Castle Dwellings have been extremely proactive and have managed to let out 40 of my properties in less than a month. Thank you for all your help and keep up the good work.
Consistent and clear communication and as i result i trusted Castle Dwellings 110%.
I will no doubt be recommending Castle Dwellings to my friends and family. Thank you for a fast sale.
You have negotiated my sale in a very short timescale and saved me money in the process. Thank you.
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If you are considering selling your home, let our experience and local knowledge work for you. We will agree a marketing plan to suit your needs, designed to achieve the best possible price for your home within the available timescales and according to the market conditions in your area. Details of your home will be published online, reaching local, regional and national buyers.
We are dedicated to providing the highest quality service at competitive commission rates, delivered on a no sale, no fee basis. Contact us via phone, fax or e-mail. We will contact you as soon as possible to discuss your options.
When selling your home, probably your largest financial asset, it’s important to keep aiming to secure the property’s highest value by maximising its selling potential. To give you a head start, here are our top five dos and don’ts:
Your homework – find out the maximum potential value of your property to avoid expensive improvements which might not add much worth.
Clean up your act – remember first impressions count, a well-kept garden, pathway and fence will add instant appeal.
De-clutter – buyers will be looking at the property and not your possessions, make sure its easy for them to visualise their own belongings by removing your own.
Look for a reputable estate agency – personal recommendations are invaluable, otherwise review their local presence in the papers/number of their ‘sold’ boards in area.
Protect yourself – read the small print when signing any contract as you may be legally bound for a long period of time.
Forget the detail – restored fire places and period features, such as ceiling roses and cornices can add thousands of pounds to your property.
Do it tomorrow – finish of all those small DIY tasks you've been meaning to do, touch up chipped woodwork and replace washers on dripping taps.
Create a strong odour – avoid strong foods such as curry and seafood before a viewing as the smell will linger.
Limit your market – watch out for agents that will only work as ‘sole agents’ which means they would still charge commission if another agency sold for you.
Keep your junk room – buyers find it far easier to visualise rooms set up for a specific purpose, therefore a spare room should be made up as a study or additional bedroom.
Remember, anyone can give a high evaluation figure, but actually obtaining it is another matter. Question if the figure is based on experience and knowledge of the area.
The importance of realistically pricing property to sell
As we are all aware, the property market has faced much uncertain over the past couple of years. We are no longer in a period where any house on the market, at practically any price, will almost certainly sell.
This is why it is vital that each property on the market is priced realistically and accurately. This does not mean selling a property at an undervalued price it simply means that if you wish to sell your house then it must be priced correctly. Any unprofessional agent can quote you high valuations and misguided figures, but achieving the sale in this climate is another matter altogether.
When selling your house it is imperative that the final valuation figure that you receive is based on experience and knowledge of the area by highly trained local agents. A useful exercise would be to ask for the values of comparable properties, just so you can get some realistic sale values in your head. The last thing that anyone wants is your property for sale sitting and stagnating on the market for months with little interest because an agent has overinflated its value just to get you on board.
Selling your home is equally as stressful as purchasing a new property so ensure that you do all you can to value your property at its correct price.
Seasonal change influences house sales
As with many different markets, seasonal change greatly influences the selling of property. For instance, Spring is a good time to sell your house as this is the time that many people use to purchase so they can get their children into new schools by September. If you wish to capture these Spring home movers, then you should be looking to put your house on the market by the end of February ready for an active period close to May and June. The advantages of a Spring sale means that you have longer days to fill up your home with as many viewings as possible, with more natural light and in bloom gardens added advantages.
Another season ideal for selling your property is Autumn. Putting your house on the market in early September means you will appeal to buyers hoping to move in before the Christmas period. However, beware as the Autumn selling window is short and the best prospect for selling your home would be in the months of September and October as these offer enough time for the sale to complete before Christmas.
If you still end up searching for a buyer for your property after the Autumn selling window then they will usually be in a stronger position, as post Christmas signals a traditional market slowdown.
