How do I sell my house?

August 30, 2019

The prospect of selling your home can be daunting especially if you are looking for another property to buy at the same time. The decisions you will make along the way can determine the amount of money you will save in the long run. Before you sell your home, there are a number of factors you should consider to do it right, get the right buyer, and sell fast. Here is the House Fox unbiased step by step guide to selling a house:

Should I sell my house?
Photo by Nabih El Boustani on Unsplash

1 Should you sell your home?

Before you start the process of selling your home, you need to determine whether you should sell at all! If you are moving to another place, or transferring your job, selling your house is probably the best option. But you may decide to rent a property in the area you are interested in while letting out your home – which may provide you with some extra income. While considering whether to sell or not, research the prices of buying and selling a home to determine the condition of the market. If the prices are rising rapidly, and you are downsizing, it may be better to wait until the market looks like it’s peaking. Or if you are looking for a bigger home a rising market means that you should sell now.

Finally, if you are selling as a result of divorce or separation, there are factors you should take into account. For instance, you be in negative equity. Depending on your current circumstances, renting your home out might be better than selling. Put all these factors into consideration and then decide whether or not to sell your home.

2 Review your finances

Since you’ve decided to sell your home, you need to get a handle on the finances. The first thing you should do is to determine whether selling your house is financially viable. This is achieved by checking the condition of the current housing market, the value of your property, and other costs such as land registry fees, solicitor’s fees, estate agency fees and removal costs. Once you’ve decided to go ahead and put your home up for sale, you should notify your mortgage provider that you are planning to sell your home so that you can discuss with them the subsequent steps to paying off your existing mortgage.

It is also a good idea at this stage to contact a mortgage lender, such as your bank or building society, or a mortgage broker to discuss the size of mortgage you need for your next property and the likely monthly repayment costs. Shop around – speak to three of four providers to find out who is offering the best and most suitable deal for you.

3 Decide if you will look for a place to buy, rent or stay in your house

If you can afford to buy a new home before your old home is sold, go ahead and do it. It will ease the pressure of selling your old home. On the other hand, if your old home sells before you have found the perfect house, you could rent a property on a short lease while you continue your search for your new home. Although it can add to the overall expense, you will ease the pressure of buying a new home right after selling your house.

4 Pick your property expert

There are several ways you can sell your property. Here are some options to choose from:

  • Local estate agent – if you are planning to use a local estate agent, you need to take your time to determine how fast they sell their houses, how close they come to achieving the asking price, how successful they are, their rates and whether they are professional and reliable. A good tip here is to look at the footer of the prospective estate agent’s website to check which professional associations they are approved by. While you’re on the site, check if they are using the major portals, such as Zoopla, Rightmove and Primelocation. As more than 90% of all property searches begin online, you’ll want to make sure that the agent is getting maximum cover for your property. Also, read the reviews on Trustpilot and Google (these are our reviews for comparison) to determine the level of service the agent is providing. These are real people expressing their own opinions. Not all estate agents charge the same. Ring and ask what their commission is, or check if they offer a fixed fee deal. Remember, you can use more than one agent to sell your home although you will incur higher fees.
  • Online estate agent – with the current technological advancement, you may decide to hire an online estate agent. Just like selecting a local estate agent, do a thorough research to know the services they offer and how much they charge their services before hiring them. The websites will display their best prices, but you may not get accompanied viewings or signboards and brochures for that price. Read the small print carefully. Get at least three online agents to compare their success rates, price range and reliability.
  • Home buying company – this option is ideal for homeowners who are looking to sell their homes quickly. There are numerous home buying companies that offer competitive price ranges. It’s unlikely that the prices will match what you might get selling through an estate agent, but it might just be the answer for you. You just need to research online through their websites.
  • Do it yourself – you can sell your home without the help of an expert to cut the costs. However, this requires a lot of time and effort on your part. Plus, to get exposure for your property, you will need to decide how, and where, to advertise your home and factor in the costs of marketing.

