Selling your home often feels like it takes forever. From viewings to negotiations to conveyancing (the solicitors’ bit), it can often seem like there’s something in between you and finalising your house sale. It may even at times feel like a never-ending process!
If you want to give yourself the best chance of selling your home faster, here’s what you need to know.
Control the Controllables
Whilst there are many things outside your control, fortunately, there are several steps you can take that will give you the best chance of speeding up the sale of your home (or at least reducing the stress that often goes with it). This boils down to controlling the controllables and being aware of the related not so controllables that might crop up and cause a delay outside anything you can influence.
Controllable#1 – Be financially ready
There’s a lot of money changing hands during a property sale. If you’re buying and selling at the same time and need the money from your sale to go towards your purchase, you need to ensure that all of your finances are sorted as early as possible.
If you’re buying with a mortgage, that means you’re best arranging your mortgage as soon as you can. You will also need to have the money ready for your solicitor’s fees, your deposit (be ready to answer the questions you will face on the source of the deposit as every solicitor is obliged to ask this due to the money laundering regulations) and any stamp duty payable.
The above is also true of your buyer (and any other buyer in the chain if there is one) all of which is outside your control.
Controllable#2 – Prepare Your Property
Whenever you’re selling any kind of property, it pays to make it as tidy and appealing to potential buyers as possible.
Controllable#3 – Have your ID and paperwork ready
Selling a house often means a lot of paperwork and admin on your part. If you want to speed up the sale of your home, then it pays to get every single piece of paper you have that relates to your property (such as documentation relating alterations, alterations and maintenance and any guarantees) collected up as early as you can and ready for when you’re asked for it.
One of the first things you’ll be asked for is your ID so make sure you have it ready and it’s up to date. There are a number of ways you can prove your ID but the easiest ways are with a passport (make sure it’s in date), driving licence (make sure it’s in date and the address is current) and council tax or utility bill (check it’s less than three months old).
Controllable#4 – Use a reliable estate agent
Your estate agent will be playing a key role in terms of the speed of your house sale. If you choose the wrong estate agent things can slow down drastically.
You need to choose an estate agent who not only has a good reputation (check out their reviews) but also has plenty of experience in your local area selling homes that are similar to yours. One top tip is to pick more than one estate agent to value your property initially. Don’t hastily go for the cheapest one or the one that promises the most money for your home.
Instead, ask them questions about their experience and how they have found it selling similar properties to yours. Find out how long they expect the entire process to take based on their experiences.
Controllable#5 – Choose a good no sale no fee conveyancing solicitor with transparent pricing and sign up with them early (don’t leave it until the sale is agreed).
The solicitor you choose (and it’s your choice) will play a central role in the speed of your sale. Make sure you choose one who puts your interests first, is a specialist in conveyancing and who has great reviews. We always put your interests first, we specialise in conveyancing (we help thousands of people move every year) and you can check out our reviews here.
And sign up with them early. Don’t leave it until the sale is agreed. This will give you and your solicitor a chance to get your paperwork as ready as it can be in advance, which will stop things getting off to a slow start once you find a buyer. This will cause you a lot less hassle than rushing around when a sale is agreed. Choose a solicitor who will act for you on a No Sale, No Fee basis (we do this on all sales) and you’ll have nothing to pay up front and will only pay their costs if and when your sale completes. Provided you also choose a solicitor with transparent pricing (one of our key promises) there is no downside to you signing up early.
Controllable#6 – Communicate and don’t sit on anything
If there’s one way to give yourself the best chance of selling a house faster, it’s to maintain a clear line of communication at all times particularly with your estate agent, your solicitor and your bank or mortgage company (if you are buying as well).
The more robust your communications, the easier it will be to avoid mishaps or sales glitches. That communication will also make it much easier to resolve any emerging stumbling blocks to a speedy sale. The faster any challenges come to light, the quicker solutions can be sought.
When you’re asked for something, respond as quickly and as clearly as you can. If you don’t have something you’re asked for then still let them know rather than worrying about it so a solution can be found otherwise it doesn’t get better it just gets later.
(Semi) Controllable#7 – Have your new home ready
If you’re buying at the same time that you’re selling, both need to be ready along with everybody else’s in the chain if there is one. The longer the chain, the more potential for delay that is out of the hands of both you and your solicitor. Chains are extremely common, and they can never move faster than the weakest link.
There are only a limited number of things you can do about this. Things to consider are:
- Controlling the controllables that apply to you (controllables #1-6 above apply in much the same way to your purchase as your sale).
- Given the general shortage of housing stock (demand outstrips supply in a lot of circumstances) although in theory it is possible to look for no chain or a short chain to get the property you really want you might have to prepare for the uncertainty that a chain brings.
- Breaking the chain by moving into rented property until your house sale goes through. That way, you’re not left hanging if there’s a problem. The flipside is you might spend a long time in rented property which some consider to be dead money.
It takes work to sell your house faster
Money often has to travel a long way during a house sale. For every delay, there’s a knock-on effect that has the potential to slow things down. In this brief guide we have given you an insight into the things you can control and how to go about it. Unless you’re extremely lucky, there are going to be things that get in the way but by controlling the controllables you will give yourself the best chance of achieving the outcome you’re looking for with less stress. Happy selling!