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How To Sell Your House [UK] — A Step-by-Step Guide

Posted: 05 July 2024


Featured Image How To Sell Your House In The UK

Selling a house is no easy feat. With logistical considerations, financial decisions, time crunches, and even the emotions that come with leaving, the entire process can feel overwhelming. In fact, where do you even start? 

Our how to sell your house guide is here to lend a hand. We cover the A to Z of how to sell your home in the UK, with useful tips to smoothen the process.  

Understanding the House Selling Process

Selling your house in the UK will take about five months on average, but can take even longer given all the steps involved in the stages of selling a home. Below, we’ve outlined the basic steps, with greater detail provided throughout the article.

Your Step-by-Step Selling a House Guide 

Couple fixing walls when selling their home

Preparation Before the Listing 

Start by doing any necessary maintenance and repairs to your home to present it in the best possible condition. A little can go a long way when it comes to increasing the value of your home. If you’re planning on doing any large renovations prior to the house sale process, make sure you’ll get a good return on your investment. 

Also take this time to gather any necessary documents needed for the sale. If you find some are missing, it might take some time to obtain them. 

List Your Property 

First, you’ll have to decide between using a traditional estate agent, enlisting an online agent, or selling privately. If this is your first time selling a home, it’s best to rely on the expertise of a professional. With their help, you’ll be able to set a reasonable asking price. Once you’ve decided on the price, you’re all set to list your property on different portals and advertise it. 

Find a Buyer 

If you’ve marketed your property well, you should have a list of potential buyers, and you can do private and/or open viewings for those who are interested. Be prepared to negotiate any offers you receive. Once you’ve negotiated the terms, make sure to accept only the best offer.

Instruct a Solicitor/Conveyancer:

Hire a solicitor or conveyancer to handle the legal aspects of the sale. They will manage the paperwork and facilitate communication between you and the buyer’s legal representative.

Exchange Contracts

Signing contract sale of home

Sign and exchange contracts with the buyer, making the sale legally binding.

The buyer pays a deposit (typically 10% of the purchase price).

Completion

On the completion date, you will receive the remaining balance of the purchase price. Hand over the keys to the buyer and vacate the property. Your solicitor will make sure that all funds are transferred appropriately.

Settle Mortgage

If you still owe money on a mortgage for your home, you can use the proceeds from the sale to pay off the outstanding balance. Your solicitor will handle this process and ensure that the lender's claim on the property is released. 

Finalise Paperwork

Your solicitor will register the change of ownership with the Land Registry, completing the legal change of ownership. They will also handle any remaining paperwork and distribute any remaining proceeds to you.

Which Documents Do You Need To Sell Your House?

In order to sell your house, you’ll need the following documents:

  • Proof of identity for legal representatives, estate agents, and any other professionals involved in the house selling process 
  • The title deed of your home to prove you are the owner
  • An Energy Performance Certificate which tells the buyer how energy efficient your property is
  • Planning permissions and approvals for any work you’ve had done on the property 
  • A Part P Building Regulation Certificate if you have altered any of the electric wiring in your home since 1 January 2005  
  • A FENSA or CERTASS certificate if you’ve replaced any windows since you’ve moved in 
  • A copy of the lease if the property is leasehold and details about the freeholder, as well as a management information pack with information about the management of the property, service charges, and ground rent
  • Any documents related to your mortgage if you have one 

Other recommended documents: 

  • A gas safety certificate to confirm your boiler has been checked is recommended but you are not legally obliged to provide it as a seller
  • Any guarantees and warranties for work you have had done and any appliances you are selling with the home should be given to the buyer

Financial Considerations When Selling Your House

Before selling your home, it’s important to consider factors like local market trends in your area as well as broader market conditions. Also keep seasonal trends in mind — you can expect more interest during spring and early summer than during the colder months. 

What most people don’t budget for is the additional costs associated with selling your home. Luckily, we’ve broken it down below:

How Much Does It Cost To Sell Your House?

Couple calculating costs of selling home

The exact costs associated with selling your house will vary largely based on where in the UK you stay, the size and value of your home, the services you employ, and other factors. 

