Impressions do count
The presentation of your home, both inside and out, can make all the difference to securing the right purchaser quickly. Add a fresh coat of paint, tidy the garden, clean your front door and make sure any communal areas are respectable. The interior of your property should be as clutter-free as possible; clear surfaces give the impression of space. Check all the light bulbs are working and fix any squeaky doors. Small things like these can really help create the best impression.
It's important that we can let people view your property at a time that's convenient for them. Give us a set of keys so we can organise accompanied viewings, leaving you free to get on with other commitments. Rest assured, we will sell the best features of your house on your behalf - it's in our interests as much as yours.
Brief us on all the non-obvious things that make the property attractive like a particularly sunny spot in the garden, friendly neighbours, good local shops & schools. It will help us ensure that any potential purchaser is seeing the property in its best light.
Don't worry if the first few viewings don't lead to a sale. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with your home or the way it is presented. However, do be open to any feedback from viewings and be prepared to listen to ideas to make your property more appealing.
You don't have to accept the first offer and it is worth discussing with us if a higher price could be achieved by waiting. On the other hand, do think about what criteria might prompt you to consider offers below your asking price, such as cash buyers or chain-free buyers; a swift sale may save you money in the long run and enable you to secure your onwards purchase.
If you are trading up and your house is perfect for first-time buyers, be aware of how you can help them. Offer to leave soft furnishings like curtains or furniture rather than negotiate on the price, you may not want them anyway. Some purchasers commission a full survey and if defects are found they may wish to renegotiate, so it is best to be upfront about anything you may be aware of at the start.
Be ready to move!
The excitement of accepting an offer is the start of the process of transferring the property from your ownership to your buyer. This takes several weeks or even a couple of months. Make sure you have legal representation, so that you can move to the stage of exchanging contracts quickly and easily and set a completion date, so you are ready to go.
First time buyers
It is very exciting buying your first home, although it can be an extremely daunting experience too. Here’s a step by step guide to finding your perfect property, financing your move, choosing a reputable solicitor and eventually completing the purchase of your property. Our aim is to make your purchase as smooth and stress-free as possible. We are here to help you every step of the way.
Everyone works to a budget regardless of what size property they are looking to buy. Unless you are in the enviable position where you can offer cash on a property, you will need a mortgage to finance your purchase. Mortgage lenders take into consideration your earnings when calculating your level of eligibility and it is advisable to use an independent mortgage advisor who has access to all the mortgages available. Once you have decided which mortgage will suit you best, you can apply for an agreement in principle. This allows you a better understanding of what you can and cannot afford when searching for your first home. If you would like assistance in choosing a Financial Advisor we can help.
Managing your budget
When buying your first home, you should take into consideration the other costs associated with owning a property. You may have to fully furnish the house as well as redecorate or renovate. There will be costs for utilities as well as council tax, and perhaps service charges and ground rent too.
There are also extra fees to consider when purchasing your property, such as stamp duty, solicitors, surveys and searches. Allow your budget some room for movement; you don’t want to be in a position where you are financially overstretched!
Starting your search
Create a wish-list of what you are looking for. Note which items are essential on the list and what preferences could be discarded if absolutely necessary. For example, if outside space and good transport links are essential, make sure you let us know that. We will request your contact details and email address so that we can quickly let you know about properties that match your criteria.
It is a common misconception that you should offer below the marketing price, this could result in you losing the property and it is becoming increasingly common for properties to be sold above the asking price in today’s rising market.
Choosing a solicitor
Once you have made an offer on your new home and it has been accepted, you must appoint a solicitor to act for you and legally to progress the sale. It is best to go by recommendation when choosing a solicitor but if you can’t, you can check you are dealing with a regulated solicitor by visiting www.sra.org.uk. The solicitor will begin the sales process and carry out all the necessary checks and searches on the property. If you would like assistance in choosing a solicitor, we can help.
Organising a survey
Once an offer has been accepted, your lender will require a compulsory mortgage valuation. This survey will not spot any major structural flaws faults but will guarantee the value of the property for your mortgage provider.
You may also wish to consider a homebuyer’s survey or a full buildings survey. Naturally these surveys are more costly but will highlight in more detail any current or future problems and defects that may occur in your new home.
Exchange of contracts.
When both parties are in a position to proceed with the sale, you will have to lodge a deposit with your solicitor, usually 10% of the purchase price. This paves the way for contracts to be signed and exchanged. At this point the completion date is agreed and you will know when you will own the property.
Collecting your keys
On the completion date, when all parties have agreed and signed the contract and when the solicitors have confirmed that all necessary monies have been transferred, we will be in a position to release the keys. We recommend that you take the meter readings for Gas, Electricity and water on this day, so that you can open your new utility accounts with the correct readings. Please remember to also register for Council Tax and purchase a television license if necessary.
Sit back, relax and enjoy your new home!
In the excitement of moving it is easy to forget some of the important things you need to do, so here’s a handy checklist
We hope that this makes your move easier and more enjoyable!
For your peace of mind we are members of these Estate and Letting Agents Regulatory Bodies:
Property Redress Scheme
By law, Property Agents are required to join a government authorised consumer redress scheme. The purpose of this is to give consumers of the Property Agent an escalated complaints procedure if they are unhappy with how their complaint has been dealt with by the Agent.
The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) is the only professional body that is solely concerned with the self-regulation of letting agents and since 1981 has been actively promoting the highest standards across every aspect of residential lettings and management in the Private Rented Sector.
Why Should A Landlord Or Tenant Seek Out An ARLA Member?
ARLA leads the industry in setting and regulating the highest standards in the industry and demands certain levels of professionalism and commitment to customer service from its membership.
ARLA members are required to work within a robust Code of Practice, which covers the key stages in letting and managing a property. There are comprehensive membership Byelaws which include compliance with such issues as handling and accounting for Clients' money; the mandatory ARLA Client Money Protection Bonding Scheme; Professional Indemnity Insurance; Dealing with Complaints and Disciplinary Procedures.
ARLA keeps it members up to date with changes in legislation and provides wide-ranging training and guidance to help members understand and interpret all aspects of letting and managing a property.
London Rental Standard (LRS)
The London Rental Standard (LRS) initiative is designed to raise professional standards in the capital’s private rented sector by providing a consistent benchmark of accreditation for consumers. LRS is a voluntary set of minimum standards that the Mayor of London expects of letting agents operating in London’s private rented sector.