Selling your home can seem overwhelming, where do you even start? Our guide takes you through the entire process, from deciding to sell up to completion.
Assess your finances
Before you even consider selling your home, mull over whether it is financially viable. Depending on who you sell your property with, the process can be expensive, and that’s without factoring in the potential of buying another home and stamp duty.
It can be helpful to consider:
- What is the market like now?
- Are people selling similar properties in your area easily and for a good price?
- Would you be in negative equity if you sold now?
- Is downsizing the plan/an option?
- How much would it cost to move?
You should also get in touch with your mortgage lender to inform them of your intention to sell and understand how much you have left to pay. Furthermore, it will be worth asking if you could incur any penalties. Don’t forget to also consider a future mortgage if you are looking to buy.
Who will sell my property?
There are a variety of different ways to sell your home. Whilst there is nothing wrong with selling via a local and trusted estate agent, other options include:
- Sell privately
- Online estate agent
- Property auction
- House raffle
Each way of selling has different advantages and disadvantages for a seller relating to cost, self-management and speed of sale. At SOLD.CO.UK we offer our customers a complete selling service, sell your house online and sell your home for free. All are fully managed by our in-house experts and you will never be charged a penny by us – we even cover your legal fees. Get an instant valuation today to get an idea of how much your property is worth.
One of the most crucial decisions you will make, regardless of how you decide to sell, will be setting the asking price for your home. Whilst you can conduct your own research to put together a value, an estate agent – in any capacity – will liaise with you to set a realistic price based on factors such as wanting the maximum profit or needing a quick sale. You don’t need to accept a valuation from an agent and should never feel pressured; do your own personal research and work together.
Prepare property for viewings
The interior and exterior of your home is important when it comes to buyer appeal. Realistically people aren’t looking for show homes and understand residents are still living their regular lives. However, it can pay to undertake a few tasks to give your property the best chance of receiving the full asking price.
Inside your property you could:
- Undertake a general spring clean and remove cobwebs
- Touch up paint
- Declutter areas that are full of personal items
- Clean windows and mirrors
- Vacuum and mop floors
- Deep clean bathrooms and kitchens
- Open all curtains and blinds to let light in
- Add some plants or flowers to rooms
- Use diffusers or candles permeate nice odours
- Put lamps on in darker rooms
- Make areas as spacious and bright as possible
Outside your home you could:
- Mow any lawns that need attention
- Ensure all flower beds and potted plants are presentable
- Jet wash patios and decking
- Touch up any paint on doors, window frames and fences
- Clean gutters
- Sweep away and leaves and make gardens neat and tidy
- Clean the windows
- Inspect the roof for broken tiles
Hire a conveyancer or solicitor
When selling your home, you will need to hire a solicitor or a conveyancer to facilitate the transfer of ownership. Estate agents will often have a recommendation for you, but you are not obliged to use their services. Conduct your own research and gather quotes from solicitors and conveyancers. Make sure to read their terms of engagement and a draft contract before hiring them.
Negotiations & offer acceptance
When a seller is seriously interested in buying your house they will, via your agent, send you an ‘Offer to Purchase.’ This will be a value that they are willing to offer you for your house; more than likely it will be less than what its marketed for. You can point blank refuse the offer or offer a figure you find more agreeable. Negotiations on price can take time and they do not always result in a sale.
If you are happy with the offer, they have put on the table you can accept it. This will mean your property is no longer on the market. Don’t forget that until contracts have been signed and exchanged.
Following the offer acceptance and inevitable filling in of countless pieces of paperwork, a draft contract can be drawn up. You will undertake this task with your solicitor or conveyancer. Factors that can have an impact on the draft contract include survey findings and whether any fixtures or fittings need adding to sale and if they will be a charge for this.
At this point a decision can be made regarding timeframes for exchanging and completing.
There’s no backing out now. Exchanging contracts with the person buying your house is a legal indicator of sale. In the eyes of the law you must sell, and they must buy. Your solicitor or conveyancer will exchange the contracts for you, between yourself and the buyer you will need to decide upon an appropriate time and date.
After you exchange you should receive the buyer’s deposit.
Exchanging and completing on the same day does occur, but this can be a nervous experience when part of a long chain. Once contracts and keys have been exchanged the payment for the house will be transferred.
If the money is not transferred by 3pm you cannot complete, and it will have to take place the next day. Once completed the property deeds will be exchanged and your solicitor or conveyancer will register the transfer with the Land Registry.