I recently sold a house for my lovely client Karen. She was ahead of the game throughout the sales process which smoothed the way for a quick and easy sale. On completion I joked that she should write some Top Tips for other sellers. Organised as ever, Karen replied in hours with her Top Tips and they are wise words indeed. Over to Karen…
“No matter how great your estate agent is, there are things that you, the seller, will need to do. If you get prepared in advance, not only will your team be more able to respond buyer questions and demands, but you will save time later, at a point when timing could be critical, or you may be dealing with something unexpected. You have nothing to lose from being organised.
Choose a great team right away
My number 1 tip is to choose a good team: an estate agent and solicitor you trust, respect and can communicate with (and who will communicate with each other). Do not wait until you have a buyer, and will be under pressure to get the ball rolling, to choose your solicitor.
– Brief your agent
A good estate agent will ask you a lot of questions about your home. But no-one will know it better than you do. If there is something you love, make sure you tell your agent. Take some time to think about why you chose the property. Walk around your house and think of something great about each room. Write these things down for your agent, or tell them. These are the things the agent will want to point out to buyers. Giving your estate agent a list of what fixtures and fittings are included, excluded or negotiable will help them answer questions from buyers, and help prevent any misunderstandings later.
3 – Complete conveyancing questions early
There are standard forms your solicitor will ask you to complete as part of the conveyancing process. You can make a start on them right away, long before you have a buyer. If you haven’t appointed a solicitor you can see specimens of the forms on The Law Society website.
Most property sales will require the completion of a Property Information Form (TA6) which will ask you about boundaries, disputes, planning, warranties, insurance, environmental matters, rights, parking, occupiers and services. Even if you don’t complete the form ahead of time, read it and make sure you have the information to hand that will enable you to complete it. Doing so will help you identify any issues that need resolving, to avoid delaying – or losing – a sale.
will also probably need to complete the Fittings and Contents Form (TA10) which
asks about what is included in the sale (curtains, fridge, carpets etc).
You may not be able to fully complete this until you have finished negotiating
with your buyer, but having a draft will be very helpful to you.
4 – Create a buyer’s pack
Designate a drawer or box for small things you will leave in the house when you move out and start putting things there as you think of them. Things like the instructions for the washing machine, the tool you need to remove the shelves from the oven, the spare filters for the bathroom taps, the permit for the refuse centre, swatches for the carpets and even a list of paint colours and brands used. This will stop things which the buyers could need being packed up and moving with you to your new home.
5 – Anticipate work
You will not know what a buyer, their solicitor, or surveyor will ask you to fix before you sell, but you will probably have an idea. Unless you are selling a fixer-upper, there will be things buyers will expect to have been done. For example; if it’s been years since you last had the boiler serviced, it is likely the buyer will want you to do that. You don’t have to get all the work done now (take advice from your agent as to what will add value). But do get some quotes now for things you think could be an issue. If anything comes up later, you will know instantly how much it will cost and how long it will take to fix. You can then negotiate with the buyer, or get the work done promptly, keeping everything moving.”
A word from Kai Carter Estates
Right from the get-go, Karen was prepared for the house sale and had all the information needed for us to launch her property quickly, and accurately. During the sales process Karen moved abroad, an 8 hour time difference away. We are online into the evening; this was especially crucial in this case as it meant each day we had 8 hours of overlap to communicate by email and Skype.
The sales process moved smoothly, and we worked closely as a team to iron out the final details before completion. We appreciate that not all sellers can be as organised as Karen due to their own circumstances, so we work with each client to identify their needs and time pressures, ensuring we can provide them with the best service according to their needs.
The power of social media, and small businesses
I had been a customer of Karen’s from her days running a wonderful deli, where I could always find different and delicious foods from small suppliers she selected. Her Facebook posts regularly had me running down the shop to buy her latest and greatest products!
Meanwhile Karen was following me on Instagram, and approached me when she was looking to sell her house. Karen always provided exemplary service to her customers, and I was honoured she chose me and Kai Carter Estates as a small business to represent her and her home. It just goes to show the power of social media, and small businesses, both of which are integral to my business.
Natalie Carter, Director, Kai Carter Estates