Jayachandran/Mint
Jayachandran/Mint

Plan to sell a house? 6 things you must do

Upgrading a property and taking help of consultants can help fetch the highest possible price

Finance minister Arun Jaitely announced many homebuyer-friendly measures in the Union budget. Various stakeholders such as developers and property brokers say that home sales have improved, albeit moderately, at the rate of around 5% over the past 3-4 months. Also, many expect the demand to rise during the ongoing festive season.

If you have been looking to sell your property, now may be a good time. However, selling a property is a long-drawn process—even in a healthy market, it usually takes 4-6 months. But in the present scenario, which is said to be a buyer’s market, it may take even more time to sell at a reasonable price as the number of sellers outnumber that of buyers. Here are the six steps that will make the selling process simpler.

Prepare property for sale

First impression matters; make your property look better compared with others on sale in the vicinity. “The current market has many sellers but fewer buyers," said Aditya Verma, chief executive officer, Makaan.com, a realty portal. In such a scenario, differentiating the property would be a key factor as buyers are spoilt for choice. If you want to sell the house at market price, you will have to “prepare the home" before putting it up for sale, explained Verma. Minor repairs and renovations can make it more attractive and marketable; this will push up the property on the saleability scale. Major repairs and renovations could yield you the highest returns when your house is placed in the market.

“Basic repair work and renovation makes the property more appealing which adds to its capital appreciation," said Ganesh Vasudevan, chief executive officer, IndiaProperty.com, a real estate portal. The most financially beneficial parts to remodel in a house are the bathrooms and kitchen. Newly remodelled cooking areas, cabinets and slabs always add value. It could help in justifying a higher selling price, though the pricing, in any case, will not exceed the going market rate for the locality.

Set the asking price

This is a problem area for most individual sellers—deciding the selling price. You have to be very careful about the price that you should quote for your property. Quoting an unreasonably high price could keep away genuine buyers. “While under-pricing may lead to non-realization of property value, overpricing will not invoke interest from buyers or brokers," added Verma. A suitable price will depend on a lot of factors. However, an easy way to determine price would be to take into consideration the average sale price at which similar properties were sold in the last 3-6 months in the neighbourhood. Go through real estate classified, magazines, property-specific portals and consult property dealers.

Clear all dues

Before you put your property up for sale, ensure all dues—utility bills, society maintenance, property tax and so on—are paid till date. Also enquire and understand about the transfer charges and processes, if any, that prevail in the society where your property is situated.

Keep documents handy

You should have the original sale deed or conveyance deed with you. In case you bought it from a housing development authority or a developer, you should have the allotment letter, sale agreement and possession letter. A no-objection certificate from the society becomes very important if you are living in a gated or a group housing society. Moreover, if you had borrowed money from a financial institution to buy the property, make sure you have the encumbrance certificate or the loan clearance certificate if you have cleared the loan. You could also keep a copy of the loan statement as proof to show the outstanding loan amount and other relevant details.

Take help of intermediaries

As mentioned earlier, since this is a buyer’s market you need to try and reach out to as many prospective buyers as possible. Other than word of mouth, you could take the help of real estate agents as well as place advertisements in property classifieds and realty portals.

“Identification of a good agent is extremely important as they can handhold the seller through the entire process," said Verma.

You can also use online realty portals. This way you can save on brokerage, which you would have to pay if you sell via a broker. However, keep in mind that by selling your property through a portal means that you will have to handle all the paperwork yourself. While listing the property on a portal, there are different plans that you can choose from; charges vary with plans. For instance, if you opt for the basic listing option on Makaan.com, you will have to pay 799 wherein you can display one property image and your listing remains live on the site for a minimum of 30 days. Under the fast response listing, you will have to pay 1,299 wherein the website prominently displays your property listing on search result pages. You can display up to five property images and your listing remains live on the site for a minimum of 60 days. Similarly on 99acres.com, you have two options to choose from. One is free and for paid listing it charges 850 per listing. In case of paid listing, it provides higher priority on search results, better visibility and branding. It also provides preference in property alert emails sent to interested buyers pan-India.

Listing a property

Listing a property on a portal involves a simple process. You need to give, in a prescribed format, basic details related to the property such as the type of the property, exact address, the selling price (if you want to sell) or tentative rent (if you want to rent it out). You can also put up details such as the time of construction, time of possession, ownership type and so on. If there is an option to put a picture of the property, do so. Providing information such as details about neighbours, locality or nearest hospitals, schools, markets and clubs also help in selling or renting out a property.

Once you post your property, keep refreshing your property in regular intervals, say 2-3 days. It will help keep your property among the first few options when someone searches for similar properties. When you get an inquiry regarding the property, respond at the earliest—it is believed that one should try and respond at least within an hour.

Final word

These are some of the things that could help ease the sale procedure. However, keep in mind that real estate is a heterogeneous product which means that what impacts property prices and market conditions in one area will be different for another. Do your research to see what the factors are that need to be taken into consideration and if it indeed is the right time to sell your house. A certain section of the realty market is of the belief that capital values are set to move up in the next 3-4 quarters and it makes sense to wait, at least for those who can.

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