The Seven Secrets of a Successful Sale

At Brunton Residential we genuinely love helping people move home successfully.

During the many years we’ve been doing it we’ve experienced pretty much everything that can, and sometimes does, happen during the process.

In this guide we share everything we’ve learned so that you can feel confident about successfully selling your property.

It’s a myth that moving home is always a stressful experience.

With proper planning, a good estate agent and excellent supporting services, such as a good solicitor, your dream move should go, well, just like a dream.

This guide is designed to answer your questions in plain English (we don’t like jargon either).

However, we are always delighted to answer any other questions you have and to keep you informed at every step of the process.

Here’s to a happy move.

  1. So you’ve made the decision to sell your property. What next?

    Before the dawn of the internet you only really had one option – to use an estate agent.

    There are now a couple more options such as using an online-only agent or taking the even bigger step of marketing the property yourself.

    Both alternatives offer savings on fees. BUT, and it’s a big but, there’s a huge difference between cost and value.

    We suggest getting a Brunton Residential valuation expert to visit your home to discuss your needs.

    Here’s what to look out for when choosing an agent to market your property.

    1. Do they have a track record in selling properties like yours? Ask for evidence of homes similar to yours that they have sold and achieved a good price on.
    2. Do they have client testimonials? A good agent will always have previous clients who will vouch for them or have positively reviewed them.
    3. Do you like them? You’ll be working closely with the agent you choose so it’s important that you like and trust them. If in doubt, go with your instinct.
    4. Fees and costs. Remember the old saying ‘If you pay peanuts you get monkeys’? Well it’s never truer than in the world of estate agency. Those agents who offer very low fees are often desperate for instructions so they go in very low. Agents work off commission, so they need to feel your property is worthwhile for them to work hard and get a quick sale, at the right price. Ask what they include as standard.
    5. Where do they advertise? Over 90% of buyers now begin their property search on the internet. So ask the agents where they advertise. It’s also worth asking an agency how its marketing strategy differs from its competitors. What makes it stand out from the crowd? We advertise on all three major portals: Rightmove & OnTheMarket.
    6. Do your homework. Check how the agents are currently presenting properties. Are the photos of good quality? Do the descriptions make sense? Do they include floorplans? What about virtual tours?
    7. What kind of contracts do they offer? Ask the agents about the length of their standard contracts. Usually it’s three months. Are their any fees if the property doesn’t sell?
  2. Once you’ve chosen the agent you are comfortable with and confident in, it’s time to prepare your property to go on sale.

    You might have heard much of what we’re about to say already. BUT it’s definitely worth having a read, as what follows could be the difference between a quick sale at a great price or finding your property gets ‘stuck’ on the market.

    Top tips:

    1. Clutter kills a sale. Get organised and make sure anything that you no longer need or use is out of sight. It’s time to be ruthless, so whether you are going to put it in storage, sell it or give it to charity just make sure you do it.
    2. Clean every corner. A tidy, clean, fresh smelling home has an instant appeal. If you can’t face doing a major clean yourself, call in a cleaning company to do it for you.
    3. Lighten up. Unless your home is blessed with natural light beaming in through floor to ceiling windows there’s a chance your home could benefit from some light therapy. Paint dark walls light neutral colours; this alone will make any property feel more spacious.
    4. Think outside. A common mistake people make when preparing their property for sale is to focus all their attention on the interior, overlooking the outdoor areas. So with that in mind make sure your garden lawn is cut, the barbeque is covered up and that the outdoor space is neat and tidy in general.
    5. Repair and replace. Whether it’s a dripping tap, a crack in the plaster or a wonky blind, get it repaired or buy new ones. Try to think like a viewer.

    At Brunton Residential we will always advise you how to prepare your property in the best way.

  3. So you’ve made the decision to sell. You’ve chosen an agent and instructed us (we hope). We will then visit the property, take clear photographs, create a detailed brochure & floorplan and let you know when the property will go on the market.

    It’s quite an odd feeling having strangers turn up at your door and walk through your home. A warm welcome goes a long way. The more comfortable a person feels in your property, the more time they will take to look around and see if it is one they are really interested in.

    Top Tips:

    1. The first impression is the only impression. Make sure the front of your property is tidy. Even take a look near your home and ensure there’s no windswept litter sending out the wrong message.
    2. It’s always worth having a tidy up when you know people are coming to view. Dirty dishes in the sink don’t help a property’s appeal.
    3. If you have pets, make sure they are somewhere safe. You want the viewer to focus on the appeal of your home, not your dog bowl or cat litter.
    4. If you are selling in the winter make sure your home is kept warm. If you are selling in the summer the opposite applies; so keep your windows open and make sure the property is cool.
    5. Remember, we’re here to help so call us with any questions, suggestions or concerns you might have.
  4. You’ve followed all the steps so far and people are coming through the door and sizing up your property.

