This year is a leap year – the 29th February only occurs every four years…
Without wishing to alarm anyone, nationally, around 37% of sales arranged fail to proceed to exchange and completion.
The system of property transfer we have in this country is still relatively archaic, although it is slowly improving. Until we have a universal system of binding offers and instant digital document processing, the reason why most sales fall through is because there is a huge time window within which either party can change their mind without penalty.
Part of our job as estate agents is to work with our clients to shrink this window. So if you’re thinking about selling, you may wish to consider the following advice we usually share with our clients:
- The single most important thing you can do at the outset, even before a buyer is found, is to complete a Seller’s Property Information Form (Law Society Forms TA6 and TA10). This gives your agent, and especially your solicitor, much of what they need to know, up front. We can provide you with this form and help you complete it, if required.
- Tell your mortgage provider that you are thinking of moving and authorise them to liaise with your solicitor or conveyancer.
- Ensure that you are well progressed with your own mortgage application in principle, even before you have found your next home. Mortgage applications are taking longer than ever before and delays in this area have cost many a sale.
- Make sure you can lay your hands on any guarantees, building consents, planning permissions etc as your eventual buyer’s solicitor will certainly need to see these.
- Do what you can to remedy anything that might be highlighted in a survey rather than have the buyer use this against you during negotiations. Is that stain on the ceiling still damp due to a slipped tile? Why does that door no longer close properly? When was the boiler last serviced?
- Most importantly, as soon as you instruct your estate agent, instruct your solicitor or conveyancer as well so that they can commence the substantial amount of work in preparing a conveyancing pack to give the buyer’s solicitor within 24 hours of agreeing the sale with your buyer.
Fortunately, our own fall through rate is minimal, as those of our clients who commit to the above actions tend to be able to knock at least a month off the conveyancing process. It’s a race against time, but who will win? The agent finding a buyer, or the solicitor being sale-ready?
By the way, if you’re already on the market, did your estate agent suggest any of the above? If not, you might want to call us on 01225 707342 to see if a different approach, or more effort, is needed!