How to sell a house safely and successfully

Home $ How to sell a house safely and successfully

Are you an owner of a house that is looking to transfer the ownership of your property to someone else in exchange for a certain amount of money? If this sounds like you, then you should brush up on the law in this area.

House buying is a big decision for a lot of people so you need to make sure you have the right preparation in order to sell a house for the right price and be aware of how long it takes to sell successfully.

In general, it is a good idea to be patient with the sale of a property so read this article in detail to make sure you aren’t making any silly mistakes. You may need to consult a solicitor to sell your house too.

selling a house with the help of a solicitor

How to sell a house in the UK

A lot goes into the sale of a property. A seller has to make sure they have gotten the house ready for sale and that they are selling the property for the right price.

Here are the things you should pay attention to throughout the selling process:

Tips on how to sell a house

In general, as you decide to sell a house, follow these tips that include how to position your house ideally for the sale

Prepare your house for sale

Preparation is key. Consider cleaning up a property thoroughly or asking a tenant to move out to conduct the right property viewings. You may also need to pay for a deep clean yourself.

A house that is well prepared for sale will also be able to be presented in the best light. For instance, adding in a fresh coat of paint to a property or refurbishing the furniture in a house for sale can have a large impact.

Decide how you want to sell a property

Contrary to the traditional method of listing a property for sale on a listing portal which is often arranged through an estate agent, there are a few other methods for sale that suit different buyers.

If you want the money from a property instantly and you don’t mind compromising on the overall total sale price of the premises then an auction could be the right thing for you.

Another reason why this could work is if you have an extremely damaged property that is in disrepair and needs extensive work done to it. These types of houses are common to be sold at auction too.

Buyers look for houses like this so they can add value to it and flip it to make a short term profit.

Think about the target market

Target markets are important to consider too. This affects how the estate agent is able to sell the property and who they allow to visit a property during a viewing.

In addition, some estate agents may choose to market an on social media. By considering a target market this allows you to inform your estate agent on the best method.

Having said this, it is partly the job of the estate agent to be able to do this too.

How to sell a house for best price

Finding the best price for a property depends on several factors, including location, condition, amenities, and the current state of the property market in the UK

Time the property sale when markets are high

By considering market trends and looking at similar properties in the area, you can get a good idea of the price that a property is being sold for.

Typically, whenever there is a low inflation rate, the value of money is more powerful because the debt from a bank has less interest.

This allows buyers to have more power in the marketplace and typically allows them to spend more on property so the general demand for property goes up.

This is an ideal time to sell a property if you’re looking to make a profit on the appreciation of a property but there is also the rental yield to consider too which also produces a return.

All in all, buying becomes easier when there is a low interest rate so selling becomes more profitable and also easier. Nonetheless, if you want to find the time where property prices are the lowest, without considering debt, you’d have to look when inflation is the highest.

timing the sale of a property

Consider the property’s condition

The condition of the property can significantly affect its price. Buildings that are in bad condition are usually picked up by investors who are trying to make a profit on the sale of a property after they have added value.

For instance, if a house has a kitchen that is in poor condition, by replacing the broken parts of the kitchen you could significantly increase the property’s value.

Be sure to know what not to fix when selling a house as you do this.

Then, perhaps combined with an upturn in the buyer demand in the area the owner of the same property can then sell the property for a profit.

This is among one of the many ways to add value to a house with others including adding additional rooms to a property, adding floor in a loft conversion or doing a general refurbishment.

Determine the property’s unique selling points

A property’s amenities or unique features, such as a pool or a great view, can add value and increase the price.

In addition, if you target the right target market and you only allow those to visit the property you could end up with a lot of very interested buyers.

As an example, if you have a property with four bedrooms and a large garden, this may be ideal for a family with smaller children. Targeting only this type of client may be ideal.

Get a professional valuation

A professional valuation is the perfect way to make sure you’re selling for the best price. If someone low balls your offer you’ll know that this is unfair and it is just a matter of time before someone meets your price.

In addition, this gives you the confidence that you will not have to gazump any buyers by offering a higher valuation.

Consider the current state of the real estate market

The state of the market can impact a property’s price. If the market is hot and there is high demand for properties in the area, you may be able to sell for a higher price.

If you suspect this, acting with speed and getting your property on the market for the right price as soon as possible could be a good way to get good feedback on the market.

If demand is really high it could be that you get offered a higher offer than expected as someone wants to secure the deal for themselves rather than anyone else.


Don’t be afraid to negotiate with buyers even though negotiation is typically done the other way round. Usually a buyer will undercut a price first and then a seller will match them somewhere in the middle. – mentioned by Jasen Edwards, chair of the Agent Editor Board at Agent Advice.

