Guide to Selling a House

About this guide

There are a lot of factors to consider when selling a property, from deciding an asking price to finding an estate agent. Compare My Move has a range of useful guides that explore each stage of the process, helping you prepare for the transaction and increase the chances of a successful sale

  • 1. The process of selling a house

    There are certain steps you must follow before, during and after the selling a house process. To sell your house you must find an estate agent, get a property valuation, set your asking price, hire a conveyancer and prepare your property for sale. The more you prepare beforehand, the easier and quicker you’ll be able to sell your house.

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  • 2. The cost of selling a house

    Selling your house will come with many costs, some that you have to pay upfront and some you will have to pay after the sale. The main costs included in selling your home are estate agent fees, conveyancing fees, conveyancing disbursements, surveying costs, mortgage fees, EPC costs and removal company costs.

    Each seller will experience different costs depending on the size of your home, the value of your home and the location of your home.

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  • 3. Time it takes to sell a house

    Our research shows that it can take an average of 2-6 months to sell a house. However, there is a range of factors that can affect this timescale and even potentially delay the entire process. In this guide, Compare My Move will take you through the different stages of selling a house and explain the different elements that may affect their completion.

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  • 4. How much is your house worth?

    Ultimately, every homeowner will want to sell their home for the current market value - and more than what they paid for it. However, as a general rule, sellers can expect between 95% and 99% of their asking price.

    Consulting with an estate agent or independent valuer is recommended to get an accurate valuation on your property. This will also help you settle on an asking price. Your own research will also be useful, reviewing nearby similar properties which are for sale or have sold recently.

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  • 5. When is the best time to sell your home?

    The best time to sell your house will depend on your location, property type and circumstances. When the market is ‘hot’ and demand outstrips supply, homes sell quickly - especially if they are competitively priced. If the market is ‘cold’ and supply is plentiful, homes take longer to sell…and some do not sell at all.

    Compare My Move work with property industry experts to bring you insightful and fact-checked articles on everything moving house. This guide offers a detailed look at the best time to sell a house in 2020, including each nations’ favourite month to move and the average days it takes to sell.

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  • 6. Preparing your property for a sale

    Now that you’ve decided to put your property on the market, it’s time to begin preparing your house for the sale. Your first step for a smooth process is to ensure that your property is as attractive to potential buyers as possible.

    You need to ensure your property is ready for selling. There are easy ways to prepare your property for sale, from decluttering your house to tidying up your garden. By taking the time to get your home ready for a sale, you’ll increase your chances of a successful sale.

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  • 7. Porting a mortgage

    Porting a mortgage is when you sell a property, repay your existing mortgage and then resume it on the same terms after you move to your next property. Many mortgages are portable but it’s worth discussing the process with your mortgage lender to see if it’s possible and if it’s the right decision for you.

    Compare My Move works with experienced finance and property experts to provide quality content that will help you through the buying and selling process. In this article, we will discuss how porting a mortgage works and what factors to consider before deciding it’s the right thing for you.

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  • 8. How to choose an estate agent

    When it comes to selling your property, one of the most important steps in the process will be choosing the right estate agent. With the average price of selling a house sitting at £2,765 (based on the average UK house price of £234,790 as of January 2020), you will want to make sure your money is well spent.

    The agent will be representing both you and your home so you will want to make sure you pick an estate agent who you feel will do this best, based on a combination of their accreditation, reputation, valuation, fees and marketing.

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  • 9. Questions to ask your estate agent

    Ensuring you ask your estate agent the right questions before selling your home is vital. It’s important to know what your estate agent is offering and how much it’ll cost before you sign a contract with them.

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  • 10. How much are estate agent fees?

    The average estate agent fee for selling a house is 1.18% of the final sale price of your home. The typical fee for a high-street estate agent is usually between 1-3% whilst online estate agents will charge a fixed fee. Our experts review the full costs that come with selling your home with estate agents.

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  • 11. Selling your house online

    In recent years, the majority of buyers start their property search by looking online. As of the fourth quarter of 2019, online agents had a market share of 7.9% of exchanges in the United Kingdom.

    Not only is the process cheaper online than via a high street agent, but it can also be more convenient. With the internet accessible 24/7, the likelihood of your property being considered by a prospective buyer increases. This could mean a faster sale and many offers from buyers.

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  • 12. Energy performance certificates

    An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is an energy efficiency rating for a property and is required by law on all properties for sale or being rented.

    With a rise in awareness of the environmental impact of energy efficiency, the government has introduced a scheme where all domestic and commercial buildings in the UK that are up for sale or rent must have an EPC. This will ensure that the home is meeting the efficiency target, in addition to showing the homeowners and potential buyers where they could improve of efficiency and save on bills.

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  • 13. Why isn't my house selling?

    There may be many factors why your house isn't selling, from the price tag to the online marketing. Compare My Move's experts have put together this guide to highlight the reasons why your house may not be getting noticed.

    Take the time to go through your options before deciding your next steps. Some houses won’t sell easily and the length of time it takes will vary. On average, it takes around four to seven months to sell a property in the UK.

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  • 14. Selling your house quickly

    If you’re looking to sell your home quickly, you may be tempted to use a quick house sale company or cash house buyer. The company will offer to purchase your property at a discounted price and claim to make a quicker sale compared to traditional methods. However, not all companies are reputable and there are ways homeowners can be misled.

    Using a quick sale company does not always guarantee a quick sale and many homeowners lose out financially during this method. There are benefits to consider before deciding, but choosing the right company is vital in ensuring a successful sale. In this article, we will discuss what a quick house sale company is, why you may be tempted to use them and how important it is to ensure they’re a reputable firm.

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  • 15. Selling your house at auction

    Before committing to selling at auction, you will want to have a solid idea of what the process entails. From deciding whether your home is suitable for an auction house, to reviewing the process and fees.

    Selling at auction is often a good route if your property is in bad condition or needs some TLC. Many auction-bidders, such as developers or builders, are on the lookout for a “fixer-upper”. This is ideal if your property is considered “unmortgageable” due to its condition. On average the auctioneer will take 2.5% of the sale price.

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  • 16. Negotiating the house price

    Your estate agent will be responsible for negotiating offers when you sell a property, but ultimately you will have the final say. Take time to research similar properties to yours and their selling price to get a good idea of what is a good and bad offer.

    Be prepared to negotiate with the buyer when selling your house. Negotiating an offer doesn’t have to be as difficult as it seems. Be confident in your response and carefully consider the counteroffer you’re presenting.

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  • 17. Considering and accepting an offer on my house

    Receiving an offer on your house is exciting, but it can be difficult to know whether or not you should accept it. Many buyers will first offer between 5% - 10% below the asking price, opening it up for negotiation. Last year, many sellers sold their homes for 3.9% below the asking price, so it’s important to be realistic with your prices.

    Compare My Move go through the vital questions you should ask yourself before accepting an offer, allowing you to consider and re-evaluate your ideal house price before starting the negotiation.

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  • 18. What is 'Sold STC'?

    Sold STC stands for Sold Subject to Contract and means that an offer has been agreed between the buyer and seller, but the contracts haven’t been signed or exchanged. If a property you want to make an offer on is Sold STC, you can still make an offer, but this will be classed as gazumping.

    Sold STC is common across the country but in Scotland, however, this stage does not exist as a contract is legally binding once an offer has been agreed upon by both parties.

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