Once you’ve decided that you’d like to offer your property for sale, contact one of our offices.
We’ll agree a time with you for our property valuer to visit your property. Taking into account your aspirations over timescales and the sort of figure you’d like to achieve for your property, our valuer will suggest a figure at which to start marketing your property, backed up with examples of similar nearby properties which have been on the market.
The decision to proceed or not, and when, is entirely yours. At no time will there be any pressure from us to put your house on the market – it’s a big decision and the timing needs to be right for you, and you alone.
Preparing for Marketing
If and when you decide to offer your property for sale, we will arrange a time for our in-house, professionally-trained photographer to visit.
TIP: Good photographs are vital and if you have any large items that you can live without, it’s often a good idea to put them in storage before while the photos - all part of the declutter.
We’ll also arrange to draw up a floorplan and, if you don’t have a valid one, an energy performance certificate (EPC), which is required by law before marketing can begin.
TIP: If you are planning to redecorate, we recommend doing so in neutral colours. If there are any structural defects to the property which might have a significant negative effect on the sale later on, it would be worth considering getting these sorted out now.
We then put these things, together with the description and location details into our unique property details, for your approval prior to marketing.
We will also ask you to complete our online home information form. This is ensures our sales team has as much relevant information to hand.
TIP: Legal advice is also important when selling a home, so we recommend you also consult with your solicitor to confirm the length of time left on your lease (if a leasehold), whether you have planning permission for roof terraces, loft spaces or internal changes to the property. It’s also a good idea to pre-warn your solicitor that you are planning to sell, so they’re ready to act for you once an offer is accepted. If you don’t have a good solicitor – speak to us and we can organise a quote for you.
Marketing your Home
Once you have approved your property details for marketing we will email all buyers on our database looking for a property like yours, and telephone the really keen and our current ‘hot’ buyers. We will also upload your property to our website and the many other property sites. Unlike some agents we utilise all major property portals such as Rightmove, Zoopla and OntheMarket.
The Actual Selling Time
After a short marketing period we should start to have some viewings booked in. We always call you before a viewing to check it’s convenient, and never come round unannounced – even if it’s a spur of the moment thing.
We accompany potential buyers on every viewing, for your security, but also so we can explain any benefits not immediately obvious, and be there to counter any objections or worries.
Following a viewing, we will call the applicant to hear their thoughts, and counter any arguments. We’ll regularly contact you with an update on progress, and discuss any changes that may be necessary.
People who show interest usually want a second viewing: sometimes it is useful for the property’s current owners to be there to answer any more detailed questions; but equally it can be useful for the property to be vacated, so they can more fully imagine themselves living there. Your negotiator will advise on what is best in your instance.
Agreeing the Sale and Offers
Hopefully it will not be too long before we receive an offer from a potential buyer, and we will call you to get your reaction. As a rule we’ll always push for the maximum we think the market will bear – we’re very adept at this, and rarely recommend you take the first offer.
TIP: Although the ‘price’ is often the most important part of the offer for many sellers, it is worth also weighing up other factors such as how well your timescales match the buyers’, and whether they are in a chain of other sales & purchases (the longer the chain, the more risk that a link will break, potentially causing all other transactions in that chain to fall apart as well).
However, once an offer is agreed, we will contact all parties’ solicitors to inform them of the sale and confirm each party’s details.
Conveyancing - The Legal Part
Conveyancing is the process of legally transferring home ownership from you, the seller, to the buyer. It starts from making an offer and finishes when you hand over the keys to the buyer.
You will already have engaged an estate agent, negotiated on the price and accepted an offer. At this stage, you need to instruct someone to begin the conveyancing process to allow the sale to progress effectively.
To reduce delays, it’s probably best to have chosen which solicitor or conveyancer you want to use around the time you choose the estate agent. Once you’ve compared conveyancing quotes and found the right conveyancer or solicitor for you, it’s wise to tell them you want to sell, and agree conveyancing fees. However, you only instruct them to start work after you have a formal offer.
Keeping the Sale on Course - Progressing the Sale
The conveyancing process is a complex and sometimes frustrating one, with much of the work taking place behind closed doors, and many solicitors being somewhat ‘traditional’ in their use of communication technology! (That said, the solicitors we recommend have been chosen in part because of the strength of client communication).
During this part of the transaction, we will regularly chase all parties in your chain to ensure that it completes, and on time.
Exchange of Contracts - Setting it in Stone
Exchanging contracts is the moment when the sale becomes legally binding on both sides.
You and the buyer will have agreed on a date and time to exchange contracts. As part of the conveyancing process, your solicitor or conveyancer will exchange contracts for you. This is usually done by both sets of solicitors/conveyancers. If you or the buyers are in a chain, the solicitors/conveyancers will do the same thing, but will only release it if the other people in the chain are all happy to go ahead. This means if one person pulls out or delays, then everyone in the chain gets held up.
Once you’ve exchanged contracts, you will be in a legally binding contract to sell the property. This means that if the buyer does not complete the purchase, you will probably keep their deposit, and you can also sue them. If you pull out of the sale, they can sue you. Exchanging contracts also means that you can no longer accept another offer on your house.
Exchange of contracts usually happens on the phone, when both parties’ solicitors agree that they can ‘exchange contracts’. Your solicitor will tell you and us when contracts have been exchanged.
Completion - Moving Time
Completion, when your property sale is finalised – the moment you’ve waited for! Your solicitor will contact you and us when the legal process has been completed. At this point we will be given permission to release keys to the buyers, and the property will be theirs.
If any balance of monies are owed to you from your sale, your solicitor will transfer them into your bank account.