How To Sell Your Home – A Step By Step Guide

How To Sell Your Home - A Step By Step Guide

Working to learn how to sell your home? You’re not alone. Many people in the UK are thinking about listing their homes right now. As you try to learn how to sell your home, though, you’re going to come across conflicting advice. After all, selling your home can be a confusing process (especially if you’re trying to buy another house at the same time). The choices you make as you work to sell your own home could mean thousands of additional pounds of costs, but learning more about the process itself could be the key to making thousands of additional pounds. What do you need to know before you get started? This guide to selling your home was designed to help give you tips for selling the home you need most and to walk you through the process.

It Begins with the Decision to Sell

Actually, listing your home will have to start when you decide you’re ready to make the move forward and sell your home. There are many reasons you may be ready to sell, but what should you think about as you try to decide whether selling your home is right for you? First, take some time to reflect on your goals. Consider factors such as career changes, family needs, or personal aspirations that might prompt a move. How many of those are happening in your life right now. If you’re relocating for work or you hope to be near a new school for your children, it may be time to put your home on the market. If you simply need more space, though, it may be worth it to compare the cost of building an extension to the costs of buying a selling a home before you make such a drastic move.

You’ll also want to think about your own emotional attachment to the property. Consider the memories and experiences associated with the home. Understanding the emotional significance of the property can help you make a more informed decision. Consider significant life events, celebrations, and day-to-day moments that have taken place within its walls. You may even want to make a memory list. Making a list of positive memories and experiences associated with the home can help you quantify and visualise your home’s true emotional significance.

Don’t overlook your own personal growth within the home as part of this decision-making process. Consider how living in the home has contributed to your personal growth and well-being. Reflect on the positive aspects of your life that have been nurtured by the environment and community. Remember that moving may change or even set back your growth.

Once you’ve done that, envision how your emotional attachment might evolve in the future. Consider whether the current home will continue to meet your emotional needs or if a different living situation might better align with your future goals. Don’t forget to note the difference between sentimental attachment and practical considerations in this process. Take the time to assess whether your emotional connection is rooted in nostalgia or if it aligns with your current and future needs.

Your voice shouldn’t be the only one in this process. If you share the home with family members, discuss their feelings and experiences. Understanding the emotional attachment of other family members might just give you the additional information you need. Even if you don’t share the home with other family members, you may still want an outside perspective. Talking to close friends or trusted advisors can help. They may be able to give you valuable insights and help you gain a more comprehensive understanding of your emotional attachment to the home itself.

If possible, take a break from the home and spend some time away. A long holiday can provide a fresh perspective and help you evaluate your emotional attachment more objectively, which may make coming up with the decision to sell your home easier than you initially imagined.

No matter what answers you come up with during this process, be sure you’re ready to sell before you actually begin the process because it can get quite costly and frustrating. Planning each step can help you avoid a long, slow sale that just doesn’t meet your needs.

Know What Your Home Is Worth

Once you make the decision to sell your home, one of the most important tips for selling a home you need is to price it right. You’ll want to get some idea of the overall value. This will not only help you when you actually list the home, but if you have a remaining balance on your mortgage, this will help you understand whether your home is worth enough to pay off the mortgage itself.

There are many different ways to decide what your home is worth. Many people today use online tools to help establish a valuation for their homes. Wondering how an online tool could help you understand what your home is worth? Most use algorithms and statistical models to provide estimated property values based on various factors. They typically get their data from various sources, including public records, recent property sales, tax assessments, and other relevant databases, which can help to establish some of the numbers you see. Some tools also use information provided by users, such as property details and recent renovations. When you input specific details about your property, including the address, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, and any notable features, the tools are able to hone in on the data they’ve already gathered about homes like yours, and offer you a fairly solid valuation number by conducting a comparative analysis. This means the tool compares  the provided property details to similar properties in the area that have recently sold, then generates a number. This approach is based on the principle of comparable sales (comps), which is a common method used in property valuation. The number they provide isn’t just based on comps, though. It also takes into account current market trends and conditions to help come up with a more accurate figure. This may involve analysing price trends in the local area, changes in demand and supply, and economic factors affecting the property market. Additionally, historical data on property sales and market trends are often incorporated into the valuation model. This allows the tool to account for changes in property values over time and identify patterns that may influence the current estimate. As helpful as these numbers can be, keep in mind that online property valuation tools are best used as a starting point for understanding a property’s potential value. In fact, most of the estimates with these tools usually come with disclaimers about their limitations. Users are often reminded that these tools provide estimates and are not a substitute for a professional appraisal.

