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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?

Lots of things affect the property market, and deciding whether it’s the right time to sell is a crucial consideration. Some basic research into the following factors will help you to figure out when you should take the leap:

  • Demand: Is your property type 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.

A great place to start can be taking a walk around your neighbourhood to see how many ‘For Sale’ signs are up. Once you have a sense of the demand in your area, get researching property prices and sale periods for homes like yours nearby.

Ultimately getting the best price for your property is all about buyer demand. Figuring out the best moment to sell in your local market can result in a quicker sale and higher purchase price.

How much will selling my property cost?

Now that you’ve thought about when you want to sell, it’s time to get to grips with the potential costs. Selling a home is a complex process, but knowing what fees to expect will help you to budget effectively. Some of the most common costs for home sellers include:

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

This document outlines the energy use of your property. You’ll need to make sure you have an EPC before your property is placed on the market. You can choose either to arrange this yourself, or your estate agent can help. Check here to see whether you already have an EPC. (If you bought your property less than 10 years ago, it’s likely you do.)

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.

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. It could be worth considering other options such as hiring a van.

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 and they can 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

Provide a rundown of how much of your mortgage is left outstanding, along with any loans or charges associated with your property.

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