In the last piece in their guide to selling your home privately, SellMyProperty.org tackles the final and most complicated step of the process: closing the deal.
You've managed to handle a lead, conduct a viewing, and converted that original enquiry into a sale. But what do you do now? How does a sale actually take place? What if they have cold feet? How do you close the real estate deal without an estate agent?
Here are Sell My Property's tips to finishing a transaction. (Note: Depending on the country where your property is located, these may vary slightly.)
Negotiate - but be firm
When you accept an offer from a potential buyer, it may not be the price on the label. In periods of economic downturn, it is vital to be flexible to ensure a successful sale: there is nothing wrong with negotiation. But while being realistic in your asking price is important, you don't want to be a doormat. This is, after all, your property. Be firm, but be fair. The best thing to do is set a figure in your head that you are prepared to accept and refuse to go below it - and, of course, refuse politely.
Keep communication open
This makes all the difference when negotiating a final figure: it is impossible to negotiate without being able to talk. So make sure your communications are all open, from email to telephone, and that you are always available. If it looks like you aren't interested in talking to them, they could well walk away and buy someone else's home.
Accept in writing
Once you've reached a price that you both agree on, accept their offer officially. That means not just saying it in person or over the phone but also writing it down on paper - or, if you prefer, email.
Hire a solicitor
Here comes the complicated part. The good news? You don't have to deal with it. Hire a solicitor to handle the transaction for you and let the experts take care of the legal bits, such as the passing over of the title deeds and drawing up of a contract. This is an unavoidable cost, but one that should hopefully be offset by selling privately instead of through an estate agent.
Prepare to be surveyed
Once the offer has been officially been accepted, you can expect a visitor within a few days: a surveyor. The contract will give the buyer the right to have the property surveyed by their own experts - as you are selling privately, you will probably have to arrange to be in the house to meet them and let them into the property.
Be ready for renegotiations
Once the buyer's survey has been completed, you may face another round of negotiations. If the surveyor has found problems with the building or work that needs doing, the buyer may ask to renegotiate to a lower offer. Again, be firm, but fair. Is there work that needs doing to the property? If so, perhaps you should be prepared to lower the price accordingly. Again, your solicitor will handle this.
Sign the contract
The simple step is saved for last. Once your solicitors have agreed everything between them, you sign the contract and so does the buyer. And that's it. You've sold your home.
Now all you need to do is find a new place to live. Luckily, we know of a place with a few properties for sale...
For expert advice on how to sell your home and information on listing your property online, click here.