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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 will help you prepare like a pro.

Our noise and jargon-free guide will see you through the prep process and set you on the best possible sale path.

Why I am selling my property?

The reason behind your sale is an important factor. Buyers could well ask you, as will estate agents. Your reason for selling could impact the negotiating process so be sure and honest when it comes to the Why.

Whether it’s a matter of space (upsizing/downsizing), location, repossession or due to costly repairs, know your reason inside and out.

When’s the best time to sell?

It’s an important and common seller question. The ‘right’ time is determined by a bunch of different factors such as;

  • Demand: Is your property type popular with buyers at the moment? Dig around and get some cold hard stats on the state of your local market. Estate agents are a great source of info and have access to waiting lists and similar properties that have been sold recently.
  • Season: The time of year you sell at can make a big difference. Typically, Spring is the best time to sell with Autumn coming a close second. Both seasons make the best of gardens and neither contend with any big holidays. Nobody wants to make a big move over Christmas or in the midst of Summer holidays so aim to be sale-ready for early April or August.
  • Government policy: Demand for your property may change depending on the latest Government Budget. For instance a recent increase in Stamp Duty reduced demand for more expensive properties. On the other hand, the Help to Buy scheme may make your property more attractive (or affordable at least!) to first time buyers.

You don’t need to be an estate agent to have a good understanding of your local market. Take a wander around your neighbourhood and see how many ‘For Sale’ signs are up. Get researching the property prices and sale periods for those homes similar to yours. It’s all about demand so aim to sell at the opportune time for your unique property and location.

What stages and costs are coming my way?

The selling process is a complex endeavour with numerous fees to pay. Now is the time to look at what fees you’re likely to expect and put a budget in place for their payment. Here’s some of the most common costs sellers will come across:

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

All sellers need to provide buyers with this document that outlines the energy use of their property. Check here whether you already have an EPC certificate.

Estate agent fees

Generally speaking, the average fee is 1.8% of your property’s value plus VAT. But this is a figure that differs depending on area, competition and current property values.

Solicitor/conveyancer fees

The costs differ depending on the work involved and the value of your property.

Current lender’s fees

You may have to pay repayment charges or admin fees associated with repaying your mortgage. Be sure to ask your lender for a full rundown of charges to expect.

Removal Costs

It’s easy to get a bunch of different quotes from removal companies ahead of time. Source some different options and research the best ones for your timeframe and location.

Survey Costs

There are a good few surveys that sellers may have to may have to provide to buyers. Condition Reports, Homebuyer’s Reports and Building Surveys are the most common. The costs of both differ depending on the value of your property and the professional surveyor your use. Condition Reports can cost around the £150-£300 mark, Homebuyer’s Reports typically cost from £350-£500 while a Building Survey can come in at around the £500-£700 mark.

What documents do I need to have ready?

Selling your property is a process packed full of legalities and formalities. Luckily, most of the documents you’ll need for your sale are pretty standard so you can source and prepare them ahead of time.

Your title deeds

This is 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 can help you out here. Request an assessor visit and they can provide you will the relevant certificate.

Planning permissions, plans and building regulation approvals

If you’re building is listed or has been granted planning permission, include these documents.

Details of council tax, buildings and content insurance bills

This provides buyers with an estimate of running costs.

Mortgage details

A rundown of how much is outstanding, together with details of any financial loans and charges associated with your property.

If you can tick off a few of the above to-dos and tasks, you’ve used your selling preparation time well. Armed with all this info and relevant documents you can now get down to one of the most important steps of the selling process - setting a selling price.

Next Up

How Long Will It Take To Sell?
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