In this guide, you will learn:
- The home appraisal process and what it entails
- How to prepare your home for sale
- How to receive, evaluate and negotiate offers from potential buyers
- The legal process of selling your home
We will also attempt to answer some of the most common questions people ask before they sell their home such as…
- How much is my home worth?
- When should I start looking for a new home?
- When should I hire a solicitor?
- How long will it take to sell my home?
- What is the best time of year to sell my home?
- Do I need to organise a home survey?
- How much will it cost to sell my home?
So let's get into it…
Chapter 1: Getting a property appraisal…
Chapter 2: Getting your home ready for sale…
Chapter 3: The viewing process and dealing with offers…
Chapter 4: The legal process of selling your home…
Chapter 5: Frequently asked questions…
Chapter 1: Getting a Property Appraisal
In this chapter, we will cover the basics of getting your property appraised, the difference between a market appraisal and a property valuation, why you might get a property appraisal and what to do if you are happy with the appraisal and want to list your home for sale.
This chapter is perfect for anyone who has never sold a home before, or for someone who hasn't sold a home in a long time and just needs a quick refresher.
So, what is a property appraisal?
A property appraisal, put in its most simple form, is just an estimate of the value of a property. The purpose of a property appraisal is to determine the market value of a property.
How do property appraisers determine the market value of a property?
When trying to determine the market value of a property, the property appraiser will often do some market research on similar properties in the local area which includes looking at properties that are currently for sale and properties that have recently sold. The appraiser will also take into account other factors such as location, size, age, condition and features of the property.
Tip: There are tools online which you can use to instantly find out how much your home is worth. While these tools aren’t 100% accurate they may give you a good idea as to whether the value of your home may have changed over the last few years. You can access our online calculator using this link: https://www.alexanderjacob.co.uk/instant-valuation
What happens during a property appraisal?
A property appraisal typically involves a brief walk around the property so that the appraiser can get a feel for the home. They can take anywhere from 15- 45 minutes.
Tip: This is a great chance for you to get to know the property appraiser, which may help you decide which estate agent you would like to sell your home with later down the line.
When will I find out how much my home is worth?
The appraiser/ estate agent will often send you an email or letter which details their market appraisal of your property the day of or after your appraisal meeting.
What is the difference between a property appraisal and a property valuation?
A property appraisal is an estimate of a property's market value often performed by an estate agent. You could look at it as the appraiser's educated guess of what the property could sell for if it was listed for sale.
Whereas, a property valuation is typically performed by a qualified (RICS) surveyor. The surveyor will often perform a more comprehensive assessment to determine the value of the property. A property valuation can be conducted for a variety of purposes, including mortgage purposes, tax assessments, or estate planning.
How many property appraisals should I get?
When you plan to sell your home, it's a good idea to obtain three appraisals. It's uncommon for three estate agents to give you the exact same price during an appraisal. By obtaining three appraisals, you should see an average price.
Getting three separate appraisals also allows you to get to know more estate agents, which will allow you to pick the one you feel most confident in.
Tip: Some estate agents may tell you that your home is worth significantly more than it actually is in the hope that you sell your home with them. You should keep this in mind if one of your valuations is much higher than the other two.
What if I think my home is worth more than the value it has been appraised at?
You are under no obligation to go with the figure quoted to you by the estate agent. If you think your house is worth more, you can always ask the agent to initially list it at the price you would like.
Tip: A lot of research is done to give you an accurate appraisal so we would advise that you stick with the price suggested by the appraiser.
Okay, I am happy with my appraisal and I know which estate agent I wish to instruct, what now?
All you need to do now is call or email your chosen estate agent and let them know you are ready to list your home. Let them know what price you would like to list the home for at this stage.
The estate agent will then send you a contract to sign with some questions about the property which you will need to answer to the best of your knowledge. You will be asked if the property has an up-to-date energy performance certificate (EPC) as this is a legal requirement in order to sell your home. You can find out if your property has an up-to-date EPC by using this link:
If you do not have an up-to-date EPC then your estate agent will organise one for you, or you can instruct a qualified assessor yourself.
After this, your agent will book a professional photographer to attend and take some photographs of your home. We will look at how to stage your home for these photographs in the next chapter.
