Property isn’t just bricks and tiles and carpet. It mean ‘a home’. It can mean ‘an investment’ for your future. It mean somewhere to raise your children. It can mean so much.
When it comes to selling property, it’s more than just a transaction.
Starting Your Property Sale Journey in North London
When you start thinking about selling your property, it’s like a speck of dust in your mind. It’s almost imperceptible but over time, the speck turns into something else. Something like a niggle you just can’t shake. The final decision is likely to come after lots of thinking and conversations with important people in your life.
Family and friends are often the first people we speak to about selling property, whether that’s our home, a second property, or an investment. Within that group of VIPs, we strongly recommend you also prioritise speaking with an independent financial advisor. If you’re not sure who is best for your circumstances, talk to us and we can put you in contact with the right North London person to suit your situation.
The Next Stage of Selling Your Property
Getting a property ready to go on the market involves several different parts. The most obvious is starting with the property itself. This might mean a deep-clean, usually a declutter, and certainly depersonalising.
The latter can sound a bit sterile but it is surprising the difference it can make to the speed of finding the right buyer and even the price they’re prepared to pay. Removing knick-knacks, family pictures, and reducing bright colours all help to broaden the appeal of the property. This means people viewing your home are more likely to be able to visualise themselves in the space.
Antony’s top tip: When preparing your North London property for sale, don’t forget to do what you can to make the outside appealing. This might be weeding the path, repainting the front door, or adding a pot of colourful flowers. It might also mean cleaning gutters, tidying soffits and fascias, and cleaning the windows.
These jobs don’t have to be done before you have estate agents round to value the property and tell you how they work. You can describe your plans at that meeting. However, it can be useful for yourself, personally, to get started as soon as your decision is made. It’s a great way to start saying ‘good-bye’ to a property.
Estate Agents in North London
Once you’ve started tidying, painting, cleaning, whatever it is you need to do to your property to get it ‘market-ready’, the next stage is to ask some local estate agents to visit you at home. Do this when you have time to be fully present, not having to rush off for work or childcare. Also, if you’re not the only owner of the property, make sure all the decision-makers are there, as far as is possible.
We usually recommend speaking to three local estate agents. You can understand the ways they work because there are many parts to the house-selling process. Ask about:
- How do they work - is it a team of trained people or only one, juggling everything on their own?
- How do they market properties - photos, floorplans, video, social media, a database of people?
- How do they qualify viewers - what questions do they ask before bringing them round?
- How do they take offers - what level of detail do they require from those offering?
- How do they support you, as the seller, through the long final stage with the solicitors? (This is sometimes called ‘sales progression’.)
Make sure the estate agents are able to explain the price they suggest marketing your home for. Are they showing you comparable properties in the area? Are they clearly knowledgeable about the local and national markets?
Antony’s top tip: Some estate agents work in target-driven businesses. This means they are more likely to inflate the value of your home if they think that’s what you want to hear. They’ll do this to get you signed into long contract. Then slowly, they chip away at you to get a price reduction, while your property gets stale to the market and your dreams further away from being accomplished. Always ask for evidence to back up any valuation.
Viewing North London Properties
Once you’ve chosen your estate agent and the marketing has been okayed by you, viewings are likely to begin. Your estate agent is likely to give you a call and check what times work for you so you have a bit of notice.
If you’ve been following this guide, you’ll have already started packing so decluttering and tidying before a viewing has been made so much easier. Give everything a quick once over if you can before a viewing takes place.
A few examples could be:
- Open a window or two before a viewing to let some fresh air in
- Pop some nice flowers in a vase in a prominent place
- Empty any smelly bins
- Tidy away kids’ or pets’ toys
- Ensure loos and sinks are clean
- Put away dishes and laundry.
Your estate agent has the relationship with the person viewing your property so, counterintuitive as it may seem, they’re the best people to show them round. Go out while the viewing is happening, taking children and pets with you where possible. This allows the estate agent to show the property to an undistracted viewer and focus on the parts that appeal to that person and their circumstances.
You should hear back from the estate agent after the viewing about 24 hours or so later. This is likely to be feedback about how the viewing went and what might need to change in the marketing or the presentation in order to increase the appeal.
Antony’s top tip: Try to be patient at this stage. On average, it takes approximately 15 viewings to sell a home, no matter the economy, the season, or the property. Try not to get too despondent if it takes longer than you had hoped.
Getting an Offer on Your North London Property
Once someone has fallen in love with your property, the next stage is for them to make an offer. Lots of people start quite low because they think that’s what they’re meant to do.
Don’t take offence if this happens to you. You can simply say ‘no, thank you’ and your estate agent can do the rest.
By law, agents have to present every offer to you, even if they know it’s not a figure you would accept. This can create a situation with quite a few ‘backs and forths’.
As in the previous stage, try and be patient.
Once an offer is agreed, the final and potentially the longest stage begins.
North London Property Conveyancing
Conveyancers or solicitors are instructed by you and by your buyers. There are lots of pieces of paper (often electronic now) and lots of “silly questions” that get asked. Unfortunately, this is simply the UK system and it doesn’t look set to change any time soon.
You’ll have to answer questions that you’re sure don’t need asking or that you’re sure you’ve already answered. It will seem like it’s all taking forever. As we’ve said before, you’ll just have to be patient during this stage too.
Your estate agent should support you through this stage with weekly updates, even if nothing has changed. They often act as liaison between buyer, seller, and the solicitors on both sides.
Once contracts have been exchanged, the property is legally in the hands of the buyer. There’s often a couple of weeks between this and completion, which is when you must no longer be in, or have things in, the property. The keys are usually handed over by the estate agent so check with them what their process is.