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Property Selling Guide

1. Understand your mortgage requirements

  • Understanding your mortgage affordability is often the first crucial step to enable you to plan for your next property purchase
  • Instructing an independent adviser with access to a wide variety of lenders helps you proceed with confidence throughout the buying and selling process
  • Choose My Mortgage provide access to independent whole of market mortgage specialists. To find out more click here or call 0161 333 4486 for a free consultation

2. Make your home the best it can be

  • Make sure your property is clean, tidy and clutter-free and looks good from the outside
  • Consider getting a survey done on your property - so you can either fix any problems, or use it to attract buyers by demonstrating how good the condition of your house is
  • If you are getting rid of items you no longer need, do it before you start marketing your property as the less clutter you have the faster your house will sell. Many councils take large items away, sometimes for free

3. Always get at least three valuations before you put your property on the market (they are free after all!)

  • Almost all agents, High Street, Online or Hybrid agents provide a free valuation service
  • We would always recommend 3 agents to value your home to ensure competitive tension between agents ensuring you get the most realistic valuation and the most competitive fee
  • Compare and choose your three best performing agents in your area to provide you with a free valuation by clicking here
  • Valuation setting is often a two-way discussion between you and the agent
  • The list price of your property is often dependent on the time you have to sell
  • If you need to move fast you may want to lower the valuation to encourage a quick sale.
  • If you are in no rush and want to maximise value, you may prefer to hold out for a higher price
  • Use the House Price section on Rightmove or Zoopla to check out the most recent sold house prices in your area
  • Search for similar properties for sale on Rightmove or Zoopla in your area and see what they are currently being marketed for
  • Ask the agents what additional services they can provide to help your home stand out from the crowd
    • Do they offer accompanied viewings as part of their service or is it an extra cost?
    • Do they provide floor plans, virtual tours and high resolution photographs?
    • Can they list your property as a featured listing on Rightmove or Zoopla to help it attract more attention from buyers?
    • Can they list your property in their branch shop window to attract attention from local buyers in the area?
    • Other than listing your property on Rightmove and or Zoopla, what other marketing techniques do they employ to help you attract viewings and ultimately offers?

4. Always ask for fees in £’s inclusive of VAT and with any additional tie in services fully disclosed

  • Instructing your estate agent with Choose My Agent takes the hassle out of making sure you get the best fee
  • By selecting 3 agents to provide you with valuation and fee proposals you ensure there is competitive tension between agents which automatically means you will be getting a competitive fee from agents
  • If all the fee proposals provided are similar and you are still unsure who to choose, you can ask Choose My Agent to negotiate with the agents on your behalf to secure a better fee
  • Make sure you request the fee in £ sterling inclusive of VAT including the cost of any additional services you are required to take with that agent (Conveyancing services for example)
  • To understand the difference between High Street and Online or Hybrid Agent fees click here

5. Find a reliable conveyancer

  • Conveyancing is the most stressful and nerve-racking part of the process for most buyers and sellers and so choosing the right solicitor to work with is essential
  • Deciding which one to instruct can be a minefield. Our best advice is not to choose a solicitor simply based upon price or one that happens to be closest to where you live
  • Choosing your conveyancer earlier helps you organise any paper work required and puts you in a strong position as a buyer that is prepared and ready to move
  • Choose My Conveyancer provide access to a hand picked team of friendly and experienced lawyers to help you
  • All of our chosen conveyancers work on a no sale no fee basis so there is no risk instructing your conveyancer now
  • For more information, click here or call 020 3608 6556 for a no sale no fee quotation
  • We have also pulled together a useful Conveyancing Guide that helps you understand all the steps and requirements from start to finish, click here to access our guide

6. Getting the most out of your viewings

  • Now you have signed a contract with an estate agent, you need to get your home ready for viewings and give your house the best chance of selling. First impressions count so put yourself in the buyers' shoes and think about how you can enhance your property's "curb" appeal
  • Here are some things to look out for:
    • Does the front of your house need smartening up?
    • Could the front garden be tidier?
    • Would the front door look better with a fresh lick of paint?
    • Could the front windows do with a clean?
  • Look at the inside with a critical eye too:
    • Keep it clean and tidy. De-clutter and use sensible storage. Potential buyers will want to visualise how they can fill the space
    • Undertake any minor repairs that need doing so buyers will need to really try hard to find any negatives
    • If you want to re-decorate, go for neutral tones, which will appeal to a wider audience
    • Make your house comfortable, cool on hot sunny days and warm if it's winter
    • Banish smoke or pet odours. Open the windows, brew some fresh coffee and add finishing touches such as fresh flowers, to brighten the place up
    • Bring out the best features such as fireplaces and use mirrors to increase the sense of space.

