How to sell your house – the essentials you need to know

When you make the decision to sell your house it can feel like a complicated and emotional process. Planning in advance can help to reduce your stress levels and make your house sale run more smoothly.

So how exactly do you sell your house – we’ve pulled together all of the essential things you need to do before you put your house on the market.

How much does it cost to sell a house?

Make sure you don’t have any unexpected costs when selling your house by having a budget before you start.

Your existing mortgage – does your lender charge fees for early repayment, if so you’ll need to factor these in or time the sale of your house so when you are not tied in.

Selling fees – You’ll need to factor in estate agents fees which will vary depending on the agent that you choose and whether you select a high street or online agent. These can either be a percentage of the house value (around 1% -3% on average) or a fixed fee.

Legal fees – You’ll need a solicitor or licensed conveyancer to draw up all of the legal documentation to complete the sale. And you’ll need to make sure that you have a valid EPC (energy performance certificate) for your house.

Other fees – Removal costs, these will vary depending on the size of your property, if you use their packing services & how far your possessions need to be transported. You should also check whether your home insurance covers your possessions while with the removal company. 

If you’re also buying a house at the same time as selling, you’ll need to factor in the costs of buying the new property such as, stamp duty, deposits, new mortgage fees or rental costs and additional legal fees.

The Money Advice Service has a guide to help you estimate the likely costs you’ll need to budget for when selling your house. 

Choosing your estate agent

You now have more options when deciding how to sell your house. As well as the high street estate agents, you can choose an online estate agents or you could advertise your house yourself.

To help you decide the best route, have a think about costs, where your house will be advertised, how viewings will be managed and how the sale price will be negotiated when you receive offers.

Whilst online estate agents and selling your home directly may cost less, they will require more of your time in terms of managing viewings and negotiating sale price. You’ll need to weigh up these factors

Kerb appeal

As well as finances and logistics, you need to think about the appeal of your property when thinking about how to sell a house.

Think about the ‘kerb appeal’ of your house. How will it look in photos and when people drive by. Make sure simple things like gates, fences, drainpipes, windows and doors are all fitted properly and look clean. Clear away any clutter and rubbish too.

Give any wooden areas a fresh lick of paint and wash windows and paving to make it look as good as new.

If you have a front garden, now is the time to make sure the lawn is neatly mowed, flower beds are filled and the overall impression is attractive and easy to maintain!

Add some character with potted plants, hanging baskets which can all be taken with you!

Moving

Follow the steps above and you should be in the best position to sell your house. When you do get that sought after exchange date just make sure that all parties have their home insurance in place. You may want to have buildings insurance on the property you’re buying and to check if the new owners have taken buildings insurance on your property. Many people find it sensible to have contents insurance is in place when you move and as we mentioned before, it’s also wise to check whether your contents are well covered during the removal and storage process.