Selling your property

Step 1 - Presentation
First impressions are absolutely critical in the housing market. From the moment we come in the door to value to your property, to the moment when the last viewing is over, you have to think about how your property appears to others:

  • External Views - first impressions starts on the street
  • Keep it clean and fresh - the place has to be tidy and clean. Remove all your junk, clean floors and table tops until they shine, bring fresh air in and take yesterday's rubbish out.
  • Décor counts - most people rate a room based on the furniture
  • Make sure it works – carryout repairs if required.

Step 2 - Valuations
The big moment has arrived for you to find out how much your home is worth. Make sure it looks its absolute best before any agent walks in the door to give you his or her best guess of what your home will fetch on the market.

What to Expect
Nelsons will not charge to give you a valuation on your home. We will send round our dedicated sales manager who will give you a realistic valuation as to what your property is worth given the current market rate. If requested, we can also forward you an in depth report as to why and how we came to our valuation with market reports and recent comparables.
Be aware that some agents may use high valuations as a way to persuade you to instruct them for the sale. But over pricing may mean that your property could stay on the market for a long time.

Step Three: Choosing Nelsons
Nelsons have a wide net of prospective buyers, and know how to promote your home to these eager home hunters. Keep in mind the following factors:

  • Cost - Most agents charge approx. 3% commission on the successful sale of your home, but check for hidden extras. With Nelsons, the agreed commission is all you pay.
  • Terms & conditions – if you show faith in us and sign on a sole agency basis we will surely return the respect and offer you a much better deal. Or, you could choose either a joint agency agreement or multiple agency agreement.
  • Valuation and price – Make sure you are happy with the valuation that Nelsons along with other agents have placed on your house. Please remember that high valuations are not always realistic valuations.
  • Market reach – Here at Nelsons, we have numerous unique selling techniques that we implement with each individual property. We also use all of the top property portals in the country such as Rightmove, Primelocation, Findaproperty, Hot Property, Property Finder and many more. Just try searching for us by name. Our Marketing team come from a strong marketing background and are members of Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).
  • Reputation – we have quickly gained a reputation of being a reliable, friendly and efficient agent in all our areas. Ask your neighbors or Talk to friends who have recently bought or sold in the area or used Nelsons. We are confident you will be pleased.
  • Service  - You want to work with people you like and trust, and have your best interests at heart. Please take into account, here at Nelsons we work for you, so feel free to express what type of service you are looking for and what you expect from us.

Step 4 - Marketing
The ultimate price for your home is based on what someone is willing to pay for it. The more prospective buyers we can attract, the better the chance of getting you a higher price.

  • Websites/Advertising – As you have most likely noticed, Nelsons have launched a brand new site with simple to use features that allow home buyers to search for there ideal property more efficiently. We have also set up a featured property section and if requested, your property can be listed. Have a look through the site and see what you think. We also advertise with all the major property portals in the country, including: Rightmove, Primelocation, Findaproperty, Zoopla and many more.
  • Social media - As well as traditional marketing and advertising, here at Nelsons we are always looking at new ways to reach an even wider audience.  We now use social media in a very innovative and affective way to market your property, so now people can search through Facebook and Twitter to find their new home.
  • Prominence – Have you noticed where Nelsons are located? All of our branch locations have gone through a careful planning process and located within no more than 5 minutes from local Underground or Rail Stations.

Step 6 - Negotiation
Someone is interested. After keeping your home polished and spotless and days filled with Nelsons showing off your place to prospective buyers, we have an offer. Now the game begins.

Setting your priorities
People sell their homes for all sorts of reasons. Once you understand your primary reason for selling, then you can use this to drive the negotiations. Below are some possible reasons for moving.

  • Money - you are selling to get the highest price possible out of your largest asset.
  • Relocating for a new job, a new love, a new life etc.
  • Change in circumstance - you are moving because your family has outgrown your home. You can't fit anymore. Or the opposite is true - the kids have left the nest and your current home feels empty with all the extra space

In short, is your move driven by need or desire? If driven by need, you are more likely to entertain lower offers for your home than you are if your move is driven by desire.

