Here at Gaudin & Co, we understand that selling property in Jersey can be a daunting prospect. If you’re a seasoned pro, you’ll know what to do, who to speak to and how to go about making sure the process is quick and easy, but if this is your first time selling a home, we want to make sure that the sale goes as smoothly as possible.
How Much is Your Home Worth?
Valuing property is by no means an exact science and with most transactions where prices are negotiable (homes, footballers, cars etc.), the asset is only worth what the buyer is prepared to pay (and furthermore what the lender is prepared to lend).
Our sales team have expert-level market knowledge and we understand the nuance of the Jersey property market. We’d always recommend you do your own research to see what comparable properties are selling for (and have sold for) but an accurate valuation at the outset can save headaches further down the line. Dependent on your individual circumstances, valuations may be on the high side to take into account some wiggle room or they may be on point to expedite a quick sale. When it comes to us valuing your home, we will discuss your options with you.
In addition to the valuation of your property, the Gaudin & Co sales team will make sure you know how and where we market your property as well as all fees attached to the sale.
How Much Does Selling A House Cost?
The answer, unfortunately, is more than you might think. There’s an old adage that says ‘whatever you think you need, treble it’ and while this isn’t strictly true, the costs of moving need to be factored in.
Estate Agents’ Fees – these fees are due when the sale is complete and are usually calculated as a percentage of the sale price of the house plus GST (Goods & Services Tax)
Solicitors’ Fees – the conveyancing of the property needs to be completed by a solicitor. Costs can vary dependent on the firm you use and most sellers agree on a fixed fee with their solicitor. If there are any unusual elements, for example if the property is listed, prices can rise so make sure the solicitor has all relevant information. We can recommend to you a number of solicitors we’ve worked with over the years
Lenders’ Fees – when you take out a mortgage, there may be arrangement fees that the lender will charge you. You can either pay these fees upfront (they can often be between £500 and £2,000) or you tack them on to your mortgage. This means your monthly repayment could go up a little but it’s something to be aware of
Removal Costs – these will vary depending on how much you need to get from one place to another but again, search the market and get comparable quotes
Other Costs – you may need to rent for a while during building works; you may need a bridging loan to cover costs and you may also need to put your belongings into storage
These costs can add up so it’s worth putting together a budget so you don’t have any unexpected surprises during the sale process.
How Do You Prepare A House For Sale?
The best way to prepare your home for sale is to try and look at it through the eyes of a buyer. What would entice you to buy, conversely what would put you off buying a particular house? When you get the details from the agent, the photographs always look great but what aren’t you seeing? Are the glossy marketing shots hiding a multitude of sins?
It’s a cliché but it’s true: first impressions last, so make sure that the front of your house is clean and tidy. What needs trimming, painting, fixing or tidying? You certainly don’t need to spend a fortune but a little sprucing up can make the difference.
Inside, now is the time to get to all those little niggly jobs done that you’ve been putting off. Dripping taps, creaky hinges, lightbulbs, the doorbell and that small patch of damp in the corner of the bathroom.
Depending on how long you’ve lived there, you may want to repaint or get some new carpet but it’s likely that your buyers will have their own ideas about how they’d like to transform your home.
One of the best ways to show off your house is by de-cluttering. Over the years we accumulate ‘stuff’ so it’s now time to be ruthless! Get rid of what you don’t want or need so the people coming to see the house know what each room is for. This may sound obvious but is the room upstairs that’s full of junk a bedroom, an office or something else? Charity shops will gladly take what you don’t want and you may even earn a few extra pounds selling some of it on eBay or other auction sites. If you are throwing things away, check to see if they can be recycled.
Now it’s time to clean! We’re not about to sit here and tell you how to clean your own house but suffice it to say, make sure you go over everything, including the windows! A once-round with the hoover and a spray of something sweet-smelling really does make a huge difference.
One of the more subjective elements of preparing a home for sale is the emotion involved. Of course the price you want for your house is a vital element of the sale process but people often buy on instinct. Does your house feel right to the buyer? There are certain things you can do to entice people in, such as having fresh flowers around or having the aroma of freshly-baked bread or coffee permeating the place…
One of the things that a number of people suggest is to de-personalise your home, get rid of (or hide) your family photographs, your questionable CD and DVD collection and children’s toys but this is subjective and entirely up to you. You still live there and while you are trying to present your home in the best light for prospective purchasers, it’s not a show house, it’s your home where people live.
Now What Do You Do?
Well, not much! Once we’ve been round the house, taken all our photos and measured up, we will prepare the details and the marketing campaign and get the information out to all those on our database looking for a house in your area and broadly speaking within their budget.
We will arrange all viewings and we’ll have your keys so you don’t have to be available every time we bring someone round but of course we’ll check with you before we arrange appointments. As and when we receive offers we are obliged to let you know what they are, even if it appears unlikely you’ll accept them. We can advise you on the offers made but the final decision on what offer to accept is yours and yours alone.
Once you accept an offer, it is made ‘subject to contract’ in that if all the paperwork stacks up, the sale can proceed. We will formally write to you, your solicitor and the buyer’s solicitor to confirm the sale price of the property and we’ll ask them to draw up the contract and to release the deeds to the buyers’ solicitor. At this juncture you’re not legally obliged to take the property off the market but the buyer may request that you do so.
The buyer will (most likely) instruct a surveyor to do a homebuyers’ survey on the house and the surveyor will liaise with us to gain access. If the surveyor uncovers previously unknown issues such as damp or that the house needs a new roof, the buyer may want to renegotiate the sale price to take these factors into consideration so be prepared. If a compromise can be reached, great, but if not, or their expectations are way below what you need, you are still free to pull out of the sale and start the process again. Be aware though that you will have to pay your solicitor what they are due for the work completed even if the sale is aborted.
Once all the legal paperwork has been completed (including the legal searches) and both parties are happy with it, you are in a position to exchange contracts. You don’t need to do much aside from physically sign the contract and both parties will agree on a date to complete the sale.
The End Is Nigh…
On the day of completion, the solicitors will ensure that all the money is released to the relevant parties (mortgage lenders, buyers etc) and once everyone has their money safely in the bank, the sale is complete and you cease to be the legal owner of the property. You’ll have to move out, hand over the keys and say goodbye to your home!