Whether you’ve never sold a property before or if it has been several years since you last moved home, this simple 12 step guide runs you through what to expect once you’ve instructed Curchods Estate Agents to sell your property, so you know exactly what will happen and when.
For more information on anything in this post, please feel free to give your local Curchods branch a call, or fill in the enquiry form at the end of this page.
Before You Instruct Us, Our Work Has Already Begun
Believe it or not, we start work for you before you have even instructed us to sell your home.
When the valuation appointment is booked, we will gather some information from you about the property. We will also begin researching for evidence of similar properties, nearby, that have recently sold as well as current properties that are currently on the market. This means that by the time we visit your property we have a good basis for our valuation figure.
We will look at our buyer database to identify possible interested parties before we visit your home, so when we meet you for the first time, we can provide an indication of the likely demand for your property before it goes on the market.
Directly after carrying out the valuation appointment, we will make detailed notes about the property while it is fresh in our valuer’s mind, so that if you choose to instruct us as your estate agent, we have a headstart on creating the marketing materials.
STEP 1: The Agency Agreement Paperwork
When you put your home on the market, the first thing to discuss with your estate agent is which agency contract is best for you. Once decided you will receive your Agency Agreement contract by email to sign electronically. The contract documents are sent electronically to save you having to make a journey to post or physically return it back to us – this time-saving method is particularly convenient for our overseas clients.
As an environmentally responsible company, something we are very proud of is the removal of printed contract documents from our offices, which has helped us reduce our carbon footprint and continue on our goal of operating paperless offices.
STEP 2: Anti-Money Laundering Checks
Money Laundering is the method by which criminals change money obtained illegally so that it has no obvious link to its criminal origins. Money Laundering can take many forms, but in the property sector, it often involves buying a property using the proceeds of crime, before selling it on, thus giving the criminal an apparently legitimate source of funds.
In order to comply with Money Laundering Regulations and Legislation, we are required by law to carry out a basic check to verify the identity of all purchasers.
We use the personal details that are provided in the Agency Agreement contract, along with your date of birth and present address to complete Anti-Money Laundering checks for all clients and purchasers.
We take extreme care of our clients’ and purchasers’ personal data, adhering to the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) at all times.
STEP 3: Consumer Protection Regulations Questionnaire
We believe estate agents should be licensed to practice, both to protect the consumer and to encourage and maintain the highest standards within the property sector.
Being an NAEA Propertymark licenced estate agent gives you, as a consumer, confidence that we will fulfil our legal obligations and adhere to all the necessary legislation when selling your property, including the Consumer Protection Regulations (CPR).
Upon instruction, we will send you a form to fill in electronically where we will ask you to provide information about your property. In the most straightforward property sales, the information that you will be asked to provide may be quite basic (the asking price, location, number and size of rooms and whether the property is Freehold or Leasehold). However, depending on the circumstances of each sale, material facts could include the length of the lease, the level of charges payable under a lease, known ambiguities concerning title, significant issues or occurrences at the property, major structural defects, status of connection to mains services/utilities; as well as things which could have an impact on the property, such as potential developments, planning issues, highways issues, conservation areas, etc.
We have an obligation to obtain this information as early in the marketing process as possible, which is why this questionnaire is sent at the outset. We encourage you to return it promptly to ensure the process runs smoothly as we progress to finding a buyer for your property.
STEP 4: Appoint A Conveyancing Solicitor
When you sell your home you will need a conveyancing solicitor.
More than 50% of our clients now use our in-house conveyancing service, largely because our solicitors work on a no sale, no legal fee basis – if your move does not go ahead, you will not pay them a fee.
This is not the norm with the vast majority of solicitors – we also offer a fixed fee so you won’t be billed by the hour. Fees are set from the outset and confirmed in writing.
Our solicitors are open 7 days a week, including evenings, so they are available to speak to you when it suits.
By instructing a conveyancing solicitor at the start of the process it means we can complete the necessary pre-contract paperwork and save valuable time once a buyer is introduced. We typically see people who appoint our in-house solicitors, make a 10-14 day time saving on reaching exchange of contracts.
For more information on our home conveyancing service, you can read our Guide To Home Conveyancing.
STEP 5: Get Your Mortgage Agreement Confirmed
If you need a mortgage and you’ve not already sought financial advice we will refer you to one of Curchods Mortgage Services financial advisors. At Curchod’s Mortgage Services Department, we are independent of any one lender and our advisors are fully qualified with many years experience to advise, research, prepare and submit your mortgage application.
STEP 6: Book Professional Photography and Floorplan
Once your Agency Agreement contract is signed, we will book an appointment for one of our professional photographers to visit your home.
For every property we offer For Sale and Let, we commission professional photography to guarantee you the best chance of finding a high quality buyer.
Photography and floorplans are returned 48 hours after the appointment for you to review before marketing begins.
STEP 7: Energy Performance Certificate
Before marketing can begin it is a legal requirement that an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) has been ordered for your property. We have professional suppliers that can provide an EPC.
We do the necessary research on our client’s behalf to find out if the property has a valid EPC in place. If your property hasn’t had one prepared in the last 10 years, the energy assessment will be conducted at the same time as your photography at a cost to you of £99.00 +VAT.
STEP 8: Sales Team Visit
As soon as you instruct us to place your property on the market, we will agree a convenient time for the whole sales team from your local branch to visit your home.
