Find our more about frequently asked questions when selling a house.
I want to sell a property. What do I do first?
First of all you need to receive a valuation to find out how much your home is worth. We recommend asking at least three different estate agents to value your home.
Ask them about the services they offer, the current state of the local market, and the price you can hope you achieve. Make a plan and consider what your priorities and timescales are. For more help, view our tips for getting started.
How much will it cost to sell my property?
There are three main costs involved in selling a property:
Estate Agent Fees Estate Agent Fees will either be a percentage of the purchase price, or a fixed fee. When you ask the estate agents to value your home, make sure they outline their fees during their visit so you can take these into account.
EPC You are legally required to provide an EPC when you market your property for sale. This outlines the energy efficiency rating of your property. We can organise this for you if you do not already have one. Contact your local branch for a quote for how much this will cost.
Conveyancing Conveyancing is the legal transfer of property from one owner to another. There is a lot of legal and administrative work to do before contracts can be exchanged and completed. There is a lot to organise and co-ordinate, including legal matters, financial arrangements and regulations to comply with, so you need to use a solicitor.
We can introduce you to a solicitor and offer a no sale no fee conveyancing service with a guaranteed fixed price to keep everything simple. Get in touch using our Conveyancing Enquiry form and an adviser will contact you to discuss your requirements.
You may also decide to pay for extras such as professional photography or advanced web positioning. And don't forget about removals!
Ask your agent to outline all these costs at the start of your sale so that you can budget your move.
Do I need to conduct viewings?
Your estate agent should accompany all viewings, but you may decide that you'd like to be present. It's entirely up to you.
Will there be more viewings once I've accepted an offer?
This depends on the conditions of the offer that you accept. Neither the buyer or the seller is bound to the purchase or sale until the contracts are signed, so it's worth keeping your options open.
How long will it take to complete my sale?
Every sale is different. Your position, the buyer's position and how many other people are in the chain will affect how long the process takes. If your home has been realistically valued, you could expect to receive offers within the first four weeks.
Then, assuming your buyer has to apply for their mortgage the exchange of contracts normally takes between 4 and 8 weeks and completion takes between 2 and 4 weeks.
So in total you should expect anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks to complete the sale.
Do I need an EPC?
In England, all sellers are required to purchase an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) for a property before they sell it. Estate agents must display the EPC rating whenever they market the property. If a property does not have an EPC when marketed the buyer and the agent risk a fine. This does not apply to Grade II Listed properties.
What is conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the legal transfer of property from one owner to another.
There is a lot of legal and administrative work to do before contracts can be exchanged and completed. There is a lot to organise and co-ordinate, including legal matters, financial arrangements and regulations to comply with, so you need to use a solicitor.
We can introduce you to a solicitor and offer a no sale no fee conveyancing service with a guaranteed fixed price to keep everything simple.
Get in touch using our Conveyancing Enquiry form and an adviser will contact you to discuss your requirements.
Do I have to pay Stamp Duty?
No. The buyer is responsible for paying Stamp Duty.
Will my property be surveyed?
In England you do not need to arrange a property survey, but it is likely that the buyer will, and so a surveyor will arrange an appointment to visit you home.
The five key things a surveyor will be looking for are problems with utilities, damp, cracking, problems with roofs, and timber defects.
In addition, your buyer's mortgage lender will organise a mortgage valuation to confirm that the property is worth the money being leant.
What are searches?
As part of the conveyancing process, your buyer's solicitor will perform searches of Land Registry and Local Authority information in relation to your home. They will be checking for planning history and any potential developments around roads, drainage and mining near the property.
When do I sign the contract?
Once the sale has been agreed, your solicitor will draft a contract. The buyer's solicitor will confirm the details of the property and perform searches. At the same time, the buyer's mortgage lender will conduct a mortgage valuation and send a mortgage offer to the buyer. When all of this is complete, you will be ready to sign the contract and agree the completion date.
When is the buyer or seller bound to the sale or purchase?
Until both solicitors receive signed contracts from the seller and the buyer (known as exchange of contracts), either party can pull out at any time and for any reason.
How is a completion date chosen?
When both contracts have been signed, the buyer's solicitor will request the mortgage from the their lender. Once these funds are released, then your solicitor and the buyer's solicitor will consult both of you and agree a completion date. However, possible completion dates are usually discussed earlier to allow services like removals to be arranged.
Where are my title deeds?
Your title deeds give proof of ownership of the property and will need to be transferred to the buyer as part of the conveyancing process. These are usually held by your mortgage lender, and it will be your solicitor's responsibility to obtain these.
What do I have to leave in the property?
You are not required to leave any furniture or furnishings in the property, but you may agree to include some as part of the negotiations of the sale so you should make sure that you check what you have agreed before you leave.
When do I have to move out?
The contract will specify the completion day agreed by you and the buyer. In most cases the seller is asked to vacate the property by 12pm and the buyer will be able to collect the keys from the estate agent from 2pm.
Do I have to pay Capital Gains Tax?
You may have to pay Capital Gains Tax if you make a profit (‘gain’) when you sell a property. In most cases your are only required to pay Capital Gains Tax if the property is not your main home.