Fortunately, because of those limitations, that’s not the only way to establish what your home might be worth. You can also work with an estate agent to obtain a valuation on your property. If you read property sector blogs on a regular basis about how to price your home, you’ll find that contacting local estate agents is a common and reliable way to get a property valuation. Estate agents typically use a combination of experience, local market knowledge, and various valuation techniques to determine the value of homes. Often, they start with a comparative market analysis. This means your property will be compared to others that have sold recently nearby, just like the online property tools do. Estate agents, though, can usually offer you a better number because they have more information to go on. They can take an in-depth look at factors such as size, location, condition, and features to assess how the property compares to others in the market. They also have extensive local market knowledge they can leverage that online property tools often don’t. They are familiar with trends, demand, and supply in the area, as well as the unique characteristics that can influence property values in that particular space, which may lead to more accurate numbers. Often chatting with more than one estate agent is the best way to establish your property value, as you’ll typically get a small range of numbers, and that will help you better understand exactly what to expect out of the sale of your home. Be prepared, though! If you speak with an estate agent about what your home might be worth, they may expect you to sign a contract with them so they can market your home.

There is one other way to learn the value of your home before you put it on the market. You can also consult with a professional property appraiser. This is the way to get the best understanding of the value of your home for several different reasons. Professional appraisers offer accuracy and precision. They are trained and licensed individuals with expertise in property valuation. They use standardised methods and techniques to provide accurate and precise estimates of a property’s value. They stay informed about local market trends, economic conditions, and factors affecting property values, all of which contribute to the value of your property. This expertise allows them to provide a nuanced understanding of your property’s value in the context of broader market dynamics. This level of accuracy is especially crucial for legal and financial purposes. For unique or complex properties, such as historic homes or properties with unique features, a professional appraiser’s expertise is invaluable. They have the skills to assess the specific characteristics that may impact the property’s value in a way sites and estate agents just can’t. More than that, though, they independent third parties who do not have a vested interest in the property’s sale or purchase, which can’t be said for the websites you may have worked with or the estate agents you talked to. This impartiality ensures that the appraisal is unbiased, providing a fair and objective valuation of the property. They also adhere to industry standards and legal requirements. Their appraisals are recognised and accepted by financial institutions, government agencies, and other entities. This is important when obtaining financing, settling estates, or participating in legal proceedings.

If you’re selling your home and working to establish its value, having a professional appraisal can provide you with negotiating power. It helps establish a fair market value, allowing you to make informed decisions during negotiations. While online tools and estate agents can provide useful estimates, a professional property appraiser’s detailed and formal valuation is often necessary

Keep in mind that no matter what method you actually use, finding the early valuation on your home will only result in an approximate number. It’s tough to know exactly how much your home will sell for until you actually list it on the market.

Speak With Your Mortgage Broker

The next step in this guide to selling your home applies whether you have a current mortgage on the property or not. If you do have a mortgage, you’ll need to talk to your lender for a few different reasons. The first is to learn more about the portability of your mortgage. Mortgage portability allows you to transfer your existing mortgage to a new property, which can be an advantage if you’re going into a new home. Your broker can explain the terms and conditions associated with porting your mortgage. If you don’t wish to port your mortgage, your lender will tell you more about potential early repayment charges, or ERCs. Mortgage agreements often include terms related to ERCs if you pay off the mortgage before a specified period, which is something you would probably be doing if you were selling your house. Your mortgage broker can clarify the ERCs associated with your current mortgage and help you understand the financial implications of selling your home before the agreed-upon term. Your lender can also help you budget for the various costs and fees involved. Selling your home usually means estate agent fees, legal fees, as well as potential ERCs. Your mortgage broker can help you budget for these expenses, ensuring that you have a clear understanding of the financial aspects of selling and moving.

If you intend to buy another home, you’ll want to think through a few things with your lender. We discussed the possibility of porting your mortgage, but if you don’t intend to do so, this is a great time to get prequalified for a new loan so you know how much you can borrow. This puts you in the driver’s seat immediately in terms of financing. This can also help you optimise your financial strategy. Your lender can offer advice on structuring your mortgage arrangements in a way that aligns with your overall financial goals and plans. Moreover, they can become a valuable resource for mortgage-related advice and assistance throughout your homeownership journey.

Understand The Costs Involved – How Much It Costs To Sell A House

Keep in mind that selling your home does cost you something. How much to sell a house in the UK? Knowing how much you’ll have to spend to sell your home is key before you decide to list it. One of the biggest costs most people encounter is the estate agent’s commission fee. That can vary between .75% and 3% of the selling price to which you and the buyer agree as well as VAT. Wondering how much you’ll have to pay? You can only truly find out when you talk to the estate agents you’re considering, but it may help to better understand how they’re even determined in the first place. Estate agent fees in the UK are typically determined based on a percentage of the final selling price of the property or a fixed fee agreed upon between the seller and the estate agent. You can ask the agents you’re considering working with which arrangement they prefer.

Part of the fee structure for various estate agents is based on the market conditions when you sell your property. The state of the property market can impact estate agent fees. In a seller’s market where demand is high, agents may be able to command higher fees. In a buyer’s market with lower demand, agents might be more flexible on fees to attract business.

Where your home is located also impacts those fees because, in prime or high-demand areas, fees may be higher due to the perceived value of properties in those locations.

Additionally, the value and the type of the property is a significant factor. Generally, as the value of the property increases, the percentage fee charged by the estate agent may decrease. However, the absolute fee amount may still be higher for more valuable properties. The type of property changes that structure as well. For example, selling a luxury property or a unique and high-end home may command higher fees compared to a standard residential property.

