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Archive for the ‘Guide to Selling’ Category

Selling A House Online … The Next Phase

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

As of late June 2013 Patrick now feels ready to put his house firmly on the market. The story started here: Selling a House – the Modern Way

As an experiment, he tried posting the house on one of the free house selling websites, but found that it generated little response and when he did get enquiries they were of poor quality.

After this experience, he has decided to use one of the larger commercial property marketing sites – where you place your property for a fee. The cost of the site he chose is relatively modest at £195 plus VAT for 6 months; for that you get a visit from a representative who photographs the property, works with you to create an accurate description, advises on valuation, and draws out a floor plan.

The house will be for sale online with all of the marketing leading house sales websites from July 1st 2013.

Selling a house online in 2013

Tidying up the garden is vital

One of the advantages of having a long gap between tenants leaving the house and putting it on the market is that there has been time to maintain the garden. As tenants are not renowned for their devotion to a rented garden, there was some remedial work required. As you can see, the garden is now fully restored to its former glory!

We will report in July on how the online marketing campaign progresses …

Selling A House – The Modern Way?

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Selling a house in the 20th century was pretty well impossible without employing an estate agent. Has it got any easier in the 21st? With current average agents’ fees at 1.8%, it is still quite a slice – meaning that the cost of selling a £350,000 house includes estate agent fees of £6,300 (usually plus VAT), conveyancing costs of around £600 and removal costs of an absolute minimum of £200. Estate agents therefore are usually the largest expense when looking to sell your property.

The days of the agent may be numbered though: increasingly people are taking advantage of the Internet to do things for themselves without paying a third party to get involved. The savvy home seller now is looking for ways to circumvent agents’ fees – how easy is it to do? Has the property market yet evolved to a state where properties can be bought and sold without an agent?

We will be following the progress of Patrick Gold as he sells his home near Ipswich in Suffolk – http://claydonsuffolkhouse.co.uk/. Is it too early to depend on the Internet for all the help you need to sell your house?

Can Patrick sell this house easily using the Internet alone – with no agents?

Patrick bought his 4-bedroom house 25 years ago, and has now relocated to Sussex. For 3 years he rented the house out, but when the last tenants moved out in August 2012, he decided it was time to sell up and move his money elsewhere. He is not in a hurry to sell, and is happy to bide his time and wait until the market is ready to give him the best return on his investment – he sees this lack of urgency as a factor in choosing to sell his house in this way.

He has used estate agents to buy and sell before:

My experience of estate agents has been less than positive, and the only reason I would have used them in the past was that they had access to the right advertising channels. These days we all have access to these channels.

Patrick has the advantage that he is relaxed about the timescale, and has  been able to create his own website with the property details. However with the advent of several online estate agents, anyone can advertise their house online. He has decided to wait until he feels comfortable with the condition of the house before he takes the step of paying for placement on the key house sales websites.

Now he is slowly improving the maintenance and decor of the house, making sure that it looks at its best before putting it on the market in the summer of 2013. 

Why not follow his progress on our site?

The second phase begins here … >>

Selling Your Home in the UK: Cunningtons video

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Advice on Selling Your Home

Jason Bradshaw, a partner with Cunningtons Solicitors, discusses some of the potential issues with selling your home.

You will find plenty of information on all the legal aspects of property transactions on this website: just look at the residential conveyancing area.

For help with buying or selling your home and for a free conveyancing quote, talk to Cunningtons.

Selling Your Home: To Sum Up

Monday, October 8th, 2012

We hope you found our potted guide useful; selling your home is a stressful time, no matter what the state of the market. With the large amounts of money at stake, making mistakes could have repercussions for you and your family for years to come – so following these simple guidelines will help you to avoid some of the most obvious pitfalls.

When it’s time to sell, you should be sure that you are doing the right thing and that you won’t have any regrets later. Think about the consequences of moving and all the upheaval involved, and if you do decide to take the plunge:

Your Family Deserve a Stress-free Move

If you do everything right, your move from old to new home can be exciting and come with minimum stress. Let’s hope that’s your experience too!

