Seller's guide

1How much are you worth?

Price is everything. Get it right at the start, and things could move quickly. Get it wrong, and you may find the process being drawn-out and draining.

Estate agents have a firm and up-to-date knowledge of what’s happening to sales and prices in your area. They will also provide an objective and unbiased assessment of the likely interest in your home, which is really helpful when you’re trying to sell a place you are emotionally-attached to. When it comes to getting the price right, you need to set your feelings aside and concentrate on the facts.

It’s very easy to be swept up in the optimism of being given a high valuation, but make sure the agent can back it up with hard evidence of properties that have sold at that price, or they can show you a list of applicants offering to buy at this price for properties similar to yours.

Just as importantly, you need to be able to trust the person you will be working with over the following months.

2Choosing how to market yourself

Nearly all estate agents will say you need an estate agent to sell your home and they are right – in part. That’s not to say that, if you have the time, energy and patience, you could certainly do it yourself.

However, there is much to be gained by enlisting the help of a professional with the knowledge and expertise learned through doing this every single day.

An agent will prepare all your details, get you on the big websites, have a list of potential buyers looking for a home such as yours, arrange and carry out all the viewings, negotiate with the buyer and liaise with the numerous people involved when a sale is agreed (solicitors, mortgage brokers/lenders, other estate agents, surveyors and trades people).

They will also take care of the regulations. There are a number of things you are legally required to do and comply with when selling your property, ranging from the simple things such as arranging an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), to the more complicated area of compliance with the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Practices Regulation (CPR).

3Showhome or real life?

Once you have decided how to sell your home, you need to start the marketing process, and that means preparing for viewings. Potential buyers will be visiting to see if your home ticks the boxes on their wish list. We strongly advise that you keep your home extra neat and tidy during this time. First impressions do count.

There’s no polite way of saying this – people aren’t interested in how you live and your taste in furnishings. They just want something that looks great and has most, if not all, of the features on their wish list.

Having said that, remember you are competing against everyone else selling a home like yours in the local area so, anything you can do to have everything looking spick and span is bound to help.

It’s a bit like going on a date when first impressions do count, so put a bit of time and effort into promoting the best bits of your home and garden. Make sure the outside is weeded, cleaned and sparkling and inside is tidy and looks and smells fresh and inviting. Make it easy for people to see what your home offers, and don’t leave it to them to imagine how it would look if the beds were made and the dishes put away.

There’s no problem with starting to pack (and it’s a good signal of your desire to move) but it would be good to stack boxes neatly in a garage or shed or put them into storage so that they don’t clutter your rooms and mask the features of your home.

If the first impression isn’t good you won’t get a second chance, but you may learn something from the feedback that gives you the chance to improve for the next visit.

4Here we come

When you are ready to start marketing your home we will arrange:

  • Rightmove and Zoopla advertising
  • Interior and exterior photographs
  • Floorplans *
  • Property details brochure (for you to approve)
  • ‘For Sale’ board *
  • Phone calls to prospective buyers already on our list 
  • Mailings to prospective buyers
  • Window display (at our office)

We will talk to you to arrange viewings at a mutually-convenient time and we will give you feedback afterwards so you can see how things are progressing.

5 Things are getting serious

When someone likes your home enough to make an offer, we will work with the potential buyers to get them to a price you are willing to accept. If you can’t reach agreement, we will keep on looking to find someone who will offer what you want.

We will also check what arrangements they have made to buy your home and how quickly they could progress (ie where they are in the ‘chain’). It’s very common to find that the person who wishes to buy your home is still looking for a buyer for theirs and this could happen several times further down the chain. Likewise, you may have found a home to buy, but you’re waiting for the sellers to find somewhere to move to. At some point there will be an empty property or someone who agrees to move to temporary accommodation and that will allow everyone in the chain to move.

It sounds daunting and complicated, but our team is very experienced at managing these situations and finding a solution.

At this point, you need to appoint a solicitor or specialist conveyancer to carry out the legal work (conveyancing).

6 Your next steps

When a price is agreed, your property is now Sold Subject to Contract and it is likely your purchasers will want to arrange a survey.

We will write to all interested parties with the details needed for the conveyancers to start the legal ball rolling, ie the names and addresses of the buyers, the sellers and the agreed purchase price and any other special arrangements.

You will receive a pack from your conveyancer with requests for information the buyers will need. The quicker you complete and return this, the quicker and smoother the sale process will be.

If you are buying another house, now is the time to complete your mortgage application – or confirm where your funds are coming from if not through a mortgage.

Then you need to carry out the various actions requested by your solicitor/conveyancer and mortgage provider as quickly as you can, so that the process doesn’t lose momentum. We will also continue to monitor everything and push things along when needed.

7 Time to exchange

This is the point-of-no-return and means you will definitely be selling your house. The buyer’s solicitor will usually transfer 10% of the purchase price at this point to your solicitor and you will have agreed a date when the sale completes and you hand the keys to the new owners.

The moving date will normally be anything from a week to a month after exchange, but it can be sooner or longer depending on everyone’s needs. If it is to be quicker than a week, it is best to check that your mortgage provider (if you are getting a mortgage) for your new home can make the funds available sooner, as most lenders require at least a week between exchange and completion.

It’s also time to plan your move, and confirm your removal arrangements.

8 Completion

On the day of completion, the outstanding amount of money (purchase price minus deposit) is transferred to your solicitor from the buyer’s solicitor and the buyer can now move in.

This normally happens around 1pm, so you should spend the morning loading the van, giving the house a final vacuum and taking gas, electricity and water meter readings. It’s a good idea to take a photo next to something that shows the date to avoid any issues later, as it isn’t unusual for a buyer to forget to take a meter reading straight away.

Now you’re ready to say ‘goodbye’ to your old home, and ‘hello’ to your new destination.

Request a call back

If you would like further information about buying a property please call us or get in touch using the form and we will call you back.