How to Speed up the House Selling Process
by Rizwan Osman on 4th October 2021
If you have ever sold a property, you will know that it can be a stressful and drawn-out affair. Numerous factors can cause delays, a large and complex chain, unresponsive buyers and sellers and a solicitor who is overworked are just a few.
However, there are things you can do to keep the sale moving. Here are nine tips to speed up your house sale.
1. Get your property ready for sale
When potential buyers come to view your property, make sure it is in a good state for selling. Fix anything that needs fixing, depersonalising as much as possible, remove unnecessary clutter and generally making the house look clean, comfortable, warm and welcoming.
Try to put yourself in the potential buyer’s shoes. What would appeal to them? What are they looking for? Also, try to enhance or make the most of the property’s most winning features.
TIP: Read our blog on Home Staging Tips to Help You Sell Your Property.
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is required when you sell a property. An EPC is valid for ten years. If yours has expired, you will need to commission a new one before your home can go on the market. Your estate agent will be able to help you with this.
2. Choose an experienced, quality estate agent
Choose a local estate agent with a good reputation who has plenty of experience selling properties like yours.
Invite a least three reputable estate agents to value your property. Avoid the common mistake of choosing the one with the lowest fees or highest valuation. Instead, ask them for examples of similar houses they have sold recently, how long the properties spent on the market and whether they achieved the asking price.
A good estate agent will:
- Be proactive in marketing your property
- Help you assess buyers and their accompanying chain, and provide advice on which buyer’s offer to accept
- Liaise up and down the chain to keep the process moving
Consider going multi-agent. This generates competition and encourages the agents to prioritise your sale, giving you the best chance of securing a high price in the shortest amount of time. The downside is that your fees will be higher, and you’ll have to manage two agents.
3. Set a realistic price
A good estate agent will help you set a price that will generate immediate interest. Pricing realistically also reduces the possibility of the buyer’s mortgage provider down-valuing your home.
4. Choose an efficient solicitor
Choose a solicitor as soon as you put your house on the market. A solicitor will need to complete identity checks and anti-money laundering checks before they can start your legal work. Getting this done before you find a buyer means your solicitor can get started as soon as you have accepted an offer.
You will get a good idea of a firm’s likely efficiency during the pre-instruction process. If they are slow in coming back to you before you have instructed them, it does not bode well – go elsewhere.
Check the solicitor’s credentials. Are they regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), have Lexcel accreditation with the Law Society and registered with the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC).
Finally, check online reviews. Be balanced in your interpretation of these – it is hard to please everyone when moving home. You are looking for a running theme of poor communication and delays. If you find this evidence, move on to the next solicitor.
5. Gather information for your solicitor early
Property information forms are lengthy and often require you to provide supporting documents. Completing these in advance means they can be sent to your buyer’s solicitor as soon as you have accepted an offer. The property forms you will need to complete are:
- Property information form (TA6)
- Fittings and contents form (TA10)
- Leasehold information form (leasehold properties only)
Gather together any warranties, gas safety certificates or building regulations certificates required as supporting documents.
6. Find your new home
Most sellers will also be buying a new home. If this is the case for you, start your search immediately. Waiting until you have a buyer for the home you are selling will prolong the sales process.
If you want to speed up the house selling process, consider moving into rented accommodation or living with family or friends. This will minimise the property chain as you will have no onward chain.
7. Focus on serious buyers
When offers start coming in, it is important to access the buyer’s quality as well as the price they are offering.
We recommend only moving forward with a buyer if they can demonstrate that they have a mortgage agreed in principle and proof they have sufficient funds for the deposit. Whilst this does not guarantee that their mortgage will be approved, it is a good sign that it will be.
Being part of a property chain is the most significant cause of lengthy delays. Chains of eight buyers and sellers are not uncommon, and the chain is only as fast as its slowest link. Longer chains also come with a higher risk of someone pulling out and the chain collapsing. Favouring a chain-free buyer is the easiest way to reduce this risk.
8. Set a target end date
Setting a realistic target date for exchange keeps everyone working towards the same date, giving the process more impetus. If some parties want to delay their move, extend the period between exchange and completion – rather than delaying the exchange date.
9. Be proactive
We cannot overstate how critical communication is to a faster, less stressful and successful home sale. Make sure you respond to emails and take and return calls promptly. If you will be away during the conveyancing period, make sure you inform your solicitor and estate agent. Check-in with your estate agent and solicitor weekly.
Are you looking to sell your property in the Tooting area? Contact us today for a free valuation.