Selling Guide


1. Preparing to Sell

People have many different reasons for selling.

You may be upsizing after starting a family or cashing in on an investment property to simply require a change of scenery .

Once you have decided to take that step, it is important to consider what you want to include in the sale.  Normally, fixtures and fittings such as fitted storage heaters are included in the price, but other moveable items such as white goods etc can be up for negotiation.  If you are discarding items you no longer need, do it before you start marketing your property as the less clutter you have, the faster your house will sell.  Many local authorities take large items away, sometimes for free.

Energy Performance Certificate -   This is a legal requirement and is needed before the property can be marketed, Oliver Jaques can put you in touch with third parties who can provide this for you.

Give Oliver Jaques other useful documents and facts about your property, which we can mention to potential buyers, such as:

Gas and electrical certificate checks

Building regulations certificates

Council tax, utility, buildings and contents insurance bills - so potential buyers can estimate running costs

Service charges and ground rent bills (for flats)

In addition, you could ask your ourselves if it’s worth going one better and giving potential buyers other information (which could also speed up the conveyancing process) such as:

Environmental Searches. These provide useful information such as the flood risk, Radon levels, or if there are local mines in the area.

A Home Condition Report - provides more information about the condition of your property, although your buyer will probably still need to get their own survey done


2 Getting the most out of your viewing

Now your property is on the market with us and we have acquired your EPC, you need to get your home ready for viewings and give your house the best chance of selling.  First impressions count, so put yourself in the buyers’ shoes and think about how you can enhance your property’s appeal.

Here are some things to consider :

Does the front of your house need some  TLC ?

Could the front garden be tidier?

Would the front door look better with a fresh lick of paint?

Could the front windows do with a clean?

Look at the inside with a critical eye too:

Keep it clean and tidy. De-clutter and use sensible storage. Potential buyers will want to visualise how they can fill the space.

Undertake any minor repairs that need doing so buyers will need to really try hard to find any negatives.

If you want to re-decorate, go for neutral tones, which will appeal to a wider audience.

Make your house comfortable, cool on hot sunny days and warm if it’s winter.

Banish smoke or pet odours. Open the windows, brew some fresh coffee and add finishing touches such as fresh flowers, to brighten the place up.

Bring out the best features such as fireplaces and use mirrors to increase the sense of space.


3 Negotiating offers

When considering offers, remember, you don’t have to sell to the highest bidder.  A lower bidder might be better if they:

Are paying cash (so don’t have to wait for mortgage approval)

Already have a mortgage “agreed in principle”

Don’t have to sell a property first (they could be first-time buyers or investors) or are in a short chain

Can fit in with your timescales better than other buyers

If you are buying from a developer, see if they will offer a part exchange to buy your property from you.


4 Ensuring the sale goes smoothly

Conveyancing is very time consuming and complex, so you will need to employ either a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer to do it for you.

Here are our top tips for  choosing and using a conveyancer/solicitor:

Get at least three’ quotes. We are happy to provide recommendations.

Tell your conveyancer if you want answers to any specific questions in advance.

Let them know when you would ideally like to exchange contracts and complete.

Tell them you will require regular updates of how the sale is progressing.

Try to negotiate a no sale - no fee deal, so if the deal falls through you don’t pay anything.

Check and compare quotes carefully making sure they are like for like.

Once you have appointed a conveyancer, you will need to…

Give them some basic information to get started such as your mortgage roll number - so they can check you are the legal owner  and proof of your ID.

Complete a detailed questionnaire on the property, covering things like who owns the boundaries and whether you have had any disputes with neighbours. It is a legal requirement to answer truthfully.

Complete a form showing what fixtures and fittings are included in the sale

Answer conveyancing queries as soon as you can. Use registered post or deliver documents by hand


5 Exchanging Contracts

In England and Wales, Exchange of Contracts is the last stage of the legal process after which a buyer cannot withdraw from the sale (without losing their deposit).

A date for completion is usually set for around one week after the exchange date, giving you time to arrange removals. Your Solicitor will call your agent to tell them when the buyer’s money has arrived so they can give the keys to the new owner.

Check the completion statement carefully - it should reflect the original quotation.


6 Preparing to move out

Moving out of the home you’ve lived in for a while can be stressful, but it’s also a great opportunity to make a new start.  Getting organised and planning ahead will minimise your stress levels and make it easier to move on.

Here are some tips to make the day you move out as painless as possible:

Ask Oliver Jaques or your friends to recommend a professional removal firm - your belongings are precious so ask for references, membership of the British Association of Removers and get removal quotes from the internet.

Think about moving out and in on separate days so you don’t have to squeeze everything into the same day.

Leaving a few days before moving in will free up time to get essential work to your new home completed without needing to work around piles of boxes. It’s a great time for carpet cleaning, decorating or any DIY projects that might be dusty like sanding woodwork or floorboards, replastering etc.

If you can, avoid moving on a Monday or Friday: they are the busiest days for moving as well as for traffic on the roads.

Remember to take meter readings on both properties on the day(s) of the move.

Set up your post to be redirected a few weeks before you move with the Royal Mail - a good precaution against identity theft.

While you still have an internet connection (it could be a few weeks before your new property is connected), download any instruction manuals from the manufacturer’s website for your new appliances.

Prepare a note for the new owners explaining how things work and where they can find useful items such as the boiler switches, aerial sockets and alarm codes. A few kind thoughts will go a long way when it comes to mail redirection and injects some humanity into the whole process.