1. Accurate Valuation
It is important to obtain an accurate valuation on your home, based on current market conditions. Don’t be tempted to go with the agent that suggests the highest price, an overly ambitious price would likely inhibit the speed in which you sell. Listen to an experienced estate agent who will interpret the market to get you the best possible price in a timescale that suits you.
If you are buying on, then seek financial advice as soon as possible to see exactly what you can afford to buy and also it will help you realise what price you can accept for your property in order for you to move successfully.
2. Choose your agent
Look for a local agent that has good local knowledge and experience. Also look for an agent that belongs to voluntary regulatory bodies e.g. NAEA, ARLA, Property Ombudsman. Don’t be tempted to go for the cheapest fee, a low agent fee may really mean you get a below average service at best. Your agent will undertake the marketing of your property, arrange and accompany all viewings, negotiate offers and liaise with solicitors through to completion.
Be honest with your agent, after all we are working together for a common goal, to sell your property for the best possible price in a timescale that suits you.
If you are in a rush to sell or can’t move for a period of time, tell us. If there are known problems with the property, again please tell us. It is usual for buyers to ask questions about the neighbours, your reasons for moving, what the local area is like and what you will be leaving behind, any fixtures and fittings. These questions we will discuss with you before marketing so we will be fully equipped to deal with all negotiations between buyer and seller.
3. Energy Performance Certificate
It is a legal requirement that all properties for sale have an EPC. We can arrange this for you or guide you on the right path. EPC’s are valid for 10 years so if you or the previous owner had one commissioned you should check if it is still valid. If you have made improvements to the property it may be worth instructing a new EPC.
4. Instruct a Solicitor
It is important to instruct an experienced, efficient local solicitor who specialises in conveyancing. Most agents will be able to advise on preferred solicitors but also ask family and friends if they have any recommendations. We can of course help you with our recommended solicitors.
5. Preparing your property for sale and Viewings
Look at your property through the eyes of a prospective buyer. You need to make your property attractive enough for buyers to visualise themselves living in your house. First impressions really do count. Be honest with yourself, what needs addressing? All those little DIY jobs that have just been put off now really need to be addressed. It may be that all you need to do is a quick freshen up, a lick of paint, some decluttering and some depersonalising. You need to make your home look as spacious as possible.
Make sure your house is spick and span from top to bottom. A less than sparkling home leaves the impression that it is not cared for and other more sinister problems could lurk. If you have pets, you may want to consider having your carpets cleaned. Make sure their bedding is clean and fresh too. Air fresheners or scented candles are a good idea.
Kerb appeal really is important too. Again make sure the front and back doors are clean and painted well. Tidy up the garden so it is appealing enough to sit and entertain or eat out in.
We will fully advise you on the best way to present your home when we visit you for your market valuation.
We’ll show off your property in the window displays in our office, they’ll be online on our website and on the biggest property portals OnTheMarket and Zoopla. We’ll also stick a ‘For Sale’ sign up outside your property – this is very important as so many buyers are still found through word of mouth by friends, family and neighbours spreading the word.
When we market your property floor plans come as standard and we have professional photography training to make sure your property looks incredible when we come to market it!
We accompany all viewings at a time that is mutually convenient for you and the viewer, but do try to work around the buyer where you can. Accompanying viewings will give you peace of mind and enable us to use our expertise in selling your property. All our viewers are fully qualified before they are allowed to set foot in your home. Feedback will be given after every viewing so you will know straight away if they are interested or not or if there seems to be a theme that’s preventing an offer. Do take feedback on board as if there is something that seems to be a common issue you will need to address it. We do recommend that you are not in during the viewing to enable viewers to speak more freely and feel able to ask questions they may feel awkward about asking if you are present. In addition, if you have a dog it is a good idea to also remove them from the property for the duration of the viewing. Not everyone is a dog lover! Similarly, if you have pets such as rats or our more tropical friends (e.g. snakes, spiders) consider covering their cages.
8. Offers and Negotiation
As soon as an offer is received we will contact you to discuss. We will check the buyer’s ability to proceed before you decide whether to accept the offer.
We will handle all negotiations between yourself and the buyer. It is important that you consider what amount you would be prepared to accept especially if you are buying on. Also consider the buyer’s position and ability to buy. Do they need a mortgage? Do they have a mortgage already agreed in principle? Are they cash buyers? Are they in a chain and what size chain? Are they working to timescales that fit with yours? Will they give you time to find a property if you are buying on?
Remember we are acting on your behalf not the buyers. We will not pressure you into accepting an offer. We will base our advice on the current market conditions, how long you have been on the market, how many viewings you’ve had, if you’ve had previous offers or interest and comparable sales.
After you have accepted an offer a survey instructed by the buyer may reveal issues on the property that could affect what they will be willing to pay. We will again advise and help you with this. It is not a requirement but it’s advisable to arrange an independent survey yourself prior to marketing to enable you to be one step ahead and resolve any potential issues/ repairs.
9. Offer Agreed
Once there is an offer in place you find acceptable, you will need to formally instruct a solicitor/conveyancer if you have not already done so. We will issue a detailed memorandum of sale to all solicitors which will include any special conditions and the agreed price.
You now know how much you will make on the sale of your property so if you are buying on, now is the time to take your mortgage application further. If you are yet to find your dream home, remember you are now a ready, willing and able buyer that is very attractive to sellers so book those viewings!
On the day of exchange your buyer will pay the solicitor a non-refundable deposit. At this point you are both legally obliged to continue to completion. A date will be set for legal completion usually around 2 weeks later. If you are buying on then you will also pay your deposit for your onward purchase.
You can also check out our Guide to Conveyancing for more information.
The day has arrived! On instruction from the solicitors we will release keys to the buyer and you can begin moving in!