Selling Process

Step 1. Valuation

Pitching the price of your property correctly is a skill. Too high and you won’t receive any interest. Too low and the property sells for much less than its worth. An accurate valuation pulls together information from several resources: The cosmetic, general structural condition and future potential of the property, the prices achieved for similar properties in the area, and market comparables (looking at the asking prices of properties currently on the market that represent competition for your sale). This information is reviewed and an appropriate asking price is offered to you.

Step 2. Selecting an estate agent

Selecting the perfect estate agent to represent your interest is as much about your feel for us as the service we can offer you. Sound local knowledge, well trained highly motivated staff, clear, fair terms of business, competitive fee structure and a proven history of sealing the deal should be high on your list of priorities; don’t always choose the agent that simply gives you the highest valuation. Our staff are trained to an exceptionally high standard so you can rely on us.

Step 3. Obtain an EPC

As of October 2008, all properties sold or rented require an EPC, and the energy ratings had to be displayed on any property particulars, however the regulations changed on 6th April 2012 to attach the EPC details to any property particulars and it is now a legal requirement to provide an EPC for most properties in England and Wales. An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rates the energy efficiency of a property and its carbon emissions.

Step 4. Instructing a solicitor (conveyancer)

You will need to decide who will do your conveyancing. Conveyancing is the term used to describe the legal process you must go through when buying or selling a home. Conveyancing can be done by a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer. Find out what their fees are, what other legal costs are involved and when these are payable. We can recommend a solicitor if you do not have one.

Step 5. Presenting your property

Prospective buyers will come to view your property, by appointment through the estate agent. Ensure your home is tidy and clean. Touch up any stains, ripped wallpaper etc. A quick coat of paint does wonders in some cases. De-clutter and take down any personal photographs for viewings– it makes the property less personal to you and more of a blank canvas for those looking around.

First impressions are formed even before a prospective buyer walks into the property so make sure that the outside of the property is taken care of just as much as the inside. Try to think of your property less and less as your home, and more as an asset to be maximised and presented in the best light possible.

It is also a good idea to have your household bills to hand to show any interested buyer. These could be your annual service charge or maintenance statement, ground rent, council tax and even gas and electricity. It is important to know the running costs of any property.

Step 6. Marketing your property

To find the right buyer your property needs maximum exposure across a wide range of media. We offer a range of important marketing benefits which will aid in getting you the best possible price.

To raise the profile of your property we always recommend these following methods:

Erecting a For Sale board – This is one of the most effective ways to advertise and attract buyers to your property. They really do work and they advertise your property 24 hours every day. A large percentage of property sales are due to a highly visible, well designed board. If you are really serious about selling, we recommend that you allow us to erect a board. It is a simple and effective marketing tool, available every hour of the day.

E-mail – The world of technology now enables us to send your property all around the world with a simple click of a button.

Direct marketing – We will contact any prospective purchasers who are registered with us and inform them of your property within minutes of receiving your instructions. Any details will be sent via any methods of communication including emails and SMS alerts. Targeting a direct market ensures we don’t get time wasters.

Website and property portals – Our website is updated hourly and full details of your home will be placed within 24hrs once details have been approved. In addition to advertising on our user friendly website, we also advertise in local press and through the following national property portals: Prime Location, On The Market, Findaproperty, Zoopla, Globix, Needaproperty and Rightmove.

Step 7. Accompanied viewings

Willow Estate Agents believe that being flexible on opening times are essential to maximize viewing opportunities for your home. You are able to contact us up till we close in order to arrange any viewings or discuss any matters in relation to your sale. We know that our customers need to work around their usual daily commitments, resulting in a large number of our clients viewing after work or at weekends. Accompanied viewings allow us to cast expert knowledge on your property helping to achieve offers, and also the safety of our clients is paramount therefore we never allow prospective buyers to visit un-accompanied.

Step 8. Receiving an offer

All offers will be reported both verbally and in writing and we will check all offers for their validity and ask for proof of funds. We will also conduct checks under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and Money Laundering Regulations 2003 and ensure that any mortgage offer is verified. In the case of multiple offers, we will advise you on the best course of action.

Where there is a chain in place, we will endeavour to validate all parts of the chain for their robustness and confirm timescales.

We will always try to achieve the best possible price for your home and act in your best interests throughout the transaction.

Step 9. Offer agreed

Before an offer is agreed we will check the buyer’s ability to purchase a property. We can also contact the buyer’s personal mortgage adviser to confirm their financial commitment. This mitigates the risk of a purchase falling through.

At the point of a sale being agreed, we will liaise with both your solicitor and the buyer’s solicitor and prepare the memorandum of sale and we will write to all parties confirming the agreed details of the sale.

Your solicitor will request the title deeds from the lender (if appropriate). The solicitor will prepare the draft contract, which details the terms of the sale, and send it to the buyers’ solicitor together with all relevant documents. The buyer’s solicitor will then start the preliminary checks. The Title Deeds and Lease (if applicable) will be checked and local searches carried out.

Remember that in England an offer is not legally binding, so until contracts have exchanged your buyer could change their minds without financial loss.

Step 10. Exchange contracts

At this stage both parties become legally committed to the sale, and if it falls through from this point onwards then the deposit is forfeited. Contracts are signed by both parties and the solicitor requests the buyer’s deposit. A completion date is set and agreed upon by both you and the purchaser. Unless agreed otherwise (e.g. a simultaneous exchange and completion) the completion date can be anything up to 28 days from the date of exchange.

Step 11. Organise your move

Normally both parties will want a small period of time between exchange of contracts and completion to organise their move. If you haven’t done so already you should have arranged all packing and removal duties, informed everyone of your change of address and booked any disconnections/re-connections of services for your new abode. Remember on the date of completion the property is legally owned by the new buyers so allow plenty of time to move out.

Step 12. Completion

Completion occurs when all outstanding legalities have been completed and the balance of funds are transferred to your solicitor. The solicitor will let you know when this has happened and will inform us so that we can release the keys.