How To Sell A Property

When it comes to selling your home, it is easy to fall prey to unnecessary stress. It is not an easy job but it doesn’t need to be chaotic or stressful if you give yourself enough time considering all that has to be done.

As with anything that needs doing properly, the key is preparation and organisation. We have put together all the info you could possibly need when selling your home. It is easy to follow and contains all the info you need to make your move run smoothly.

How To Sell A House

Energy Performance Certificates

If you’re planning on selling your home, you must provide an energy performance certificate (EPC) to potential buyers. An EPC gives information on the energy efficiency of a property using ratings of A to G, A being the most energy efficient and G the least. The certificate must be produced by an accredited domestic energy assessor.

You and anyone acting on your behalf, such as your estate agent, must try to ensure that an EPC is available within 7 days of the property being put on the market.

Since 9th January 2013, all sales advertisements for properties must show the EPC rating. Trading Standards can issue a notice with a penalty charge of £200 per dwelling, where an EPC is not provided.

Where there is a Green Deal Plan on a property for which payments are still to be made, information about this must be included on the EPC.

A certificate is valid for ten years and can be used multiple times during this period.

How To Sell A House

Should I Use An Estate Agent?

If you wish to sell a home you should consider whether to use an estate agent. Before making a decision, consider costs and how much time you have available.

If you use an estate agent, there will be fees but they will take responsibility for the advertising, showing potential buyers round, and negotiating a price for the house.

If you wish to find a buyer yourself, it will be cheaper but you will need the time to make all these arrangements and deal with any problems. And consider how you would advertise your home to potential buyers.

Selling Your Home Via An Estate Agent

You might consider the following when choosing an estate agent:

  • Word Of Mouth
  • Check Credentials – Estate agents must be members of The Property Ombudsman or The Surveyors Ombudsman Scheme.

    Many will also be members of trade bodies. This means that they have to comply with a code of conduct This may indicate a higher level of professionalism. Trade bodies to look out for are:

    • Guild of Professional Estate Agents (GPEA)
    • National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA)
    • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)


  • Do Your Research – When selling a property, visit your shortlisted estate agents as a potential buyer. You will more often than not get a feeling for their professionalism and a general sense of whether you would be happy doing business with them.
  • Ask At Least 3 Agents To Value Your Home -You might be surprised at the variation in price and the credentials they base this valuation on. Do not necessarily be impressed most by the agent that values your property the highest. It is not a guarantee this is the most realistic asking price. You need an agent who is going to offer a realistic valuation, not one who is going to overvalue your property putting off potential buyers.
  • Compare Estate Agents in your area here.

Estate Agents’ Fees

Most estate agents calculate their fees as a percentage of the final selling price of the property. This can vary from less than 1% to 3.5%. This is known as the rate of commission. Ask them whether you have to pay extra or the following are included in this fee:
  • advertising costs
  • costs of preparing details of the house including photographs
  • a ‘for sale’ board
  • VAT
If you decide to use an estate agent to sell a property, the estate agent must confirm the charges and rate of commission that will be made. The estate agent must do this when they agree to act for you.

Types of Estate Agent Contracts

How Best To Sell A Property?

Sole Agency
If you use one estate agent for selling a property this is a ‘sole agency’ agreement; the agent has ‘sole selling rights’. A sole agency is still only using one agent, but if you find a buyer yourself you don’t have to pay commission to the estate agent. A sole agency agreement should be agreed for a specific period of time.
Joint Agency
This is when you appoint two estate agents to act together in selling the property. This is where the estate agents involved share the commission when the property is sold regardless of which estate agent actually finds the buyer. The commission is usually higher for this type of arrangement.
If you appoint more than two estate agents on a ‘multiple agency’ basis, only the estate agent who sells the property will be entitled to the commission. Again, the rate of commission is usually higher than for a sole agency.

Receiving An Offer On Your Property

You can sell a home to whoever you want. This need not be the buyer who offers the most money. You may wish to take into account whether the potential buyer:

  • is a first time buyer/cash buyer/without a chain
  • has found a buyer for their own property. If so, is it part of a chain and how long is the chain
  • is relying on getting a mortgage
  • wants to move at the same time as you

If you are using an estate agent, they will negotiate with the potential buyer about the price. They should try and obtain the best possible price for you. If you are acting alone, you must negotiate yourself. You do not have to accept the first offer put to you and should not be rushed into making a decision quickly.

Accepting the Offer

Even if you have accepted an offer, there is nothing in law to prevent you from changing your mind and accepting a higher offer from someone else.

When thinking about how best to sell a property, bear in mind that when an offer is made and accepted the potential buyer can also withdraw – for example, they may not get a mortgage, or the survey may show some structural problems.

If you are selling, it may be a good idea to keep the names and addresses of all potential buyers who make offers, in case the one you accept falls through.