Guide to Selling a House
The not-so-hard sell
Whether you’re thinking about selling your property or have had it on the market for a while, following the simple steps below will shift it faster than you can say ‘exchange and completion’.
Choosing an agent
There’s a lot to be said for gut instinct and the feeling of trust you get when you talk to an estate agent. But there’s also a lot to be said for professional marketing, competitive fees, local knowledge and high visibility. If you can find an agent who ticks all those boxes you’ve probably found your perfect one.
Transparent and trust. A real valuation.
There’s nothing to stop you pricing your property higher than all the other equivalent properties in your area. But that’s exactly what will stop prospective buyers even considering a viewing, let alone making an offer. Be sensible, realistic and take advice from your agent. If there’s a special reason for asking a bit more, make sure it’s clear in the marketing. In our experience, fair prices equal fast sales.
Let our local property experts guide you in the right direction. Our sales valuation are clear and concise, backed by decades of experience and local property knowledge. And the best bit? It’s completely free of charge.
Get ready to sell
It’s never too early to get a solicitor sorted. They can prepare all the background work while you’re getting the property ready for sale. So, if someone makes a good, early offer, you’ll be ready to move with less chance of it falling through due to legal delays.
And it’s never too early to get your property in a presentable state. Fixing little DIY jobs, tidying inside and out and even creating space by storing bulky furniture can pay dividends and makes a faster, full-price sale more likely.
Marketing & exposure
Your agent will put your property in front of the widest possible audience via their website, shop window and online platforms such as Zoopla and Rightmove. They should also offer to send your details to potential buyers on their database and push it out onto social media networks (at least that’s what we do!). But it also means you are competing with hundreds or even thousands of other properties. That’s why price, position and presentation are vitally important to a successful marketing effort, not just how many eyeballs get to see your details.
Flexibility is the name of the game here. Agents that open earlier and close later mean there’s more chance of arranging a viewing time that suits everyone. If you are still living in the property, causing minimum disruption to routine, especially if you have children, should be balanced with getting as many people as possible through the door. If buyers are seriously interested, they’ll normally accommodate your viewing timetable without a fuss. And if your property is unoccupied during normal working hours, leaving a key with the agent to do accompanied viewings is an excellent, non-disruptive strategy.
Our offices open from 8am-8pm Mon-Fri and 10am-5pm on Saturdays. Not flexible enough? We even do viewings on Sundays, subject to availability, but don’t worry we won’t knock too early.
If viewers haven’t been converted into buyers, or the marketing isn’t attracting attention, your agent can provide honest, constructive feedback to help hasten the process. They want your property to sell as much as you do, so it’s worth taking their comments on board. Similarly, if there’s anything you think they could be doing to help boost interest, tell them. That’s what you’re paying for at the end of the day.
Negotiating and agreeing an offer
As soon as your agent receives an offer, they will let you know. In addition to the offered price you should also consider the buyer’s circumstances, whether there’s a chain involved on their side and how quickly they can complete the deal. If you’re lucky enough to have more than one offer on the table, matching all the elements of the transaction with your own plans will ensure the smoothest move. It might make more sense to accept a slightly lower price if the sale will go through faster, if that’s a priority. If not, hold out to max out!
Surveys and solicitors
Once you have accepted an offer, your estate agent will take care of all the admin. They will contact the solicitors from both sides and then monitor progress. They will also request that the buyer carries out a mortgage survey within a few weeks of the agreed sale. By choosing a local estate agent with greater knowledge of the local market they will be better placed to advise the mortgage surveyors of the current market value of comparable homes to satisfy the lender.
Exchange and completion
Once everything has been agreed and sorted, contracts will be exchanged, and the buyer will send a 10% deposit to your solicitor. This is an important step as it signifies a legally binding deal. Your property is as good as sold.
When the remaining 90% of funds has been received by your solicitor the sale is completed and the buyer becomes the property’s new owner.