Ok, you want to sell your property – what next?
You will need to make sure that the financials stack up. Can you afford to sell? Will the sale proceeds exceed the amount outstanding on your mortgage? Do you have any other debts registered against the property?
Once you are satisfied that you can afford to sell the property, you should ensure that the property is finished to a standard you are happy to sell it in.
1. Find an Estate Agent
Next, you will need to make as many people as possible aware of your house. The usual way of doing this is to employ an estate agent on your behalf. You should shop around at this stage as some agents will calculate their fee as a percentage of the sale price, whereas others will agree a fixed fee with you.
You should also check what digital platforms the estate agent is registered with – the largest platform is Rightmove, followed by Zoopla, and On The Market. You should expect your agent to be registered with at least one of these platforms.
You can choose to sell the property without using an estate agent. This will mean that less people will be aware of the property as you will not be able to list it on Rightmove etc. However, if you are able to find a private buyer, then you will not have any estate agent fees to pay.
2. We’ve received an offer! What next?
There is no set process for accepting or rejecting an offer. It is entirely your decision on whether you feel that the offer is a fair price or not. Things that might help you to assess an offer include looking on websites such as Zoopla which will list previous property sales in your area. This will give you a bit of a guideline for what price similar properties have been selling at.
There is nothing to stop you rejecting an offer, or suggesting a different price to the Buyer and seeing what they respond with. It is a pure negotiation.
3. Price agreed!
Now you’re at a point where you will need to appoint a solicitor to act on your behalf. Conveyancing solicitors will almost always agree to work for you on a fixed fee basis. The fee is usually agreed before any work begins. It is important though, that you receive a formal quote from your solicitor giving a full breakdown of what monies will be spent where.
When choosing your solicitor you should be looking for a number of key criteria. A solicitor’s expertise shouldbe guaranteed, although sadly that is not always the case. We work hard to offer our clients the following:-
· We are approachable – you can call us, email us, or drop into our office in Liverpool City Centre. We will know you by name – you are not just a file reference number to us.
· We avoid using legal jargon wherever possible. If we do need to use it, we will take the time to explain it in plain English.
· We guarantee that a qualified solicitor will run your file from beginning to end.
· We are flexible – we will bend our timetable to your needs wherever it is possible too.
· We are proactive. In any given transaction, we strive to ensure that it moves along at the best possible pace.
4. I’ve got a solicitor – what happens now?
We will set up a file and send you a client care pack of documents. This will include the paperwork needed to allow you to formally instruct us to act on your behalf. You will receive a copy of our client care letter to keep, and a copy to sign and return.
We will also send you a set of standard documents which you need to fill in and return to us. These are quite detailed and will take you a decent amount of time. We’d suggest you make a cuppa; and settle down with the paperwork for a good 30-60 minutes. Of course, if you have any questions at this point, you can always get in touch with us and we’ll talk you through them.
Once we receive the completed documents back from you we will update our file and put together a contract pack to be sent to the buying solicitor. Whenever we can we will send this pack to them by email to save time.
5. What about my mortgage?
We will contact your mortgage company and ask them to send us a redemption statement. This will confirm how much is needed to pay off the mortgage on a certain date. When we get this we will send it to you and ask you to check that it is correct.
The redemption statement will also give us the bank details to allow us to pay off the mortgage for you on the day that we complete the sale – you don’t need to worry about doing this yourself.
6. Enquiries from the buyer
At this point we will be waiting for the buying solicitor to perform a number of steps to satisfy themselves. This tends to take a couple of weeks, but they will eventually contact us with a set of enquiries about the property and your ownership of it.
We will work with you to answer these queries. Once the buying solicitor is satisfied with our replies, we will be in a position to exchange contracts and agree a date for completion.
7. What does ‘exchanging contracts’ mean?
This is a formal process where buyer and seller enter into a contract to transfer ownership of a property for an agreed price. This stage is usually carried out via a telephone call between the solicitors.
At this stage both sides are agreeing terms such as price, deposit amount, date for completion etc. It is vital that you agree to the terms before contracts are exchanged.
As seller, exchanging contracts gives you the certainty of knowing that the buyer is contractually bound to an agreed completion date and price. If the buyer pulls out of the deal, then you can retain the agreed deposit monies by way of compensation. If the buyer misses the completion date, then you are able to enforce penalties against the buyer.
We will send you a completion statement which will set out all monies & payments in this transaction. It will also set out what amount will be coming back to you.
That day has arrived – time to complete! There’s actually not a lot for you to do as far as we are concerned. We will take care of paying off your mortgage, any estate agent fee (which we will confirm with you first), and then transferring the sale monies to you.
Your main job is to make sure that you are ready to move out as early as possible on the day, & to leave the property in good condition & free of any unwanted items (unless you have agreed with the buyer that they will take them).
If you are buying a property on the same day then we will tie both processes in together. You can read about the purchase process here.
We will then send any historic documents relating to the legal title of the property to the Buyer’s solicitors. We will then begin the process of closing your file. This doesn’t mean that our relationship is at an end - don’t forget, all existing ACSL clients receive a lifelong 10% on all of our fees.