The process of selling a house explained

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Selling a house in the UK

Selling your home can be a complex and multi-step process, with various options available to homeowners in the UK. The most common approach is to work with a local estate agent, who can handle the marketing, viewings, and negotiations on your behalf.

However, some sellers choose to take a more hands-on approach and sell the property themselves or use other methods.

Deciding on the method of selling your house 

When it comes to selling your house, it’s important to carefully consider the best approach for your unique situation. The method you choose can have a significant impact on the timeline, costs, and overall experience of the sale.

Using an estate agent

According to industry data from thenegotiator.co.uk, the vast majority of houses in the UK (around 90%) are sold through the traditional estate agent route. In terms of where these estate agents are, London continues to lead the way with an unparalleled number.

Presently, the capital hosts 7,155 agencies, constituting a significant 29% of the total in the UK. This figure has seen an 11% surge over the past year leading up to 2024

This approach involves hiring a local agent who will handle the marketing, viewings, and negotiations on your behalf. Estate agents typically charge a commission fee, which is usually between 1-3% of the final sale price.

Average Estate Agent Fees * Cozee Properties Estate Agent Fee
0.9% – 3.6% 1.5%
*This data is taken from the Home Owners Alliance (HOA) and you can find more data about the study here. The information in the study is based on data taken from Q1 2024.

Selling yourself 

Selling your home without the assistance of an estate agent, known as a “private sale,” can be a viable option for some homeowners. This approach allows you to maintain more control over the process and potentially save on commission fees.

However, it also requires you to handle all the marketing, viewings, and negotiations yourself, which can be time-consuming and challenging, particularly for first-time sellers.

Get rid of the hassle! Sell with Cozee

Cozee helps you understand the selling process, from valuation to completion.

It is useful to note that if you decide to sell a house in a private sale, you’ll still need to hire a conveyancer to handle the legal aspects of the sale.

Quick house sale 

For homeowners in urgent need of a fast sale, a “quick house sale” company may be an option. These companies typically purchase properties directly from the owner, often below market value, in exchange for a swift transaction.

This approach can be beneficial for those facing financial difficulties or needing to sell a property quickly, but it’s important to carefully research any quick sale companies and understand the potential trade-offs.

Get more information on selling a house fast in London

You’re likely going to receive the money for a house very quickly but not at the same

Auction

Selling your home at auction is another alternative to the traditional estate agent route. This method can be particularly useful for properties that may be difficult to sell through standard channels, such as those in need of renovation or with unique characteristics.

Auctions typically offer a quicker timeline, with the sale often completed within a matter of weeks and they often attract a unique buyer market of buyers who specialise in a particular type of property or in a particular type of market.

A property in the UK that is being sold at auction

However, the process can be more unpredictable, and sellers may need to accept a lower sale price than they would through a traditional sale.

There are two main types of auction methods used in the UK:

Unconditional auction: In this method, contracts are exchanged immediately, locking the buyer into the deal. The bidder then becomes the new owner of the property 28 days later.

Conditional auction: This is where contracts aren’t required to be exchanged straight away. After the auction, the buyer has 28 days to exchange contracts and a further 28 days before the property legally changes hands. This allows a buyer or seller an exit from the deal.

Cozee’s process of selling a house

In order to start the selling process when selling a house, you should begin by contacting us, where we will give you a free valuation of your property.

Want to begin the sales valuation process?

Look no further than signing up with Cozee who will do a house sale valuation for free

Valuation

The first step in Cozee’s process of selling a house is to conduct a thorough valuation of the property. This involves assessing the property’s condition, location, size, and unique features.

Cozee’s experienced property valuers use a combination of market data, local knowledge, and comparative analysis to determine an accurate and competitive asking price for the property.

Contract

Once the valuation is complete, Cozee will enter into a contract with the seller. This contract outlines the terms and conditions of the sale, including the agreed-upon asking price, the duration of the marketing period, and any specific requirements or preferences the seller may have.

A rental contract in the united kingdom

The contract ensures that both parties are clear on their obligations and expectations throughout the selling process.

AML Checks

In compliance with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations, Cozee conducts mandatory checks on the seller. This involves verifying the seller’s identity and ensuring that the source of funds for the property is legitimate.

These checks are a legal requirement and help to prevent fraud and illicit activities in the property market. Read more about the anti-money laundering regulations on the government website here.

