8 Step Guide to Moving Home

There are many reasons why people move house and all come with their own set of bespoke requirements. At Goodchilds we realise that each person has a different level of knowledge when it comes to the buying and selling process and we can offer the best advice suited to your individual needs.

Whether you are taking your first steps on to the property ladder or looking to downsize your home now the kids have all flown the nest we can help. All our offices are individually owned and operated by local property experts who have intimate knowledge of the area as well as the local property market. 

Step 1 – The Research
It is important to get the right information from the outset. It is standard practice to get 2 or 3 valuations from local agents and it is imperative that you research your options when it comes to which agents to invite to give you a market appraisal. Always check the agents own website first. This will be a great resource where you will find out about their services. Their website should be fast, easy to use as well as mobile friendly. Nearly 50% of the traffic to the Goodchilds website comes via a mobile device which means if the agents website isn’t very mobile friendly then a large proportion of the traffic will not be able to find the information they are looking for and more importantly find your property when it comes to searching on a mobile device.

You should check that they advertise on the 3 major property portals Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location. It is important to get your property seen by as many people as possible. Quite simply the more people who know your property is for sale and want to view it, the quicker the sale and higher the price that will be achieved. All three of the major portals will have a pool of buyers looking to buy a property just like yours.

If possible pop in and see the agents in their office. You will get a feel for how they operate and see the staff who may be helping you with your home move. Our high street premises offer highly visible, state of the art window displays. It can be a very stressful and emotional time and it is reassuring to know that you can pop in and see us for a catch up and a coffee. It is also very important to read the marketing material that you may receive from which you will find out lots of important information about the agents marketing and the kind of coverage you can expect for your property.

Once you have decided who you are going to invite in to your home the next stage is the valuation process.

Step 2 – The Valuations
At the valuation we will come prepared with comparable properties both from the land registry and from our own database of recently sold and available properties to help us to accurately advise you on the best price for your property. We will also look to discuss your motivations and the timescales of your home move as this can have an impact on the achievable price.

We can give you a guide as to what price it would need to be to sell it in the timescales that you need. We will then discuss all of our marketing, how we will promote your property and the unique services you will benefit from if you chose us to market your home. Including our 24/7 vendor login feature which allows you to get live up to date information about your property. 

Once all of the valuations have been carried out and you have all of the follow up letters back it is time for you to choose your estate agent. It would not be unusual to be looking at three different marketing prices and three different fee levels from the agents.

Be careful not to choose your agent because they have given the highest marketing price. This is a tactic a lot of agents use to win an instruction. Getting the price right is crucial in generating the right level of interest early on. The wrong marketing price can seriously affect your chances of selling your home. Too high and your home may not attract enough interest and stagnate on the market, too low and you will attract people who are unable to pay the price you actually want. It is also important not to choose the cheapest agent. The old saying you get what you pay for is very true. Many agents will sell your house for a small fee and they can afford to do this because they cut corners when it comes to marketing. Often they will do the bare minimum without any real expertise. Take pictures, upload to Rightmove and hope for the best, they don’t have a state of the art website attracting buyers and they don’t invest in their staff.

We employ some of the best negotiators in the industry who will make sure you achieve the highest price possible for your home. So the cheap agent offering you a cheaper fee will often achieve less for your home which is of course a false economy. Choose your agent on value for money and the services they offer as well as their track record and experience of selling homes like yours. 

Once you have chosen your Estate Agent the next step is preparing your marketing material. This is also the best time to choose your solicitor. The successful sale of your home is dependent on the instruction of an efficient and reliable solicitor with experience in the conveyancing process. We have a panel of local solicitors that we can recommend.

Step 3 – Your Marketing Material
We will get to work preparing your property details as soon as you instruct us to do so. You will need to fill out a Property Information Questionnaire and also supply us with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) if you don’t already have one we can get you a quote to produce one for you. It is a legal requirement that all properties being marketed for sale or to let require an EPC. We have state of the art cameras and our agents are trained to take the best possible photos and in some instances we will draft in the services of a professional photographer. You only get one chance to make a first impression so quality photography is essential.

We will take measurements and prepare a floorplan as standard on all properties. We will write a brief description about your property which will help, in a few words sell the best benefits of the property as well as documenting all of the benefits of the house and a full breakdown of all of the rooms of the house and the gardens and surrounding area.

Being experts in our area we will know what will be the key selling points about your home. Maybe it is the fact that it is the catchment area for a very popular primary school or that it is in a village with fantastic local amenities or that it is a short walk in to town and all that is on offer there. We will help advise you on what will be more attractive to potential buyers as well as let you know what you could do to maximise the appeal of your property for example tone down some of the bold colours you have chosen over the years with a more neutral palette or maybe declutter that very busy family room.

We will then use all of these details to create a profile for your property and compile a brochure to send to you for your approval. Once we have this signed off we will be ready to get your property ready for the launch.

Step 4 – The Launch
Just before we launch your property to the internet we will call our motivated buyers offering them first chance to view, these are buyers who are ready and waiting to buy, with our knowledge and extensive list of clients we work closely with, we will call the people first we think are more likely to buy your home. We will then send emails and SMS text messages to other potential matches on our database and look to get some viewings booked in before the property hits the portals.

