The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide To Selling Your Home

If you’re selling a property for the very first time, you might not be fully aware of the process that you need to go through from making that initial decision to sell to exchanging contracts.

Selling your property can be a stressful experience.

But if you are fully aware of the process and committed to your sale, you can often breeze through the whole process.

Step 1: How much is my home worth?

When choosing your estate agent, the most important question to ask yourself is this: “who will get the best result for me?” When it comes to selling, the ‘cheapest’ option isn’t always the right one.

You need to consider;

  • if you would prefer to do the viewings yourself or hand them over to a professional.
  • if the estate agent is well-known and therefore a trusted entity for your potential buyers.
  • And, what’s their local knowledge like. This might not sound like a big deal, but understanding the housing market for your postcode area is super important to get the best quality valuation and selling experience.

Get a couple of estate agents to value your home to compare their offering and fees.

Step 2: Understand how much it costs to sell your property

Add up the estate agent fees, legal fees, removals and all other costs associated with your move. Do this now so that there are no nasty surprises further down the line, this way you will also be able to calculate if selling your property is feasible and there is any profit in it. Your estate agent will make their sales fee’s available from the moment you book your valuation, in some cases, like ourselves at Argyle, we can also offer financial advice.

Be aware, if you’re selling a property and not using the funds to move into another, you might have to pay Capital Gains Tax. This is another expense to be aware of from the start of your sales journey.

Step 3: Arrange an EPC and photography

It is a legal requirement that all properties in England and Wales are marketed with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which gives your property an energy efficiency rating. Your estate agent will usually organise this, along with your professional photographs for you. When it comes to photography, this is the first impression someone is going to get of your home online and it could make or break their decision to arrange a viewing. Your estate agent will send a professional photographer to your property, to take photos and a video for a virtual tour (if applicable) so stage your home to look its best.

Step 4: You’re online!

Almost all buyers now start their property search online, so make sure you’re making the most of the internet. You should expect your agent to list your property on Rightmove and Zoopla as a bare minimum. But you can add to its online exposure by sharing locally on social media. Make sure your property details are correct and unique, there are only so many times you can read the same opening description about 5 very different properties!

Step 5: Prepare for viewings.

You want potential buyers to be able to imagine themselves in your home. Think back to all the things that made you fall in love with the property and the area too and recreate this for your viewing. You can read our top tips for making your home more appealing to buyers, but most importantly, try to keep clutter out of the way, ensure the place is clean and keep your pets out (if at all possible!)

Depending on the type of agent you have chosen, you can opt to show people around yourself, or ask your estate agent to conduct the viewing. Due to the latest COVID-19 restrictions, Argyle is allowing virtual viewings of properties via video link, so you can still sell your property without the requirement of letting a stranger into your safe space.

Step 6: The offer

You will be notified of offers by phone and in writing by your estate agent. Consider the amount you are being offered and the financial position of the buyers including their chain. You don’t have to accept the first offer, you have complete control over the price you want and have the power to negotiate if you wish.

Step 7: Find a solicitor

Only at the point of agreeing on a sales price and accepting an offer do you need to instruct a solicitor. You can give a firm a ‘heads-up’ beforehand, but they won’t be able to start acting on your behalf until the offer acceptance is official. The legal stages can take some time, but they are essential, you cannot sell your home without them. It’s the legal transfer of your property to the buyer, they will also sort out ant stamp duty and capital gains taxes.

Step 8: Sale agreed

The solicitors for both parties will confirm that the sale is agreed, subject to contract. You will receive a Memorandum of Sale, but at this stage, either party can still withdraw without penalty. It is only official once the sale is complete and contracts are exchanged. At this point the funds are released, the third-parties take their cut and your new buyer can collect their keys.