Why to sell through us?
Choosing the right agent is a critical decision – it can make the difference between getting a really good price, and not selling your house at all. With Patron Real Estates you will have the security that you will not pay anything until your property is sold and not only that, we make sure that you will get the correct price without delay.
As a team we are working very close with our customers, providing an excellent service and be professional at all time. Our portfolio is based in Canary Wharf, a beautiful and developed location.
Going the extra mile to satisfy our customers is the most important rule in our company.
Need to know:
- All fees and terms and conditions are clear and up front
- We abide by the strictest codes of practice
- We achieve 96% of asking price for every property we sell
- Free property valuation
- 24/7 availability and support
Step 1 . Accurate Property valuation
Before selling your property, you will need to understand its current market value. A property valuation, also known as a market appraisal, will provide a guide price for putting the property on the market.
Property valuations differ from mortgage valuations, which are usually carried out by a surveyor once an offer has been made. Mortgage valuations take into account the structural integrity of the building and help buyers and mortgage lenders verify the value of the property for lending purposes.
Before inviting an estate agent to make a property valuation, you can prepare yourself by conducting your own research. Look into the approximate value of your property; you can do this by searching this site for the average sold prices in different postcodes, or run a property search and use the recently sold tab so see the sold prices in your area.
To get more detailed information and advice, you will need to speak to an estate agent in person.
Step 2. Selecting an Estate Agent
Finding an experienced estate agent with expertise in your area will help you to sell your property. The right estate agent will be able to provide useful advice throughout the process. They will be skilled in negotiating and will have the means to market your property to the right audience.
The selling process will require a lot of communication between you and your chosen estate agent. To best understand their knowledge of the market and determine rapport to be comfortable working with them, you will need to spend time speaking to agents in person. Asking friends for recommendations, looking in the windows of local estate agents and visiting their websites are also useful ways to get a feel for the quality of service that the agents provide.
Step 3. Instructing a solicitor
A property solicitor, or conveyancer, undertakes the necessary specialised, legal work required during the property selling process. As the property market in London is very competitive, appointing a property solicitor at the point you put your property on the market (before you find a buyer) can significantly speed up the process and reduce some of the stress.
You should choose a property solicitor with knowledge and experience of the London market. The conveyancing process itself is broadly the same throughout the UK, however it is the attitude of your solicitor (plus their knowledge, experience and how proactive they are) that will have the biggest impact on the success of your sale.
When it comes to choosing a property solicitor or conveyancer, some solicitors or conveyancers (including Londonwide Conveyancing ), offer a ‘no move, no fee’ guarantee. This means if your purchase falls through before the exchange of contracts for any reason, you will not pay the legal fee. Solicitors might offer fixed fees, charge by the hour, or take a percentage of the property value, so it is important to know what the fees are likely to be from the beginning to avoid an unexpectedly high bill at the end.
If you are buying a property at the same time as selling your existing property, it is advisable that you appoint the same solicitor for both transactions. This will ensure a less stressful process and things can move along at a quicker pace than if you were to deal with two different solicitors.
Step 4. What Documents are required?
When selling a property there are a number of documents that will need to be in order. As the seller you will need to gather the following yourself:
- Proof of identity: you will need to show your solicitor a passport or driving licence and proof of address such as a utility bill or bank statement
- Property title deeds: if you do not have these, then the solicitor you instructed when you bought your current property or your mortgage lender might. Your solicitor will also need to obtain official copies of your title deeds from the Land Registry
- Fittings and contents form (TA10): this form clearly indicates what is included in the sale of the property. It’s broken down on a room by room basis, and includes items such as the fridge and shower curtain, for example. If relevant, it also covers any items in outdoor areas, such as greenhouses, sheds, trees and washing lines. A sample of this form can be downloaded here.
- Property information form (TA6): as the seller, you will be required to complete this form. A sample of this form can be downloaded here. The questions included in the form relate to:
- Boundaries: this will include the position of the boundaries and who is responsible for the upkeep of a fence or hedge
- Disputes and complaints: this could include any ongoing disputes with neighbours
- Notices and proposals: this will include any letters from neighbours, or local authorities regarding proposed development in the vicinity
- Alterations, planning and building control: this will include any major building work that has been carried out on the property, such as an extension or new windows. It will also include the building’s listed status, if relevant
- Guarantees and warrantees: this may be for the building itself, if it is very new, or may be related to the new roof, for example
- Insurance: this will give the prospective buyer an understanding of how much it is likely to cost to insure the property and whether there are any anomalies
- Environmental matters: among other things this covers any flooding risks, the presence of Japanese knotweed and also refers to the EPC
- Rights and informal arrangements: among other things, this may include shared access and chancel repair
- Parking: this will inform the prospective buyer as to whether or not there is off road parking, or a garage etc.
