Is Your House Ready to be Sold?: House Selling Checklist

31 May 2021

Taking the time to assess whether your house is ready to be sold can be very beneficial in gaining a quicker sale and even a potential higher sale price. After making your assessment, there are plenty steps to take to ensure your property is definitely ready to be purchased by someone new.

What You Need to Know Before Selling Your House

Before you sell your property, there are a number of steps you need to take and things you need to know.

You should: 

  • Assess your finances and think about if you can definitely afford to sell and move.
  • Research your local property market and speak to your local agent to decide if it’s the right time for you to sell.
  • Get your property valued by an estate agent
  • Decide on an asking price that works for you
  • Instruct your chosen estate agent
  • Make sure all your paperwork is in order
  • Instruct a conveyancing solicitor

What Paperwork is Required to Sell a Home?

Getting all your paperwork in order can be very beneficial if you’re looking for to sell your property quickly.

Here is all the documents you need to have when selling your home:

  • Identification – passport or driving licence
  • A copy of your property’s title deeds (if your home hasn’t been sold since 1986, you will need to find these as the Land Registry may not have a copy)
  • A copy of your lease if the property is leasehold
  • A valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC- information on EPC’s are in previous article)
  • A valid Home Report if you are selling in Scotland
  • A management/freeholder information pack if your property is leasehold
  • A completed TA10 fitting and contents form
  • A completed TA6 property information form


What Fees Need to be Paid When Selling a House?

Even though many of the larger costs associated with a property transaction are linked to the buyer, there are some costs you will need to factor in when getting ready to sell your home.

These include:

  • Estate agent commission
  • Solicitor fees
  • Conveyancing fees
  • Removal costs

Other potential costs when selling your home may include:

  • The cost of work you may need to undertake when preparing to sell your home
  • Mortgage exit or early repayment fees
  • Capital gains tax – if you have previously let out your house
  • A Home Report if you are selling in Scotland
  • Cost of a new Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

An Ultimate Checklist For Getting Your House Ready for Sale

If you want your property to match up to the competition, there are steps to ensure it is presented in the best way possible.

Here are eight simple steps you can take to make sure your property stands out to buyers:

  • Boost your kerb appeal
  • Declutter your home 
  • Depersonalise your property
  • Use your rooms as they are intended
  • Give your décor a lift
  • Clean your home so it is sparkling
  • Remove any lingering odours
  • Spruce your garden up


How to Boost Your Kerb Appeal

Before viewings you should:

  • Wipe and clean windowpanes and frames
  • Mow front lawns and trim hedging
  • Wash pathways
  • Hide bins away
  • Remove moss and weeds from paths or driveways
  • Refresh your gravelled areas with new material
  • Paint your front door if it needs freshening up
  • Decluttering Your Space

Store away, throw out, sell or give away anything you may no longer need, these items could include:

  • Toys
  • Shoes
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Bathroom products
  • Unused Furniture 

Basically anything you don’t use that is gathering dust!

Clearing clutter from your house is also a must before estate agents take marketing photos of your property.

Depersonalise Your Property (But Not Too Much)

It has been said that buyers find it difficult to see past dozens of family pictures when viewing a home they may buy. However, buyers do appreciate viewing a home that has been loved rather than cold with no personality. It is important to try and strike a balance, leave some personal items such as the odd family photo or children’s drawing. A couple of well-chosen items can show you care about the home you are trying to sell and have enjoyed your time there. 

Use Your Rooms As They Are Intended

At home working has become more and more necessary due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, because of this many of us are converting areas of the house into office or desk space. Before you put your property on the market it is important to think about what kind of buyers you’re looking to attract and how your property will work for them.

It is advised that if you are using a bedroom as an office for now, you should convert it back into a sleeping space before viewings begin. This is so buyers can envision how the space looks with furniture.

Giving Your Décor a Lift

Keep in mind that bright coloured and loud wallpaper can distract buyers, even though it may give your property some personality. Traditional advice would suggest painting walls white or magnolia to create the appearance of more space, it also lets buyers visualise what they can do with the space. However, it does no harm leaving some colour and personality within your home ahead of viewings. 

Clean Your Home So It Is Sparkling 

A non-negotiable element to preparing your property for selling is cleanliness. Your home should be sparkling clean ahead of viewings, if not, buyers may begin to assume the house is uncared for and will question what else has been left to deteriorate.

Bringing in a professional cleaning company can be extremely beneficial before selling your home as they will deep clean your property. Professional cleaners also may have the appropriate equipment to give your home a ‘breathe of fresh air’. 

Remove Any Lingering Odours

Even if you cannot smell odours in your home, it is extremely likely buyers can. Pets, smoking and cooking certain foods can cause lingering odours in your home that buyers may find unpleasant. Ahead of viewings, open up plenty of your windows to let fresh air flow through your home, also place fragrance devices in rooms where smells are an issue.

Spruce Your Garden Up

Make sure to give your garden some TLC ahead of viewings, trim overgrown hedges or plants and mow and feed your lawn. Along with this, jet wash paths, pathways and driveways. 

Outdoor space has never been higher on buyers priority lists, so presenting yours to buyers as useable, relaxing and tidy can really make a big difference when selling your home.

What Work Can I Do To my Home Before Selling?

It is important to think carefully about taking on major work before putting your house on the market. It may be tempting to undergo huge renovations in a bid to add value, however, you could end up spending more than you receive back through your sale.

Instead of taking on a large amount of work, focus on problems your property may have – especially those that could come up in a buyer’s survey report.

These could include:

  • Updating your property’s electrics
  • Fixing a leaky roof
  • Replacing or repairing guttering and downpipes
  • Repairing or levelling floors
  • Updating your homes plumbing and/or heating system
  • Putting security measure in place such as alarms or security lights

How Much Should I Spend While Preparing My House For Sale?

You should attempt to prepare your property for sale without spending a small fortune. Repairing and replacing smaller elements such as tiles should not cost more than a few hundred pounds. Along with this, updating your property’s décor with a fresh coat of paint should not cost too much.


If more major work is required such as roof repairs or replacement, think about whether it is worth spending thousands of pounds or whether it is a better option to accept a slightly lower offer from a buyer in return for them taking on the work.


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