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Guide to Selling Your First Home

New to the world of selling property? Here's our advice and everything you need to know for selling your first home

If you’re new to selling a house or flat, here’s our brief guide to the whole process of marketing your home – along with our top tips for making the house-selling experience a success.

You might like to start by reading our advice on how to set your asking price.

How to sell your house

1. Presentation matters

The photographs we take of your home are the most important asset in selling your property. They will be the first 'viewing' that anyone has of your home. Make sure your home is tidy and looking at its best when our professional photographer visits. Tell them which elements of your home you would like to feature prominently in the sales brochure. By combining your knowledge of the property with the photographer’s artistic eye, you will achieve the best results.

2. Managing your viewings

We will be happy to accompany you on home viewings, to guide your prospective buyers around the property. But if you prefer to show people around yourself, here are our top tips:

- Clean and tidy up

Ensure that your home is clean. Kitchens and bathrooms are key areas. Ensure you have vacuumed and the place looks, smells and feels clean. Your home also needs to be tidy and de-cluttered.

- Know who you are meeting

We collect information about any potential buyers, so find out from your negotiator how long your viewers have been looking, how quickly they want to move and why they are moving. This will help you to highlight features of your property and location that are likely to appeal to them.

- Make them feel welcome

When the viewers arrive, feel free to offer them a drink. People like to buy from people who are like them, so try to find areas of common ground.

- Have information to hand

If your property has had structural movement and been underpinned, have the paperwork ready to show that the issue has been resolved. If it has had problems with a flat roof which have been remedied, show proof of the works. You may also want to give buyers information about when boilers were last serviced or electrical works completed. It’s also a good idea to have copies of our brochure ready to give out if they’ve only seen the property online.

- The walk-round

If you are a couple, only one of you should show the viewers around the property. We advise that you show each room in turn, starting downstairs then moving upstairs and finally outside. After you have shown them round the first time, ask if they would like to go around on their own – assuming you’re happy with this. Many people don’t like to be crowded by a seller and, by looking round without you watching, they’ll be able to debate the merits of your home openly.

- Timing

As a rule, the longer someone takes to look around, the more interested they are. The average viewing time is around 15-20 minutes, but some people like to spend longer.

- Listen to the feedback

We will seek feedback from viewers and send it to you within 48 hours. It’s important to listen to feedback as it may highlight areas that you can easily improve before the next viewing.

3. Managing your expectations

How long will it take to sell your house? That’s the question everyone wants answered. You can use our Property Launch calculator to find out how many days on average it takes to agree a sale. This shows how quickly houses have sold with and without Property Launch, and how close we got to the asking price.

4. Offer negotiation

On average, we find it takes two offers to sell one house. Early offers are, in general, higher than later offers. Our research shows that the longer a property has been on the market, the lower the offers are, because buyers believe that if it was worth the asking price, someone else would have paid it.

Every negotiation is different. However, we would reject almost every first offer (unless it's your asking price) because even if the buyer refuses to increase, you can still accept the original offer.

5. Sales progression

This is the process you go through after accepting an offer. We have dedicated client care managers whose sole responsibility is to help guide your house sale through to exchange of contracts. About one in four property sales does not make it through, so effective progression and advice is important. Ultimately, your solicitor is responsible for exchanging contracts and your mortgage lender is responsible for approving the mortgage on your sale, but we will keep in touch with all parties to help move the process along.