Can you help? Utterly clueless(27 Posts)
Hello, looking for any help and advice as I honestly don't have a clue what I'm doing.
Bit of back story, I lost both of my parents incredibly young and as such inherited the house I currently live in. None of my friends own their own homes so I really don't have anyone to ask for advice.
I've decided to sell the house (London) and move to Brighton as a 3 bed semi is slightly ridiculous for just me and the dog! But I genuinely don't know where to start or how much things cost. I've been doing some research and that's only made me all the more confused.
For example do I have to have a survey done on my house? I've seen stuff about proving that the electrics are up to standard but as mum had all that work done I don't have any paperwork about that.
Do I start putting in offers on houses or do I wait till I have a buyer for mine? What's an MIP, do I need one? Do I pay the solicitors at the end or the beginning?
I'm bound to have a billion more questions as this goes on but would really appreciate some help from "proper" grown ups!
Start by finding out what your house is worth. Get three agents round to value it. Ask them what you need to do to the house, if anything. Look at Zoopla to see what similar houses nearby have sold for.
Once you know how much you'll have to spend or put down as a deposit you can look to see what you could buy in Brighton. If you need a mortgage then you could have a preliminary chat with a broker.
So you and your Ddog live in a semi in London with no mortgage and you want to move to somewhere smaller in Brighton? You lucky fishes! (But sorry for your loss.)
Where in London are you living? Honestly unless the house is falling down or there are weird issues with the lease/area/something else, you'll be laughing. If I were you, I'd start by getting a few estate agents round to have a look and give you an indication of price, then put the house on the market and see what happens. I wouldn't spend money on it but I would declutter as much as was humanly possible - a period house that clearly needs work is massively attractive to a lot of buyers, but one that's packed full of the owner's stuff is a lot more challenging and will put nervous buyers off.
First of all, I'm sorry for your loss - it must be very difficult to cope with all this stuff so young and without parental advice
Survey - no.... it is the responsibility of your buyers (or their mortgage company) to check out that the house is in good condition and worth what they are paying for it. That said, the more paperwork / guarantees you have, the better, so worth going through paperwork in early stages.
Most people won't accept an offer on what you want to buy, unless you are in a position to actually buy, so, it's worth doing lots of initial research, and viewing some properties to 'get a feel' for what you can afford / what you would like, but - whereas you can offer on a house, they will be unlikely to take it off the market until you have an offer on yours.
Solicitors all paid at the end.
It would be worth going in to an estate agent (or 3) and asking them for advice. Don't sign anything. don't agree to anything, but just see what consistently comes through from all the estate agents you ask, and they will no doubt mention things that we won't think of.
Sorry specific questions.
I would consider going to Brighton to look at areas to decide which you like and make a serious list of things you really want. You don't need to have a buyer for yours but sellers will consider your position if they have other interest. I've offered on houses successfully with no MIP. So you could consider selling up in London and renting in Brighton for 6 months to find your feet assuming you can take your dog.
Solicitors usually get paid at the end.
Yep definitely looking for a much smaller property, it's that or become a crazy dog lady and give him his own bedroom!
So we're in north London, I've already had a massive declutter and am planning on painting next week, read that a general white/cream all over is more appealing to buyers?
The bathroom I had completely redone a year ago but the kitchen is 15 years old now though not in a bad condition considering its age. Is that worth doing up before I get it valued? All the ones I see online seem to have brand new kitchens. Thanks for all the advice so far, didn't know about getting three agents in
And thank you for your condolences, Mum's been gone five years this summer and despite living here my whole life it's time to move on.
I wouldn't worry about the kitchen. I'd rather have a realistic price and design my own kitchen that have a brand new not right kitchen. Likewise painting magnolia or white is going to seem a bit stark. If it's tatty then tidy it up. Pale warm greys and natural wicker or hessian from Dulux seem to be popular colours. Refreshing yellowing gloss with a fresh white satinwood is also good.
Yes valued first - gives you a starting/search point
Yes to a quick refresh of paint declutter but make it homely
Tidy garden and clear garage - you'll do it anyway when you move so start now -
Take your own pics and study them - surprising what photos show up - odd pictures wonky curtains etc
Sign up at an agent - discuss fees and if there's a tie in time wise - ask about open days and where they advertise or if they have buyers looking - look on their web sites and see which is user friendly
Buyers may do a survey or electrical test damp survey etc if anything comes up
Think about a 6 month Brighton rental to get to know the area you like - and save you jumping at the first one
Painting everything is probably worth doing, mostly because it will look brighter and more attractive in photos. Beyond that, I honestly wouldn't bother doing much at all - you need to focus on your future and it sounds like you have a house that will be a great springboard for you to start your new life and a place someone else will be able to make a happy family home of for themselves.
Think about a 6 month Brighton rental to get to know the area you like - and save you jumping at the first one
I quite agree. I've moved towns a couple of times now and I've taken a short lease to get to know the place before committing.
