Whilst the estate agent is employed to attract buyers to your property, there is much more to our service than simply marketing and accompanying viewings.
Depending on market conditions, pricing strategy and style of marketing plan, the offers we receive on your property may arrive one at a time or in volume. In a strong seller’s market it is not uncommon to receive multiple offers on a property following an open day event. It may seem obvious to go with the highest offer; however in such circumstances increased offers should of course first be sought to establish the most each party is willing to pay. Other factors to consider include:
If you need to move within a certain timeframe, e.g. school holidays or a deadline to complete on the property you are buying, then the buying position of the person making the offer could be very important. A first time buyer with nothing to sell offers a less complicated transaction than a sale dependent buyer, especially if they have yet to put their property on the market and/or their required sale price is unrealistic.
Most buyers will require a mortgage and their level of borrowing could have a significant bearing on your decision. A buyer needing to borrow 85% of the sale price may struggle if the surveyor employed on behalf of the bank down-values your property. If, in this example, the buyer’s available funds are completely tied up in the 15% deposit, stamp duty and other moving costs, it could leave them unable to proceed at the agreed price and, more importantly, you in need of a new buyer.
If a buyer purports to be a cash buyer, then naturally evidence of this must be requested – sometimes cash suddenly becomes anything but, e.g. “I’ll have the cash once my partner finds a buyer for their house”.
You may end up receiving two very similar offers from two buyers who are in the same buying position, both with significant levels of deposit. Genuine buyers usually come in with a sensible starting offer and whilst ultimately the seller will decide which offers to accept, the advice and guidance of an experienced estate agent will prove particularly helpful when a less than obvious choice presents itself.
Proper communication between the seller and their estate agent is of paramount importance, which is why our sellers are given all the information they need to make an informed decision about accepting or rejecting an offer.
With a sale price agreed, both you and your buyer will need to employ a conveyancing solicitor. Their expertise will help guide you through the process, taking care of the legal aspects of the transaction. Mortgage brokers may also become involved. Just because you appoint an experienced solicitor, operating a manageable workload, it does not mean everybody else involved in the process is going to be as efficient.
Anyone balancing a heavy workload can find themselves short on time and it’s our role to help keep things moving. Throughout the process we are in communication with various parties, such as the buyer’s solicitor, their mortgage broker, surveyors, the buyer themselves and of course you and your solicitor. We are the central point to all those involved.
When part of a chain, the number of “involved” parties can rise significantly. More buyers, sellers, solicitors, mortgage brokers, surveyors and estate agents, all seeking the best outcome for themselves or their client. We are here to monitor all developments, to keep you fully updated and to chase third parties as and when required. In the event of a complication resulting in possible re-negotiation talks, perhaps following the results of a survey, we will handle these for you. To the eyes of a buyer, first timers especially, a detailed survey, such as a homebuyers report, can make for a worrying read. Time and understanding, along with past case study examples, will help us quantify such findings and point out the various minor defects one should expect to come across when buying a pre-owned property, especially if it was built over 100 years ago. Handled with care most problems can be overcome ending in a fair and satisfactory solution.
Managing both the sale and people’s expectations with the ability to solve problems are necessary skills for the modern day estate agent and in our experience finding the buyer is simply the first part of the process.