It is often said that selling your home can be one of the most stressful experiences in life! However, it needn't be and shouldn't be. Almost all complaints aimed at agents relate to poor communication and lack of information between the client and the estate agent. At Cliftons, we put maximum effort into obtaining and supplying to the client accurate information and most importantly maintaining regular contact with all parties throughout the transaction.
Every single viewing of your property will be followed up and you will be given feedback. Once we have found a buyer, we will keep you regularly updated with the buyers’ progress, whether it be in regard to a related chain of sales, or providing information on surveys, financial arrangements or the legal conveyance. Our sales negotiators and managers have years of experience and we believe in employing mature staff who have experienced the ‘ups and downs’ of buying and selling themselves.
THE FIRST STAGE
The first stage is to obtain a free market appraisal (valuation) of your property. We will discuss with you our opinion of the likely selling price to be achieved, current market conditions pertinent to your area and suggest an asking price that suits your requirements and timescales. Our managers and senior negotiators who carry out these appraisals have extensive local knowledge and experience and all our managers live in close proximity to the office they oversee.
THE VALUATION APPRAISAL
The value will be dependent upon the size of the property, plot, condition and location. A 3 to 4 bedroom property would normally take about half to three quarters of an hour. We confirm all our appraisals in writing. Occasionally we may take written notes or even photographs for our future records but these remain private and are not released from our offices. Indeed anything discussed between yourself and our staff remains confidential, which can be particularly important in cases of divorce or simply where you do not wish the neighbours to know. Your privacy is of upmost importance.
All appraisals (apart from probate) are supplied free of charge and after an appropriate period of time we are more than happy to provide an update.
Valuing is not an exact science and virtually every property we visit is different, accordingly we often provide a price range. The asking price will be dependent on time scale, prevailing market conditions and personal circumstances.
In addition to our own knowledge we will be able to bring comparative information with us of all other recent transactions in your local area and the prices they achieved.
This can be actioned very quickly. All we need is to take photographs and measurements and if appropriate we can arrange a floor plan, however not all properties benefit from a floor plan.
You will be sent a copy of the sales particulars for your approval and before marketing we will require that you sign to confirm that in your opinion they represent a fair description of the property. We are happy to discuss amendments, perhaps some wording changes or even a different photograph, providing that any changes comply with the Property Mis-descriptions Act. We feel it is very important to be as accurate and as fair as possible which also helps to avoid disappointment when applicants view.
Your property will be promoted in a number of ways which includes advertising on a selection of websites, such as Rightmove, local newspapers, window displays, emailing/contacting our extensive database and of course that all important 'For Sale' board. Whilst we now put the bulk of our sources into web based promotions, paper advertising still has its role. Not everyone has access to the net so we continue to support this medium.
Almost all websites are now updated instantaneously and it is the efficient and modern way to look for properties. Apart from our own site which you are now on, your property will be promoted on the indicated site above.
FOR SALE BOARD
All sellers should have one. Why? Because it is a free twenty-four hour tool which says "I am for sale." The vast majority of house sales are concluded to people who live locally and in many cases people who have not formally decided to move but suddenly see a property they like from the board and decide to purchase. Of course it is not compulsory to have a 'For Sale' board and we suggest that it be removed if the property has not sold after a reasonable period of time. Word of mouth is also very important and a 'For Sale' board will spread the message faster than any other medium. Also an enquiry from a board means we are talking to someone who knows the look and location of the property – halfway there!
Virtually 95% of our mailing of details is now done electronically via email, which of course is much faster than traditional post and in most cases can be picked up by the recipient not only at home but at work and on mobile phones etc. It gives the applicant a great chance of being first to view a new property or to learn of a price reduction.
The traditional Agents window display still plays a huge role and we believe it’s just as important as ever to have an attractive display of property details with large colour photos. All property owners have an interest in prices.
We hold all our applicant registrations on a comprehensive and sophisticated database system which not only enables to us to mix and match applicants with properties but also gives us the ability to utilise applicants registered in our neighbouring offices.
You are required to obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) on your property prior to marketing. The cost of the EPC is additional and can vary depending on location and size but typically is £44.00 plus vat. Upon your instructions we will arrange for an assessor to pay you a visit.
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) provides a rating for your home based on two categories. Energy efficiency and environment impact. This is displayed on a graph similar to those found on kitchen appliances, with a rating from A-G (A being the best rating). Each category is given two ratings. The current rating and a potential rating which the property could achieve.
This is where our most important work is done. It is our duty to achieve the best price possible for your home. You will be notified of any offer to purchase your property that we receive as promptly as possible. Prior to you making a decision on any offer, we will endeavour to check the buyer’s ability to purchase as accurately as we can. It is important to know whether the buyers are dependent upon a related chain of sales, whether a mortgage is required and so on. Of course not everyone makes the best offer first and our staff will work hard to achieve an acceptable price for you. You may receive multiple offers from two or more applicants, which makes the above checks on the background and circumstances even more relevant.
AVERAGE SELLING TIME
How long is a piece of string! In our opinion the average time for a property to sell from first placing it on the market to exchanging contracts is around three to four months. Some transactions can happen in a matter of days! Dependent factors such as; is the property vacant, is the Vendor (seller) suited, financial considerations, will all play a part in setting the timescale. Usually most of the delays are caused by people trying to find a suitable property to buy or someone further down in the chain trying to sell. Other factors that can cause delay are surveys, mortgage offers and occasionally covenants, defective leases or missing paperwork.
Unlike some Agents, we will see your sale through from start to finish. Finding the buyer is often only the start. What makes a good Estate Agent is the follow through. We will liaise with your solicitor and the buyers solicitor (up and down the chain if required), to ensure that all parts of the conveyance proceed smoothly. We will liaise with other agents to try and resolve any outstanding issues or problems, to chase up paperwork, surveys or agreed dates.
EXCHANGE OF CONTRACTS
This is the final commitment to selling, your solicitor confirms that they are happy with the documentation. This cannot take place until all parties are ready and your solicitor will call you in to sign the contract of sale. It is at this point that the moving date (completion date) will be set. Once exchange takes place you are committed to your sale and moving date. You can now book your removal van and make final arrangements.
The day you move out! Take utility meter readings and the day when the balance monies are due from your buyer. If there is a long chain of sales, then this may delay the completion time. The agent will not release any keys to the purchasers until your solicitors confirm to the agent that completion has taken place, which is usually between 12 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. Completion is confirmed when the sellers solicitors confirm they have received all monies due in respect of their clients sale.
Congratulations you have now sold