A simple, step-by-step guide
- Establishing You Current Property's Value
- Selecting an Estate Agent
- Preparing Your Property
- Agreeing the Sale
- Initiating the Sale Process
- The Chain
- After the Sale
Establishing You Current Property's Value
It’s important that you set your selling price at a realistic level. You can get a general picture of your local marketplace through local newspaper ads and property portals. But for a more accurate value, it’s important to turn to an experienced local estate agent.
Which is where Location Location comes in.
We’ll visit your home and meet with you at a time that’s convenient. It usually takes 30 minutes to an hour, and will involve a detailed inspection of your property.
We’ll look at your specific needs, market forces and current demand, as well as previous transactions in your street and activity levels with other property similar to your own.
Based on all of these elements, we’ll suggest a value range, and highlight anything we think you can do to increase this value. Then, we’ll suggest an appropriate asking price.
We’ll explain our comprehensive marketing strategy, and we’ll give you an idea of the service level you can expect from Location Location (it’s high, by the way). We’ll also address any questions or concerns you have.
Selecting an Estate Agent
When you’re deciding which agent to use, do watch out for those suggesting inflated values. Though those figures can seem attractive, they may well be unrealistic, so your house attracts little interest, very few viewings, and sits on the market for ages.
You should also make sure the agency you choose has a comprehensive marketing strategy, proven sales record and professional & courteous staff who respect your time, keep you in the loop and make things happen.
Preparing Your Property
Most buyers now use internet property portals to search for a new home. 75% of all our registered clients at Location Location come to us through these portals.
The photos used in these listings are vital: they create the first impression of your home and are hugely influential on whether buyers contact us to arrange a viewing. That’s why we always use the services of a professional photographer who knows how to show your home to it best advantage.
Preparing your home for photography is one of the most important actions you can take to maximise your chances of attracting interest. This can involve much moving of furniture and general de-cluttering.
But don’t worry – we’re here to help. Our Location Location marketing consultant will work through your property room by room, carefully considering the best layout of furnishings, removal of personal items and the best aspects to capture.
They’ll also record room dimensions and details, and draw up a plan of the property.
The marketing consultant will discuss with you the best times and days for viewing. We’ll consider your normal weekly patterns, parking availability and traffic levels, children and pets, light levels and garden aspects.
Some owners prefer to supply their agent with keys, while others prefer to be at home during viewings. You can choose whichever suits you best.
We’ll also help plan the best route to follow through the property, saving the best features till last, to create a favourable final impression. Along the way, we’ll point out highlights which we’ll have established with you in advance.
If you’re present during viewings, there are some important points to bear in mind:
- You should give the viewer time to look around again at their own leisure. It’s important to give them space, while remaining within earshot in case they have any questions.
- Try to say your farewells in the area with most impact. Ask only once if they have any questions and answer these truthfully. Don't be tempted to oversell the property: it’ll have spoken for itself and you don't want to spoil that favourable last impression with an awkward moment.
With a little thought and preparation, the viewing will provide the least disruption to you, while maximising the impact your property has on your prospective buyer.
And we’ll be there to help and advise every step of the way.
As soon as offer is made, we’ll let you know by phone, and we’ll follow that up in writing within 24 hours. You’ll then need to make a response to the offer. If you reject it and the purchaser decides to increase, the process is simply repeated.
It’s at this stage that we’ll try to make you aware of any chain implications and how long it’s all likely take. Do remember that the buying process is fluid, so the information we provide may well change.
But we’ll always keep you updated on those changes.
Agreeing the Sale
If an offer is acceptable to you, we’ll need to check your purchasers’ status. If applicable, we’ll get the contact details of their broker or mortgage lender, and any estate agent dealing with their current property sale.
It’s only when this information has been provided and we’ve contacted the necessary parties for verification of your purchasers’ situation that we’ll consider whether to stop showing your property to other prospective purchasers.
At this stage, you should have a solicitor/conveyancer lined up to act for you in the sale.
Initiating the Sale Process
We’ll then assign you a Location Location sales progressor. They’ll be your single point of contact during the sale process, and will start by confirming the agreed sale in writing to all involved parties.
Before your solicitor is able to exchange contracts, there are lots of things that need to fall into place. In this, the role of the sales progressor is crucial: they chase things up, chivvy people along and make sure that everything keeps moving.
Both the buyer and seller need to appoint a solicitor/conveyancer that can act for themselves and their lender.
The choice of who will act for you is entirely up to you: the only restriction is that both parties can’t use the same person. It’s important that you instruct a solicitor/conveyancer who will deal with the purchase of your property promptly.
They should be experienced in handling residential property sales, easily contacted and able to deal with your case speedily.
You’ll have to make an initial payment to your solicitor to start the process. On confirmation of your instructions and receipt of the payment, they’ll then seek full information on the property.
This typically includes your current mortgage provider (if applicable) and location of the title deeds, current buildings insurance certification & schedule, a list of any contents to be included in the sale, together with an accurate list of fittings that are to remain.
They’ll ask you to provide any evidence of works that have been done to maintain or improve the property and the necessary documentation regarding any changes that have taken place (extensions, drainage changes or insurance claims for example).
Once your solicitor has all this information, they’ll prepare a draft contract of sale which they’ll send, together with an array of supporting documents, to the purchasers’ solicitor.
The Location Location sales progressor assigned to your purchase will stay in contact with your solicitor throughout the sale process to monitor progress and to assist with any issues. They’ll liaise with all parties involved across the entire chain so it’s important that you instruct a solicitor who’s prepared to communicate with the sales progressor directly.
If your purchasers are using a mortgage provider for any part of the purchase, they’ll need to submit a full mortgage application to begin the process.
Before their lender can guarantee to provide the funding required, they’ll insist on inspecting your property. Usually the lender will offer them two types of inspection: a Basic Valuation will check only briefly the condition of the property and may comment only on its value.
Alternatively, a Homebuyer’s Report will provide much more detail on the overall condition of the property, and may make recommendations to check certain areas more thoroughly.
In either instance, this appointment will normally be made within three weeks of the sale being agreed. If this report recommends or requires further investigation of any specific issues, further access to your property will need to be arranged.
Once a purchaser has investigated any recommendations or requirements brought up in their valuation or survey, they might attempt to renegotiate the agreed price.
There are no hard & fast rules with this scenario as each property is different. We’ll continue to advise you but ultimately, we’ll take your instructions. All we can suggest in such a situation is that neither party lose sight of the overall desire to move and get caught up on principle.
Once your purchasers' mortgage provider is completely satisfied with the value and condition of the property and their own personal situation, they’ll produce a Mortgage Offer. This document guarantees the finance and must be in place before their solicitor can exchange the contract of sale.
This term is used to refer to the people and property moving as part of one extended transaction.
For example, a first-time buyer agreeing the purchase of a flat may find that their seller is purchasing a small house, the sellers of which are moving up to a larger house whose owners may be downsizing, and so on.
So the individual people and properties in the chain are all dependent on each other. If one section breaks, the whole chain collapses.
Chains take time to develop but cannot progress until they are complete, with a beginning and end. While the individual elements of the chain may mature at different times, exchanging contracts and completion have to occur simultaneously.
It can sometimes be challenging to get agreement for a common completion date from all parties involved and compromise is often required.
During the transaction your solicitor will reply to any additional enquiries that are raised by the purchasers' solicitor. Once the contract has been approved by the purchasers' side, you’ll meet with your solicitor to sign the contract and discuss completion (the day you actually move).
Contracts can then be exchanged and the completion date can be set. This is usually a maximum of 28 days after exchanging contracts.
After the Sale
We recommend you leave any manuals for the operation of appliances and instructions for the central heating etc in the kitchen for the new home owners.