Every country has its own system for buying and selling houses, and at Aylesford we’re delighted to help you through the process here in the UK. In fact, around half of the properties we sell are bought by non-UK nationals, so we are constantly welcoming and helping buyers from all over the world.
This is a summary of the selling process here in the UK. You will need a solicitor (a lawyer) who specialises in ‘conveyancing’ (the legal word for buying and selling property). If you don’t know a solicitor, we will be happy to recommend one.
Preparing to sell
When you have decided to put your house on the market, you should ask your local estate agents to visit your property and give you their opinion of its current market value. While you will want to achieve the best possible price, it is also important to be realistic when deciding the asking price for your property. We will handle all aspects of the sale of your property; from marketing and conducting viewings, all the way through to agreeing a sale and seeing it through to completion.
It is a legal requirement that all sellers must provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which is something that we can organise for you, along with professional photographs and a floor plan.
Presenting your property
Once you have chosen an agent and signed a formal agreement between both parties, you should start to prepare your house for viewings. We will give you advice on how to present your home in the best possible light, which may include you carrying out any minor works, such as repainting, in order to attract as much interest as possible.
Receiving an offer
Potential buyers make offers directly to us which we will then pass on to you both verbally and in writing. You should be prepared to negotiate as a lower bidder may actually be in a better position to proceed; if they are paying cash or don’t have a property to sell, for example.
When an acceptable offer has been made, you should provide us with details of your solicitor, if you haven’t already done so, and we will prepare a memorandum of proposed sale. Your solicitor will draw up a draft contract and send it to the buyer’s solicitor who will then carry out preliminary enquiries.
Please note that an offer isn’t legally binding until contracts are exchanged.
Exchange of contracts
The exchange of contracts is the legal commitment that says the buyer will buy the property, and that you will sell it to them. Until this point, either you or the buyer could change your minds and walk away. However, when contracts are exchanged, you are both legally required to proceed and the property is now technically ‘sold’. The buyer also now pays an initial 10% of the purchase price to you.
Completion is when the deal is finalised and usually takes place around a month after exchanging extracts, however the date of completion is always agreed at exchange of contracts by both you and the buyer. The buyer makes their payment of the remaining 90% of the purchase price and receives the keys.
Please note: this summary is intended to be a basic guide only, and there are variations in the way the law is applied (for example, in Scotland). Please take professional advice from a solicitor on all aspects of buying and selling property.