First Time Sellers Guide – Prior to Marketing
This is a blog aimed at current landlords, looking to sell their property for the first time through an estate agent. The steps can be a handful to consider so we’ve broken down the blog to pre- and post-marketing. At Marybow Property, we are experienced estate agents and put this guide together so you can follow the process step by step.
The initial step is to decide if you should be selling in the first place and if so, have you asked yourself:
- Have I had my rent appraised recently? You’d be surprised how much rent has improved since the pandemic and simply renegotiating.
- What timings do I need to consider?
- If you have a tenant in-situ on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy basis, you will need to give at least 2 months’ notice. This is the minimum forward timing but it’s also important to never assume that you can have vacant possession at the end of the tenancy.
- At the same time as getting a property valuation, your agent will be able to tell you the average Time on the Market (ToM). It’s important to know for how many months your property is expected to be empty. Can you cover this cost (mortgage plus bills) without your rental income?
- What is my financial position? Get a rough idea of how much the property will be worth and get it checked again closer to the time to market. In the meantime, check with your lender. Is there any early repayment fee? Is it time to remortgage anyway, or if you’re moving, can you your mortgage product?
Preparing the property
If you had a long-term tenant, a certain amount wear and tear is expected. With the fierce competition in the market and our culture image, it is important for the property to be able to make a good first impression. Ask yourself:
- Do I have attractive professional property photos? If not, consider staging the property. A survey by Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp found that staged homes spend half the time on the market compared to non-staged homes.
- Do I have the budget to freshen up the property? Even one lick of paint can do wonders to make the property look spacious and new. What about little snagging items that you’ve been meaning to do? Ask your agent their honest opinion during an appraisal meeting and note down what you may not have seen. Is the property clean and free of clutter (or will it be after the tenants leave)?
- Does my property have ‘kerb appeal’? According to the 2019 annual HomeOwner Survey, more than 68% of homeowners said kerb appeal was important in their choice of buying their new home. Here are 5 easy tips to increase the appeal.
- Again, what about timing?For instance, you may need to obtain necessary quotes and pre-approve to begin any works as soon as your tenant leaves.
Documents you need
You will need some documents prior to marketing.
- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – Agents must legally have this in place prior to marketing. They last for 10 years and it is easy to forget that it requires a renewal. Do you have a copy? If not ask your agent if they do.
- Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ) – Consumer protection regulations (CPRs) say that a seller must disclose any relevant information about the property which might influence the prospective buyer’s decision. As agents, we will need this filled out as comprehensively as possible, which may require you to spend the time finding out.
- If you are a leaseholder, do you have a copy of Section 20 and a satisfactory EWS1 form?
- Section 20 – this is a formal notice to tell you that the freeholders are intending to carry out work that leaseholders will have to pay towards. Depending on the amount of work, this can unnecessarily hold up the conveyancing process or worse, offer rescinded, if it is not disclosed in advance.
- EWS1 – It’s surprising how many properties do not have this or have wrong information. Cross-check that if the building has passed, the address is exactly the same as what the property is registered as on the Land Registry.