Your property will then be launched to the market and all the details will be uploaded to all the major portals as well as the Goodchilds website. Once it hits the portals we should then start getting further enquiries. Rightmove has an instant email alert and with the advent of mobiles people are getting the information and responding far quicker than ever before.

By now you should have a For Sale Board outside your house. They serve several purposes but the most important is that it informs passers-by that your house is for sale, this is a very important source of enquiry for viewings. They may have driven through your village for years and always dreamed of moving but never considered it until they saw your board. The other more practical reason is that it will help viewers find the property.

Step 5 – The Viewings
When it comes to doing the viewings. We would always advise that we accompany them for you where possible. We are more objective about the property and know what the viewer’s requirements are and what elements of your house will appeal to viewers the most. It also gives us the chance to gauge their level of interest in your property as well as getting some initial thoughts and feedback. They say that people make a decision on a viewing within the first 10 seconds of walking in your home.

Of course if you would like to do your own viewings that is up to you. Setting the house is also very important. You need to make sure your home is clean and tidy and clutter free. Lots of your possessions will blind the viewer for the potential of them fitting their life in and making it their home and not yours. If you have pets try and keep them outside. Try not to smoke in the house and get some coffee. Smell is a very important factor too and coffee is an inviting smell.

Once the viewings have taken place we will get feedback from all the viewers. Honest, unfiltered feedback from every single viewing is crucial to the successful sale of your home. On average it takes 12 viewings to sell a house so there are 11 people who didn’t buy your home and finding out why can often help to identify problems, some of which will be rectifiable and help secure that offer.

Step 6 - Offers and Negotiation
The next two steps are the most important of the whole process and where a good local Estate Agent earns their fee. Remember we don’t earn our fee until your sale completes and we work for you to help you achieve the best price for your house. You may at this point have several offers on the table and while the obvious choice would be take the highest one it is not always that simple.

We will fully qualify all offers from potential buyers including, do they have a property to sell and if so, have they secured a buyer on theirs? Does their buyer need to sell? This is called a chain and we will fully check that the chain is complete. Are they buying with a mortgage and if so do they have an Agreement in Principle (AIP), or if they are buying with cash, proof that they have the available funds. Once we have all of this information we will present you with all offers and also our advice on which offer is best depending on their circumstances.

We will then often work to get best and final offers from all parties. This is very important in achieving a premium price for your property by getting people bidding against each other for your property. Once you have made a decision on which offer you would like to accept we will then discuss your onward requirements. Are you looking to buy as well? If so we will help you find a suitable property.

Now it is time to get both parties solicitor’s details together and prepare the memorandum of sale. Once this is prepared and sent out we will turn your home to Sold Subject to Contract and remove it from the open market.

Step 7 – Sales Progression
Once both parties’ solicitors have received the sales memorandums the sales process will begin. The first steps will be to work out a timescale for the transaction. A date for a survey of your property will be agreed as well as a date for exchange and a proposed date for completion.

Your solicitor will send out a draft contract to the buyer’s solicitor, who will then carry out preliminary enquiries. We will help your solicitor and negotiate for you throughout the conveyancing process, keeping you informed every step of the way.

The buyer’s solicitor will apply for searches on your property including local searches, environmental searches and drainage searches. You will be required to complete a fixtures & fittings list and property information questionnaire which will cover what is included in the sale. The buyers will then get a mortgage offer (if buying with a mortgage) after a successful survey. Once all the above information has been complied and all enquiries answered, you will then be ready to exchange contracts. This is the point where you become legally obligated and there is no turning back. Once a completion date has been set a 10% deposit will usually be paid from the buyer’s solicitors to your solicitors who will then hold the deposit until completion. Once exchange has happened the buyer is legally bound to purchase your home. You should also have a completion statement which details all the costs you need to settle and authorise them to pay any necessary funds on your behalf. 

Now that has all been done it is time for moving day.

Step 8 – Moving in Day
Moving day or completion day as it is often called is the day where the remaining monies are paid from the buyer to the seller. This is the day that legal ownership changes and the day when you have to move out of your old house and move in to your new home. It can be an incredibly stressful time and with so much to remember preparation is key.

By now you should be fully packed and your removal company should be loading your boxes on to the van. It’s always a good idea to clean the house when it is empty. Try and leave the house as you would expect to find it when you move in. Now it’s time to read your meters for Gas, electric and water. You then need to inform the suppliers that you are moving out.

Make sure you have gathered up all the keys for all the doors and windows as well as any extra sets you may have with grandparents or neighbours and make sure that you lock the property securely before leaving it. If you have an alarm make sure that you set it but leave instructions with your Estate Agent.

Now it’s time to drop your keys off at the Estate Agents and pick up the keys for your new home. Now for the hard part unpacking all the boxes. As a last checklist you need to make sure that you inform certain people that you have moved. Of course your friends and family will know by now and it is worth getting your mail redirected for a short period of time but here is a helpful checklist for you:

• Local Council
• Bank or Building Society
• Credit or store cards
• Life Insurance
• Pension Scheme
• Telephone Provider
• Internet Service Provider
• TV license
• Doctor and Dentist