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What’s involved in selling a house?

A Guide to Selling Your Home in 2020

For most people, the process of selling your house is a complicated, sometimes emotional process that can quickly become extremely stressful. If you’ve never sold a property before or you’re under financial or time pressure, this only makes matters worse. Often people are preoccupied with the decisions they are making about a property that they are buying. But making smart decisions about how to sell your home could save you a lot of time and money. 

Thankfully, there are a number of ways to make the process of selling a whole lot easier. Keep reading our guide to what’s involved in selling a house. We’ll walk you through a step-by-step guide to selling your home so that you know what to expect when it comes to putting it on the market. We’ve also created a list of handy top tips to help make the process of selling your house as stress-free and simple as possible. 

1. Prioritising Your Finances

The first step to selling your home is to make sure your finances are in order and you’re fully equipped and able to afford the process of selling your home. Depending on which method you choose, you may need to budget for solicitor fees, estate agent fees, and legal fees. These fees will vary depending on whether you opt for an online-only estate agent, a traditional high street estate agent or a genuine cash buyer. Below we’ve outlined the different options and the costs associated with each. 

High Street Agent

Typically, high street agents are more expensive than online agents, but you only pay a percentage of the agreed sale price. According to Money Saving Expert, this is usually 0.75% to 3% and this money is generally taken once the property has sold. However, you may be tied into a contract and your property may take some time to sell —  depending on market conditions and house prices in your area and getting the right valuation of your property. 

If opting for either local estate or online agents, it is also worth remembering that seasonality can play a part. Ask your agent for their views on the best time of year to put your house on the market. Try to align with this to reduce the cost of having your home for sale for a long period. If you are looking for a quick sale, these options may not be right for you and it could be better to look into faster options. 

Online-Only Estate Agents 

Online estate agents such as Purplebricks are a cheaper option, but sometimes you need to pay a fee upfront fee and you will need to be prepared to do a lot more of the legwork yourself — including the viewings. Fees vary from £99 to £1,695, but some online-only estate agents are now offering no sale, no fee options. If you opt for this cheaper option, alongside doing the viewings yourself, you will also need to factor in the fact that an online-only sale may take longer and the agents will usually lack the local knowledge to help sell your property’s location.

Genuine Cash Buyers

A simple way to combat the agency and legal fees involved with selling your house would be to consider alternative ways to sell, as opposed to the traditional housing market. If you opt for a genuine cash buyer, there are often no legal, valuation or estate agency fees to pay and the house sale process is quicker,  reducing additional fees. So if you’re looking to sell, but are not sure how to finance the expected costs through the traditional method of selling, it may be advisable to consider alternative selling routes,  such as a reputable cash home buyer. 

Mortgages

Another thing to consider is, if you’re selling your home early and have yet to completely pay off your mortgage,  you could see some early-exit penalties, depending on your mortgage provider’s terms. These are all crucial facts that could ultimately affect your financial situation. So it’s important to keep these fees in mind when you weigh up whether or not it’s the right time for you to sell your house. 

If you’re selling to purchase a new home, it’s also advisable to consider the cost of funding a new mortgage. Your mortgage provider should be able to provide you with all the information necessary on the mortgages you are eligible for. If you’re selling your house because you require a larger property, it’s also worth bearing in mind that with more space, usually comes more cost. Additionally, you will be liable to pay Stamp Duty on any new property that you purchase — so ensure that you factor in the cost of this as well. 

2. Choosing the Right Agent 

Finding the right agent for you and your property can be one of the biggest tasks that you will face when it comes to selling your home. There are a number of different factors to consider and many people have reservations about how to select a trustworthy agent. How can you make sure you’re in safe hands?

When you are selecting an agent, it is advisable to do your homework first. Ensure your chosen agent has a stellar reputation when it comes to selling in your area. A knowledgeable agent can provide you with a wealth of information regarding your property’s surrounding area. Usually, these conversations will give you a fair idea of the type of price-point you will be looking at, as well as whether or not similar local or surrounding properties sold for a decent price on the traditional housing market. 

If it appears properties similar to yours around your area aren’t selling well — and are taking a long time on the market to reach a sale — it may be worth considering alternative selling markets. If you don’t fancy trawling through the internet to find a well-regarded agent, you have two other options — either opt for a genuine cash buyer or try to sell without an agent. 

