A Guide to Selling Your Property Part 3

by Mark Johnston

Once all offers have been made and the seller has decided which buyer to go with it is time to move on to the last and most important stages.

Most property experts advise that sellers should budget for legal fees of between 0.5% and 1% of the property’s value.

A solicitor now needs to become involved. Solicitors fees vary enormously, some charge a percentage of the property value whilst others have a flat fixed fee.

These days however the internet has encouraged more competition with in this field, home owners can now have some of the best firms acting for them for a fraction of the original cost.

It is worth noting though that a sale can be jeopardised by choosing a solicitor purely based on price. Home owners should be wary of the ‘cheap’ web marketing firms found on the internet, as many of the solicitors they pass on are of questionable quality.

After selecting a solicitor and getting them to act on behalf of you, the next step is to exchange contracts. This marks the point at which the sale becomes legally binding and breaking a contract at this stage would incur costly court costs.

A completion date is then usually set for at least 2 weeks after the exchange date. The date needs to be agreed by both the seller and buyer in the chain and it is contractually binding once the contracts have been signed. It is at this point the seller should start to move out.

Moving out of a home that you have lived in for a while can be very stressful. Getting organised and planning ahead can help to minimise the stress levels.

If a home owner chooses to use a professional to help them move out the cost may depend on a number of things, such as:

–          the quality of possessions to be moved

–          whether they pack for them

–          how assessable the house is

–          how far away the home is

–          whether or not storage is required

It is cheaper however to take the DIY approach to moving, but you should remember to add the cost of hiring a van, ‘goods in transit’ insurance, petrol and suitable packing materials in to the budget amount.

Homeowners should remember to take all meter readings and also set up for their post to be redirected. They should also try to prepare some notes for the new owners explaining how things work.

Research has shown that much bad feeling can be caused by leaving a property in a dirty or disorganised state. By this stage the home owner and potential buyer should be quite clear about what fittings will be left in the house. Removing light bulbs etc is generally regarded as rather petty.

It is then finally time for the completion day. This should mean that all funds have been transferred between solicitors. The new home owner can then collect the keys from the agents.

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