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Buying & Selling Advice

Sellers Guide

Selling your home can be a stressful. complex and time consuming experience. However, along with appointing seasoned professionals, there is a great deal you can do to make the process as smooth as possible and ensure you get the best price from a suitable buyer. Below are some suggestions from our experience gained from assisting thousands of clients to sell their homes.

Presentation

Most buyers:

  • Like a clutter free property and have difficulty in seeing the wood for the trees. Tidy up and make space in cupboards so that is easy to put things away quickly for viewings to take place.
  • Like a clean property with smart décor.
  • First impressions! Buyers are often making decisions immediately on entering your reception hall. Remember as well that buyers spend more time going through your hall, stairs and landing than any other room in your house so these areas can make a lasting impression.

Walker Smale can give you advice when we visit your home to carry out a free market appraisal but you can also ask a friend or family member to have a critical eye.

Property Information

Upon instruction we will ask you several fact finding questions about your property so it is important that you find any relevant documents to enable you to answer our questions accurately – this is particularly relevant to Leasehold properties. We have responsibility to provide accurtate information so that buyer can make an informed decision if they are considering to purchase your property. Being able to provide accurate information about your property at the outset will avoid problems with your sale at a later which could be costly both financially and emotionally.

Getting legally prepared to sell

Once a buyer has been found it is important that your solicitor can present all the documentation to the buyer’s solicitors quickly for review. To ensure your solicitor can do this they need to have good notice of your intention to sell. We strongly recommend that they are instructed when we are asked to market the property. If you do not instruct your solicitor at this early stage it could delay your transaction time by two or three weeks

What is your property worth?

What a buyer who wants your home is willing pay. What is special about it that should be emphasised to attract that special buyer who will pay above the average price? Our many years of estate agency experience enables us to take many factors into consideration when we advise you on a suitable asking price for your property. We don’t purely rely on a scientific approach using historic comparable information, but draw on our extensive knowledge and expertise in reading the climate of current property market.

Viewings

All viewings are by appointment only through the branch handling your sale so that we are able to qualify potential buyers, retain control and, of course for security. We are happy to accompany buyers if you would prefer us to and there may also be instances where we may feel that is best advice. However, we also know that in some situations sellers can also have a positive influence on viewers.

Accepting an offer

This is always done Subject to Contract and any conditions that we agree on your behalf but either party can withdraw before Exchange of contracts at no penalty. This is standard legal practice across the UK, but can attract criticism if either party subsequently decide not to proceed with the agreed transaction, so to cement the sale an early exchange of contracts will ensure peace of mind. It will be important for you to instruct your solicitor to try to achieve this for you and we will assist where we can.

It is our policy unless agreed or instructed otherwise to continue to market properties until we are satisfied that your buyer has instructed their solicitor. Our Notification of Sale document will confirm the basis on which the sale has been agreed and detail conditions and inclusions.

Instructing your solicitors

Only you can do this and this needs to be done at the very latest as soon as you have accepted an offer.

  • In order for them to start work on your case, they will need to receive;
  • Identification from you to satisfy the current money laundering regulations
  • Signed Terms of Business
  • A completed fixtures and fittings list
  • Planning permission and building regulation sign offs for any extensions or alterations you have made
  • Guarantees, warrantees and certificates for works completed (double glazing, boiler servicing etc)
  • Block manager and freeholder information and contact details if your property is leasehold
  • Authority from you to provide the buyers solicitor with answers to their enquiries and payment for them to undertake the standard searches against any proposed purchase you are planning.

Putting the parties in touch

We will send a “Notification of Sale” to you, your solicitor, the buyer and their solicitor informing them that a sale has been agreed. It is important that you check our Notification of Sale document to ensure it meets your expectations. We will also provide both solicitors with a copy of your sales particulars along with the EPC for your property.

GREEN DEAL

Under Green Deal Regulations, there is a statutory requirement to notify a prospective purchaser of the presence of an existing Green Deal charge, as they will be taking on responsibility for payments under the agreement. If that purchaser or tenant can prove that they had not been notified of the charge, they can refuse to pay. Under Green Deal Regulations, there is a statutory requirement to notify a prospective purchaser of the presence of an existing Green Deal charge, as they will be taking on responsibility for payments under the agreement. If that purchaser or tenant can prove that they had not been notified of the charge, they can refuse to pay.

The EPC document provides information on any existing Green Deal Plan attached to the property. Agents must provide a copy of that EPC.

Solar PV installations installed under a roof space lease scheme are subject to different considerations, as these will require specific lender consent at the time of installation, to ensure that the lease is compliant with CML/BSA minimum terms, and there may also be strict prohibitions or onerous early redemption charges attached to any early termination of the lease agreement.

It is therefore important that you should disclose the existence of a Green Deal or any other Energy Reduction Measures that you will expect the buyer to take over responsibility for from completion date.

Consents

Many of the works that may be covered by Green Deal, such as air source heat pumps and solar PV panels, are likely to fall into the category of Permitted Development under Planning and Building Regulation requirements, there are specific requirements outside England in respect of some measures that have been introduced by the Scottish and Welsh Assemblies.

Where properties lie within Conservation Areas or are Listed, and where works that impact on the visual appearance of the building, such as external solid wall insulation, are likely to require express consent. For leasehold properties, the undertaking of work under Green Deal requires the approval of all parties with a financial interest in the property, including lessees, landlords, freeholders, management companies or mortgagees.

Warranties and guarantees are a fundamental part of the consumer protection process for the Green Deal and, depending upon the number of measures installed, there could be warranties of various types and length.

It is important that these documents are produced to your solicitor at the earliest opportunity.