    An accurately priced property in an excellent location will get offers very quickly.

    The ideal scenario is people want your property so much they offer the asking price. If buyers are competing for your property, this will drive the price up yet again.

    However there are a number of factors to consider aside from which buyer is willing to pay the most.

    1. What’s their situation? Your agent needs to give you as much information as possible about the people making the offer. Do they have a property to sell? Would they be in a chain if they did?
    2. Do they have a mortgage offer already approved? The ideal buyer is a cash one. This scenario often sees the whole process take far less time to complete.
    3. As the seller you are often in the strongest position, but always treat the buyer the way you like to be treated.
    4. The ‘offers’ part of the property process is where a good estate agent proves their value. So you should have a relationship with them that means you are in constant contact and that you feel totally informed of what’s happening. Remember, the cheapest agent is the one that gets you the best offer for your home, not the one that offers the lowest fee.
    5. Remember that accepting an offer is just another part of the process and there are a few more hurdles to overcome.
  5. You’ve accepted an offer from a suitably strong buyer. What next? It’s time to get the legal ball rolling.

    Conveyancing involves legally transferring home ownership from you to the buyer. It begins when the offer on your house is accepted and ends when the buyer receives the keys.

    Understanding the process will help ensure there are no nasty surprises during the process.

    1. You’ll need to instruct a solicitor, ideally one who specialises in conveyancing work. Beware as not all solicitors are as experienced in this field as others. We have solicitors that we work with on a daily basis that we are happy to recommend.
    2. Your appointed solicitor will then draw up a draft contract or terms of engagement with you, setting out their charges and deposits required.
    3. Your solicitor will write to your buyer’s solicitor to confirm they are instructed and prepare a copy of the draft contract and any other details, such as the property’s title and the standard forms.
    4. You’ll be asked for several items of paperwork including warranties, any relevant planning permissions etc. Prepare these once you know you’ve accepted an offer. It will speed up the process.
    5. All being well it usually take 8-12 weeks to complete the legal side of a sale.
    6. Once contracts have been exchanged and a completion date has been set it’s time to look at who you need to tell that you’re moving.

    Please note this only covers the sale of your property and not your purchase. At Brunton Residential we are always happy to help and share our experience with you if you have any questions.

  6. Once you’ve exchanged contracts there are still a lot of things to think about and to prepare.

    When you get your moving date this check list will come in very useful.

    You are usually given a period of time between exchanging contracts and completion of your sale.

    Don’t forget to:

    Check your home insurance – make sure you have cover from the day you move in to your new home.

    Get written quotes from removal firms. Get references and check the limits of their insurance.

    If you’re not using professional removers, think about whether you need to hire a van, you may need to ask friends to help.

    Notify the relevant utility companies of your departure.

    Start getting rid of possessions you no longer need. Decide which items can be taken to a charity shop, sold at car boot sale or offered to your friends.

    If you need new furniture or carpets for your future property, order them now and arrange delivery for when you move in.

    Start packing non-essential items such as books and non-seasonal clothing into boxes.

    De-register from your doctor, dentist and optician if you’re moving out of the area.

    Visit the post office and arrange for your post to be forwarded (you will be charged a fee for this service).

    If you have children or pets, arrange for someone to look after them during the move.

    Make a list of everyone who should know about the move. Send out change of address messages via email or the post.

    Finalise arrangements with your removal company. Confirm arrival times and make sure your removers have directions to your new address.

    Arrange a time to collect the keys for your new home from the estate agent.

    Notify the bank of any changes to direct debits and standing orders.

  7. We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to successfully selling your home. It is always our aim to help our clients and make the sales process as smooth as possible. That’s why we created the guide.

    We’re an independent agency and we believe that’s what gives us the edge over many of our rivals.

    We’ve set out our promises to our clients below.

    1. Honesty. Estate agents don’t have the best reputation and sometimes deservedly so. However at Brunton Residential we will ALWAYS be honest in our dealings with you.
    2. Experience. Our team has a total of more than 50 years experience in estate agency. There’s hardly anything that we haven’t seen or problems we haven’t solved.
    3. Passion. It may sound corny but it’s true. At Brunton Residential we are all passionate about property, otherwise we’d be in different careers. We bring that enthusiasm and passion to the process of selling your property successfully.
    4. Location. If you want to see us, pop into one of prominently located offices, open six days a week.

    We would love the opportunity to meet you, discuss your needs and help you achieve your property dreams.

    Call us today on 0191 236 8347 or get in touch via email.