A 10 Step Guide to Selling
Our property sales process has been designed to make the sale of your unique property as smooth and simple as possible. We work in a flexible way, which means we’re happy to adapt any aspect of our property sales process to suit you. We know the process can be daunting, so we have broken it down into a step-by-step guide to make selling your house easier.
The first step to selling your home is to get an up-to-date property appraisal. Ideally, you should invite more than one estate agent to view the property. Crompton Estates provides free, no obligation market appraisals and have a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw on when appraising your property.
Valuing your property correctly will be the difference between it sitting on the market or not achieving its full potential, and our directors have excellent local knowledge of property values in the area. Your aim should be to sell your property at the best possible price in the shortest possible time.
Before inviting an estate agent to make a property valuation, you can prepare yourself by conducting your own research. Look into the approximate value of your property; you can do this by searching this site for the average sold prices in different postcodes, or run a property search and use the recently sold tab so see the sold prices in your area.
Once you have an estimated value, you should consider your own position before deciding on the asking price. For instance, if you have already found a property that you want to buy, you will have a minimum price that you will need to achieve to make this purchase possible. Likewise, if you need a quick sale, you may wish to lower the asking price in order to attract more buyers.
First, we’ll arrange a convenient time to visit your property. We will carry out an appraisal on your property, but we will also find out more about your expectations, your intentions and your priorities. The more we find out at this early stage, the smoother we can make the sale of your property.
We’ll also explain how we work and how we can help you get the best outcome. We will give you all the additional information you need up front. 24 hours after this initial meeting, we will get back to you to confirm our appraisal and hear any further thoughts you may have after our meeting. We’ll then send you our Seller’s Pack, which confirms all the details in writing and all the advice you need.
Property appraisals differ from mortgage valuations, which are normally carried out by a surveyor once an offer has been made. Mortgage valuations take into account the structural integrity of the building and help buyers and mortgage lenders verify the value of the property for lending purposes.
Call us on 020 8303 5078 or complete the property appraisal request form.
Estate agents act on the behalf of sellers to market the property, introduce it to potential buyers, conduct viewings, negotiate offers and, once a buyer is found, help progress the sale through to completion. Finding an experienced estate agent with expertise in your area will help you to sell your property. The right estate agent will be able to provide useful advice throughout the process, and will be skilled in negotiating and will have the means to market your property to the right audience.
The decision regarding which estate agent you decide to appoint shouldn’t be based solely on the one which offers the lowest fees or values your property at the highest price. The selling process will require a lot of communication between you and your chosen estate agent.
To best understand their knowledge of the market and determine rapport to be comfortable working with them, you will need to spend time speaking to agents in person. Ask friends for recommendations, and visit their web sites to get a feel for the quality of service that the agents provide. The right estate agent will be professional and should give you confidence. They will have experience in your area, and good agents will already have a database of relevant buyers.
At this point, it is also worth instructing a solicitor to act on your behalf once you have accepted an offer from a buyer. The solicitor will prepare the draft contract of sale which will need to be sent to the buyer’s solicitor and will also handle any enquiries which come through from the buyer. It is normal practice to use the same solicitor for both your onward purchase (if applicable) and your sale.
Solicitors are incredibly important in ensuring a swift transaction so choosing a good one that will act quickly and effectively on your behalf is essential. You should have a solicitor chosen and ready when you instruct your property so things can move fast when you agree an offer. Inefficient solicitors are one of the root causes of sales falling through which is why you should ensure you have chosen the right person to act for you.
Remember, cheapest is not always the best. If you would like us to recommend a solicitor please contact us.
First impressions count, and we recommend that your property is professionally cleaned with minimal maintenance issues, bright and clutter free. A customer decides in a few seconds whether they wish to view a property after seeing it online, so please ensure your property is clean and tidy for when we come to take photos. The presentation of your property can be the difference between attracting buyers or turning them away and getting the best return on your investment.
