Selling a property can be daunting, especially if you need a quick sale. People need quick sales for a variety of reasons, perhaps to downsize for financial or practical reasons, or upsize due to the imminent birth of a baby. Whatever your circumstances, the good news is that with the right preparation and choice of conveyancing solicitor, you can put yourself in the best possible position. Our 12 tips will help you to speed up the process and at the same time achieve the best price you can.
1. Engage a conveyancing solicitor
Paperwork can slow down a sale, so engaging a conveyancing solicitor early means getting the paperwork organised right away. You can complete all the initial paperwork, such as proof of identity and address, immediately. Make it clear that you need a quick sale.
If you are selling a leasehold property such as a flat then it’s imperative to instruct a solicitor straightaway because there are more parties involved. Your solicitor can then contact everybody involved in the sale allowing time for what can be a slow process.
Your solicitor can then start to collate all the documents required including:
- Property title deeds. These prove you are the owner of the property. Your solicitor will request copies from the Land Registry.
- TA10 fittings and contents form. This form breaks down, room-by-room, what will be included in the sale.
- TA6 Property Information form. This form covers details about:
- Property boundaries
- Rights of access
- Ongoing disputes with neighbours
- Proposals or notices for nearby developments
- Modifications to the property like extensions
- Insurance, guarantees/warrantees
- Environmental issues like flood risks
- Services and utilities
- Documents referenced in the Property Information form – FENSA and Building Regulations certificates etc.
- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This is helps to show how energy-efficient your property is.
- Lease (copy of) and Management Information Pack. These are required if the property is a leasehold.
- Management Information Pack.
2. Know your finances
When selling a property, you need to consider the following costs:
- Estate agent’s fees
- Conveyancing fees
- Cost of Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
- Removal company’s price
The total cost of selling a property can be anything between £935 to £10,956.
Need a quick Conveyancing Quote? Use our free web calculator.
3. Tidy up your property
First impressions count! What will your buyers see, hear and smell when they enter your property? It’s best to ask an honest friend to view your home because they will notice things that you don’t.
Remove cobwebs from corners, dust bookshelves and clean mould from bathrooms. Make sure your sinks, bath and shower smell fresh. Check carpets and floors for stains. Empty bins and scrub cooker hobs. Make sure your home is gleaming and pay for professional cleaners if needed.
Is your furniture in good condition? We don’t suggest you buy new furniture, but make sure it is clean and tidy. You want your buyer to picture themselves living in your home. Buying a property is an emotional decision.
Remember the garden. Make sure it appears easy to manage by looking well-maintained. Get rid of broken pots, and remove weeds from between patio stones. Sometimes expensive features like hot tubs can actually make a property more difficult to sell because people don’t have the time or money to maintain them.
4. Finish odd jobs
- Repair and repaint fences and gates. According to a survey by WoodWorkersUK, 64% of specialists think this improves a property’s value.
- Make your home energy efficient for the Energy Performance Certificate. The Energy Saving Trust have tips.
- Spruce up your bathroom. Low cost upgrades such as replacing shower curtains or radiators can improve presentation. See Bathrooms.com for ideas.
- Mend anything broken. Do your taps leak? Are any walls damaged? Are roof tiles missing? Are there cracks in your driveway?
- Improve the outside of your house. Paint exterior walls, weed the garden, varnish the door step, and replace the front door if necessary.
5. Declutter and depersonalise
- Paint to depersonalise and create the feeling of space. If walls or ceilings are specific to your taste, it’s a good idea to change to a neutral colour. It’s inadvisable to paint in dark colours because this makes a living space appear smaller.
- Consider your personal preferences. Your artistic centerpiece could be off-putting to somebody else. The more neutral your property feels, the easier it is for somebody else to imagine putting their stamp on it.
- Use mirrors. Hang a mirror in a narrow hallway or small room to create the illusion of space. Don’t over-use this trick though!
- Get rid of clutter. As William Morris said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”. Clutter can make a space feel claustrophobic and dusty.
- Think storage. Can you store away any items to free up worktop space in the kitchen, or dressing tables in the bedrooms? Consider adding extra shelving to cupboards or purchasing Ikea-type wardrobes.
6. Find a trusted estate agent
Choosing the right estate agent is important, especially for a quick sale. Estate agents are paid a commission on property sales but, even so, some are more efficient than others. Here’s how to find the best one:
- Seek personal recommendations from family and friends.
- Find out how successful different estate agents are in your local area using EstateAgent4Me.
- Check estate agents’ experience in selling properties like yours.
- Look at properties on Zoopla and Rightmove. Which estate agents’ descriptions and photographs are best?
- What commission do they charge?
