Selling your home: The complete guide

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Selling Your Home 1

We want to sell our house... now what?

Unless you’re a property developer, chances are you might be a little unsure about just what’s involved with selling a property. Do you need to pay for searches, or will the buyer do this? What are the other costs of selling a house?

It doesn’t help that regulations are changing all of the time so, unless you’ve sold a property in the last few years, chances are that your experience will be very different now.

So, whether you’ve done it all before or its your first time selling a house, this guide will provide a comprehensive run-through of the most common steps you’ll need to take during the process – with tips on how to make it as pain-free as possible.

Steps to selling a house

1. Alert your mortgage provider

First things first, tell your mortgage provider that you're thinking of selling your home. Ask about any penalties you’d incur for paying back your mortgage early. If you plan on buying a new home, ask if your current mortgage is portable, meaning that you can transfer it from your current home to the new property.

Alternatively, if your agent has a specialist mortgage advisor, they will be able to check this for you. We work with Mortgage Matters Direct who are Number 1 mortgage broker on Trust Pilot.

Got a question? Ask Mortgage Matters Direct

If you’re lucky enough to be mortgage free, use this time to get the rest of your finances in order. Establish a feasible budget, taking into account the cost of buying a home, as well as selling one. This will help you to determine a comfortable price range for your new home.

2. Arrange a valuation

This will establish the price you want to sell your property for. Get two or three estate agents around to help steer you in the right direction.

Also, bear in mind that some buyers may try to negotiate a discount so factor in a little leeway to your initial asking price.

3. Instruct an agent

Selling your home is a big decision, but with the right estate agent on board it shouldn’t be a stressful one. That’s why choosing an estate agent to sell your home is perhaps the most important decision you can make throughout this process.

Don’t just go with the agent who offers the lowest commission. Do your research to find out what each estate agent offers. Are proven selling methods such as open houses and sealed bids included in the package? It might also be an idea to find out how your agent is reviewed on TrustPilot. Also, be aware of agents overpricing your property to get the business only to return a few weeks later to ask for a price reduction.

4. Prep your house for sale

Now the fun begins. Depending on its overall condition, staging a home for sale could be a quick and inexpensive job, or something which requires more care and attention. In any case, this process doesn’t have to be an ordeal. We even have some home-staging tips which can help you.

5. Find a conveyancer

Your conveyancer will handle all of the legal issues with selling your property – everything, from applying for official copies of the title deeds to liaising with your buyer’s solicitors. They’ll ultimately agree a completion date with your buyer so it’s absolutely vital that you go with a conveyancer who comes highly recommended.

At Douglas Allen we have been working with a conveyancing partner for over 15 years. They have been awarded the Regional Firm of the year for London and the South East in the LFS conveyancing awards 2018.

Find out about approved conveyancers

Finally, remember to:

1. …sell before you buy

Avoid the temptation to look for your new home before you’ve sold your old one. No matter how desirable your current home is, selling will, in all likelihood, take longer than finding.

If you find your next home too quickly, you may run the risk of losing it because you’ve yet to find a buyer. Worse still, you may be forced to accept a much lower offer for a quick sale on your own home in order to keep hold of your new home.

Save yourself any heartache or stress and focus on selling your current home first. Investigate areas which you’d like to live in and keep a keen eye on pricing trends but steer clear of finding your dream home until you have a buyer for your own.

2. …be an organised seller

An organised seller is a serious seller – your buyers (and their solicitors) will thank you for it. Keep a file with all of the relevant planning permissions, EPC certificates, Fensa certificates etc which apply to your home. If you suspect these might be lost, make sorting out a replacement copy one of the first things you do.

These documents will be required before you know it and failure to produce them may even result in losing your buyer. Don’t take the risk.

3. …only accept the best

If you have any doubts about the energy that your agent is putting into the sale of your home, consider switching. Any estate agent worth their salt will be marketing your home through every available channel. They’ll be arranging frequent viewings and keeping in regular contact to tell you what they’re going to try next.

If your agent isn’t 100% committed to selling your home, chances are it won’t happen or the process will be far more arduous than it needs to be.

For more information about how to sell your home, drop in to your local branch.

How much your property is worth? Find out with a free and instant online property valuation.