Find Out Exactly What’s Involved In Selling Your Home With Our Step By Step Guide…
Working Out How Much Your Home Is Worth
Before you can sell your home, you’ll need to get a property valuation. It’s worth looking for highly rated estate agents in your area, based on reviews and considering the top three.
There are a few things to keep in mind when you have your property valuation, firstly, a higher valuation may be appealing, but could prolong the time your property takes to sell, so it’s worth being realistic and averaging out your valuation figures. Secondly, not all estate agents are equal! When you’re undertaking initial valuations, remember to ask your agents which sites they list properties on; ideally, you want to go with an agent that lists on ‘the big three’.
It may seem obvious, but it’s often easy to over look important stuff like fees when you get caught up in the initial excitement of selling your home. Remember to ask your agents about their agents fees and any options they have, such as No Sale, No Fee or Flat Fees.
Consider Other Moving Costs
Remember to factor in other costs of moving house, such as solicitors fees, any mortgage advisor fees you may accrue (if you need help arranging one) and removal companies too. Whilst you’ll probably not need to pay any of these straight away, it pays to put money aside early on, making the whole process smoother further down the line.
Arrange Your EPC (Energy Performance Certificate)
An Energy Performance Certificate is a report that shows the efficiency of your property, valid for 10 years, with a rating from A – G; A being the most efficient, G being the least.
In England and Wales, the EPC is now a legal requirement, so it’s worth getting yours organised as quickly as possible. Estate agents (such as ourselves!) are usually happy to either provide this or help you through the step by step process, which gives you one less thing to worry about.
Put Your House Up For Sale
Once you’ve got the initial valuation and EPC out of the way, it’s time to get your property online and listed for sale, starting with images and a floor plan. Your estate agent should handle all property images and measuring on your behalf, so there’s less hassle for you.
In some cases, an agent may recommend basic staging, which will help showcase your home in the best possible light; making it more attractive to buyers and, hopefully, speeding up the sale! Before your estate agent comes to take pictures, it’s worth having a spring clean to remove any clutter. Don’t forget the outside! Tidying up your driveway and garden can work wonders for your property listing.
Market Your Property Online
These days, most people start their property search online, which is why it pays to go with an agent that lists on ‘the big three’ property portals; Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location. Once your home is listed for sale online, get sharing!
Ideally, you property listing will be optimised for social media, straight from your agent’s site, which makes it easier to share on Facebook and Twitter. Ask your friends and family to share the listing for maximum exposure.
Pro Tip: If you can, share your property listing from your agent’s site, not from portals such as Zoopla and Rightmove. This ‘cuts out’ the competition, meaning users will see your property and your property only.
Stage Your Home For Viewings
Staging your home for viewings doesn’t have to be a major undertaking, in most cases a tidy round and finishing off odd-jobs will suffice. The effort you put in prior to viewings should improve your chances of selling quickly and at a higher prices, so it’s well worth doing at least the basics.
When it comes to viewings you have two options, show potential buyers round yourself, or ask your estate agent to conduct viewings and show buyers round on your behalf.
Conducting viewings yourself can sometimes be handy as you’ll really know the ins and outs of your home, making answering tricky questions much easier (such as where the mains water shut off valve is, for example). However, an agent will be able to undertake viewings with a professional approach, with a working knowledge of the local market and bags of experience in selling houses.
No matter which option you choose, it pays to schedule viewings with enough time between, so you’re not under pressure and limited by time, which can put some buyers off.
During COVID, most estate agents also offer virtual viewings; be sure to check when deciding on yours!
Accept An Offer
Once you’ve given viewings on your home, you’ll hopefully have offers rolling in, we recommend letting your estate agent deal with all offers, whether they be telephone or written offers. An agent can deal with offers in a professional manner, keeping emotion out of the whole process, which, all in all, will result in a smoother sale process for the best possible price.
There are a few things to consider when weighing up multiple offers. For instance, a buyer who is ‘chain free’ is more likely to see a deal through, compared to buyers with several houses in a chain. Sometimes, a buyers family status could be important, depending on your property type, as well as the financial position any buyer may be in; obviously, cash buyers are more attractive than buyers who have yet to secure a mortgage.
Instruct Your Solicitor
When choosing a Conveyancing Solicitor, it can sometimes be tempting to simply go with the cheapest, especially if you use an online comparison tool, but this can often be false economy. Many ‘cheaper’ solicitors are over-run with clients, which means your house sale could drag on unnecessarily.
