Selling Process Guide
A guide to the selling process
We can give you a free, no-obligation market appraisal of your property, advise you on the current market and the best method to sell your home. People will tell you that a property is only worth what someone’s prepared to pay and that is broadly true. We’ll help you find the right marketing price that will attract the attention to sell your home. This is worked out to attract as many viewings as possible.
To give as accurate a marketing price as possible we take into account:
- The location of your property
- It’s convenience for schools and shops
- Transport links
- Comparable selling prices in your area
- Improvements you’ve made to the property, or works still needed
- Current demand from buyers
We’ll use our experience and intuition to devise a marketing strategy which gives you the best possible price to suit your timescale.
Once you’ve instructed us to proceed with marketing your property, we’ll ask you to sign our contract agreeing to our terms and conditions, fees and timescales. This won't come as a surprise; it will all have been discussed and agreed with you beforehand.
We will take all the required measurements and prepare a description of your property particulars for listing on the internet. We’ll photograph your home with the latest digital camera equipment to present your property at its very best.
You will then receive a draft copy of your particulars for approval. Once you’ve approved them, we can upload your property onto our website and all the many property portals we use.
The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) documents your property’s energy efficiency. Under the Housing Act 2004, an Energy Performance Certificate must be commissioned before marketing of a property can commence.
Sarah Mains Residential will organise the preparation of your EPC.
Marketing your home
With all of the above arranged, we can now market your home. As well as featuring your property on sarahmains.com, we will broadcast it to the leading property portals.
Add that to our extensive database matches, local press advertising, canvassing via our in-house publications, welcoming premises and a friendly, informative approach to attract new applicants, our pro-active, energetic staff offer you what’s possibly the best opportunity of selling your home.
Getting your home ready for sale
First impressions do count, so have a think about what you might be able to spend on freshening up the place. A lick of paint to the front door, a tidy up in the garden are just two examples of how you can give yourself an advantage in the market.
Cast an impartial eye over your home: there may be parts that you don't notice any more which may put off a potential buyer. Worse still, they may think 'what else isn't right, and how much it could cost to sort out'
We can advise you on simple inexpensive tips to help your home sell quickly and at the best possible price.
Taking a view
Buyers should be allowed to view your home in a relaxed, stress-free way so they can make an informed decision.
Never underestimate the effect fresh flowers can make or the smell of newly brewed coffee: people want to know they can make a home there, and those first impressions do count.
Once an offer has been made, we will call you. Together, we will discuss the buyer’s situation and their circumstances. Can they proceed straight away? Or do they still have a house to sell? We’ll also talk about any other interest the property is receiving.
Of course, we will advise on how to proceed. Ultimately though, the decision has to be yours. You may want to accept or reject the offer or you may decide to instruct us to negotiate on your behalf, to try for a better price.
When you accept an offer, your property becomes ‘Sold - Subject to Contract’. If they are able to proceed, your purchasers may ask for the property to be removed from the market. Should you agree to this, we recommended you insert a time limit in place: for instance that the survey must be carried out within 10 – 12 days from acceptance of the offer. If your property is off the market for too long and the sale doesn’t proceed, you may have lost other potential buyers who could have proceeded.
Our sales progression department
Sarah Mains Residential is only one of a handful of Estate Agents in the UK who operate a fully functional Sales Progression Department. We think it’s so important for our clients to have the reassurance of their Sale and Purchase being monitored at all times.
Staff in many estate agents have to balance loads of tasks during their working day: phoning customers, preparing property details, conducting viewings, valuing properties and trying to get hold of solicitors and surveyors when they can. As a result, sales collapse because there simply hasn’t been enough contact or a rash decision is made when there’s a hiccup and it soon develops into a deal-killer.
At Sarah Mains Residential we will provide you with a fully trained, highly experienced Progressor dedicated to your sale. He or she will work full time on monitoring and overcoming any problems which occur. We will introduce you to your own Sales Progressor, who will be there with you all the way until the day you move in.
At Sarah Mains Residential, we have a sale fall-through rate that’s less than 5% of our agreed sales annually.
The national sale fall-through average usually runs between 35% – 50% of sales not proceeding to a completion. That’s between one third and half of homeowners and purchasers nationally left high and dry after spending money with nothing to show.
Perhaps you now see why our Sales Progressors are such an important investment for us and such an advantage for our sellers and buyers to keep our property sales moving forward to a successful conclusion.
If you’ve used a solicitor in the past and you were pleased with their services, great. If you don’t have one, we can arrange a local solicitor for you through Sarah Mains Conveyancing. They work closely with our Sales Progressors to make sure the process runs smoothly and that the deal is completed in good time. We can also pass on a discount to you and operate a no-sale, no-conveyancing fee scheme.
When you have confirmed to us the name of the solicitor you wish to act on your behalf, we will issue a Memorandum of Sale. This document details everything that both parties solicitors require in order to set up a communication process between themselves and all the relevant parties.
Your solicitor will deal with any questions your buyer's solicitor raises regarding; title deeds, local authority searches, boundaries, covenants, planning consents, guarantees and so on.
The buyer’s survey
Your buyers or their lender will instruct a surveyor to inspect your property.
Some lenders may require a full structural survey on older properties.
Surveyors can request further investigations: electrical checks, damp and timber reports, for example. Our sales progressors will liaise with you and your purchaser to help arrange any further reports quickly.
When both parties are happy to commit and all the questions raised by your buyer's Solicitor have been answered to their satisfaction, your Solicitor will draw up the Contract of Sale for both parties to sign.
Once the contract is signed, the sale becomes legally binding and the buyer will be required to pay a deposit. This is usually 10% of the purchase price. Should they withdraw after this point, they’re liable to lose this deposit.
Completion happens after you’ve exchanged contracts. This may happen on the same day, more often it occurs anything from a week to a few days later. There is often a previously arranged date to make sure that the paperwork is in good order and that arrangements can be made for transferring funds. If a chain’s involved, setting a date is essential: several moves will need to take place on the same day.
Once the completion funds have been successfully transferred from your buyer’s solicitor’s bank account to your solicitor’s account, we will hand the keys to your buyer.
If you’re moving out of your old home, be prepared! First of all make lists and be sure to have your mail re-directed by the Post Office You will need to inform a lot of people and organizations of your change of address for example; your telephone provider, water company and local council tax department. Also, when you speak to your electricity and gas suppliers, provide them with your final meter readings (be sure to read them at your new home too!). If you have amassed lots of belongings, don’t rely on friends, book a removal company! If you don’t know of any recommended removal companies, Sarah Mains Residential can obtain quotes for you from competitive, reliable and recommended operators.