What you expect out of your estate agent may also change the fees involved. Full-service agents who handle various aspects of the sale, including marketing, viewings, and negotiations, may charge higher fees than agents offering more limited services. Some estate agents offer additional services, such as professional photography, virtual tours, or premium listings, which may come with extra costs, so you’ll want to know exactly what you’re signing up for.

Additionally, the reputation of the agent could affect what you pay. Established and reputable estate agents with a track record of successful sales may charge higher fees based on their experience and market credibility. Sellers often value the expertise and network that experienced agents bring to the table.

In any situation, though, you’re not stuck with the fees they quote you. In fact, estate agent fees are often negotiable. Sellers can negotiate the percentage or fixed fee with the agent before signing a contract. Some estate agents may offer lower fees if the seller agrees to an exclusive arrangement, meaning they won’t use other agents to market the property during a specified period. Wondering why? Exclusive agreements can provide agents with more assurance of earning a commission, which helps them rest assured they’ll actually get the fee they’ve agreed to charge you. Moreover, estate agents may run promotions or offer incentives to attract sellers. This could include discounted fees, free services, or other perks. You’ll want to ask about any ongoing promotions or incentives when selecting an agent.

The best thing you can do to keep these fees as low as possible is to shop around, compare fees from different agents, and negotiate terms that align with your expectations.

You will also need to pay the conveyance fees for selling, which usually run between £850 and £1,500, but that can vary depending on how much your overall property is worth.

If you don’t currently have an Energy Performance Certificate on your home, you will be required to get one of those, too, and they can cost between £60 and £120. Your estate agent can get you this certification, but it tends to be more expensive for them, so it’s usually best to use your own Performance Assessor to obtain the certification. Removal costs are the other big part of deciding to sell your own home. Removal costs vary by how big your home is and how far away you’re moving, so be sure to get some quotes from a nearby removal company so you know exactly what you’ll be required to spend.

Selecting An Estate Agent

The next step in this guide to selling your home is to actually choose an estate agent. While you can certainly sell your home on your own, using an estate agent can help speed the process up a bit. The best bet is to ask around. Family members and friends may have had recent experience with estate agents whom they trust. You may want to make a shortlist of agents in your area, then do a bit of research or interview those on your list. Make sure your favourite candidate has plenty of experience selling homes like yours and that all of their current property listings include great marketing like beautiful photos and well-written descriptions. You’ll also want to learn more about their viewing policies and their standard terms. The right agent can often be a good source of other best tips for selling your home, too, so look for a knowledgeable professional.

Get An EPC

Before you can sell your own home, you must have applied for an Energy Performance Certificate, or an EPC, if your home doesn’t already have one. If, however, your home was bought and sold in the last ten years, you likely already have one of these on file. You will need to provide this to potential buyers, so book an Energy Assessor to handle this process sooner rather than later.

Choose Your Selling Price

The next step in this guide to selling your home is select the selling price of your home. You’ve already decided what it’s worth, but this can be one of the hardest steps for many people, so do your research about the local market around you, and figure out what homes are going for. You may want to have your estate agent handle a valuation, too. Keep in mind that buyers will likely negotiate the price down a bit, so you’ll want to add something to your overall price so you have some negotiation room. If you’re wondering how to sell a house quickly, this is the key step. Overpricing means you’ll miss many buyers, but under-pricing means you may leave money on the table.

Prepping Your Home

Once you’ve chosen your team and you’ve decided on the price point at which to list your house, the next step is one of the most obvious tips for selling your home. It’s to make the necessary changes and repairs to help it sell faster. The single best thing you can do initially is to handle a deep clean or to hire someone to do that for you. You want your house as clean as possible. Choosing to work with a professional means getting into the nooks and crannies you might sometimes miss. Buyers want a home that looks “new” even if it’s a fairly old property, and working with a professional cleaning team is a great way to get those results.

Beyond cleaning, though, you may need to do some decluttering as well to help you sell your home. In fact, decluttering is always one of the top tips for selling your home. To make this happen, take a hard look around your home. How much stuff do you actually need? How much do you want to take with you to your new home? Clearing out some of the excesses may help you when you move because you’ll have fewer things to pack. It will also likely make your property more spacious, so buyers can see how big the rooms actually are. Donate the extra to a local charity shop. If you have items that aren’t cluttered but seem to take up far too much space in a given room, you may want to consider renting a self-storage unit until after you move.

From there, beginning to making small repairs will help you sell your home. Simple things like a coat of paint to cover scuff marks and new light bulbs can go a long way toward increasing the purchase price of your home. You’ll want to have any leaky faucets repaired, and you may want to replace any fixtures that are outdated. Pay attention to the lighting in each room, too. The more light you can let in (through new fixtures or cleaner windows), the more potential a buyer might find in your home. Some of the best tips for selling your home list more light as absolutely essential to helping buyers make the choice to purchase your home.

Finally, pay attention to kerb appeal to help you sell your home. Potential buyers want to love the home the moment they pull up to the kerb, so make sure you’ve done what you can to make the outside of your home look attractive. Power wash your driveway and front path, and be sure you mow your lawn. You may want to add a few perennial plants, too, to help add to the overall appeal of the space. Gardens are huge selling points for homeowners. Just don’t make it look too complicated to maintain.