Here are some of the costs you can expect:  

  • Estate Agent Fees: You'll need to account for estate agent fees, which typically range from 1% to 3% of the sale price. Alternatively, it may be a flat fee depending on the agreement.
  • Conveyancing Fees: Budget for conveyancing fees, covering legal services and disbursements associated with transferring ownership of the property.
  • Energy Performance Certificate: If you don’t have this certificate, you can purchase it for £60.
  • Mortgage Settlement: You may have to allocate extra funds to paying off your mortgage or paying for associated costs like early repayment charges.
  • Repairs and Renovations: Consider costs for necessary repairs or renovations that could enhance the property's appeal and value to potential buyers.
  • Home Staging and Marketing: Allocate funds for professional home staging services and marketing materials, such as photography and listing advertisements. These will attract buyers willing to pay top dollar. 
  • Moving Costs: Budget for movers/moving van hire, moving materials, and potential temporary storage costs. 
  • Capital Gains Tax: There is potential tax liability if the house you’re selling is not your primary residence.

Do You Pay Tax When You Sell Your House in the UK?

You do not have to pay tax on your home if it is your primary residence and you have been using it as your main home the entire time that you’ve owned the property. 

You may, however, have to pay Capital Gains Tax if you sell a property that isn’t your home, e.g. inherited properties or buy-to-let properties. 

What Happens to Your Mortgage When You Sell Your House?

If you have a mortgage on your home, you’ll need to provide the buyer with a mortgage statement. This document provides a detailed account of your mortgage, including the outstanding balance, interest rate, and payment history.

You can obtain this from your mortgage lender. You’ll also need your mortgage account number, which will be required by your solicitor for reference and communication with the lender.

If Your Mortgage Isn’t Paid Off

  • You will need a mortgage redemption statement from your lender that shows the amount required to pay off your mortgage in full at the point of sale. This includes any early repayment charges or fees.
  • You will need written consent from your lender if your mortgage agreement includes any restrictions on selling the property.
  • Like we’ve mentioned above, you can use the money from the sale to pay off any outstanding balance. 

If Your Mortgage Is Paid Off

  • Your lender will provide a deed of release which confirms that the mortgage has been cleared and that the lender no longer has a claim on the property.

If You Have Any Additional Loans or Charges

  • If you have any second mortgages, home equity loans, or other secured loans that are linked to the property, these will need to be cleared upon the sale of the property.

How Self Storage Can Help To Sell Your House

Storage King units

Our best advice on selling your house in the UK would be to rent a self storage unit. This can help you throughout every stage of the house selling process. 

  • Repairs and Renovations Before Listing: When you’re getting your house ready to sell, repairs, maintenance, and renovations are a key part of the process. You may need somewhere to store valuable furniture and appliances while you’re getting work done so that they don’t get in the way and get damaged.
  • Staging the Home During the Listing Phase: Before you stage your home, you should declutter and put any extra decor away in storage for a clean, minimalistic look — this provides the perfect canvas for new buyers who can envision their own personal style coming to life in the space. 
  • Extra Space as You Vacate the Property: Instead of moving your things out all at once, you can gradually move your possessions into a storage unit prior to move day and avoid the rush. This also means you can take greater care with your belongings, avoiding potential damage.
  • Temporary Accommodation After Your Move: For most, there’s a transition period between moving out of their old home and into the new one. Temporary living spaces tend to be small and aren’t likely to accommodate a household of things. That’s where a storage unit comes in handy for temporary storage.
  • Long-Term Household Storage: Downsizing after the sale of your home? A self storage unit is the perfect secure environment for spare furniture and appliances. 

At Storage King, we don’t just have fantastic tips for selling your house; we’re also the premier self storage provider across the UK. We have a wide range of storage units, perfect for any stage of your house selling journey — and our flexible contracts mean you can upsize and downsize as your needs change throughout the process. 

You can get a quick quote online for one of our secure storage units, and even order packaging supplies for your move. We’re here to make your selling and moving journey simple, so visit our website or call us today on 0800 0852 954 — now that you know how to sell your house, we’d love to make it easier! 


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