You have decided to sell you home. Here’s our easy to follow guide with everything you need to know about the process of selling a house. This may save you some money which you will undoubtedly need in your new home!
Figure out your finances. You should have a rough idea of how much your house is worth. If you have a mortgage to pay, this will help you calculate how much money will be left.
An easy way is to pick up a phone and speak to your lender. They will be able to advise you if you will have to pay any early repayment charges for switching your mortgage to another lender or whether it is possible to take it with you to a new property. If your mortgage agreement is ending, your lender may advise you on remortgage deals.
Plan every step to avoid being held up. Our guide on How to apply for a mortgage will give you some understanding of how long it may take to get a mortgage.
Selling a house and buying a house can get you in a housing chain. You may feel pressurised in buying a less-than-perfect new home because you have found a buyer for your current home.
You may have to compromise on your sale price as you may feel under pressure to complete on your onward purchase.
All these can be avoided if you possibly rent after your house is sold. Yes, selling your home and renting for a while can add to the overall expense, but it will break the housing chain and make you will a more attractive buyer. See our guide Should I sell my home before I buy a new one? for more information. Another option is to list your home off market until you find your dream home, by which point your off market listing would have gained a waiting list of buyers. We created Houso to help solve the problem of the breakable chain which occurs when buying and selling homes – off-market can help you avoid the headache and heartbreak of a broken chain.
You can get an estate agent to help sell your house or you can do it yourself. Visit Houso Sell for our guide to download the app and become in control of your selling.
If you go with an estate agent, make a research about which ones sell quicker and their success rate. Bear in mind that you will need to agree a fee with the estate agent. Usually it is 1% plus VAT for sole agent.
Online estate agents are a cheaper option when selling a house. Review what they can offer and for how much.
Selling your home on Houso will save you money. We have plenty of useful tips on how to attract a buyer on our Tips and Guides page.
One of the most difficult decisions when selling your home is how much to sell it for. Knowing your local property market may help you with this decision. Estate agents may help you too, but do not necessarily go for the highest. Remember buyers will probably try to negotiate a discount, so add 5% to 10% to what you are prepared to accept.
Preparing your home for sale is one of the most important things. “Home staging” has become very popular recently. If you get it right, you are not only more likely to sell your home faster, but you will make it look more valuable too.
Get rid of clutter, freshen it up with neutral paints, sort out loose fixing and keep it clean in and out. Check out our Tips and Guides page on how to sell your house quick and how to add value to it.
We suggest that you should hire a conveyancing solicitor to handle the legal work involved in selling a house. They can be recommended by your estate agent but do compare their quotes with other. Deciding which firm you want to use ensures the sale progress and should be done before you sell your house. You can then only formally instruct after you have agreed an offer.
After all your hard work you have received an offer, may be two or three. If you go via an estate agent, they are legally required to pass all offers on to you.
If you are not happy with the offer, you can either reject it outright, or tell the estate agent to try to negotiate it upwards. If you are happy with an offer, you need to formally accept it. Accepting an offer is not legally binding, and you can legally change your mind or accept a higher offer later (gazumping) – this can be pretty distressing to the buyer.
The next steps will be to negotiate the draft contract and exchange contracts. When you exchange contracts with the buyer, you become legally committed to selling the property – and they are legally committed to buying it from you.
Remember to get an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). It is a standard document which ranks properties in terms of energy efficiency. All homeowners need to provide an EPC to potential buyers when they sell their homes.
Have you got a place to move out before the sale is completed? It is less stressful as at the time of completion, the property has to be in the condition agreed in the contract including all the fixtures and fittings. The buyer and their estate agent may come round to ensure that everything is in place, so it is better if you sort it out beforehand.
The final step is a house sale completion – the property changes ownership, you accept payment, and hand over the keys. On the day of completion, the money is transferred and any deeds for the property are transferred between each side’s solicitor or conveyancer. Your solicitor/conveyancer will then register the transfer of ownership with the Land Registry.
You can now settle in your new home. The buyer has now transferred the money to your conveyancing solicitor, and they will pay off the mortgage for you.