First-time sellers: what you need to know

by Housesimple on 15th March 2017

There's a first time for everything, especially when you're new to the property ladder. Buying your first home comes with its own list of novel tasks and experiences that can prove a bit confusing, but what happens when you're looking to move on once again? First-time sellers find themselves back at that familiar negotiating table, but this time on the other side of proceedings. 


If you're starting the process of selling a house for the first time, here's a short guide to what to expect on the other side of the paperwork.


Whether you buy or sell first will depend on your circumstances. Selling first is a good plan if you want to be in a strong negotiating position. However, if you have something special in mind for your next home, it might be wise to hold off selling until you have something lined up.


Not to state the obvious, but your house value isn’t set in stone. When thinking about how to sell your house, look at similar properties on the market to get a realistic idea of what it’s worth. Our house price map can help with this, then seek professional advice. Consumer organisation Which? recommends using at least three agents to reach an accurate property valuation.


Getting valuations from an agent doesn’t commit you to selling with them. You can still opt to sell with another agent, an auction house or online platforms like us at Consider the pros and cons carefully before picking the right path for you.

The mortgage

You should notify your mortgage lender when you decide to sell, so they can provide you with a statement that clarifies your outstanding payments and any redemption charges. You won’t be required to stay with them if you need a mortgage at your new home. However, they'll be able to give you an idea of how much you can borrow and the kinds of deals you’re eligible for.


You’ll need an Energy Performance Certificate in order to sell, which can be written up by any accredited assessor. You'll also need a conveyancing solicitor to handle the contracts and money transfer. They’ll ask you to fill out several detailed questionnaires, which will provide important information about your property.


An offer isn’t legally binding until the contracts are exchanged, but that doesn’t mean they need to be rushed. You can pre-agree exchange and moving dates to reassure any nervous buyers. Then take as much time as you need to make sure your contract is clear about what fixtures and fittings are included in the sale. This will help avoid any nasty disputes later on.

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