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Process Of Selling a House in England

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Selling a house in England can be complicated with surveys, searches, enquiries and conveyancing. Property chains can also introduce delays. So how long does it take?

Selling your home can be intimidating, especially if you’re trying to buy a new place at the same time. The decisions you make when selling a property could save or cost you thousands of pounds.

To help you through the process, here is a checklist with everything you need to know about selling a house.

Table of Contents

The Process For Selling A House?

This is the process for selling your house:

Step

Realistic timeframe

Our suggestions for a successful outcome in your favour

Research estate agents

1 week

You’ll need to research estate agents who have sold most properties in your area, then invite the top three for an appraisal and a chat to understand who will best suit your needs.

Offer them an additional financial incentive to sell your home faster.

Agree terms of the agreement

1 week

Don’t sign up for a three-month contract exclusive with one estate agent. Most activity occurs in the first two weeks of your home hitting the market so give your estate agent a month to sell it and one week’s notice to withdraw. If they don’t agree then it is clear that they don’t believe their own sales pattern.

Putting up a house on the market

1 week

You’ll need to de-clutter, de-personalise property and have professional photos.

Arranging viewing & following up

Ongoing activity

It is important that your estate agent is accommodating to your buyer’s needs and being able to show property to prospective purchasers in the evenings and weekends is a plus point.

Your estate agent needs to be proactive in following up on feedback and inviting them to make offers.

Considering offers

Ongoing activity

Never accept the first offer and negotiate. Make it clear that your property will remain on the market until contracts have been exchanged. This would put pressure on the buyer.

Be prepared to issue multiple contracts to multiple buyers and let them compete, without knowing. We live in financially turbulent times. Don’t accept an offer from someone in a chain as it will drag out for months.

Sales progression & completion

Ongoing activity

Your estate agent should be able to keep you updated on the progress. As soon as you are able to, agree a completion date.

How much is my home worth?

When selecting an agent, the most important question is: ‘Which agent will get me the best result?’ Gather a few estate agents to appraise your property to compare their services and charges.  

When choosing an estate agent, you can offer them an additional financial incentive if they can sell your property quickly and at the best price.

How much will this move cost?

Add up all the costs associated with your move, including estate agent fees, legal fees, and removals. Do this now to avoid any unpleasant surprises later.

Selling Process In England
Your estate agent will arrange for a professional photographer to come to your property to take photos and a video for a virtual tour.

Arrange an EPC

It is a legal requirement for all properties in England and Wales to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This certificate will provide an energy efficiency rating for your property. 

Put your house on the market.

It’s time to get the property details just right. Your estate agent will arrange for a professional photographer to come to your property to take photos and a video for a virtual tour.

So, make sure your home looks its best. After that, work with your agent to decide which are the best images.

Spread the word online.

Almost all property buyers start their search on the web nowadays, so make sure you make the most of it. Your agent should list your property on Rightmove at least.

This will help your property to stand out in the first few days it is on the market. Don’t forget to share it on your own Facebook and Twitter pages.

Prepare for viewings.
After each viewing, ask your estate agent to provide you with detailed feedback.

Prepare for viewings.

You want potential buyers to be able to envision themselves in your home. Three things that often put off buyers are dirty kitchens, untidy exteriors, and unclean bathrooms.

Reflect on everything that made you fall in love with the property and the area. Make a list so that you can emphasise these points to potential buyers and ensure your home is prepared for viewing.

Potential buyers will visit your home.

You may decide to show prospective buyers around the property yourself or ask your estate agent to do it. Ensure they see all parts of your home, even any storage areas such as cupboards and lofts.

After each viewing, ask your estate agent to provide you with detailed feedback. Estate agents now offer virtual viewings to ensure potential buyers are interested before they physically come to the property.

Accept an offer.

You’ll be given notifications about offers via phone and in writing. Think about the amount being offered, the buyers’ financial situation, their chain (if they’re selling another property), and your own timeframe.

How To Find a Solicitor
The solicitors representing both parties will confirm that the sale is agreed, pending a contract.

Find a solicitor.

Conveyancing may sound tedious, but it’s essential to the property-selling process. It involves legally transferring your property to the buyer and can be confusing. That’s why you need a solicitor to manage the process for you.

Sale agreed.

The solicitors representing both parties will confirm that the sale is agreed, pending a contract. You will receive a Memorandum of Sale. However, either party can still withdraw without any repercussions.

The buyer will arrange a house survey.

