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Frequently asked questions about selling

I have a property to sell. What do I do first?
First of all you need to receive a valuation to find out how much your home is worth. We recommend asking at least three different estate agents to value your home. Ask them about the services they offer, the current state of the local market, and the purchase price you can hope you achieve. Make and plan and how this sits with your priorities and timescales. For more help, view our Sellers guide.
How much will it cost to sell my property?
There are three main costs involved in selling a property: Estate Agent Fees Commission fees become payable once your estate agent sells your property and contracts are signed. This is charged as a percentage of the sale price. Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) It is a legal requirement to have commissioned an EPC before marketing can start. Elite Estates can organise this legally required document on your behalf at a cost of £95.00 + VAT Conveyancing ‘Conveyancing’ means the legal transfer of your property to the buyer, and you will need to employ a solicitor to make this happen. Prices will vary depending on your circumstances. You may also decide to pay for extras such as professional photography or advanced web positioning. And don’t forget about removals. Ask us to outline all these costs at the start of your sale so that you can budget your move.
How long will it take to complete my purchase?
Every purchase is different, and your position and the seller’s position needs to be taken into consideration before this question can be answered accurately. If the seller has already vacated the property and you have already secured a mortgage, exchange of contracts and completion can happen relatively quickly. However, if you need a mortgage and the seller is still in the property, the exchange of contracts normally takes between 4 and 6 weeks, the completion takes between 2 and 4 weeks. So in total you should expect up to 10 weeks to complete the purchase. Please note that in Scotland conclusion of missives normally takes between 6 and 8 weeks.
Do I need to conduct viewings?
Your estate agent should accompany all viewings during their opening hours. However, in some circumstances they may ask you to conduct the occasional viewing. It is advisable to choose an estate agent who offers longer opening hours to maximise viewing potential and minimise the number of viewings you have to conduct yourself.
Will there be more viewings once I’ve accepted an offer?
This partly depends on the conditions of the offer. Remember, neither the buyer or the seller is bound to the purchase or sale until the contracts are signed and exchanged, so it’s worth keeping your options open.
How long will it take to complete my sale?
Every sale is different. Both your position and the buyer’s position needs to be taken into account before this question can be answered accurately. If your home has been realistically valued, you should expect to receive offers within the first four weeks. Then, assuming your buyer has to apply for their mortgage, the exchange of contracts normally takes between 4 and 6 weeks and then completion is between 2 and 4 weeks later. So in total you should expect 12-14 weeks to complete the sale.
Do I need an EPC?
In England, all sellers are required to purchase an EPC for a property before they sell it. Estate agents must display the EPC rating whenever they market the property.
Do I have to pay Stamp Duty?
No. The buyer is responsible for paying Stamp Duty.
Will my property be surveyed?
You do not need to arrange a survey, but it is likely that the buyer will, and so a surveyor will arrange an appointment to visit you home. The five key things a surveyor will be looking for are problems with utilities, damp, cracking, problems with roofs, and timber defects. In addition, your buyer’s mortgage lender will organise a mortgage valuation to confirm that the property is worth the money being lent.
What are searches?
As part of the conveyancing process, your buyer’s solicitor will perform searches of Land Registry and Local Authority information in relation to your home. They will be checking for planning history, and any potential developments around roads, drainage and mining near the property.
Are there any additional marketing costs?
Some estate agents include all marketing expenses within their commission fee but it is worth checking this before you instruct an estate agent, as some may charge an upfront additional fee for extra advertising packages, brochures etc.
When do I sign the contract?
Once the sale has been agreed, your solicitor will draft a contract. The seller’s solicitor will confirm the details of the property and perform searches. At the same time, the buyer’s mortgage lender will conduct a mortgage valuation and send a mortgage offer to the buyer. When all of this is complete, you will be ready to sign the contract and agree the completion date.
When is the buyer or seller bound to the sale or purchase?
The seller or the buyer can pull out of the sale at any time and for any reason until the point that both solicitors have receive signed contracts from both parties.
How is a completion date chosen?
When both contracts have been signed, the buyer’s solicitor will request the mortgage from the buyer’s lender. Once these funds are released, then your solicitor and the buyer’s solicitor will consult both parties and agree a completion date.
Where are my title deeds?
Your title deeds give proof of ownership of the property and will need to be transferred to the buyer as part of the conveyancing process. These are usually held by your mortgage lender, and it will be your solicitor’s responsibility to obtain these.
Do I need to redecorate before I put my property on the market?
It is not essential to redecorate your property before placing it on the market, however, if an area is in need of a lick of paint this will appeal to potential buyers. Tips and guidance on presenting your property. Things that will boost the value of your home.
When do I have to move out?
The contract will specify the completion day, and usually the buyer will be asked to collect the keys to their new home from the estate agent. In most cases the seller is asked to vacate the property by 12pm.
Do I have to pay Capital Gains Tax?
In most cases your are only required to pay Capital Gains Tax if the property is not your main home.

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As a leading Estate Agent in the Durham market for over 12 years we have a wealth of knowledge. Whether you’re looking to buy, sell, rent or anything in between, we offer a range of services and understand that all of our clients are unique and therefore tailor our services to suit you.

A guide to selling property

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