In spite of all these factors it ultimately comes down to you when selling your home. If you are motivated and prepared to market your house correctly then selling your property becomes a much easier task. In the end, you are the determining factor.
Repairs and maintenance –
In order to sell your property for the best price possible it is advisable that the house is presented as unblemished as possible. However, before any renovation is undertaken, it is worth calculating the maximum potential value of your property. It is senseless to spend £20,000 on property improvements just to add £10,000 on the sale price. Research through property papers and liaise with estate agents to work out asking prices for similar properties.
Several maintenance tips when selling your property include:
- Finish off small DIY jobs - touch-up chipped woodwork and replace washers on dripping taps.
- A well-kept garden, pathway and fence are immediately appealing.
- Water can cause major problems in unwanted places. Check your roof and guttering and replace broken tiles. It's worth casting an eye over the drains too. A drain cleared before a blockage occurs is easier on the nose and the wallet!
- A regular lick of paint will keep a property looking good and keep deterioration at bay. A newly-painted front door with shiny brass fittings always creates a good impression. When selling, a surveyor will be able to spot if attempts at 'sprucing up' your property are simply quick fixes - he'll be much more impressed by ongoing maintenance.
- Cutting the lawn can be a last-minute pick-me-up. Feeding it a couple of weeks beforehand will brighten it up and make it look healthy.
- If your fitted kitchen units look tired, simply replace or paint and varnish the doors. This will be much cheaper than buying a new kitchen. If the units are in fairly good condition and only look dated, just replace the doorknobs, handles and taps. Another economical trick is to fit good, solid worktops on to existing units.
When selling your property a lot can be achieved by transforming the personal aspects of the house. The potential buyer wants to envisage them and their family living in the property, so create a warm and positive atmosphere to your home to help them along with the process.
Several tips for this include:
- Paint walls - a pale, plain shade maximises the feeling of light and space and enables buyers to imagine their possessions in the property. Research shows that most buyers prefer natural, earthy colours to bright, bold shades. Although there's a wide range of paint colours available, magnolia is still the top-selling colour.
- To prevent rooms looking too bland, use strong colours for accent walls or cushions and accessories.
- De-personalise your rooms by removing personal items such as family photographs and children's drawings which may distract potential buyers. Buyers should be looking at the property, not the owner's possessions. Removing clutter makes it easier for buyers to imagine their own belongings in a room.
- Plant pots can provide colour in your garden. If you don't have the time to fill your own, you can always get some ready-made.
- Flowers and a bowl of fruit will brighten up a room and provide a pleasant smell.
- Organise rooms - a property will be more appealing if rooms have a specific purpose and this allows buyers to see the full potential of the property.
- Revitalise a bathroom with a green leafy plant, new taps, a shower curtain and a light pull. All these items can be picked up cheaply from DIY warehouses.
- Coloured bathroom suites are out and old-fashioned white is back in vogue. If you've got an avocado or pink bathroom, consider investing in a white suite. It will add value to your property.
- Restoring fireplaces and period features, such as ceiling roses and cornices, can add thousands of pounds to a property. If you don't have a fireplace, a striking picture can work equally well. If you decide to install a fireplace, look for an original period grate and surround in reclamation yards.
- Pick up more ideas in Homes DIY and Design Inspiration sections.
- Avoid strong food odours - don't cook food such as fish or curry before a viewing as the smell will linger. The smell of freshly-baked bread or fresh coffee is said to provide a welcoming feel to a home.
- Ask friends or family to look after any pets during viewings.
- Try and make viewers feel comfortable. Offer them a coffee and ask them if they need any further information about bills or local amenities.
Chain: This is the sequence of buyers and sellers – most people who sell their property are also buying at the same time. Therefore there can be a chain or a number of several and sellers, which depends on each other for the sale and purchase of their new properties. For example, if one buyer or seller drops out, the chain may collapse, whereby the paperwork for the properties within the chain is delayed or cancelled.
Chain Free: This is when the owner of the property does not need to sell the property in order to buy another; therefore it is offered as chain free.
Completion Date: The date when the transaction (either the sale or purchase of a property) is completed, i.e. the date you become the owner.