- How long will you be tied into their contract if you’re unhappy?
For a quick sale, you might consider using two or more estate agents at the same time; this is called a multi-agency agreement. However, there are both pros and cons to this strategy. Always research before making a decision.
There are companies that offer quick house sale but be cautious of them.
7. Prepare for viewings
Clear your schedule to make sure you’re available for viewings or give your estate agent a key so they can conduct viewings themselves – this is vital for a quick sale.
Before a viewing:
- Declutter the outside of your property. Move bins, bicycles, and consider parking your car around the corner.
- Put away the washing up and give the kitchen a wipe down.
- Check bathrooms are presentable – no wet towels on the floor etc.
- Tidy away children’s toys and clothes.
- If you have pets make sure they don’t have smelly cages or litter trays and that there are no ‘doggy’ smells.
- Let in some light. Are curtains pulled back? Do rooms feel light and airy?
- Give the garden a quick check – make sure there’s no animal mess on the lawn!
8. Consider an open house
Holding an open house viewing can be a very effective way to make a quick sale. That’s because rather than people viewing over several weeks they all come on the same day. Since open house viewings are usually held on weekends, it’s easier for potential buyers to attend and there can be a real buzz.
An open house will potentially increase the competition between buyers, and if they are keen they will be quick to make you an offer so they won’t lose their dream home to somebody else.
There are advantages and disadvantages to open house viewings which are important to weigh up.
9. Be open to negotiation
Make sure you know what your property is worth. Before you put it on the market seek valuations from at least three estate agents and keep your own eye on the property market in your area.
Are you willing to sell your property for less than the market value to achieve a quick sale? Will you favour a buyer with funds in place, even though they’re offering less, over a buyer relying on a chain of people to sell their property?
Think about the price you can afford to accept. Are you upsizing? If so, as well as the additional purchase price of the property there will be extra costs involved in running a larger home such as increased council tax and utility bills. If you’re downsizing, you may be able to accept a lower price but it depends how you plan to use the extra money – are you releasing finances to supplement your retirement income, for example?
10. Keep in contact
Good communication with your estate agent and conveyancer is important. After a viewing ring your estate agent to find out if there is any feedback. If no offer has been made ask them why they think that is. Is there anything more you can do to make the property more attractive? Is the asking price too high?
Your conveyancing solicitor will be working hard behind the scenes to push your sale through as quickly as possible. If you would like to know what stage they’ve reached in the process and when they predict the next stage will be complete just ring them to ask. A good solicitor values client care and will be happy to answer your questions in a clear and friendly manner.
11. Have realistic expectations
Conveyancing can take between eight and twelve weeks because it’s a complex legal process (see ‘Engage a conveyancing solicitor’ above).
However, the process will always be more efficient if you’ve chosen an experienced conveyancing solicitor who understands the requirements of your type of property and the market in your local area. If problems do occur with the sale, a skilled solicitor will know how to solve these to get everything back on track and to help mitigate any foreseeable risks.
12. Be ready to hand over the keys
This is completion day, when your property legally transfers to the new owner. Before you leave your old property:
- Walk around to check you’ve left nothing behind.
- Record final meter readings, taking photographs with your mobile phone.
- Make sure utilities are all switched off.
- Check windows and doors are locked.
- Make sure you’ve given all keys over to the new owners, including any window or shed keys.
- Keep your conveyancer’s, estate agent’s and removal company’s contact details handy.
Are you looking for fast conveyancing?
The speed of your sale depends upon the efficiency of the conveyancing process. Our proactive solicitors help you to achieve this whilst at the same time delivering a meticulous, professional service.
Located in Bristol and Cardiff, we understand the local property market, and we are on-hand for you to collect and deliver documents when needed.
To discuss your sale with one of our property solicitors, call us on 02920 093 600.
 MoneySavingExpert.com, How to sell your property, https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/mortgages/how-to-sell-a-house/
 WoodworkersUK, Treating Your Wooden Gates, https://www.woodworkersuk.co.uk/treating-your-wooden-gates/
 Energy Saving Trust, Save Energy at Home, https://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/
 Homeowners Alliance, Find the best estate agent for you, https://ea4me.hoa.org.uk/?hidLS=1012&_ga=2.218386073.1062969659.1575629185-249033323.1575629185
 Citizens Advice, Selling a home, https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/housing/moving-and-improving-your-home/selling-a-home/
 Homeowners Alliance, How to Host an Open House, https://hoa.org.uk/advice/guides-for-homeowners/i-am-selling/how-to-host-an-open-house/
 The Advisory, https://www.theadvisory.co.uk/propcast/
Posted by Insight Law on
8 January 2020