The Compass Guide to Selling Your House

Selling your home is both a daunting and exciting experience, so read on for our tips on how to make the process a bit easier.

1.Get your finances in order

The first step to selling your property is getting your finances in order. Let your mortgage provider know that you’re considering selling and find out if there are any penalties for paying back your mortgage early. If you plan on purchasing a new home as well, think about the kind of mortgage you’ll require. Your mortgage provider should be able to give you information on the mortgages you’ll be eligible for.

2. Start selling before you buy

If you’re selling your property, and looking for another one, make sure that you start marketing the sale of your home before looking for a new home. Looking around the area that you’d like to move is one thing but seeing your dream home and losing it because your house isn’t on the market yet is an avoidable heartbreak.

3. Get several valuations

It’s a good idea to have several valuations done on your home before you decide on an asking price. However, just because you pick one agent doesn’t mean that you must sell your home at the price they gave at the valuation. It’s your home, and you can decide what you sell it for.

Top Tip: It’s a good idea to keep in mind stamp duty brackets when you’re selling your home. And remember that buyers will normally try to negotiate a discount, so mark on an extra 5-10% on the price you want to achieve.

4. Find a trusted agent

Without an agent, you can’t advertise your property on online portals (like Rightmove), but an agent’s help goes beyond that. Your local property professional will know the area like the back of their hand and will be able to give you trusted and expert advice about what to expect as well as being able to communicate clearly and effectively.

5. Prepare your home

Staging your home correctly is very important, as the photos in your advertisement determine how many buyers you’ll get through the door. Before your agent comes to take all their pictures, it’s a good idea to get your property looking its best. Maximising interest from buyers online will give you the best chance of a quick sale at a good price.

6. Choose a solicitor

Transferring ownership of a property is called conveyancing, and it must be done legally through a solicitor. They won’t officially come on board until you have accepted an offer on your property, but you should have them at the ready when you accept your offer. Most estate agents will have a preferred partner that they work with and can recommend. They may even have discounted rates they can offer you.

Top Tip: If you’re buying and selling – try to use the same solicitor for both, as it usually works out cheaper that way.

7. Accept an offer

At this point, you’ll hopefully have had plenty of interest in your property, and people should be coming to your home for viewings. When you receive an offer, be sure to negotiate. Some buyers will offer less than they’re willing to pay for the home. Your estate agent should be able to advise if the offer is reasonable. Once you’ve accepted your offer, the sales progression officially begins.

8. Negotiate the draft contract  

You and the buyer will now have to decide how long will be allowed between exchange and completion, what fixtures and fittings will be included in the sale (and at what price) and whether any discounts will be applied following the survey conducted by the buyer’s mortgage provider.

Take note: If, for example, the surveyor appointed by your buyer’s mortgage provider finds damp, they may ask that you reduce the price of the property by the estimated cost of the work to fix the problem. You don’t have to do this, of course, but it may well be a deal breaker for your buyer if you don’t. Remember, neither party is legally committed until exchange, so they (or you) could still walk away.

9.Filling out the relevant questionnaires and preparing the contract

The buyer’s solicitor will need to make some enquires so they have all the information they need to finalise the contracts. You will be required to complete a questionnaire detailing the boundaries of the property, what fixtures and fittings are included in the sale, and whether you’ve had any disputes or complaints with the neighbours. And the local council will be asked about proposed developments, building works, sewerage, utilities, council tax and things of that nature.

10. Exchange contracts  

Once the final contract has been finalised and ‘exchanged’, you will pay your deposit, and the sale is likely to be completed in a short time. At this point, both you and the seller are legally committed to the sale. If you choose not to move forward after this point, you could be sued and must return the buyer’s deposit. If the buyer pulls out, they will lose their deposit.

11. Move out

Once contracts have been exchanged you only have as long as was agreed before you must vacate the property. Time to appoint a removals company or start calling in favours from assorted family and friends!

12. Completion

This is when the property officially changes ownership. Payment will be made to you, and in return, you will hand over the keys. The bulk of the money and the deed will be transferred by each party’s respective solicitors and your solicitor will register the transfer of ownership with the land registry.

13. Pay off the mortgage  

If you had a mortgage on the property you have sold, the lender will have given you and your solicitor a precise redemption figure for your mortgage for completion day. Once the buyer has transferred the bulk of the money to your solicitor, your solicitor can pay off your mortgage for you – well, in a manner of speaking!

14. Pay your solicitor and estate agent

When everything is done and dusted, your solicitor will send you an account of all their costs, the sale price and redemption of the mortgage. Your estate agent’s fees are usually paid from the proceeds of the sale, so make sure that your solicitor is authorised to do this.

BUYING, SELLING OR RENTING A PROPERTY IN NORTH LONDON? LET COMPASS GIVE YOU A TAILORED ASSESSMENT.

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