That concludes chapter one, if you are ready to book your property appraisal then you can use this link to do so: https://www.alexanderjacob.co.uk/valuation
Chapter 2: Getting Your Home Ready for Sale
In this chapter, we will look at some small things that you can do to prepare your home for sale, alongside what you can do to ensure you receive better offers from potential buyers.
So once the professional photographer is scheduled to visit, you will need to try and make your home as visually appealing as possible. This may include decluttering some of the rooms, getting the carpets professionally cleaned so they stand out in the photographs, and making sure the grass is cut and looking its best etc.
Tip: Decluttering can give the illusion of more space.
Then look at getting any niggly maintenance issues sorted including leaks, replacing cracked plug sockets, painting over scuff marks and so on. This may sound a bit over the top but potential buyers are more likely to offer more if they think there is very little work needed in the property.
Getting your home ready to be sold isn't a long or complicated process, but there are videos available on YouTube if you are in need of a little further guidance.
Chapter 3: The Viewing Process & Dealing with Offers
Now you are onto the most exciting stage of the process.
Once your estate agent has listed your home for sale on popular advertising platforms such as Rightmove, Zoopla, On the Market and more, it won’t be long until they start to receive viewing requests from potential buyers.
Who conducts the viewings?
Estate agents typically offer to conduct property viewings on your behalf, unless you prefer to do them yourself. However, if you wish, you may choose to be present during any accompanied viewings that are scheduled.
What happens when an offer is received?
Once you have had your first few viewings it won’t be long until you start receiving offers. When you receive an offer you will have the option to accept, reject or go back with a counteroffer.
After each viewing, your estate agent should call the viewer to get their feedback.
Tip: Don’t be offended if you get some lowball offers, people are just trying to see the minimum you might accept.
What happens when I accept an offer?
The hard part is now done, you have had viewings, reviewed the offers and accepted one.
Once you accept an offer your estate agent will gather all the information they need from the offeror in order to prove that they are who they say they are, and that they can actually afford your home. Assuming that these checks go to plan then they can then move onto the next step.
Chapter 4: The Legal Process of Selling a Home
This section often confuses people but don’t worry as the majority of this is done for you. If your solicitor needs any additional information they will simply request it from you.
To make this section as easy to understand as possible, we have provided a simplified step-by-step guide for the entire legal process.
- Instruct a Solicitor: Once you have accepted an offer you will need to instruct a solicitor to handle the legal process of selling your property. Your solicitor will carry out the necessary searches and handle the transfer of ownership. If you do not have a solicitor your estate agent will be able to recommend one for you. We at Alexander Jacob will happily obtain you several quotes from recommended, local firms.
- Property Information Pack: Your solicitor will prepare a Property Information Pack (PIP) which includes information about your property and its title, as well as details of any rights of way, covenants and other restrictions.
- (Optional) Arrange a Survey: The buyer may choose to have a survey conducted on the property to assess its condition. There are many benefits to getting a survey when buying a property, we will talk about this later on in the blog.
- Obtain a Mortgage: If the buyer is obtaining a mortgage, they will need to fully apply for one and have it approved. This may increase the amount of time it takes to complete, which is why some vendors prefer to sell to cash buyers as they can often move quicker.
- Exchange Contracts: Once all necessary checks and surveys have been carried out, partial funds will be requested from your buyer, and you will both exchange contracts. This means that you have agreed to sell the property, and the buyer has agreed to purchase it.
- Completion: On the agreed completion date, the buyer will pay the remaining balance for the property, and the transfer of ownership will be complete.
- Handover the Keys: Once the transfer of ownership has been completed, either you or your estate agent will hand over the keys to the new owner.
This is a general guide to the legal process of selling a home. It is important to seek the advice of a solicitor for specific guidance as every property sale is unique, and may have its own set of circumstances.
By reading this blog you are now more prepared than 90% of other people that will be looking to sell their homes in 2023, feels good to be ahead, doesn't it?
Let's move on.
Chapter 5: FAQs
When should I start looking for my next home?
If you are looking to buy your next home there is often conflicting advice on when you should start viewing potential purchases.
Some may advise that as soon as you list your home for sale you should start looking, although it is important to bear in mind that at this stage some people may refuse to let you view as you are not in a ‘proceedable position’.
Others may advise you to begin looking once you have accepted an offer on your home as this is when you are in the best position, although this may leave you pressed for time if you need to complete and can’t find a suitable onward purchase.
