1 – Valuing your property
Right! Once you’ve decided to sell, the first thing you need to know is how much your property is worth. Feel free to call us for a free valuation, as we are not after commission we can truly be independent with our selling advice. The valuation process should be a two way process. You tell us what you would like, we’ll tell you what we think it will sell for and together we’ll come up with a realistic price that you’re happy with. You won’t find any “finger in the wind” business at Flatfee, just all the facts laid out in plain English.
2 – Getting ready to sell
When preparing to sell any property you need to mentally detach yourself from it. This vital start to the process allows you to think subjectively about what potential buyers are looking for. Finish all the small D.I.Y jobs that have been overlooked for years and definitely declutter! You need to create the feeling of space when someone walks in your home. See our Getting ready to sell guide for more information. >>
3 – Market your property
Local publications cost an arm and a leg for a one night advert and still don’t display your property in its best, full colour light. Our job is to get your property out to potential buyers and then all you have to concentrate on is showing people around.
4 – Viewings
Despite what anyone will tell you, the best person to show a potential buyer around a property is the person who lives in it or the person who spent the last six months building it! Nobody else will have all the answers to a buyer’s questions instantly. Buyers can go cold waiting for busy estate agents to get back to them and selling property is all about getting a deal put together quickly and not hanging around waiting for an elusive middle man to call you back.
5 – Negotiating a good deal
This is where the “detach yourself from your property” bit comes in to play the most. When negotiating think of your property as someone else’s. Remember buyers will always expect to pay less than the asking price so leave yourself a little room to negotiate in your asking price. Negotiation isn’t all about price either, leaving small items like washing machines, bed side units and garden chairs can be real deal clinchers for buyers on a tight budget. See our Offers/negotiation guide for more information. >>
6 – Administration
There are really only two letters you need to send once you’ve found a buyer. One to your lawyer stating you’ve found a buyer and informing them of the price, the full names of the buyer(s) and the name of the buyer’s lawyer. It’s important to include a preferred completion date but don’t make it too unreasonable for your lawyer. Four to five weeks is normal but if you are in a particular hurry consult your lawyer for advice.
The second letter is the inventory of contents. Get together with the buyer(s) and walk around the property with a note pad listing all contents that are being sold with the property. Once agreed, send the inventory to the buyers’ lawyer and to yours.
The important items to get ready early are the population consent application and the inventory as both the buyer and the seller need to sign them. This way everyone knows where they stand. If your purchaser is a first time buyer or hasn’t transacted for a while its worthwhile checking on their progress from time to time too. Mortgage applications can take a long time to process and forgetting to return just one piece of paper can delay completion for weeks.
7 – Surveyors
A surveyor will need to come and see your property to make sure the bank is lending against a sound investment. This is a standard procedure and normally nothing to worry about. Make sure you have finished all of those small D.I.Y jobs, you don’t want to give the impression that your home hasn’t been well looked after! If a surveyor finds a problem it’s not the end of the world, depending on the work needed you may need to renegotiate a little. This is normal practice; don’t get upset that somebody has found a fault with your home, surveyors will find small problems with 99% of the properties they visit.
8 – Contracts
Once all the various property legal searches have been completed by the buyer’s lawyer and your selling title has been checked, you can now review and exchange contracts. You should now have a firm date for completion.
9 – Completion
This is the really fun step. Unless you’ve bought and sold loads of property make the effort and go to the Royal court. It’s a great experience and in our opinion one not to be missed. Don’t forget to pop across to the Cock & Bottle after for a quick celebratory lemonade.