Selling Guide

"Top tips to make your move trouble free. Selling your home needn’t be as traumatic as often described. Preparation is key to minimise disruption and our detailed guide below will help you prepare for the move. The rest is up to us."

Gerard Houlihan, MNAEA, Associate Director
Our guide to the selling process
The valuation
Once you’ve decided that you’d like to offer your property for sale, call your local office of Lawlors Sales & Lettings. We have offices in Chigwell, Loughton and Woodford Green (see contact details)

We’ll agree a time with you for our valuer to visit your property. Taking into account your aspirations over timescales and the sort of figure you’d like to achieve, our valuer will suggest a figure at which to start marketing supported with examples of similar nearby properties which have been on the market.

The decision to proceed or not, and when, is entirely yours. At no time will there be any pressure from us to put your house on the market – it’s a big decision and the timing needs to be right for you, and you alone.

Preparing for marketing
We will arrange a time for our in-house professional photographer to visit.

TIP: Good photographs are vital to promote the best features of your property – so it is a good idea to make sure that your rooms are as clutter-free as possible! If you have any large items that you can live without, it’s often a good idea to put them in storage while you are selling.

We’ll also draw up a floorplan and arrange for an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate)

All this information will be drawn together and presented for our approval prior to marketing.

Agreeing the sale
Hopefully it will not be too long before we receive an offer from a potential buyer and we will call you to initiate negotiations and bring your sale to a successful conclusion.

TIP: It is worth remembering other factors to be taken into consideration such as how well your timescales match the buyers’, and whether they are in a chain of other sales & purchases. We will guide you through this phase and ensure that you are entirely satisfied with the proposed sale before instructing solicitors.

It is advisable to contact your solicitor as early as possible to advise them of your intention to sell to start accumulating the necessary preliminary documents even before you find a buyer. This can save a considerable amount of time when a buyer is found and may highlight any issues before they become a problem.

Your buyers will want to carry out a survey of some sort, or at very least, their mortgage provider will want to carry out their own valuation. The buyers’ solicitor will also carry out a local authority search for any planning applications that have been made in your immediate vicinity that could affect your property.
You solicitor will also ask other things from you, including:

    • fixtures and fittings: what is to be included in the sale. 
    • title deeds: which will be held either by you, or by the solicitor who handled your property's purchase
    • disputes: whether there are any disputes relating to the property, such as disputes with neighbours.
    • boundaries: to define the exact boundaries of the property and who has responsibility for the maintenance of hedges and fences.  Arguments over boundaries sometimes even escalate to court cases between neighbours, so it is important to establish this now!
    • planning constraints and permissions: whether any additions or alterations that have been made to the property have met local planning requirements and that building regulation consent was received
    • rights of way: checking that there is no right of way or footpath through the property, and on shared rights of access with a neighbour such as a garden or driveway
    • restrictive covenants: whether the deeds specify that certain things are forbidden, for example keeping pets, or specifying that the house cannot be painted a different colour from other houses on the street
    • guarantees or insurance policies: for example whether the property is covered by the NHBC guarantee or the wood-rot treatment guarantee
    • services: whether the property's utilities (gas, water, electricity) reach it via a neighbour's property or are shared with a neighbour
    • If the property is a leasehold, they will ask for the name of the managing agent is, the freeholder and whether you are up to date with ground rent and services charges.

Exchange of contracts
Once we have confirmed timings and progressed the sale to the point of readiness, contracts will be exchanged. Exchanging contracts is the moment when the sale becomes legally binding on both sides.

Completion, when your property sale is finalised – the moment you’ve waited for! Your solicitor will contact you and us when the buyer’s mortage lender’s money has cleared and we will then release keys to the buyers, and the property will be theirs.

If any balance of monies are owed to you from your sale, your solicitor will transfer them into your bank account

Moving checklist

    • ask at least three removal companies for a quote - we can recommend some if you like
    • arrange mail-forwarding with Royal Mail
    • if you need hotel accommodation during your move, book it well in advance

    • inform the following of your change of address
        . your gas, electricity and telephone companies, and take meter readings on the last day
        . driving licence – complete the form on the back of your paper part of your licence
        . change of vehicle keeper details – complete the relevant section on your V5 document
        . insurance companies
            . motor
            . life, critical illness, health
            . house & contents
            . pet
        . water company 
        . your dentist, doctor, optician, vet etc
        . your mobile phone company
        . council tax office 
        . TV licensing (www.tvlicensing.co.uk)
        . your employer
        . your bank/s or building societies and credit card companies
        . Inland Revenue (www.hmrc.gov.uk)
        . any schools
        . cancel any newsagent or milk deliveries
        . and don’t forget to tell your friends and family.

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