It’s a question we hear time and time again from sellers, “What do I have to leave when I sell my house?”
When selling your property, it can be challenging trying to decide what you should and should not leave behind for the new owner. There are no laws that outline what you need to leave or take with you. However, a buyer might be upset if they are unaware of what you are planning to take or leave.
It’s helpful to consider what you would expect to be left by the former owners when you purchase a property. Think about which fixtures and fittings you actually need when you move out. Put everything in writing, and confirm agreement with the buyer - and keep in mind that the house must be empty by completion day! If you’re still unsure on what to leave when you sell your house, read on for our advice.
Use a fixtures and fittings inventory
To avoid confusion and disputes, an inventory explaining what specifically is included in the sale price and what you intend to take can be extremely helpful. And this is best completed and agreed on early on in the sale process. Without an inventory, many will assume that fixtures will be left in the house, while fittings will be removed – unless stated otherwise. Fixtures are considered to be any items that are permanently fixed to a property’s structure and have become part of the building. This includes kitchen and bathroom suites, built-in cupboards and wardrobes, light fittings, plugs, central heating boilers and radiators.Fittings are items that are free standing or hung by a hook or nail. This includes carpets, lampshades, free standing fridges, ovens and washing machines, curtains and curtain rails and beds, sofas and other free standing furniture. Try to negotiate with the buyer if there are certain items you would prefer to leave or take with you.
How to sell your property
Selling your property can seem daunting at first, but a professional estate agent can help you along the way. Here’s what you need to know about the selling process.
Before putting your home on the market
To start the process of selling your property, it’s advised to get an estimate of how much your home is worth. You can receive an instant valuation with our online property valuation tool. Once you have an idea of your property’s value, you can then estimate how much money you will have left once you pay off the mortgage.
Next, you’ll need to choose an estate agent as only verified agents have the ability to advertise properties on Rightmove and Zoopla. Estate agents can save you time, help you maximise the sale price of your property and provide market expertise and local knowledge.
At Portico we not only help sellers advertise and market their property but we can also help present it in a way to generate as much interest as possible through home staging.
When preparing to put your house on the market, there are a few things to take care of first. It’s a legal requirement to have an Energy Performance Certificate that can be shown to prospective buyers if requested. As a result of this, you’ll need to have at least applied for this before putting your house on the market.
Then, you need to prepare your house for viewings. Home staging or interior styling is an important part of selling a property to help attract the interest of as many prospective buyers as possible and to achieve the most out of your home. This is included within our Concierge sales package, which you can find out more about here.
Related: What Does Under Offer Mean? A Glossary Of Buying And Selling Terms
Accepting an offer and getting the legal work taken care of
If you are using an estate agent, they will be able to take care of arranging a conveyancer or solicitor who will take care of the legal work involved in selling your home. Once you receive an offer you’re happy with, formally accept it. Then, the draft contract needs to be negotiated, including what fixtures and fittings will be included, the amount of time between exchange and completion and any discounts because of problems that come up in a survey.
Once contracts are exchanged, you and the buyer become legally bound to the sale. You’ll then need to move out and complete the sale, which is when the property officially changes ownership and the keys are handed over.
The best time to sell a house
The less time your house is on the market, the better the price you’re likely to get. Spring has traditionally been considered the best time to sell a house; March is the best month to put your house on the market if you’re looking to sell quickly, according to analysis of Rightmove data by The Advisory.
To get the best possible price for your property, it’s ideal to put your home on the market when there are high levels of demand and low levels of supply.
How long does it take to sell a house?
The average UK property takes 114 days to sell, according to the Rate of Sale Report released by Post Office Money Mortgages. This varies depending on the location, type of property, what time of year it is and supply and demand. Accelerate Homes recently reported that property in Greater London takes the longest to sell at up to 16 weeks.
In England, the property market was on lockdown for six and a half weeks due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
During that period, which coincided with the best time of year to sell property, viewings and house moves were not allowed. Because of this, it has taken properties longer to sell than normal. However, the market is opening back up with property viewings and house moves allowed again as long as social distancing measures are adhered to.
Since the reopening of the property market, demand is on the up. Property portal Rightmove even had its busiest day on record on 27 May with a whopping six million visits to the site. We predict that the sector will continue to gain momentum, with an increasing number of people needing to move for work or wanting a change of scenery after having to stay home during the lockdown. Increasing demand could boost property values - especially for houses with home offices and large gardens.
We can help you sell quickly for the best price
At Portico, we can help you sell your home quickly and for the maximum amount possible. As bare, unfurnished properties usually take longer to sell, home staging or interior styling helps show a property in the best possible light, increase the number of viewings and maximise the price achieved. We can fill your home with appealing furniture and ensure the property is uncluttered yet stylish before professional photographs are taken and put online. This can help potential buyers envisage themselves settling in and can make the property appeal to the maximum number of potential buyers.
At Portico, we offer home staging services as part of our 2% Concierge package, which also includes free property maintenance to get your property in tip top condition and advertising on the top property portals.
If you’d like to hear more about the estate agent services we provide or get an instant valuation on your property, give us a call on 0207 099 4000.