first-time sellers: how to sell your house
If you’re selling your home for the first time, or you’d just like a quick reminder about how it all works, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s look at your options and get you primed and ready to sell your property with confidence.
First things first: get your finances in order and collect all the paperwork you’re going to need. It’s not fun, but it needs to be done, so tackle it early!
When it comes to selling your house you’ll need a lot of information at hand.
Here are some of the essential documents you’ll need:
- Full property details and dimensions
- Building regulation certificates
- Any planning permission certificates
- Electrical/gas certificates
- Recent utility bills
- Buildings insurance
- Contents insurance
- Mortgage roll/account number
- Energy Performance Certificate
If you’re selling with Sequence, they will supply you with full property details and dimensions along with your floor plan, but be careful here. Some estate agents don’t measure up your house and don’t provide you with a floor plan. Sequence do, but if you go elsewhere it’s definitely worth checking.
settle on a price: the rule of three
Time to get your house valued. The general rule of thumb when you’re valuing a house is to arrange for at least three different estate agents to conduct a valuation.
It’s worth getting the opinion of more than one estate agent because the information they give you is worth listening very closely to. They will have good reasons for their valuation, and it will also give you an idea of how they operate – you will likely be instructing one of them to sell your home after all.
We would also suggest you select a range of estate agents to perform the valuation. Perhaps it might be a good idea to request a valuation from a high street chain, an independent estate agent and an online estate agent so you can see how their approaches differ and make a decision on who will sell your house.
your new mortgage
If you’re selling a house, the chances are you’re probably buying a property too, so if you haven’t already, you’ll need to arrange a mortgage, which means you’ll need to collect a few more bits of paperwork:
- Three months of bank statements
- Another proof of income
- Your passport or another form of ID
You should now have a good idea of the value of your house and a good idea of your budget too, so the next thing to decide is how you want to sell…
decide how to sell your house
Until quite recently, everyone sold their house through a high street estate agent. Now, there are online only and everything in-between to choose from. And you can even sell your house privately or via a property auction.
High street estate agents can take some of the stress off your hands by handling viewings, but you’ll pay anywhere between 0-3% of the final sale price in commission.
Online estate agent costs can be lower. Plus their ease and convenience can be hard to resist, but does the agent really know the area? Online agents normally have to cover vast areas to make their business model work and while no doubt stating that they are a local expert, can you be when living up to 40 miles away?
If you sell your house privately, you won’t pay any fees, but you’re advertising options are restricted because only estate agents can use the property portals like Zoopla and Rightmove. As well as the tools you might think of using like Facebook or another social network. But will you have active buyers following you on these networks? Unless you know the buyer, how would you do a financial check on them to prove they have the means to purchase the property?
We’d only recommend selling privately if you already know the value of your home and you also know someone who would seriously like to buy it for that price.
Property auctions are another option, and they can take a lot of the hard work out of selling. Visit our auction pages for more details on selling by auction.
Remember, though, if you sell your property privately or by auction, you still need to arrange your new mortgage and pay for conveyancing services, so there’s still money to be paid out.
get your home ready for selling
When you show your home to prospective buyers you want it to look bright, airy, clean and tidy, so tidy up any clutter and clean all surfaces.
Consider painting the walls a neutral colour, sprucing up the garden and getting rid of any signs of pets.
hire a property solicitor
If you’re not using your estate agent’s conveyancing service, you’ll need to find a property conveyancer to handle your house sale.
We also suggest you find out the true cost of the conveyancing process at the earliest opportunity so you can budget that in to the overall cost of the sale.
negotiations: getting the right price and the right buyer
When you receive an offer you can decide whether or not to accept it. If you do, your property will be taken off the market and you can negotiate a contract with the buyer.
But deciding whether to accept or decline an offer depends on more than just the price. If you choose a buyer in a long chain your house sale can take months and there’s a risk it could fall through altogether if anyone in the chain pulls out.
That’s what the Sequence sales progression team are there for: to keep transactions moving and ensure that all parties have what they need, when they need it to complete as soon as possible.
If you’re looking to move quickly, it’s a good idea to find a buyer who’s already sold their house – or choose someone else who’s not tied up in a chain, like a first-time buyer.
why sell your home with Sequence?
We use local estate agents to perform the valuations and prepare your property advertisements.
They’re backed by an experienced support team who handle enquiries, book viewings, provide feedback, negotiate offers and progress your sale with your chosen buyer.
We offer everything you’d expect from a high street estate agent, but we don’t charge commission.