Your guide to selling a property in Leytonstone – or anywhere in the UK!

Whether this is the first time you’ve faced the house sale process or you just need a little reminder of the steps to selling a house, our estate agents have put together a brief sellers’ guide to help you understand the key stages of the process and get the best price possible for your property.

The first steps to selling a house come before going to market

So you’ve decided to sell up and move on – but before you put your property on the market there are a few initial steps that will help you to sail through a sale!

As estate agents, we’ve helped many homeowners sell property in Leytonstone and the East London area in general, but however ready they are to sell, we always advise that vendors take care of the following key activities first:

  • Research local estate agents – every estate agent should provide a great service as standard but as with any industry, service levels will vary. Make sure you do some research and speak to a few different estate agents before you decide who to sell with. Make sure they’re willing to listen to you, offer honest advice, communicate well and have a genuine understanding of the local property market.
  • Get an EPC – if you’re selling a house in England or Wales, you’re legally required to have an EPC (energy performance certificate) and to include the energy efficiency rating in your sales listings. Any ‘small wins’ in terms of quick/affordable recommended improvements should be implemented prior to marketing the property if you’re able to do so.
  • Prepare your property for potential buyers – you know all those little DIY jobs you keep putting off? Well now’s the time to get out the toolbox and decorating gear to ensure your property looks like an enticing prospect. While you’ll obviously need to clean and tidy before each viewing, before marketing your property you need to look at it from a buyer’s point of view. Make sure your house looks well presented from both the inside and outside, including a lick of fresh paint where needed, mowed lawns, minor repairs where required and de-clutter your distracting junk – a great opportunity to get rid of anything you’re not planning on taking to your new home! We’re full of ideas on how to get your property looking perfect ready for market, and are always happy to offer advice.

10 key steps to selling a house

So you’ve chosen a reputable and experienced local estate agent, you’ve got your EPC sorted and the property has been primped and preened ready for marketing and viewings. What’s next?

Here are the key stages of selling a house.

  • Market appraisal and property valuation – armed with their local market knowledge, your estate agent will talk you through the current market conditions and conduct a valuation for a recommended sale price accordingly. In a busy marketplace they may suggest a slightly higher price than other similar properties if there’s evidence to support this, while in slower market conditions they may recommend a slightly lower price to generate interest (which could end up in a higher-than-asking-price offer due to more interest from buyers). There are many different strategies to deploy and our expert estate agents will find the best one for you and your home.
  • Marketing – the key to selling a house is effective marketing and exposure. If you live in an area with high levels of pedestrians or traffic, you may decide to place a ‘For Sale’ sign outside your property. To give you an idea of what your estate agent should be doing to market your home, some of our methods include advertising properties on our website and all major online property portals such as Rightmove, Zoopla, Primelocation and OnTheMarket plus:
  • Professional photography
  • Video tours & floorplan
  • Touchscreen property displays at London Park Lane location
  • Social media marketing plus our fortnightly e-zine
  • Email campaigns
  • Direct marketing to suitable pre-qualified buyers
  • Appoint a solicitor/conveyancer – as soon as your house is live on the market, it’s time to choose who will help with the legalities of the sale. By engaging with a conveyancer at this stage, you get a head-start on filling in the necessary paperwork and collating the information you need to do so. It will really help things to move faster when you find a buyer.
  • Viewings – as soon as somebody expresses an interest in your property, your estate agent will arrange a viewing (you can usually choose whether you do these or leave them to your agent, but we always recommend leaving it to us and, if possible, stepping out so the prospective buyer feels more relaxed).  
  • Receiving an offer – depending on the approach, strategy and marketing conditions, you should soon receive an offer from one or more buyers. If you’ve held an open house viewing event, you may get several at once. Remember that most buyers won’t offer you their top-budget price in the first instance, so discuss overall interest and the amount offered with your estate agent. You can go back with a counter-offer or you can reject the offer and wait for the buyer to (hopefully) come back with a higher price. As always, an experienced agent will advise when to make a deal.
  • Buyer position considerations – any offers you receive also come with other considerations aside from just their offer. If they have their own property to sell, you need to find out where they are in their own process. A first time buyer will likely be able to get things moving and complete the transaction much more efficiently which is worth bearing in mind if you have your own timescale requirements e.g. your ongoing purchase, school term times etc. You also need to know if they’re a cash buyer or require a mortgage, and if you have more than one offer on the table, consider each party’s initial offer/approach in order to ascertain whether they’re a genuine buyer, or likely to be a bit of a pain as the process moves forward, asking for reductions and other extras not previously mentioned.
  • Sale agreed – once a price has been fixed and a sale agreed, your estate agent will put together a ‘memorandum of sale’ document and will start working with both party’s conveyancers to start the legal side of things. Lots will be going on behind the scenes at this stage, such as title deed requests, local searches, a buyer’s survey/valuation and the preparation of a draft contract.
  • Exchange of contracts – once all the groundwork has been done, we get to the exciting stage of ‘exchange of contracts’ – a legal commitment between the buyer and seller to complete the sale and the point from which any deposit will be forfeited by any party deciding to back out. The deposit is paid upon the signing of the contracts, and you’ll discuss and agree a mutually acceptable moving day (usually between 1 and 4 weeks from exchange).
  • Plan your move – it’s time for action! This is the time to start packing, finalise the booking of a removals company (or a van and some willing friends!), get your change of address sorted with all relevant companies and service providers, contact providers for your next home and ensure you’re ready to move out by the day of completion.
  • Completion – this is the point where the buyer’s conveyancer sends the funds over to yours, and the keys are released to the new owner of your property. That’s it – your house is sold and it’s time for a fresh start!

Why choose us for your house selling journey?

If you’re selling a house in Leytonstone or the East London area, the team at Trading Places are here to help – and without blowing our own trumpets, we think we have a bit of an edge over other local estate agents. Here’s why...

  • Husband and wife team with 50 years of combined experience in buying, selling and renting property.
  • Genuine locals – we live in and LOVE Leytonstone, we play an active part in the local community and can give you genuine, firsthand insight into neighbourhoods, amenities, things to do and, of course, rental properties!
  • We’re supported by a team of local expert letting agents and office staff who also happen to be our family and friends – and they all share our strong values and dedication to providing the best possible service every time.

We have many accreditations and professional memberships under our belts:

  • The Guild’s member for E11
  • The Property Ombudsman
  • Propertymark ARLA
  • Propertymark NAEA
  • Safeagent

We’re also award winners! Over the years we’ve been the proud recipients of accolades from:

  • The Best Estate Agents Guide
  • AllAgents
  • The British Property Awards
  • Three Best Rated Agent
  • Tracker (no longer operating)

We’re always here to act as your guide to selling a property and to offer any advice you require – just get in touch and we’ll be delighted to help!