Back to basics: The process of selling your home

When it comes to selling your home, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by all the things you have to consider. Is your front door painted the right colour? Have you tidied away the mess in the living room? Do you have enough photos on your online listing?

To avoid missing the wood for the trees, we take a step back to look at the overall process. Whether you are new to the property advertising game, or a veteran bogged down in the tiny details, here is a back-to-basics breakdown of what you can expect when selling your home. Additional details will vary, depending on the country involved, but the essential priciples will remain the same.

1. Valuation

You cannot sell a home without knowing how much it is worth. The best way to do this is contact estate agents in your area and request a valuation: they will know the local market in the most detail and be able to advise you on the most accurate price for your property, as well as what is most likely to successfully secure a buyer. Some online portals will also allow you to view average prices for your area and examine the competition, which can help to decided on your asking price.

2. Agent or FSBO?

Now that you have been in contact with estate agents, you can decide whether to use one of those to market your home or to go it online with an FSBO service and sell your home privately through the Internet.

3. List on the market

If you are not using an estate agent, the task of creating a listing for your property will fall to you. Most FSBO services, such as Sell My Property, allow you to upload images and add a description easily, although you should also take care to pick attractive photos ensure your grammar is correct.

4. Viewings

Now your property is available for all to see, you can expect buyers to be in touch to arrange a better look in-person. Viewings can be one-on-one, or even on a group or open house basis. Either way, you must take care to keep your home as clean and tidy as possible, to ensure that it is both welcoming and attractive to all visitors.

5. Offers

If a buyer likes the property after a viewing, you will receive an offer from them on the property. This will be subject to a survey and other legal checks, but you can decide whether to accept this, or negotiate a better price. Once a price has been agreed upon, a provisional contract will be drawn up by your solicitor. Buyers may also ask you to remove the home from the market, although this is in no way obligatory.

6. Legal checks

This is the longest step of the buying process, but it is also the one that requires no work from you: all the required checks are carried out by your legal representative – you can opt to hire a conveyancer instead of a solicitor – so that there are not hidden problems with the problem that could affect the transaction. Your legal team will communicate with the representatives of your buyer and provide them with details of the title deeds. Be prepared to grant access to a surveyor from the buyer’s team for their own inspection.

7. Negotiation

If any problems or repairs are uncovered during the legal checks, there may now be a period of re-negotiation. The deal may still be called off by you and them: any contracts at this point remain provisional.

8. Contracts

You will now commit to completing the transaction by signing the contract, which will then be exchanged with the buyer. This is the point when the deposit is paid to your solicitor, who will then oversee the final steps of registering the title deed with the land registry office and transferring official ownership.

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