Choose a Conveyancing Solicitor

Your home is ready for an offer, and you’re ready to sell your own home. The next step in the process, then, is to select a conveyancing solicitor to help. Wondering where to start with that process? You’ll want to use the same network of people who helped you select your estate agent to choose this profession. Once you have a fairly short list, there are several steps you should take to find the right person for the job. Start by comparing conveyancing quotes. Obtain quotes from multiple conveyancing solicitors or conveyancers. This allows you to compare fees and services, helping you identify cost-effective options. Be sure to request a detailed breakdown of the costs involved. We talked about those costs just a few sections ago, so keep a record of what you’re paying each person as you speak to them.

Keep in mind that these professionals charge in a few different ways. You may want to consider opting for conveyancing solicitors who offer fixed-fee services, which means you’ll pay one total amount at the end of the process. This can provide cost predictability and protect you from unexpected charges. However, be sure to inquire about any potential additional fees that may apply. There are individuals who charge fees based on an hourly rate. Some conveyancers charge an hourly rate for their services. Clients are billed based on the amount of time spent on the conveyancing work. This method is less common in residential conveyancing but you may still see it used by some. Additionally, some conveyancers may charge a percentage of the property’s value as their fee. This isn’t very common with most residential transactions, but you may see it with high-value properties. The percentage may vary depending on the property’s price. You may also see conveyancers with a mixed fee structure. That happens when they combine elements of fixed fees and additional charges for specific services. For example, the basic conveyancing service may have a fixed fee, but additional services, such as leasehold conveyancing or dealing with unregistered land, may incur extra charges.

No matter what type of fee structure the conveyancer offers, they all expect to get paid, even if the transaction falls through. That can be frustrating for some home sellers. As a result, some conveyancers offer a “no sale, no fee” arrangement. In this case, you only pay the conveyancing fees if the sale successfully completes. While this may result in slightly higher fees, it can provide financial protection in case the sale falls through.

As you get your quotes, it’s important to remember that there are different kinds of conveyancers as well as different kinds of fee structures. Most people turn to local conveyancers, and for good reason. They tend to have a better understanding of the market. This knowledge can be valuable when dealing with unique aspects of the local property landscape. That can be particularly helpful because property transactions are subject to various local regulations and planning requirements. Local conveyancers are well-versed in these regulations and can navigate them efficiently, helping to ensure a smooth and compliant transaction. Local conveyancers have more than just knowledge going for them, though. Proximity is also a factor. Working with a local conveyancer provides easy access for face-to-face meetings, which can be beneficial for discussing specific details, asking questions, or addressing concerns. This accessibility can enhance communication and understanding throughout the process, especially because selling your house can be tough sometimes! If necessary, local conveyancers can even easily conduct site visits to assess the property and address any issues promptly. This can be particularly important for properties with unique characteristics or potential challenges that require an on-site evaluation. The bottom line is that some individuals prefer the reassurance of face-to-face interaction during important transactions. Local conveyancers provide the opportunity for clients to meet in person, discuss details, and build a more personalised relationship.

There are also non-local conveyancers. They can offer certain advantages, depending on your circumstances and preferences. While they don’t usually have as good of an understanding of the local area as local providers do, instead they often specialise in specific types of transactions or have expertise in niche areas of property sector law. If your transaction involves unique elements, such as complex legal issues, a non-local conveyancer with specialised expertise could be advantageous. Moreover, they tend to have a wider network. Conveyancers who operate on a national or regional level may have a broader network of contacts and resources. This can be beneficial in coordinating aspects of the transaction that involve professionals from various locations, such as surveyors, mortgage brokers, or other legal experts. If you’re worried you won’t be able to reach them because they’re not nearby, don’t worry! Non-local conveyancers usually provide flexible communication options, including phone and email consultations outside traditional office hours. If you have a busy schedule or prefer communication at specific times, that can be a huge help. They also usually leverage technology and have streamlined processes to enhance efficiency because they’re further away. Their online platforms and digital communication tools usually contribute to a faster and more responsive conveyancing experience. Additionally, they have a reduced risk of conflicts of interest, which can be especially important if you’re in a smaller community. This can contribute to impartiality in the transaction process.

Additionally, you may want to consider online conveyancing services. They usually offer more competitive rates than the other two options. This is an incredibly convenient option. All of the transactions involved can be managed from the comfort of your home or office. There’s no need for physical visits to a solicitor’s office, saving time and effort. When you’re working with an online conveyancer, they’re usually available around the clock, allowing you to check updates, submit documents, and communicate at your convenience. They typically operate on a nationwide basis, offering their services across different regions, which means almost anyone can access their services. Additionally, online conveyancers provide a range of service levels to suit your needs. You can choose from basic packages to more comprehensive services based on their preferences and budget. The budget is the number one reason so many people select this option. Online conveyancing services tend to offer really competitive rates. They typically provide transparent and fixed-fee pricing. You’ll know the cost upfront, reducing the risk of unexpected charges during the conveyancing process. Wondering why they’re so much cheaper? Online conveyancers operate with streamlined processes and lower overheads, leading to cost savings. This can result in competitive and transparent pricing structures, potentially offering cost-effectiveness compared to traditional conveyancing services.