Having our sales staff visit ensures the whole team is familiar with your home, thus allowing them to convey its appeal first-hand and also enables them to personally match interested buyers with your property.
STEP 9: Marketing Literature Sent For Your Approval
To create maximum impact for any property, we still believe there is no substitute for a well-produced brochure, one that’s filled with stunning photography and an insightful narrative to help bring the property to life.
We will email you draft property details which will form the basis of all marketing. Once approved, we will agree on an internet launch date, after which viewings can begin.
STEP 10: Your Property Advertisement Goes Live
Another important factor to consider when choosing an estate agent is finding one that will give you maximum exposure to the wider property market.
83% of buyers now start their property search journey online so it’s important your property is widely advertised online.
Advertising on all the UK’s leading property websites is expensive, but Curchods invest heavily in this area so you can be confident of maximum online exposure for your home, including listings on Rightmove, Zoopla, On The Market, Prime Location and Country Life, as well as the leading news outlets including The Times, The Telegraph, Mail On Sunday and The Sunday Times. In addition, your home will be listed on both the Curchods and Burns & Webber websites.
STEP 11: For Sale Board Goes Up
Having a For Sale board up outside your property is still one of the most effective ways that we generate buyer enquiries for our clients. If you are serious about selling your home we encourage all our clients to agree to a For Sale board outside their property.
STEP 12: Window Display
Your property will be placed in the window of your local sales office to attract passing potential buyers.
We sell many properties that never appear on the market, because our clients have decided to sell on a ‘Discreet Marketing’ basis – preferring to keep details of their home away from public advertising and the internet.
If a discreet sale sounds like the right way to sell your property, you can talk to your local Curchods branch to find out more about this special service.
Finding Your Buyer
Once your property advert is live, our sales negotiators will scour our database of local, national and international buyers to find the right fit for your home. We start a targetted telephone and email marketing campaign to generate viewings for your property.
This is where the power of being the largest independent estate agent in Surrey comes to the fore. We introduce buyers throughout our network of 21 nearby sales offices to your property.
It is this network of offices that allows us to consistently achieve premium prices for our clients – many sales are created where a buyer has registered in a neighbouring office and is introduced to a property in an area they may not have been looking for previously.
Viewings are an integral part of what we do and like so much in life it is very much a balancing act. It goes without saying that the more viewings you get the better your chances of securing a sale, but everything has its limits. At Curchods we focus on quality rather than quantity – horror stories of clients having to endure in excess of 100+ viewings with little or no interest at the end, simply doesn’t happen when you sell or let with Curchods.
Our expert sales negotiators accompany 100% of our viewing appointments, but we feel it best for the homeowner not to be present. The absence of the homeowner, especially on the first viewing appointment, allows potential buyers and tenants to relax and really speak their minds about the property. We can overcome any objections they may voice without any awkwardness.
Second viewings are normally arranged for interested buyers and depending on the circumstances it can be a good idea for the prospective buyer and seller to meet at this time.
Feedback from the viewing appointments is an important part of the process, both for us to further refine the quality of the buyers we bring to the house and for you, as the seller, so you are aware of any issues that may be putting people off, but which could easily be fixed. We seek feedback quickly after viewings and deliver it to our clients promptly.
Offer Negotiation and Sales Progression
Our expert sales negotiators will receive all the offers from buyers and before putting an offer forward to you as the seller we vet our buyer’s ability to purchase. We see this as our moral responsibility, as without qualifying buyers we cannot comfortably advise any seller to accept an offer. Again in an ideal world, we suggest prospective buyers talk to our in house mortgage advisors to be completely confident of their ability to proceed with the purchase.
For us, offer negotiation and sales progression are not mutually exclusive. If one of our negotiators arranges a sale, they are also the best person to oversee the post sale progress to ensure the transaction reaches exchange of contracts. This is a much better approach than passing it on to a separate progression team, as the negotiator will have the existing relationship with the buyers and sellers and their needs and timescales intimately.
As a firm we enjoy a much lower abortive rate compared to many of our competitors as for us we view the detailed sales progression as a significant part of our responsibility and we know that without our intervention many sales would not reach a successful conclusion. We also believe that our sale agreed to completion is swifter than many of our competitors.
For more information on the work that goes into ensuring you make it to completion once your sale has been agreed, you can read our Guide To Conveyancing article.
Not Yet Instructed An Estate Agent?
If you’re not on the market yet and are still deciding which estate agent to instruct, our article exploring the difference between online and high street estate agents may be a useful starting point, but you may still ask ‘How do you pick the right one?’
The answer is finding an estate agent that truly cares about your objectives, in whom you can place your trust and who possesses the right knowledge, experience and expertise to help guide you through the entire sale process. Whichever estate agent you choose, be aware that they will have access into your personal life, potentially for several months at a time and if things don’t go smoothly, they could be partnering you through one of the most stressful times in your life, so it is imperative that you choose one that you feel you can relate to and can trust.
Whilst the average UK resident moves once every 23 years, we sell a property in Surrey every 3 hours*.
So whether you’re selling for the first time, divorcing or downsizing, whatever your situation we will have seen it before and know how to expertly guide you through the process.
Ready to move?
A lot of the above really does come down to your chosen estate agent taking a little more time and effort, but this dedication will genuinely result in a better outcome for you as a client.
If after reading the above, you would like to contact Curchods about your property, book a market appraisal of your home. This service is free and without obligation.
*Based on internal sales data during working hours between 13/11/17 – 12/11/18.