Selling can be a happy and rewarding experience provided you plan positively and have the right agency team.
It is also important you clearly understand the process and have reasonable expectations. With this in mind we have provided you with the following information.
1. Getting Ready To Sell
Choose an agent you can trust
Establish who is active and successful in the area? Do they communicate well and appreciate your requirements? Agree a marketing plan designed to attract the right buyers and achieve the best price? BEWARE: Many agents quote a high price out of ignorance or desperation to list your property. Their failure can be your disaster.
Instruct a solicitor of conveyancer
You do not have to use anyone in particular. Confirm that the practice specialises in conveyancing. Ensure the person you are dealing with will be doing the work and not delegating it? Obtain a fixed-price quotation. Are there any ‘extras’?
Present your Property for Sale
Carry out maintenance items and gardening. De-clutter and rearrange furniture. Get spare keys for the agent. If a rental property, it is usually worth negotiating a rent rebate in exchange for the tenant’s cooperation. NOTE: Make improvements only that will boost the net price.
2. Method Of Sale
Private Treaty sales involve negotiation to agree the price and terms. Legal commitment by both parties only happens on ‘exchange’ of contracts (ie when they are signed, swapped and deposit paid).
The purchaser can ‘cool off’ (ie change their minds) within 5 working days and forfeit 0.25% of the purchase price unless the contract is made unconditional. The vendor is always bound. An unconditional sale is obviously preferred but it depends on the circumstances.
Auctions are always an unconditional sale at a set time, date and place. They are usually set for the fourth week of the marketing campaign. The sale is subject to the Vendor’s reserve (minimum) price being met.
It is preferable to indicate a price range in auction advertising.
COMMENT: The ‘right’ method depends entirely on the property and circumstances.
3. You’re On The Market
‘Open houses’ must be at pre-arranged times especially on a Saturday. Other inspections should be strictly by appointment.
COMMENT: Frequency of inspections is a balance between not losing buyers and your personal convenience. A genuine buyer is usually able to fit in with reasonable inspection times.
One-off promotion generally includes prominent/highlighted internet listings, a signboard, prestige brochures (with floorplan and detailed property information), window display and letterbox marketing to local properties. Newspaper advertising (and editorials) depend on the type of property and where buyers would look. A good local agent will have many ‘qualified’ buyers to take through already.
REMEMBER: Provided the promotion is good, most buyers will be attracted within the first two weeks of any campaign.
4. It’s Sold!
The time to settle will have been agreed on exchange. It is usually six weeks, though longer and shorter settlements are not uncommon. This time can then only be changed by mutual agreement of both parties. The Purchaser’s solicitor (or conveyancer) obtains all necessary searches whilst the Vendor’s solicitor (or conveyancer) arranges for any mortgage to be discharged.
Services such as electricity, gas, phone and mail redirection need to be organised before settlement. At settlement, the Vendor is paid out the balance of the purchase moneys after deduction of any loan and adjustment for rates, etc. The agent is paid the commission and costs, often from the deposit they are holding on behalf of the parties.
The property must be vacated by the time of settlement and all keys handed over. It is usual for the purchaser to carry out a final (pre-settlement) inspection prior to settlement.
TIP:The final inspection is a nice time for the seller to pass on a few hints about the property, keys and equipment and even details of garbage collection and local services. In return, leave a forwarding address for mail that slips through and perhaps your new telephone number.