- Other charges: this might include lease expenses for leasehold properties, and maintenance costs for blocks of flats or gated communities
- Occupiers: this lets the prospective buyer know whether anyone is living in the property and will continue to do so after completion
- Services: this relates to the condition of the central heating and electrical wiring, among other things
- Connection to utilities and services: this section specifically refers to the suppliers of gas, electricity and water to the property and the location of the relevant meters
- Transaction information: this should include whether, as a seller, you are also looking to buy another property. It will also include any special requirements around moving dates
- Copies of documents referenced in the property information form, such as a Building Regulations sign off or FENSA certificates for replacement windows
- Leasehold / shared freehold documents: if the property is leasehold then a copy of the lease will be required. If the property retains a share of the freehold then the relevant documents will be required, such as the Share Certificate if there has been a company set up to manage the freehold
- Management Information Pack: this is obtained either by the seller or by the seller’s solicitor from the freeholder or managing agent, if the property is leasehold. The pack can take several weeks to arrive so it is vital it is paid for (by the seller) and ordered as early as possible in the selling process
- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC): an EPC needs to be included when a property is sold. These certificates assess the property’s energy use and CO2 impact. If you do not have an EPC, your estate agent should be able to recommend a qualified assessor
Step 5. Marketing your property
There are a number of ways to find prospective buyers for your home, and your estate agent can advise you on the approach that is most suitable for your property.
Here are some of the most common places for marketing properties:
- The estate agent’s website
- The estate agent’s windows
- Online property portals: Such as Onthemarket.com and Rightmove
- Email alerts: Set up by buyers based on certain preferences on estate agents’ websites and property portals
- Property brochures
- Newspapers: Both local and national
- ‘For sale’ signs: So passers by can see your property is for sale
- Direct mail: Some estate agents send marketing materials to the local area or directly to registered buyers on their database
Wherever the property is listed, high quality promotional material that includes professional photography, floorplans and well written descriptions is critical when appealing to prospective buyers.
Step 6. Optimising viewings
Preparing your property for sale can take some time, so it is best that you begin the moment you decide it is time to sell.
Start by removing any clutter from your home. This will not only make it more presentable, but can make your eventual moving process less stressful too. It is also advisable to finish any outstanding DIY tasks you may have, and consider redecorating and touching up any chipped paintwork.
Before the viewing
First impressions can be critical, so ensure that your house number is clearly visible, clean the windows and make sure that the doorbell is in working order.
Giving your home a thorough clean is also advisable. Professionally cleaned carpets can make a difference and you should dust, polish and vacuum throughout.
As well as a clean and well maintained property, buyers will be assessing the following aspects of your home:
- The rooms are clearly defined: if you have a spare room you use both as a study and gym, consider putting the exercise equipment into storage so the room has a clearer purpose
- There is plenty of space: if your three piece sofa is squashed into your living room, consider putting one of the sofas into storage to better present the space
- There is plenty of storage: having books overflowing on the bookcases, and too many coats and shoes in the hallway may suggest to buyers that there is a lack of storage. Likewise, clearing kitchen worktops of gadgets will give a better indication of the space there is available. Tidy things away, and consider boxing some items up and placing them into storage. Storing items into built in wardrobes and cupboards is not the ideal solution, as the buyer may want to assess these spaces for their own storage
- They can see themselves living there: the buyer may want to be presented with a blank canvas. Neutral colours will help, but also consider removing personal items, such as family photographs, children’s toys, DVDs and religious artefacts
- It is well lit: fitting brighter lightbulbs can help a room appear brighter. Make sure that your windows have been cleaned and keep blinds and curtains open throughout the viewing
- It is practical: make sure all doors can be fully opened and remove any extension leads that run across the floor as these can give the impression that there are insufficient or poorly located power points
Step 7. Negotiating and considering offers
Once an offer has been made, your estate agent will carry out checks on the buyer and then inform you both verbally and in writing of the details.
Whether or not you accept an offer is your decision, but your estate agent will be able to give you guidance on whether they feel there is an opportunity to negotiate. This is a critical time in the property selling process, and any negotiating may require several calls between you and your estate agent, and likewise between your estate agent and the prospective buyer. Do your best to make yourself available for calls, as any delays at this point could have a negative impact on the potential sale.
If you have several offers you should consider the position of the buyer as well as the offer itself. Estate agents will usually ask the buyer questions to evaluate suitability and help make a judgment on how ready they are to follow through with their offer.