7. Get your paperwork in order

  • If you get your paperwork sorted out early, it'll help things move along more quickly once you've accepted an offer
  • Give your agent other useful documents and facts about your property, which they can mention to potential buyers, such as:
    • Gas and electrical certificate checks.
    • Building regulations certificates.
    • Council tax, utility, buildings and contents insurance bills - so potential buyers can estimate running costs.
    • Service charges and ground rent bills (for flats)

8. What if it’s not selling? Is there a reason?

  • A few things to think about when your property doesn’t seem to be selling...
    • Ask your agent why they think it's not selling. What's the feedback from viewings?
    • Can your estate agent 'freshen up' your property details on Rightmove with better photos and a more engaging description?
    • Was the exterior photo clearly taken a long time ago in a different season? If so, ask the agent to take a new one
    • Do you need to reduce the price?
    • If a survey revealed a problem that led a buyer to renegotiate or pull out, consider getting repairs done

9. Complaints about your estate agent

  • You must speak to the estate agent first and give them a fair chance to sort out your complaint. If they don’t, you can complain to one of the following schemes:
    • The Property Ombudsman
    • The Ombudsman Service
    • Property Redress Scheme
    • Ask the estate agent which scheme they belong to

10. Pick a good buyer

  • Once you have received an offer, be prepared to negotiate. But remember, you don't have to sell to the highest bidder. A lower bidder might be better if they:
    • Are paying cash (so don't have to wait for mortgage approval)
    • Already have a mortgage "agreed in principle"
    • Don't have to sell a property first (they could be first-time buyers or investors) or in a short chain
    • Can fit in with your timescales better than other buyers

11. Be clear what’s included in the price

  • After you've chosen a buyer, make sure they understand exactly what’s included in the price, including fixtures and fittings

12. Agree on dates

  • Establish likely dates for exchange and completion - this will avoid arguments further down the line
  • It's worth drawing up an agreed note of your plans with the buyer. While this won't be legally binding, it can make people less likely to delay or pull out

13. Communication is key

  • Keep communication going. Don't disappear on holiday for two weeks without informing all interested parties, including your conveyancer and your estate agent. Don’t ignore aspects about the purchase that you don’t understand - if in doubt, ask

14. Tax on selling your property and buying your new one

  • You may need to pay:
    • Stamp Duty Land Tax when you buy a home
    • Capital Gains Tax when you sell a home
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax
    • You pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on increasing portions of the property price above £125,000 when you buy residential property, eg a house or flat.
    • You must still send an SDLT return for transactions under £125,000 unless they’re exempt.
    • Property or lease premium or transfer value SDLT rate
      Up to £125,000 Zero
      The next £125,000 (the portion from £125,001 to £250,000) 2%
      The next £675,000 (the portion from £250,001 to £925,000) 5%
      The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million) 10%
      The remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million) 12%

      Example if you buy a house for £275,000, the SDLT you owe is calculated as follows:
      0% on the first £125,000 = £0
      2% on the next £125,000 = £2,500
      5% on the final £25,000 = £1,250
      Total SDLT = £3,750
      Example provided by HMRC

  • Capital Gains Tax
    • You don’t pay Capital Gains Tax when you sell (or ‘dispose of’) your home if all of the following apply:
      • you’ve lived in it as your main home for all the time you’ve owned it
      • you haven’t let part of it out or used part of it for business only
      • the grounds, including the buildings, are smaller than 5,000 square metres (just over an acre)
      • This is because you automatically get a tax relief called Private Residence Relief. You don’t need to do anything.
      • If you don’t meet all these criteria you may have to pay some Capital Gains Tax.