Selling a house is often regarded as one of the most stressful life events we’ll ever have to deal with. But it doesn’t have to be this way – even in today’s fast-paced market!

The secret lies in knowing what to expect, so you can prepare to leap each hurdle with a single bound. That’s why we’ve drawn on our years of experience to create this step-by-step guide for new and seasoned sellers alike. Let’s get started.

Choosing an Estate Agent

Firstly, always get a valuation from more than one agent. By speaking to several agents, you’ll receive a range of information and opinions, which will help you make balanced and informed decisions. You might be surprised to hear us suggest this on our own website, but we’re all about giving the best advice – even at our own expense.

But which agent should you pick? After deciding on the principles that matter to you, such as communication, high-quality marketing, and a solid track record, you can assess how well each agency lives up to these standards. Here are some tips to help your research:

Do they look good online? The most obvious step is to examine the other properties your prospective agent is currently selling. Would you be happy if your property was presented like some examples you have seen, or is there a chance that a potential buyer could be put off?

Other questions to ask yourself include:

  • Are the photographs of high quality?
  • Is there a video tour and floor plan available?
  • Does the listing appear on Rightmove and Zoopla?
  • How detailed and engaging is the description in the listing?
  • Will there be a social media strategy for your home?

Some agents will fast-track the process of listing your home, but this can actually prevent you from achieving the best price. A solid marketing strategy aimed at getting you the best price can’t be thrown together in hours, so choose an agent with a plan, not the one desperate for your business.

Does the agent know your area? Many people choose their agent based on the location of the office. But, ask yourself: where would you go if you wanted to find a property? Your first answer was probably Rightmove or Zoopla.

The truth is, very few people visit local offices to find properties anymore. Instead, most enquiries are made online. This trend means the best local agent is one who knows what your ideal buyers want, so they can effectively market to them in person and online.

Do they have client testimonials? Have a look at recent reviews and see what people have been saying. The best reviews are from clients who talk about their selling journey and name people that have helped them. This step is crucial as you’ll be working with your chosen team for a long time.

An outstanding agent can communicate with you, your buyer, and solicitors to ensure that your sale is heading in the right direction. Would you want this agent to defend your interests if things got complicated during any part of the process? Looking for proof of their past success is a great place to start.

Fees & Costs. There’s a saying – if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. Remember that your fee forms part of the agent's marketing budget. If you’re not investing, then they’re not either. It’s not just marketing, either. How involved will the agent be once a sale is agreed upon and throughout the conveyancing process?

Ask the agent what’s included within their fee. Do you have to pay extra for photos? Are floor plans provided as standard, or are they an ‘optional extra’? Do they offer remote viewings? Can they produce video tours? These add-ons can quickly eat up your budget!

Think of it this way: do you see the amount you pay as a fee or an investment? We’d argue it’s the latter. An agent with an excellent negotiating track record could be worth thousands. If you choose the budget option, you could end up with someone who won’t fight your corner – they’ll cut them instead.

Still not sure if a higher fee is worth it? Ask to see how much the agency’s last few houses were listed and sold for. If one agent consistently achieves 2% more than the other, this could make a huge difference.

A good way to see how an agent is performing is by visiting They are completely impartial and measure important statistics of estate agents in your local area.

A good way to see how an agent is performing is by visiting They are completely impartial and measure important statistics of estate agents in your local area.

Communication. How will your agent communicate with you, and how often? Are they contactable outside of regular working hours? Your buyers will want them to be!

One reason a large percentage of homes eventually sell with a second agent is due to poor communication and lack of feedback from their first-choice agent.

Just so you know, at WeLocate, we deliver initial feedback from a viewing in real-time to all clients via their personal property account (everyone who registers with WeLocate is invited to create one). We then follow this up once we have received ‘considered’ feedback within 24-48 hours, by phone, personal property account and email.

Regular marketing reviews are also critical. How and when will this happen?

Do they tie you into a contract, and are there penalties for leaving? Imagine you sign up with an agent but aren’t happy with the level of service. If they haven’t delivered on their promises, can you leave without paying a penalty?

Some agents will tie you into lengthy contracts, so it’s essential to understand your rights if things don’t go well. Typically, these can be anywhere from one to six months, often with notice periods between 7–28 days!

Avoid agents who overvalue your property to convince you to sign a long-term contract. Once the inevitable requests for a price reduction start coming through, you’ll struggle to get out again.

It’s worth asking if they’ll allow you to sign a zero-week contract. After all, if they deliver on their promises, why would they need a tie-in period? At WeLocate, we have zero-week contracts with no penalties for leaving and no notice period required.

Preparing your Home for Sale

The presentation of a home is one of the most overlooked and misunderstood aspects of selling.

Did you know that if you display your home exactly how you live in it, you’re potentially leaving thousands of pounds on the table?

Think of it this way. You’re not just selling your property – you’re introducing your buyer’s next home. That’s why we like to offer help and advice on how to successfully stage your home so we can create beautiful photos and videography to hook your perfect buyer.

Some of the basic things you can do are as follows:

  • Declutter: Buyers can often struggle to see past large furnishings, rooms full of toys, and busy walls. Aim for a minimalistic finish when presenting your rooms –less is more.

