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Selling Guide: How To Sell Your House - from listing your property, negotiating offers to appointing a solicitor and handing over the keys

If you are thinking of selling your home, there are a few things that need to be done to make the sale go as smoothly as possible.

This next bit might sting a little but if you want to make good decisions about your most valuable asset you need to think with a business brain and not be swayed by emotion:

The first thing is to remember that the moment you go to sell your property, it is no longer your home. It is now a product you are looking to sell to buyers. You want to package it for the sorts of buyers who are looking in your area and market it to these people.

If you have made peace with that it’s time to get started:


​How to value your home

When valuing your home, the best place to start is with the internet. You will get a good idea of how much your home is worth by finding out what price other similar properties in your area are being sold at. You know your local area well and you know your local streets. You can also see on Zoopla how long a property has been on the market – a good way to check if prices are accurate.

While it might be tempting to push the price up, you’ll probably have a difficult time selling your house if it has been overvalued, so it’s important to do some research so you can get the right price. Buyers will be doing their research, that’s for sure. Did you know that according to latest figures 33% of properties have their asking price dropped within the first three months? Makes you think that maybe those local agents aren’t quite as knowledgeable as they think!


​Listing your property

After selling a good few properties over the years we know that the most important parts of a property listing are:

  • Professional Photography
  • Professional Floorplans
  • Accurate Description

Make sure that when you come to sell your house you are getting genuine professional photography and not an agent with a point and click camera. They need a wide angle lens and an eye for detail. If you aren’t getting this you need to ask why. It’s probably cost-cutting on your agent’s part and won’t help you show your property off in the best light.

Sales can fall through due to amateur level floorplans that don’t accurately describe the dimensions of the property. When the buyer’s surveyor comes around you can be sure they will be checking that the promised floorspace matches the actual floorspace.

12% of complaints to the Property Ombudsman come from inaccurate sales details on listings and in advertising. Honesty is always the best possible. Make sure your property description is descriptive and objective and not poetry. Buyers have short attention spans and want to know the best features and a brief description.

A home is probably your most valuable asset so make sure your agent delivers the best possible listing.


​Viewings (how-to-hold-house-viewings)

When interest has been expressed on your home from potential buyers, they’ll probably want to come for a viewing.

High Street Estate Agents:

Many high street estate agents will carry out these viewings on your behalf and use their local knowledge to talk up the area and sell your home to the buyer.

Online Estate Agents:

Online estate agents are able to deliver such huge savings compared to High Street Agents because they don’t do viewings. If you think that an agent may have six viewings in a day at a number of properties – that’s six hours out of the office, an incredibly ineffective use of resources in our view.

Owners of properties know their property better than anyone else. They know that at 8am on a sunny Saturday morning where they have their coffee in the early morning light. They know how long the walk is to the station, they have lived and loved their property and can sell it far better than any estate agent.

We have a guide for vendors in how to host a good viewing here: Hosting Viewings


​Marketing Your Property

This has changed immeasurably since the days of window displays and buyers walking up and down the high street. A number of portals which display some 90% of all the UK’s properties (the rest being private sales) have dominated the market and made it incredibly simple for buyers from all over the country to see properties from all over the country.

There are three major portals:

  • Rightmove (100m visits per month)
  • Zoopla (50m visits per month)
  • PrimeLocation (6m hits per month)

OnTheMarket:

In a recent development a small section of the high street estate agent market have created a new portal called OnTheMarket. At the moment its traffic (from the numbers we have seen) is below 4m visits per month. One of the main drawbacks of your agent being on this portal is that they can only be on one of the other portals. That means if your property goes on OnTheMarket you will lose out on all the buyers from either Rightmove or Zoopla. If you are looking on the High Street make sure your agent isn’t OnTheMarket.

Those adverts you see for properties in the newspaper unfortunately have been shown to be adverts for the estate agents themselves rather than for the actual properties. With buyers having more information than ever before they know: where they are looking and what they want and even more importantly what they can get for their money.


​Buyers

A traditional estate agent manages buyers for you and that’s exactly what SellMyHome.co.uk does too. Buyers after all are your customers. These are the people that are going to give you the freedom to move home so you want them well looked after. If you go the online route make sure you check whether they have proper buyer management and don’t just rely on their website or a call centre.

Once someone wants to buy your home, they’ll put in an offer. You’ll have a designated account manager from the SellMyHome.co.uk team, and they can liaise with the buyer for you, as well as negotiating any offers for you.

If multiple offers have been made on your home, you may choose to demand best and final offers, where buyers will all put in their best offer and you choose the one that meets your requirements.


​Conveyancing

We have a whole separate guide with step by step details on conveyancing that can be found here: what is conveyancing

In short though, conveyancing is the process that takes you from having an offer accepted to the moment that you hand over the keys.

You will need to appoint a solicitor who will then get in touch with the buyer’s solicitor to handle the legal side of the purchase. Your solicitor will send a draft contract over to the buyer’s solicitor. Both parties will then sign their contracts, exchange them and settle on a date of completion – this is the day that you will move out of your home. There's a bit more to it than that with enquiries, searches and more but that is handled by your solicitors and is explained in our conveyancing guide.


So now you know the absolute basics of how to sell your house, we have guides that can help you with every aspect of selling your home. Or if you prefer to talk then give one of us a call or even better you can ask us to give you a call whenever suits you.


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