Once you know the types of fee structures and the types of conveyancers, you can ask for quotes from those on your short list. When you begin to get a few quotes to consider, you’ll want to ensure you fully understand the breakdown of the conveyancing quote. Ask about any potential additional costs, such as search fees, bank transfer fees, or VAT. Find out if there are other additional costs like property searches. If there are, keep in mind that you can often choose to conduct certain searches on your own to save costs, but some of them must be left to your conveyancer.

If you really think one particular conveyancer is a good fit, but you don’t love the quote, it may help to negotiate. Some are willing to adjust their fees so you’ll work with them over others.

When you have just a few conveyancers you’re still considering based on the quotes, read reviews and seek recommendations. A conveyancer with a good reputation is more likely to provide efficient and cost-effective services. Then, look to make certain those on your list are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) or the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC). That can help you avoid potential problems down the road.

Remember that while reducing costs is important, it’s equally essential to ensure that the conveyancer you choose provides reliable and comprehensive services. Balancing cost-effectiveness with the quality of service is key to a successful and stress-free conveyancing process. After all, it’s your conveyancer who will help make the process move quickly and smoothly toward your closing date, so do some research to make sure you’re connecting with the perfect team member.

Show Your Home

Most articles that list tips for selling your home will likely list this one as pretty key. The next step in the process is to actually begin showing your home to potential buyers. Often your estate agent will handle this process for you, but you’ll want to keep it in great shape throughout the selling process so it’s always ready to be shown to new buyers. This means keeping the kids’ toys picked up, sweeping regularly, and ensuring your home looks (and smells) great throughout the process.

On the day of a showing, you’ll want to give it a final clean and tidy. Ensure that your home is spotless. As you clean, pay attention to details like dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning surfaces. Tidy up any clutter to present a clean and well-maintained space. Take a final pass to remove personal items such as family photos, personal memorabilia, and toiletries. This depersonalises the space and allows potential buyers to envision the home as their own.

Just before you leave, you’ll want to pay close attention to the windows. Maximise natural light by opening curtains and blinds. Well-lit spaces appear more inviting, and spacious and showcase the features of your home. You should also ensure that all lights are turned on to brighten the space, especially in darker areas. Well-lit rooms appear more inviting and appealing. Why is lighting so important to potential buyers? There are actually several reasons. Adequate natural and artificial light can make spaces feel larger and more open. Well-lit rooms create a sense of expansiveness, while dimly lit spaces may appear smaller and less inviting. Moreover, bright, well-lit spaces contribute to a positive and uplifting atmosphere. Natural light, in particular, is associated with feelings of warmth, comfort, and well-being. A home that feels inviting is more likely to leave a positive impression on potential buyers. Proper lighting also helps to highlight the features and details of a home. It draws attention to architectural elements, decor, and finishes, allowing buyers to appreciate the craftsmanship and design of the property.

Additionally, take a closer look at the temperature of your home. In colder months, heat the property adequately, and in warmer months, consider cooling options. A comfortable environment is more appealing to potential buyers. If the temperature is too hot or too cold, it can create discomfort and distract buyers from focusing on the positive aspects of the property. A comfortable environment encourages potential buyers to spend more time exploring the property. If the temperature is uncomfortable, they may rush through the viewing, potentially missing key features and details. Just as importantly, walking into a home with a pleasant and comfortable temperature contributes to a positive first impression. It creates a welcoming atmosphere, making potential buyers more likely to view the property favourably. Maintaining an appropriate temperature also demonstrates that the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are in good working order. Buyers may be wary if they perceive temperature issues, leading them to question the overall condition of the property, which is the last thing you want during a home showing.

If you know you have odours in your home, like pet odours or cooking odours, you’ll want to address those before you leave, too. You don’t want to use strong scents to cover them up, but you will want to deal with the problem as much as possible. Odours can create an immediate and lasting impression on potential buyers. Unpleasant smells can be a major turn-off and may influence buyers’ perceptions of the overall cleanliness and condition of the home. Most people associate foul odours with poor cleanliness and maintenance, both of which aren’t things you want possible buyers associating with your house! Creating a neutral environment, though, allows potential buyers to focus on the features and qualities of the home without distractions. It helps create a clean slate, allowing buyers to form their own positive impressions. You can usually eliminate problem odours by taking small steps like opening the windows about a half an hour before the showing or baking some cookies. Often burning a cleanly scented candle, such as one with a citrus scent, will help, too.

If you have pets, you’ll want to be sure they’re somewhere else during a showing. Pets can be distracting during home showings. While you may adore your furry friends, potential buyers might find their presence distracting, especially if they are trying to focus on evaluating the property. Remember that some individuals may have allergies or fears related to animals. The presence of pets, even if well-behaved, can create anxiety for certain buyers. Removing pets from the home helps create a more inclusive and comfortable environment for everyone. It’s not just the potential buyers you’ll want to worry about, though. Pets, especially dogs and cats, may exhibit unpredictable behaviour when faced with new people or environments. To prevent any behavioural issues or stress for your pets, it’s best to have them in a secure and familiar place during showings.

