From finding the right estate agents to avoiding loads of fees, this is your complete guide to selling a property
Taking you through every step of the house-selling process.
Before you get started
Selling your home can be a frantic time in your life – as you’re probably having to sort out the purchase of somewhere else to live at the same time.
But the process doesn’t have to be that stressful.
By breaking it down into manageable steps and tackling them one at a time, you’ll soon be happily moved into your new (and hopefully much improved) home.
The first question is how much work, if any, you want to do on your home before putting it in the shop window.
You might be considering investing thousands in an extension in the hopes of making a bigger profit, or simply giving the front rooms a lick of paint to improve first impressions.
While there are no right or wrong answers, it helps to learn more about what potential buyers value when looking for a new home.
Essential reading before you decide:
Traditional or online estate agent?
Next up is the tricky decision of who to pick to sell your house.
There is no correct answer for everyone: it very much depends on your situation.
If you’re confident in handling more of the sales process yourself and houses in your area are selling quickly, then online estate agents could save you a fortune.
If, however, you are less confident or your local housing market is subdued, an agent with expertise could help get more serious buyers through your front door.
For those in a rush, you could even consider an agent that GUARANTEES a sale, but these are still pretty niche at the moment.
Read these guides first:
- 5 things to check before picking an estate agent
- 7 traits that will help you decide if an estate agent is right for you
- Pros and cons of online agents
Setting the right price
Settled on an agent? No doubt they’ll have given you a steer on how much your beloved home is worth in cold, hard pounds and pence.
But as their estimates can often be… optimistic in the hopes of securing your business, it’s worth doing a bit of research yourself.
As useful as these are, there are certain factors that such sites can’t take into consideration that will very much affect your home’s value, which you can read all about here.
Finally, you should also take note of any recent sold prices in your neighbourhood.
If you’re easily able to find a buyer, you can jump past the next two sections, which look at what to do if you’re struggling to sell.
What to do if your home isn’t selling
Selling your home at the moment is a frustrating business. Instead of a rush of buyers waiting to snap up the property when it hits the market, sellers are waiting weeks, or even months, for a buyer to come through the door.
Agents will be keen to reassure you that “It’s not you, it’s them”, and that there’s just a shortage of buyers at the moment.
But what if that’s not the problem? What if the real problem is the home itself?
There are many things that make it difficult to sell a property, ranging from obvious things like setting the wrong price as discussed above to simply having solar panels installed.
Have a look at these seven common reasons and what can be done about each.
If none of those ring a bell, it might not be the property at all: instead, it might be time to ditch that estate agent.
Still can’t sell? Here are your alternatives
If you’ve tried everything but still can’t secure a buyer, it’s time to consider your options.
Click on any of the following options to learn more:
- How to improve your home instead of moving
- How to rent out your home
- All you need to know about house swaps
Costs you’ll face when selling
Congrats on successfully finding a buyer for your home!
If you’re looking to buy somewhere new rather than simply sell up, be sure to read the fine print of any existing mortgage you might have.
For starters, you need to check whether your lender allows mortgage porting – effectively moving your existing mortgage debt onto your new home.
Depending on your situation and how far along you are in your current deal, you could be liable for thousands of pounds in Early Repayment Charges if you aren’t careful.
That, along with the estate agent fees, are likely the biggest potential bills you’ll face when selling up, but there are also a host of smaller charges that all add up.
- Get informed: full breakdown of fees and charges you’ll face
- Also, check if you’ll need to pay Capital Gains Tax
Find the right solicitor
Once you’ve accepted an offer, it’s time to get the lawyers involved!
You may well have been recommended specific solicitors by your estate agent as they often have commercial tie ins, but it’s vital you take the time to do your own research.
The article below explains all.
What to declare when selling
It might be tempting not to declare certain information, which might put buyers off.
Perhaps you have a long-running feud with a neighbour, or cracks are appearing on the walls quicker than you can fill them in.
Whatever the issue, your desire to get the best possible price may make you wonder just how much you need to tell a buyer.
But, when it comes to selling your home, honesty is always the best policy: that's because you run the risk of being sued in the future.
Managing the property chain conundrum
Unless you’re getting rid of a buy-to-let property, chances are you’ll be looking to buy a new place to move into once your old place is sold.
Juggling an old place and a potential new one is known as the property chain, and it can be a bit of a nightmare – especially as you have to rely on a number of factors that are outside of your control.
Thankfully, there are certain aspects you can control, which we’ll explain in the guides below.
But the most important thing we can highlight is the need for patience and a cool head.
- 16 questions to ask before you put in an offer on a new place
- Property chain: managing disputes and stopping the chain breaking
- Don’t forget to find a cheap new mortgage
Finally, avoid moving day shocks
Right, after the endless to-ing and fro-ing between solicitors, sellers and buyers, you’ve finally reached the point where your old home is sold and your new place is ready to move into.
So, it’s smooth sailing from here on in, right? Wrong, unfortunately.
A lot can go wrong between having your offer agreed and actually moving in, especially on the moving day.
So our final tip is to watch out for these six common problems that could trip you up on moving day.
And that’s it, congratulations on all your hard work!
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