All your frequently asked questions about moving house and renting out a property answered

Sellers Guide

Selling your home is a complicated process, with this in mind we have compiled a list of useful FAQs to help make it easier for you, including the initial stages of putting your house on the market, factors to consider before accepting an offer and how the sale process works once an offer has been accepted.

What are the first steps to selling my property?

Ideally, before you start a search for your new home you need an understanding of your financial position; how much equity you have in your property and how much you can borrow. By arranging a free market appraisal with our highly experienced property valuers you will be given advice on how much your property is likely to sell for, how much it will cost, and the steps involved during the process. To find out how much you can borrow, we also work together with a team of independent mortgage advisors to offer you fee free mortgage advice.

How do I choose an Estate Agent?

Selling your home is a tough decision and the process can be daunting. Choosing an estate agent who understands your reasons for moving is important. Do some initial research to see which agent is selling homes in your area, take recommendations from family and friends who have sold or bought a house recently, and seek out a trusted local agent who knows the market and will provide honest professional advice on price and marketing plus can also demonstrate the services they offer. Think about your initial contact with them; How did they make you feel? Did they listen and understand your reasons for moving? Did they give you practical advice? Could you see yourself working with their team? Were they good communicators? Have a list of things that are important to you and see which agent ticks the most boxes. Checking out genuine customer reviews is also a good place to start, this will give you an indication of the level of service the agents provide.

Should I instruct with the estate agent who gives the highest valuation?

Not necessarily. You may get a range of suggested guide prices (with a high and a low one) it is usually the ones in the middle which are the most realistic and result in a sale at the best price in a reasonable time scale. It is always worth asking yourself “does the agent have my best interests at heart?” when deciding which agent to instruct.

How much do estate agents charge?

Estate Agents mostly charge either a percentage of the sale price or a fixed fee which will be explained in detail during the market appraisal. As with all things in life the cheapest fee is not always the best value particularly when it comes to selling such an important asset and going through such a complicated process.

To ensure you get the highest levels of support, we charge a fee based on the overall selling price of your property which you only pay when the property has been sold.

Do I need to do all the viewings?

It depends on the agent, some include accompanied viewings so you won’t have to do them, whereas others may not offer this service or charge you extra to carry them out on your behalf. We are more than happy to carry out viewings at no extra cost.

How do I decide on offers?

On average in the UK 1 in 3 property sales fall through, therefore making an informed decision is vital to increase your chances of a successful sale and the speed at which it progresses. Whilst considering the amount offered, it is also very important to consider the buyer’s position when deciding whether to accept the offer or not: are they in a chain? What is the position of others within the chain? Does the buyer have a mortgage offer in place? Are they a cash buyer and do they have proof of funds? Your ideal buyer is someone who is in a good position and motivated to proceed, thus limiting the chances of the sale falling through. We will guide you on this very important decision by providing reasoned recommendations based on our understanding of each case scenario. The expertise our staff have in ‘qualifying’ buyers and assisting with sales progression, means John German’s average of sales successfully completing is much higher in comparison to the industry norm, with 78% of all sales completing compared to the industry average of just 65% (based on 2018 figures).

Do I pay a fee if the property doesn’t sell?

Whilst some agents charge a fee regardless of whether your property sells or not, at John German we will not charge you a penny until your property has sold. The fee you pay is based on a percentage of the sale price. This NO SALE NO FEE service means that you can be confident we are motivated to get you the best price possible in the shortest time frame possible, otherwise we won’t get paid! Last year (2018) we achieved on average 98% of asking price for our customers.

Are there any additional costs?

Enhanced marketing may be beneficial when putting your house up for sale. We are happy to arrange additional services including home staging, professional photography and 3D tours, at an extra cost (non-refundable).
It is also worth noting any property marketed for sale is required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). We can arrange for an inspector to carry out and issue an EPC for you at an additional cost, alternatively, you can make separate arrangements. We are also happy to check if there is an existing EPC for the property already (EPCs are usually valid for 10 years from the date it was carried out).

How long does a sale take to complete?

Our dedicated sales progression service working closely with your conveyancer has reduced the time scale from a national average of 16 weeks to a John German average of 12 weeks from instructing the sale to an exchange of contracts. A lot depends on the length of the chain and the upward position but advice and guidance are provided with every step of the way.

What do I have to leave at the property?

Basically, anything that is a fixture is included in the sale such as integrated appliances and fully fitted wardrobes, whereas loose fittings such as curtains, light fittings and freestanding appliances can be removed or left subject to the negotiations. Again, your trained John German negotiator will advise on this.

When do I have to move out?

Your conveyancer alongside John German will advise on this. In legal terms, the sale will exchange contracts first with completion to follow which is the final moving day and is agreed in advance between the seller and the buyer based on their conveyancer’s advice.