All your frequently asked questions about moving house and renting out a property answered

Selling a house

Selling your house can be a complicated process, so to help guide you through the process we have compiled a list of useful FAQs to help make it easier for you.

What are the first steps to selling my house?

Before you begin it is important to budget for your move by working out your finances. Work out how much equity you have in your property and how much you can borrow. By arranging a free market appraisal with John German’s highly experienced Property Valuers you will be given advice on how much your property is likely to sell for, how much it will cost, and the steps involved during the sales process. To find out how much you can borrow, we partner with independent mortgage advisors, APR Money Limited to offer you fee free mortgage advice.

How do I choose an estate agent to sell my house?

Choosing an estate agent to sell your house is an important decision to make. Seek out an estate agent with an established reputation in your local area. Speak to family and friends for recommendations and carry out some initial research to see which agents are selling homes in your area.

Think about your contact with each agent. How did they make you feel? Did they listen and provide practical advice? Do they tick all the boxes for you? Checking out genuine customer reviews is also a good place to start, this will give you an indication of the level of service local agents provide.

Should I instruct with the estate agent who gives the highest valuation?

Not necessarily. You may get a range of suggested guide prices (with a high and a low one) it is usually the ones in the middle which are the most realistic and result in a sale at the best price in a reasonable time scale. It is always worth asking yourself “does the agent have my best interests at heart?” when deciding which agent to instruct.

How much do estate agents charge?

Estate agents typically charge a percentage of the overall price you sell at. Some agents charge a fixed fee which will be explained in detail during the market appraisal. As with all things in life, the cheapest fee is not always the best value particularly when it comes to selling such an important asset and going through such a complicated process.

To ensure you get the highest levels of support, John German charges a percentage fee based on the overall price of your property which you only pay when the property has been sold.

Do I need to do all the viewings?

Depending on the agent, many will include accompanied viewings so you won’t have to do them – or even be in at the time. Others may not offer this service or they may charge you extra to carry them out on your behalf. Here at John German, we are more than happy to carry out viewings as part of the service you will receive.

How do I decide on offers?

On average in the UK 1 in 3 property sales fall through, therefore making an informed decision is vital to increase your chances of a successful sale and the speed at which it progresses. Whilst considering the amount offered, it is also very important to consider the buyer’s position when deciding whether to accept the offer or not: are they in a chain? What is the position of others within the chain? Does the buyer have a mortgage offer in place? Are they a cash buyer and do they have proof of funds? Your ideal buyer is someone who is in a good position and motivated to proceed, thus limiting the chances of the sale falling through. We will guide you on this very important decision by providing reasoned recommendations based on our understanding of each case scenario. The expertise our staff have in ‘qualifying’ buyers and assisting with sales progression, means John German’s average of sales successfully completing is much higher in comparison to the industry norm, with 78% of all property sales completing compared to the industry average of just 65% (based on 2018 figures).

Do I pay a fee if the property doesn’t sell?

Whilst some agents charge a fee regardless of whether your property sells or not, at John German we will not charge you a penny until your property has sold. The fee you pay is based on a percentage of the sale price. This NO SALE NO FEE service means that you can be confident we are motivated to get you the best price possible in the shortest time frame possible, otherwise we won’t get paid! Last year (2021) we achieved on average 98.5% of asking price for our customers.

Are there any additional costs?

When it comes to the costs of selling a house, once you’ve agreed on the fee with your estate agent there should be no extra costs upfront. Some of our customers choose enhanced marketing efforts to sell their house and we are happy to arrange additional services including home staging, professional photography and 3D tours, at an extra cost (non-refundable).

It is also worth noting any property marketed for sale is required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). We can arrange for an inspection to be carried out and issue an EPC for you at an additional cost, alternatively, you can make separate arrangements. We are also happy to check if there is an existing EPC for the property already (EPCs are usually valid for 10 years from the date it was carried out).

Can you recommend a solicitor/conveyancer for my house sale?

Yes we can! John German have access to a market place of trusted, registered and insured solicitors. Please speak to your local branch for our recommendations.

How long does a sale take to complete?

The time it takes for a house sale to complete depends on a number of factors including the length of the chain and position of those involved in the chain. The current national average for a house sale to completion is 22 weeks. By working closely with your conveyancers/solicitors and offering expert guidance throughout the sale, our sales progression team have reduced the average time scale of 22 weeks to a John German average of 16 weeks.

What do I have to leave at the property?

Basically, anything that is a fixture is included in the sale such as integrated appliances and fully fitted wardrobes, whereas loose fittings such as curtains, light fittings and freestanding appliances can be removed or left subject to the negotiations. Again, your trained John German negotiator will advise on this.

When do I have to move out?

Your conveyancer alongside John German will advise on this. In legal terms, the sale will exchange contracts first with completion to follow which is the final moving day and is agreed in advance between the seller and the buyer based on their conveyancer’s advice.