There are a lot of myths surrounding the best time to sell your home or property: You should wait until spring to sell; When you get an offer you should make the potential buyer wait; Price it high then reduce it if it doesn’t sell quickly. Although many myths can be easily dispelled, how do you tackle the one about when is best to sell your home? At Howards, our mission is to get you moved, so we put together this article to guide you. Spoiler, there is no one size fits all for the best time to sell a property — but that’s where our expertise comes in. Our agents use their local knowledge of your area to make sure you get the best sale possible. They know the best time to sell for you. That being said, here are some factors to take into account when you are thinking of selling. Which season is the best for selling your home? When you start researching, spring is often suggested as the best season for house selling. Winter becomes tricky as Christmas takes up a lot of people’s time, and summer is a time that families (and indeed everyone else) take for travelling abroad or taking a holiday at home. Spring is when the days begin to get longer, so you get plenty of natural light, plus the garden can look its best during spring as flowers bloom. Although it isn’t impossible, summer isn’t statistically the best time to sell. School holidays mean that if you are trying to sell to a family they might not be around much. Even if they aren’t taking a holiday abroad, childcare will be taking up a lot of parents’ time over summer. Autumn is when things tend to pick up a little after the summer lull, but once October is over people are starting to think about Christmas and not about moving home. Thinking of selling? Read our guide How to Sell Your Property Different times of year suit different types of property Your home may suit a certain type of person better than others. For example, a first-time buyer isn’t likely to purchase a three bedroomed detached house, they are more likely to be looking for a flat or single bedroomed property. According to The Advisory, an independent site that supports people looking to sell their house, January-February and September are the best times to sell to first-time buyers and younger couples. Why? Just after Christmas they will be ready for a new start, especially if they are still living at home After the summer holidays finish, they are looking to be in their new home before Christmas If you are selling a 3-4-bedroom house, your target buyer is going to be more likely to have children or be looking to start a family. For this reason, avoid the school holidays for putting your home on the market. Check when the longer holidays (summer, Easter, Christmas) are for the schools in your area. For bungalows and retirement homes, your buyer will be older or people looking to downsize their home. Older buyers are more active during the warmer months of the year. How does the region your house is in affect a sale? The seasons affect the entire country, but there might be certain regional differences that will determine how quickly a home will sell. Things such as: Council plans to change an area — check local planning permissions. Is the area going to have a lot of work going on? Selling a house during this time might not be the best idea. Supply and demand — you need plenty of people looking to buy, and few competing sellers looking to sell. Check with your estate agent to see if the balance is in your favour. You can also perform a search on Rightmove as if you were a buyer looking to buy a property like yours, or visit the National Association of Estate Agents to view their monthly report on the market. How ready should I be to sell? Make sure that you are ready to move on from your property. That’s both financially and emotionally. Take time to prepare your home for viewings. Read our guide on how to do this here. It's better to be on the market for a shorter length of time because the longer it’s there, the more buyers may see it as having potential problems. So, avoid putting your house on the market before it's ready to go. Adding value to your home doesn’t have to be expensive either. Selling your home? Let Howards help. Get in contact with your local branch today.
Think moving house is stressful? Then all of the added jargon that goes with the house buying and selling process can make it quite daunting. Our handy guide details some common terms and what they mean. Acceptance - If you wish to accept a lender’s mortgage offer, this document will need to be signed and returned to the lender. Amortisation - The gradual elimination of a liability, for example, a mortgage through regular payments over a set time period or the amount paid by way of capital or principle repayments on a loan annually. Annual Equivalent Rate (AER) - A notional rate that is often quoted on interest paid on savings and investments. It aims to demonstrate what your interest return would be if the interest was compounded and paid annually instead of monthly (or any other period). Annual Percentage Rate (APR) - The APR is a figure that is used to compare different mortgages. Defined by law, it includes repayments on the loan plus any fees such as booking, arrangement or redemption fees. The APR