If you have decided to sell your property – whether a house or flat – it is a good idea to do some research online and find out the asking prices of similar properties before instructing an estate agent.
Having a good idea of what similar houses or flats are going for can save time when the estate agent comes round to value it.
If you have an idea of what your property is worth, it is also less likely that you will accept a valuation below this, which can sometimes happen with unscrupulous estate agents who may be on the lookout for a property for a specific client.
Most estate agents give reliable valuations, however, but obtain at least three valuations and look at the agent’s fees, also, before deciding.
It is also a good idea to ask the estate agent whether redecorating or freshening up the property would attract a better price – putting your possessions in storage to remove clutter and cleaning carpets or giving the walls a fresh lick of paint are all simple and not too expensive ways of presenting your property at its best.
Once you have got the sale process underway, here are the stages of selling your house or flat:
- You can use an estate agent or sell your property yourself using online property sites or advertising your home yourself in local newspapers and online. Estate agents will take a percentage of the sale price which will cover the costs of any marketing materials as well as their professional fees for showing your home to potential buyers and negotiating the sale price. Be prepared to organise your schedule to accommodate buyers, who may want to view at any time.
- Advise your mortgage lender that you are selling – and also look for a conveyancing solicitor to handle the legal process of selling the property.
- Once you have accepted an offer from a buyer, you need to instruct your conveyancing solicitor to liaise with your buyer’s conveyancing solicitor and prepare a draft contract and Home Information Pack (HIP) – for this you will have to decide which fixtures and fittings are included in the purchase price and give details about maintenance, repairs and energy efficiency of your property. If your property is leasehold, your conveyancing solicitor will send a copy of the lease to your buyer’s solicitor.
- Hopefully your sale will go through smoothly, but sometimes buyers can drop out if there is a problem with survey or their mortgage – or they cannot sell their own property. Choosing a buyer who is chain free is the best option, but may not be possible.
- The next stage of the conveyancing process is exchange of contracts, when the deed of transfer is signed by the buyer and the deposit is paid.
- After this, completion should take place within about 8 weeks of the original offer being made – at completion the monies are paid into your account, the deed of transfer exchanged and sent to the Land Registry by the buyer’s solicitor and the keys exchanged after you have moved out – usually shortly before completion, so your buyer can move in.
- Your own conveyancing solicitor will use the monies to draw down your existing mortgage, deduct fees for disbursements – and transfer any balance into your account.
- Finally, you will receive a bill for your solicitor’s professional conveyancing fees and any outstanding disbursements.
Peter Anderson – One of my favourite topics to blog about is conveyancing! Google+