The last step is to leave your house. This is incredibly important. Buyers often feel more comfortable exploring a property when the current owners are not present. Having the space to themselves allows potential buyers to freely discuss their thoughts and impressions with their estate agent without concern for the sellers overhearing. It may also help sellers focus if you’re gone. Sellers can often become an unintentional distraction during a home showing, and that’s the last thing you want. You want buyers to be able to focus on the property alone as they see your home. You also want them to feel at ease so they can truly envision themselves in your space. Having just an estate agent present allows a buyer to explore each room and imagine how they might use it.

Accepting an Offer

After several showings, you may just get an offer on your home, and once you do, there are several things to consider. The first is the price they’re offering. Remember that it’s fairly standard for a buyer to offer less than your asking price, especially if you’re in the middle of a buyer’s market, so don’t be upset if the first offer you get from a buyer is a bit low. You don’t have to worry about accepting or rejecting the offer the moment you get it. You have a few days to think things over before you have to get back to the potential buyer.

You’ll want to chat with your estate agent before you either accept or reject an offer for your home. That will help you better understand what position the buyer is in and whether or not it’s a good idea to accept or reject the offer on the table. Ask your estate agent what financial position the buyer is in. If they’re a cash buyer, you’ll get a faster sale, but you may not get quite as much money for your home as you might from a different buyer. If, on the other hand, they’re not a cash buyer, they’ll need a mortgage, so you may want to find out whether they already have a mortgage in principle agreement from a lender.

The timing of the potential sale matters, too. If the buyer has a house to sell, too, that could actually create problems for your sale. That would make you part of a property chain that could create some real problems down the road. This is particularly true if you have a timeline to meet on your own. If you need to secure a home or you’re moving for a job and you’re on a tight deadline, knowing exactly how long it might take for you to sell your home is nothing short of a must.

Think, too, about the actual amount of the offer. If it’s considerably less than you were hoping to get out of the property or less than you must get out of the property to satisfy your mortgage debt, you can reject it. If, however, your house has been on the market for some time, you simply need to move, and the offer is enough to cover the mortgage debt, it may be a good idea to go ahead and take it.

Whether you intend to accept or reject the offer, you’ll want to do so within the first 48 hours afterward. If the buyer hasn’t given you enough information, be sure to ask for any additional information you need. If you do turn the offer down, try to offer a reason for the buyer. Maybe it has something to do with financial expectations. Maybe it has to do with the fact that the buyer is part of a longer chain. Either way, letting the buyer know why you turned them down could be good fodder for a counter offer.

Wondering whether to accept the first offer you get? It depends a bit on the circumstances surrounding your sale. The first offer can mean that potential buyers are receiving your home positively. That could mean that holding out will get you more interest in the property. On the other hand, though, you may lose a truly motivated buyer if you reject it just because it’s the first offer. You’ll want to accept the first offer if your house has been on the market for some time, the local market isn’t performing well, or you want a quick sale. You’ll want to reject that very first offer if it’s a lot less than the market value of your home, your property listing has only been live for a few days, or the local market is booming.

Not even sure if the offer is reasonable? It’s usually a good offer if it works with the property values in the area. If it’s more than 10% less than those or your asking price, you may want to reject it.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to completely reject any offer. You can negotiate with buyers. You’ll usually do this in the form of a counter offer. Not sure where to begin? Just follow these simple steps.

  • Review the Buyer’s Offer: Carefully review the buyer’s offer to understand the proposed terms, including the purchase price, closing date, contingencies, and any other relevant conditions.
  • Take a Closer Look at Your Priorities: Identify your priorities and preferences. Determine which terms are negotiable and which are non-negotiable. This will help you formulate a counteroffer that aligns with your goals.
  • Determine Your Counteroffer Terms: Decide on the terms you would like to propose in your counteroffer. This may include adjustments to the purchase price, changes to the closing date, or modifications to other conditions.
  • Set a Competitive but Realistic Price: If you are countering the purchase price, set a price that is competitive in the current market while also reflecting the value of your property. Consider recent comparable sales in the area and the condition of your home.
  • Consider Closing Costs and Contingencies: If the buyer has asked for specific concessions or if there are contingencies in the offer, decide whether you are willing to accommodate these requests or propose alternatives.
  • Draft a Counteroffer Letter: Write a clear and concise counteroffer letter. Include your counteroffer terms, including any changes to the purchase price, closing date, or other conditions as well as the expiration date of the counteroffer.
  • Consult with Your Estate Agent: If you are working with an estate agent, consult with them before finalising your counteroffer. They can provide valuable insights into market conditions, help you navigate negotiations, and ensure that your counteroffer aligns with your overall strategy.
  • Submit the Counteroffer: Send the counteroffer to the buyer’s agent. This is typically done through your respective estate agents, but you may also communicate directly if that’s the arrangement. Be prompt in submitting the counteroffer, especially if there is a deadline for response.
  • Be Open to Further Negotiation: Understand that the negotiation process may involve back-and-forth communication. Be open to further negotiation and compromise to reach a mutually acceptable agreement.

