It's a bit of an understatement to say that selling a property is stressful. The potential costs and time invested can weigh heavy on the minds of those who are in the process and, if you're buying too, this can be quite daunting.
Home buying platform, Yes Homebuyers, share their advice and industry expertise to help lower your stress levels and keep more cash in your pocket while navigating the property ladder.
Use an alternative style of estate agent
Online agents tend to be cheaper than their traditional high street equivalent. They come with certain upsides, as they can give you more exposure, as well as more control over the selling process. This can be a double-edged sword, however, as you might need to do more negotiating yourself, as they often lack local market knowledge compared to high street players. They also demand you spend more up-front, so there are pros and cons to using an online agent.
A home selling platform might not be the first thing you think of when looking to save money as they will offer you a marginally lower price for your property than you could secure via traditional selling routes. However, there are no fees to pay and a bonafide platform will pay you exactly what they offer.
They are also far quicker, less complicated and a lot less stressful than selling in the traditional market. So once you’ve calculated the time you save and the other costs of selling traditionally, the slight hit you take on the price offered for your home can be well worth it. Platforms such as Yes Homebuyers can also tailor your transaction time to fit with your individual situation which is particularly good for those in need of a quick sale. Time is money, after all.
Negotiate fee with an estate agent
If you decide to go for a traditional high street agent, it’s worth negotiating hard on commission. On average, high street agents charge around 1.5%, but will often reduce this to around 1% or even lower if you ask - especially in the current market. If you take the average UK house price (£245,443 for Oct 2020), reducing commission from 1.5% (£3,682) to 1% (£2,454) saves approximately £1,227. It’s worth asking the question.
Explore whether to remortgage
If you’re buying and moving somewhere else you may be able to port your current mortgage. However, given how low rates have become in the past few years, it could be an opportunity to save on your monthly repayments by remortgaging. It’s worth speaking to your current lender, or even better a mortgage broker.
Choose your solicitor wisely
They say time is money, so ideally you want the selling process to be as streamlined as possible. Therefore, you should select a solicitor who will carry out prep work before a buyer is even found. This can really speed things along when a buyer makes an offer. An efficient solicitor service can shave weeks, or even months, off the conveyancing process.
Avoid the estate agent's conveyancer or surveyor
If an estate agent refers you to a conveyancer or surveyor it’s likely they will receive referral fees, and these costs can be passed onto you as the consumer. There is also a potential conflict of interest - if your solicitor is commercially dependent on the agent in a way they’re working for them, rather than you. This isn’t to say they aren’t a good solicitor or conveyancer but it always pays (or in this case saves you money) to do your research. More often than not, an agent will also recommend you to the solicitor who pays them the biggest referral fee, rather than the one that does the best job.
Consider DIY moving/removals
Using a removal firm is expensive, as it costs around £1200-£1500 for a 3-bed house moving 50 miles. You can therefore save a bundle if you’re prepared to do this yourself, though don’t expect it to be easy and take into account how much stuff you have.
Book removals in good time
While removals are pricey you can get significant discounts if you book well in advance. For this you need to have a completion date established as early as possible – a good agent, solicitor or surveyor can help make this happen.
Pack wisely and disassemble large items in advance
Whether you decide to go for a DIY move or use a removals service, pack efficiently. The small things make a big difference, whether you’re filling suitcases with clothes or saucepans with dry food. You should also disassemble large items and furniture in advance, especially if you’re being charged for the time it takes a removals company to move your possessions.
Select your moving day carefully
For some people moving on a Friday is attractive, as you could potentially take fewer days off work and spend less on childcare for example. However, if it doesn’t matter you should move earlier in the week, as it tends to be cheaper.
Matthew Cooper, Founder & Managing Director of Yes Homebuyers, commented: “Selling and moving house is never fun, but you can limit the stress and costs if you follow our tips.
“Some decisions are personal, for example, whether you go for an online or traditional agent. However, planning your moving date well in advance and packing up with time to spare is something we’d recommend for every seller. You’re more likely to save money if you’re organised – so keep your wits about you and plan for your moving day as early as possible.”