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A Quick Guide to Selling Your House (Part 1)

Sunday, September 03, 2017

The prospect of selling your home can be daunting – all the more so if you are looking for another property to buy at the same time. The decisions you make along the way could save you – or cost you - many thousands of pounds. Here are some questions to consider as well as some simple advice if you think you might like to move. 

1. Should you sell at all?

  • If you are considering selling because you need more space, have you instead considered building an extension, converting the attic, or digging out the basement? The costs of moving are so great (particularly with stamp duty) that it might even save money to expand your existing home
  • Have you thought about how changing house prices might affect the decision to sell? If prices are rising rapidly, you may not be able to afford a place much bigger than the one you are already in
  • Are you in negative equity? If so, can you afford to sell?

2. Figure out your finances

  • You should notify your mortgage lender that you are planning to sell your home
  • You need to find out how big your outstanding mortgage is and if there are any early redemption penalties
  • You need to get a rough idea of how much your house is worth, then you can calculate how much money you will be left with after you have paid off the mortgage. 
  • If you are also buying a new home, you should obviously consider what size mortgage you will need for that. You should get an idea from mortgage lenders how much they would be willing to offer you.
  • At the early stages, the figures will be approximate only – you don’t know how much you will sell your house for and you will only get a precise redemption (amount outstanding) figure for your mortgage once you have an agreed completion date when you have exchange contracts (see below)

3. Decide if you should also look for somewhere to buy or rent

It is tempting to want to sell and buy on at the same time because renting for a while can add to the overall expense, but it also does reduce the critical time pressures of buying a new home and:

  • You won’t have to sell at a low price because you have found the home of your dreams
  • You will not be rushed into buying a less-than-perfect new home because you have found a buyer for your current home

You will break out of the housing chain which means you will be a more attractive buyer.

4. Prepare your home
If you “stage” your home well, you are not only more likely to sell your home faster, but you might make it more valuable too
Tidy up, and get rid of excess clutter; give it a fresh lick of light coloured paint; fix those little snagging things; keep it clean
Light a fire; bake bread; put up a mirror; get rid of bad odours

5. Hire a solicitor or conveyancer
You need to choose a solicitor or conveyancer to handle the legal work to transfer ownership of the property to you. Compare quotes to find the cheapest, nearest and best rated conveyancers.
You should decide which firm you want to use before you agree the sale of your house – but you can obviously only instruct them after you have agreed an offer

6. Accept an offer

You’ve received an offer – hooray! The estate agent is legally required to pass all offers on to you, however ridiculous
If you are not happy with it, you can either reject it outright, wait to see if a better offer comes along or tell the estate agent to try to negotiate it upwards
Once you are happy with an offer, you need to formally accept it. Remember that accepting an offer is not legally binding, and you can legally change your mind or accept a higher offer later (gazumping) – but remember, this can be pretty distressing to the buyer

At this stage the solicitors take over and this can be a mysterious mindfield of jargon where you will appreciate an experienced pair of hands helping you through the process. There are numerous things you can do to help this run as smoothly as possible so check into our blog next week for part 2 where we unravel the conveyancing process. 

Article taken in part from

Important Information
All property sales and the financial advice that surrounds them are as unique as the people engaging in the transaction. It is important to not make a decision without seeking professional advice. If you want to sell your home and are considering redecorating before marketing, speak to one of our Property Professionals to get the best advice for presenting your home for sale before making any investment.   


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