shows the true cost of borrowing, and should appear on all mortgage illustrations and quotes. Applicant - The name given to a potential purchaser, often used by estate agents/auctioneers. Appraisal Value – Property value as estimated by a surveyor. Appreciation – Increase in property value as a result of market condition changes. Arrangement Fee - This is a charge levied by the lender to cover the costs of administering and reserving the funds for certain types of mortgage. May be paid separately or added to the loan amount. Assured shorthold tenancy (ASTs) - This is the most common form of tenancy. A tenancy can only be an AST if you are a private landlord or housing association, the tenancy started on or after 15th Jan 1999, the property is the tenants' main accommodation and you do not live in the property. All of these must apply. Auction - A means of selling a property whereby it is listed at an auction and if the property does not reach the reserve price then it is not sold. If it does, then when the auctioneer's hammer falls that represents an exchange of contracts and the successful bidder is legally obliged to pay a 10% deposit and sign a memorandum of sale before leaving the auction. Completion usually takes places 28 days later and the buyer is not in a position to re-negotiate any of the stipulated terms and buys the property "as seen". Structural surveys and searches would have to be made in advance by a bidder. Base Rate - The lowest rate of interest a bank will charge when it lends money, used as a benchmark to set interest rates for borrowers. This rate is set by the Bank of England and is reviewed several times a year. Lenders will charge borrowers a margin above the base rate. Bridging Loan – A loan that is used to cover the overlap between the purchase of a new property and the sale of an old one. This will be a short-term loan. Building Survey – Full inspection of the property, carried out by a chartered surveyor. A detailed report will follow highlighting the condition of the property and any issues/defects. Buildings Insurance – An insurance policy that pays the cost of repair or rebuild in the event of your property being destroyed or damaged. This needs to be purchased before completion of your new property. Buy-to-let Mortgage – A type of mortgage specifically for those purchasing a property with the intention of letting the property out. Capital – Amount of money either put into buying a property or the deposit placed on a property. Capital Appreciation – Growth in the value of a property over time. Capital Gains Tax – A tax on profits above a fixed level made from the sale of financial assets such as property or shares. Capped-rate mortgage – A mortgage that sets a maximum rate on interest that a lender can charge for a specified period. Chain – Where a buyer is reliant on the completion of sale of their current property before they can complete on a purchase of a new property. Commission – An estate agent’s fee for selling the property. Comparative Search – The search that looks at sale values for similar properties in the same area as your property. Completion Date – The date of which the money is transferred from the buyer’s to the seller’s solicitor. The buyer will also become the legal owner of their new property on this date. Conditions of Sale – Details that set out the rights and duties of the seller and buyer. Contents Insurance – Insurance that covers the contents of your home such as your furniture, carpets, equipment like laptops and televisions. Conveyancing – The legal process surrounding the transfer of ownership of a property from a seller to a buyer. Covenants – The rules and regulations governing a property – these are contained in its Title Deeds or Lease. Deeds – The legal documents that prove ownership of a property. Deposit – Initial funds used as a payment upfront to a bank/financial institution in the purchase of property. Also known as mortgage deposit. Detached – A property that stands alone, and therefore not attached to another property. Disbursements - Fees paid by the solicitors on the behalf of a buyer. Examples include land registry and search fees and stamp duty. Also known as Legal Fees. Discharge Fee – Paid to some lenders for releasing their hold over a property once you have paid off you loan. This often occurs if you pay off your mortgage early before the standard term has run out. However, this is not always the case. Down Valuation – Where a lender restricts the amount you can borrow as a result of a surveyors valuation report indicates the property is not worth the sum sought. Draft Contract – A preliminary version of the contract drawn up when the sale is first agreed. This is uncorroborated version that will need to be confirmed by the seller’s solicitor and set out the conditions. Draft Transfer – A legal document issued by the purchaser’s solicitors setting out the terms and conditions of sale. Early Repayment Charge – A charge issued by the lender as a penalty if a mortgage is paid off within a specific period. Endowment Mortgage – Interest-only repayments combined with monthly premiums into an endowment policy. This is designed to pay off the loan at the end of the term. Energy Performance Certificate – This certificate