When you do accept an offer, you’re ready to begin the conveyancing process, which can be a fairly long one. To help speed things up, most advisors on the top tips for selling your home will tell you to do your part to fill out any questionnaires or paperwork as they arrive, and do what you can to keep all parties in the loop about what’s happening.

Creating A Contract

Once you complete the initial paperwork, your solicitor will be ready to create a draft contract for your home. You’ll have several things to decide on at this stage of the game. You’ll want to decide how quickly you can move out after the formal exchange of contracts. If you have another home you’re waiting to buy, you can put that day off as long as the buyer is okay with it. If, on the other hand, you have someplace you need to be sooner, it may be possible to accelerate things. In the UK, the most common time frame between the exchange of contracts and the day of completion is one to four weeks. Several factors, though, can influence the agreed-upon completion timeline, including the complexity of the transaction, the financing process, the time required for searches and due diligence, and the preferences of both the buyer and the seller. Flexibility is key during the negotiation of the completion period. Both parties should be willing to discuss and agree on a timeframe that accommodates their respective needs and ensures a smooth and successful transition of ownership.

You’ll also want to think about what you’ll leave behind (like various fixtures and fittings). Not sure how to determine that? Start by referring to your listing agreement and any relevant contracts with your estate agent to understand what is expected in terms of fixtures and fittings. The agreement may outline items that are considered part of the sale. During this process, be sure to familiarise yourself with legal standards and local property sector practices regarding what is typically considered part of a property sale. In many cases, fixtures (items permanently attached to the property) are expected to stay, while fittings (movable items) may be negotiable. It may help to create an inventory of fixtures and fittings in your home. As you do, clearly distinguish between items that will stay and those you plan to take with you. This list may include items such as light fixtures, built-in appliances, curtains, and more. During this process, be sure that you put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and consider their expectations. Certain items, such as built-in kitchen appliances, bathroom fixtures, and light fixtures, are often expected to remain with the property. Depending on their circumstances, though, they may want certain other things, though. Understanding common buyer expectations can guide your decisions, and if there’s something you know you want to take, be firm about your own expectations.

Finally, consider any discounts you might have to offer if the survey uncovers problems. You don’t necessarily have to reduce the sale price if the survey uncovers problems. Instead of reducing the sale price, you can offer repair credits to the buyer. This means the buyer gets a certain amount of money to address the identified issues after the purchase. You could also take responsibility for fixing the issues yourself before closing. This can give the buyer confidence that the problems will be properly addressed. Additionally, instead of a direct reduction in the home price, you can offer to cover some or all of the buyer’s closing costs. This can help the buyer financially without affecting the home’s sale price. You may also want to offer flexibility with the closing date to accommodate any repairs that need to be made. This can be especially appealing to buyers who may want to oversee the repairs themselves. Naturally, you may also choose to reduce the overall sale price of the home to account for the cost of necessary repairs. This can be a straightforward way to address the concerns raised in the home survey.

Work with your conveyancer to determine exactly how to handle those things in a contract, as that will help you create a document with which you’re actually ready to move forward.

The Exchange of Contracts

Once both you and your potential buyer are happy with the contracts, you’re ready to exchange them with the help of your solicitors, and after this point, you are both committed to the sale. Pulling out after this stage means the potential for a lawsuit. Keep in mind that you are still responsible for the condition of the house after the contracts have been exchanged, so ensure that your insurance policy is still in effect and that nothing is damaged during removal.

Moving Day

After the contracts have been exchanged, there’s usually just about a week until the day of completion, and on that day, you need to be moved out of your home. Move out as soon after the exchange of contracts as you like, and then on the day of completion, all that will be left is the exchanging of keys.

Moving day can be a very stressful process. There are several things you can do, though, to make it a bit easier. First, be sure you pack a special box designed just for moving day. You’ll want to include all of the essential items you need at your home the very first night you move in. In most cases, you’ll want to include your toiletries in this box, blankets, a change of clothes, and some snacks. That will help to be sure that you don’t have to go through lots of boxes on that first night in your new home.

You’ll want to get a good night’s sleep before your big move and be sure to get up early on moving day. That will give you time to have a simple breakfast and get the energy you need for the day ahead, Moving day can be incredibly long and very exhausting, so make sure you eat well. If you have kids, you’ll want to be sure they’ve eaten well in the morning, too, as tempers can flare and tantrums can happen easily on a moving day.

You’ll want to be sure your phone is near you at all times and that it is fully charged. You may need it to finalise those last-minute details or to be able to reach out to your solicitor should you need it or the removal company should you need to reach them throughout the process. Things can go wrong on moving days, so having all of the numbers you might need in advance stored in your phone can be a huge help.

Remember that you have some fairly key paperwork in your possession, so you’ll want to keep all of those important moving documents safe in a single, accessible folder throughout the process. This includes the documentation you already have from your removal company, any receipts you might need, inventory lists from your house, and anything else you find to be important.

