Selling your most valuable asset can seem really daunting and you need to be sure that the agent you choose will do their best to achieve you the best possible sale price for your property and be on hand to give you advice and guide you through the process from start to finish. We hope the guides below will assist you, but if not please feel free to contact us.

Be it your first studio flat or a step up the ladder to a four bedroom detached house, buying a home can be an exciting but often stressful time. This guide has been put together by Rice Chamberlains to give you the information to help reduce the stress and make moving home a more enjoyable process.

Working out what you can afford

The first thing to look at is how much you can afford to borrow. This will give you an indication of what type of property and price range you can look at. For help and information with mortgages an Independent Mortgage Advisor is the best option. They have a wider range of products which they can look at, with a variance in fees and fixed rate % schemes. If you have an existing mortgage it’s always advisable to get a quote from an Independent Mortgage Advisor as they may be able to offer you a better rate or an option to take the mortgage with you to your new home. Take care to find out any upfront costs for arranging the mortgage. Once you have found the best deal that suits you, ensure that you receive a copy of your agreement in principle (or AIP) which confirms you have been approved to borrow a certain amount of money. This is important as it will be required when you make an offer on a property. There are several other costs to consider: Survey costs, Stamp Duty, Land Registry fees, Environmental searches, Removal fees etc. Many of these costs will be paid through your Solicitors or Conveyancing Company. Get a few direct quotes with a breakdown of all the costs from a number of Solicitors or Conveyancing Companies at the point of purchasing your new home.

Looking for your new home

This is the exciting part, now you have your budget you can go and find a new home! Have a look on websites such as Rightmove and see what sort of property is available in your price range. Think about location, what are your main requirements for the property and discuss areas you could compromise on. Register your details along with your search requirements with the Local Agents in the area. This will prompt new property details to be sent directly to you for viewing. It is important to do this as many of the best properties will sell before you even see them advertised.

Making an offer

Once you have found the house you like, contact the Estate Agent and make an offer. Have your agreement in principle ready as they will need to see this before they put the offer forward to the Seller. Equally if you are a cash buyer, they would require proof of funds in the form of a statement. Make the Agent aware of your circumstances so the offer is put forward in the best light. For example, if you are in rented accommodation your offer would be chain free and also tell them how fast you can move. Don’t forget to find out what is included in the sale and use this as part of your negotiations e.g. curtains, carpets, appliances, fixtures and fittings.


Once your offer has been accepted you must advise your Mortgage Company or Lender of the deal and arrange for a survey to be carried out. There are 3 types of surveys: The first is the cheapest option and the most basic which is a Mortgage Valuation survey. It just confirms that the price you’ve paid for the property is consistent with the current market value in the area. This then enables the Mortgage Lender to agree to the funding of the money against your property.

The second is a Homebuyer’s survey, it will check the property for anything that may be at fault or look suspicious and jeopardise the value or integrity of the house. This is fairly thorough and is probably the most popular. The third and most expensive is a full Structural survey; this covers the entire property and checks the structural integrity in depth, as well as the recommended fixes for any problems or faults which have come to light. If you are buying a property that is particularly old or in need of repair or restoration this may be necessary.
But for most houses that are built from the 1900’s onwards a Homebuyer’s survey should cover everything you need.

Choosing a Solicitor

Check that your Mortgage Lender doesn’t require you to use their panel of Solicitors. If not then your Mortgage Broker or Estate Agent will be able to advise or offer help with this, but equally speak to family and friends in order to find out who they have used or can recommend. Don’t always go for the cheapest and speak to them first, pick someone you consider to be trustworthy and finally give their contact details to the Estate Agent when you are ready.

Exchange of Contracts

There will be a number of legalities to go through before exchange of contracts takes place, the process usually takes about 6 weeks. At the point of exchange a date for completion or moving day needs to be arranged, this has to be agreed throughout the chain. The deposit funds will be transferred when you exchange which means you are now in a much more secure position for buying your home. Until this point try not to get too committed about your purchase as any number of things can affect the purchase or sale of a house.

Completion of Purchase

Make sure you have arranged to have everything connected in the new home like the TV, internet, etc and your home insurance should now be in place. The rest of the funds for the purchase of the property will be transferred on this day. The money needs to be received by the party you’re purchasing from before the keys can be released to you. It can take a few hours so be prepared to wait around. When it has completed call your Estate Agent to check where to pick up the keys.

Moving in

Congratulations! You have now bought your home. Ensure you’ve got your Removal Company or friends ready in order to help you make the move. Check the meter readings when you arrive and have your essentials packed in a box so they’re to hand, like kettles, coffee and tea bags to sustain your army of movers.