Generally speaking, the estate agent will be looking to ascertain which of the following positions describe the potential buyer:
- Cash or unencumbered buyer: These are attractive buyers, as there are fewer obstacles that could hinder the process
- First time buyer: These buyers are not within a property chain, so they are less dependent on external influences
- Property on market under offer: These buyers are at an advanced stage in selling their existing property so should be ready to move relatively soon
- Property to sell on market: These buyers are also in the process of selling a property, so the sale of their property might affect the onward chain
- Mortgage agreed in principle: You can be assured that these buyers have sufficient funds to complete the transaction, and they have already taken care of one of the bigger tasks
- Property solicitor appointed: Buyers who have already appointed a property solicitor will usually be able to proceed quicker with the transaction
- Property to sell not on market: These buyers might be browsing, or are yet to begin the property selling process. If they are dependent on selling their existing home, it could be some time before these buyers are in a position to move
Step 8. Agreeing the sale, exchanging contracts and completing
When a prospective buyer is ready to make an offer, they will contact your estate agent. Each offer is considered based on the amount offered and the buyer’s position. A buyer may increase their offer more than once and negotiation may be required before an agreement is made.
It is important to remember that until contracts are exchanged, the agreement is not yet legally binding and either party can still pull out from the transaction up to this point.
When an offer is accepted a memorandum of sale is usually issued to set out the details of the transaction and to declare both parties’ intent to complete the transaction. This will usually require you to take the property off the market however this should be discussed with your agent.
The buyer will arrange for a surveyor to inspect the property. This is usually done on behalf of the mortgage lender when a mortgage is required or the buyer may appoint their own surveyor. If the survey shows that the property requires significant work, or there is a down valuation, renegotiation may be required. At this stage, you may need to obtain quotes for the required work and balance the cost effectiveness of paying for the work yourself against accepting a reduced offer.
During this period the buyer’s solicitor will carry out any necessary searches, and both solicitors will draft contracts. The contracts will reference the following:
- The agreed price
- Property boundaries
- Any fixtures and fittings which are included in the price
- Any planning restrictions
- Any legal restrictions placed on the property
- Any public thoroughfares that pass over the land
- The property’s services
- A date of completion
The completion date included in the contract should be mutually agreed by all parties in the property chain.
When both parties are satisfied with the contracts, they are signed and exchanged. It is at this point that you are bound by law to sell the property to the buyer and the buyer is legally obliged to proceed with the purchase.
The buyer’s solicitor will contact the Land Registry Office to arrange for the deeds to be transferred into the buyer’s name, and the deposit will be transferred to you solicitor.
On the date of completion the money will be transferred from buyer to seller up the chain via the solicitors.
Providing the buyer’s money has been transferred, this is the date they can access the property so you will need to vacate the property and arrange for the keys to be handed to the buyer. It is common to leave the keys with the estate agent for the new owner to collect. Once the estate agent has been advised by the solicitor that all necessary funds have been transferred, they are then instructed that the keys may be released.
Step 9. Ensuring the sale goes smoothly
There are several steps you can take to help the sales process move along smoothly and without delays:
Carrying out research into recent property sales in your area will help you begin to understand the local market and expectations. It can take several months for this data to become available, however, your estate agent’s knowledge of more recent property transactions will help set a realistic asking price.
If you decide to market your property at a price that is too high, it may not attract many offers. Setting a more realistic asking price can attract more offers, putting you in a stronger position to negotiate.
While not essential for all properties, having your property in a clean and good state of repair may help it sell. Finishing any outstanding DIY jobs before you go to market can help you present the property in a better light.
You should assume that prospective buyers will be thorough and ask to see all the paperwork you have pertaining to the property. Having this paperwork ready will enable you to produce it on request and move the process along.
Having utility and council tax bills, building regulation certificates, your Energy Performance Certificate and any guarantees available, could mean that unnecessary delays are avoided.
Be honest and truthful
Avoid giving any misleading information, and bear in mind that any problems which are not disclosed may come to light during the surveyor’s assessment, and could jeopardise the offer that has been made.
It is the seller’s duty to divulge any known information about the property that may affect the prospective buyer’s decision.
Try to accommodate buyer’s requested viewing times. The buyer may have a shortlist of properties that they want to look at, and in a competitive market, not being able to see yours when it is convenient for them may be sufficient discouragement for them to remove it from their list.
Keep in regular contact with your estate agent and solicitor. Respond to all correspondence and return phone calls promptly. If you are dealing with a solicitor remotely and documents need to be sent, ensure you use recorded delivery.