Selling a property in the dynamic and diverse Chester property market requires a well-informed and strategic approach. Whether you're a seasoned property owner or a first-time seller, our comprehensive guide is designed to be your trusted companion throughout the intricate journey of selling property in Chester.
From the initial stages of preparation and property valuation to the final handover of keys, our guide offers a detailed roadmap, expert insights, and practical tips to help you navigate the complexities of the process with confidence. With the Chester property market's nuances and legal considerations, this guide is your go-to resource to ensure a successful and seamless property sale, enabling you to make informed decisions and achieve optimal results. Either click on any of the below topics, or read our full guide further down.
Our full selling guide broken down
Before listing your property on the market, it's essential to undertake thorough preparation to ensure a smooth and successful sale.
The first step is to determine the market value of your property. This can be done through online valuation tools, consulting local estate agents, or hiring a professional surveyor for a more accurate assessment. A property's value is influenced by various factors, including its location, size, condition, local property market trends, and recent sales of comparable properties (comps). Accurate pricing is crucial; overpricing can deter potential buyers, while underpricing can result in financial loss.
Collect all necessary documentation related to your property, including: title deeds, an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), property information forms, and any relevant planning permissions or building certificates. These documents provide essential information to potential buyers and their solicitors during the legal process. An EPC is mandatory and rates your property's energy efficiency, helping buyers understand what their potential monthly bills will be.
Repairs and Upgrades
Address any necessary repairs or improvements to enhance your property's appeal to potential buyers. A well-maintained property often fetches a higher selling price. Simple tasks like fixing leaky faucets, repainting walls, and replacing worn-out carpets can make a significant difference in the impression your property makes on buyers. You should also consider tidying up your property’s external features, such as the front garden or yard and driveway, because first impressions last.
Choose an Estate Agent
Research and select a reputable estate agent who is knowledgeable about your local property market. They can provide valuable guidance, list your property, and handle negotiations on your behalf. An experienced agent brings market insights, marketing expertise, and a network of potential buyers, which can expedite the selling process.
Solicitor or Conveyancer
Engage a solicitor or conveyancer to handle the legal aspects of your property sale. They will ensure that all necessary legal requirements are met and guide you through the entire process. The legal process involves title searches, contract preparation, and addressing any legal issues related to the property. Solicitors' fees can vary, so it's recommended to obtain several quotes and choose a professional with experience in property transactions.
Once your property is ready, it's time to market it effectively to attract potential buyers.
Professional Photos and Descriptions
Work with your estate agent to create attractive, high-quality photographs and well-written property descriptions that highlight your property’s key features. Clear, well-lit photos that showcase your property's strengths can greatly enhance its appeal to potential buyers browsing online listings.
List your property on popular online platforms, as most buyers begin their property search online. Your estate agent can help with this process, ensuring that the listing is accurate, engaging, and reaches a wide audience. Video tours are a crucial element to online property listings which can really set you apart from the competition as they allow buyers to envisage their life living there.
Brochures and Print Media
Consider creating physical brochures that potential buyers can take with them after property viewings. These brochures should include essential information and professional photos. A tangible brochure can leave a lasting impression and provide buyers with detailed property information which you may not have been able to get across if hosting an open house event with many buyers to entertain.
Open Houses and Viewings
Coordinate with your estate agent to schedule open houses and individual viewings. Ensure your property is clean, clutter-free, and well-presented during these events. Open houses allow multiple potential buyers to view your property simultaneously, creating a sense of competition and urgency. Individual viewings provide a more personalised experience, allowing buyers to ask questions and explore the property in-depth.
Once interested buyers start coming in with offers, the all-important negotiation phase begins.
You'll receive offers from potential buyers. Some offers might be below your asking price, so be prepared to negotiate. Luckily, that’s what we’re here for. Understanding market trends and recent sales data can help you evaluate offers and determine their competitiveness.
Work with your estate agent to respond to offers. They can provide valuable advice on negotiation strategies to help you achieve a favourable selling price. Remember that negotiation is a two-way process, and finding common ground is essential for a successful sale. An estate agent is legally obligated to present all offers, but will always advise on their opinion on any below-asking-price offers.
Acceptance and Memorandum of Sale
Once an offer is accepted, a Memorandum of Sale is issued. This document outlines the agreed-upon price and conditions of the sale. It's a preliminary step toward the exchange of contracts and signifies the buyer's commitment to proceed with the purchase.
This phase involves legal processes that lead to the completion of the sale.
Property Information Forms
Complete the Property Information Form and the Fixtures and Fittings Form, providing important details about your property to the buyer. These forms cover various aspects of the property, including boundaries, utilities, and any included fixtures or fittings.
Your solicitor/conveyancer prepares the draft contract, which includes property details, sale price, and any conditions. This contract will be exchanged with the buyer's solicitor once all inquiries are resolved and both parties are ready to proceed.
Buyer's Due Diligence
The buyer's solicitor conducts searches and inquiries to ensure there are no legal issues with the property. These searches include checks for planning permission, local authority information, environmental risks, and more. The results help the buyer make an informed decision and identify any potential concerns.
Enquiries and Negotiations
A buyer's solicitor might raise inquiries or requests for additional information about your property, at which point your solicitor would negotiate on your behalf to resolve any issues. This phase aims to clarify any remaining uncertainties and ensure both parties have a clear and complete understanding of the property's condition and legal status before the transaction completes.
Exchange of Contracts
Once both parties are satisfied and all inquiries are resolved, contracts are signed, and a deposit is paid. At this point, the sale becomes legally binding. The completion date is typically agreed upon at this stage, usually a few weeks after the exchange.
The final stage is completion, which involves transferring ownership and receiving the sale proceeds.
Agree on a completion date with the buyer, usually within weeks of the exchange of contracts. This date marks the official transfer of ownership.
Final Meter Readings and Settlements
Ensure all utility readings are taken, and outstanding bills are settled before the completion date. Notify utility providers, the local council, and other relevant parties about the impending change of ownership.
On the completion date, the buyer's solicitor transfers the remaining balance to your solicitor. Once received, you hand over the keys to the property to the buyer. The property is now officially theirs.
Vacate the property, leaving it in the condition specified in the contract. Notify relevant parties of your change of address, including banks, insurance providers, and other relevant institutions.
Notify relevant authorities (council, utility providers, etc.) of the change of ownership and settle any remaining legal obligations. Ensure that your solicitor confirms the transfer of ownership with the Land Registry, updating the property's records to reflect the new owner.
Selling property in Chester involves a multi-faceted process encompassing valuation, preparation, marketing, negotiation, legal procedures, and completion. It is essential to remember that each property sale is unique, and seeking professional advice from estate agents, solicitors, and conveyancers is crucial to ensure a successful and smooth transaction.
By following the steps outlined above and working closely with experienced professionals, you can navigate the property selling process and achieve the best possible outcome with confidence. Remember that, while the process may seem intricate, with proper preparation and guidance from the right estate agent you can successfully sell your property and move on to your next adventure.