Thinking of selling your property? Whether it's your first or your tenth time putting a property on the market, you're likely to have lots of questions. We asked our sales managers in offices across London which questions they get asked the most by vendors. Obviously, specific questions about their property and local area can only be fully answered by our local experts, but we've picked eight questions that we can hopefully provide answers to, giving you the knowledge you need to feel fully informed on all the essentials.
1. Is now the right time to sell?
This is a question that could relate to the particular time of year, or the condition of the housing market in general. Sellers also ask our experts about market activity in their neighbourhood and what we're seeing at a local level in terms of other properties that we've sold recently.
The answer is that people buy and sell property for a wide range of different reasons, meaning that there is no set 'right time'. Having said that, most sellers are understandably cautious about trying to make the most of what is likely to be their largest asset. At the time of writing (March 2020), in general terms, we are seeing the London market enjoying a new lease of life thanks to greater certainty around Brexit. Prices in many areas have seen slight growth, causing a greater number of properties to come onto the market compared with the previous.
In terms of a particular time of year to sell, we see an annual pattern of a large number of buyers aiming to complete their purchase in the summer or before Christmas. However, we see sellers instructing us to sell their properties throughout the year
2. How do you value my home?
All sellers need to know that they are selling their property at the best price possible. The valuation process that our local experts conduct is a thorough assessment of a wide range of factors. These include the size, layout, condition and location of the property; outside space attached to the property; other properties that have sold recently in the area; floor level (if an apartment), and potential for development – for example a loft that could be converted.
Foxtons offers an instant online valuation service that gives sellers a valuation estimate based solely on local data. While this will give you a useful price bracket your property may fall within, only a home valuation by your expert local valuer will take into account your property's unique features and value.
3. What is the selling process?
All sellers need to understand the selling process in order to make informed decisions on how and when to sell their property. You can find a detailed guide to the nine main steps of the selling process here, but we'll summarise them below!
Your first step is to get an accurate valuation of your property from an agent with a strong local presence and technology that will make the selling process easier for you. Once you have instructed that agent to sell your property you'll also need to instruct a solicitor. We recommend Conveyan to our sellers as we have found them to be highly efficient.
Next you'll need to get your home ready to market and open for viewings. Decluttering will make rooms appear larger, while a lick of fresh paint also goes a long way to improve buyer perceptions. Your agent should then gain maximum exposure for your property and conduct accompanied viewings in order to swiftly secure a suitable buyer. Your agent will then help you to assess any offers and accept the right one.
The next stage is perhaps the most confusing for many sellers and buyers. It requires excellent coordination between all parties, their agents and their solicitors! Essentially, solicitors will prepare contracts to be exchanged and dates will be set for surveys, exchange and completion. Once contracts have been signed and, on the day of completion, all monies are transferred to the seller's solicitor's account, the property is finally sold!
(Many sellers also ask whether they should put their property on the market before finding somewhere else to live.)
4. How much will it cost to sell my home?
In order to sell your home you'll need to budget for a number of necessary expenses. These will include conveyancing fees, agent's fees, the cost of an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) and the cost of any removals services you'll need.
At Foxtons our fees include a substantial range of services – more than any other London agent is able to provide. If you instruct Foxtons as your sole agent (the only agent selling your property) our fees are 3% (2.5% + VAT). If you choose to instruct us alongside one or more other agents ('multiple agency') our fees are 3.6% (3% + VAT). The current charge for an EPC is £118.50.
Conveyancing fees can vary widely, depending on the solicitor, the value of the property and the services required. Contact Conveyan for a free individual quotation
5. How do I choose my estate agent?
We can summarise five key attributes that we believe you should always look for in your estate agent. These are summarised in the image below:
6. How are you going to market my property?
Thanks to our network of local offices and a central HQ with specialised support teams, we are able to offer our sellers the most comprehensive marketing possible. We proactively call our database of qualified buyers, immediately connecting your property with thousands of private and corporate individuals.
Your property will be photographed by our dedicated team and listed with full floor plans on major property portals, including Rightmove, Zoopla and Primelocation, as well as appearing on Foxtons.co.uk – London's most-visited estate agency website. Targeted Facebook advertising, email alerts and 'Sneak Peek' property alerts keep buyers up to date, while you stay informed and in control thanks to our My Foxtons app and online dashboard. My Foxtons also gives you total transparency on all our marketing activities in relation to your property. Find out more about what we offer here.
7. What can I do to sell the property more quickly?
There are lots of things you can do to help your estate agent to sell your home more quickly. To start with, your property photography is a buyer's first glimpse of your home and must show it in its best light. Preparing for your visit from the photographer is essential to attracting viewings.
Generally this involves a lot of cleaning, decluttering and tidying – essential for successful viewings as well. Remember, this includes your outside spaces, which are of increasing importance to buyers. Replacing any blown lightbulbs and ensuring blinds and curtains are drawn will make your home appear brighter and more spacious, while a fresh lick of paint will go a long way to giving a lacklustre room new lease of life. See our article 7 tips for great photos that generate more viewings for more ideas, and for extra advice on viewings head over to our full guide to selling your property quicker in 10 simple steps.
Many sellers ask our agents how long their property will take to sell. This will depend on local factors, as well as the state of the market and the nature of your property, so this question is best answered by your local expert.
8. How should I respond to the feedback on my property?
As a Foxtons seller, your My Foxtons app and online dashboard allow you to view real-time feedback from buyers viewing your property. But how can you respond when feedback is negative? Should you keep making changes based on this feedback or just wait for the right buyer who will appreciate your property as it is?
The guides in question number seven (above) give a good indication of the kinds of things you can reasonably change in response to buyer feedback. If you are keen to sell as quickly as possible then it is worth following as many steps outlined there as you can in order to give your property the best chance of selling, particularly if a buyer has raised an issue that caused them to lose interest.
Still have questions? Request a callback from your local team here for expert advice on selling your home.