Selling Guide

A step-by-step guide to selling your property

Selling property can be a complicated matter. Our selling guide can help you by providing a step-by-step breakdown of the process.

Step 1 - Realistic Marketing Valuation

It’s always advisable to ensure you have an accurate and realistic marketing valuation, so that your property listing doesn’t put potential buyers off. At Handles Property, we’ll visit your property to carry out a free marketing appraisal, so you can be sure that your property is being listed for the right price.

We’ll listen carefully to your requirements and advise on a personal marketing strategy to suit your needs. As part of the process, we also give our recommendations on pricing. This is based on our extensive knowledge of local property sales and demand for property in your area.

Step 2 – Presenting Your Property

It’s true what they say: first impressions matter.

With this in mind, we’ll be sure to advise if we feel any jobs should be carried out to benefit your prospective sale, such as lick of paint here or there or a bit of decluttering.

It’s very important that the property is presented in a clean state, especially the kitchen and bathrooms. If you’re planning any home improvements, please check with our experienced team first, as sometimes the cost and effort may only lead to a small difference in the speed of sale or final sale price. Conversely, a small investment in the right area could make a huge difference.

Step 3 – Preparing to Market Your Home

We’ll take photographs and measurements of your property, create a floorplan and film a 3D virtual tour in order to produce a draft sales brochure. The brochure will be forwarded to you for your approval.

Handles Property will organise the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) on your behalf if required.

It’s also advisable to consider instructing a solicitor at this point, so you can minimise any delays your side once a buyer has been found.

Step 4 – Marketing

Once you’ve approved our marketing literature, we’ll begin the marketing in line with your preferences. We offer various marketing packages, from low profile to full advertising, Open House events, private treaty, and informal tender.

Step 5 – Accompanied Viewings

Whenever possible, we’ll ensure we accompany all viewings of your property. Our research has shown that most buyers prefer to be shown around the property by the agent and are more open regarding their thoughts when this is the case. If the viewing doesn’t lead to an offer, we’ll be able to give you constructive feedback. You are, however, free to carry out your own viewings if you’d prefer to do so.

Step 6 – Receiving an Offer

All offers will be confirmed in writing and reported to you at the earliest opportunity. If buyers need to sell a property in order to purchase your home, we’ll speak to their estate agent to ‘check the chain’. We’ll also ensure you are kept up to date on timescales, as this can often be just as important as the sale price.

Step 7 – Agreeing the Sale

Handles Property will carry out due diligence checks on your buyer, gaining proof of funds and confirming identification and address. We’ll write to all parties to outline and confirm the terms of the sale and issue a memorandum of sale.

Step 8 – The Transaction

As the vendor, you’ll be sent some forms from your solicitor regarding the property. These will need filling in. The forms will include a property information document and a fixtures and fittings form. It’s important to complete and return these documents to your solicitor as soon as possible, as they cannot issue a draft contract to your buyer’s solicitor without them.

After the buyer’s solicitor has received the draft contract, they may raise some queries and ask for clarification on certain parts of the contract. These are called pre-contract enquiries. At the same time, they’ll apply for various searches on your property which, may also lead to more queries.

If your buyer is having a mortgage, then you’ll also be contacted to arrange a visit for the lender’s surveyor to carry out a valuation on the property. The buyer may also have opted for a more in-depth survey, such as a building report or full structural survey.

Step 9 – Exchange of Contracts

Once the buyer’s solicitor has all the necessary information, they’ll report back to their client. This means they’ll either invite the buyer(s) to their office to run through the contract or send it to them to check and return.

You may find the buyer’s solicitor will raise some additional queries at this point (if the buyer needs clarification on any outstanding matters). Once the buyer or buyers have signed their contract, they’ll be asked to send their solicitor the deposit (usually an amount between 5% and 10% of the sale price), so the solicitors can exchange contracts. This is when the sale becomes legally binding with financial penalties for the vendor or buyer if they then decide to withdraw from the sale.

Step 10 – Completion

When the contracts are exchanged the completion/moving date is agreed as part of the contract. It’s possible to exchange contracts and complete on the same day, but this can be very stressful, especially if the properties involved are occupied. Therefore, it’s unusual for completion to take place so quickly.

There’s usually around one to two weeks between exchange of contracts and completion, as this gives both parties some time to organise removals, utilities, etc. The completion can be a longer period, even months, as long as both parties have agreed this at exchange of contracts. This is, however, rare, as usually both parties wish to complete quite quickly.

On the completion date, your solicitor will let you and your estate agent know when they have received the full balance from your buyer. This is when the sale is concluded, and keys can be released to the new owners of your property.

If there is a ‘chain’ of properties, then the completion starts with the property at the bottom and moves up to the end of chain. If people are physically moving on the day, then there must be a little give and take on accessing their new properties, as the top of the chain will complete a bit later than the bottom.

At this stage the process is completed, and you’ve sold your property!

To find out more about our service or to book your free marketing appraisal please request a free valuation.

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