Process of selling your home
17th November 2022
17th November 2022
Selling your home is a huge and emotional decision and can be extremely daunting.
Understanding the process of selling and making sure you’re as prepared as you can be can really help ease the stress. Let's examine the process involved when selling your home.
It is a bit of a ‘How long is a piece of string’ type of question, but there are a few clues to look for.
The average house takes 10-12 viewings to sell (depending on the market conditions) and the average property has around 3 viewings per week.
With this very simple formula, that means the average house has a buyer within around 4 weeks.
So if you already have a property on the market, you should ask yourself; have you been seeing 3-4 viewings per week? Or have they been lower?
Feel free to contact me if the answer is no and I will start getting your properties the necessary viewings to get your home sold.
Preparing to sell your home requires a lot of up-front planning and consideration.
These are the steps you can expect when selling your house:
How much is my home worth?
To estimate how much your home is worth, most estate agents compare recently sold homes in your area that are similar to yours. By comparing the sale price of similar properties in the local area, you can get a sense of the price range home buyers might pay for your home.
Do I have enough equity to sell my home?
You’ll typically want to have enough equity in your home to pay off your mortgage, the costs of selling, and the costs of moving. Many people also wait to sell once they have enough equity to put towards a down payment on their next home.
Should I make repairs?
As a seller, you’ll be required to disclose any known issues with your home to buyers. You aren’t required to make repairs, but you’ll likely need to price your home based on the costs of needed repairs. Expensive repairs like repairing the roof or fixing a pool, for example, can be a deal breaker for buyers looking for a move-in ready home.
Estate agent Fees
Most high street agents will charge you a percentage commission related to your property’s sale price, usually between 1% and 3%.
This is usually on a no-sale, no-fee basis.
Tax when selling your property
If you’re selling a property that’s been your main home since you bought it, you won’t have to pay capital gains tax.
However, if you’ve previously rented out the property, capital gains tax may apply and will be calculated based on the amount of time it wasn’t your main home.
Our capital gains tax guide explains everything you need to know.
If you’re selling so you can buy a new home, you’ll also need to factor in stamp duty.
When selling your home, you’ll need a solicitor or conveyancer to complete the legal side of your sale.
Solicitor fees vary, so make sure you shop around and seek recommendations.
As well as your solicitor’s main fee, you may also have to pay a series of smaller fees, known as disbursements.
Many disbursements cover costs paid up front by your solicitor for things like local authority and environmental searches if you’re buying another property.
Other fees and charges if you’re buying
If you plan to buy a new home once your current property is sold, you’ll need to consider several other costs, including:
Mortgage costs, including a mortgage valuation fee and arrangement fee
Once you have chosen an estate agent and set your asking price, it’s time to engage a solicitor to deal with your property sale.
As with an estate agent, speak to several firms or independent conveyancers before deciding and seek recommendations from family and friends as well as checking out online reviews.
Solicitors are key cogs in the property sale wheel and choosing a proactive one can really help move your sale along quickly.
Making sure your home is ready for the sales market is crucial and that means thinking about what your potential buyer will want from your home and showing it in its best light.
Ask yourself who your home will appeal to. Perhaps that would be a professional couple looking for more space to start a family, or maybe you are moving from an apartment that would suit a single buyer.
Think about how your home will work for the person you are trying to attract and stage it in such a way.
For example, if you are using a bedroom as an office, but are looking for a buyer who needs space for their growing family, consider turning your work hub back into a bedroom.
Most of all, though, keep your property tidy and free of clutter and allow your buyers to visualise themselves living there.
It's important your property makes an immediate positive impression on buyers, too, so ensure its exterior is presented as well as its interior.
To legally sell your house, you’ll need to have certain documentation, including:
A valid Energy Performance Certificate
For your property to be listed as ‘for sale’ it must have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
An EPC shows how energy efficient your home is and is valid for 10 years.
If you don’t have an EPC, or your previous certificate has expired, your estate agent should be able to help you arrange a new assessment.
Your solicitor will need proof of your identity through:
A valid photo driving licence, or
A valid passport
They’ll also require proof of your address, which can be a recent utility bill or council tax statement.
Property title deeds
Your solicitor should obtain your property’s title deeds from the Land Registry, but if your property hasn’t been sold since 1990, you may have to provide them yourself.
Property registration only become mandatory in 1990 and if the Land Registry doesn’t have a copy of your deeds, you’ll need to provide them to prove you are the legal owner of your home.
Leasehold information pack
If your home is leasehold, you’ll need to provide your solicitor with a leasehold information pack.
This should be available from your freeholder and explains the terms of your property’s lease to a potential buyer, including any ground rent or service charges.
Fixtures and fittings and property information forms
Once you’ve found a buyer and accepted their offer, you’ll need to complete a TA10 form which details what fixtures and fittings will be included with your sale.
You’ll also need to complete a TA6 form alongside any certificates you have for things like windows or builder warranties.
Once completed, the TA6 form includes details on:
Flood risk and energy performance
Utilities and services, including the condition of wiring and heating systems
Once you start receiving offers from potential buyers, it’s easy to be reactive and either accept or decline instantly.
Regardless of those initial feelings, it’s important to consider each and every offer on its merits.
Think again about your needs and how the market is performing.
If the market is slow and you can take your next step by accepting a lower offer, you should consider it.
Alternatively, don’t feel railroaded into accepting an offer well below what you believe your property to be worth in the current market.
At this stage, advice from your estate agent can be key so listen to what they have to say. But remember, you are in control and the final decision lies with you.
Once you accept an offer, your agent will let the buyer know and the process of the sale will begin.
Legal process begins
Once you have instructed your solicitor to proceed with the sale, they will:
Send out a draft contract to the buyer's solicitors
Ask you to confirm the fixtures and fittings included in the sale
Obtain the leasehold management pack from the freeholder, if leasehold
Reviews enquiries raised by the buyer's solicitors and respond
Respond to any additional enquiries following the buyer's survey/valuation and local search results
Exchange of contracts
Once the buyer's solicitors are satisfied with all replies to enquires, have evidence of good title and have receipt of the buyers' mortgage offer they are ready to exchange contracts where the following happens
Completion date set by mutual agreements
Both parties sign contracts
Buyer pays the deposit to your solicitors (usually 10% of the sale price)
Contracts are exchanged!
Completion happens when the remaining money (usually 90%) are transferred from the buyer's solicitor to your solicitor's account.
We will release the keys once your solicitor confirms money has cleared in their account.
Congratulations, you have sold your property!