How to Sell Your House
How do I sell my house?
Selling your house can be a complicated process. You’ll need to market your house correctly, sort out your finances and try to organise timings appropriately for when you move to your next home. Our house selling guide can help you work out what you need to do and when, so you can successfully sell your house.
This guide is focused on freehold properties which are your main residence. Leasehold and buy-to-let properties may have a slightly different process and different tax implications that aren’t discussed here.
Get your finances sorted
The first thing to do when selling your house is to get your finances in order. Selling your property can be expensive, especially when you factor in things like stamp duty and fees from high street estate agents.
You’ll need to check where you are positioned with your mortgage. If you’re still making payments, you should check if you’ll be liable for any charges if you move your current mortgage to your new property or if you repay it early.
If you’re moving to a more expensive property, you should check how much you can borrow on the mortgage and what the best deal will be for you. You may find it helpful to talk to a professional mortgage broker, so you have as much information as possible before you sell your home.
Whilst figures in this early stage may just be approximate, it’s a good idea to get an idea of the value of your house, so you know how much it’s worth and how much money you’ll likely get from a sale.
Prepare your home
Getting your home to look its best will ensure it’s ready for valuation and viewings. Your home should be clean and tidy, and you should aim to reduce clutter as much as possible, so it looks inviting for potential buyers. If you have any unfinished DIY projects, you should aim to get them fixed before valuation and viewings. You should also tidy up the outside of your house, including the garden and front of your property. Improving the kerb appeal can be an easy way of enhancing the look of your home, making it appealing to buyers.
Whilst you want to present your home in the best way, it’s important to not mislead potential buyers or estate agencies. If there are any issues, such as damp, you will either need to make sure the relevant people know or get them fixed before you sell your house. Issues like this will always come up later in the buyer’s survey, which could cause them to renegotiate the price and delay the sale of your house.
Get your paperwork in order
You will need to provide various pieces of paperwork throughout the selling proces0s. Sorting out the relevant documents early can help to avoid any delays later on if you need to share information with estate agents or potential buyers.
You may need to commission an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), unless your property is exempt, or you have a valid certificate issued in the last 10 years. An accredited assessor will need to oversee this for a fee.
You will also need to collect other documents such as the HM Land Registry title documents, valid gas and electrical checks, planning permission for any major work that has been done, subsidence and damp guarantees or warranties, and FENSA or CERTAS certificates for windows. These are all documents that you may already have and might have received when you bought the property. Other documents you may need will depend on any work that has been carried out on your property, or any specific issues that a buyer will need to know.
Valuation and price
You will decide what price your property is listed for if you put it on the market. You should do your own research and also ask the opinion of professionals. It may be helpful to ask as many as three different estate agents to value your property so you can get a good idea of what it is worth. You can also search property websites or look in estate agent’s windows to see what the asking price is for similar properties in your area. You can pay a qualified valuer or surveyor for a formal valuation, if preferred.
You may not necessarily get the exact price that your house has been valued at. If your asking price is too high, you may find that it takes a long time to sell your house, or you may not even get any offers at all.
Choose how you want to sell your house
There are a variety of different ways that you can sell your house. You can choose to sell your house via an auction or private sale, which removes the need for an estate agent. However, these methods can have problems, with it sometimes taking months to complete a sale and sometimes no sale being made at all.
You could choose to sell your property with a high street estate agency. Different agencies will have different packages available, with some organising viewing for you and some providing a dedicated sales team to advertise your property on the open market. You should investigate agencies thoroughly to make sure they are transparent with their fees. You are likely to have to sign a contract with an estate agency, so make sure to check the length of the contract and what your options will be if your property hasn’t sold after a few months.
You could choose to sell your house through a trusted property buyer like SmoothSale. We can guarantee you a cash sale with funds that we already have. This means that unlike traditional estate agents, you won’t have to wait months for an offer to be made or sale to be completed. With SmoothSale you can sell your house for free as we cover all the legal costs and have no fees of our own. We buy property in any location, in any condition. You set the timescale, so it’s not a problem if you need to wait to sell your property so you can move to your new home. We can also buy your home in as little as seven days if you need to sell your house fast.
Start the legal process
If you are using a traditional estate agency, you will need to find and instruct a legal professional to do the work of transferring home ownership. Solicitors, licensed conveyancers and chartered legal executives can all undertake this work for you. You should try to get a few quotes from different practitioners so you can find the best price.
If you are selling your house through SmoothSale, we take care of all the legal proceedings on your behalf, so you only ever have to talk to us. We also cover all the legal fees, so you don’t have to pay a penny.
Accepting an offer
If you’re using a traditional estate agency, they will tell you every offer that has been made, even if it’s below the asking price. You should not feel pressured to accept any offer. Whether you accept an offer might depend on whether the buyer is part of a chain, the length of the chain and whether the offer is cash or mortgage. These can all affect whether the sale will actually go through and/or extend the time it takes to complete.
Once you have accepted an offer from a buyer, they will undertake their own surveys and then you will exchange written contracts to complete the sale. The property will then be removed from the market.
How to sell my house on my terms
SmoothSale is not part of any chain, nor do we rely on third parties to buy your property. We have the funds to secure you a sale and can do so away from the stress of the open market. We can make a no-obligation cash offer to start the process of selling your house today. Alternatively, you can call us on 0113 539 6600 to talk to one of our property experts about how we can help you sell your house.