You don’t necessarily have to refurbish your property before selling it, but thinking about your target buyer should give you some idea. Consider doing any DIY jobs you’ve been meaning to get done try to declutter to make rooms appear larger. A fresh lick of paint, some new soft furnishings, plus a tidy up of the garden should help.
See our seller guide for more information on preparing your property.
To find your perfect buyer you need to give your property maximum exposure across a wide range of media. We will send our in-house photographers who will take photos, create floor plans and write comprehensive property descriptions, highlighting the features which will attract potential buyers. Maps, and information about local amenities and transport networks are all frequently included in our property marketing material. Energy Performance Certificates are also listed.
We will then market your property on our web site, as well as the best property portals. In addition we’ll send the information to our registered applicants, prime buyers and search agents.
With applicants registering with us every day, we work harder to match your property to the perfect potential buyer. Once we’ve used our knowledge and expertise to identify good matches, your property details are emailed or posted to interested buyers. These will be followed up by individual phone calls.
We have access to all kinds of buyers from all over the world and not just London and your local area. You may prefer an off-market, low-profile sale with a reduced level of publicity. We are happy to work this way and have done many times before.
Market knowledge and effective coverage
Our clients benefit from a tailor-made marketing programme which includes:
- Free appraisal and marketing advice
- Individually tailored sales plans
- Full-colour brochures with floor plans
- Properties live online within 48 hours
- Internet marketing via key property portals
- ‘For Sale’ board for your property
- An award winning and trusted brand
- A nationwide register of clients
- Alerts to suitable buyers
- Discreet marketing service available.
- Personal and friendly customer service
- Accompanied viewings
- Follow-up on all enquiries and feedback from viewings
- Negotiation of offers to get the best price
- Follow-up of sale from offer to completion
Once your property is on the market, you’ll need to keep on top of cleanliness and clutter every day in case of any unexpected viewings. Dust and dirt can dull a surface and give viewers the impression that work needs to be done, but a quick clean can reveal the real finish beneath and instantly refresh a property’s appearance. Avoiding cooking smelly foods and using scented candles and open windows can help keep the property fresh. These small but noticeable acts can help buyers picture themselves living in your property, making them more likely to place an offer.
It is normal practice for sellers to leave a set of keys with their estate agent so that they can show the property to prospective buyers without having to rely on the seller being home. Viewings can be a little disruptive so if you want to restrict the times at which buyers can look around your property, you should agree this with your estate agent from the beginning, along with any other arrangements that you may wish to make.
Buyers often prefer to look around a property whilst the vendor is not in, as it allows them to look around more thoroughly and discuss it more openly. However, if you are remaining present, greet the party at the door, tell them that you are happy to answer any questions, then leave them while the estate agent shows them around. If you are not going to be present for the viewing, ensure that your estate agent can contact you if any questions arise that cannot be answered.
If your estate agent has recommended that you are present for the viewing, allow prospective buyers to walk into each room ahead of you to give them a better feel for the space.
If asked, you can offer to provide an insight into the area or what you think is so special about your property. For instance, does the garden catch the sun in the evening? Is it easy to keep warm in the winter? Are the neighbours friendly? What’s the local school like? Always be honest whenever answering prospective buyers’ questions, as any misleading information given is likely to be exposed at a later date if an offer is made. Have your Energy Performance Certificate to hand, along with any other information you feel may be relevant.
Once the viewing party has left, make a few notes to remind yourself at a later date which prospective buyer was which. Later that day, speak to the estate agent who may have been able to gauge their level of interest, and may also be able to provide feedback that will help improve any future viewings.
If you are selling your property through an estate agent then any interested parties must make an offer through them. All offers received will be passed to you so that we can discuss your thoughts and help you decide on how to proceed.
If there is more than one interested party, your agent will keep you up-to-date with competing offers. You don’t have to choose the highest bidder, in fact you should consider your aims and how this relates to the buyer’s situation. If you want to move quickly, a chain free first time buyer or someone who has already sold their property may be the best option. An offer involves much more than just a price, so you should consider all the details of an offer:
- Cash or unencumbered buyer: These are attractive buyers, as there are fewer obstacles which could hinder the process.
