When it comes to selling a house, the process can be both exhilarating and daunting – and with good reason, too. What if all of this is a mistake? What if this is actually your perfect home, you just don’t know it yet? What if, what if… ?
First of all, explore your reasons for selling. If you aren't truly motivated nor committed to selling, you could be setting yourself up for disappointment. Not having a valid reason to go through all the effort and expenses of selling a home could result in major regret.
Try comparing the pros and cons in a written list to determine if selling your house is the right move. Talk to trusted professionals, but not real estate agents, as they will invariably say now is the best time to sell.
Once you are sure that this is, in fact, the right thing to do right now, proceed with these steps to selling a house…
Getting your finances in order is crucial. Inform your mortgage provider that you’re considering selling, and find out if there are any penalties for paying back your mortgage early.
Should you want to purchase a new home as well, consider the kind of mortgage you’ll require.
Chances are great that, if you’re selling your house, you’re also looking for another. So, make sure that you’ve started marketing the sale of your current home before you start looking for a new home.
Never be satisfied with just one valuation of your home – have several done before you decide on an asking price. And remember that just because you pick one agent doesn’t mean that you have to go with their price. It’s your home, and it’s your choice.
homify hint: When selling your home, keep in mind stamp duty brackets. And remember that buyers will normally try to negotiate a discount, so mark on an extra 5-10% on the price you want to achieve.
A right agent by your side makes the whole process of selling a house proceed easier. Your local property professional will know the area quite well, and will be able to give you honest advice about what to expect.
Just be sure your chosen agent can communicate clearly and effectively before hiring them – this is a business relationship, after all.
There is definitely something to staging a home, as the photos in your advertisement can determine how many buyers you’ll get through the door. So, before your agent (or a professional photographer) shows up to take pictures, get your property (inside and out) to look its best.
The act of transferring ownership of a property is called conveyancing, and this needs to be done legally through a solicitor. A solicitor won’t officially come on board until you have accepted an offer on your property, but you should also have them ready as soon as you accept the offer.
Usually, estate agents have a preferred partner that they work with and can recommend.
homify hint: Try and use the same solicitor if you’re buying and selling, as it can work out cheaper.
By now, you’ll have had plenty of interest in your property, with your house open for viewings. As soon as you receive an offer, be sure to negotiate. Some buyers will offer less than they’re willing to pay for the home.
Your estate agent can also advise on reasonable offers.
As soon as you’ve accepted an offer, the sales progression officially begins.
Between you and the buyer, you’ll decide on the time period between exchange and completion, what fixtures and fittings will be included in the sale, and whether any discounts will be added off the back of the survey conducted by the buyer’s mortgage provider.
Your buyer’s lawyer will make enquiries to obtain all the necessary information for drawing up contracts. Your questionnaire will focus on the boundaries of the property, the fixtures and fittings included in the sale, and possible disputes or complaints with neighbours.
Factors like proposed developments, building works, sewerage, council tax, etc will be focused on by the council.
After negotiating the terms of the contract, the final contract will be finalised and exchanged. This is where the buyer pays their deposit. The sale should then be completed rather quickly.
Here is where both you and the buyer are legally bound to the sale. Should you choose not to move forward with selling your house, you could be sued and must return the buyer’s deposit. If the buyer pulls out at this point, they will lose their deposit.
After contracts have been exchanged, you have a certain time period (as agreed upon) before you need to vacate your property.
Time to start packing those boxes!
This step marks the official changing of ownership of the property. Here is where you accept payment and hand over the keys.
The bulk of the money and the deed will be transferred by each party’s respective solicitors and your solicitor will register the transfer of ownership with the land registry.
Your provider will have given you and your solicitor a precise redemption figure for your mortgage for completion day. Now that the buyer has transferred the bulk of the money to your solicitor, the mortgage can be paid off.
Once you have officially transferred the rights of your old property to its new owner, your solicitor will send you an account of all their costs, the sale price and redemption of the mortgage.
And those are pretty much the steps of selling a house!
Now, let’s see 10 things nobody told you about buying an older home.