Selling property – the process
You know your home is wonderful, but when you sell your property, you have to convince others to see it the same way. We’ve been selling all kinds of homes for many years and know what works.
Buyers are looking for flats and houses right now. We will advertise your property on line, in the local press and in the window of our prime-located office in Clifton.
We’ll use our experience to make sure the sales process runs as smoothly as possible. Here’s a quick guide to the main steps:
- Obtain valuations
- Appoint your agent
- Preparing your home for sale
- Home Information Pack
- Agree a sale
- Up to exchange of contracts
- Complete the sale
Choose three agents that specialise in selling property in your area and invite them to give you a valuation. Ask what type of service they can offer you and their fee structure. Once you have everything confirmed in writing you can choose your agent.
APPOINTING AN ESTATE AGENT
There are three ways that you can appoint an estate agent.
Sole Agency: Instructing one agent for a fixed period of time with the job of selling your property. The commission rate will be lower than for joint & multiple agency sales. You will not be able to instruct another agent during the contract period and if you do, both agents fees will become payable.
Most of our clients choose to instruct us on a sole agency basis, due to the location of our offices, our reputation and detailed knowledge of the area.
Joint Agency: Instructing two agents who work together but produce all their own marketing material and conduct their own viewings. They will however liaise with one another, splitting the agreed fee with a competitive split, the higher % going to the selling agent.
Multiple Agency: Instructing several agents at the same time, but with only the selling agent receiving a fee. This fee will be significantly higher, as agents are less certain of making a sale.
Agents will ask you to supply proof of identity for money laundering purposes, read, sign and return any contract papers and possibly complete a brief form about your property.
You will need to instruct a HIP provider to compile the HIP pack required by law for your home. Your chosen agent should be able to assist you with this.
A brief inspection by a qualified specialist will be arranged and your HIP provider will ask you to complete a Property Information Questionnaire. This must be in place before marketing commences.
The HIPS pack will include an EPC certificate which relates to the energy efficiency of your property.
PREPARING YOUR HOME FOR SALE
We all get so used to our homes that sometimes it’s hard to see them through others’ eyes. But if you want to achieve a successful sale in a reasonable period of time, that’s exactly what you have to do. First impressions count for a lot.
A few hours spent making your property look its best or even spending some money to clear up some of the niggling problems could add to the price that you get from a buyer and help towards a smoother surveying process at a later stage.
Here’s a few helpful tips:
Making your property more saleable
- Try and think like a purchaser – don’t overlook flaws just because you don’t mind them or you’re used to them
- Reduce clutter – get rid of everything but the bare essentials
- Decorate neutrally – buyers need to be able to see it as their own home
- Keep it light – clean the windows and use light colours
- Outside and in – buyers will often walk or drive past first, and fresh paintwork and well cared for outside spaces make a great first impression
- For Sale Board. You should agree to have one erected once marketing commences. They are 24 hour a day ‘salesmen’ and they do really work. However make it clear to your agent if you don’t want or can’t have one erected at your property
AGREE A SALE
As your estate agent we will start to generate offers from interested buyers. We will present each offer to you and negotiate on your behalf to get the best result.
Here’s what information we will discuss with you:
- Price – how much are the buyers offering to pay?
- Are they in a chain? If a buyer is still trying to find someone to purchase their home, you will be dependent on their successful sale. It can be quicker to sell to first time buyers, investors, or people who have already sold their previous place.
- Your position – are the buyers able to move in time to suit your plans and timescale?
- Should you accept? Ultimately the decision is yours, but we’ll provide all the help and advice we can to help you make the right decision.
Once you’ve accepted an offer we’ll pass on the good news to your buyer and start drawing up the paperwork. Your buyer will be asked to provide proof of ID to meet with Money Laundering legislation and proof of funding so that we may be assured of their financial position.
We will also check the chain with any other estate agents that are involved. This helps us when progressing the sale and gives us a full understanding of the time frames that everyone is working towards.
UP TO EXCHANGE OF CONTRACTS
Your buyer will provide us with their solicitor’s details, which we will pass on to your solicitor, so they can get on with drawing up the contracts. You will be issued with the copy of the memorandum of sale which introduces all parties to one another and includes the details of the agreed sale, including any specific terms that may have been agreed.
The next stage is for the buyer and their mortgage lender to carry out any valuations and surveys on the building and check that everything is as it should be with the paperwork. It’s quite normal for a few queries to be raised, so this stage can take a little while. We will keep you fully informed of all activity and will continue to liaise with all involved, assisting where possible with any queries that may arise.
When this stage is complete, you’re ready to exchange contracts and set a completion date, when the money gets transferred, and the property legally changes hands. Once this is done, the conveyancing process will be complete.
Completion is normally two weeks after exchange, but can be earlier. It might even be possible to exchange and complete on the same day if you need to. Leaving a gap gives you time to make arrangements for moving out and to tie up any loose ends.
After you’ve formally exchanged contracts, you’re legally obliged to sell the property to your chosen buyer and they’re obliged to buy it from you.
You should plan to move out in line with your completion date and make arrangements for the handover of keys. We usually have a set which we can pass on for you but otherwise we should know where you intend to leave yours. As soon as you have completed the sale the property belongs to your buyer and they can move in immediately.
COMPLETE THE SALE
Completing the sale is usually as simple as getting a phone call from your solicitor or us telling you that everything has gone smoothly.
This means both parties’ mortgages have been paid off and new arrangements put in place, the conveyancers have successfully arranged the legal transfer, and the property officially belongs to your buyer. We will arrange for any Sold Boards to be collected.
Selling your property is now complete.
May the celebrations begin !
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