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How to buy and sell a house

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Moving house is nothing short of a major trauma – the upheaval, the pain, the heartbreak and worry is not for the fainthearted. Property developers snap up the best plots, dithering buyers pull out of sales, greedy sellers try to up their prices – and it’s getting near on impossible to find a good deal on any property in this part of the world. *Sigh*

You need nerves like a steel trap. And vodka. Lots of vodka.

I’m still recovering from my most recent move – and it was two years ago. In the end, we sold our old house and moved into a rental property to avoid another broken chain. For months I had to avoid a particular local street, because the house we lost – nicknamed ‘The Heartbreaker’ – had me sobbing into my silk hanky every time I passed it.

Since those dark days, of course, I have met a property pro who takes away all that stress. If only I’d knew then what I know now. She doesn’t wear a pouffy pink dress and carry a wand, but as the director of Residential Property Search, there’s not much Sally Rule doesn’t know about buying and selling houses. (She’s also a pretty dab hand when it comes to the rental market too, FYI.)

And as this time of year is a popular time to move, Sally – the property person – has shared her best tips to help ease the pain. And there’s not a Grey Goose in sight.

SELLING

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Presentation: Your property must have the right feel, and the right energy to welcome and invite new people. This extends to the colour scheme, fixtures and fitting and the placement of furniture. Sally says everything must look good. Ideally, you should store your personal possessions. You’re trying to create an impression so that the people who are viewing your home can picture themselves living there. Sell a lifestyle – even if that means you have to invent one.

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Price: You won’t sell your house if you don’t price it right. It’s needs to be comparable to similar sized properties that have recently sold in your local area. So get nosey. Check out the competition. Go to open days, book viewings, get online, check out the agent’s windows. Knowledge is power people. This will also be a consideration when choosing an agent. If you have a good idea of what your house is worth, you won’t be dazzled by the agent with the highest valuation. And while where talking agents, chose wisely. You want someone who has a local presence, is reputable, and who has sold properties recently in the streets near you.

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Photographs: The photographs are super important when you’re selling your property, so make sure they’re taken by a professional who will pay attention to to your property’s best features. You want to flaunt those babies.

 

BUYING

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Price: Shopping for your new home is exciting. There’s so much expectation and anticipation at the stunning new house you inevitably see yourself living in. But before you get carried away with that heated outdoor swimming pool you quite fancy, work out your budget. Get advice on the your mortgage, and be realistic about what you can afford. It’s not wise to to stretch yourself too much financially.

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Position: Make sure you’re familiar with the area you’re buying in. If you’re moving to a new area, or even if it’s only a few streets from your current home, research what houses have been selling for. You might also want to check out schools, train links and possible noise problems like railway lines, motorways and flight paths.

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Presentation: This is all about the house and how it will work for you. How many bedrooms are there? Are the rooms versatile? Are they big (or small?). Which way is the house facing (south means afternoon sunshine)? Will the house need work, and can you afford it? Spend time looking at the property. And then go back and look again. And then again, if you can.

The Property Person, residentialpropertysearch.com

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