If you’re looking for recommendations, think about asking friends and family, especially ones who have recently sold their house.
Another great option is to ask your estate agent for advice. It’s in their interest for your sale to go through as smoothly and quickly as possible and they’ll have an inside track on the good and bad Conveyancing Solicitors.
Agree The Sale
Once both parties are happy, your solicitor will handle the agreement of sale, subject to contract. At this stage, either side can withdraw without penalty.
In most cases the buyer will need a survey of your home, in order to get a mortgage. Don’t worry, this is perfectly normal and not in place to ‘catch you out’ or find fault, simply to ensure your house is fit for purpose and that the buyers bank can lend confidently.
Usually, a surveyor will contact you to arrange a time that suits you, but not always, so it’s worth talking with buyers (via your solicitor) to check.
During the survey, a number of key elements are checked, these include (but not limited to); Utilities, Damp, Cracks In Building Work, Timbers and Roofing. It’s worth keeping in mind that if you’re on site during a survey you can help the surveyor with any questions they may have, speeding up the whole process and overcoming an issues at the source, helping to speed up a sale.
Another visit on behalf of your buyers bank; the mortgage valuation. In a lot of cases banks will send their own estate agent to your property to make sure the value is in line with what they are lending. Again, there’s no need to worry about this, it’s not an exact figure, so there wont be any unwanted surprises!
Contracts Are Drawn Up
Once the bank is happy that everything is above board, it’s time for your solicitor to draw up a full contract, which will be passed on to buyers. At this stage, deeds are handled (which you will need to provide). It’s also worth checking smaller details in advance; such as time remaining on leaseholds, which could be a sticking point during contracts.
At this stage, boundary issues and any planning permission enquiries may hold up the sale process, so, as always, it pays to be organised! If you envisage any delays, such as unclear shared walls on deeds, for example, try and get a resolve in advance, putting your buyers mind at ease and keeping your house sale on track.
The last big check that’s needed regarding your property before the sale goes through are the Land Registry and Local Authority Searches. These include local checks on potential developments in the area, including road changes and utilities structure.
In most cases, searches are a formality, so there’s no need to panic, but do keep in mind that, despite their relatively simple nature, they can take a number of weeks to complete. We’ve found that the searches stage is the most frustrating for buyers and sellers, as things seem to ‘stand still’, but rest assured, your solicitor will be moving things along as quickly as they can.
Remember, the new buyers of your house are just as excited as you, if not more, to sign on the dotted line and get the keys!
Both parties will need to sign the contracts prior to a deposit exchange. Your solicitor will advise you when this needs to be completed.
Arrange Your Moving Date
Now that both you and the buyer have signed contracts, arrange a moving date that suits you both. A weekend arrangement may work best and gives both sides enough time to move comfortably.
At this stage, both parties are legally bound to the purchase, with a deposit exchange happening. Your solicitor will manage this so there’s no need to get stressed.
At this stage, it’s a nice touch to put together some helpful information for your buyers, including details of local authorities and locations of electric, gas and water meters. Not only will this help your buyer when they move in, but it could save you a lot of hassle further down the line, should buyers need to contact you.
The Big Move
It’s finally time to move! The actual move can be one of the most exciting and stressful days in the whole selling process; our advice? Work with a reputable removals company. A professional removals company can be worth their weight in gold, helping to keep the whole day relatively stress free.
Box up smaller items yourself and remember to keep essentials close to hand. Aside from that, bulkier items such as furniture will be managed by your removals team.
Update Your Details
Don’t forget to update your details with professional bodies, utilities and your local council as soon as you can. You could miss out on important correspondence if you don’t, not to mention annoying your new buyers!
On the other hand, if you’re receiving letters to your new home that aren’t addressed to you, it’s important to pass them on to the previous owner; asking them to update their details as soon as possible.
That’s it! By this stage you’ll be settled in your new property, with buyers in your old home; time for a well earned drink.
Thinking Of Selling Your Home?
We hope our step by step guide has cleared up the whole selling process for you. When you break it down to it’s individual components, it’s really not that bad! Especially if you have a good estate agent and legal team on board, that can make the whole journey easier.
If you’re thinking of selling your home, we can help! We’re a hybrid estate agents, offering the cheapest rates in Wigan, without compromise, including listings on the big three; Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location. Contact us today or arrange a property valuation and our team will be in touch.