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Selling your home: a guide for first timers

View profile for Laura Kurowski
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Moving on from your first home can be a daunting prospect but with the right help, marketing your property and dealing with the legal aspects of a sale can be a pretty smooth process. If you're selling for the first time, here's some advice from our estate agency partners, Boococks.

I’m thinking about selling my house, what should I do?

First, ask a reputable local estate agent to value your property and give you some advice about maximising its sales potential, such as whether the property needs any improvement works, redecoration or de-cluttering.

It's a good idea to get 2 or 3 valuations from local, well established and respected high street estate agents. This service is usually free and you are under no obligation to use any agent. Once you have established a figure you should be in a position to look at your finances if you are moving to another home.

Why should I use an agent?

Selling a property can be an emotional roller coaster so a good agent is critical in helping the sale progress smoothly and keeping stress to a minimum. Most property sales are completed with sellers using local estate agents who are experts and understand the market.

When choosing an agent, consider their negotiation skills, ability to market your property to the widest possible audience and their experience of managing the sales process.

Do I have to do anything before I put my house up for sale?

Once you have decided to place the property up for sale, it is a legal requirement to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This shows how energy efficient your property is. An EPC must have been commissioned prior to marketing and obtained within 7 days of the property first being marketed – where an agent is employed, they must be satisfied that an EPC has been commissioned prior to marketing it.

Where an EPC is not obtained within 7 days of the property being marketed, a further 21 days is allowed as long as it can be demonstrated that all reasonable efforts were taken to obtain the EPC. It is the responsibility of the sellers to obtain the EPC, even in the event of employing an agent’s services to act on their behalf, however, most agents like Boococks, have the facility to arrange an EPC survey at a very reasonable cost

How much will it cost to sell my property?

Typically estate agents fees can range from 1 – 2% of the sale price plus vat and some charge a fixed fee

It’s important from the beginning of your agreement with your appointed agent that you check the costs you will be liable for. Some agents charge a setting up fee, some charge for extras such as newspaper advertising, internet advertising, accompanied viewings and so on.  Make sure you get all this information in writing and keep a copy of the contract. Our partner lettings and estate agency, Boococks , offer two simple fee structures:

Option 1 - sale only

If Boococks sell your property but you use a solicitor other than Wilkinson Woodward for the legal aspects, you won't be charged a fee for setting up or for extras such as internet and newspaper advertising. The fee, which they confirm in writing, becomes payable when contracts have been exchanged and the deal completed.

Option 2 - sale and conveyancing package

If Boococks sell your home and you choose Wilkinson Woodward to handle conveyancing, you'll benefit from an inclusive package rate. In addition, with Boococks literally next door to our offices in Fountain Street, Halifax, the flow of information between Boococks and our conveyancing team is seamless, ensuring our clients receive regular updates on progress from the minute an offer has been submitted right through to completion.

What else do I need to know?

Other things to consider are:

  • will the agent charge if I withdraw
  • how long am I tied to the estate agent

Always check the small print to avoid being tied to the same agent if you're not happy with their service. Boococks operate a no sale, no fee policy and only ask for two weeks’ written notice if you decide you no longer want them to market your property.

For more advice about marketing your property, contact our partners, Boococks Estate Agency on 01422 386 376.

For help with the legal aspects of selling your property, please get in touch with our conveyancing teams in Halifax, Brighouse or Huddersfield.

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