Selling FAQs

Get the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions from our sellers

I want to sell a property. What do I do first?

First of all you need to organise a valuation to find out how much your home is worth. Once this is done you should agree terms and conditions to instruct an estate agent to find you a buyer. During the valuation, find out about the services the agent offers, the current state of the local market, and the sale price you can hope you achieve. Consider your priorities and timescales and agree a marketing plan with the agent that meets your needs.

Book a valuation

How much will it cost to sell my property?

There are three main costs involved in selling a property:

  • Estate Agent Fees

Estate Agent Fees will either be a set fee or a percentage of the purchase price. Before putting your property up for sale with an estate agent, ensure that you understand the fee being charged and the services included.

  • Energy Performance Certificate

The majority of properties are legally required to have a current Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) in place before they can be sold. This outlines the energy efficiency rating of your property. Thomas Morris can organise this for you.

  • Conveyancing

‘Conveyancing’ means the legal transfer of your property to the buyer. You will need to employ a solicitor or conveyancer to make this happen. Prices will vary depending on your circumstances. Thomas Morris can introduce you to a conveyancer who will offer a no sale no fee service with a guaranteed fixed price to keep everything simple.

Don’t forget about removals. Ask your agent to outline all these costs at the start of your sale so that you can fully budget for your move.

Do I need to conduct viewings?

Your estate agent should accompany all viewings where possible, but you may decide that you’d like to conduct them yourselves or be present. It’s really up to you.

Will there be more viewings once I've accepted an offer?

This partly depends on the conditions of the offer. Remember, neither the buyer or the seller is bound to the purchase or sale until the contracts are signed and exchanged. It is usual however, for viewings to stop once an offer has been accepted and solicitors instructed to handle the sale.

It is not uncommon for buyers to ask to revisit a property they are purchasing after their offer has been accepted. This could be to check certain points, measure up or to simply show family members. Where reasonable we would recommend such requests be allowed as it helps to maintain a positive relationship with the buyer.

How long will it take to complete my sale?

Every property sale is different, and it is difficult to answer this question with any real accuracy. If you have already vacated the property and the buyer does not need a mortgage, then exchange of contracts and completion can happen reasonably quickly. However, if the buyer requires a mortgage, you are still in the property, or if there is a chain involved, the process can take far longer. In total it can take an average of anything from 8 to 15 weeks to complete the sale once you accept an offer and solicitors are instructed.

Do I need an EPC?

In England, almost all properties are required to have a current EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) before they can be sold. Estate agents must display the EPC rating whenever they market the property. If a property does not have an EPC when marketed the seller and the agent risks a fine.

What is conveyancing?

‘Conveyancing’ is everything that needs to happen to legally transfer your home to the buyer. You will need a solicitor or conveyancer to make it happen. Thomas Morris can introduce you to a conveyancer who offer a no sale no fee service at a fixed price so you know where you stand.

Do I have to pay Stamp Duty?

No. The buyer is responsible for paying Stamp Duty.

Will my property be surveyed?

In England you do not need to arrange a property survey, but it is likely that the buyer will, and so a surveyor will arrange an appointment to visit your home. The five key things a surveyor will be looking for are problems with utilities, damp, cracking, problems with roofs, and timber defects. If your buyer requires a mortgage, their mortgage lender will organise a mortgage valuation to confirm that the property is worth the money being lent.

What are searches?

As part of the conveyancing process, your buyer’s solicitor will perform a number of 'searches' in relation to your home. These will likely include searches of Land Registry and Local Authority information. They will be checking for planning history and any potential developments around roads, drainage and mining near the property.

When do I sign the contract?

Once the sale has been agreed, your solicitor will draft a contract. The buyers solicitor will then check through the contract, confirm the details of the property and perform searches. At the same time, the buyer’s mortgage lender will conduct a mortgage valuation and send a mortgage offer to the buyer. When all of this is complete, you will be ready to sign the contract and agree the completion date.

When is the buyer or seller bound to the sale or purchase?

Until signed contracts are exchanged between the buyers and sellers solicitors either party can pull out at any time and for any reason.

How is a completion date chosen?

When both contracts have been signed, the buyer’s solicitor will request the mortgage funds from the buyer’s lender. Once these funds are released, then your solicitor and the buyer’s solicitor will consult both parties and agree a completion date.

Where are my title deeds?

Your title deeds give proof of ownership of the property and will need to be transferred to the buyer as part of the conveyancing process. These may be held by your mortgage lender, or they may be held electronically by Land Registry. It will be your solicitor’s responsibility to obtain these.

What do I have to leave in the property?

You are not required to leave any furniture or furnishings in the property, but you may agree to include some as part of the negotiations of the sale.

When do I have to move out?

The contract will specify the completion day. At the point that all monies for the purchase have been transferred to the sellers solicitor, legal completion has occurred. At this time keys can be released to the buyer who will usually be asked to collect them from the estate agent. You may choose to vacate before completion day, if not you should try to clear the property as efficiently as possible on the day, as your buyer may be keen to get in once completion has occurred and they have the keys.

Do I have to pay Capital Gains Tax?

In most cases you are only required to pay Capital Gains Tax if the property is not your main home.