Procedure for Selling a House

publication date: Sep 19, 2011
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

Procedure for Selling a House

Selling House Process

Most people who sell a house often don't do things in the right order. As a result of not following the best process of selling a house, this means sellers end up following a process which is much more stressful and much more likely to end up with the sale falling through. Follow our quick ten step process to selling a house so you can do so successfully and with as little stress as possible.

Step One: Make sure your paperwork is ready
One of the biggest reasons sales stall is because of the process of selling a property without the right paperwork such as any guarantees, planning permission or building regulation documents you require.

Step Two: Find a good fixed fee, no sale, no fee conveyancing company
When you are selling a home you don't need to wait for an offer to come in before you start the selling process, you can have your legals ‘ready to go' so you can exchange and complete within a matter of weeks rather than months.

Step Three: Prepare your home for sale
It's not worth waiting for the agent to come around to prepare your property. Do it before they come, it might help them with the value of the property and to see its potential!

Step Four: Choose your agent carefully
So far I've yet to meet a seller that takes time to choose the company to sell their home for tens, hundreds or even millions of pounds! Buyers buy from agents that tend to stock their property type and a price range in which they buy in.

Step Five: Ask buyers/agents questions
If you want to sell your property, it is not just about selling it to the highest bidder, it is about selling it to the person most ‘willing and able' to purchase it. A cash buyer for example might offer £10,000 less, but might be a better bet.

Step Six: Accept an Offer
Once you are sure you have the best price and your property is being sold to the right bidder, then you need to formally accept the offer. Be prepared for renegotiation though, the lender might not lend as much as the buyer has offered, the surveyor might find something wrong with your property and suggest the buyer offers less.

Step Seven: Check the Paperwork and Get to Exchange
There can be lots of mistakes on legal documents, even the price can sometimes be wrong! So make sure you sit and read everything before you sign it. Don't forget it may take you two days to sort out all the paperwork you will need to sell your property.

Once the contracts are drawn up, your legal company can exchange contracts. You won't have any money typically at this stage, but your legal company will check whether the deposit money is available.

Step Eight: Sort out Postal Redirection and Utilities
Just in case you forget anything, it is vital to ensure you have all your mail redirected for three months to a year to cover any annual letters you might have forgotten to inform you have moved. Make sure too you inform - in writing and keep a copy - your utility companies that you are moving on!

Step Nine: Sort out your Removals
Decide whether you need a van, a man with a van or a removal company to help you shift your belongings.

Step Ten: Complete Contracts and Move Out
On moving day there will be a lot to contend with. The legal company will carry out the final paperwork and let you know when the purchase has gone through. Ideally leave your keys with the estate agent so there is no temptation to allow the buyers in BEFORE completion has taken place.


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