We have made the decision to sell, what do we do next?

Choose an agent

Top 5 questions you should ask yourself when choosing your Estate Agent.

Q1. Should I carry out research?

  • Take time to research Estate Agents in your area, look for reviews on their websites and seek feedback from past customers.
  • Monitor which Agents are selling properties locally. You can do this by looking on property websites, driving around your area and talking to friends, family members and neighbours.
  • Before they visit, think about what type of services you want from an Agent particularly any extras, such as professional photography.
  • Select the best two or three Agents as this gives you a good spread of views, invite each to inspect your house and give you a valuation of the property. Now you will be able to make an informed decision on which one is the most suitable to sell your house.

During their inspection ask them the following questions:

  • How many similar properties have they sold recently?
  • At what price?
  • How many viewings and how long did it take to sell the properties?
  • How many buyers are currently looking for properties like yours?
  • Are they a member of the Property Ombudsman? All Estate Agents must belong to an approved redress schemes.
  • What price would they market your property for?
  • What price would they expect you to achieve?
  • What price would they consider if you were looking for a ‘quick sale’?
  • Who will do the viewings?
  • Can you have a copy of the Agency's contract?
  • Will they organise the Energy Performance Certificate and what is the cost?
  • How and where will they promote your property?
  • Which property websites do they advertise on?
  • What are their charges and at what stage do you have to pay?
  • Are there any up-front fees? Or costs if you decide to withdraw your property?
  • When the deal is agreed will they progress the sale liaising with the Solicitors and keep you regularly updated on the progress?

Q2. What will I get for my fees?

  • Typically, people rely on two main criteria when deciding to instruct an Estate Agent. They will pick the one which either charges the lowest commission rate or offers the highest sale price.
  • Instruct the Agent who inspires you with confidence by showing trust and integrity; they will have the same effect on the potential buyers of your home.
  • The question to consider is will you get less if you pay less?
  • How hard will they try to make a sale?
  • How good do you think they will be at negotiating offers on your behalf?

Q3. What will happen if my property is overvalued?

  • Inexperienced or easily lead Agents typically over value the property and more often than not this can end up with a negative impact on your eventual sale price. It can lower your expectations on your next move.
  • You may have to accept a much lower price when the house has been on the market for a considerable time.
  • Buyers get suspicious and often wonder why no one else wants to buy a property when it has been available for some time.
  • Ask the Agent how they have arrived at the value of your house.

Q4. What should I expect from my chosen Estate Agent?

  • What is important to you?
  • List down the things you expect and ask them to demonstrate how they can meet these expectations.
  • Fees and valuation aside, judge your Agent by the way you feel about him/her and their company ethos. Are you comfortable working with them?
  • Are you feeling confident in their ability to help you sell at the best price?
  • Be fair with your expectations but make it clear why you want those standards.

Q5. How important is the presentation of my house?

  • Professional Agents recognise the importance of presentation; don’t feel awkward to discuss this with them. Is there any advice or simple improvements which could be done to achieve a higher price.
  • Are you prepared to do what it takes to make a sale and achieve the best price from the eventual buyer?

I have chosen my Agent and my house is going on the market - what do I do next?

Ensure the house is ready for viewings: think of what your potential buyer will see when they walk through the door and remind yourself why you bought it. Here are some pointers:

  • De-clutter- have a look round your rooms, if you are moving do you really need everything in the room? Potential buyers will be looking at what space is available to them.
  • Minor repairs- have a look at the walls, fill any holes and remove any negatives a potential buyer may see. If you decide to paint a wall/ceiling choose neutral colours that will appeal to a wider audience.
  • Air the house - add air fresheners, this will also neutralise any pet, smoke or cooking smells. Fresh flowers will brighten up a room and give a homely feeling.
  • Gardens- again potential buyers will be looking at space and usability, ensure the lawn is cut and borders are weeded. During the summer months, show potential seating areas, and during winter store away any outside furniture or empty pots to maximise space.

We’ve received an offer - what do we do now?

  • Be prepared to negotiate to ensure you get the best price.
  • Make it clear if any items are included in the price, this can also be a great bargaining tool. You can negotiate a higher offer if you are prepared to include, cooker, curtains blinds etc. Ensure your Agent is clear on what these items are and that they are included within the memorandum of sale.
  • Ask for the status of the purchaser, are they cash buyers or do they need a mortgage? If they are getting a mortgage do they have an agreement in principle?
  • Have they sold their house or are they in rented accommodation? These questions will help determine the length of the chain and the timing of your move. Sometimes a lower offer from a better placed buyer may be more beneficial, depending on what your plans are.
  • Ensure your Agent has checked the monetary and accommodation statuses of your potential buyer and that Solicitors have been instructed before you agree to take the property off the market.

