Whether you’re going upmarket to a bigger place, relocating for work or schools, or even downsizing from a longtime family home, selling for the first time is an exciting prospect in your life’s next chapter.

Even so, the idea of selling your home can feel like uncharted territory, and even seasoned sellers who’ve sold a few times before can forget what’s involved.

Among the new experiences just over the horizon are pitfalls to avoid, timescales to meet and choices to make, including:

  • Identifying accurate vs inflated valuations.
  • Choosing the best estate agent.
  • Minimising legal delays.
  • Preparing for photos and viewings.
  • Accepting the right offer.

Daunted? Don't be! Our handy guide will walk you through these five important stages so you can swap beginners nerves for selling your home with confidence.


Estate agents are keen to win your business, but you need to know your home has the best chance of selling when it goes on the market instead of sticking around and going stale.

This means scrutinising the advice you receive to avoid being misled by an inflated valuation, and protecting your move in case it doesn’t work out with your first agent. So make sure you:

  • Check which valuations reflect prices of homes that have sold, and challenge valuations that match homes that have sat on the market for a long time.
  • Notice whether the agents giving surprisingly high valuations also have long contract terms. This can be a ruse to sign you up now, and then gradually get your price down over several months.
  • Minimise your time commitment to any agent who recommends a price way above current market values—you deserve a second chance with another agent whenever you want it.

Given that almost everyone starts their property search online, your asking price can either target the perfect audience to get you sold, or lose you among more expensive homes and buyers who want more.


As a buyer, you go to whichever agent has the home you want, regardless of their image, style or even competence. But when you sell, you need skill, enthusiasm and integrity on your side.

Top tips for shortlisting agents to invite into your home include getting recommendations from neighbours and nearby friends, checking online for accomplished marketing, and asking questions like:

  • Which agents impress you with fantastic photography and compelling descriptions, and which ones leave you a bit disappointed?
  • What are each agent’s service standards around viewings, feedback, staying in touch, and maintaining momentum?
  • Which property portals does each agent use, why do they use them, and how do they utilise social media?

Finally, given that it’s usually several months between putting your property on the market and moving out, think about how each agent makes you feel. Who fills you with the most confidence?


One of the biggest mistakes sellers make is holding up their own sale, either by failing to provide their agent with essential information, or by waiting to find a buyer before starting the legal work.

This can slow down sales by months, so get started now by:

  • Showing your estate agent proof of your ID. They need this before they can market your home to comply with money laundering regulations, yet many sellers take weeks to even provide this!
  • Reading our article on the new Trading Standards for property listings to see the information you need to supply upfront around running costs, construction, utilities and more.
  • Instructing a solicitor as soon as your home goes on the market and ask them to start preparing a draft contract pack immediately. Avoid any that want to hold off until you've accepted an offer.

The main reason why sales of new homes go so fast is because housebuilders get everything ready before they even launch. And the good news is that you can do the same.


When you bought your home, you probably had some viewings where the presentation was totally tantalising, and others that made you wonder if the owners were trying to put you off.

The first step in getting a sale is making your home as attractive as possible to buyers, which means identifying opportunities for cosmetic and practical improvements. These include:

  • Looking around for over-furnished rooms and cluttered surfaces, then finding ways to clear sightlines, highlight features, or open up floor space so viewers can move around easily.
  • Addressing any minor repairs, such as leaky taps, cracked tiles, or broken door handles, and repainting tired or scuffed walls to give your rooms a fresh and airy feel.
  • Maximising your kerb appeal for those all-important first impressions by welcoming potential buyers with a tidy garden, clean windows, and an inviting front door.

A clean and tidy home feels bigger and brighter, which makes buyers want to pay more money, so it’s always worth investing the time to perfect your presentation.


Not all buyers are the same, and the highest offer may or may not be the right one for you. A good agent will help you sift through the details and negotiate the best deal by getting answers to questions like:

  • Is the buyer chain-free, or selling another home? Are they 100% cash, or getting a mortgage? Are the funds in the UK and usable now, or subject to money-laundering checks from abroad?
  • Does anyone else need to see your home before the offer can proceed? (If someone's parents are giving them a deposit, they may want final approval over where their money gets spent.)
  • Does the timescale being offered match your own, and is the offer subject to particular fittings or furniture being included, or any other terms or conditions?

Finally, beware of mantras like “Never sell to the first viewer”. They’re far too simplistic to be treated as hard and fast rules, and your perfect buyer could already be waiting at the front of the queue!

Are you selling for the first time?

We know you have a choice of estate agents in the Wilton & Salisbury area, and we're here to hold your hand every step of the way for a smooth and successful move.

So if you've never sold a home before, call us on 01722 580059 or message us at info@piccoloproperty.co.uk for a chat with our friendly and expert team.