In the current market, selling your property can be the easiest part of moving. In any market though, it is crucial that your selling agent progresses your sale properly, and your onward purchase if necessary.
Once a sale has been agreed, you will often find that most sales slow up before they have even started! The reason being is that most people are completely unaware of what they need to do and when. For instance when the sale has been agreed and solicitors have been instructed we must then send out all sales letters (this is mainly done via email and then hard copy followed up by snail mail (post)). We then check that our client has received the relevant paperwork from their solicitor to fill in and return so that the draft contract can be sent out to the buyer’s solicitors. You would be amazed how often the seller does not know the urgency of filling in this paperwork to return, thus slowing down the initial part of the process, because until the buyer’s solicitor has received the draft contract they cannot apply for searches, or do any significant legal work at all. In turn we will have checked that funds are on account with the buyers solicitors for searches. Again buyers are often unaware how this can hold up the process.
Again another common hold up with buyers is getting their mortgage valuation instructed and making sure they are doing everything needed to get to this point. Not everyone is clued up with the buying and selling process and mortgage lenders are all different, with some being quicker than others at different points in the year. We will chase up buyer’s mortgage brokers or buyers direct if they are dealing straight with their lender. The same applies for building surveys. (It also helps if you have a good broker on your side, we can help with that also). The reason being the longer for your mortgage valuation to be booked the longer it will take for your lender to get out the formal mortgage offer for your purchase, which is a major part, and without it you cannot move forward.
Solicitors also need a chase here and there. They all have many cases to work on at one time and in my experience the one who shouts loudest normally gets put to the top of the pile, so if we know that something is outstanding we can call the relevant solicitor and chase this up or alternatively we can let their client know what they need to do in order to move their sale or purchase forward. For example when the buyer’s solicitors have raised enquiries to the seller’s solicitors and have not heard back, we can make calls to check the seller has received these and if they have not, we can then advise our client to call their solicitor to ask for these to be answered and returned to the other side, or again ask the client to respond quickly as they were not aware they were urgent.
At Sewell & Gardner, we all have stories about the lengths we will go to in order to help speed the process up, collect paper work and drop this off to the relevant solicitor. I even once got the train to London to get my client’s daughter’s signature. I met her at Marylebone and then we rushed to the post office to send the paperwork registered post. We then phoned the solicitor to give them the postal number so we could then exchange, and avoid a deadline which could have lost my client her sale. By the time I got back to the office the exchange had happened!!
In a nutshell a good agent is there to help the purchase/sale move forward to an exchange of contracts as quickly as possible, as generally the less time the legal process takes, take the more likely it is to happen.
If anyone is interested is understanding the buying and sales process in more detail please call our office on 01923 285886.