As the most valuable possession most of us own, selling your home can be stressful, complex and expensive. The following is a short guide to selling your home. It includes tips on selecting an estate agent, explains conveyancing and explains why using a good solicitor is important.
Before selling your home in England you will need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). You must commission the report before putting your home on the market, although you do not need to have received it. You cannot do this yourself.
How to get an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC); for a residential property in England
To commission an EPC you will need an accredited domestic energy assessor (DEA). The assessor will visit your property and produce a certificate in accordance with the scheme. DEA’s are often employed by Estate Agents or an energy company or may be self-employed.
For the most part people select an Estate Agent on two criteria, either the lowest quote or the highest valuation. You should consider a few other factors too.
First look for properties for sale similar to the property you wish to sell. Note which estate agents are selling similar properties and how many have been sold. Ask for recommendations from friends, family and neighbours especially if they have just purchased or sold a house in your area.
Second visit Estate Agents, first as a prospective buyer and see if you like the way they deal with you.
You should ideally get two quotes to compare. Consider what additional services you would like, such as a website virtual tour or online sales tracking system.
Questions you should really ask an estate agent before selecting them to sell your home
Typically Estate Agents charge between 1% and 2% for a ‘sole agency’, where you give responsibility for selling your home to one estate agent or 1.5%-2.5% for multiple agents. You can also get fixed deals and/or pay for extra services such as virtual tours. Remember fees are often negotiable, especially on more expensive properties; you can tell the agent what other quotes you have had.
Selecting a solicitor is just as important as the Estate Agent; the sale process is reliant on an experienced and efficient solicitor, selecting (instructing) a solicitor before you put your property on the market will help speed up the selling process.
Your solicitor will also have knowledge of local estate agents and may be able to recommend one to you.
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