Property Buying and Selling FAQs

What comes first selling or finding?

Probably the most asked question our valuer’s get. Even in a fast moving market vendors rarely get sold quick enough for the house they want. Our advice would always be, is that once your property is out there, you will always have the option to apply the brakes and you never know what flexibility your buyer will have until they arrive either.

The more specific your house hunting requirements are the more this has to be factored in. Added to which you will know how the market has reacted to the pricing and adjustments sometimes have to be considered and negotiation may be needed to secure the best buyer. In finding first there may be pressure to compromise on your sale price to get a deal more quickly.

What's best for me sole or multiple agency?

From our experience over the years the majority of new sellers will choose a sole agency as the first step. With a multiple agency, over exposure too soon can result in a rush by agents to be the first to get the sale, irrespective of the perfect buyer not being available to view for a few days.

When it comes to the position of the buyer this can be fundamental on how it can knock on to the next purchase and how agents in turn may consider you in their line-up of potential parties. The opposite is true with a sole agency where ALL the interested parties can be identified for their ability to fit in with your personal plans. This could be a mixture of offer price, timescale, length of chain and so on.

An agent that works on a team basis like we do will always be looking to get the best all round buyer for you. We will leave the final decision with you as to who you proceed with, but our recommendation will be based on the best qualified buyer at that time.

Multiple agency comes with higher cost in many cases, something that may be totally unnecessary in gaining a buyer in a good market.

Should I be viewing properties when I haven’t sold yet?

For many this seems like a waste of time but our advice is that it keeps you better informed of what is available when you receive an offer yourself. It also enables you to have a shortlist of homes under scrutiny that you may offer on. It helps motivate would be buyers when they are viewing to understand you are motivated and keen to sell.

Once an offer has been received all you need to do is catch up with new stock as it comes on the market. This helps save time but as we often find that an offer comes in when you are away from the area or tight for time and then cannot make decision. Another benefit is getting to know what you actually want out of your chosen home.

When should I get a valuation?

Alongside getting financial advice this is crucial before starting to view properties. Knowing realistically what the market is likely to pay has to be a priority at the early stages.

A better informed vendor is fully aware of the costs they may take on board so they can budget properly for the move ahead.

Is seeing a mortgage advisor important?

If you are using a mortgage to buy a property a lot has changed over the last few years in the market place. There are often costs to obtain the best products and there are 90 plus lenders to choose from.

We use an Independent Mortgage Broker who can impartially recommend a suitable product for you, suited to your personal needs.

Will you tell me what would help sell my home?

Many sellers assume that all buyers share the same expectations. Our experiences have taught us this isn’t always the case. In a sellers’ market the opposite can be true and a good price can still be achieved.

Our Valuers are on hand to assist you in any way they can to give you the best opportunity and advice to present your home at its best to achieve the best price. In a buyer’s market the same is true but it is more essential to have an accurate and realistic price as well as emphasising any unique selling feature. We may even save you time and money with work that doesn’t need to be done!

Do I need to consider competition from other house sellers?

Yes it is important to be competitively priced.

Our Valuers are able to keep an eye open for what is coming to the market. To that end they will advise of any changes that could be important.

At what point should I instruct a solicitor or conveyancer to act?

Depending on your timescales and intent we can advise of the best plan. If you are committed to your move we would strongly recommend getting a legal representative on board at the beginning so that preparatory work can be started at the outset thereby saving time at a later stage.

This could prove essential if you are looking for a quick deal and to accurately budget for moving costs.

Why do I need an Energy Performance Certificate?

Even though Home Information Packs are no longer required an EPC is.

Since the 1st October 2008 homes being sold in England and Wales are required to provide an EPC to buyers and tenants so they can assess the energy efficiency and C02 emissions of your property. There are some exceptions for certain properties. We are able to organise this through an accredited provider.

Buyer's Register with all agents don't they?

In simple terms this is a common misconception. Depending on how clients may have been dealt with in the past, may mean that only certain agents will have their details. The buyer may have only enquired about one property or been pushed for time in the area. A professional agent should have no qualms about such a situation as it all comes down to service, experience and reputation.

I am buying out of your area- are you able to help with negotiations?

Contrary to expectations the answer is yes we can. We have helped many of our clients buying their next home and it’s all a part of our service package should you require it.

In an unfamiliar market we can source a raft of information that may not be forthcoming from the agents you are looking through. With the technology available it has made our work in this area more transparent plus we may obtain more information about the seller’s motivation and expectations of price from the agents themselves.

What happens once I've agreed a sale?

Once solicitors have been confirmed on both sides we issue paperwork to all parties informing them of the sale. From there, the next stage will be for your solicitor to forward the necessary contract documentation and papers to your buyer’s solicitor. We have an in house after sales department who oversee all of our sales from this point onwards. They will keep you and the relevant parties informed as to progress and answer any pertinent questions that you may have.

Our handy guide to the sale’s flow chart is attached to our initial papers issued.

As each deal tends to be unique there will be differing requirements for each sale. As such our experienced sales progression team are there to help in every way.

How wide an area do you cover with your offices?

With the experience of our Senior Valuers, we cover an area of approximately 400 square miles throughout the Ouse Valley. From the fringes of Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire across to within spitting distance of Cambridge there are not many locations we cannot cater to. If you are in any way in doubt ask one of our team and they will be pleased to let you know.

What do I do if the survey on my purchase comes back bad for any reason?

Hopefully this won’t happen but the reality is that from time to time issues occur. For the most part assessments can be organised that can determine whether electrics and so on are up to standard, damp and timber, roofing quotes are just a few of the things we encounter.

We have many specialists that we can recommend locally alongside Surveyors and Structural Engineers. A problem shared is a problem halved as the proverb suggests and normally we can reduce the worry by getting it checked out thoroughly as well as helping advice on re-negotiation if required.

Can you register my details with your other branch without me contacting them?

Absolutely, our offices are linked so that at the touch of a keyboard we can save you time and effort forwarding on your requirements.

When is the best time to sell?

Without doubt the best and most important question we ever get. It all depends on your personal desire or need. We will happily advise each and every seller along the lines of their requirements.

The market fluctuates throughout the year and there are certainly peaks and troughs in demand and supply. Where there is a weakness of supply for your stock of home we may achieve well above what might be seen in a more active period.

Either way we are able to say at each point of the year what would be the right step to take for you.

What is F.E.N.S.A?

Since 1st April 2002 all replacement doors and windows are required to have a certificate or Building Regulations approval.

This is compliance, so important that lenders will not release funds to allow an exchange of contracts without it.

Money Laundering Regulations how do they affect me?

Since 1st March 2004 Estate Agents have joined solicitors in their requirements following the increased scope of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

It means that we will require copies of identity documents which include Driver’s License, Passport and a recent Utility bill.

Can we leave you with a key?

We hold keys for a large number of the properties we sell. This allows you the ability to get on with your busy life whilst we continue to make the most of your marketing time.

All appointments with keys are strictly accompanied by a member our staff.


If you have any other questions please call us on 01480 211777 or fill in our contact form.