Below are some practical tips for selling your property.
If you are thinking of moving be sure to arrange a free no obligation valuation and see how much your property is worth.
Marketing your home
The next step is to prepare the material that will market your property. We will give you honest, well-informed advice on the best way to sell your property, and we will create a marketing strategy for you. Professional photography can be taken of your home and floor plans created.
Your home will be placed on the LHJ website and is also linked to Rightmove.co.uk, Zoopla.co.uk, primelocation.com, UK land and farms giving you even wider advertising coverage and maximum exposure. You will need an EPC and we can arrange this for you.
Give your agent other useful documents and facts about your property, which they can mention to potential buyers, such as:
- Utility, Council tax, buildings and contents insurance bills – so potential buyers can estimate running costs.
- Service charges and ground rent bills (for flats).
- Gas and electrical certificate checks, Building regulations certificates.
- Plans of property if you have land.
Preparing the house ready for Viewings
Staging your property well can maximise offers received. Remember you are best advised to fix those little snagging things and keep it clean! Light a fire; bake bread; put up a mirror; take the dog out for a walk; get rid of bad odours! If possible be out of the house for viewings and leave it to the experts!
- Freshen up any rooms with a lick of paint or a new carpet!
- Consider steam cleaning tiling to lift bathrooms and kitchens!
- Does the room have an identity and show off the size of the accommodation: You could consider decluttering any excess furniture – a few trips down to the local tip on the weekend for unwanted items you no longer use or list on social media sale groups?
- Consider its “kerb appeal”; the first thing potential buyers will see before they even get past the front door. Does the front of your house need smartening up?
- Could the front garden be tidier?
- Would the front door look better with a fresh lick of paint?
- Could the front windows do with a clean?
And…. do take feedback on board – if all the feedback from viewings points towards a particular issue it best do something about it.
Hire a solicitor or conveyancer
- You need to choose a solicitor or conveyancer to handle the legal work to transfer ownership of the property to you.
- You should decide which firm you want to use before you agree the sale of your house – but you can obviously only instruct them after you have agreed an offer
- Get quotes
Fill out the relevant questionnaires
- You will have a variety of forms and questionnaires to fill out, to give the buyer all the information about the property, and about the sale.
Accept an offer
- You’ve received an offer – hooray! The estate agent is legally required to pass all offers on to you, however ridiculous
- If you are not happy with it, you can either reject it outright, wait to see if a better offer comes along or tell the estate agent to try to negotiate it upwards
- Once you are happy with an offer, you need to formally accept it. You should then instruct the estate agent to take the property off the market
- Remember that accepting an offer is not legally binding, and you can legally change your mind or accept a higher offer later (gazumping) – but remember, this can be pretty distressing to the buyer
Negotiate the draft contract
You and the buyer will have to decide:
- What fixtures and fittings will be included – and how much will they pay for them
- Any discounts due to problems flagged up by the survey
- Completion and the length of time between exchange and completion (usually 7-14 days after the exchange of 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
- If you pull out after this without due reason, the buyer’s deposit will be returned to them and you may be sued
- For more information and to find out about the details of the process, read this guide How do I exchange contracts?
- If you sell a house you are responsible for looking after it until the sale is completed so you should make sure you have buildings and contents insurance cover until then.
- You can move out whenever you like, even up until the day of completion (although clearly, you need somewhere to move to)
- It is less stressful to move out beforehand, if that is possible
- 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 estate agent may come round between your moving out and completion to ensure that everything is in place
- Plan your move with this Moving House Checklist
Complete the sale
- Completion is when the property changes ownership, you accept payment, and hand over the keys
- It takes place on a previously agreed date and usually the middle of the day
- 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 register the transfer of ownership with the Land Registry
- Learn more about what to expect on the day of completion
Pay off the mortgage
- The mortgage company will have given you and your conveyancer/solicitor a precise redemption figure (outstanding amount) for your mortgage for the day of completion
- Now the buyer has transferred the money to your solicitor or conveyancer, they will pay off the mortgage for you
Settle up with the solicitor/conveyancer and estate agent
- After completion, your solicitor/conveyancer will send you an account, covering all costs and disbursements, as well as the sale price of the house and redemption of the mortgage
- If you are buying and selling at the same time, the solicitor/conveyancer can settle up for both transactions at the same time, including paying stamp duty for the house you are buying
- Your solicitor/conveyancer will ensure that the change of ownership is registered with the Land Registry