If you opt to sell without an agent, it’s important to note that homeowners without agents aren’t able to advertise their property on popular marketing websites, such as Right Move, Zoopla or On The Market. Additionally, you will need to organise everything yourself — from the valuation and legal paperwork to writing the description and advert, paying for photos and viewings. Most people don’t have the time to manage this option and it can be harder to keep costs under control when you are getting a lot of separate quotes for different things. 

If, however, you use the reputable cash home buyer method of selling your home, the agents will value your property for you and then make a formal offer subject to contract and survey, which can work around your timescale. If for whatever reason, you’re looking for a quick, hassle-free sale, then this method may work well for you as some companies can arrange a cash offer to sales completion, with access to cash funds in as little as seven days.

3. Marketing Your Property

How you sell your home can have a huge influence on the number of prospective buyers you can attract on the traditional housing market. While preparing your property can open up a number of leads, it can also require a lot of extra time, effort and cost. If your home needs a lot of TLC before it goes to market, it’s a good idea to box off those jobs before contacting an estate agent, as you’re more likely to receive a more accurate valuation if the property is already in the right condition to sell.  

Often homeowners feel pressure from estate agents (or themselves if they are using an online selling portal) to have their home looking pristine so that photos and viewings present the property in it’s best light. This process often requires a method of “staging,” where the majority of personal trinkets and belongings are removed from sight, to give prospective buyers and viewers an accurate representation of the space on offer. By removing as much personalisation and clutter as possible, potential buyers can visualise how they could utilise the space if they were to buy. 

Although this can maximise interest from buyers and give you the best chance of a sale around your asking price, homeowners often complain that they struggle to find the time to do this. Another issue can be the difficulty in finding the extra funds to spruce up the property — especially if you are paying for a move or planning to decorate a new property. Sometimes people are moving because they no longer have the space they need at the property. This means that decluttering is nearly impossible as there is nowhere to put your belongings!

If you select a reputable cash home buyer like Home Buyer Bureau, they will offer homeowners a fair, competitive cash price, regardless of the condition of your house. This means that homeowners needn’t worry about the stress of aesthetics and staging your home, viewings, or giving the property TLC. Many cash house buying services will consider all types of homes in any standing, saving homeowners the hassle of arranging viewings and running through the lengthy sales process on the traditional housing market.

4. The Conveyancing Process

If you accept an offer on your property, then you need to inform a solicitor to carry out the legal work involved. Although you could look at doing this yourself to avoid fees, if you’re inexperienced in this area, it is advisable to consult a professional solicitor or licensed conveyancer. 

Most reputable solicitor firms will offer a conveyancing service, which involves drawing up contracts and preparing all legal documents for both selling and buying parties. These contracts are put in place to protect sellers from any potential conflicts during the sales process — but can cost greatly. Be sure to run a comparison of fees and prices of solicitors in your area, or ask your estate agent for any solicitor recommendations that could provide a discount in return. 

A huge benefit to selecting some genuine cash buyers is that there’s no need to worry about added solicitor costs as there are no fees involved in the process. If you use a lawyer from House Buyer Bureau’s panel of experts, they will cover any legal costs and fees for a hassle-free, inexpensive method of selling your home.

Selling Your Property with House Buyer Bureau

Selling a property on the traditional housing market can be tricky at the best of times. If you’re struggling to make a sale or cannot find ways to fund all the costs involved, there are alternative methods of selling your property. House Buyer Bureau, are genuine, reputable cash home buyers, with a pristine sales reputation, achieving a consistent 95% or above satisfaction rating over five years of helping people sell their homes.

The sales process at House Buyer Bureau is straightforward. Homeowners can enter their postcode online and receive an instant competitive cash offer. If this is of interest, we will provide you with a formal offer, from which point completion can take as little as seven days, with instant access to funds in your bank. Get in touch with one of our friendly team members today for some expert advice.

Top Tips for Selling Your House 

  1. Do your research — Make sure you are getting a fair price for your property
  2. Select the right method for you — Consider how quickly you’d like to move the sale along, how much involvement you want to have in the viewings etc.
  3. Think finances — Make sure you weigh up the costs associated with the different processes outlined above and get your numbers right
  4. Seek out advice — If you’ve not sold a house before then it’s advisable to seek out advice from those around you as well as professional advice
  5. Get a mixture of valuations — If you are unsure how much money you could get for your house, try using some online valuation tools to compare your options
  6. Beware of scams — Sadly, there are some dodgy cash buyers out there, so make sure you find one that has good reviews and is a member of The National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB).