Answering all your questions about how to sell your property…
OK, I want to sell my property. What happens next?
The first step is to book an appointment with us to value your property. Mark Templer or one of our senior consultants will visit and give you an honest assessment of the best price for marketing your property. This will be backed up with evidence of similar properties locally which have sold.
When agreeing a ‘marketing price’ for your property, we will also bear in mind how quickly you’d like to sell, as this might affect the figure we suggest.
We always remember, it’s your property, and the price and timing of your sale is entirely your decision. There will be no pressure to put your property on the market during the meeting or anytime thereafter. We welcome the opportunity for us to value your property, however seriously or imminently you’re considering actually putting it on the market
I’m ready to sell – what should I do next?
When you decide to put your property on the market, we’ll arrange with you the best time for us to come and create the details for it (using our special ‘editorial’ style) take the photographs and draw the floorplan. For the photographs and for viewings afterwards, you’ll want to make your property look its Sunday best. We will always help you by making suggestions to make your property appear as big and inviting as possible.
By the way, we’ll also make sure everyone in our sales team visits your property right at the beginning, so we know what we’re talking about to potential buyers. Incredibly, very few agents actually do this!
Will I need an Energy Performance Certificate?
By law you will need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before we can begin marketing your property. If the property has been sold or let since 2007, it’s likely it will have one. Please don’t worry if you cannot find it as we can download it from the government website if there is one already in existence. If there is no EPC available, we can arrange one for you at a cost of £85 inc VAT.
Can I approve my property details before you start using them?
Absolutely. Once we’ve put together your property brochure, we’ll send you a copy and ask you to approve it before we start marketing your home.
How will you promote my property?
Once we have your approval, we’ll email it to all the buyers on our applicant register who have expressed an interest in a property similar to yours. We’ll also telephone the potential buyers who may want to move quickly, as well as upload your property to both our website and the others where we advertise properties. As quickly as possible we will advertise your property in the North Somerset Times and The Bristol Property Live newspapers - find out more about how we market your property.
When will I start getting viewings?
Don’t be shocked about how quickly we will generate interest from potential buyers wanting to view your property. We will always telephone you to agree viewing times, never just turning up on your doorstep!
After every viewing, usually within 24 hours, we call the potential buyer to find out what they think about your property. This feedback is very important and we will communicate their thoughts with you.
We’ll keep you updated with any progress and talk to you about any changes that may be needed to help your sale.
Should I be there for viewings or is it better to be out?
Some sellers prefer to be there while we conduct viewings, some prefer to be out. Either of these are fine, although remember that fewer people makes properties look and feel bigger and it must be said that buyers are often better able to see themselves living there if its current owners aren’t present.
But do feel free to do as you wish, and either way, we’ll always send one of our informed negotiators to accompany the prospective buyer, so we can get a proper feel for their thoughts and feed them back to you afterwards.
Someone’s made an offer! What do we do?!
Within a short time (it can be hours!) we expect to receive offers from would-be buyers. It is rare that we recommend you take the first offer, and always push to get the most that we think will be possible.
But we’d also recommend you bear in mind a couple of other factors, like how well the buyers’ intended moving dates match your own and, more importantly, whether there is a chain of other sales.
Once an offer is agreed, we will contact the solicitors involved - yours and your buyer’s - to confirm each party’s details. It is important to be aware that the transaction is not legally binding on either side until you exchange contracts (see more below).
What is conveyancing and how does that work?
Conveyancing is simply the name of the legal processes involved with selling/buying a property. Once you have an acceptable offer we will be happy to recommend a conveyancer to carry out the legal work for your sale.
They will provide you with a list of the documentation they require to keep the sale moving as quickly as possible. It is important that you return the information required promptly as this will be needed by your buyers’ solicitor to approve your contract of sale. Their list will include:
- the property title deeds (these are likely to be with your mortgage lender or the solicitor you used to buy the property)
- copies of guarantees or insurance policies, eg whether the property is covered by the NHBC guarantee or a wood-rot treatment guarantee.
They will also send you a form to complete requiring answers to questions like:
- fixtures and fittings that are included/excluded in the sale
- any disputes, such as with a neighbour, that may relate to the property
- to define the exact boundaries of the property, and who has responsibility for maintaining hedges and fences
- details of rights of access that are shared with a neighbour, eg driveways
- that there is no right of way through the property
- whether any additions or changes to the property have met local planning and building regulations
- whether the deeds specify certain things like not keeping pets or painting the door certain colours
- services: whether the property's utilities (gas, water, electricity) reach it via a neighbour's property or are shared with a neighbour.
It is very important that you have a good solicitor on your side – one who is not afraid to pick up the phone or email you for a quick answer, rather than write to you in the post! We have developed strong working relationships with a number of solicitors – enabling us to ensure this part of your sale goes as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Please ask us for recommendations.
My property is a leasehold. Is the conveyancing any different?
Only slightly. If the property is a leasehold one, your solicitor will ask for the name of the freeholder, the managing agent, and a statement of account for the ground rent and services charges.
Will I have to keep ringing everyone to keep things moving?
No. Buyers and sellers alike often find the conveyancing process frustrating as things can appear to move quite slowly. However we employ a sales progressor, Rachel Clement, whose job it is to keep chasing and cajoling all parties to make sure that things happen on time.
When does the sale become legally binding?
It’s important to note that the sale is not legally binding on either buyer or seller until the moment that ‘contracts are exchanged’. Until this point, either party is able to withdraw, although it’s very frustrating for all when this happens, and you may be liable for any legal fees up until that point – whether it was your or your buyer’s decision.
So when does the property finally sell?
This is a moment called ‘completion’ and usually happens a couple of weeks after exchange of contracts, and occurs when the buyer’s money is finally into your solicitors’ client account.