General advice for selling

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1) Get a number of market appraisals (an agent's opinion of the market value of your home) – so you are entirely happy about the selling price. This is not an exact science - opinions can differ substantially. (A lot of sellers go with the agent giving the highest valuation then become tied in to a contract of 16 weeks + 2 weeks notice = 18 weeks) .Beware, if subsequently the price was too high and no viewings result you will have wasted a great deal of time and high pricing can be some agents ploy to tie you to their agency.

2) Signing, "Time related Contracts" – Always remember they are entirely for the benefit of the agent, not the seller – beware 18 week long contracts .

3)   'Sole Agency' means you are only offering your home for sale through one agent only

  • 'Sole Selling Rights' mean that the agent will and can demand payment even if the buyer is a friend who knew the house years before it was advertised and has not been shown the property by the agent.
  • 'Joint Agency' means that 2 agents share the fee, perhaps 40% 60% or whatever percentage they agree between themselves. The successful agent keeping the higher percentage.
  • 'Multi Agency' means more than one agent is used, the successful agent keeps the entire fee whilst the others however much work they have done get nothing (other than pre arranged costs)

4) We have seen people sign up to contracts with sole agency rates of 2% plus additional costs for national advertising and expensive brochures - why do it?

5) A small Independent agent nearly always tries harder to sell a property than a National agent. An Independent should foster good relations with their clients for its own survival, can quickly alter according to market conditions & can only survive by selling houses.

6) Don't watch too many television programmes encouraging you to spend more money to encourage a buyer. In general our advice would be de-clutter, always show a clean and tidy home, make sure the purpose of each room is obvious i.e. a dining table and chairs in a dining room, bed in a bedroom. A lick of paint is a way of improving with minimal cost –fitting new kitchen and bathroom usually unnecessary and a statement of personal taste.

7) Never give out your telephone number to a prospective buyer – it has been known for sellers to be pestered at all times of day and night by agitated buyers . Use your agent to field any queries that is what they get paid for. Agents with their experience can often diffuse and calm situations that get out of hand when buyers or sellers become impatient and frustrated with each other.

8) Always remember - you are the seller, you are important a good agent should offer constructive advice but it is your decision to accept or refuse an offer.

9) NB Stamp Duty is paid by the buyer not the seller .

Buyers

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1) Please remember that all offers for a property have to be passed on to the seller by the selling agent by law, it is not within the agents discretion (insist you get written confirmation of your offer). They should also always confirm to you in writing that your offer had been accepted or rejected.

2) If you had your offer on a property accepted or show any interest in a property, the sellers agent will always offer their services, don't fall into the trap of thinking they will be the best ones to sell your own home – it is always the easy option, but not always the best.

3) Don't think estate agents are all bad - They have to act for the seller at all times, & it is the client's ultimate decision which offer is accepted.

4) An agent who has received an offer from a prospective purchaser will be expected to verify the truth of the offer by asking for written confirmation from the buyer's bank or by checking with the other agents involved in a chain situation. This is normal procedure. If a buyer expects a property to be taken off the market because of his offer the seller need to be able to affirm he is in a position to proceed.

5) If you would like to make an offer but still have to raise funds by selling your home and have no prospective buyer you can still make and Offer In Principle. This will show the seller that you are genuinely interested and also show the level you are eventually agreeing to pay. However even if accepted in principle it only means the buyer would be willing to accept that amount of money when you are in a position to move forward. It does not mean that the buyer will not look at any other offer that comes along in the meantime. You are not assured of that house.

6) When a deal is agreed the agent will ask you for the solicitor you will using, so that the sale memo's can be sent out. It is always a good idea to have shopped around for the best deal beforehand as solicitors fees vary considerably, be careful to ask if the bill includes searches etc. However if you haven't found one before this stage do it quickly otherwise the agent and the seller may think your offer is not a serious one and remarket.

7) NB Stamp Duty is paid by the buyer not the seller and will be extra to the solicitors fees.