’. It’s not his fault but he’s fallen for a place and is nowÂ desperateÂ to sell to ensure he gets it! He said he didn’t want us to get in the same situation but he thinks it’d be worth our while to see it. We saw it and got in the same situation. We LOVED it! Now the thing is; we put an offer in at the amount he suggested and he said they won’t budge at anything more than Â£20 000 less than the asking price. Thus Â£30 000 more than what we expected to get it for. So we’ll have to let that go. No probs. We can live with that. 🙂
However, re our home; the estate agent said we NEED to put our home on theÂ marketÂ so that we are classed as an ‘aggressive’ buyer. If we want to buy a place and he puts an offer in on our behalf; theÂ sellerÂ will want to know that we’re serious about it all. By our home not being on the market, we haven’t had details published, we’ve not hadÂ viewers. Thus we’re not anywhere near selling. If us buying a new home is dependent on us selling; the seller will probably tell us to ‘get real’ & get a firm offer first. Now this can work both ways. If the estate agent’s SURE that we’ll sell quickly, we could wait, find a place and then put ours on the market. (This was suggested by a HIPÂ surveyor). However, many estate agents don’t put all the properties on their books. If they know that they can sell it ASAP and they know who to go to i.e. there’s someone who’s chain free and ready to buy or someone who has a firm offer on their place and can buy quicklyÂ becauseÂ of that; the property won’t need to be advertised. Why?Â BecauseÂ it will sold straight away without the agent putting any effort in! If ours isn’t on the market, they won’t bother showing us all their stock.
Also, in some ways, the process of selling is longer. Each sale has to start with a HIP now. This all takes time and money. Also the HIP is valid for one year so you wouldn’t want to get that done if there’s nothing that you can afford or there aren’t many properties for sale,Â becauseÂ you may well have to pay for another HIP if it’s not valid when you finally buy & sell.
Please take caution when deciding WHO to instruct to sell your property! Here are some things to ask: –
- What’s the fee that they have for selling your home?
- Is there a tie in? If so, how long are you tied in for?
- What’s the fee if you sell your home via many agencies i.e.Â multipleÂ agencies & does this affect how long you’re tied in for?
- DoÂ youÂ they have someoneÂ in-houseÂ who can carry out the HIP for you? Can they suggest anyone else who can do it cheaper? (If they only ‘flog’ the company they suggest; don’t accept it!)
- How quickly will they advertise your property and how?
Things to look out for: –
- Do they try and get you to sign them up straight away and push that you sign their T’s & C’s (terms and conditions)?
- Did they look at your home properly? Did they seem attentive? Did they ask questions about how long your lease is if you’re a leaseholder? Did they ask about the service charge if that applies? These are things that will be important to the people viewing your property.
- Do they justify what they’re basing the value of your property on? Do they show you ‘comparables’? These are properties similar to yours that are in the same location which sold recently. Thus if a property similar to yours sold for Â£200 000 last month, it won’t be worth Â£250 000 now, forÂ example.
- If they tell you they CAN get Â£50 000 extra for yourÂ propertyÂ because they have people on their books looking for a place ‘just like yours’ don’tÂ believeÂ them! Even if they find a mug who’ll spend over the odds for your property; when it comes to being surveyed by the lender; it’ll be compared to those near you (as mentioned above) and it’ll be devalued. Thus you’ll have wasted time, money, got your hopes up and you may even be tied in to firm with incompetent employees who overvalued your property.
- Try and keep your cards close to your chest. TheÂ more you can tell an agent the better. They’ll get a feel for what you like and dislike and show youÂ appropriateÂ properties. Contradiction to keep your cards close to your chest right? Well…if you fall for a place, try not to let on.Â Some estate agents play on your emotions to ensure they get you to spend more so they get a fatter pocket through commission. Thus keep calm & try not to show how interested you are.
- Some agents don’t share your offer with the person you want to buy from. They come back to you after a week and say that someone’s offered more than you and then encourage you to outbid them. You get into a bidding war with an ‘invisibleÂ buyer’. The seller benefits as does the agent. However, you are then out of pocket.
- If you instruct an agent to sell your home, beware of agents who get their ‘friends’ to come and view your property within a few days/a week. These potential buyers relay lots of positive feedback but then you hear no more. ThusÂ youÂ chase the agent and are ‘drawn in’. This is when they may suggest you drop your priceÂ because the buyer said ‘they’re still looking’Â becauseÂ the price isn’t right forÂ example.
Something you can do yourself: –
- Use a site called Zoopla to find out how much your property is worth. This site does the whole comparable thing for you. You’ll see how much it was last sold for and that should be how much you paid for it! 🙂 It will also show you how much it’s worth now.
- Another site that does the same is called NetHousePrices
- Look online for cheaper HIPs
- Keep CALM. Also try and keep your cards close to your chest. I’ve explained why this is important above.
Some must knows: –
Any contract that’s signed in your home comes with a 14 day cool off period regardless of work doneÂ becauseÂ of it e.g. viewings etc.
If you have any other advice or tips please leave a comment below this post. 🙂
Something to help you work out the possible timeline of events