15-Step Guide to Selling Your House

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Selling Your House
 Safia Anwar
Legally reviewed by: Safia Anwar In: Conveyancing

Selling a house can be an overwhelming process, especially if you are also looking to buy another property at the same time. However, our conveyancing solicitors will guide you step by step through the process, ensuring you are making the right decisions that will save you both time, hassle, and money. If you are at all unsure about any part of the process of selling your house, get in contact with our conveyancing solicitors and we can provide advice and guidance.

This guide to selling your house will briefly explain each step you will likely have to complete. For more information on selling your house, you can find further information on our conveyancing pages, or you can speak to our conveyancing solicitors on 0800 999 2220.

Selling Your House Guide

Contents:

  1. Consider Why You Are Selling Your House
  2. Arrange Your Finances
  3. Decide if You Will Buy or Rent Your Next House
  4. Find an Estate Agent to Sell Your Property
  5. Get an Energy Performance Certificate
  6. Decide on the Price for Selling Your House
  7. Prepare Your House for the Listing
  8. Hire a Conveyancing Solicitor
  9. Accept an Offer for Your House
  10. Negotiate the Draft Contract
  11. Exchange Contracts with the Buyer
  12. Move Out of the House
  13. Complete the Sale
  14. Pay Off the Mortgage
  15. Finish Off With Your Conveyancing Solicitor and Estate Agent
  16. Selling Your House With AWH’s Conveyancing Solicitors

Consider Why You Are Selling Your House

Before starting your process of selling your house, it is worth taking some time to make sure it’s worth doing. Could renovations or extensions be a good alternative? Perhaps the property market is not ideal to sell now. What profit can you expect?

Answering some questions about why you want to sell your house can help make sure you are selling for the right reasons.

Arrange Your Finances

Before you go ahead with selling your house, you will need to know roughly how much it is worth. This will additionally, help you to calculate how much money will be left if you are paying off a mortgage.

You will need to speak to a lender to know if you need to pay an early repayment charge for switching your mortgage to another lender. Additionally, they will let you know if it’s possible to take your mortgage to another property with you. This
is a process called porting.

Decide if You Will Buy or Rent Your Next House

Although renting a house can add expenses to your overall move, it can help reduce the time pressure of buying a new home. It means that you won’t have to sell the property for less as a compromise to move in time. You also will not be pressured to buy a house you are not completely happy with because you have found a buyer for your home.

You will be breaking the housing chain if you plan to move into a rental after. This can make the house a lot more attractive to potential buyers.

Find an Estate Agent to Sell Your Property

Selling your home yourself can save you money, but it can be a lot of work. However, it can be a good option if you already have a potential buyer and have experience selling a house (for example, a family member or friend wanting to buy the house.)

If you want to get an estate agent, you will need to consider whether you want to use a local or an online estate agent.

For a local estate agent, you will need to research which one to choose. To do so, look at their rates, how quickly they sell, their success rates, and the likelihood of achieving the asking price.

On the other hand, an online estate is usually much cheaper, but you will need to review what they can offer beforehand.

Before appointing your estate agent, be sure to read the contract carefully.

Get an Energy Performance Certificate

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a standardised document that ranks how energy efficient a property is. You will need to provide an EPC to a potential buyer. Usually, this is added to the information pack put up with details of the property for potential buyers. At the very least, you will need to have applied for an EPC before putting your home on the market.

Decide on the Price for Selling your House

If you are working with an estate agent, you may want to get help from them regarding your evaluation. Additionally, it’s recommended that you do some work to find out how much similar houses in your area go for. You could even go to house viewings for houses that are a similar price to yours to view their condition.

When it comes to setting your price, it is common for offers to be made under the asking price, therefore you can always add 10% to the lowest offer you would accept. However
, if you are not in a rush to sell, you can try a higher price first as you can always lower the asking price later.

Prepare Your House for the Listing

Preparing your house for a listing can significantly increase the number of interested buyers. It’s important to take high-quality pictures of your home. Make sure the house is tidy and presentable before the pictures are taken. Adding extra touches such as buying some fresh flowers for the dining room table or hanging fresh towels in the bathroom all adds to the desirability of your home.

Hire a Conveyancing Solicitor

We recommend looking for a conveyancing solicitor during the viewing process time. Your conveyancing solicitor will help you prepare all necessary legal documents and paperwork. In addition, they will guide you through any questions that you may have during the process of selling your house.

Read our page on selling a property for any further information on the services our conveyancing solicitors provide.

Finally, for an idea of how much a conveyancing solicitor will cost you, you can get a free quote on our conveyancing calculator.

Fill out Relevant Questionaries and Documents

Once you have enlisted the help of a conveyancing solicitor, they will help you put together the forms, questionnaires, and documents to give to the buyer. This will provide the buyer with all the information about the property and about the sale.

Accept an Offer for your House

Your real estate agent will keep you up to date on any offers made on the house. You can either accept or decline the offers or ask your estate agent to negotiate with a potential buyer. Accepting an offer is not yet legally binding. Therefore, if you receive a better offer, you can still decline the first accepted offer.

Negotiate the Draft Contract

Your conveyancing solicitor will help you and the buyer decide:

  • The length of time between exchange and completion. This is usually 7 to 28 days after the exchange of contracts.
  • What fixtures and fitting are included with the property and how much they will pay for them?
  • Any discounts due to problems found on the survey.

Exchange Contracts with the Buyer

Once you exchange contracts with the buyer you are now legally committed to selling the property to them. The buyer is also legally committed to buying the property.

If you pull out without due reason, the buyer’s deposit will be returned to them, and you can be sued.

Move Out of the House

If you move out before the day of completion, there is no set time for when you must leave your property. Many people move out of their properties a little bit earlier than the handover date to save potential stress.

At the time of completion, the property must be in the condition agreed upon in the contract. The buyer and estate agent may come around before their move-in date to ensure that everything is ready for their arrival.

Complete the Sale

The sale of your property is completed when you accept payment and hand over the keys to the new owners. On the day of the handover, the money and any deeds for the property are transferred between each party’s conveyancing solicitor.

Pay Off the Mortgage

Your mortgage company will give you and your conveyancing solicitor a precise redemption figure for the outstanding amount of mortgage left on the property you sold. Now that your buyer has sent the money to your conveyancing solicitor, they will pay off the mortgage for you.

Finish Off with Your Conveyancing Solicitor and Estate Agent

Once everything is sorted, your conveyancing solicitor will send you an account that covers all the costs and disbursements in addition to the sale price of the house and redemption of the mortgage.

If you are also buying a property as well as selling a property our solicitors will tie up both transactions at the same time. This includes paying stamp duty for the house you are buying.

Additionally, your conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the change of ownership is registered with the Land Registry.

Selling Your House with AWH’s Conveyancing Solicitors

At AWH we offer quality guidance and support to all our clients. We can ensure that under any circumstance the conveyancing process will be straightforward. Additionally, AWH is regulated and authorised by the solicitors’ regulation authority.

We have expert property solicitors ready to deal with all aspects of residential freehold and leasehold conveyancing. Contact us online today, call us on 0800 999 2220 or try our online conveyancing calculator.

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