09 October 2020

Step by step guide to selling your home

Deciding to sell your home and move out is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make. There are many things to consider such as finances, timing, your current home, your mortgage and many more. So it’s important that when it comes to selling your home, you’re 100% confident in your decision, you’re well prepared and everything runs as smoothly as possible.

We’ve put together a step by step guide on how to sell your home successfully, so you can upsize or downsize to your perfect space.

Step 1 - Organise your finances

Costs included in selling your current home

Before you can 100% make the decision to sell your house, first things first is getting your finances are in order. Just like when you purchase a home, there are extra costs involved that can easily be forgotten, which is why it’s so important to make sure you can afford it before taking the plunge into putting your home on the market. 

Costs include estate agent fees, conveyancing fees, your home's energy performance certificate, removal costs and cleaning costs. 

There can be more costs included, some unexpected. For more information on each of the costs listed above and additional costs included in selling your home, keep an eye out on our blog for a full guide!

Inform your current mortgage lender

Before putting your home on the market it's a good idea to pre-warn your mortgage lender of your plans. This way, they can inform you of any costs you may be subject to pay such as an exit fee or other early redemption charges for switching to another mortgage.

Seek advice from a mortgage broker

​To successfully organise your finances, you’ll need to know how much your house is worth and what you can afford. This way you'll know if it's the right time to sell and if you can afford it. 

It's well worth getting some advice from a mortgage broker to find out how much you can borrow for your next home. Seeking professional advice will give you peace of mind when it comes to putting your home on the market.

2. Make your home look it's best

Before you sell your home, you'll want it looking it's best so it's more likely to sell to a buyer. Even the smallest of home improvements can help make your home more valueable.

Whether it's adding a fresh lick of paint to the walls or general cleaning around the house, keep in mind you'll need to spare some cash to pay for this.

Take a look at your property from the outside too. There may be people driving by that could be interested. Small improvements such as mowing the lawn, cleaning the windows or repairing broken fences or gates can help spruce up your property. 

It's also worth baring in mind that you'll need a clean, fresh looking property before taking photos to advertise online. You may want to start the cleaning process in advance of putting your home on the market or approaching an estate agent so that your home is ready to start the marketing process straight away.

3. Choose how to sell your home

You can choose to sell your home yourself, through a local estate agent or an online estate agent.
Local estate agent
If you choose to sell through a local estate agent, you’ll save time and get the best local knowledge to help sell your home quickly. It’s a good idea to compare local estate agents in your area on how quick they sell, how close they come to asking price and number of properties sold.
This option does come at a cost, usually there is a set rate which the estate agent charges of a percentage of the property price. Usually this is agreed before putting your property on the market so you know how much you’ll be charged beforehand.
Online estate agent
Similarly to a local estate agent, there will be plenty to choose from. This is your opportunity to compare the range available to you. When searching for an online estate agent, make sure the company is well established. Take a look at reviews and statistics to make sure the estate agent is reputable and reliable.
Using an online estate agent can make you great savings compared to a local estate agent, so if you have some extra time before you sell your property, it’s worth looking into and considering as an option.

Assisted move scheme

Here at Space Homes, we offer an assisted move scheme. We appoint our local agent to take care of your homes marketing activity so that you can reserve one of our new homes. We'll even pay half of your estate agent fees on completion. To find out more information on assisted move, click here.

4. Help to prepare marketing your home

The estate agent you choose will most likely need a helping hand in collating the marketing material to help sell your home as quickly as possible. 
Photos - To advertise your home online, you'll need some good photos to catch house hunters' eyes. It's a good idea to tidy round your home to make sure its clutter free for the photos.

Floor plan and house description - Usually your estate agent will take care of creating a floor plan and writing up a detailed description for your home, but it's best to check over it before it goes live so make sure everything is as accurate as possible.

An energy performance certificate (EPC) - By law, you’re required to have an energy performance certificate for your property before you sell it.  Often referred to as an ‘EPC’, this is a certificate that grades your home on it’s energy efficiency. Grades start at A, being the highest down to G, being the lowest. 

5. Conduct viewings on your home

If you've instructed an estate agent, they tend to offer to do viewings on your behalf. Letting the professionals take care of viewings is a great idea as they know how to show off your property in the best light and answer questions.

Alternatively you can decide to carry out viewings yourself. If you prefer to do this, make sure you're prepared to answer questions about your home, think about which parts of your home you want to draw attention to and ensure you're 100% comfortable giving a tour of your home to a stranger.

6. Hire a solicitor or conveyancer

Now it's time to hire someone to legally transfer your property into someone elses name. You can hire either a solicitor or conveyancer to take care of this for you and any other legal parts of selling your home. Having a professional can also speed up the process when it comes to the sale of your home. 

When searching for a solicitor or conveyancer, be sure to do your research and find a reputable firm. Sometimes the estate agent you choose will have a recommended solicitor or conveyancer to use and it's a good idea to consider these.

7. Receive offers and negotiate 

As soon as any offers are made on your home, your estate agent should inform you. You may receive multiple offers if your property is priced right. Or if your property isn't priced right, you may receive offers below asking price. If this is the case, be prepared to negotiate a better price. 

Your estate agent will also have the buyers details, so it's a good idea to ask who the best candidate is. Ask questions like: who is more likely to pull out? Who is the most financially stable? Which buyer do you think would be the most reliable?

The most reliable buyers will be cash buyers, chain free buyers like first time buyers or home movers that have already sold and completed on their home. 

8. Accept an offer

Once you've found a buyer that has offered you an amount you're happy with, check with your estate agent that you're accepting a reasonable amount. It's good to get a professionals advice and ensure you're accepting a reasonable offer.

It's in the estate agents interest to get the highest price for your property as they'll receive a percentage of the price. So be sure to check in with your estate agent before accepting an offer.

9. Keep things moving 

Be sure to keep things moving throughout the process and ask questions to your buyer or their solicitor if you haven't been contacted in a while.

It's important to communicate with your own conveyancer / solicitor if you don't understand something or have any questions. 

During the home buying process there can be delays, especially if your buyer is in a chain, so keeping things moving and communicating is really important to ensure a smooth process.

10. Exchange and complete

Exchange contracts

Exchanging contracts with your buyer is the legal transaction of the sale of your home. The buyer officially pays their deposit and it's a legally binding contract.

Completion day

Completion comes after the exchange of contracts, and is the day you move out of your home. Usually your estate agent will come round to check everything is in place before this day and then you'll agree a date with your buyer for completion.

If you've bought a new home, you'll usually complete on the same day or around a similar time to the day you complete on your new home. 

*Available on selected developments.