- First time buyer: These buyers are not in a property chain, so they are less dependent on external influences.
- Property on market under offer: These buyers are at an advanced stage in selling their existing property so should be ready to move relatively soon.
- Property to sell on market: These buyers are also in the process of selling a property, so the sale of their property might affect the onward chain.
- Mortgage agreed in principle: You can be assured that these buyers have sufficient funds to complete the transaction, and they have already taken care of one of the bigger steps in the process.
- Property solicitor appointed: Buyers who have already appointed a property solicitor will usually be able to proceed more quickly with the transaction.
- Property to sell not on market: These buyers might be browsing, or are yet to begin the property selling process. If they are dependent on selling their existing home, it could be some time before these buyers are in a position to move.
We will be in constant contact with you throughout the sales process, so we can understand how your own position is progressing and give you advice on any changes in the current market.
Once you have accepted an offer we will prepare the memorandum of sale, write to all parties to confirm the agreed price and request confirmation of solicitor's details. Any special conditions of the offer will also be stated in writing and we will check the buyer's ability to proceed before you decide whether to accept the offer.
When a prospective buyer is ready to make an offer, they will contact your estate agent. Each offer is considered based on the amount offered and the buyer’s position. A buyer may increase their offer more than once and negotiation may be required before an agreement is made. We’ll work with you to obtain the best possible price, buyer and timing.
When an offer is accepted a memorandum of sale is usually issued to set out the details of the transaction and to declare both parties’ intent to complete the transaction. This will usually require you to take the property off the market however this should be discussed with your agent. We will define a timeline before arranging the exchange of contracts and completion through the nominated solicitor.
The buyer will also instruct their lender to value the property so they can finalise their mortgage offer. They may also commission a survey or homebuyer report at this point too. Your solicitor will send out a draft contract to the buyer's solicitor who will then carry out preliminary enquiries. At this stage you will also be able to agree on dates for the survey on your property, exchange of contracts and proposed date for completion.
Throughout the later stages of your sale, we’ll act as intermediaries and will help manage interactions between the four parties: you, your solicitor, the buyer and their solicitor. As this is the period where problems can often occur, and we will advise you and negotiate on your behalf throughout this process, keeping you informed every step of the way.
It is important to remember that until contracts are exchanged, the agreement is not yet legally binding and either party can still pull out from the transaction up to this point.
The exchanging of contracts is carried out on your behalf by your solicitor. It is when the sale of your home becomes legally binding and once contracts have exchanged you can be fairly certain that the sale of your house will go through.
Exchange of contracts occurs when the following have been confirmed and agreed:
- Preliminary enquiries following receipt of draft contract.
- Evidence of a good title.
- Specific issues highlighted in the Lease, if applicable.
- Local search queries.
- Fixtures and fittings to be included in the sale.
- The buyer's mortgage offer, if applicable.
Once the contract has been signed by both parties the deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) will be paid by the buyer's solicitor to your solicitor, and can be retained if the buyer pulls out of the purchase. However, you would also be liable for penalties or legal action if you pulled out of the sale. The buyer’s solicitor will contact the Land Registry Office to arrange for the deeds to be transferred into the buyer’s name.
Once contracts have been exchanged a completion date can then be set by mutual agreement.
Completion is when the remaining 90% of the purchase price is transferred from the buyer’s solicitor and your solicitor confirms this has been received in their account. Your solicitor will then call you to confirm that the money has been transferred to your account and that we can now release the keys to the buyers.
Completion days are almost always on a weekday to allow the banks and solicitors to arrange transfer of monies and complete other necessary legal or financial actions that would be impossible to do on a weekend. Make sure you have other living arrangements - if this was your home - as once completion is finished, the new owner can move in straight away.
Congratulations, your property is now sold!
If you would like to discuss the selling process in more detail please contact our sales team on 020 8303 5078.