Top 10 Questions Asked By First Time Sellers

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One of the hardest moves you make in the property market is when you progress from a first-time home buyer to a first-time home seller. The learning curve is steep and you have other people to consider – your buyers – in addition to yourselves.

The questions are many and the lessons are plenty. We want to help make this transition as easy as possible for you by addressing the following top 10 key questions we most often hear from first-time sellers.

1. Am I ready to move?

A fundamental but incredibly important question to seriously consider before making any decisions. Are you truly ready to move, and why? 

Moving home is no small undertaking. It impacts multiple areas of your life such as work, family life and well-being, so before diving head first and engaging with external parties, consider the knock-on effect of this event and what you aim to gain from it in the end, besides from the obvious.

Assess whether now is the right time to commit to the process and see it through to completion. Once you know the answers to this then you will find your unwavering motivation to progress your sale.

2. Can I afford to move home?

There’s no denying that property is largely a numbers game. You cannot enter the market looking to buy or sell without considering the enormity of the financial outlay that comes with the process. Any experienced property professional, and experienced homeowner will advise that preparation is key – one of the basic tasks to tick off your list is to ensure that you have the funds to fuel a move and can sustainably afford the property change you are about to make. 

You can do this in a number of ways but make sure that you go beyond a simple Google search concerning affordability!

  • Start by getting your personal finance in order and ensuring you have a healthy credit score
  • Next, organise a property valuation to ascertain the value of your property
  • Once you have ticked off the first two, get in touch with a mortgage advisor – they will be able to assess your equity and affordability to move

3. Are there any financial penalties to be aware of?

Short answer: yes.

If you are tied into a fixed term mortgage there is a penalty charge when you break out of the term. Make sure you know what this is and factor it into your moving budget.

As mentioned previously, employing a reputable mortgage advisor will be able to factor this in to an affordability assessment. For independent mortgage advice, we can put you in touch with highly reputable mortgage and protection advisors.

4. What are the local market conditions like?

When you work with a reputable local estate agency that knows the market and area inside and out, this can certainly work to your advantage. They should be able to advise you on things such as whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market and therefore help to maximise your profits and minimise the time your home is on the market for. Get in touch today to speak to a member of the team.

It’s important to acknowledge and appreciate how the market fluctuates in response to demand and economic variances. A reputable agent will take this into consideration when managing clients and new listings. In contrast to an online agent, a local professional will be able to apply their specific local knowledge to the economic principles and deliver you a more relevant and reliable instruction.

5. Should I sell my home before finding a new one or vice versa?

Much like asking what came first – the chicken or egg? We appreciate it’s a catch 22 conundrum but based on our experience we recommend that you sell first, and here’s why…

If you find a property you’re desperate to buy, by the time you’ve found the right agent, signed the terms, had your photographs taken and agreed a marketing strategy, launched your property and found the right buyer, the property you want will likely be gone. Market first. The right buyer will wait for you to find your next move. We highly recommend that you accept an offer on your own property before committing to purchasing another.

6. What preparation do I need to do ahead of moving?

This is an open-ended question that we will delve further into in an up-coming blog topic. In a nutshell, prepare as much as you can to increase your knowledge and understanding of your situation, organise all of your key and relevant paperwork, establish a clear budget, secure a mortgage in principle and identify which estate agency best aligns with your values and can truly support you with all of your moving needs within your required timescales.

At the front-end of your moving process, it is a good idea to communicate your buying intentions to your agent so they can get a head start on looking for your new home.

7. How do I prepare my home for market?

There’s a lot that you can do to prepare your home before a sale, even before you get in touch with anyone to value your property. 

Here are our top tips to get you started:

  • Start by decluttering to showcase the maximum space available in your property. Buyers are always pleased to see clear space and storage possibilities. 
  • Give your home a thorough deep-clean, inside and out. There is extraordinary value in amplifying kerb appeal of a property – after all you want to entice people to step inside your home rather than run away from a ghastly and unkempt exterior. Set standards high from the moment they are outside.
  • Depersonalise – this helps potential buyers envisage themselves living in the property rather than viewing it as your home.
  • Fix small issues such as leaky taps, scuff marks on walls, and peeling wallpaper. Small repairs that make a big difference and don’t add to the mental list overwhelming prospective buyers. If you can make a buyer’s life easier at little to no cost to yourself you’ll appear far more attractive than other sellers.