Understanding each player's position

Seller's position
Your negotiating power will be affected by the following factors:

  • Level of interest in your property - if offers are flooding through, you can play hard to get
  • Current Market Conditions - if it's a "hot" market, where demand exceeds supply, then sellers can expect to command a favourable price for their properties. If it's a slow market, where supply exceeds demand, sellers will not have the same negotiating power.
  • Length of Time on the Market - the longer a property stays on the market, the weaker your negotiating position as a seller.
  • Condition of the Property - the more repair work that needs to be done on your property, the weaker your position in negotiations.
  • Time Pressure - the more time pressure you have, the weaker your position in negotiations.

Buyer's position
The buyer's negotiating power will be affected by the following factors:

Chain or No Chain - buyers who are not tangled in chains (someone has to buy their property before they can buy yours), are in a superior negotiating position to those who are in chains. Look for buyers who are:

  • First Time Buyers
  • Between Homes (might be renting now)
  • Buying with Cash
  • Investing (this won't be their residence).

Pre-approved or Not - buyers whose mortgages have been pre-approved will be a better position than those who have to wait for the paper-work to be processed. You know buyers with approved mortgages have the money to pay for your home.
Time Pressure - as with the seller, the more time pressure a buyer has, the weaker his position in negotiations.

Not selling?
Few things are as frustrating as not selling your home in a timely fashion. It can stall so many other plans. You have a few choices when this happens:

  • Reduce the Price - the most common approach to take. If no one is buying, chances are the price is too high. Talk to us and check the prices of similar properties in your neighbourhood. What have they been selling for?
  • Take It Off the Market - if you are selling because you want to, not because you need to, then this is a viable option. You may want to wait months or years for a slow market to recover.
  • Wait It Out - if your property is not sparking much interest at the current price, and the market conditions are not dramatically changing, there is little reason to believe that keeping your home on the market at its current asking price will succeed. The longer a property is on the market, the less desirable it appears to buyers.

Step 7 - Accept offer
Congratulations. You have accepted an offer on your home. Now, you can start the legal work of passing home ownership on to your buyer.

Accept offer
Once you accept an offer...

  • The property can be advertised as "Sold Subject to Contract or Under Offer." This means simply that, barring any higher offers or unforeseen problems with the property, your home is sold.
  • Likewise, the buyer is not committed to the sale. If, for any reason, he decides not to go through with the purchase, he can pull out now without penalty.
  • If the survey highlights any factors that the buyer thinks should be reflected in the price, he may try to re-negotiate.

Next steps checklist
These are the steps you'll need to go through before moving day.

  • Offer accepted
  • Review your budget - How much will you net from the sale after all expenses are paid?
  • Agree to take property off the market
  • Agree costs of solicitors in writing
  • Go through Conveyancing Process
  • Set exchange date
  • Set a completion date
  • Notify all contacts about your new address. Contacts checklist
  • Exchange contracts
  • Arrange to drop off keys.

Step 8 - Legal work
Conveyancing is the transfer of ownership of property or land from one person to another. It is necessary to insure that the new owner has proper legal title to the property.

Conveyancing process
As the seller, your conveyancer should undertake the following...
Initial correspondences: Nelsons will send you a letter with the buyer's agreed price and contact details for buyer's conveyancer and ask you to confirm your conveyancer's details as well.

