Selling a home for the first time

Selling a home for the first time can be stressful, particularly if you are also trying to tie in a purchase.

There are a number of things you can do to help your sale go as smoothly as possible, so that as soon as you find a buyer there are no delays on your side as the sale goes through.

Prepare your home for viewings

Before you instruct an estate agent, make sure your home is ready for photos and viewings. This mainly involves clearing away all clutter and making sure the place is clean and tidy. It is worth paying particular attention to the front of the property as this will form your buyers’ first impression. Don’t feel pressured into spending large amounts of money or carrying out major work however, as you may not recoup this in your sale price.

Find the right estate agent

Asking local friends and family for recommendations is a good way to find an agent who is enthusiastic and competent. Make sure they are independent from any other party in the transaction, such as a builder, and that they are easily contactable and friendly. This is important, as your buyer will also be dealing with them.

Start putting the documentation together

By putting as much documentation in place as possible at the start of a transaction, you stand a better chance of avoiding delays later on. Some items, such as the Energy Performance Certificate, will be needed by your agent before the property is marketed. Other important paperwork includes guarantees for work carried out to the property, planning consents, building regulations approval and any leasehold information if applicable. Your solicitor will also give you a property information form and fixtures and fittings list to fill out in readiness for your buyers.

Choose your solicitor

A good solicitor is essential to the smooth running of a sale and/or purchase. They will deal with documentation promptly and chase up your buyers’ and sellers’ solicitor regularly to ensure that the transaction keeps moving. They will also be able to offer expert advice on the property you are buying and deal with obtaining funds from your mortgage lender, if you have one.

Make sure you choose an independent solicitor, who will act in your best interests, and not one who has any affiliation with the other parties in the transaction, for example one recommended by a builder or lender.

As well as dealing with the paperwork for you, a good solicitor will be able to talk you through the process and make sure you are happy at each stage of the transaction. Exchange and completion can be quite complicated, so you need to ensure that you have someone readily available to explain it to you.

If you are thinking of buying or selling your home, speak to one of our expert property lawyers on 0345 2413100 or email us at

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