Of course, you can always move into rented accommodation if you cannot find a property that you would like to purchase. If this is the option you choose, you should start looking for rental properties 4-6 weeks before you need to be out of your current home as this will give you a chance to view, apply, be referenced and then move into your new rented home.
How long will it take to sell my home?
The timescale for how long it takes to sell a home can vary massively for a variety of factors; however, below you will be able to find the approximate timescales for each stage of selling your home.
- Listing: The time taken to list a home including the professional photographs, EPC (if needed) and signing the contracts can take anywhere from 2 days- 1 week.
- Advertising: Once listed it may take anywhere from 1- 14 weeks to receive an acceptable offer on your home. As previously mentioned, if your property is in the lower price bracket then this will normally be sooner rather than later.
- Conveyancing: The conveyancing and mortgage application process according to Zoopla will take anywhere from 12- 16 weeks.
- Exchange: Finally, exchange to completion can take 1- 28 days, however the latter can be simultaneous too.
So, on average, you are looking at 14- 35 weeks in total.
Is there a quicker way to sell my home?
If you are very eager to sell your home then you may want to consider going to auction. Auctions obligate buyers to complete within a shorter timeframe than usual. Some estate agents including ourselves will be able to assist you in the process of going to auction to sell your home.
Right, let's get back to it.
What is the best time of year to sell a home?
The best time of year to sell a home is typically in the Spring (between March and May) or in the Autumn (between September and November). During these months, there is generally more buyer activity and less competition from other sellers, which can help to drive up the price of your property. However, it's important to keep in mind that market conditions can vary depending on location and other factors, so it's always a good idea to consult with a local estate agent for guidance on the best time to sell your home.
Is it a good idea to get a survey when looking for my next home?
A survey can help identify any potential issues or defects in the property that may not be immediately visible, allowing you to make an informed decision about whether to proceed with the purchase, negotiate a lower price, or request that certain repairs be made before completion. There are several types of surveys available, and the type of survey you choose will depend on the age, condition, and complexity of the property. It is advisable to engage a qualified and experienced surveyor to conduct the assessment.
For more information on surveys and to see whether it may be the right plan of action for you, we recommend both WJS Chartered Surveyors on 01777 704301 and AIM Surveying on 01159 872575. You can book a free consultation with AIM Surveying using this link: https://aimsurveying.co.uk/video-consultancy/
How much will it cost to sell my home?
The cost of selling a home can vary depending on a number of factors, including the value of your property, the method of sale, and any additional services or fees. Here are some of the typical costs you might incur when selling a home:
- Estate Agent Fees: If you choose to use an estate agent to sell your home, their fees will typically range from 1.0% to 1.75% of the final sale price, plus VAT.
- Conveyancing Fees: You will need to hire a solicitor or conveyancer to handle the legal aspects of the sale. Conveyancing fees can range from £500 to £1,600, depending on the complexity of the transaction.
- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC): An EPC is required by law when you sell your home. The cost for an EPC will vary but typically ranges from £60 to £120.
- Removal Costs: If you are moving to a new home, you will need to factor in the cost of hiring a removal company to transport your belongings. Costs for this can vastly vary depending on the number of personal items/ belongings you need to move and the distance you need to move them. If you are looking to sell a home in the Retford area or the surrounding areas we would recommend O.E removals. You will see an instant quote estimate calculator on their website, which will help you get a rough idea of costs: E. Removals, The House Move Specialists. Affordable Removals (oeremovals.co.uk)
- Capital Gains Tax: If your property has increased in value since you purchased it, you may need to pay capital gains tax on the profit. The amount of tax you pay will depend on a number of factors, such as your income and the length of time you have owned the property.
It's important to note that these costs are only estimates, and the actual cost of selling your home will depend on your individual circumstances. It's always a good idea to seek advice from a professional to get a more accurate idea of the costs involved in selling your home.
In conclusion, selling a home can be a complex and overwhelming process, but with the right preparation and guidance, it can also be a rewarding and successful experience. By taking the time to research the market, enlist the help of a reputable estate agent, and make necessary repairs and upgrades, you can ensure that your home is well prepared for sale and attract the right buyers. With patience, perseverance and a bit of luck, you can sell your home for a fair price and move on to your next adventure with confidence. Good luck with your sale!