5 Steps to Selling Property in Manchester

20th Mar 2024
Matthew Smith
5 Steps to Selling Property in Manchester - Thornley Groves

Whether you are a Manchester landlord looking to liquidate your buy-to-let investment or a Manchester homeowner looking to sell your home, finding a buyer and then getting the legal work done can take a frustratingly long time. 

It is a step-by-step process that can take many months. 

One of the worst parts of house selling is not knowing how long you might be stuck at each step. Independent research shows that, in the last 12 months, every estate agent in the UK has taken on average, 67 days from the property coming on the market to be sold subject to contract (STC) and then 113 days to get to completion. That's nearly 26 weeks from the board going up.

The journey is a long one and not guaranteed. Nationally, only 52.8% of UK homeowners who placed their homes on the market in 2023 sold and moved. Therefore, I will explain each stage of the house-selling procedure in Manchester in this article.

Step 1: Find Your Buyer

You need to instruct an estate agent in Manchester (of course, we can help you with that) who will discuss a pricing and marketing strategy to help you find a buyer who fits your circumstances. 

Yet, as have stated in other recent articles, the Manchester property market is split into many micro markets.

Looking at independent research, it was thought-provoking to see how the different price levels (i.e. those different micro markets) are currently performing when we consider the average number of days it takes to find a buyer for a property in Manchester. No property type has taken more than four months to sell, with a somewhat surprising trend appearing: the bigger the price tag, the less time spent on the market.

So, now you have secured a buyer. What is next? Selling your property in Manchester involves a variety of typical issues and the involvement of a wide and varied range of professionals. That means huge differences exist in how long it takes from one Manchester property to another. 

Step 2: Instruct Solicitors (and Mortgage)

Again, we can suggest the best solicitors to sell your Manchester home. As the home seller, your solicitor will prepare your home's initial legal paperwork (with your help) and then send it to your buyer.

Step 3: Legal Work and Survey

Once your buyer's solicitor receives the paperwork, they apply for local searches from the local authority/land registry (to ensure no roads or airports, etc., are being built in the back garden!). These searches can take several weeks to be returned from the local authority or land registry, from which questions will be raised by the buyer’s solicitor to your solicitor. At the same time, the surveyor will check the property to ensure it is structurally sound and worth the purchase price. 

Step 4: Exchange of Contracts

Assuming all the mortgage, survey, and legal work is without any issues, both buyer and seller sign contracts, and the solicitors then perform an "Exchange of Contracts". When contracts are exchanged, the buyer pays a non-returnable deposit, and now both buyer and seller are legally tied in. YET, hold on - we aren't there yet!

Step 5: Completion

Completion is when the money and keys are handed over. It usually happens a week to a fortnight after the exchange of contracts (yet since lockdown, it can happen at the same time as the exchange of contracts). In essence, the buyer’s solicitor sends the purchase money to the seller’s solicitor, and once that money arrives, the keys will be given to the buyer.

To conclude, you are looking at a good five to six months from putting the for-sale board up to moving out. 

If you are thinking of selling your Manchester home or if you are a Manchester landlord wanting to sell your buy-to-let property (with tenants in) and you want an informal, no-obligation chat to ensure you get a decent price with minimal fuss, drop your local branch an email or pick up the phone. We’ll be happy to help.