How to sell your property
If you have decided to sell, it is important that your reasons for selling are clear so the process can be as smooth as possible.
We have put together a quick guide on selling your property to help you along the way. Before you even begin to think about marketing your property you should think about decluttering the property of items you no longer need, carrying out those repairs you didn't get round to and decorating any rooms that look a little tired or need 'de-personalising'.
Researching the local area properties for sale in Sheffield and South Yorkshire can give you a good guide of prices for properties similar to yours are selling for. It can also be useful to gather all the information you will need in the process so you know where it is. This includes:
- Gas and electrical safety checks;
- Any building regulations certificates;
- Items that will help identify running costs of the property such as council tax;
- Research local estate agents to find the right agent to sell your property. There are a number of estate agents in Sheffield and South Yorkshire, so selecting the right agent for you can be tricky. Take a look at our 'Selecting the right estate agent' guide.
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In step one we mentioned about researching what similar properties to your are worth in your area. Now it is time to get a professional view. Invite an estate agent to give you a valuation of your property. It is always worth getting three valuations as it allows you to identify which estate agent you would like to instruct as well as ensuring you get the most accurate price to market your property at. Once you have received the property valuations back from the estate agents, compare these with your own research so you can make the decision of what you would like to get for your property.
Selling privately is an option, however comes with significant risks. Using professionals at each stage of buying and selling property provides you with expert knowledge and legal protection. Selling privately (through private sale websites amongst other options) will mean that you are responsible for setting the price of the property, all the marketing, arranging viewings, accepting or declining with offers made and progressing the sales through legal services. Another thing to take into account is that portals such as OnTheMarket.com and Rightmove do not advertise properties not being sold by an estate agent so it can really hinder the marketing of the property. Read our guide to choosing an estate agent in South Yorkshire.
Once you have chosen the right estate agent for you, it will be necessary for you to make sure you home is ready for viewings! Keeping your property clean and tidy can help fo any unexpected viewings therefore de-cluttering beforehand can help free up space and keep areas tidy. If you redecorate, it is important to chose neutral tomes to allow it to appeal to a wider audience. Ensure that you carry out those small repairs that make a big different like mending the guttering.
Before a viewing takes place, ensure you make your house comfortable by putting the heating on if it is cold outside or opening windows if it is too warm. Throwing open the windows can help de-odourise a property that has been smoked in or if you have pets. Fresh bed linen and making sure the beds are made is also great for smartening up the bedrooms.
Read our preparing your property for viewings guide.
Negotiating offers that you receive can be stressful, but remember to be prepared to negotiate. You do not have to accept the first offer you receive or sell to the highest bidder. Sometimes factors such as first time buyers, cash buyers or buyers who have a property to sell can be more advantageous to you than those who will pay the most. Estate agents need to provide you with all offers that they receive for your property, but it is your decision whether to accept or decline an offer. Once you have accepted an offer, you may be asked to take the property off the market - again this is your choice. It is important to write to your estate agent (letter or email) to confirm the acceptance of the offer and state the conditions for which you have accepted the offer.
You will need a conveyancer or solicitor whether you are just selling or if you are selling and buying another property. You can ask your estate agent for a recommendation but also ask friends and family for a recommendation. Once you have two or three you would consider using, contact them for a quotation. This will not only help you select the one that is the best value for money but it will enable you to get an idea of what they are like so you can pick the conveyancer that suits you best.
Once you have chosen the right conveyancer for you, you will need to provide them with:
- Basic information such as your mortgage deeds so they check you own the property;
- Proof of ID;
- A completed detailed questionnaire about the property including boundaries;
- A completed fixtures and fittings list that are included in the sale.
As the buyers raise any questions they may have, it is important to answer them as soon as possible to avoid any delays. It is worthwhile to use a postal service that provides a signed for delivery option for peace of mind.
This is the last stage of the process after which a buyer cannot pull out without possible significant financial or legal implications. It involves copies of exchanged signed contracts between a buyer's conveyancer and a seller's conveyancer. Before you sign, ensure you have read the contract a few times and fully understand it. Anything you are not clear on, contact your conveyancer and query.
Once exchanged, it is time to agreed a date for completion. Now is a great time to ensure you are nearly packed and ready to leave once completion has occurred.
Check our Moving Checklist for things you can be prepared.
Your conveyancer will contact your agent to let you know when the buyer's money has arrived so the agent can give the new owners the keys to the property. Before they have possession of the keys it is really important that you have removed all your items from the property, taken last readings for things like water, gas and electric, and ensured all doors and windows are locked before you leave. It is also helpful to leave any guides or operating manuals for any appliances out for the new owners.
Take a look at our Moving Checklist for a helpful guide to help you remember everything you need to do.
Once you receive the conveyancer's completion statement, check it carefully to ensure it matches the original quotation.
Congratulations on the sale of your property!