5 – Decide what price to sell it for

This is a very important step because it can determine how fast you will sell your house, the number of prospective buyers who will be interested in your home and whether you will incur any loses. To get it right, you need to research the local market inside out so that you can make a valuation on your own. Even if you are not an expert, you can find out the selling price of similar houses in your area that have been sold within 12 months. With such information, you can be able to determine the right selling price on your own. Then, get a number of estate agents who are experienced and knowledgeable about the local real estate market to carry out a valuation of your home.

You should not necessarily go for the highest or lowest valuation because it could be misleading. Instead, consider your financial circumstances before deciding on a final selling price. For instance, you can take the lowest offer and add around 10% because buyers will always offer a lower price. You will have to negotiate and agree on a specific figure to finalise the deal. Remember, the value of your home is what you can get for it. If you try to sell your home for an unrealistic price, you are likely to find it stagnating on the market in which case you will be forced to drop your price until it reaches a figure the market, and your location, will bear.

6 – Prepare your home

Declutter as much as possible, but leave a few choice items out to keep your home looking warm and inviting

The condition of your home’s interior and exterior can determine the value of your home and how fast you will sell it. Some people prefer hiring home staging experts to make their houses presentable to potential buyers, but tap your estate agents knowledge before you decide to spend out. They have helped sell thousands of homes, and their advice is free. So use it. Preparing your home for sale could include repainting or decorating rooms, decluttering, trimming hedges and maintaining fences, repairing or removing broken furniture, adding a few potted plants, and thorough cleaning. We have covered home staging in depth in the Fox’s Den. Click the link to find out more.

7 – Hire a solicitor

You’ll need the help of a solicitor when selling your home to help you handle all the legal searches and paperwork once you’ve accepted an offer and eventually transfer the ownership of the house to the buyer. In addition, if it is your first time selling a property, a solicitor can help you reduce the stress and pressure associated with the selling process. To hire a good solicitor, you need to research the best solicitors in your area or ask your friends, family or your estate agent for recommendations.

8 – Evaluate and accept the offer

Legally, your estate agent must inform you of all the offers your house receives. As an owner, you can reject, accept, or ask the agent to negotiate for a better offer. Once you’ve accepted an offer from a potential buyer, your estate agent will remove your home from the market. It is important to note that even if you have accepted the offer, you do not have a legal obligation to sell your property until contracts have been signed and exchanged officially. If you are selling the house on your own, you will decide the right offer and then instruct a solicitor to finalise the contract.

Finally, once you’ve accepted an offer, you will work with your solicitor to decide other details associated with the sale of the property. Some of these details include:

  • What fixtures and fittings will be included in the sale?
  • What is the length of time between the exchange and completion?
  • The fixtures and fittings that will not be included in the sale but can be added at an extra cost
  • How to deal with problems as they’ve been highlighted by the buyer in a property survey set up

9 – Complete the sale

When negotiating for a contract with the buyer, you will have to agree on a ‘completion date’. This refers to the day you will receive your payment and your solicitor registers the transfer of ownership with the Land Registry. Therefore, if you are still living in the house, you need to have packed up and moved out before the completion date.

In addition, the house should be in the same condition as agreed on the contract. Once you’ve received your payment, you just need to hand over the keys to the buyer – job done.

About us

House Fox are a leading estate agent in Weston super Mare, Portishead, Clevedon, Nailsea, Burnham-on-sea, Bridgwater and the surrounding areas in North Somerset. We don’t charge commission, just fairer fees. And we provide a full estate agency service with all viewings accompanied. So if you’re looking for an estate agent in North Somerset please do call us.
To buy or sell your home in Weston-Super-Mare and surrounding area contact us here, or ring 01934 314242
To buy or sell your home in Portishead, Clevedon, Nailsea and Backwell ring 01275 404601
To buy or sell your home in Burnham on Sea, Highbridge, Bridgwater and the surrounding area ring 01278 557700

Disclaimer: All advice on this site is given ‘as is’ House Fox Estate Agents are not responsible for any losses you may make subsequent to following the advice on this website, we advise you to always do your own research in full before you act.