measures the energy efficiency of a property using a scale of A to G. It is now a legal requirement to have a valid EPC before a property can be marketed. Equity – The amount of money either put into buying a property or the deposit placed on a property which exceeds the amount of any money borrowed against the property. Exchange of Contracts – The point at which confirmed and signed (by both purchasers and sellers) are physically exchanged. Both the buyer and the seller are now legal bound to the sale and purchase of the property at the agreed price. Fixed Rate Mortgage – A mortgage in which the interest rate is fixed/set for an agreed term or period of time. Fixtures and Fittings – These are the non-structural items included in the purchase of a property. These can include (but not limited to) light fitments, central heating boilers and radiators, bathroom suites, kitchen units, TV aerials and satellite dishes. Flexible Mortgage – An arrangement whereby you can increase or decrease your mortgage payments. Freehold – Where the owner of a property also owns the land that it is built on. Gazumping – This occurs when a seller accepts a higher offer on a property when they have already agreed on an offer from someone, prior to the exchange of contracts. Gazundering – This occurs when a buyer reduced their agreed offer prior to exchanging contracts. An example could be that the buyer has discovered some issues with the property following a survey report that was carried out, and therefore reduces the offer agreed accordingly. Ground Rent – A charge from the freeholder to the leaseholder. Guarantor – Someone who promises and signs to agree to pay the borrower’s debt or rent is the borrower or tenant defaults. Higher Lending Charge – An upfront, one-off charge to a lender to protect them against the borrower defaulting on the loan. This usually occurs on mortgages that are over 75% of the property value. Houses in Multiple Occupancy – A building of three floors or more that is occupied by three of more people. These people live as more than one household but share the use of facilities such as bathrooms and cooking facilities. Individual Savings Account Mortgage (ISA) - Interest-only mortgage linked to an ISA fund, which is designed to pay off the loan at the end of the period. Inflation - The rise in prices over time. Interest Charges – The charges that banks make on a loan, calculated as a percentage of the borrowed amount. Interest-only Mortgage – Now only offered with very strict lending criteria and aren’t available to everyone. A type of mortgage where the borrower only repays the interest on the loan for the duration of its term and repays the full loan amount at the end of the mortgage period. Joint Tenants – A form of ownership of land or property where there are two parties. If one of them passes away, their share of the property will transfer automatically to the remaining party which then gives them full ownership. Land Certificate – This document is issued by the Land Registry to the owner of the registered land as proof of ownership. This land document will include a copy of the register and the plan showing the extent of the land. Land Registry Fee – To be paid by a solicitor on behalf of the buyer to register ownership of property with the Land Registry (if freehold). Therefore once you purchase the property, you are the legal owner of the land. Land Search – This is where a formal application of an inspection of the Land Registry register. A certificate will be issued to show the current situation of the land in question. Lease – The legal document by which the Freehold or Leasehold owner of a property lets the premises or a part of it to another party for a specified length of time. Once this expires, the ownership reverts to the Freeholder. Leasehold – Where a person(s) owns a property but only for a set number of years. When the lease expires, the property returns to the freeholder. This is most common with flats; however, houses can also be built on leasehold land. Legal Fees - Fees paid by the solicitors on the behalf of a buyer. Examples include Land Registry and search fees and Stamp Duty. Also known as ‘Disbursements’. Listed Building – A building which has special architectural or historic interest which is officially listed so that it cannot be demolished or altered without prior local government approval. Maintenance Charge – Also known as service charges. These charges are the cost of repairing and maintaining external or internal communal parts of a building. These costs are charged to the tenant or leaseholder. Maisonette – An apartment, usually over one or two floors, which is self-contained and in a larger house. It will have its own entrance from the outside. Mortgage – An amount of money advanced by a lender (usually a bank or building society) on the security of a property. This is repayable over a long period of time. Mortgage Payment Protection – Insurance designed to pay your monthly mortgage for a limited period if you are unable to work due to illness, redundancy or disability. This is usually for a year. NHBC Scheme – A building guarantee that is available on some new build homes. Under this guarantee, any defects that occur within a specified time after construction