10 Top Tips for Selling your Property

One of the most common complaints about the conveyancing process is the time it takes to complete a sale and/or purchase.

I am often asked if there is anything that can be done to help speed the process along.  Whilst there are some elements of a transaction that are out of your/our hands, there are practical steps you can take to aid the progress of your transaction, so that if there are any delays, they are not of your making!

1.       Documentation

You are responsible for providing as much relevant information about your property as possible to your buyer. This includes the provision of all relevant paperwork for your property.  For example, have you extended your property and, if so, did you obtain Planning Permission and sign off from Building Control?  If so, we will need to provide the paperwork to your buyer’s solicitor.  Have you replaced the boiler, had any electrical work done?  Have you replaced the windows?  Have you got a copy of the most recent survey report for your boiler?  When you have made the decision to market your property, collate all of the paperwork you have, so that you can give copies to your conveyancer, so that they can provide it to you buyer’s solicitor early on.  This can help to avoid enquiries later on too!

2.       Forms

You will have to complete some Property Forms and your conveyancer will provide you with these forms.  Again, complete them as early on in the sale process as possible.  Do not leave any questions blank, as we will only be asked to get you to complete the questions later on in the sale.  The forms can be a little overwhelming, so if you need help completing them, we are happy to sit with you and go through the forms.

3.       Conveyancer

You can instruct your conveyancer before you have accepted an offer.  Conveyancers have various administrative and compliance procedures they must comply with when taking on your transaction, and, sometimes, this can cause a delay.  For example, you will have to meet with your conveyancer and provide your original ID.  If you can, instruct your conveyancer once you have decided to sell, and then complete these administrative and compliance tasks, so that they don’t hold up an eventual sale.

4.       Marketing

There is an onus on both you, and your selling agent, to provide as much information about the property as possible, with the marketing material. This includes providing details of the tenure of the property, the length of the Lease (if leasehold), the ground rent and service charge (if leasehold), the monthly rent (if you let the property) etc. We can provide you with a list of the information you should be disclosing early on.  This can also help to find you a genuine buyer, and should also help to avoid a buyer pulling out at a later stage.

5.       Contact information

We appreciate that it might not always be convenient for us to call you. Or, you might want us to exclusively email you or send you everything in the post.  Please let us know the best method of communication for you, and also try to ensure that you respond as quickly as possible. We will try to accommodate the times of day that suit you.  If you would like us to liaise with someone else on your behalf, we can do, but we will need your written authority to do so.

6.       Leasehold information

When you are selling a leasehold property, you must provide the buyer with a management pack.  The management pack is provided by the Landlord, or their managing agent.  You are responsible for the cost of the pack, so we would advise that you place your conveyancer’s firm in funds as early on as possible, so that they can request the management pack.  The management pack is a common cause of delay in a leasehold sale/purchase. In addition, if one company/party collects the ground rent, and another company/party collects the service charge, it is highly likely that we will have to obtain more than one management pack!

7.       Your mortgage

If you have a mortgage registered against the property you are selling, your conveyancer will deal with repayment of the mortgage on completion.  Again, obtaining a redemption statement from a lender can cause a delay, so please provide your conveyancer with the name of your lender, and your mortgage account number, as early on as possible, so that they can request a preliminary redemption statement.  This also assists in your conveyancer preparing the completion figures for you.  In addition, check when your fixed rate period comes to an end, you want to avoid those early repayment charges if you can!

8.       Timescales

If you have a particular timescale in mind, if you have dates to avoid (holiday/work commitments/hospital appointments) please do let your conveyancer know.  This can help us to manage both yours and your buyer’s expectations.  We will not always be able to meet the timescales you seek, but if you do have a completion date in mind, or an urgent deadline you need to comply with, we will do our best to communicate this to all parties.  Letting your buyer know, early on, of dates you must avoid or dates you would ideally like to complete on, will save discussions over dates at a later stage.

9.       Enquiries

Throughout your sale transaction, your buyer’s solicitor will likely raise various enquiries, based on the results of their searches and their investigation of the title of the property and the documentation we have provided them with.  If there are enquiries we can deal with, without having to refer back to you, we will. If we do need you to reply to the enquiries raised, our advice would be to deal with them as quickly as possible.  We are happy to go through them with you, either over the telephone or in person.

10.   And finally……

You must have a valid EPC to sell your property.  An EPC is valid for ten years.  We can check the online EPC register for you, to see if the property does have a valid EPC.  If not, your estate agent can organise an EPC for you.

The Residential Property Team at Hart Reade have a wealth of conveyancing experience, and are happy to help you with all of your residential property needs.