Many estate agents offer guides for first time buyers so at Hancock and Partners, we wanted to help those at the other end of the spectrum and have created a guide for those who are planning to embark on their maiden property sale. This is particularly helpful if you are intending to put your property on the market post lockdown.

A step by step guide to selling your home

We appreciate that it may be a considerably daunting task to sell a property for the first time, as you enter a completely new chapter of your life. Usually, the home selling process will take 2-3 months, so there are many different steps for you to consider.

Our step by step home selling guide has specifically been devised to assist you with your sale, so that you can properly plan for each stage.

1. Work out your Finances

Firstly, if you have an outstanding mortgage on your property, notify your mortgage lender as soon as possible that you intend to sell. Ask them if there are any early redemption penalties and calculate how much of the outstanding mortgage you will hope to pay off – this will give you a good idea of what properties you can afford to buy if that is your intention.

2. Obtain several valuations

Pick locally established estate agents to carry out a valuation of your property. At the time of writing valuations are only possible by conducting a video tour of your home via conference call. However, established estate agents with valuable local knowledge will be able to have a very well-informed discussion with you. Do your own research online and see what similar properties on the same road have sold for recently. Don’t be tempted by the highest valuation as some estate agents may over-estimate the value in order to win the instruction. However, this could mean that your property won’t sell quickly, and you may have to reduce the price.

3. Choose your estate agent carefully

If you are not aware of the different stages of the home selling process it is pivotal that you have a knowledgeable property consultant to support you throughout the entire experience. This is particularly important when you are involved in a chain, where the risk of someone’s sale or purchase falling through and affecting your sale is high.

At Hancock and Partners, our Residential Sales team has an in-depth knowledge of the local Chichester and West Sussex property market, meaning we can advise you with a realistic valuation of your home that will make sense both for you and the prospective buyer.

4. Preparing your home for sale

Ideally, you will have prepared your home in advance of valuations to present your property in the best possible light. Re-decorating in light neutral colours and de-cluttering are the most useful ways to show your space to its best advantage.

Don’t forget you can use the Hancock and Partners independent Property Maintenance service for any home improvements. You will also be required to show buyers an Energy Performance Certificate or EPC.

5. It’s now time to choose your solicitor or conveyancer

Once you have made all the final changes to your property to make it more attractive for potential buyers, you will need to appoint a solicitor or conveyancer. Your solicitor or conveyancer will charge a fee to handle all the legal aspects of your sale.

It is important to conduct research to find out the most suitable solicitor or conveyancer for you, and once you have made your decision you will be prompted to fill out several different questionnaires to provide potential buyers with all the relevant information that they require. You will need to decide which fixtures and fittings are included in the sale. Once appointed, ask your solicitor to raise copies of the title with the Land Registry rather than wait for the sale as this can take some time.

6. Property Information form

First time sellers should start to fill out the property information form as soon as possible as it will ask you to specify a history of all building works and identifies the need to provide guarantees for any work.

7. Weigh up your offers

Hopefully by this stage you will have several offers to consider, which is an exciting but potentially stressful time! Your estate agent is legally obliged to inform you about all offers that are submitted, and with their guidance it is up to you to make your decision.

You have the choice of either rejecting offers and biding your time to see what other bids are forthcoming or asking your estate agent to negotiate an improvement on any existing offers.

8. Negotiate and exchange contracts

Once you have accepted an offer from a buyer, this is where things will all start to feel slightly more real. You will have to work with the buyer to decide numerous factors, such as the length of time between exchange and completion, any potential negotiation due to their buyer’s survey results and what fixtures are to be included in the total price.

Once everything has been agreed, you will exchange contracts and become legally committed to selling your home. If you pull out of the sale following this step, you could be sued and will certainly be liable for your conveyancing fees incurred to that point.

9. Move out and sell up!

It is now time to say your goodbyes as you pass your home onto its new owner. You can move out of your home on any day right up until completion, however the likelihood is that you will have moved out before then as you have a new home yourself to relocate to. Do make sure that your home is fully insured right up until the moment of completion.
Once completion day arrives, you will accept the payment and hand over the keys of your old home. Furthermore, your solicitor or conveyancer will take care of all the legal aspects regarding your sale on this day.

You can trust Hancock and Partners to sell your home

For more specialist advice on how our dedicated estate agents can help you with the sale of your home, visit our dedicated property selling page now.

Or to discuss any queries that you may have with regards to selling your West Sussex property with a member of the Hancock and Partners sales team, call Sales Director Jonny Crow on .
Alternatively, if you can’t speak to us over the phone right now, you can also get in touch with us via email on
sales@hancockpartners.co.uk.