are remedied. Negative Equity – When a property has decreased in value to below the level for which a loan was secured on it. Offer – The sum of money a buyer offers to pay for a property. Offer of a Loan – A formal document approving the mortgage you have requested and detailing the Terms and Conditions that apply. Office Copy Entry – The official document from the Land Registry which confirms the ownership of and borrowings against a property. Open House Event – A day or period of time of a day where a property for sale is open to a number of applicants to view at the same time. Open Market Value – The price a property should be able to achieve where there is a willing buyer and seller. Re-Mortgage – This is the refinancing of a property either by switching a mortgage from one lender to another or by taking out a second mortgage to take advantage of any equity gained by the rise in value of the property. Redemption – When a mortgage is fully repaid. Repayment Mortgage – A mortgage where the monthly payments are used to repay the interest and reduce the outstanding capital. This means that each month you’re paying off a small part of your mortgage. Repossession – This occurs when a mortgage lender takes possession of a property due to non-payment of the mortgage the property is secured against. Retention – Where a lender has the ability to hold back part of a mortgage until certain conditions are met. Searches – A request or enquiry for information about the property held by a local authority or by the Land Registry. Semi-Detached – A property which is joined to one other property – this will be a house or bungalow. Service Charge – These charges are paid by the owner to cover the cost of providing various services which include (but not limited to) maintenance or repair of the building, communal areas, heating, lighting or security. Share of Freehold – Where a limited company owns the freehold on which a property stands and the shareholders of that limited company are the owners of the property. Short-term Tenancy – Occupancy of a rental property that starts at one day and can last for a few weeks or a couple of months. Sitting Tenant – This refers to a tenant who occupies a rental property when there is a change of landlord or the landlord decides to sell. Sole Agent – When the seller has agreed to sell their property through one estate agent only. Stamp Duty – A government paid tax to be paid by the buyer on a property. Usually expressed as a percentage of the purchase price and will vary depending on the value of the property. Standard Variable Rate – Mortgage lenders standard rate of interest. This can go up or down in line with market rates such as the Bank of England base rate Surveys – Inspection of a property and reports that comments of the structural conditions and more depending of the survey of survey you commission. Studio Flat – A flat which consists of one room that contains the cooking, living and sleeping areas with a separate bathroom or shower room. Tenancy Agreement – A contract between a tenant and landlord. The tenancy agreement will outline the terms and conditions of the rental agreement. Tenure – Conditions on which a property is held, for example leasehold or freehold. Terraced House – A property that forms part of a connected row of houses. Title Deeds – The legal title documents that prove ownership of a property. These are transferred to the new owner on the sale of a property and a copy is held by the mortgage lender. Title Insurance – The insurance policy which a buyer can take out to allow a sale to complete where there is a potential problem with the documentation in proving legal ownership of some part of the land they are buying. Title Search – An investigation carried out by a conveyancer or solicitor into the history of ownership of a property. This search will check for liens, unpaid claims, restrictions and any other problems that may affect ownership. Tracker Mortgage – A mortgage where the interest charged by a lender is linked to a rate such as the Bank Of England base rate. This means your payments can go up or down. Under Offer – A status of a property that is for sale and the sellers have accepted an offer from a buyer. This is the status given before the exchange of contracts. Valuation – A basic survey of a property which estimates the value of the property for mortgage purposes. Mortgage lenders will need to see this before lending. Variable Base Rate – The basic rate of interest charged on a mortgage. Vendor – The seller of a property. Yield – The income from a property that is calculated as a percentage of its value.
