When it comes to selling your own property, selecting the right estate agent is essential… but with the plethora of firms in the marketplace how do you decide who the ‘right’ estate agent is?

There are normally two reasons why a potential vendor chooses to instruct a particular agent; it’s often who gives the highest valuation or who offers the lowest fees. Whilst these are important factors, are these the measures upon which you should base your decision?

In a single word, no! It may be that the agent you instruct meets both of these criteria, but your initial decision should not be based upon either of them. As with any relationship, confidence, trust and understanding are the key foundations. Confidence in the agent’s ability not just to do the job, but also in the trust you place on the advice given. Trust that you are given the advice you ought to hear and not simply what you want to hear. Confidence in their market knowledge, marketing expertise, understanding of all the processes and not least, a total belief that they possess the necessary personal and negotiating skills, so that you know the eventual outcome is the best possible.

When it comes to selling your own property, selecting the right estate agent is essential… but with the plethora of firms in the marketplace how do you decide who the ‘right’ estate agent is?

There are normally two reasons why a potential vendor chooses to instruct a particular agent; it’s often who gives the highest valuation or who offers the lowest fees. Whilst these are important factors, are these the measures upon which you should base your decision?

In a single word, no! It may be that the agent you instruct meets both of these criteria, but your initial decision should not be based upon either of them. As with any relationship, confidence, trust and understanding are the key foundations. Confidence in the agent’s ability not just to do the job, but also in the trust you place on the advice given. Trust that you are given the advice you ought to hear and not simply what you want to hear. Confidence in their market knowledge, marketing expertise, understanding of all the processes and not least, a total belief that they possess the necessary personal and negotiating skills, so that you know the eventual outcome is the best possible.

You should…

Seek to have valuations from at least two, if not three local firms.

Probe the extent of local knowledge each agent has.

Check how comprehensively your property will be marketed. This includes not only the online portals but also printed advertising in local property guides and magazines. Query the extent of the agent’s digital marketing and social media presence.

Ask what other properties similar to your own have been sold by the agent you are speaking with. An up to date knowledge of local market conditions is essential!

Ask what fees would apply for sole, joint sole or multi-agency. A single agent is often all that is required, however there may be occasions where it is desirable to select two. Instructing more than two agents is generally not recommended, and may suggest an element of desperation.

Once you have appointed an agent and your marketing price is agreed, your agent should commission the taking of professional photographs and the drawing of floor plans. You will also require an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate).

Prior to the commencement of marketing, it is maybe a good idea to spring clean your property, so that it may be shown in its best possible light. We are regularly asked by potential vendors about the necessity to redecorate rooms, or replace tired bathrooms or kitchens before selling. Our response in many instances is ‘no’, since purchasers often prefer to undertake these refurbishments themselves. Any decluttering which can be done will also be beneficial. Well-placed flowers may also add a sense of ‘freshness’.

Unless the property is to be the subject of a complete overhaul it is important that any leaks are repaired before going to market. Thereafter, unless you are planning to redecorate the entire property it is generally not necessary to paper over the cracks.

 

Documentation for works carried out to a property, such as loft conversions, extensions or basements should be available and ready to provide to your solicitor when a sale has been agreed or earlier. Examples of necessary documentation may include (but are not limited to) building regs approval, damp or underpinning guarantees, FENSA certificates etc.

If you are selling a property which is part of a managed complex (ie a flat within a block or a house within a development) you or your solicitor should apply for an up to date management pack (including service charge accounts). Although this may need to be update at some point, it will save time if a sale is agreed quickly.

Another point to consider is the importance of having a For Sale sign placed at the property. This is a key advertising tool. Assuming the property meets the enquirer’s requirements, they will already be familiar with its appearance and location.

Your agent should always keep you regularly informed with feedback from viewings and confirm to you in writing any offers received.

Once a sale is agreed you will need to be aware of the various costs associated with selling your property – please click on the following link (BUYERS GUIDE) for more information.

Upon exchange of contracts, there becomes a legally binding agreement for the buyer to buy and the seller to sell. Normally a deposit of 5% to 10% is paid. It is usual at this point for the buyer to assume responsibility for insuring the property. Your solicitor will advise you on this. After an agreed period set-out in the contract, completion will occur. This is when the balance of the purchase price is paid. It is the responsibility of the seller to deliver the property with vacant possession. At this point you must ensure that you have vacated the property and all contents (other than those agreed to be left) are removed. Completion can be at any mutually convenient time after exchange of contracts. Traditionally this is a month after exchange, but it may be for a much shorter or longer period than this. When leaving a property for the last time it is always a nice gesture to provide the new owner with a pack that contains relevant instruction manuals for appliances, boiler service agreements, alarm information and general notes with details such as bin collection day. It is always appreciated by the purchaser if the property is also cleaned. This all helps to make the new owner’s transition into the property as stress-free as possible.

All of the above general advice has been collated from our experienced team of property professionals and is intended to give you help and guidance in the initial stages. We would like to think that you have chosen Day Morris to act on your behalf in the sale of your property, but please see our link to ‘A Little About Us’ to better understand what we do and how we do it.

Of course, the best thing you can do is talk to us. See how we answer the phone and how personable we are. Did we inspire you with our knowledge and leave you feeling confident that you’re in safe hands? We do hope so and we look forward to speaking with you soon!