Three hints to bring a sale to completion
There are basically two ways you can go about moving home, one is to buy a property first and then sell your old one and the other is to sell your property first and then by a new one. If you go for the first approach you have the advantage of securing a new, permanent, place to live before giving up your old one, but you do open yourself up to potentially stressful situations if the sale of your home falls through. Here are three tips on how to prevent that from happening.
Pre-qualify your buyer
As a seller, it’s only natural that you want to achieve the best possible sales price for your home. At the same time, however, it’s generally a good idea to remember the old saying “if something appears to be too good to be true, the chances are that it probably is”. In other words, a particular buyer may be ready to make you an offer which is (well) above the other offers on the table, but you have to ask yourself why they are doing so and, crucially, how they are going to pay for it. Unless you have 100% confidence in their ability to put their money where their offer is, you might be better accepting a lower offer from a buyer who is clearly in a strong position to buy.
NB: When dealing with high-street estate agents, your agent will generally take steps to determine a buyer’s financial standing. When dealing with online agents, you may have to take responsibility for this yourself.
Try to keep chains short
This is really an extension of the previous point. As the old saying goes, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, it therefore follows that the more links there are in a chain, the more likely it is that at least one of them will be weak. That being so, harsh as it may seem, you usually want to try to avoid buyers who are at the top of long chains.
NB: Although this article is about getting sales to completion, similar comments apply to onward chains. If your seller is at the bottom of a long chain, then there is a higher level of risk that they will be forced to pull out of the sale, even if doing so involves a penalty.
Be proactive in keeping your sale moving forward
Once you have an offer you are perfectly entitled to breathe a sigh of relief that you no longer have to keep your home in pristine, decluttered, condition for viewings. Your job, however, is not yet quite done. If you really want to maximize your chances of completing successfully then as an absolute minimum, you need to be on the ball, ready to respond, promptly to any questions or requests which come your way and if you can’t answer them immediately, then set expectations appropriately and keep people updated. Also, be prepared for there to be some further negotiations on price after the surveyor makes their report. Negotiation is a two-way process so be aware that you may have to give a little in order to complete the sale.