Same Day Completion – Yes or No?

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Every chain of housebuyers and sellers involves different people in different situations, with different means and different priorities. This is why it is very difficult to give definitive answers regarding the wisdom or otherwise of all parties in the chain attempting to exchange contracts and complete their respective sales/purchases on the same day.

Same Day Completion Can Work …

Yes, often it all works out fine, with no problems. Obviously, the shorter the chain, the less potential there is for hiccoughs. With an honest and sensible chain of people and representatives, same-day completions are smooth. However, remember that we are solicitors – not a profession known for its wild and carefree approach to life. This is because we deal with the law. The law is not flexible or adaptive – it is rigid and codified. It’s not something you should take a chance with.

Of course you want to settleyour family as fast as possible

Therefore we are bound to say that same-day completion is something you should avoid if you can. It can be extremely stressful and you may incur extra expenses if forms need to be amended – not to mention the added costs of removals should the nightmare happen with you are left high and dry, packed, waiting, with either nowhere to go or no sale having been made, or both.

Don’t Be In A Hurry!

The best advice, as with every aspect of the buying and selling of property, comes from the experts; people who can spot potential difficulties (or people), people who know every legal angle, people with a reputation to uphold: qualified, experienced, local conveyancing solicitors.

Next instalment: To Recap: Selling Your Home

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What You Need To Do 3: Administration

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Once an offer has been made and accepted, your solicitor will ask you to fill in a Property Information Form wherein you detail any work you have had carried out on the property which require approval under the Building Regulations and/or a certificate from a qualified tradesman. Alterations which must be certified include new or extended buildings, loft conversions, modifications to load-bearing walls, drains and sanitation, central heating, electrical wiring, cavity wall insulation and certain types of glazing.

Works carried out many years ago may have been carried out unsupervised and may not be up to standard. These and other issues t relating to Covenants over the property can be responsible for Defects in Title, which can potentially halt or significantly delay the sale, incurring more expense into the bargain. Knowledge of the laws which govern these areas is another reason to appoint a good solicitor early and ensure you have clear and honest lines of communication.

The information you have provided then goes via your solicitor to the buyer, and you must submit your house to the relevant surveys and local authority searches the buyer needs. Meanwhile your solicitor will draft and submit title contracts which you will sign, specifying your preferred completion date.

With a completion date set, you can arrange removals, cancel your direct debits with your lenders and your building insurers and notify utility companies. Your solicitor will ask your lender for a final redemption figure on your mortgage, send you the transfer deeds, which you must sign with a witness. They will also obtain the estate agents’ commission account and prepare a financial statement.

You will now have a set date for completion. If there is no chain, things ought to be straightforward here. However, there invariably is some sort of chain, and this is where things have the potential to go wrong at the last minute. This is where you need a solicitor who really is on the ball.

Next instalment: Same-day Completion – Yes or No?

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What You Need To Do 2: Negotiation

Monday, June 11th, 2012

In terms of the actual ‘selling’ and the negotiation: is not our business to tell you what to do. However, it is part of your solicitor’s job to know about the property market. General advice that all experienced solicitors would give:

  1. be realistic about price - don’t get too carried away with reports of house price increases. Mortgage finance is hard to come by for many and that flood of early viewings may dry up; better to close a fair deal than be left in limbo;
  2. don’t miss the early market – is that first offer really so bad? If you ask us about buying a house we’ll tell you to look at how long it’s been on the market. Well-priced properties in good locations don’t stay on the market long, but if a house has been on the market for a long time, its asking price has not met buyers’ expectations and it is unlikely to sell on or near that figure. The house that is fresh to market has an advantage – but it doesn’t last. So don’t dismiss that first offer out of hand; it’s your estate agent’s job to massage it upwards – and it may be the best you get;
  3. be honest with your solicitor – we work for you; making things as easy as possible for you is therefore our job. Solicitors do not usually visit properties our clients are selling, but we need to know if there is any information which may hold up the smooth transit of business – even if you think it is trivial.

