Check any indoor plants to make sure that they look healthy. Some colourful cut flowers will brighten up darker rooms.Board out your pets for the day. Some people don’t like animals in the house, even if you regard the cat or dog as a member of the family. Send the children off to stay with friends. Some buyers might not take kindly to having boisterous juveniles around when they’re thinking of spending large sums of money.Check for dust – cleanliness counts everywhere, not just in the toilet and bathroom.Open the drapes and curtains. Let prospective buyers see as much of the house in natural light as possible.Let the agent do the talking and keep in the background as much as possible. Some prospective buyers may make remarks about your house – or your handy work if you have done some renovating – that could upset you. It is sometimes very difficult not to take offence particularly if people start commenting adversely on the state of your kitchen or bathroom.
Remember, some buyers will not deal directly with the owner.
Both the vendor’s and buyer’s solicitors are responsible for making sure that the contract is fair and reasonable for both sides.
The vendor’s solicitor will normally be involved in the conveyancing only to the extent of making certain documents available to the buyer’s solicitor.
Conveyancing is basically the business of transferring the legal ownership of the property from one person to another.
It involves land title searches to ensure that the vendor is the legal owner, and searches to determine whether any other bodies have an interest in the property.
For instance, the Roads and Traffic Authority has an interest in the property (perhaps for a road widening scheme) or whether any other authorities (power, water, sewerage and the rest) might be involved.
Unless you have sold at auction (in which case the contract will already have been drawn up and signed after the successful bid) the contract will have been drawn up before your house or unit was advertised.
If a prospective buyer expresses interest in the house or unit the next step is for your agent to secure an agreement. At this stage the buyer also has the right to organise any inspections he or she may want – ie pest, building, and can go ahead with raising or confirming the necessary finance.
Your solicitor can now proceed to finalise the duplicate contracts of sale by inserting any extra conditions you have agreed with the purchaser.
The contract should specify any fittings or fixtures – blinds, light fittings, awnings, stoves, etc – which are being purchased with the property.
It should also include a specific date on which vacant possession of the house or unit will be granted.
Make a check-list of the agent’s recommendations and while you are at it you might draw up another list for the agent’s benefit.
This should emphasise any features you think enhance the value of your home, like central heating, insulation etc.
It should also refer to any reports you have obtained from builders or engineers or architects on the structure of the house, pest control reports, documents and receipts on pool care (if you have one) and the same for any landscaping or gardening works you may have had done.
On the same list you also write down the things you and your family like about the house and the neighbourhood and list convenient local amenities.
But perhaps the most important list of all is the one that is going to help you sell your house for the best possible price.