It’s no secret that selling your home is an ordeal, with lots to do, within a relatively short space of time…
This checklist will help ensure you cover all bases efficiently, with minimal unpleasant surprises, and gives you a basis to work off of to move forward with to follow.
The comprehensive 13-point checklist – selling your home
1. Having Your Finances In Order Before Considering Selling Your Home
Ideally, the first thought should be whether this choice is financially viable for you. You should consider…
How strong the property market is currently, and whether you’d be in negative equity if you were to sell in the current market.
Negative equity is when you owe more toward a mortgage than what you could sell for. Inevitably leaving you at a detriment as you’d owe money out of your pocket to even break even when selling your home.
Speak with your mortgage lender
If applicable – and get an accurate settlement figure. Discuss your thoughts on selling up, and any further fees that may be incurred for paying off the mortgage early, in some instances you could potentially ‘switch’ your mortgage over with you to your new home.
Compare different mortgage offers on the table
Speaking to a mortgage broker can heighten your chances of getting a better deal and potentially saving money in the process. Speaking with a local company such as Independent Mortgage Advice Bureau (IMAB) allows you access to their searches of thousands of deals on the market, including some that aren’t available through lenders. You won’t pay anything unless you move forward with a deal, so it’s a win-win situation!
2. Deciding Who Will Be Selling Your Home
With the different ways you could possibly sell your home, how could you choose?
Whether it be by a local, or an online agent, or even if you choose to attempt to sell the property yourself.
In short, do your research on local and online agents, as well as the work entailed if you attempt to sell it yourself.
Decide which option you’ll go with, and let them know, ask what the processes are so you’re fully in the know of what to expect.
Finally, read through any contracts you sign carefully, and seek legal guidance if necessary. Some agents invoke clauses where you cannot list with more than one agent or even be tied to an agent for a set period of time with no way to back out.
Due diligence is an important factor, don’t take all information relayed to you at face value. Get key pieces of information relayed in an email. and clarify all the details, right down to the smallest of them.
Have a look at my recent article Who Will Sell My Property? – it will give you the low-down on the options you have, as well as some of the pros and cons depending on which option you choose to go with.
3. Your Asking Price, The Price You’re Willing To Be Selling Your Home At, And How To Best Judge It
Many say that one of the toughest decisions of selling your home is how best to judge the asking price it’ll be marketed for.
In actual fact, it doesn’t have to be difficult…
Trust the experts.
So many homeowners have an opinion of what they’d like to be selling their property for, with no actual substance behind their findings other than “I want £300,000“.
That’s not how this works, there’s to be analysis and research done beforehand. What is the current state of the market? What was sold in a 1/4 mile radius within the past 12-18 months, and how much did it actually sell for?
It’s unlikely you’ll undervalue the home but definitely do not overvalue it.
It will sit on the market for longer than necessary, having to be brought down in price over the course of a few weeks, to just end up at the figure and sold in the region of what a professional told you it would anyway…
Essentially, prospective buyers will likely look to do a property survey and valuation anyway. So if the outcome of that survey finds that it’s not actually worth near the asking price, you’ll likely get a re-negotiated offer from them anyway.
Price it right the first time, you’ll likely have no issues.
4. Preparation For Viewings – Ready For Selling Your Home
I’ve actually already covered this topic in-depth!
I’d suggest you take some time out to ensure you follow my step-by-step to ensure you are fully prepared for viewings.
The full article can be read here: Preparation For Viewings – Top 4 Pointers!
- Flexibility – Flexibility is key to ensure you’re as open as possible to allow for viewing slots to be accommodated, the more availability you have, the further reach you have to get as many viewings as possible. In turn, generating more offers coming your way!
- Repairs and Replacements – Repair or replace items that are damaged and are noticeable immediately, broken door handles, wonky kitchen cupboards, along with many other minor issues that can be addressed relatively quickly with small expense.
- Personal Effects – Family photographs, children’s toys and drawings, even pets! These can potentially distract and discourage potential buyers from putting an offer in.
- First Impressions – Prospective buyers may scope out the house before a viewing, clean and clear up any front spaces to make it as attractive as possible, and create a pleasant atmosphere within the home.
5. Conveyancers/Solicitors For Selling Your Home
A solicitor and conveyancer are differently qualified individuals.
Solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Conveyancers are regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers.
While this won’t mean much for you, it ultimately decides how capable they are to assist you in your property sale.
