We know the process can be daunting, so we have broken it down into a step-by-step guide to make selling your house that much easier.
The first step to selling your home is to get an up to date property valuation. Ideally you should invite more than one estate agent to view the property. Chestertons provide free, no obligation market appraisals and, as one of the biggest estate agents in London, we value and sell hundreds of properties each month which means we have a wealth of knowledge and data to draw on when valuing your property.
2. Get your property ready for the market
You should aim to present your property in the best possible way and fix anything that could put off potential buyers. A fresh lick of paint, some new soft furnishings, plus a tidy up of the garden should help. These are small jobs but can greatly improve your chance of receiving an offer. If you feel that your property requires more than a touch up of paint, perhaps even a complete renovation, please get in touch with our Refurbishment Team. At this stage you’ll also need to supply an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your property. These are valid for ten years, so if you had one commissioned in the past you will need to double check that it is still valid
3. Choose your estate agent and your solicitor
When choosing your estate agent you should consider if they have plenty of experience, how much local insight they have, if they are able to effectively and proactively market your property, if they are affiliated to any professional or regulatory bodies and if they have a reputation for providing excellent customer service. At Chestertons we consider these things to be essential when it comes to selling property successfully. Most estate agents are able to make a recommendation of which solicitor to use, but it’s also worth asking friends and family about their experiences and who they would recommend.
4. Prepare for viewings
Once your property is on the market, you’ll need to keep on top of cleanliness and clutter every day in case of any unexpected viewings. Dust and dirt can dull a surface and give viewers the impression that work needs to be done, but a quick clean can reveal the real finish beneath and instantly refresh a property’s appearance. Scented candles and open windows can help keep the property fresh. These small but noticeable acts can help buyers picture themselves living in your property, making them more likely to place an offer. If you’re present while the viewings take place, you should try to offer an insight about what makes your property special- it great for entertaining? Is it easy to keep warm in the winter? Are the neighbours friendly?
5. Receiving offers
If you are selling your property through an estate agent then any interested parties must make an offer through them. If there is more than one interested party, your agent will keep you up to date with competing offers. You don’t have to choose the highest bidder, in fact you should consider your aims and how this relates to the buyer’s situation. If you want to move quickly, a chain free first time buyer or someone who has already sold their property may be the best option.
6. Accepting an offer
Once the final offer has been accepted, your estate agent will contact your solicitor who will then set the wheels in motion for the sale to take place. The buyer will also instruct their lender to value the property so they can finalise their mortgage offer. They may also commission a survey or homebuyer report at this point too.
7. Exchanging contracts and completion
The exchanging of contracts is carried out on your behalf by your solicitor or conveyancer. It is when the sale of your home becomes legally binding and once the contracts have exchanged you can be fairly certain that the sale of your house will go through. You will also receive a preliminary deposit from the buyer at this point which you would be able to keep if they pulled out of the purchase however, you would also be liable for penalties or legal action if you pulled out of the sale. The completion date will be stated in the contracts and this is when the property will be transferred to the new owners. You must leave the property on this date and need to arrange for all of your belongings to be removed from the property, ready for the new occupants to arrive on the same day, once the final monies have been received. Keep in mind that completion days are almost always on a weekday to allow the banks and solicitors to arrange transfer of monies and complete other necessary legal or financial actions that would be impossible to do on a weekend.
Completion day can be stressful for all concerned, especially if you’re part of a chain, but as the final step in selling in your property it means that the worst is over and you can take some time to celebrate.
Conveyancing – the term for legal matters relating to buying or selling a house, often conducted by solicitors or licensed conveyancer. This includes the process of exchanging contracts.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) - A legally required document that confirms the energy efficiency of your property. Once commissioned, the certificate is valid for 10 years.
Market Appraisal – Also referred to as a property valuation. Comparable evidence (such as recent sales prices of similar properties in the same area) is used to give a realistic figure that your home could achieve on the market.
Chestertons is the residential property specialist and offers a full range of related services including:
To arrange a valuation please contact the number below
020 3411 7552