What is wrong with the dog having his own bedroom? My cat has one......
Sign up at an agent - discuss fees and if there's a tie in time wise ask about open days and where they advertise or if they have buyers looking - look on their web sites and see which is user friendly
What does that mean please?
I've not been in a situation like this but I would think it would be worth contacting the solicitor who dealt with your mother's will and estate to be the solicitor for the sale.
If you decide to sell through one certain agent then they might say that you have to keep the property on their books for 6 weeks or whatever.
I'm lucky that my best friend lives in Brighton so have pretty much spent every weekend there for the last two years so have a good idea of the area I like, Preston Park if anyone knows it?
The dog absolutely cannot have his own room, I'm already on the edge of mad dog lady status, not quite prepared to jump all the way in just yet
Ah ok, understood. That's a really good idea about the solicitor, will do, when do I get the solicitor involved? When someone makes an offer on my house or when it goes on the market?
Solicitor usually ha set fees - so makes no difference - they will deal with the sale of yours and buying a new place - ring and ask for quotes -
Estate agents charge a % of the value of you property and the solicitor pays them from your house sale -
*pays both - estate agent and themselves -
Identify a solicitor in your area that you want to deal with in advance and once you have a valuation, get quotes. If the firm that handled your parents' affairs was good then start with them. Ask anyone you know at work for recommendations. I prefer a local solicitor or conveyancer than a distance one that you find online.
When you accept an offer your estate agent usually sends a memorandum of sale to your nominated solicitor which gets the ball rolling.
Poot have a read of these, it gives a very basic overview of what happens and in what order and who does what. The first link is for selling, the second is for buying.
Don't underestimate the stress involved in both buying and selling, it's a very frustrating process, mostly because everything is taken out of your hands and the professionals that you are paying can appear to delay things a lot.
One piece of advice, do not use a conveyancer, choose a reputable solicitor.
Some estate agents in London don't charge the seller any fees as they have a shortage of properties -instead they charge the buyer. -I recently sold this way -didn't seem to put any buyers off so worth finding that out too.
Good luck with your fresh start
Firstly as people have said ask three estate agents to value your house, this is free. Choose based on who sells similar types of properties, how they operate in. Do they accompany viewings, have an open house etc. Also who would you like to deal with do you want the slick sales type bod or the one with integrity? Ask them what their fees are, it will be a percentage and will be negotiable so if you like one more than another but their fees are higher it's quite acceptable to match their competitors fee. Bare in mind some EA's will try to get your business by giving you a mic her higher valuation, it's not always the right way to go as you may not sell and then have to reduce the price a few weeks down the line by which point buyers have seen your property in right I've and wonder what's wrong with it. Often a more reasonable asking price generates more viewings and a higher price in the end.
Don't do any work on the house other than painting if necessary people love to put new kitchens in themselves.
Don't look at property in Brighton other than on right move until you have an offer, if you find somewhere and fall in love with it you'll make rash decisions on your sale.
Get a solicitors quote but the person who dealt with your DM"s will may not do conveyancing, it's worth asking the estate agents for recommendations. There are lots of solicitors who are hard to get hold of and don't communicate with you or the estate agents and this can make things hard the EA's will know which local people are on the ball.
The solicitors will give you a quote for selling and one for buying, at the end of the process they take their fees and the estate agents fee out of the proc des of the sale.
You need to also take into account that you will pay stamp duty in the property you sell, this is a percentage that increases the higher the cost of the hous in the same way income tax does. There are stamp duty calculators online this can be a lot of money so you need to account for it. It's also d ducted from the sale and paid by the solicitor.
When offers come in take your EAs advice a good one is working for you and wants you to get the best buyer. The buyers position is important too someone who is a first time buyer or no chain behind them is preferably to someone with a long chain that could fall apart beyond your control. Also a buyer with a large deposit or even cash is much less beholden to their lender so if the valuation their lender does (they pay) is lower than their offer it isn't as important as someone with only 10% deposit as they've got no wriggle room.
Once you've accepted an offer get off the Brighton and start looking and we can advise from there.
Guess what my job is.
Don't rent for six months I don't think six month tendencies even exist any more and Brighton is a fantastic place to live although Hove actually is better. Be brave get at least three estate agents round one will probably give you a silly high valuation but you can then put your house on the market. You don't need to do anything to your current house but tidy and declutter then decluttter again as the first time you won't get rid of enough. I would give yourself five or six weeks to decluttter and especially if you've still got lots of your parents stuff, sorry for your loss . I bought first on my own in my twenties and it was scary but it will be ok. Once you've tidied the house and got a value you can start looking for your new home, how exciting.
Sorry don't know what happened there but stamp duty is on the property you BUY.
Thank you all very much for your advice, realising how little I know about the whole process is scary but am so determined for my new start.
I'll be back with more questions as I go along but am so grateful for all advice so far
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