Thursday 30th August 2012
Moving HouseRecently, I moved into a new house having sold my flat. Today, I want to give a brief overview of the process in England (Wales and Scotland in particular may differ slightly from the below) to help others who are moving or are thinking of doing so.
ValuationThe first step is to get your property valued. To do this, visit an estate agent and ask them arrange a time for one of the agents to visit you. As this is a free service, you can go to more than one to compare the valuation. Depending on the agency, they will usually bring a pack along with them to give you an overview of the service that they offer. You should always ask what fee they charge for selling your home.
Estate Agents (Selling)When you go ahead and meet with the agency you want to use, they will ask you to sign a 'sole agency agreement' meaning that they are the agency you have chosen to use to sell your home. Some agencies will try to talk you into getting professional photos taken of your home for an extra fee, or you could take the option of using a standard digital camera. The agency will produce an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which shows your home's current and potential environmental efficiency rating. You may also need to pay a fee to get floor plans made up.
The value of your home, photos, EPC and floor plans will go on to a brochure, which showcases your home and will be made available to pick up by anyone from the branch or may get send around to potential buyers. You may get asked whether you would like to add your own summary of your home to the brochure.
The agency may work with a particular firm of solicitors (conveyancers) and mortgage advisors who will give them a fee if you are successfully referred to them. It is always worth trying to looking into getting quotes from other conveyancers and speaking to other mortgage advisors to see whether you are getting a good deal.
Soon, you will start getting calls from the agency about potential buyers who want to view your property. Ensure your home is as tidy as possible when people come over to view. Sometimes you will have to show the potential buyers around yourself and sometimes an agent may do this for you; providing they have a spare set of your keys.
Should your property sell, an estate agent will charge around £3,000 depending on the value.
Mortgage AdvisorsYou may need one if you need a mortgage to buy your new home; alternatively if you know what you are doing, you can approach lenders directly. As many advisors will not charge you, I recommend that you speak to one who will look into getting you the best mortgage deal from a range of lenders on the market. This will give you an idea of the price you can afford for your next property based on your income (for you alone or you and your partner) and the equity on the property you are selling.
Finding a PropertyNext, you need to find your ideal home. The estate agents will probably give you a load of brochures to look at and they may put you on their telephone list so that you get called when a property that matches what you are looking for appears on the market. One of the best websites to look for properties is Right Move. Try to find two or three properties that you want to look at and then speak to the relavent agencies to arrange viewings. Any property worth over £150,000 will incur stamp duty due to the government, which is 1% of the purchase price. This will be handled by the conveyancer on completion.
ConveyancersYou will need to appoint solicitors (conveyancers) for both the sale and purchase of your property. You may get a discount if you choose to use the same conveyancer for both. They will ask you to fill in forms relating to your sale and purchase. Some conveyancers will want you to meet with them regularly to discuss any updates and some will correspond mainly via post or e-mail. However, you will need to go in to the office initially to show proof of identity. Conveyancers can cost over £800 for each transaction, so ensure you have around £2,000 to cover this.
OffersWhen you put your property up for sale, the agency may advise that you specify a range of values starting at the minimum would you would be willing to accept up the the highest realistic value. One advantage of this is that they may add your property to Right Move twice - once at the lowest value and once at the highest. When someone makes you an offer, they may try to offer the lowest value first. If you decide to say no - they may come back with a better one. If you are not getting any views or offers, then either the value is set too high or your agency is not marketing your property well enough.
When making an offer yourself, you can start at the lowest value and then go up slightly if the seller says no until you reach the maximum amount you are willing or can afford to pay.
After Offers Have Been AcceptedOnce this has happened, you can expect to wait around eight weeks for the conveyancers to complete all their enquiries and this can be longer if there is a chain or other complications. You will need to sign the contracts for both the sale and the purchase. Once these have been exchanged, a completion date can be agreed on for when you will actually move - this will normally be on a Friday. The mortgage lender will normally require you to have set up building insurance (if applicable), which will need to be done on the date contracts are exchanged.
My ExperienceAs this was the first time I had sold a property, we were not fully aware of the process and found it stressful at times, particularly when the moving date kept getting delayed. Doing research into the process beforehand by either looking online or asking someone who has done it before will definitely help. We had a lot of contact with both estate agents and our solicitors whenever we had a question - remember they are there to help. I believe we looked at about six properties before we found the right one for us - try to view as many as you have time for as you may be surprised that a property you may be indifferent about initially turns out to be your dream home. As we did not have many items to move, we just hired a van, at the price of about £60 and made two trips. If you need a removal firm, this can cost thousands, depending on how much help you get from them and the distance you are moving.
I hope I've covered the main points. If you have a question, please ask below!
Saturday 25th August 2012
Blog2kIt has been two years and two months since my last blog entry. This is mainly due to the fact that I am now undertaking an Open University degree and have only had a very limited time to do other things.
In order to make writing these blog entries a quicker and more efficient process, I have invested some time in creating a program (written in VB6 of course), to help out. I have cleverly named this program 'Blog2k'.
I do enjoy writing the blog and I know that I could use one of the many websites that are available to write one, but since I already have this site, I thought that it made sense to make the most out of it. Previously, it was necessary to edit the blog's index.php file and the navigation bar and create all screenshot thumbnails manually. Blog2k takes care of all this automatically so that all I need to do is concentrate on trying to think about what to write about next!
All I have to do is write, make two clicks and then upload the necessary files to the FTP server.
Blog2k is really an HTML source code editor for the blog. As you can see in the screenshot (which was created by Blog2k from an image on the clipboard), it is possible to insert a variety of different HTML tags. I need to get around to adding a quick way of creating links at some point.
Anyway, that's all for now, but I have many more things to write about in the days ahead.