Selling A House: A Seller's Guide
Talking you through our step-by-step seller's guide to selling a house and how to find an easier way to sell.
Selling a house is no easy task. It can be incredibly daunting when you see the long list of ‘bits’ you need to get through, and that’s before you’ve even got an offer that you’re happy with, moving you onto the (complex) legal process.
It becomes even more difficult when you’re thinking of buying a new house at the same time as selling.
Each decision you make in every part of the process can end up costing you thousands and thousands. This is why you’ll need our seller’s guide to help you through selling a house from start to finish and everything in between!
Alongside our step-by-step guide, we will also talk you through an easier method of selling a house, that will help you to avoid the long list of jobs and won’t cost you anything!
Selling a house: Seller’s guide
Before diving straight into our seller’s guide, it’s a good idea to make sure that selling a house is the right option for you. Not only are there a lot of costs associated with selling a house but moving is also one of the biggest events that will happen in our lives.
If you’re looking to move because you want to upsize, ‘would it be a better idea to extend your current house? Are you better to rent as your next move instead of rushing into buying?’ are just some of the questions you should ask yourself.
Convinced selling is the right move for you? Okay, onto our seller’s guide…
1. Figure out finances
Before selling a house, you will need to make sure you can actually afford to sell and move. If you have a house repayments, you will need to see whether there’s any early repayment charges, or any fees you will carry over to a new property.
If you’re moving to a more expensive property, you will need to make sure you’re able to borrow and where you can get the best deal. You will also need to consider the costs of stamp duty, removal fees, etc.
At this stage, the costs will only be approximate but it’s worth getting an idea before selling a house and then realising you don’t have the funds.
2. Decide what step you want to take next
Before selling a house, you will need to decide whether you want to buy next or whether renting is the best option. If you decide to rent next, it allows you to be a ‘chain-free seller’ which will be more attractive to potential buyers.
Renting will also allow you to take your time before buying, instead of selling a house and then having to rush and not finding what you really want.
3. Choose an estate agent
When it comes to selling a house, you have multiple options when it comes to choosing how to sell. You can use a traditional estate agent, an online estate agent, sell privately or sell to a house buying company. To help you choose, it’s a good idea to evaluate what each party promise to offer you for the price they charge and why they want to market your house.
When you think you’ve decided who to sell with, make sure you read the estate agent contract carefully.
4. Get an EPC
If you’re selling with a traditional estate agent, they should complete this for you. An EPC is an energy performance certificate which will rank your property in terms of energy efficiency to give potential buyers an indication of how much it will cost to heat and power the property.
5. Pick asking price
Estate agents will provide you with an idea of how much your house is worth but it’s ultimately up to you how much you set the asking price at. Often estate agents tend to overvalue a property in order to get you on side, making it hard for you to know the real market value of the property.
6. Get your house ready
Before selling a house, you need to make sure you get it ‘ready’. Whether this is getting your property professionally staged or you just doing a simple declutter, this will ensure your property looks better on viewings and makes it more appealing to potential buyers.
7. Find a solicitor
Conveyancing is the legal process you need to undergo when selling a house, as it transfers the ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer. It’s a good idea to get your solicitor in place before you accept an offer, as this will help to speed the process along.
8. Get your paperwork in order
We’re going to cover the paperwork you need when selling a house a little later, but it’s important to make sure you have all the relevant forms and documents in order before selling as this will ensure there are minimal delays.
9. Conduct viewings (or make sure you're out)
Whether you’re conducting viewings yourself or someone else is doing them for you, you want to make sure your property is being reflected in the best light.
Conducting viewings yourself can be a bit trickier, as you don’t have the experience an estate agent will have. Estate agents are meant to be specialists in selling and so asking them to conduct viewings could be more beneficial for your house, but will mean you will need to organise not being around.
10. Accept an offer
Once you’ve got an offer (or maybe a few), it’s time to do some negotiation. If you’re not happy with the offer, you can go back with a counteroffer or, if you’re happy to go ahead, you will need to get your estate agent to formally accept the offer.
Accepting an offer isn’t legally binding, unless you’re in Scotland, so you’re able to change your mind or accept a higher offer further down the line.
11. Find your next location
Once you’ve accepted an offer, the next stage of selling a house is to find your next home. As we mentioned earlier, you may not necessarily be looking to buy straight away but you will need to find somewhere to go to avoid being homeless once the deal completes (and you wouldn’t want that!)
The next stage of selling a house will be your property undergoing searches. There isn’t much for you as a seller to do at this point and, providing no issues are picked up on the house, you can move onto the next stage which is…
13. Exchange and completion
Exchange and completion are arguably the most important parts of selling a house. At exchange, the sale becomes legally binding, and completion is the stage where the house deeds are transferred to the new owner, you drop off the keys and move onto your next adventure!
What is the best time to sell a house?
Analysis by The Advisory, based on Rightmove data, suggested that March is the best month to put your house on the market.
Generally speaking, the best time of year when it comes to selling a house is Springtime, which is anywhere between February to June. After Spring, the next best time is considered to be Autumn.
The Summer months, July and August, tend to be quieter than you may expect due to a lot of people being on holiday. It’s also cutting the deadline quite fine if families are moving in time for kids to be starting a new school in September.
Typically the worst time of year to sell your property is in November and December. Most people’s focus is on the run up to Christmas and the colder weather doesn’t inspire people to venture out house hunting.
What certificates do I need to sell my house?
You will have worked out by now selling a house isn’t simple, at ALL. There are about 12 different certificates which you may need to sell your house, from title deeds, to proof of identity or an EPC. To get more information on what certificates you will need to sell a house, check out one of our previous articles to get the full lowdown.
Easier ways to sell my house
Whilst traditional estate agents still have a majority market share, there are other methods which are far easier when it comes to selling a house. As we mentioned earlier, you can miss out all the steps in the ‘seller’s guide’ by selling your house through an easier method.
Something you could consider, is selling your house to a cash house buying company.
‘What’s that?’ – good question.
A cash house buying company do exactly what it sounds like – buy your house for cash. They will take the stress off your hands, meaning all you need to do is say ‘sell my house’ and they will get to work.
Selling this way will allow you to avoid all the fees associated with selling your house and will allow you to avoid having to organise viewings around your busy schedule. The sale will also be worked around a timescale to suit you and the best bit is the cash offer you get is the full amount you’ll get in your bank!
Sounding better than going through each step of the seller’s guide?
Time to find a cash house buying company…
Hello, that’s us!
Here at The Property Buying Company, we’re a cash buyer of houses buying ANY property in ANY location, no matter the condition! We will cover all the costs, including the legal fees, and will only need one quick viewing at the most.
Selling to us will mean you don’t need to lift a finger or pay a penny, just accept our offer, tell us how soon you want to move, and we will do the rest! And if you’re in a rush, rest assured we’re willing to be speedy – we have been known to complete in as little as 7 days!
Ready to throw the seller’s guide out the window? Fill in our online form or give us a call to receive a no-obligation cash offer, which we could have in your bank by next week!