Are you getting ready to move house? Neil Allsopp, partner at ATC solicitors and based in our Holywood office, has put together a checklist. These are things that must be put in order before letting the viewers (or even the estate agent) through your door.

1. Are you tied in to your current mortgage?

Before you do any house-hunting, check with your current mortgage adviser to ensure that there are no nasty penalties waiting for you if you change or increase your loan.

2. Do a serious Spring Clean of your home.

Before asking any estate agents to value your home, make sure that you have truly presented it as well as possible. Make sure that the outside has plenty of “kerb appeal” and the any accumulated clutter (we all have some) has been sorted out. Maybe borrowing space in a relative’s garage or renting a storage unit for a few months might help you clear out some of your stuff. Your house will seem bigger and more appealing to both the estate agent and any buyers and this will help secure a better price.

3. Now get you home valued

Start by doing some research online. The various Northern Ireland property listings websites will certainly give you a rough figure. Then, getting a few of your local estate agents in the door will give you a pretty good idea of the asking price. That should get interested buyers in the door.

4. Decide how you are going to market your home

You now have a choice to make. Should you sign up with a conventional estate agent? These are probably the folks who valued your house for you and they will do much of the work for you. You might instead choose an online listings agent. They will cost you a lot less money but you will have to do more, such as showing buyers around.

5. Get yourself a reliable solicitor

This may well be the biggest investment that you make during your lifetime. You need to make sure that your money is protected. Additionally, having a great solicitor can help reduce the stress of the whole process.

6. Get some (more) trustworthy financial advice

Apart from Step 1, you will need to re-assess your financial position now that you have a better idea of your costs and how much your current home is worth. For many people, this will involve speaking with a mortgage adviser or their bank or building society.


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