Photographer and floor plan

To showcase the property in its best light, Cozee arranges for a professional photographer to capture high-quality images of the interior and exterior of the home.

An architectural plan that is made by a cozee property manager

Additionally, a detailed floor plan is created to provide potential buyers with a clear understanding of the property’s layout and dimensions. These visual assets are crucial for attracting interest from prospective buyers online and in print media.

EPC checks

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a legal requirement for properties being sold in the UK. Cozee arranges for an accredited energy assessor to evaluate the property’s energy efficiency and environmental impact.

The EPC provides buyers with information on the property’s energy costs and recommendations for improving its energy performance.

Calculate council tax

As part of the selling process, Cozee calculates the council tax band for the property. Council tax is a local tax that is payable on all residential properties in the UK.

The band is determined by the property’s value and location, and this information is provided to potential buyers to help them budget for the ongoing costs of owning the home.

Consider maintenance, lease duration and ground rent

When selling a property, it’s essential to consider factors such as maintenance requirements, lease duration, and ground rent in a property.

A man conducting property maintenance

Cozee work with trusted property maintenance and renovation experts to determine the necessary budget for any repairs or upgrades needed to make the property more attractive to potential buyers before selling. This may include decorating and homes staging.

Put the property on the market

Once the property is prepared for sale, Cozee will list it on the market. This involves creating a comprehensive listing with detailed descriptions, high-quality photos, and floor plans.

The property will be advertised on various online platforms, such as property portals and social media, as well as through traditional marketing methods like marketing the property to our existing clients through things like email.

Receive and negotiate offers

As potential buyers express interest in the property, Cozee will receive and manage offers on behalf of the seller. The offers will be presented to the seller, along with any conditions or contingencies attached to them.

A property on the market that has received an offer

Cozee will provide guidance and advice to the seller during the negotiation process, helping them to make informed decisions and achieve the best possible price for their property.

Communicate with the buyer and the seller once price is reached

When a price is agreed upon between the buyer and the seller, Cozee will facilitate communication between both parties to ensure a smooth transaction.

Making sure the buyer has an AML check 

Cozee will conduct Anti-Money Laundering (AML) checks on the buyer to verify their identity and the source of their funds. This is a legal requirement and helps to prevent fraudulent activities in the property market.

The seller has the right solicitor

Cozee will appoint the seller a qualified and experienced solicitor to handle the legal aspects of the sale. This includes drafting and reviewing contracts, transferring ownership, and managing the exchange of funds.

Searches and Enquiries

The buyer’s solicitor will conduct various searches and enquiries to gather information about the property and ensure there are no hidden issues or potential problems. This is something that those selling a property have to wait to happen. The things that will be check are below:

Get more information on the buyer’s searches and enquiries from our article on the buying a property
  • Local Authority Searches: These searches provide information on planning permissions, building regulations, and any enforcement actions related to the property.
  • Environmental Searches: These assess the risk of environmental hazards, such as contaminated land, flooding, or subsidence.
  • Water and Drainage Searches: These confirm that the property is connected to the mains water and sewerage systems and identify any associated costs.
  • Chancel Repair Liability Search: This search determines whether the property is liable for contributing to the maintenance of a local church.
  • Additional Enquiries: The buyer’s solicitor may raise further enquiries based on the findings of the searches or any specific concerns they have about the property.

Mortgage and contract exchange

If the buyer requires a mortgage to purchase the property, they will need to complete the mortgage application process and secure a formal offer from their lender too. This usually should be in place but the byer will follow the following steps:

  • Mortgage Application: The buyer submits a mortgage application to their chosen lender, providing details about their income, expenditure, and credit history.
  • Mortgage Valuation: The lender will conduct a valuation of the property to ensure that it is worth the amount being borrowed.
  • Mortgage Offer: If the lender is satisfied with the application and valuation, they will issue a formal mortgage offer to the buyer.
  • Contract Drafting: The seller’s solicitor will draft the contract of sale, which outlines the terms and conditions of the transaction.
  • Contract Review: The buyer’s solicitor will review the contract and negotiate any necessary amendments on behalf of the buyer.
  • Contract Exchange: Once both parties are satisfied with the contract, they will sign and exchange the contracts, making the sale legally binding.
  • Deposit Payment: At this stage, the buyer will typically pay a deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) to secure the property.

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