Preparing your property

Before putting a property on the market, it is advisable to do a few things to ensure it looks its best. If it is the home you live in, then it may need a bit of de-cluttering to make it feel more spacious. It is not necessary to clear all personal belongings, it is still important that it feels like a family home, but make sure all the rooms are easy to walk into and that surfaces are reasonably clear. If it is an empty property you are selling, a bit of fresh paint and a thorough clean can make the world of difference.

Getting the property valued

Once the property looks its best, it is time to get it valued. Before coming out to your home, we will look at all recent property sales in your area and all current comparable properties for sale to establish the approximate value. Once we have viewed your home, we will be able to compare it to our research and provide you with a realistic guide price.

Marketing and viewings

Once instructed to market your home, we will prepare our sales particulars. These include sensible descriptions, interior and exterior photographs, a floorplan and a local map. Once you have approved these, they will be uploaded onto the major property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla, and emailed to our register of potential buyers. Our sales team will begin telephoning clients and a for sale board will be erected, if required.

We will notify you in advance of viewings, and always accompany clients if requested. It is generally best if just one person shows clients around the property as a home looks a lot smaller if four or five people are squeezing into each room. It can be useful, however, if the owner is on hand at the end of a viewing to answer any questions that the viewer may have.

After each appointment, we will contact the client for feedback. This will be reported back to you, whether it is positive or otherwise, so that you have a clear picture of how your property is being seen.

Although you will be regularly updated with progress, a full property review will take place every four weeks, if the property has not sold. This is where the feedback will be reviewed and the marketing strategy looked at to ensure everything is being done to find a buyer. The outcome of this review may be that a new main photograph is taken to give the property a different look, or the price altered, opening the property up to more potential buyers.

Sale agreed

Once you accept an offer, everything starts to feel a bit more real. You will need to instruct a solicitor or conveyancer to act on your behalf and, as soon as you provide us with their details, we will write to all parties setting out the terms of the sale and advising each side of the others contact details. If you are buying onward, now is the time to get that all agreed so everything can move forward together.

Throughout the sale, we will keep in touch with all parties, helping to arrange a convenient time for the valuation or survey, and updating you on the legal progress.

We will help negotiate any issues that may arise and generally be on hand to help wherever necessary. Once everyone is nearly ready, we will help organise a moving date that suits all concerned.

Exchange and completion

Now that everyone is ready and a date has been agreed, contracts can be exchanged. This is where the transaction becomes legally binding and a deposit is paid to the vendor’s solicitor. A moving (completion) date is set which is usually one or two weeks after exchange, to allow time to prepare and confirm removals.

On the day of completion, the purchaser’s solicitors will transfer the balance of the money to your solicitor who will call us to confirm receipt. This often happens around lunchtime. At this point the property belongs to the new owner and we will arrange for them to have the keys to their new home.

Exchange and completion

Your mortgage processor will complete all the work necessary to offer you a mortgage. One key part of this is that they will want the property inspected to check it is suitable to lend on. Often, particularly with modern properties, the lender will only require a brief inspection to check the property is worth the agreed price. This is known as a Mortgage Valuation. If you want a more thorough inspection, including a check on the condition of the property, you will need to pay for a Homebuyer Report or Building Survey. Your lender or broker should advise you on this.

Whilst this is happening, your conveyancer will make contact with the vendor’s legal representative and begin making checks and enquiries about the property. This will include looking at the Title Deeds and all the property information provided by the current owner, as well as applying for Local Searches, which look at potential problems on the land or in the surrounding area, that might affect the property.

Once you have a mortgage offer and your solicitors are happy with all the information provided, a moving date can be agreed. It is then usual to exchange contracts, which is when the transaction becomes legally-binding. A deposit, which would normally be either 5% or 10% of the total purchase price, is handed over to the vendor’s solicitor and a moving (completion) date is fixed. This is often one or two weeks later, to allow time for confirming moving arrangements.

On the day of completion, the property becomes yours once the vendor’s solicitor has confirmed all monies have been received. This should happen around lunchtime. Your agent will call you once they have been notified and arrange for you to have the keys to your new home.

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