Selling your property FAQ

We have compiled a list of common questions and answers asked by sellers. Should you have further questions please don't hesitate to get in contact with your local branch.

How much will it cost to sell my property?

There is no definitive answer to this, as it will depend on a variety of factors, such as the estate agent you choose, the value of your property and the work your solicitor needs to complete..

If the property is leasehold, the legal work is likely to cost more and freeholders may charge to supply information.

You should factor in the estate agent's fee, solicitor bills and any exit charge or early redemption fee that might be imposed by your current mortgage lender. It is also worth remembering that you could be liable for Capital Gains Tax if you are selling a property that is not your primary residence.

What does an estate agent do to earn their money?

An estate agent will take on a variety of roles in the sale of your home. For starters, an estate agent will be able to market your property on a selection of portals, including Rightmove, Zoopla and their own website. They will also have a pool of prospective buyers waiting for a house like yours.

As well as marketing your property, the estate agent will conduct viewings for anyone who is interested and wants to take a look at it. Some may even host an open day, encouraging as many people as possible to view the home on the same day, which could lead to multiple offers.

Once an individual is ready to make an offer, the estate agent will take on the role of managing the negotiations. They might be able to persuade a prospective buyer to increase their offer so that you are willing to accept it.

After an offer has been accepted, the estate agent continues to oversee the purchase and manages both sides to ensure completion can be achieved in a satisfactory timeframe.

It is important to have a high-quality, knowledgeable and responsible agent acting on your behalf, so choosing Leaders – with more than 30 years of experience in the property industry – is a wise move.

How can I achieve the best possible price for my home?

Making an effort to enhance the appeal of your home shortly before putting it up for sale is a shrewd move. After all, if you want to maximise the price, you need to persuade prospective buyers the property is exactly what they are looking for and they should make an offer accordingly.

Kerb appeal is of paramount importance, so paint walls, doors and windows if they are looking a little tired, and be sure to mow the lawn and remove any weeds.

Indoors, you can carry out a range of tasks to boost the attractiveness of a home, such as tidying and clearing clutter, thoroughly cleaning every room, decorating any spaces that you feel are letting you down and repairing any issues that could concern a buyer.

Small leaks, problems with appliances and a lack of reliable water or heating may all put people off, so investing in these repairs before viewings commence can make the difference between receiving offers or putting buyers off.

What are the title deeds?

The title deeds are one of the most important documents you own, but before you start panicking that you have lost them, the good news is that the bank or building society your mortgage is with will hold them. Copies of the title deeds are also held by the Land Registry.

When you come to sell a property, your solicitor will obtain the title deeds and then pass a copy to the buyer's solicitor.

What do viewings entail and do I need to be in?

In most cases, your estate agent will be present at viewings to show people round your home and should be armed with all the facts and figures they need to answer any possible question. On occasion, you might agree to conduct a viewing if it is to take place at short notice or outside of office hours.

A viewing is usually informal and lasts no more than 20 to 30 minutes, but you must be ready to welcome people into your home and leave them to browse at their leisure. Your estate agent will let you know when viewings are due to take place so you might wish to be out of the house at these times if possible.

It is also good practice to put any valuables away in a safe place while your property is being viewed.

What are the next steps once I have accepted an offer?

In the days after accepting an offer, your estate agent should advise whether they believe the buyer to be in a position to proceed. At this point, they may demand that the property is taken off the market and all advertisements end.

The estate agent will send a memorandum of sale to your solicitor, at which point work will begin. You may have to provide some documents, such as your latest mortgage statement, while some fees could be required upfront.

During this period, your solicitor will be required to prove that you own the house and that there are no legal claims against it, while various searches are also completed.

What makes a good offer?

There are many factors that determine how attractive an offer on your home is, beyond the actual sum involved. For instance, you should also consider the position of the buyer, as first-time buyers and those without a chain are most desirable.

It is also wise to think about your own circumstances, as if you require a certain amount of money or a particular moving out date to achieve your future plans then it will be easier to work out how suitable an offer is.

Finally, think about the market conditions and whether it is a lucrative time to be selling a property or not.

Will I need to pay Capital Gains Tax on my property?

Your sale may be liable to Capital Gains Tax if the property in question is not your primary residence. So if you plan to sell a second home or a rental property, be prepared to face this levy.

Should you sell a property that is subject to Capital Gains Tax, it is advisable to use a chartered accountant to work out the profit you have made on the building since you purchased it and report it to HM Revenue & Customs. Often there are exemptions that can be applied to lower the burden.

When do I need to move out?

You will need to move out of your property on or before the day of completion, which is the moment your buyer becomes the owner. You will get advance warning of this date, as it is agreed when you exchange contracts.

In most cases, the completion date is a week or two after the exchange of contracts, so you will have some time to plan your removals.

What are exchange and completion?

Exchange and completion are the two most important stages in the process of buying a property.

Once your lender has approved your mortgage application and your solicitor or legal representative has finalised all of the relevant details and completed various searches, they will advise you it is time to exchange contracts.

At this point, your solicitor will send your signed contract to the seller’s solicitor, who will return their own version signed by the vendor. Once this exchange has occurred, the sale is legally binding, meaning you are in no position to change your mind.

If you choose to back out after this stage, you will forfeit your deposit to the seller, so you must not enter into it lightly.

The next stage is completion, which is typically set for a week or two after exchange, but can take place at any time, including on the same day. You may have to complete some formalities, such as signing some final documents or pay any outstanding charges.

However, once this has been dealt with and your solicitor receives funds from your lender and passes the total to the seller’s solicitor, you will pick up the keys to your new property. Congratulations, you have now purchased your new home!