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The Basics

Preparing to Sell


When it comes to selling your home preparation really is everything. The more you can do pre-sale, the smoother and more successful your selling process will be. From choosing the right time to sell, to budgeting costs, and adding value to your home, we’ll help you prepare like a pro.

When’s the best time to sell?

The property market changes regularly, and taking into consideration some of the factors that influence it is crucial when deciding whether it's the right time to sell. Some basic research will help you to figure out when you should take the leap:

  • Demand

Is your type of property popular with buyers at the moment? Dig around and get some stats on the state of your local market. Estate agents are a great source of info. They’re experts on your local area and often have access to databases of potential buyers and recently sold properties. Online tools such as Propcast, can also be useful for gauging levels of ‘buyer demand’ in your area.

  • Season

The time of year can also make a big difference. Typically, Spring is the best season to sell a property, with Autumn coming a close second. Both seasons are great for showing off your garden, and neither coincide with large holidays. Many people don’t want to move over Christmas, or during the summer holidays, so think about being sale-ready for early April or August.

  • Government Policy

Buyer demand will change depending on the latest Government Budget. For example, increases in Stamp Duty can reduce demand for more expensive properties. On the other hand, the Help to Buy scheme makes some properties more attractive to first time buyers.

How much will selling my property cost?

Once you’ve thought about when you want to sell, it’s time to get to grips with the costs of putting your home on the market.

Selling a home is a complex process, but knowing what fees to expect will help you to budget effectively, and avoid any surprise bills. Make sure you've factored in enough to cover the following common costs:

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

This document outlines your property's energy performance. All properties are required to have an EPC before they're put on the market. You can ask your estate agent to arrange this for you, but it's usually cheaper to sort this out yourself. Check here to see whether your home already has an EPC, and to get a quote.

Estate Agent Fees

Estate agents generally charge a percentage fee, usually around 1.8% of the final sales price of your property. However, this figure can vary depending on your area and the type of contract you choose. (We cover this in more detail here!)

Solicitor or Conveyancer Fees

A solicitor or conveyancer will handle all the legal aspects of selling your home. These fees will vary depending on the work involved and the value of your property. Ask your solicitor to provide a full quote upfront, including the cost of searches and any potential extras. This will protect you from unexpected legal fees later on.

Current Mortgage Lender’s Fees

If you have a mortgage on the property you wish to sell, there may be charges associated with repaying it early. Get prepared, and ask your lender for a full rundown of what charges to expect.

Removal Costs

There are a range of removal services available to suit a wide variety of needs. Research the best options for your timeframe, budget and location. If you're on a tight budget, consider hiring a van and enlisting the help of some friends.

What documents do I need to sell my house?

Alongside budgeting for the costs of selling your property, it’s a good idea to start preparing the documents you’ll need throughout your sales journey.

Title Deeds

This is your legal proof of ownership and can be acquired by contacting the Land Registry.

Gas Safety Inspection Certificate & Electrical Safety Inspection Certificates

British Gas, Scottish Power or other energy providers will be able to provide these. Request an assessor visit; they'll be able to issue you with the relevant certificates.

Planning Permissions, Plans and Building Regulation Approvals

If your building is listed or has been granted planning permission, make sure to include the details in your documents.

Details of Council Tax, Buildings and Content Insurance Bills

This information can help potential buyers get a sense of the running costs of your property.

Mortgage Details

You'll need to provide your conveyancer with a rundown of how much of your mortgage is left outstanding, along with any other loans or charges associated with your property.

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