Selling your home can be a daunting prospect, but it doesn’t have to be. Much of the fear is around not fully understanding the steps involved when selling a property, so here’s a step by step guide to help you.
On a personal note, we recently sold a property and the process was plain sailing from start to finish – thanks to the team at Elite Property in Coventry for that https://www.eliteproperty.co)
Do you need to sell your house?
If you’re thinking of selling because you want more space then would an extension or room conversion be an option to consider? With stamp duty adding a significant cost to moving, could that money be better used to create extra space in your existing property?
Determine how much you can afford.
If you have an existing mortgage, contact your lender to find out the outstanding mortgage and if there are any early redemption fees to pay.
Get a valuation of your property and then take off the outstanding mortgage amount as this will give you an idea of how much you have to play with.
Early on, you will only have approximate figures to work with, but enough to give you an idea of what you can and can’t afford.
Do you need to rent in the interim?
If the property you want to buy isn’t ready yet, or your ideal next home just isn’t on the market just yet, then renting is an option.
However, the cost of renting will add to the overall expense but at least it does reduce the time pressure of finding a new home.
Renting also means you’re in a slightly better negotiating position to hold out for the best price for your property. Not having an upward chain will mean you’ll be a more attractive buyer.
Selling your property
Selling your home is something that can be done yourself, by a traditional estate agent or by an online agent. If you choose an estate agent, be in a traditional or online agent, then you’ll need to do your research. If you do choose an estate agent to sell your home, then you’ll need to choose either a sole agency or multiple agency contracts. It depends on how quickly you want to sell your home, but bear in mind that a multi-agency contract will carry a higher selling fee. Typically, sole agent fees are around 1% + VAT but if you can get lower than that, all the better.
Selling your home yourself requires patience, organisation, and hard work but can save you thousands of pounds in fees. It can be done, but just do your research first.
How much to sell for?
Determining the selling price is one of the most difficult decisions when selling your property. Research other houses similar to yours that have sold locally recently. Obtain valuations from 3 different estate agents and compare them. Don’t be tempted to automatically go with the agent who offers the highest selling price. A buyer is likely to negotiate a discount so add up to 10% to the selling price to build a cushion over the price you’d accept.
Preparing your home for sale
Making your house look presentable is a must when selling. Tidy up any clutter, dust the furniture and perhaps a lick of paint when needed. Bad odours are a real turn off for prospective buyers, so make sure you have pleasant smells in your house during any viewings – it will leave a good impression.
When selling a property, you’ll need the services of a solicitor or conveyancing company to take care of the legal work. Although you can choose which legal company you want to handle your sale, you can only instruct them once an offer has been accepted and sale agreed.
These are questionnaires that you complete to give information to the buyer of your property. You need to be honest and complete them to the best of your knowledge.
Your estate agent has a legal responsibility to pass all offers received to you, even the ridiculously low ones.
At this point, it’s up to you to instruct the estate agent what to do next. Either you can accept it, reject it or ask the agent negotiate it upwards on your behalf.
Once you’ve formally accepted an offer for your property, tell the estate agent to take your property off the market.
Yourself and the buyer of your property will need to decide the following:
- how long between an exchange of contracts and completion (this is usually between 7-30 days after contracts have been exchanged)
- The fixtures and fittings include, and how to much to pay for items not included.
- Any discounts relating to problems found by the survey.
Exchanging contracts is a legal commitment to selling the property, and your buyer is legally committed to buying your property from you.
If either party pulls out at this stage, they may be sued.
You can stay in your property until the completion day, although if you have somewhere to move to then it will be less stressful to move beforehand. You need to leave the property in the condition agreed in the contract, including the fixtures and fittings.
Usually around midday on the day of completion, funds are transferred and property deeds are transferred between the buyer and seller’s solicitor or conveyancer. The transfer or property ownership is also registered with the Land Registry.
Paying off your mortgage
If you have an outstanding mortgage, the balance will be paid by your solicitor or conveyancer to the mortgage company, using the funds received from your buyer.
Paying all other fees
nce completion has happened, it’s time to pay your estate agent and any other fees incurred as part of the sale. Your solicitor or conveyancer will send you a statement showing all fees paid.