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The 12 step process of selling a house in the UK

Selling your home is often considered to be a complicated process, and the amount of legal jargon that gets used to describe it probably doesn’t help. However, as Cardiff estate agents with over 40 years’ experience, we know the process like the back of our hands, and as such, we’ve compiled this simple step-by-step guide to talk you through the process.

1: Set your sale price

It’s common practice to get a few different valuations from different agents before settling on a sale price. You should consider factors such as stamp duty before you agree on a final value. However, it’s important to remember that just because you pick a certain agent, it doesn’t mean you have to sell at the valuation they gave you. With that being said, do talk to your chosen agent about your other valuations and listen to their recommendations. Remember that whilst they may be the experts, you’re still in charge!

2. Pick an agent

Whilst some people do choose to sell their homes by theirselves, it’s probably wise to get an agent. Marketing a property is a time consuming process, and an agent is far more likely to get you the price you want for your property. Plus, without an agent, you won’t be able to advertise your property on sites like Rightmove which means you’ll be missing out on a number of potential buyers.

3. Setting the scene

When you’ve found the agent you want to use, arrange for them to come and take photographs. Understandably, it’s important that you make sure your property is looking its absolute best. From decluttering to good lighting, you can read more about how to present your property here.

4. Find a solicitorBusiness man is pointing woman where to sign document

In order to legally transfer ownership of a property, you’ll need a solicitor. Of course, you won’t actually use them until you’ve accepted an offer on your property, but you should have one lined up and ready to get the ball rolling.

5. Accept an offer

Hopefully, the enquiries have started pouring in and you’ve had a few viewings. When you have an offer that you’re happy with, your agent will accept on your behalf and you can take the next step to the “sales progression” part of the progress.

6. Negotiate

Of course, you and the buyer will have lots of things to negotiate from moving timescales to what fixtures and fittings are included. Most importantly, your buyer will likely have surveys conducted at this stage so be prepared for any recommendations or potential discounts that they may ask for if any issues are found with your property. Remember, at this stage neither party are legally committed to the sale and they could still walk away. As such, it’s important that you listen to the feedback from the surveys.

7. Fill out the relevant questionnaires

The buyer’s lawyer will now start to make enquires so they can start drawing up the contracts. Your questionnaire will entail everything that you discussed at the negotiation phase such as the boundaries of the property, what fixtures and fittings are included in the sale, and whether you’ve had any issues with neighbours.

8. Exchange contracts


Once you’ve agreed all the terms, the final contracts will be written up and then exchanged. At this stage,  you and the buyer are legally committed to the sale. If you pull out of the sale without just cause, you can be sued and the buyer will get their deposit back. Likewise, if the buyer pulls out, they’ll lose their deposit.

9. The big moveProperty Insurance

You’ll have agreed a date for the big move whilst negotiating, it’s important you stick to this and vacate the property by the specified date. Fortunately, we’ve already wrote a guide on everything you need to know about moving!

10. Completion

This is the point where everything becomes official; you’ll accept payment and hand over the keys. Your solicitor will register the transfer of ownership with the land registry on your behalf.

11. Pay off the mortgage

If you have a mortgage, your mortgage provider will have provided you and your solicitor a precise redemption figure. Now that your buyer has transferred the bulk of the money to your solicitor, they’ll be able to pay off your mortgage on your behalf – with your money, of course!

12. Pay your solicitor

Congratulations – you’ve sold your house! Now all that’s left to do is pay your solicitor, who will send you a final bill for their costs, the sale price and redemption of the mortgage.

If you’re considering selling your house, get in touch with us today to start the 12-step process!

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