8. Who should I work with?

There is no higher value than a personal recommendation. When you are looking to work with estate agents, mortgage brokers, solicitors and other professionals it is always worth asking friends and family for their experiences and recommendations. In addition to this, when it comes to choosing a property expert, make sure you work with people who know the area you are looking to move to and from, have experience buying and selling properties like your own, and ensure that the people you work with are people you are comfortable speaking with and trust their opinions. Buying and selling property is a big life event and you want to feel confident and safe in the hands of the team you are working with.

9. Is there anything I need to disclose to my buyers?

As part of the process you will be required to complete a TA6 (Property Information) form which will identify anything that’s wrong with the property. Generally speaking, it’s best practice to carry out any required repair work prior to selling your property. Consider being on the receiving end of your property and what you would expect, like or dislike knowing about a property concerning defects and required repair works. Placing yourself in the buyer’s shoes will help you make some decisions concerning the repairs you are prepared to carry out prior to the sale.

10. What can I do to make my sale stand out?

This is one of the most important and popular questions because it’s essentially the golden ticket that speeds up and secures your sale. A guaranteed benefit to any potential buyers is engaging with a seller who is organised, available to communicate efficiently and goes the extra mile. Little touches such as providing specific information about the property that is not immediately apparent such as who installed the kitchen, details and guarantees on any work that has been done to the property, what insulation is in place, when the boiler was last serviced, and so on. All of this demonstrates an organised, and reliable seller that will in turn increase buyer confidence moving forwards.

Sims Williams is an estate and letting agent covering Arundel, Bognor Regis, Chichester and The Six Villages. If you have been considering investing via any of these schemes and would like to discuss the available properties that are available to you in the current market please do get in touch.

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5 Star Service

We truly couldn’t have had a better agent representing us in the sale of our property the service we received from start to finish was nothing short of 5 star. John consistently went above and beyond throughout the entire process. He well and truly exceeded our expectations and made what is the most stressful time far easier. Thank you John and Sims for all you have done we truly appreciate everything you did to facilitate the sale of our property.
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The service I had from the staff in Sims Williams Walberton office was exceptional. They guided me through the whole process from preparing the house for marketing to concluding the sale. A very smooth, quick and trouble-free sale. Thank you to everyone involved.
Bill H - Vendor - Sep 14th, 2020


Was going to sell but due to Covid ended up going the rental route and the team at Chichester made this effortless for this first time landlord. Highly recommend this estate agents for both sales and renting.
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Our experience of buying a property through Sims Williams in Walberton was faultless. Always updated on progress and answered any questions we had . Thank you .
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We genuinely couldn’t have been happier with our house purchase and the unwavering support we received from Sims Williams every step of the way. We purchased a new build property and Sims were a fantastic conduit between us and the builder. We are now settled in our new home and look forward to spending many happy years ahead enjoying our new space made possible with Sims Williams support.
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Really helpful and efficient. Nothing too much trouble. Excellent service. David Vawdrey is highly efficient and charming to deal with. thank you
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Thanks to their unrivalled local knowledge, Sims Williams were able to advise me from an early stage on the most appropriate house styles and sizes for the development. Their marketing of the properties was an excellent balance between online and personal service and exchanging contracts on the final property was the culmination of a really good close working relationship.
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I live in the United States, so I cannot manage my property in West Sussex. Sim's Williams has been managing this property for just over a year now. I cannot adequately express my gratitude and pleasure in the service I have obtained. I highly recommend Sim's Williams.
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Sims Williams have always provided constructive development advice on various schemes for us. Their local knowledge on both house type demand and suitable blends, together with their extensive research of comparable prices, gives me great confidence in the information they provide. Having successfully marketed our Holly Tree Grove development of 7 executive homes, I would have no hesitation in recommending the services of Sims Williams. Their local knowledge, proactive marketing and advice on values was second to none.
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