Completion Statement: A statement from the solicitor detailing all financial transactions, including all costs.
Conditions of Sale: The terms by which the buyer and seller agree to sell/buy the property. The Law Society sets standard conditions. The lawyer sets special conditions.
Contract: The legally binding agreement specifying details of the house sale or house purchase. The contract legally commits both the buyer and the seller to the transaction. The house seller's conveyancing lawyer draws up two copies of the same contract and each party signs their own copy. When both parties are ready to legally commit, the two contracts are exchanged.
Conveyancer: The property lawyer who manages all of the matters arising from the sale of a house or the purchase of a house. Can be a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer.
Conveyance or Transfer: The legally binding document that transfers the rights, burdens and the benefit of the land.
Council for Licensed Conveyancers: A regulatory body for conveyancing with whom all conveyancers should be registered.
Deeds: Legal title document which provides historical information about the property.
Deposit: The amount paid to exchange contracts which is only refundable in exceptional circumstances. Contracts provide for 10% of the purchase/sale price but can often be negotiated to a lower level.
Disbursements: Out-of-pocket expenses paid by the solicitor/licensed conveyancer on the buyer's behalf, such as stamp duty, land registry charges and search fees.
Easement: A right given to the house owner over an adjoining property (e.g. right of way).
EPC: Energy performance certificate- part of a home information pack.
Equity: This is what you actually own – the difference between the market value of your property and the amount of the loan you still owe to your lender.
Exchange of Contract: The point that both parties are committed to the transaction.
Fixtures and Fittings: A list of the items at the property, which are either included or excluded from the agreed price.
Flexible Mortgage: Mortgages that are flexible in terms of how you pay the loan back.
Freehold: One of the two current tenures of land recognised by English law. This recognises the whole of the land not just a building.
FSA: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is an independent body concerned with consumer protection in the financial market.
Gazumping: When the house seller accepts a higher price offer from another house buyer after the initial offer has been accepted.
Home Information Pack (HIP): Also known as a Sellers Pack or HIP.
Indemnity Insurance: An insurance taken out by conveyancing firms to cover losses to clients arising from errors or fraud in dealing with their matters.
Land Registry Fees: Fees paid by your conveyancing lawyer on the buyer's behalf to register the ownership of property with the Land Registry.
Land Registry: A government office that stores records of land ownership and any charges, like a mortgage.
Leasehold: The second current tenure of land recognised by English law. This is over a term of years and not unlimited. There will be a Landlord who will own the freehold. This usually relates to a flat or apartment.
Licensed Conveyancer: A licensed conveyancer is a specialist property lawyer, someone who is trained and qualified in all aspects of the law dealing with property. Licensed conveyancers are sufficient to secure adequate protection for consumers and that the conveyancing services provided by such persons are provided both economically and efficiently.
Mortgage: Money borrowed from a lender (usually a bank or building society) to buy the property. The borrower agrees to use his or her property as security against the loan until it is paid back.
Mortgage Deed: The legal agreement that gives the lender a legal right to property.
Mortgage Fees: Normally charged by your financial advisor, for acting on behalf of your bank or building society.
Redemption Fee: An Early Repayment Charge which can be charged by your existing mortgage lender if you pay off your mortgage early or you move to a different mortgage.
Searches: A method of checking matters that may affect the value of the property. The only obligatory one before exchange is a Local Authority Search which covers items such as road maintenance and planning applications. The search covers the property not the surrounding area.
Stamp Duty: A government tax payable by every home buyer when purchasing a property
Survey: A report produced by a building surveyor for the purpose of determining the value of the property and if it is structurally sounds.
Subject to Contract: A provisional agreement between the house buyer and the house seller that is not legally binding.
Transfer Document: The final document that transfers the property from the house seller to the house buyer.
Valuation Survey: A survey to allow a property value to be determined for mortgage purposes. This is not to be confused with a structural survey.
White Hot Property: A property that has been acquired by a developer or financial institution as part of a part-exchange, repossession or probate transaction and is priced to achieve a quick sale.