However, if you feel like the price for the property is fair and you have confidence in the valuation perhaps from doing a professional property valuation, you should be able to stand your ground.

It is perfectly reasonable to not allow any offers below the asking price either but you will have to consider this with your estate agents and any other professionals in the deal.

a house that is selling and being negotiated

How to sell a house privately without an estate agent

Selling a house privately without an estate agent can be a bit more challenging than selling through an agent, but it is possible and there are valid reasons for doing so as a seller. 

Overall, selling a house privately without an estate agent can save you money on agent fees, but it also requires more work and attention to detail.

There is also a good chance that your property won’t end up selling at all if you can’t reach the right market that you are interested in buying.

Working out the value of a home is very important

The first thing you should do is determine the value of your home. This can be done through a residential property valuation which is conducted by a surveyor or qualified professional. Alternatively, you could attempt to value a property yourself by looking at the prices in the local area and the condition and features of your property in comparison.

Present a property well

Presenting a property to the best of your ability is vital because you’ll be competing with estate agents who have professional marketing teams and people who work with representing houses in the best way.

They may have people able to place furniture in a property simply for the photos or they could have professional interior designers helping them to show off a horse’s characteristics. After presenting the property in the best way you can, you should take photos and attempt to market the home using online portals or through social media.

Find buyers for the property

If you have access to a database of qualifications through networking and being involved in property to some extent, then this is also a way to find a buyer.

Because of how hard it is to find buyers through social media and your own network, this is the main reason why people choose to go with estate agents as this is a lot of hassle.

Once you have found buyers through your own marketing methods, you can then arrange viewings with the prospective buyers of a property. Remain organised and remember everyone’s names.

Ensuring you establish rapport with the people who are buying your house could give you an advantage in the sale of the property. People tend to buy from who they respect and like and this is an opportunity to go above and beyond.

Close the deal

Once you and the buyer have agreed on the terms, close the sale by signing the necessary paperwork, transferring the ownership of the property and receiving the payment for the sale.

Before you get this far ahead, you may want to ask for an agreement in principle which is a document that proves a buyer has been approved for the right mortgage for you to sell them the house.

closing the deal when selling a house

How to consider whether it is right to sell a house

Amongst the factors of finding the right price for a property, there are other factors you may not have thought about like considering if the new owner of the property will take care of a property.

All of these thoughts go into answering the question of if it’s right to sell a house. Having said this, there are of course scenarios where a seller needs to desperately sell for instance to pay for care.

In general, the best time to sell a house is when demand is highest and supply is lowest. This means you have to look at the other types of property.

Deciding whether or not it is the right time to sell a house can be a complex decision and you may need the advice of a solicitor to sell your house if you’re not sure. 

There are also things you should consider otherwise including:

Your finances and market conditions

One of the most important factors to consider when deciding whether to sell a house is the current state of the property market. Like if the market is hot and there is high demand for homes.

In cases where the market is hot it may be a good time to sell. However, if the market is slow and homes are sitting on the market for a long time, it may be better to wait.

You should also consider these conditions in relation to your own finances. You may want to sell if you need the money or if you are looking to downsize. Alternatively, if you are able to hold onto the property and wait for the market to improve, you may be able to sell for a higher price later on. 

Or perhaps you have a house that is in shared ownership and you need the money more than your partner. Considering your own financial situation is important

Potential life changes

Life changes such as a job relocation, divorce, or retirement may also prompt a need to sell a house. If your current living situation no longer suits your needs or lifestyle, it may be a good time to sell.

Also, if the length of time you have lived in a property means the condition of your home needs to change then this can also play a role in determining If it is the right time to sell.

If your home requires extensive repairs or renovations, it may be better to wait until these have been completed before putting it on the market.

Consider when the mortgage you have ends

While selling a property with a mortgage is possible, in general, it is best to wait until the mortgage on a property has ended to avoid early termination fees.

Even if you have the money to pay off the mortgage and then sell the property, there are also fees for overpaying on a mortgage.

This means you could have to remortgage the property to find a lender that is okay with the termination of the mortgage.

selling a property after the mortgage has terminated

Get a proper valuation

Obtaining the right valuation is a big step in finding out if the property is actually listed on the market for the right price. This is a crucial step in finding out if it is the right time to sell a house.

Contact a chartered surveyor from this website for the best people for the job.

Choose the right estate agent

Having the right estate agent as part of your team will outsource all of the marketing, arranging viewings and negotiating with buyers.

If you’re busy or you don’t want to be involved in this process for whatever reason this is a great way to make sure the sale still goes ahead making it the right time to sell a house.

Get a solicitor to help you in the process

A solicitor will be the one to arrange all of the taxes, fees and legalities of selling a property. It is the right time to sell once you have a solicitor on board means you’ll be able to confidently proceed in the process.

