Step One - Planning
Moving home is a big decision, so the first thing to do is decide what you want to achieve from your move and ensure it is financially possible.
Now is the ideal time to make initial contact with your mortgage advisor to assess the cost of moving. If you need any assistance with this please let us know, we have expert advisors on hand to help compare the market for you. At this stage it's also a good idea to prepare your property in order to present it in the best possible way.
It's never too early in the process to get some help from the experts about what they think about any jobs you might like to do to your property to prepare, and to seek their advice on your property and circumstances.
(Tip- even if you aren't ready to move just yet you can still contact Hern & Crabtree now to arrange our expert to pop over and talk you through everything - we understand that everyone has questions that are unique to them and we are happy to help to answer where we can so that they can prepare properly).
Step two - Market Appraisals
If you haven't already enlisted the help of an Estate Agent, finding one is the next thing on the to do list. You will probably already have a good idea about which agent you would like to use but having a second or third opinion is often recommended. We also would recommend preparing a list of questions to ask your potential agent when they visit.
(Tip- when you get estate agents to price your home, make sure they have demonstrative knowledge of comparable properties so you know that their price is realistic and achievable in order to avoid much disappointment later)
Step three - Appointing An Estate Agent
Appoint your chosen estate agent. When you are satisfied that you have found an agent who you can trust to assist you with your move you will need to formally instruct them. They will visit to measure, photograph and organise your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
Free tip- check the T&C's! Some agents will try to tie you to their recommended solicitors within their contract - we strongly suggest that you check the terms to see just how much commission they will take. Also look out for restrictive "sole selling rights" rather than "Sole Agency" and beware long tie-in sole agency periods.
Step Four - Going Live To The Market
Many agents will have different ideas and sellers will want to market in different ways. Our recommended approach typically culminates in a viewing launch after a period of intense marketing. Our strategy is to give your property maximum exposure and offer it to the entire market of potential buyers so that by the time offers come in you'll have complete peace of mind about your decision whether to accept or decline them. Of course, not every seller wants to have a viewing launch so it will be a seller's decision on how, if and when the launch may happen. There are many nuances in our approach that we feel also add great value to a seller - for more information about how we achieve the very best for our clients please contact us today!
Free tip- make sure your agent has a transparent marketing plan so you can be sure that your sale is going to be properly handled.
Step Five - Accepting An Offer
Accepting an offer. Depending on how thorough your agent's approach has been, by this stage you should have total confidence that you are accepting the right offer for you. You should have found the person who will proceed in-line with your timescales, whether that might be someone who can move quickly, or someone who is willing to wait. Your agent will do all the background checks and clarify any special conditions- and should be done properly do avoid misunderstanding once the sale is in progression.
Free Tip- offer acceptance is subject to contract so if things do go wrong or if you have any nasty surprises, at this stage you are not obligated to sell or move out.
Step Six - Completing The Chain
Complete the chain! Also known as finding your next home! If you have not already done so, this is the time to go house hunting and offer on the one you have been dreaming about! It may well be that you've had your eye on something and at this point, because you have a buyer, you should now be in a position to secure the property subject to contract. If you are not buying on or have no related sale, it's full steam ahead! If you haven't found, you should be in conversations with your agent who will ensure communications continue with all parties to keep everyone updated and happy.
Free tip- this part can be one of the most stressful. Many people don't want to arrive at this stage without having already found their next home. Providing the communication is good throughout your buyer will understand your circumstances and adapt to it. There is no absolute right or wrong order to doing things- we think it can be a risky approach waiting to find a home before finding a buyer on yours because you might miss out- but if that is the situation you are in we will always to absolutely everything we can to help you find a buyer as quickly as possible if it means securing a related purchase for you.
Step Seven - Instructing a Solicitor & Mortgage Application
Instruct solicitor and surveyor and apply for your mortgage if required. Once you have accepted an offer and the chain is complete it is time to appoint solicitors and apply for your mortgage. Hern & Crabtree are happy to recommend solicitors who we find are always very good and unlike many other agents we will do so in an impartial way- we recommend solicitors who are very good, rather than ones who will pay us for saying that they are.
Free tip- when signing up to a solicitor on recommendation, make sure you check the small print- many agents will take a significant commission for their recommendation which is not something we would ever do at H&C!
Step Eight - Sales Progression
Sales progression. While the solicitors undertake searches, correspond with enquires and replies, the surveyors send their reports and findings, the mortgage applications get under way and respective property sellers and buyers revisit and raise issues and get quotes for works, it would be an understatement to say that an estate agents' role is merely only helpful during this period. It only takes one cog to stop working and the entire chain can fail.
At Hern and Crabtree we have a highly knowledgeable, experienced, dedicated (and at times ferocious!) sales progression manager to help to ensure things happen as they should. Our Sales Progression Manager, Jan Street, receives more gifts and thanks from our clients than anyone else in our company- and that mean a lot of chocolate for the rest of us too! At this stage it can feel like things are out of your control, and to an extent they are. However, with someone like Jan on your side and keeping you informed, your stress levels should be kept as low as possible.
Free tip- when choosing an agent make sure you have a reputable estate agent who keeps the sale ticking along and who will you updated.
Step Nine - Exchange Of Contracts
Exchange of contracts. Once all mortgage offers are out and contracts are signed the solicitors involved will exchange contracts- this in effect is when there is a legal obligation to complete the transaction and this is when the move/ completion day is fixed.
(Free Tip, make sure you appoint an agent who will keep you advised on when to expect exchange. H&C have a dedicated sales progression manager who is priceless when it comes to having vital support and help trying to get to this point)
Step Ten - Legal Completion / Moving Day
Moving day! This is the day legal completion takes place. Unless otherwise agreed, you will only be able to collect the keys for your new property once all funds are transferred and the seller's solicitor confirms that they have received funds in full.
(Free Tip- don't forger the boring bits! Once you have your keys for your new property it's time to "dot the i's" by reading the meters, notifying suppliers, setting up mail redirecting, etc-