Selling your property

Selling your property can be a daunting process. We have put together some advice to make that process easier and better.

Selling Introduction

When you instruct Madley to sell your property we’ll be with you every step of the way, helping you to set the right price, and find the right buyer.

We can do this because we are true specialists in the London market. We understand exactly what’s going on in the local streets of the areas we serve, but we also keep a close eye on what’s happening across the capital. We seek to understand the trends, and their likely impact on surrounding districts. We’ll give you an expert valuation of the price you can hope to achieve and set about securing it for you.

We’re members of The Property Ombudsman scheme and the National Association of Estate Agents. You can be confident that our advice and processes meet all the requirements of English property law.

We’ll support you all the way, but there’s plenty you’ll need to think about for yourself. In this guide we set out some of the most important things you’ll need to bear in mind as you go through the sales process, including the things best done before you start.

Preparing to sell

We’ll advise you directly about all the elements we cover in these pages, but it will speed the process if you’ve given them some thought in advance.

Paperwork

Whatever type of property you want to sell you’ll need to put your
paperwork in order.

You’ll need:

  • the title deeds (if you have a mortgage these will be held by your lender, and will be checked as part of the conveyancing process) an energy performance certificate (EPC)
  • copies of guarantees relating to remedial work (roof, damp, etc.)
  • copies of service guarantees and agreements relating to maintenance (boilers, etc.)
  • proof of remedial work carried out

For leasehold property you’ll need:

  • documentary proof of the term of lease
  • details of annual ground rent
  • details of any annual service charges
  • copies of any freehold certificates (where applicable)

Solicitor

You should appoint a solicitor as soon as possible, who will then be able to ensure that vital documentation like title deeds are available as soon as they are needed. It’s a good idea to appoint one in the same area as your property, because local knowledge can help when you’re dealing with councils and other authorities.

Money laundering

To meet money laundering regulations we are required to verify the identity of all our clients. We’ll need standard proofs, for instance a passport or current driving licence, along with with recent utility bills.

Decoration

It’s tempting to think you need to spruce up the décor to help sell your home. It may help, but there may be better things to spend
your money on. We can advise you here, and if it’s helpful supply tradespeople to get things moving quickly.

Decluttering

It happens to most of us: over time; our homes accumulate things. Selling is a great opportunity to have a clear out, and an uncluttered home will make for a more attractive presentation to potential buyers.

Presenting for viewing

Once you’ve decided to sell and have organised all the basic documentation you need to think about presenting things so you can get the best possible tenant.

Avoid viewing restrictions if you can. Potential buyers will often want to see as many properties as they can in as short a time as possible, so will be working to a tight schedule. If you can’t fit that schedule you might miss out.

We’ll provide a full report after each viewing, which remains in our database to build a useful picture of how (and to whom) your property appeals.

First impressions

First impressions cut deep. Pay particular attention to the entrance to your property, making sure the front door is clean and the surrounding area free from litter. Vacuum any communal areas and remove junk mail. Remove as much clutter as possible, making it easier for potential buyers to imagine how they would settle in with their own belongings.

Little touches used discreetly like fresh flowers can make a difference. We’ll suggest any detail points we think will help.

Freshness

Make up beds with fresh linen before a viewing. Air the property as much as you can and consider using a dehumidifier in closed spaces like cellars to keep any musty smells at bay.

Lighting

Good natural light will always be welcome, so maximise whatever’s available. Make sure the windows are clean and all curtains or blinds are fully open. Use lamps rather than overhead lights (especially in the winter) to help create a warm atmosphere. If the property’s unoccupied make sure the power is switched on
and all lightbulbs are working.

Temperature

Though people have different comfort thresholds when it comes to temperature, there are sensible things you can do. If it’s a warm day and not too noisy outside open windows. If its colder put the heating on, though don’t set it too high so rooms feels noticeably warm.

Cleaning

Clean the property regularly: dust and dirt accumulate quickly on window sills and other surfaces, and will simply detract from any good impression you’ve made.

Marketing

Different properties in different locations demand different marketing approaches. We’ll tailor whatever we do in line with the likely buyer profile, and have a full range of tools at our disposal.

Photography, 360º views and floor plans

We use experienced photographers who understand how to bring out the best in any room: a good picture will be the first hook for most people’s interest in a property. We can go further, creating 360º walkthroughs on our website, offering a compelling virtual experience before anyone steps over a real threshold. Our floorplans are professionally drawn up and we pride ourselves on their helpful accuracy.

Brochures

Sometimes traditional brochures can still be a powerful marketing tool, particularly when they are well-designed and well-written. We try to ensure that ours are free from the usual clichés of the estate agent world and focus on giving thoughtful and useful information, as well as presenting your property in the best possible light.