When the property is sold Subject to Contract the sale is now agreed - what happens next?

Choose a Solicitor who can work with you and your Estate Agent. Make sure your buyer’s circumstances and financial status are thoroughly checked out. If you have no one to help you at this stage it can become very frustrating and stressful so make sure you can communicate with your Agent, Mortgage Broker and Solicitor. Once you have appointed a Solicitor you will need to give them the following information:

  • Your Mortgage Roll number and ID- this will enable them to check the legal and financial status of the property.
  • Complete the terms and conditions and the questionnaire about your property with information for example about when the windows were replaced, when the boiler was last serviced, where the boundary lines are, any disputes with neighbours, any extensions or modifications to the property etc- please note that Solicitors will ask for all certificates for any works carried out on the property so if you can locate them, sending them on at this stage will speed up the selling process.
  • Submit a fixtures and fittings list again only detailing things included in the price of the sale.
  • Discuss searches you require and submit funds to carry these out.
  • Disclose any other information crucial to the sale, i.e. any dates that you are unable to move due to other commitments.
  • Respond to any queries/enquiries from your Solicitor swiftly, again to keep the sale moving along.

Your Agent will update you during the progression of the sale, normally every 2 weeks, keep in touch with your Solicitor as well to see if there is anything else they need from you.

We have exchanged contracts, what happens now?

A completion date would have been set for your move, now it’s time to pack! Here are a few pointers of things to remember:

  • Redirect mail to your new address; contact the local Post Office they will help you with this process. Alternatively you can arrange this online on the Post Office website.
  • Fill in any holes when you take down any pictures or other fittings.
  • Clear any rubbish from the property and leave the bins empty, this can lead to a charge if anything is left within the property including the garage/shed/loft.
  • On your moving day ensure you read the meters for the Utilities and notify each provider with the readings and your new address. This is best done after your move so you can advise them of both at the same time.

Completion day

Today you will receive a call from your Agent to let you know that funds have been received and where you need to drop the keys off. If you are buying on, you will also receive a call as to where to collect your new keys from.

Moneywatch Finance

We have a close working relationship with Moneywatch Finance, an independant mortgage advisor.

Moneywatch Finance was formed in 2006 by the partners who all shared a common vision of providing clients with a level of personal service that was lacking in the corporate world. They bring to Moneywatch Finance a combined experience of 60 years in the financial services industry. With their ethos of "Honesty, integrity & trustworthiness are at the forefront of everything that we do." we feel they compliment us perfectly.

Moneywatch Finance are in a position to guide you through the mortgage maze and aim to find you the mortgage deal that best suits your needs.

  • Professional mortgage advice
  • They search the whole mortgage market for a product that best suits your needs
  • The advice we provide is impartial and Moneywatch Finance are not tied to any mortgage lender
  • They offer advice on insurance products from a range of providers
  • Confidential service
  • If you are looking to protect your monthly mortgage payments or you want to insure the contents of your home or if you want to arrange life cover Moneywatch Finance can offer advice on products from a range of providers
  • If you want to find out more information about how Moneywatch Finance may be able to help you, go to the Partners page for contact details

Visit for more information.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage

Regulatory Statement

Moneywatch Finance is an Appointed Representative of Pink Home Loans. Pink Home Loans is a trading name of Advance Mortgage Funding Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FSR No 440789.

The guidance and/or advice contained in this website is subject to UK regulatory regime and is therefore restricted to consumers based in the UK.

FSA Register Search: Click Here

Energy Performance Certificates

EPC’S give information on how to make your home more energy efficient and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. All homes bought, sold or rented require an EPC. These last for ten years. We can arrange these for you and payment for which we require in advance.


Selling and buying a property can be a very stressful experience but getting professional advice and assistance can greatly reduce any concerns. We do everything possible to ensure a swift and efficient conveyancing service at a fixed and affordable price, with no ‘hidden extras’.

Whether you are getting your first step on the property ladder, moving to a larger property or perhaps downsizing after the children have left home –we can help you through the process in a professional manner.

We are able to refer you to our carefully selected conveyancing partners who we work closely with to ensure that your sale and/or purchase goes through as smoothly as possible.

For quick and easy quote comparison, visit:

Get an instant online valuation

Find out how much your property is worth