When it comes to selling your house, finding the right buyer at the right price is one thing – the art of negotiation is for another article! The next critical stage is getting both properties to contract so the deal becomes binding.
It’s fairly well known now that property transactions are taking longer to go through – to the frustration of buyers and sellers alike. Once a deal is agreed, the question from the buyer is “How soon can we get the keys?”
Conveyancers are under more pressure to carry out additional work and mortgage companies require more and more information to ensure the mortgage is “affordable”. As estate agents, our role is, in many cases, to orchestrate the transaction with all parties to get to the point of exchanging contracts asap. The longer the transaction takes, the more chance there is of it falling through – on average 20 percent actually do fall through for a variety of reasons. A good choice of which agent to use is essential at the outset – it’s not just marketing that counts, it’s the ability to see the deal through.
So how can you help matters? Remember you are the customer so don’t be fobbed off but don’t set unrealistic expectations. When asked for ID get it back as quickly as possible. When asked to complete and return forms do it by return – if you delay, the transaction will delay so you can’t go blaming anyone else. If you are selling, keep documents relating to any works or improvements you have had carried out. Let your conveyancer know of all issues that could affect the decision of your buyer to buy at the outset. If you’re trying to hide something it will be revealed at some point and could cause the buyer to pull out at the last minute, leaving everyone annoyed.
On the positive side, whilst transactions are taking longer, the internet lets buyers and sellers do lots of research at the outset – sold price history. Google Earth, floorplans and virtual tours to name but a few. You can even check buyers and sellers on social media. So don’t despair if you’re selling your house – just make sure you choose the right agent to make the transaction as painless as possible.
Michael Poole has 38 years’ experience as an estate agent and set up the family business Michael Poole, specialising in the sale and letting of residential property, in 1994. He runs nine sales/lettings branches across Teesside in Yarm, Stockton, Billingham, Redcar, Eston, Coulby Newham, Middlesbrough, Ingleby Barwick and Nunthorpe.