Video: how to sell a house
Property expert Tracy Kellett, a former estate agent who now owns and runs buying agency BDI Homefinders, has moved home more than 30 times - so she knows a thing or two about selling houses. Here are her top tips on how to get a quick sale and secure the best price for your house.
Selling a house: 10 top tips
1. Make your home the best it can be
Make sure your property is clean, tidy and free from clutter and that it looks good from the outside. Consider getting a survey of your property done, so you can either fix any problems, or use it to attract buyers by demonstrating how good the condition of your house is.
2. Seek at least three valuations
Ask three local estate agents to value your property. Grill them on why they think your home is worth the amount they're suggesting and what they'd do to find you the best price from the most suitable buyer.
Once you've decided who you'd like to use, don't be afraid to haggle on the fee - and also the tie-in and notice periods. Find out more in our guide to finding the best estate agent.
3. Get your finances in order
As a seller, you may worry that buyers will hold up the sale - but you should make sure there are no potential roadblocks on your side either.
As you plan your move, find out how much you can borrow for your next property and which lender will offer you the best deal.
Seeking expert advice from a mortgage broker at this stage can help the process run smoothly.
4. Decide who's going to sell your home
Although most people will use a traditional high street estate agent to help them sell their home, you can potentially save money by using an online estate agent or selling privately.
5. Find a reliable conveyancer
Conveyancing is far from being the most exciting part of moving house, but it's vitally important that you find someone reliable.
We've researched the market to find a conveyancing firm that we believe offers a trustworthy and efficient service - find out more about Which? Conveyancing.
6. Get your paperwork in order
If you get your paperwork sorted out early, it will help things move along more quickly once you've accepted an offer.
Click on the downloadable checklist below for a list of all the documents you might need, and check out our guide to energy performance certificates (EPCs).
7. Pick a good buyer
If several prospective buyers are interested in your home, it's worth thinking about who's least likely to pull out (perhaps due to nerves or their own sale falling through), and who can move at the same pace as you (eg if you're in a rush, are they?), as well as the amount each buyer offers.
In order, the safest buyers to choose are buyers who’ve already sold and completed (or at least exchanged on) their sale, first-time buyers, buyers who have sold their home subject to contract, and buyers who have not yet sold their home.
8. Be clear what’s included in the price
After you've chosen a buyer, make sure they understand exactly what’s included in the price, including fixtures and fittings.
9. Agree on dates
Establish likely dates for exchange and completion - this will avoid arguments further down the line.
It's worth drawing up an agreed note of your plans with the buyer. While this won't be legally binding, it can make people less likely to delay or pull out.
10. Keep in touch
Keep communication going. Don't disappear on holiday for two weeks without informing all interested parties, including your conveyancer and your estate agent. Don’t ignore aspects about the purchase that you don’t understand - if in doubt, ask.
Case studies: things I wish I'd known before moving house
In these videos, people who've sold up and moved to a new house share what they wish they'd known before starting the process. Learn from their mistakes so your own move is less stressful.
Compare high-street agents in your area