    Viewers may think storage is a problem if you have loose items lying around. Struggling to find places to put things? Consider renting some storage for a few months or borrow space in a family member’s garage.

  • A fresh lick of paint: Look at your home objectively, as if you were a buyer. Are your wallpaper or colour choices in certain rooms dated or unique to you? There’s no need to go overboard, but a tub of paint and a weekend spent with a brush could make a world of difference to the presentation of your home.

  • Fix any problems – even the small ones: You would be wise to get any repairs sorted before you list your property for sale. They are glaringly obvious to viewers, and will leave them wondering what else might be wrong with the house. This could put them off making any offer at all, let alone a good one.

  • Maximise curb appeal: The first thing a potential buyer will see is your home’s exterior. First impressions count, so make it a place they’ll look forward to coming home to every night.

    Bins can be an eyesore, so move them if possible. Sweep up any loose leaves and remove weeds. Cut the grass and replace any missing outdoor lightbulbs. If the uPVC is looking dirty, get them cleaned.

Getting Ready for Viewings

Some estate agents will claim you’re the best person to show people around your home. After all, you know your home better than anyone – right?

We disagree. Your estate agent is an expert in selling property, so they should conduct the viewings. That’s what you’re paying for in the commission fee.

A good estate agent listens for buying signals and can respond professionally and skilfully. This ensures your buyer feels comfortable and secure enough to share their thoughts and feedback with your agent.

In contrast, buyers often feel uncomfortable with the seller as they cannot say what they really think about the house. This can be detrimental to securing a sale further down the line if you can’t obtain genuine feedback you can act on.

Having said all that, you can still help everything flow smoothly on the day. Lighting lamps, candles, or even the wood burner and switching the heating on (if needed) creates a wonderful homely atmosphere. This is especially important if your viewers surprise your agent by turning up early, as often happens.

Once you’re happy that your home looks its very best and your agent has arrived, it’s time to make yourself scarce. Walk the dog, visit your favourite coffee shop, or just pop next door to your neighbour’s house until the viewers have left.

Ensure your agent has your mobile number so they can call you once the viewing is over. Or give them instructions about leaving the house and what to do with the key so you can return when you’re ready.

Dealing with Offers the Right Way

Perhaps the most exciting part of the process is receiving an offer on your home.

In a busy market or with the correct pricing strategy, you’ll likely receive multiple offers, in which case the usual procedure is for your agent to request 'Best & Final' offers from all parties. This can be lucrative as each party won't know what the others have put forward. It usually results in one party significantly outbidding the others.

It’s also not unusual for offers to come in between 5-10% below your asking price. Don't get disheartened. Any offer is good because it’s an opportunity for your estate agent to negotiate on your behalf. A great estate agent will use their skill and expertise to ensure they maximise the sale price. This is where they really earn their fee.

Once you receive a 'final' offer from a potential buyer, it’s normal to go away and think things over for a day or two, so do not feel rushed.

Financial Qualification

When you receive an offer, your agent should have the basic details of your buyer's position. They’ll have been told whether they have anything to sell and, most importantly, how they intend to purchase your home.

If the buyer is using proceeds from the sale of their house, your agent should verify the sale price with their estate agent and request their latest or final mortgage statement. Alternatively, their solicitor should confirm that their property is mortgage-free.

If they plan to pay with cash funds, your agent will inspect a bank statement showing cleared funds in their account. If they’re buying with a mortgage, your agent should have seen a decision in principle from a mortgage lender and proof of deposit, totalling the amount required to buy your home.

Accepting an Offer

The best offer might not always be the highest amount. The person presenting the lowest bid may have a smaller chain and, therefore, less perceived risk if any problems arise. It could also be that one person has a much higher deposit than another, so there’s less chance of a sale collapsing should the property down value on a survey.

Whatever the situation, your agent should clearly present all the options so you can make an informed decision.


Once you have accepted an offer, you must appoint a solicitor. They will act for you until you hand over the keys. Once selected, they’ll send you a welcome pack with forms to fill out and sign regarding their terms and your property’s details. Your solicitor will then issue draft contracts to the buyer's solicitor. The ball is now officially rolling!

This process typically takes between 12–16 weeks to complete and often requires intervention from your estate agent to ensure that everything is on track. Your agent should keep in touch with you, your buyer, and both sets of solicitors, which is why pro-active communication is hugely important if you’re to meet a specific deadline.

Before Handing Over the Keys

Once you have a moving date, the following ten-point checklist will come in handy:

  1. Check your home insurance – do you have coverage from the day you move in?
  2. Get written quotes from removal firms, along with references and insurance limits.
  3. Take final meter readings and inform your energy suppliers.
  4. Inform the council to stop charging you council tax for that property.
  5. Visit the post office in person or online to arrange for your post to be forwarded to your new address (you’ll have to pay a fee for this service).
  6. Arrange for someone to look after the children or pets during the move.
  7. Make a list of everyone who should know about your move and send them a text or email.
  8. Notify the bank of any changes to direct debits and standing orders.
  9. Tell all financial companies linked to you about the move to ensure private and confidential information isn’t sent to your old address.
  10. Arrange a time and place to collect keys from the estate agent you’re buying from.