Overall, a conveyancer works out cheaper to use than a solicitor for the sale of a property.
Make your decision on whether you’ll compromise the service you’re after, conveyancers can’t deal with complex legal issues beyond a standard property sale exchange.
If you have circumstances relating to a probate etc, you may well be best off with a solicitor to assist you with the overall transaction.
6. Sifting Through, And Accepting An Offer During The Process of Selling Your Home
An estate agent is legally obliged to tell you of any offers received, no matter the figure.
No matter the offer you are within your right to either reject the offer, ask the agent to negotiate a better offer or accept the given offer.
Once you’ve come across an offer you’re happy to accept, your agent will remove the property from the market, or keep it on the market but mark it as SSTC (sold subject to contract).
Although you accepting an offer doesn’t make it legally binding, if you are made an offer during this period, you’re able to change your mind and re-accept the offer that best fits your wants and needs.
You’ll have this flexibility up until the point your contracts exchange with a buyer. You should note, doing this too far into the process may also hinder you as you’ll be reinitiating the solicitors/conveyancers process.
7. Paperwork, Paperwork, Paperwork…
With the masses of paperwork involved in the sale of a property, your conveyancer or solicitor should provide you with questionnaires to complete.
These will need input from you regarding your property, its fixtures and fittings included in the sale, arrangements for handover, and details for any leasehold (if applicable).
You’ll have a TA6 form relating to general information, a TA10 form for fixtures and fittings, TA13 relating to completion, a TA7 form if you’re selling a leasehold property, or a TA9 form if your property is a commonhold property.
8. Draft Contracts For Selling
Based on the property survey, there may be a conversation between the buyer and the selling parties in the process to determine whether the offered figure was reasonable against the property survey valuation.
This’ll be the time to note if there will be any other fixtures and fitting included in the sale.
And to also determine the time between exchanging of contracts and the completion of the sale.
Your solicitor or conveyancer will be able to draft a contract with the buyer that outlines the information you require in it.
9. The Exchange Of Contracts
As I mentioned before, once you’ve exchanged contracts with the buyer, you’re now legally obligated to sell your property.
The same applies to the buyer, and they are now obliged to buy the property.
The exchange should be done on your behalf by your solicitor or conveyancer.
Contracts are to be exchanged only after you’ve secured a mortgage (if you require one to move on), organise buildings insurance, funded the deposit, and agreed to a date for completion. If you’ve not got many ties or many personal effects, you could choose to complete the same day the contracts are exchanged.
10. Moving Services And The Costs After Selling Your Home!
Believe it or not, moving can be quite costly…
You’ll want to compare different removal services, the companies and the costs to ensure it fits your budget and timescale.
If you’re feeling brave, you could opt to hire a van yourself and rope some friends and family to help with the move! (That’s what I did!)
But for many, this won’t be possible, the heft in some of your furniture, and the sheer volume of personal effect you and your family have may be best moved by specialists.
11. Bills, The Ones You Won’t Be Responsible For Anymore After Selling
Utility companies, service providers, banks, lenders, and anyone who would be chasing you relating to finances, get these informed of your move!
Keep a list, tick them off as you go along. You don’t want to ruin the mood of your new move by receiving a late-payment penalty, or even worse – a mark against your credit file!
A failsafe to keep this in check would be to redirect your post, at a cost (obviously).
Redirection from the Royal Mail could save you from potential arrears in bills, or even identity theft.
12. The Clean Slate After Selling
It’s been a good run, you’ve had your time in that home.
Now, it’s time for its final spring clean.
Not only for the buyer’s benefit, although it is a nice gesture…
But aside from that, it’ll give you a chance to rifle through every crevice of your soon-to-be ex-home for any personal effects that might’ve been left.
On the off-chance that you find something broken, or another potential issue, inform your solicitor.
13. Completion & The Final Move After Selling Your Home
Completion is when keys and contracts have been exchanged. Hurray!
At this point, full payment of the property is to be transferred. You should note, that if it’s not completed by 3pm on the agreed date, completion should happen the next day.
If there is a chain of buyers, it could take longer with unexpected delays further down the chain.
Once monies have been transferred, property deeds will be exchanged with your solicitor who will register the transfer of ownership with the Land Registry.
After this, you’re done! It’s only taken 1700 words to get to this point!
Thank me later…
Jokes aside, this should be a good overview for you to make a note of so you’re fully in the know about what to expect with no funny surprises lurking around the corner if you’re planning on selling up.