Once you’ve decided to sell your home, knowing what to do next can be a daunting task. There’s a lot to think about when moving to a new house, so choosing the right estate agent is an essential way to make the process easier. Howards has a team of experienced sales negotiators in your area who have expert knowledge about the locality and know what types of properties sell for what price. Our agents have a database of potential buyers and give realistic advice designed to help your move progress. Handing over the sale of your home to us means we do all the hard work for you in terms of showing people round and checking out that they are serious buyers. Howards is part of the UK's largest independent estate agency and our customers have access to the latest online marketing tools, including the property portal OnTheMarket.com, plus social media, traditional print advertising and ‘open house events’ to boost buyer interest. Our phone lines are open from 8am to 10pm, seven days a week. Sign up today to be among the first to know about property for sale in your area. Making your home attractive to a buyer Get inside the head of your buyer and think about the aesthetic appeal of your property. Visiting a show home before you sell is a great way to get inspiration and understand how best to market your property. Ensure that the outside of your property is tidy and that the building looks safe and secure. Repainting your windowsills or front door, cutting the grass and putting away unfinished DIY projects can improve your property’s kerb appeal and encourage prospective buyers to venture inside. Make it easy for prospective buyers to see the potential in your property. Decluttering and tidying up rooms creates a blank canvas and helps people viewing your property to imagine themselves living there. Homes sell quicker if a buyer can imagine themselves sitting on a sofa watching the TV, lounging in the back garden, or having dinner at the kitchen table. Staging your home so it appears in its best possible light can also help achieve a successful sale. Removing large or bulky items like a sofa and replacing them with smaller versions helps to make rooms appear more spacious. Hanging mirrors in more confined spaces can also help create the effect that rooms are larger than they appear. Likewise, on darker days simple acts such as turning on lamps and sidelights can create a cosy and enticing atmosphere for prospective buyers to walk into. Ensure all unpleasant smells, like cigarette smoke or blocked drains are banished by fully airing your property and installing air fresheners or diffusers. Consider some home improvements When we value your home, they can also make recommendations for ways you can improve the value. Planning and obtaining quotes for renovations before you sell is always a good idea. Updating a dated kitchen by replacing tiles, units or cupboard doors can help encourage prospective buyers. Kitchens are the focus for many people during a property viewing, and many buyers could be willing to pay more to save themselves the hassle of buying a new kitchen. Similarly, and if your budget will allow, updating the tiles or taps in the bathroom can also help encourage buyers and ensure a speedy sale. If your budget allows, consider adding a garage or loft conversion. According to OnTheMarket, a recent nationwide study found that a loft conversion which added an extra bedroom and en-suite bathroom would add an average of 21 per cent to the value of a property. If this type of renovation isn’t achievable right now, consider having someone draw up the plans for these improvements and, if necessary, obtain planning permission. Know your budget Before you sell, know what you can afford and determine a price range of properties to look at. Find out the outstanding debt on your mortgage, then find out how much more you can borrow and whether you can afford it before you start looking at properties. Notify your solicitor that you plan to sell so they can provide you with the list of things that you need to collect together, which might include: any guarantees for work you have had done on the property including replacement windows or damp-proofing; filling out a form that details what you intend to leave in the property; if it is a leasehold property you will need to prove you are up to date on your monthly maintenance payments. Agree on the sale of your home before you start looking for the next move as you then become an attractive buyer to another vendor. If you’re not planning on buying straightaway, renting can act as a stopgap and reduce the stress of being involved in a long chain. Throughout this process, you’ll need the right legal representation. Howards offers a complete service from conveyancers to mortgage advisers, surveyors and insurance. List of moving expenses Moving is an expensive process, and nothing could be worse than finding your dream house and being unable to make it a reality. We’ve created a shortlist of the things to remember to ensure that you're not making a costly mistake: Your current lender’s fee if you are making an early repayment Legal/solicitor’s fees Estate agent’s fees The cost of an Energy Performance Certificate Removal costs Capital Gains Tax if the property you are selling is not your main home If you’re thinking about selling your property, speak to your nearest branch or request a valuation. If you have questions about your mortgage, or want some advice, take a look at the Just Mortgages website. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE. Howards introduce to Just Mortgages Direct Limited which is an appointed representative of The Openwork Partnership, a trading style of Openwork Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Just Mortgages Direct Limited Registered Office: Colwyn House, Sheepen Place, Colchester, Essex, CO3 3LD. Registered in England No. 2412345