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Step by Step Guide to Selling Your Home

Katie Cullen
Written by Katie Cullen
12th January 2017

Before you put your house on the market, make sure that selling is the right decision to make. If you need more space, building an extension is an option. Extensions can add value to your home and end up saving you money on selling your house in some cases.

Depending on your circumstances, renting your home out may end up the better option than selling it.

This article will cover the following points

Manage Your Finances Find the Right Estate Agent Decide on the Price Stage your Home Hire a Solicitor Receiving an Offer Negotiate a Contract Exchange Contracts Move Out Complete the sale Pay your Mortgage Settle with Your Solicitor and Estate Agent

Manage Your Finances

Make sure you notify your mortgage lender that you are planning to sell your home, and find out how big your outstanding mortgage is.

Once you have an estimate of how much your house is worth, you can then calculate how much money you will have left after paying off your mortgage.

Find the Right Estate Agent

While it’s possible to sell your home yourself, most first-time sellers lack the knowledge and experience to do so, so hiring a good estate agent will make the process much easier.

To find the right estate agent for you, do your homework! Ask your family and friends for recommendations, search online for reviews and forums for the best agencies and agents in the area.

When you meet with an estate agent, make sure you discuss their commission and underline that you want a ‘no sale, no fee’ agreement, and that the commission rate is 1%-2%.

Before you sign with the estate agent, make sure you’re allowed to move to another agent or agency if you aren’t happy with their service, as well as how much notice they require if you want to change.

Decide on the Price

One of the most difficult decisions to make when you’re selling your home, is how much to sell it for.

Do your research and find out everything you can about your local property market and find out what properties similar to yours have sold for. In general, sites like Zoopla, Mouseprice and Rightmove are useful for finding out how much houses have sold for and how much they are on the market for.

Also, get a number of estate agents to do valuations, but make sure not to just go for the highest one, as estate agents can have their own agendas.

Keep in mind, buyers will expect to or try to negotiate a discount, so add between 5% and 10% to what you are prepared to accept.

Stage your Home

Making sure your house is presentable for viewings will increase the chances of a sale. Tidy, get rid of clutter, give the walls a fresh coat of paint, and deal with any maintenance issues. Keep in mind that staging your home can make your house sell faster, and even increases its value.

Hire a Solicitor

When you’re in the process of selling your house, you need to hire a solicitor to do the legal work and transfer the ownership of your property.

To avoid any delays, deciding on a solicitor before selling your house will speed things up when it comes to agreeing on an offer and hiring them. Keep in mind you shouldn’t necessarily use a solicitor suggested by an estate agent, as again they often have their own agendas.

Receiving an Offer

Your estate agent is legally required to pass on all the offers on your house, no matter how ridiculous some of them might be. If you aren’t happy with an offer you receive, you can always reject it and wait for a better offer to come along, or even try to negotiate a better offer.

Remember, accepting an offer is not legally binding if you haven’t signed a contract, so you can change your mind or accept a higher offer.

Negotiate a Contract

Once you have accepted an offer from a buyer, you both need to decide:

  • The length of time between the exchange and completion, which is usually between 7 and 28 days after the exchange of contracts.
  • Which fixtures and fittings will be included and how much the buyer will pay for them.
  • Any discounts the buyer will receive because of any problems that come up.

Exchange Contracts

Once you exchange contracts, it is legally binding and you are committed to selling your house. if you pull out of the contract after this point, the buyer will receive their deposit and there is a chance you could be sued.

Move Out

You can move out of the house whenever you prefer up until the date of completion. Of course, it will be easier to organize this ahead of time, so make sure you book a reputable removal company – our partners can save you £500 on your removals!

At the time of completion, the property must be in the condition the buyer expects and was agreed on in the contract, including all of the fixtures and fittings discussed.

Complete the sale

Completion of the sale happens when the property is now legally the buyer’s, you accept payment and hand over the keys on the agreed date and time.

On the day of completion, the money and the deeds of the property are transferred between each side’s solicitors.

Pay your Mortgage

The mortgage company will give you and your solicitor an accurate redemption figure for your mortgage for the day of completion, and when the buyer has transferred the payment to your solicitor, they will pay off the mortgage for you.

Settle with Your Solicitor and Estate Agent

The final step in selling your first home is settling with your solicitor and estate agent. Once the sale is completed, your solicitor will send you an account with all their costs and disbursements, the sale price of the house and the redemption of the mortgage. They will also ensure the change of ownership is registered with the land registry.

So, if you are planning on selling your first home, it’s normal to feel out of your depth. However, this step-by-step guide will simplify the whole process and make it much easier for you.