Q. I’m looking at selling my first property - can you give me some tips on how to go about it with minimal stress?

 

A. Choosing the right agent is the best place to start. Don’t automatically go for the one who values your home highest as they could just be trying to buy your business, or the one who quotes the lowest fees as in most things, cheap rarely equals quality.

 

You want an agent who knows the local market and will give you reliable, professional advice and a quality service at all times. Personal recommendation is always good but failing that, your best bet is to go for a well-established, owner-operated local agent – one whose whole business depends on delivering quality service, rather than hitting targets set by a head office. If you really want to keep stress levels to the minimum, it would also help to choose an agent who can offer a complete service, including things like conveyancing.

 

Your asking price is obviously hugely important in determining how quickly and smoothly your sale proceeds. You naturally want the highest possible price but you don’t want to scare away any potential buyers so my best advice here is to listen to your agent.

 

You yourself can make a difference by ensuring that your home is presented in the best, most saleable condition and take the time to gather together any planning consents, building regulation approvals and relevant guarantee certificates for things like gas and electrical installations, woodworm, damp-proofing, double glazing and so on – it’s much less stressful to do it in advance than in a last-minute panic!