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What is the process of selling a house?

Selling your house is one of life’s big milestones. There’s a lot to think about once you’ve decided to sell.

Steps to selling a house

The cost of selling a house can be higher than renting it out or remortgaging, so it pays to know what’s in store during the process.

Here are the main steps:

  • Ask separate estate agents (ideally 3) to view your home and provide a valuation
  • Choose an agent and market your home at the agreed property valuation
  • Accept an offer
  • Complete questionnaires on your property for your buyer
  • Exchange contracts
  • Complete the sale
  • Prepare your moving day checklist and move out!

How long does it take to sell a house?

There are no hard and fast rules on how long a house sale takes. Every property is different, meaning every sale will proceed at a different rate. 

Things to consider:

The condition of your property

If your buyer’s survey discovers that work is needed on the property, your valuation could go down. Having to renegotiate the price can cause delays.

If there’s a chain

If your buyer also has a house to sell, the timing of your sale will depend on theirs going smoothly too.

Results of searches

Conveyancing could identify issues that affect the valuation of your property. This can mean it takes longer for the sale to complete.

How much does it cost to sell a house?

The cost of selling a house is made up of fees, including:

  • Estate agent fees
  • Surveying and legal costs
  • Moving day costs

You don’t usually pay an agent upfront to value your property, but once you instruct them to act on your behalf and market your house, you’ll need to pay them.

How much do estate agents charge?

Most estate agents charge fees as a percentage of the property valuation. Expect to pay roughly 0.75% to 3% of the final sale price.

When do you pay the estate agent?

Because the cost of selling a house can be a large sum, most estate agents will take their fee once you’ve received the sale price from your buyer. Your conveyancing solicitor will handle distributing the money. 

Your solicitor can advise you about paying any taxes on selling a house. If the property you sell isn’t your main home, you may be liable for capital gains tax.