Be sure that your valuables don’t get packed with the other items in your home. You’ll want to keep them safe and with you. This may mean jewellery and watches, as well as other items that have some sentimental value for you. It also means any cash you have with you, bank cards, and any electronic devices like your laptop, tablet, or phone.

You should see the removal crew approach at the agreed-upon time on a moving day. You’ll want to greet them when they get there and help them know what’s where on your property. Be sure you’re clear about the expectations, then the removal crew can get on with their jobs. If you have any concerns or special requests, be sure to make them well in advance of the process getting underway. You’ll also want to make them aware of any key information before they leave your property. It may help to have their tips ready. While you are not required to give the movers a tip, it may make them happy and more cautious with your belongings.

Be sure you’ve planned ahead for the safety of your children and your pets. Some support from relatives can be key at this time, as it is easy for kids and pets to get in the way of your removal crew as you’re trying to make things happen. If that’s not an option, make sure you have lots of toys and a safe space for your kids that’s out of the way to avoid any potential incidents.

Before you leave, you’ll want to thoroughly clean the property and lock things up. Be sure you’ve left nothing behind, and that you have all of the keys for the property so you can hand them over on the day of completion.

The Aftermath

On the day of completion, there are just a few steps left in the process of selling your home. In most cases, the day starts with a final walkthrough from the buyer. That helps provide a final opportunity for the buyer to ensure that the property is in the agreed-upon condition before closing the deal. During the walkthrough, the buyer can confirm that the property is in the same condition as when they made the offer and that any agreed-upon repairs or conditions specified in the purchase agreement have been addressed. If there were repairs requested as a result of the home inspection or other contingencies, the final walkthrough allows the buyer to verify that these repairs have been completed to their satisfaction. The buyer can also ensure that any items specified in the purchase agreement as included in the sale (such as appliances or fixtures) are still present and in working order. Additionally, the final walkthrough allows the buyer to confirm that the property is vacant and ready for their occupancy. It provides an opportunity to ensure that the seller has moved out and that the property is clean and free of personal belongings.

Once that’s complete, both the buyer and the seller sign the necessary documents to transfer ownership of the property. These documents include the deed, mortgage documents, and other paperwork required by local regulations. Then, the buyer provides the necessary funds to complete the purchase. This often involves a wire transfer or a cashier’s check for the remaining balance after accounting for the buyer’s down payment, mortgage amount, and any closing costs. At that point, you accept the payment, then you hand over the keys. Money is transferred to your account, and your solicitor transfers the ownership of the property to the Land Registry. There are bills to be paid next. You’ll need to repay the mortgage if you have one. You’ll then need to settle with the conveyancing solicitor and your estate agent. All remaining money will be transferred to your account. Once that’s done, the buyer can officially move into the property on the day of completion unless other arrangements have been made. You’ve finished selling your house, and you can begin to settle comfortably in your new one.

How To Sell A House Faster

Often when people ask “How long to sell a house in the UK” the answer is always too long! Estate agents and conveyancing solicitors don’t actually have to slow things down for you. Many articles that give tips for selling your home fast will tell you that two things can help speed up a sale. The first is to sell your property in as-is condition. When you list a house this way, you’re letting someone know that you’re not willing to make any changes or carry out improvements or repairs to the property. You must disclose any issues that could affect a buyer’s decision to make the purchase, but you don’t have to make any changes to the sale price as a result. This can speed up the sale of your home because it takes away the lengthy inspection process that can really slow down conveyancing.

Selling your home to a cash investor can also be a faster route to home sales according to most advisors on the top tips for selling your home. Cash investors often buy the property as-is, and they typically buy for below market value. That helps them turn a profit as they renovate to sell at a later date. This process is so much faster because they typically don’t need an extended inspection time, there’s no property chain to follow, and they don’t have to work through a mortgage lender, which means you can eliminate that step entirely. While many sellers don’t want to accept anything too much below market value, if you’re in a hurry, these buyers can typically close a sale in a matter of two weeks. It’s often a simpler process too. Cash property transactions tend to involve far fewer steps than more traditional transactions. Because a mortgage lender usually isn’t involved, there’s one less party to deal with, and that can make the whole process a bit more straightforward and create far fewer complications for the seller. It also means a greater level of certainty for the seller. Remember that cash transactions don’t usually require the level of property appraisal and checks that other kinds of transactions do, and that may mean that you are sure to sell your house, even if there are repairs needed. One last advantage is that the timeline is incredibly flexible. Whether you need a fast sale or you need a bit more time before closing because you’re handling all kinds of other business, cash buyers are usually fairly accommodating, and that means you likely will have just as much or as little time to get out of the house as you need.

Selling Your Home Just Means Gaining the Information You Need

No matter how you decide to sell your home, working to get the information you need on the entire process can help to unveil things and make it a bit smoother from the time you make the choice to the time you finally hand over your keys to the new buyers! Learning how to sell your home can be difficult, but using this quick guide is possible. Utilise the advice in this guide to selling your home, and move forward with the sale of your home!

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