How accurate are online valuations?

Most online property valuations are based on data from the HM Land Registry collated from actual transactions. They use this data to estimate the value of your home based on location, size (number of bedrooms etc.) and current market conditions but are unable to take into account the interior of your property or plot size (i.e. size of your garden/ driveway). An online valuation therefore will not be aware of any improvements or modifications that you may have made. For example, if you have had a new bathroom or kitchen fitted, which is likely to add considerable value to your property that wouldn’t be taken into account. We would strongly recommend you ask a local agent to visit your home and prepare a more detailed appraisal.

I’m thinking of selling. What do I do?

First you will need to contact your local property agent and request a marketing appraisal. Please be advised that a marketing appraisal is not a valuation but just an indicative figure to propose on the open market. The agent will inspect your property and provide you with an appropriate figure to disclose. The agent will also provide you with a suitable agency fee quotation. In most instances the fee payable will be on a no sale, no fee basis. Be careful of upfront or deferred fees as this takes away the incentive of achieving the best possible price for your home.

What do I need to provide to the agent to start marketing my property?

If you are happy with the advice given you will be required to sign an agency agreement, property information form (referring to questions about your property) as well as a validation certificate (a declaration confirming that the details contained within the marketing particulars are accurate). You will also require to provide relevant identification to comply with current Money Laundering Regulations. Before the property can be marketed an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) will also need to be commissioned and registered to comply with current legislation.

I have agreed to sell my property, what next?

You will now need to instruct a solicitor/ licenced conveyancer to act on your behalf. It also advised that you ask you solicitor to contact your lender to confirm the redemption figure to ensure the amount you have agreed to sell covers the outstanding loan amount, including any interest or further charges.

Do I need a solicitor?

As a seller it’s important to have a solicitor lined up before you start the process of purchasing a property. If you haven’t done so, don’t worry – you can get in touch with us and we will put this in place. A good solicitor is a wise investment to ensure the move goes smoothly and efficiently.

What happens when contacts have been exchanged?

Exchange takes place when both parties i.e. buyer and seller have signed the contracts. Both your solicitor and the buyer’s solicitor would have already agreed a completion date. Unless the property has exchanged and completed simultaneously the buyer will also need to pay a deposit, usually 10% of the agreed purchase price, which will be transferred to your solicitor. It is at this point the transaction becomes legally binding. The remaining monies will be paid on completion.

What is the difference between Freehold and Leasehold?

If you buy a property Freehold, it means you have full ownership of the property until you decide to sell. A Freehold estate in land is where the owner of the land has no time limit to his period of ownership. If you buy a Leasehold property, it means you have part ownership and the right to live there for a fixed time only, usually the balance of either 99 or 125 years (in some instances 999 years) although leases may have already been extended. Leasehold properties are generally flats and maisonettes, however, the incidence of a Leasehold houses is increasing. It is also important to note that the value of a lease decreases with time, but you can usually extend your lease or buy a new one. The price to renew a Lease will however increase as the remaining term (no. of years left) decreases, which can be costly if you do not receive the correct advice.