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How to sell your house: A step-by-step guide to selling your property

26th August 2021


Selling property can be extremely daunting and stressful, but there are things you can do to make it easier. Once you’ve decided you’re ready to sell, it’s important to be organised, know what to expect and get the right help from the outset.

At Charters Estate Agents, our friendly and professional team are here to manage your move smoothly and successfully. To get you off to the best start, we’ve put together a simple step-by-step guide to selling your property. This 10 step plan will help you understand what needs to be done and in what order. Remember that we’re always here to help and ready to answer all your questions. Let’s get started!

1. Think about mortgages

Most people selling are also buying. Before you begin your property search, you should speak to an independent mortgage adviser. They will hold your hand through the process so you will know what you can afford.

Having a ‘Mortgage in Principle’ will make any offers you make more attractive to the vendor and selling agent. It puts you in the driving seat to secure the home you want.

You can then look at properties which are realistically priced to match your budget and make an offer once you’ve found the perfect match.

2. Prepare your property

You want the best price for your property and there are a few things you can do to help it appeal to the person valuing it as well as potential buyers:

  • Mow the lawn, take care of the garden and outside spaces: this is the first impression of your property
  • Tackle maintenance tasks e.g. cracked bathroom tiles, mould, wonky doors
  • Consider freshening up walls with neutral-coloured paint
  • Declutter and tidy
  • If you have pets, smoke or there are other unappealing smells, cleanse away the odours/use air freshener]

3. Choose an estate agent

Your estate agent is one of your allies when you sell a property. They will help guide you through the process and offer advice at every stage. At Charters, our local agents are professional, friendly and experienced.

Read your contract and make sure you’re happy. If you’ve got any questions, please ask. We know that property transactions can be confusing and there are no silly questions.

Read reviews on estate agents, check out their website and look around you – what estate agents boards are on your road, in your town, on your route to work?

4. Get a valuation and set the price

It’s now time to get a valuation and set the price for your property. We offer three valuation options including an instant, online valuation; a virtual valuation tool; and a traditional, face-to-face valuation.

You might like to get a few valuations from other local estate agents to compare.

A good estate agent will know what other properties have sold near you, of a similar size and layout, in the last 6-12 months and will use this market data to price your property accordingly.

5. Hire a solicitor

You need a conveyancing solicitor as well as an estate agent, to take care of the legal side of selling your property.

We will happily recommend solicitors we’ve worked with in the past, but make sure you do your own research and compare your options and prices.

Note that you’ll only instruct the solicitor once you’ve agreed to a sale, but you need to decide who you’re going with early on.

6. Answer buyers’ questions

Serious potential buyers will have questions about your property and you’ll need to fill in questionnaires to ensure they have everything they need to decide whether or not to make an offer.

7. Accept an offer

Your estate agent is legally required to send all offers to you.

If you get an offer you’re happy with, that’s great! If you’d like to negotiate, we will do that on your behalf as you instruct.

Let us know when you’re ready to formally accept an offer. It’s not legally binding but the finishing line is in sight!

8. Exchange contracts

You and the buyer have a few things to agree upon that will help form the contract:

  • The time between exchange and completion (usually 7-28 days post exchange of contracts)
  • What will be included and how much the buyer will pay for them e.g. curtains, appliances
  • Any price negotiations once the buyer has read their survey

Once buyer and seller are happy, you exchange contracts and the buyer will pay a deposit. This forms a legal commitment on both sides. If you pull out without a good reason you may be sued and vice versa.

9. Complete

Completion is when the property changes ownership. You officially move out, money is transferred, deeds are handed over and the buyer gets the keys.

10. Settle up

It’s likely you’ll need to pay off your mortgage: a figure which your lender will have advised your solicitor.

Once you’ve completed, you’ll receive final invoices from your solicitor and estate agent. If you’re selling and buying at the same time, your solicitor can take payment for both at once, including stamp duty for your new property.

Any questions?

We know that in real life house sales can be complicated and confusing but hopefully this step-by-step guide has helped outline the process you can expect to follow. Remember that we’re here to help and will do everything we can to make the process straightforward and problem-free.

If you’ve got any questions at all, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Pop into one of our local branches or give us a call. Our friendly, knowledgeable team will be happy to help.

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