Your buyer will have an appointment set up by the surveyor, and the results will be sent to them. The surveyor will look for five key things: issues with utilities, damp, cracking, roof problems and timber defects.

Even if you have a bad survey, all is not lost, as you can try to renegotiate the purchase price to avoid a sale collapsing.

What is a mortgage valuation
The buyer's mortgage lender will carry out a valuation to check what the house is worth the amount they are being loaned. 

Mortgage valuation.

The buyer’s mortgage lender will carry out a valuation to check what the house is worth the amount they are being loaned. 

Your solicitor drafts the contract.

You must provide your solicitor with the title deeds for the property, as well as a Property Information Form. They will then create a contract to be sent to the buyer’s solicitor.

The buyer’s solicitor will confirm the details of the property.

The buyer’s solicitor will get in touch with your solicitor to confirm everything that is included in the transaction. They will enquire about matters such as the boundaries, any disagreements with neighbours, and any changes made to the property.

What do solicitors do with searches
Your solicitor will let you know when it's time to exchange and complete.

The buyer’s solicitor will perform searches.

The buyer’s solicitor will carry out searches with Land Registry and Local Authority records. They’ll be looking into the property’s planning history, as well as any potential developments related to roads, drains and mining in the vicinity.

Sign the contract.

Your solicitor will let you know when it’s time to exchange and complete.

Your solicitor and the buyer’s legal representative will decide on a date for both the exchange of contracts and completion (i.e. the date you have to move out). It’s also a good idea to start getting quotes for removal companies at this stage so you can plan a provisional move date.

Agree moving dates.

Why does it take so long to sell a house in England?
Your solicitor will take in the buyer's deposit, as well as the contract with both parties' signatures.

Exchange of contracts.

Your solicitor will take in the buyer’s deposit, as well as the contract with both parties’ signatures. This means that the purchase is now legally binding for both sides.

Removals

It’s time to reach out to the removal company you selected and confirm your move. And it’s time to start the packing that you’ve been dreading!

Advise everyone of your change of address.

You’ll need to tell all your utility companies about meter readings and contract cancellations. Don’t forget to let the bank, your employer, family, and friends know as well. If needed, the Royal Mail can arrange mail redirection.

What are the steps in selling a house UK
The sale of the house is complete—let's celebrate with a high five!

Completion.

The transaction is finalised between the solicitors, and the keys are exchanged. The sale of the house is complete—let’s celebrate with a high five!

How much does it cost to sell a house?

  • Coming in at between 1% and 3% of your home’s sales price, estate agent fees are the most significant cost you’ll face when selling a home.
  • Conveyancing fees will be your next expense, costing between £800 and £1,800.
  • Removal costs range between £420 and £1,800. Don’t forget your remortgaging fees, which could be over £1,000.
  • You’ll have paperwork expenses, such as the Energy Performance Certificate, which costs between £60 and £120.

How long does it take to sell a house?

Once you enter the housing market, the first few weeks are an important time for your home to receive an offer.

Andrew Groocock, regional partner at Knight Frank, states that “the first four to six weeks of marketing a property is essential. You are just entering the market and it’s your best chance to capture the most attention.”

On average, the entire process of selling a home – from when it’s listed to when you give the keys to the buyer – takes 25 weeks. However, the timeframe of selling a home can vary from 17 to 34 weeks, depending on various conditions.

What if I’m selling and buying at the same time?

If you’re looking to purchase a new home at the same time as selling yours, the best thing to do is to get all of your professionals lined up early. Have a solicitor or conveyancer ready to start the moment you go under offer.

Make sure you have all necessary documents and paperwork prepared for your solicitor in advance. Delays in the conveyancing process are a major holdup when buying and selling a home.  You can read more about what you can do to speed up the sale.

It’s essential to have an efficient and prompt professional, and you must respond to all queries from your buyer’s solicitor quickly for everything to proceed smoothly.

Want a hassle and stress-free transaction? Property Saviour has you covered! Sell to us and rest easy knowing that your transaction is in good hands.

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  • The price we’ll offer is the price that you will receive with no hidden deductions.
  • Be careful with ‘cash buyers’ who require a valuation needed for a mortgage or bridging loan.
  • These valuations or surveys result in delays and price reductions later on.
  • We are cash buyers.  There are no surveys.
  • We always provide proof of funds with every formal offer issued.
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  • No long exclusivity agreement to sign because we are the buyers.
  • You are welcome to use your own solicitor. 
  • If you don’t have one, we can ask our solicitors for recommendations.
  • We share our solicitor’s details and issue a Memorandum of Sale. 
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