On top of this, if you’re looking to buy a property and sell the one you currently have at the same time, this is where things can get complicated so being able to have legal advice at hand is important.

How long does it take to sell a house?

Of course, there are multiple factors that go into how long the sale of a property truly takes but the average time it takes to sell a house is three months.

70% of houses end up selling between two and four months and a typical house will receive around 2 viewings per week given the house is priced correctly.

How to sell a house quickly

Amongst the general tips for selling a house that are effective, there are some additional tips that would allow you to sell your house that bit quicker.

What are the indicators for a house selling quickly?

Factors that influence how quickly a house moves range from small factors like the number of people that are able to view a property to the condition that the property is in and the method of sale.

For instance, a property that is sold at auction would be easy to sell quickly as there are multiple buyers all looking to buy at one time and the property sale is guaranteed as long as someone makes an offer.

Nonetheless, the most influential factors are:

  • The season that the property is being sold in (summer and January are most popular)
  • The price of the property and if it’s near the true value of the home
  • The state of the economy can give people more or less spending power

How many viewings does it usually take to sell a house?

In a property viewing, there is a good chance that the property is able to sell in a short amount of viewings if it is priced right but the average is around 10 or 15 viewings according to moveIQ seen here.

selling a house after conducting viewings

What are the fees associated with selling a house?

Housing fees are always associated with being negative but they are essential as the right professionals should get paid the right amount as there are multiple people helping a property to be sold.

Depending on the professionals you bring into the deal, the cost of selling a house can vary

What are the costs of selling a house in the Uk?

The below costs are outlined and represent the typical cost of selling a house without taking into account the tax you pay when you sell a house which is an additional cost.

Fees of estate agency

Estate agent fees are usually around £1000 for the processing of a house sale. However, this varies between estate agents and it could be that a homeowner ends up paying far less.

In addition, estate agent fees aren’t mandatory in a house sale because a homeowner with the right network could always find the buyers for their property themself.

Fees for solicitors

Solicitor fees are similar to estate agent fees in that they are around £1000 for the cost of the solicitor to oversee the sale of the property.

When it comes to buying and selling homes, the cost of solicitor fees for selling a house can vary depending on various factors. 

It is recommended to shop around and consider recommendations from others to find a solicitor whose fees are tailored to the potential sale value of the house. 

Generally, solicitors’ fees for selling a house are based on a fixed cost basis, although some may charge hourly rates. 

Regardless of the route taken, solicitor fees typically range from £500-£1,500, regardless of whether a high street estate agent, online agent, or private sale is used. 

It is important to note that this fee covers all the legal aspects of selling a house, and opting for a cheaper online conveyancing service may require additional effort to ensure that all paperwork is completed accurately. 

Home reporting fees

There are a few different types of fees associated with the homebuyers. 

First of all, there is the RICS condition report which goes over the condition of a property and you can read more about it here is also accompanied by the RICS homebuyer report which is optional.

There are also fees associated with a snagging survey for a property if you have a new build and some people may also want to have a full structural survey.

Fees for removing items

Usually, removal for items in a property during a house clearance costs money. Read our article on the topic for all you need to know about removing items.

However, generally the bigger the house and the more that needs to be moved, the more that will be charged for the property. 

How much does it cost to sell a house in Scotland?

Based on the House Price Index released in July 2022, the mean price of a house in Scotland was £187,517. 

Using this as a reference point, we have computed that the mean expense of selling a house in Scotland is £6,284. Additionally, our moving house calculator can assist you in estimating the cost of your house sale. 

Please note that the figures we have provided are averages derived from data accurate as of Q3 2022 and that the actual cost of selling a house may differ depending on various factors such as the size and value of the property.

someone learning how to sell a house in Scotland

What about the selling fees in Wales?

There are no additional fees associated with buying a house in Wales so you should begin to look for the right property and then go about charging fees in the same way you would in England.

Most of the time, you will find that a house in Wales is cheaper than the house prices in London for example as there is a reduced demand in Wales due to a lack of cities and there being a lot of open space.

In summary

In general, what it takes to sell a house can vary quite a lot and you should check out the tips on the government website too for a clearer understanding of the entire selling process.

From what it takes to sell a house effectively to the fees that are associated with the property, there is a big chance that as you sell you will begin learning new things.

In addition, selling a house may not be the best movie for everyone as some people want to join the gun to get the financial benefits whereas others want to wait for the perfect moment when markets are high.

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Donnell Bailey

Property expert

Donnell is a property expert focusing on the property market, he looks at a combination of legislation, information from property managers, letting agents and market trends to produce information to help landlords.


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