Many vendors focus on getting the aesthetics of their property up-to-date when preparing their property to go up for sale. Yet, there are other ways in which a seller can get their house in order before they put their property on the market.

Selecting an Estate Agent:

One of the biggest considerations will be selecting who is going to manage the sale of your property.

Similar to choosing your conveyancer, you’ll likely have recommendations from friends and family on agents they have used in the past. But you’ll also be wise to ensure you do your research to find at least two estate agents to value your property.

Things to consider are:

  • Are they local to the area?
    • Local knowledge is essential to help not only sell your property, but also the surrounding area to prospective buyers who will no doubt want to know about the local schools and amenities etc.
  • Have they sold properties similar to yours?
    • If yes, how much did they sell them for compared to the asking price, and how long did it take them?
  • What fee will they charge?
    • Most agents charge a percentage of the sale price and this can vary from as little as 0.75% to 2.5%. As with anything, cheapest is not always best.
  • What is your overall impression of the agent?
    • Personality-wise you’ll want to get the right fit for you and your property as they are going to be the one representing it on your behalf. Therefore, making sure you get along with them is an important consideration
  • Are they members of an accredited independent ombudsman service?
    • They must be either a member of the Property Ombudsman or the Property Redress Scheme
  • Is their valuation the highest?
    • Be cautious to select your estate agent based on who provides the highest valuation. While some may come in with an over-priced valuation simply to win your business, others may stress that their price is a genuine reflection of what they think they could achieve. Don’t be afraid to ask for evidence to support their price and also do your research – what are properties similar to yours selling for? Use online tools to get a gauge on what your property could be worth.

You can, of course, also consider an online estate agent which tend to be a lot cheaper than your conventional high-street estate agents as they don’t have the overheads of a high-street presence to pay for. Some will charge an up-front fee while others will charge you on completion of the sale – they may also charge extra for things such as property viewings.

Supporting documents for the sale:

Throughout the sale of your property both your estate agent and conveyancer will require several documents from you. Therefore, to help keep your transaction moving quickly it’s worth having a file ready with all the necessary pieces of paperwork to hand.

Some of the most common documents required are:

  • HM Land Registry title documents
  • Gas checks completed by a Gas Safe registered engineer (or Corgi-registered engineer before 2009)
  • Electrical checks – an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) or a NAPIT or NICEIC certificate/report from a registered electrical competent person
  • FENSA or CERTAS certificates for windows
  • Planning permission for any major work carried out
  • Building regulation completion certificates and builder’s guarantee certificates for alterations or additions
  • Subsidence guarantees/warranties
  • Damp guarantees/warranties
  • Party wall agreements (if relevant)
  • If a listed building, listed building consent for interior and exterior works
  • If your home is in a conservation area, conservation area consent for works
  • Japanese knotweed management plans (if relevant)
  • Specialist asbestos surveys (if relevant)
  • Any title insurance policies you may have taken out to solve title defects

In addition to the above your conveyancer will also ask you to complete a Property Information Form, also known as a TA6 form, and a TA7 form if you are selling a leasehold property. If you’re committed to selling your property there’s no reason why you cannot appoint your legal representative at this stage and fill out your Property Information Form ahead of the sale.

If you’re in the process of getting your home ready to sell or have already got your property on the market, get a free instant conveyancing quote today.

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