In a sale we expect to take the following steps:
The biggest expense when selling will be your estate agents fee. The amount will vary a little from agent to agent but more from area to area. In the North of England it could be as low as 1%. In central London it may be 2.5%. In most of London and the South East 1 1/2% seems to be normal. Remember to add VAT at 20%.
Occasionally we can help you get a discount which can save you a decent amount of money. Worth talking to us before you approach an agent to see if we can help.
Don't assume the cheapest agent will be the best value. It's better to pay a good agent a bit more and get the best price for your property than pay an inexperienced agent a bit less and end up selling your home for less than it's worth.
A sole agent or multiple agents. If you use one agent only he or she will probably offer you a slightly lower commission rate. After all, they know they will have a good chance of earning their fee. If you instruct several agents, only the one who eventually finds the buyer will get paid. To cover the risk of doing a lot of work and then receiving nothing multiple agents will usually ask to be paid a slightly higher percentage commission if they are successful.
Using several agents may give you exposure to a wider range of potential buyers. But it's just as likely that most people looking for a property in a specific area will be looking at the main internet sites such as RightMove which almost all agents now use.
In the end the most important thing is to use a reputable company with local experience. They are more likely to have good quality applicants and to vet prospective buyers properly.
Find out how the property will be marketed and whether the agent regularly uses the local press.
Does the agent have a website, which could feature your property? Do they use all the main property websites or just one?
Will the particulars be prepared with colour photographs?
Will the agent agree to place your property in their window?
Viewing arrangements. Ensure you give clear instructions to the agent regarding viewing times and accessibility. If you leave a key to the property ensure that the agent will accompany any viewers.
Supply telephone numbers where they can contact you or at least leave a message you can be certain of getting.
When signing an agency agreement make sure you understand any "tie in" clauses. Most agents offering a sole agency rate will ask for a minimum period, probably eight weeks, in which only they can offer the property on your behalf and will hold you to that. Most will want written notice from you should you decide to instruct other agents after that period. Avoid any agent which tries to get "sole selling rights" as that means you have to pay their commission even if you find a buyer yourself!
Speak to several agents to get an idea of the value of your property. Although it is tempting to place your property with the agent that suggests the highest price this is not always the best option especially if finding a buyer quickly is important. If your property is overvalued you may not receive any offers until you eventually lower the price to a more realistic level.
Solicitors fees. Our charges for dealing with a sale are based on the amount of time we have to spend on it which depends on what work is needed to safely complete the purchase.
We can't give a precise figure for our charges as each case can be different. Some run very smoothly and the clients are content to leave us to get on with things. Others run into all kinds of unexpected problems, usually due to one or more of the people in the "chain" having mislead their buyer or seller or having some unexpected personal problems. In addition, some clients like us to be in contact with them two or three times a day, every day. While we are willing to provide whatever service clients want, that does put the bill up considerably!
The best we can say is that a normal, straightforward sale would cost around £900 to £1000 plus VAT...but life and human nature being what it is, cases are rarely completely normal and straightforard.
What we do promise is that we will provide a good, reliable professional service. We keep our clients informed about what we are doing and why. We treat every one of our clients as an individual and treat them with the respect and courtesy they deserve. We think that's real value for money.
What else? In some sales there are a few unexpected costs. We may need to get copy documents from the Land Registry. If so they will charge us about £20. If we need copies of planning consents from the local council that may cost anything from £5 to £40. If you are selling a flat, some freeholders charge a fee for providing up to date information about insurance or service charges. One major landlord will not answer any letters until it is paid £75. If we have to make payments to anyone else in order to get the information we need to allow your sale to proceed, we will let you know in advance and ask you to cover the cost. Let me stress... these will be payments demanded by other people or organisations not fees kept by us.