Next instalment: Conveyancing: What You Need To Do: Administration

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What You Need To Do 1: Preparation

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

For a smooth sale, you need to put in some work yourself. It isn’t that complicated, but you to get the process off to a good start, you do need to be in control.

As we’ve said, your first job is to get your house looking its best.

The second (which we’ve also discussed) is to appoint your representatives: your estate agent and (we hope) a reputable conveyancing solicitor. We recommend you appoint a solicitor at the start of the process – even before you’ve found a buyer – for several reasons.

  • First, it won’t cost you any more.
  • Second, you get to know the person you will be working with.
  • Third, you get to learn in advance how the process will unfold and what is going to happen.
  • And fourth, you are able to get all the paperwork prepared in advance, ready for the buyers’ solicitors (once you find a buyer) and avoiding delays down the line.

For the same reason, if you are buying somewhere else and require mortgage finance, we would advise getting this in place well in advance also. In the present market, making sure everything runs as quickly and as smoothly as possible (with less time for tactical moves) is in sellers’ interests.

Next instalment: Conveyancing: What You Need To Do: Negotiation

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Solicitors’ Fees for Conveyancing – Find Out First

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

One of the first questions you need to check with your conveyancing solicitor is ‘How much will my conveyancing cost?’

As lawyers, we’re fully aware of the reputation under which the profession labours, and some of it is deserved. That is why you can get an instant free quote on our website. This is a quote, not an estimate: i.e. provided the information you have given is correct and barring unforeseen complications, this figure is what you will pay. In a small minority of cases, there may be legal issues which mean there is an inevitable cost overrun. If this is the case, you will be told in advance, advised of the extra fees which will be payable, and asked if you wish to proceed.

If your solicitor or conveyancing company is not offering this kind of guarantee, walk away. Moving house is stressful enough without playing the Russian Roulette that is hourly billing.

Next instalment: Conveyancing: What You Need To Do

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Conveyancing Solicitors – What You Should Expect

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Thirty years ago, the housing market resembled a sturdy ocean liner – safe, stately, slow-moving and predictable. Over the succeeding decades, for a variety of reasons, it was to become far more fast and feverish. When this type of market occurs, all sorts of people (who usually lack genuine expertise) are naturally encouraged into it. Thus it was that a netherworld of Licensed Conveyors grew up to offer their ‘services’ to customers, many of whom were also new to the housing market. This service was often a long way from the attentive, personal contact one could traditionally expect from the firm of family solicitors. When they needed human presence and reassurance, homebuyers and vendors often felt like they were just another sausage being mechanically squeezed through the machine.

Couple discussing property law with a solicitor

With so much at stake, you need to trust your property solicitor

Licensed vs Professional

For being licensed is one thing: being a professional is quite another. Selling a house is likely to be one of the most important bits of business you ever do and you need to have complete confidence in the person taking care of it on your behalf. What you will receive from us is the personal service of a solicitor. They may not be the only person you have contact with, but you will have contact with them, by phone email or in person, at each significant stage of the process. He or she will be a member of the Law Society, trained to the highest standards of their profession. They will be someone whom you can phone, directly, with any problems or queries; someone who, more importantly, will phone you back personally.

The greatest benefit of using a genuine conveyancing solicitor is absolute peace of mind. All solicitors are governed by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA), a body that possesses one of the most stringent regulatory schemes of any professional organization. Each solicitor is, by law, covered by indemnity insurance up to a minimum of £2 million. This acts as ultimate reassurance, both for you and for the banks and building societies who instruct the solicitors to safely utilise the mortgage funds they provide.

The Importance of Customer Service – And Keeping You Informed

Above all, you have the right to be treated with courtesy and with respect. You are transacting a vital piece of business and one which often carries more than its fair share of stresses and uncertainties. The person dealing with you should act with the utmost probity and consideration. You would think this ought to go without saying but if you have experience of the sausage-machine style of conveyancing, you might beg to differ. Look at a company’s business model. What is their local reputation? Is this important to them? Once they have conveyed your house, do they expect to see you again (for family matters or legal advice), or do they not really care?

Next instalment: Conveyancing Fees – Find Out In Advance

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