  • Serve authority to obtain title deeds to the property: This should be one of the first tasks your conveyancer undertakes, because it can take time to get the deeds from the past lender.
  • Property Information Form and Contents List: This form summarises the items that will go into the draft contract, such as fixtures, fittings, boundaries, etc. You should check that it meets your expectations, and send back to buyer's conveyancer once complete.
  • Receive title deeds: When your conveyancer obtains the title deeds, they should be checked meticulously to insure that all is in order.
  • Compile draft contract: This contract is a legal document that sets out the terms of the sale. It is initially drafted by the seller's conveyancer. It will contain details about the property, items that are to be included in the sale, the buyer's and seller's particulars, how much the property will be sold for, and the transaction date. It has two parts - The Particulars of Sale and The Condition of Sale. The Particulars describe the property and details of the lease or freehold. The Conditions have information about the proposed completion date and any deposit required when contracts are exchanged.
  • Fields enquiries from buyer's conveyancer: Usually, the buyer's conveyancer will send a list of questions to your conveyancer, such as:
  1. What is included in the sale? What contents will the vendor leave behind?
  2. What are the boundaries of the property? Who owns and is responsible for any perimeter structures (like fences, hedges, etc)?
  3. Is the property connected to all the appropriate utilities?
  4. If it is a leasehold, he'll ask: Who is the managing agent? Who is the freeholder? Is the owner up to date with service charge bills and ground rent?
  • Draft contract sent: Your conveyancer cannot send the draft contract until he receives the title deeds from the lender, because some of that information has to go into the contract.
  • Draft contract sent: Your conveyancer cannot send the draft contract until he receives the title deeds from the lender, because some of that information has to go into the contract
  • Agree completion date: In the ideal world, you would exchange contracts the same day you pick up the keys. But that doesn't always work. You may exchange contracts several days or weeks before formally completing the sale by taking possession of the keys. This needs to be agreed at this stage in the process.
  • Both conveyancers accept draft contract: Once both of the conveyancers are satisfied with the contract, they send letters of acknowledgment.
  • You approve draft contract: After the conveyancers have approved the contract, then you review it and approve it if you are satisfied. Once all parties are satisfied (and you've seen the formal mortgage offer from the buyer), a final printed copy of the contract will be sent to you for signature. You sign it, and send it back to your conveyancer.
  • Arrange for exchange: Once contracts are signed, you are ready to exchange and prepare for completion of the sale by handing over the keys to your home's new owner.

Legal stages in England and Wales

First stage: Sale agreed

Seller's conveyancer

  • Obtains your title deeds and asks you to fill in a detailed questionnaire.
  • Prepares and sends out a package of legal information and a contract for sale.
  • Requests a settlement figure for your mortgage and any other secured loans.
  • Liaises with all relevant parties and negotiates a date for moving ('completion').
    Buyer's conveyancer

Buyer's conveyancer

  • Organises searches at the local authority on your behalf, and asks you for a sum on account of such expenses.
  • Receives replies to questions raised, and reports to you with the contract for signing. Requests your deposit.
  • Receives mortgage offer and deals with all the conditions on your behalf.
  • Receives search results and deals with any problems revealed.

Second stage: Exchange of contracts
Seller's conveyancer

  • Receives the deposit as a down payment.
  • Organises final accounts and prepares a final settlement for your approval. Collects any balance of funds required.
  • • Approves the deed of transfer and arranges for you to sign.

Buyer's conveyancer

  • Hands over the deposit to the seller's conveyancers.
  • Prepares a final completion statement for your approval. Collects any balance of funds required.
  • Prepares the deed of transfer and mortgage deed and arranges for you to sign them.
  • Organises final searches to check for debts and bankruptcy.

Third stage: Completion

Seller's conveyancer

  • Pays off the mortgage and notifies HM Land Registry.
  • Hands over the deeds and sends balance of money to you.

Buyer's conveyancer

  • Receives and arranges for payment of any stamp duty to the Inland Revenue.
  • Prepares and sends off application to HM Land Registry to register your ownership.
  • If property is mortgaged, sends deeds to the lender.

Step 9 - Completion
This is the moment you've been waiting for. This is when you receive payment from the buyer. Once contracts are exchanged, the sale of your property is legally binding. No backing out now. At this stage, the money starts moving in your direction, but it isn't quite as simple as accepting a big cheque. You have to stay in close touch with your conveyancer to track your funds. Once all monies have been received and cleared, your property is SOLD