How long does it take to sell a property?
On average it takes around 3 months from putting the property on the market through to completion, however dependent on the status of the seller and buyer the timescales may vary.
Can I do anything to speed up the process?
Making sure that your property is well presented visually attracts more interest which will lead to offers.
Do I have to instruct an estate agent?
Instructing an estate agent to sell your property is not a legal obligation. Some vendors try to keep costs down by not using an agent at all however, it is well worth considering the benefits an agency can provide. Estate agents can provide the man power and experience required to effectively market your property to ensure it receives maximum exposure to attract as much interest as possible. They also deal with the viewings, manage competing offers and oversee the entire process through to completion. In short, a good estate agent will find solutions to common issues and ensure a successful sale is achieved.
How much will it all cost me?
Estate agents typically charge between 1.5% to 2.5% commission on the sale of a property. They may also charge separate fees for advertising and promotional material. This should be confirmed to you by the estate agent before any instruction takes place. However, those experienced sellers and buyers may have preferred solicitors.
With regards to solicitors’ fees or conveyancing fees, these can vary from firm to firm. It is important to contact more than one solicitor to receive quotes as there are no set fees for conveyancing.
Do I have to instruct a solicitor?
Not necessarily, however the legal side of selling a house can be incredibly complicated so it is recommended that you do use a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer. Although not using a solicitor or licensed conveyance may save you fees, the amount of time and effort required to organise this yourself may not be worth the monetary saving. An experienced solicitor will also bring to your attention concerns that an inexperienced person may well miss.
Do I need to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?
Yes. This is a legal obligation that has been in place since January 2013. It must be made available within 7 days of putting the property on the market. If you are selling your property through an estate agent then they will display the EPC rating in all marketing material.
How do viewings work?
If you’re selling through an estate agent, they will organise all viewings on your behalf. This can be very beneficial as they deal with any difficult questions, screen potential time wasters and are well placed to advise interested viewers (and you) on what happens next.
What about tax?
Capital Gains Tax (CGT) isn’t applicable on a main residence but may be applicable on a second home or an investment property. For more information, visit the HMRC website or speak to an accountant.
What should I expect from a successful sale?
Although an estate agent cannot guarantee an accepted offer with progress to exchange and complete, they will keep you up to date throughout the sales process. Solicitors should also ensure that all relevant documents are ready to be signed or actioned before the sale. Your estate agent and solicitor should be available to discuss your concerns with at any point during the process. If you feel it is moving too slowly, or if you’re unsure about anything, don’t be shy! Selling your home can be a stressful process and your estate agent is there to make it easier for you and deal with any concerns and questions you may have.