According to the latest UK Residential Market Survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICs), high prices in many areas of the country are hampering demand. A limited supply of properties for sale is also an issue, although there are signs that December’s decisive election vote may have made some feel more confident about selling. According to latest figures from HMRC, there were 104,670 residential property transactions in December last year, 6.8% higher than in December 2018. If you’re considering putting your home on the market this year, there are things you can do to boost your chances of a successful sale. Here’s what you need to know.


Get your finances sorted

Making sure you have your finances in order so that you can move quickly once you’ve found a buyer can help speed the whole process along. It’s a good idea to obtain a mortgage in principle before you start your property search, so that you can demonstrate to sellers you’re serious about moving. This is essentially a statement showing how much a lender might be prepared to lend you, although it is not a guarantee that you’ll get a mortgage for this amount. Check your current mortgage for any early redemption penalties first. If there are any, you may be able to port your mortgage across to your new home, so contact your lender to see if this will be possible.

Find the right agent

Always get valuations from at least three different estate agents before you put your home up for sale and find out exactly what each one has to offer. For example, which property websites will your home be listed on, is there a tie-in period, and how much will you have to pay when it sells? Don’t be afraid to see if agents will be prepared to negotiate on their fees. With properties in short supply, they’ll be keen to get your business, putting you in a strong bargaining position.

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Boost your property’s kerb appeal

There are few bigger turn-offs for homebuyers than a property with a scruffy front garden, falling down fences and chipped or dirty paintwork. Make your home’s first impression as good as it possibly can be by tidying up outside and applying a lick of paint both externally and internally where necessary. It’s also a good idea to clear out any clutter too. Buyers will want to be able to visualise themselves living in your property, which will be impossible to do if every square inch of space is filled with your things.

Start your search

Whilst you won’t be in a position to make an offer on another property until yours is under offer, it’s a good idea to start your search for your next home early, so you have a clear idea of what sort of properties are available in your budget. Bear in mind though that some agents won’t let you view properties unless you have an offer on yours, but it’s still worth signing up for alerts from property websites so you know what’s around.

Have a solicitor on standby

You’ll need to have a solicitor ready to handle your conveyancing, which is the legal work involved in selling and buying a property. As with estate agents, make sure you compare quotes from several different solicitors before choosing one - don’t just go with the one recommended by your estate agent.