Online

We use all the main property websites, as you’d expect, but we’ve also invested substantially in our own website. It offers advanced features like our 360º walkthroughs, and is expertly coded to ensure our properties feature prominently in likely search engine results.

Buyer network

We maintain a vast and smart database of potential UK and overseas buyers who are actively looking in our areas. In addition to local owner occupiers, our powerful database consists of thousands of active investors based both in the UK and around the globe. These key contacts and relationships have been built up over years of active business and marketing of Central London property to a global audience. Our intuitive database automatically matches properties as they become available with
the very people who we know could be in the market.

For sale boards

They might seem old-fashioned, but display boards on the property site remain a powerful way to catch people’s interest while they’re out in a location. They offer a direct pointer to further information and an invaluable way to bring in potential buyers.

Office displays

The internet has become the primary shop window for the property market in any area. Consequently we’ve designed our offices to be primarily places to bring owners, buyers and opportunity together. They are places to talk but naturally we highlight as many properties as we can in display areas and windows.

The offer process

It’s quite possible in London that you’ll receive multiple offers, and might even need to go to sealed bids. It’s quite possible too that the best offer will
not be the highest one, depending on other factors such as the speed at which you want to complete. Managing this process can be stressful, but we’ll help
you through it in a way that’s ethical and transparent.

We’re legally obliged to inform you of every offer as soon as possible, which we’ll do by whatever contact channel you prefer, as well as confirming the offer in writing. Moving from offer to completion is also stressful, but through our expert team we’ll do whatever we can to minimise that stress.

Accepting the offer

Once an offer has been agreed you and the prospective buyer (as well as your solicitors) will receive a Memorandum of Sale. It’ll set out full details of the proposed offer, including any special conditions such as expected exchange and completion dates. It’s not legally binding, but you should check it carefully.

Your solicitor will then draw up a draft contract, and the full conveyancing process can begin. This will include a number of checks, and negotiations may continue throughout this process. No one is under any legal obligations until contracts are exchanged.

Before you exchange contracts

The solicitors will follow a fairly standard series of checks but these can become complex when dealing with a leasehold property. To help keep things firmly on course, you will have a dedicated and experienced member of our sales team as a point of contact. They will be keeping up to date with the solicitors, mortgage applications and any issues should they occur and will keep you up to date and informed.

Enquiries: Your buyers will be encouraged to frame any questions they might have about the property, about how things work, what is and is not included in the sale and so on, which your solicitor will seek to answer. If you plan to take particular fixtures and fittings such as wall lights they will need to be replaced with an equivalent product.

Leasehold enquiries: Your solicitor will supply the buyers solicitors with a copy of your lease and their solicitors will raise detailed enquires regarding it.

Service charge information: If your property is leasehold, you will most likely pay a service charge to a block management company. If this is the case, you will most likely need to pay that block managers for a ‘management information pack’ that will need to be sent to the buyers solicitors. Its important to request this pack quickly as it can take a number of weeks to receive and the information it contains is an important part of the conveyancing process.

Title: Your solicitor will need to show you have a clear title to the property.

Searches: Your buyer’s solicitor will carry out searches against local authority and land registry databases to verify that there are no outstanding claims or issues attached to the property. You’ll need to give access to your buyer’s surveyor, who will verify the condition and valuation. If your property is on a lease or you have a share of a freehold there may be specific questions relating to ownership. Some leases will have terms written many years ago and will need to be updated to meet current legal requirements.

Finance: Your solicitor will need to verify how the purchase is going to be made, including details of any necessary mortgage.

At exchange

Your solicitor should advise you when everything is place to proceed. You and your buyer will then exchange signed contracts
with an agreed completion date, and both parties will be legally obliged to move to completion. It’s normal for the buyer to pay
deposit at this point, which will be held by your solicitor. That deposit is normally 10 per cent of your property’s valuation,
though the amount can be varied by mutual agreement.

Before completion

Insurance: Since both you and your buyer now have an interest in the property you’ll need to agree on how you’ll maintain full insurance cover until completion.

Utilities: You’ll need to contact your utility suppliers and ensure that all meters are read on the completion date so you can settle
accurate final bills.

Council tax: You’ll need to notify your local authority of your move. You’ll need to make arrangements for mail forwarding. You’ll need to put in place your removal arrangements. Research your options in advance and book the firm you want to use as soon as you have a completion date.

At completion

Your solicitor will agree with you how best to hand over keys. You may choose to do this in person or we may arrange it for you via our office or the concierge. In any event your solicitor will advise you when the purchase funds have cleared and the property is now transferred to your buyer. Where there’s a chain of transactions to be complete this can often take till the afternoon, and you should retain the keys until all is confirmed.

And that’s it! We’ll continue to be at hand of course, and if there’s something property-related that we can help you with, we will.

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Madley Property Services Ltd. Company number 6576001
112 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3TX. VAT number 942264820