Some straightforward guidance in the complex and changeable world of selling your property.
get a valuation
Get the ball rolling with a call to your local branch of Complete for a no-obligation valuation – whether you’re just contemplating selling your property, or ready to put it on the market right now (see contact details).
One of our senior people will visit your property and carry out an assessment of its potential on the market. This will keep in mind when you’d ideally like to move, and the amount you’d like to sell for.
We’ll discuss with you an amount that would be a realistic starting price, and give you examples of similar properties nearby.
get ready to market
There is a lot that needs to be done before a property is put on the market, and when you make that decision, we will arrange a timetable for the various tasks. This will include:
- taking the photographs and compiling our unique editorial-style descriptions
- drawing up an Energy Performance Certificate, if you don’t have a current one. (Before marketing can take place, you are required by law to have this.)
- creating the floorplan, enabling buyers to see your property’s layout, flow and shape.
ADVICE: It is important to have good photographs – it’s almost impossible to sell a property without them! Before our photographer visits, we advise you to make sure all rooms are tidy to make them as visually appealing as possible. It can be useful to put some items into storage to open up a room, provided you can live without them while the sale progresses.
alert your solicitor
Now is also a good time to advise your solicitor that you’re planning to sell your property. Begin to collect together the paperwork they ask for, so that it doesn’t cause delays later on.
familiarising ourselves with your property
We never like to start talking to people about your property, let alone showing it, until we have become fully conversant with it ourselves. (By the way, we’re pretty unique in this respect!). So everyone who’ll be dealing with your property will come round and familiarise themselves with it.
We also have an extensive information form, which we’ll complete – so we all know the smallest details, like the age of the boiler to the distance to the nearest pint of late-night milk!
We will collate all the details of your property – photographs, descriptions, floorplan, EPC and location details – into our unique property brochure and send this to you for approval. Then we’ll email it to all the prospective buyers on our database who are interested in property similar to yours. If we have buyers who we think might be especially keen, we’ll give them a quick call to let them know, too. And of course, we’ll upload full details of your property to our website and others we use to advertise properties (find out more).
talking with prospective buyers
We hope there will some interest in your property soon after we start to tell people about it. We will arrange viewings at convenient times for you, and will always phone you to arrange this. If you are restricted in your availability, we will do our best to work around your needs.
We never permit prospective buyers to view the house alone, or with just the homeowners present. This is both for your security, but also to help us gauge their reactions. We’ll give you feedback on what people say to us
After each viewing, we always call the potential buyer to hear their views on your property, and look to counter at any objections they may have.
We’ll call you regularly to keep you updated with any progress, and talk to you about any changes that we think might help your sale. Our website has secure sellers’ access, so you can log-in to your property’s details, check on progress and look at feedback we’ve gathered from people who have viewed your property,
agreeing the sale
Receiving offers from potential buyers normally starts to happen a few weeks after we’ve begun to market the property. We will discuss the offer with you and offer our advice on whether we think it could be improved, given the current market conditions, and seek to renegotiate the offer where we can.
As well as the financial offer, it will also be worth considering:
- timescales – do yours match with the potential buyer’s?
- chains – a longer chain makes for a less attractive offer.
Once an offer is agreed, we will contact the solicitors for both you and your buyer, to confirm each party’s details. You must remember that the transaction is not legally binding on either side until you exchange contracts (see below).
Your solicitors, at whatever point you contact them, will have provided you with a list of the documentation they require. You should get these things back to them as quickly as possible, to avoid holding up the sale. This list will include:
- title deeds to the property, which are likely to be with the solicitor you used to buy the property
- fixtures and fittings that are included/excluded in the sale
- any disputes, such as boundary disagreements with a neighbour, that may relate to the property
- a definite map of the exact boundaries of the property, also covering 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 local planning and building regulations have been followed, regarding any additions or changes to the property
- whether the deeds specify certain things, such as restrictions on pets or colours of front doors
- copies of guarantees or insurance policies relating to the fabric of the house, eg whether the property is covered by a timber-treatment guarantee or a NHBC guarantee
- services: whether the property’s utilities (gas, water, electricity) reach it via a neighbour’s property or are shared with a neighbour.
Your buyers, or their mortgage lender, will need to carry out a survey or Homebuyer’s Report. Most surveys don’t involve any disruption of any kind, and you don’t need to do anything special for this.
If the property is a leasehold, your solicitor will require the name of the freeholder, the managing agent, and a statement of account for the ground rent and services charges.
keeping the sale on course
The conveyancing process is complex and can be frustrating, as much of the work is unseen by you, behind closed doors. However, Complete’s in-house Sales Progression Manager has the job of keeping in contact with all parties, including their solicitors, to ensure that things happen on time.
exchange of contracts
This moment is when the sale becomes legally binding for both buyer and seller. We get very excited, even after so many years in the business!
Exchange usually happens in a phone call between both parties’ solicitors, giving a verbal go-ahead to ‘exchange contracts’. They then let us and you know.
This is when the house becomes the property of the purchaser. Your solicitor will contact both you and us when the buyer’s money has cleared in the bank, and we will then release keys to the buyers. Your solicitor will transfer any balance of monies owing to you from the sale into your bank account.
We hope this has covered any question you might have, but please feel free to give your local office a call if you’d like to know any more.
Details correct at time of publication (June 2016).