The frank sellers guide

If you haven’t used an Estate Agent before, or just need to refresh your memory on what happens next, this is where we provide a brief guide to each process. Whether you plan to sell, buy, let or rent, these guides should make the task a little easier. Print out and tick off the stages as you go.

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How it all works

Mortgaged property

Before you do anything else, check your mortgage paperwork to see whether you will owe your lender an early redemption charge if you pay off your mortgage in the next few months. If you are buying elsewhere you may be able to transfer your existing mortgage and avoid this penalty, or you may have no penalty, in which case Franklyn James can provide details of a mortgage broker who may be able to assist you with switching to a more attractive mortgage product — for further information, please see our Mortgages section.

Valuations

Contact Franklyn James and arrange an appointment for a free and frank valuation. We won’t inflate our valuations to ensure an instruction, because we know that a property has to be priced correctly in order to sell. Be aware that in a rising market your property will probably sell for a bit more than the last similar property and in a falling market you will probably achieve a bit less.

If your eventual buyer needs a mortgage, an independent valuation will have to be carried out by a surveyor on behalf of the new lender, so the selling price needs to be appropriate to the property, although an asking price is normally pitched a bit higher than the expected sale price to allow room for negotiation. Sign the agency terms and conditions and provide ID to comply with money laundering regulations. For further information on valuations provided by Franklyn James, please see our Valuations section.

Viewings

Have a bit of a clean and tidy up in preparation for photos and viewings. On instruction, Franklyn James arrange free professional photography, a detailed floor plan and an Energy Performance Certificate where required. If the property is tenanted, ensure that your tenants know that the property is being marketed for sale. Provide the agent with a set of keys if you can. Try to make it as easy as possible for viewings to be carried out. Often the best price is achieved while a property is still new to the market and viewers are worried they might lose out to someone else.

 

Offer

Accept an offer which is realistic and which is in the region of what was discussed at the initial valuation. Get confirmation in writing of the position of the proposed buyer. Are they a cash buyer or do they need a mortgage? Are they currently living with family, renting or selling their home? What are their expectations regarding a completion date? Once you have accepted an offer and the buyer has instructed a solicitor, take the property off the market.

Conveyancing

Select a local, reliable solicitor. Franklyn James can provide you with a list of experienced conveyancing solicitors — for further information, please see our Solicitors section. Complete the property forms as quickly and fully as possible. This may take some time, but it is one of the most important stages in the selling process. Reply promptly and as fully as possible to all additional queries raised. Come to an agreement via the agent on a completion date which is acceptable to both you and the buyer.

Contract

Read the contract, sign and return it promptly to your solicitor. Once the deposit has been received from the buyer, your solicitor will ask you to confirm the completion date and will request your permission to exchange contracts.

Congratulations, you have exchanged!

Celebrate, book a removals van and if parking can be tricky, contact the council to get a parking bay suspended for completion day. Contact all relevant utility providers and let them know when you will be leaving the property.

Completion day

Completion of a sale often takes place in the early afternoon, so as soon as you hear from your solicitor that the sale has completed, drop a full set of keys round to the Estate Agency for the new owner to collect. Take meter readings before you leave the property and off you go!

All information provided correct at time of publication.

Key steps

  • Arrange valuation & instruct Franklyn James
  • Sign agency terms & provide ID
  • Prepare property for photos & viewings
  • Accept appropriate offer
  • Select solicitor & complete property forms
  • Reply promptly & fully to additional queries
  • Read contract, sign & return
  • Agree on completion date
  • Exchange & book removals
  • Drop off keys to estate agent

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LimehouseLimehouse

" Tristan and Lee on the letting side were brilliant. Knowledgeable, responsive and going above and beyond what I expected to get my property listed and let in a rapid timeframe, for the asking price.

I have confidence in the on-going management of my property under the direction of Gary given my experience with the firm so far. "

Nick DeakinMay, 2017

DocklandsDocklands

" Great service. Antony managed to find very good tenants in a couple of days for my flat. I highly recommend this business as the different agents I dealt with were very professional. "

Z.LJanuary, 2017

BlackheathBlackheath

" Highly professional, excellent communication throughout the whole process of selling my property and have no hesitation in recommending the services of Franklyn James. "

RachelFebruary, 2017

BlackheathBlackheath

" I placed my flat for sale with Franklyn James, in a difficult market - and from the beginning the staff were friendly, professional , knowledgeable and beyond helpful. Before I had even signed up with them, Philip Dockerill helped me find tradesmen to do some repairs to the flat, and he was unfailingly good natured and adaptable when my timings for the valuation visit went awry. Sophia and Stephanie were patient and supportive throughout. This is a rare thing – an estate agency with integrity! I would absolutely trust them to put a client's interests first – which is not the case with other agents I have encountered! I can't thank them all enough. "

A.KMarch, 2017

LimehouseLimehouse

" David is hands down the most professional agent I've ever dealt with. I've had the pleasure of working with him on quite a few transactions over the years. Most recently David helped us complete a sale in a fairly complicated chain and in a challenging market and I am certain that it would have broken down if it weren't for his involvement. Thanks again David "

GregJune, 2017

BlackheathBlackheath

" We are very grateful for service provided by Mark and Phil from Blackheath office. With our property being unusually large for the area, it was a challenging task to rent it out, but Franklyn James found us tenants in less than 2 months (and that was over Christmas!) Mark was also very patient and reasonable in negotiating the details of the financial let-only arrangement. "

Dr Sasha MitrofanovJune, 2017

Property managementProperty management

" I rented an apartment, with two friends, in North Greenwich (Rent PCM: £2600). Moving in, the agency was incredibly accommodating with our situation and made the whole process of moving in so smooth. We had the opportunity to move in one day early at short notice. Throughout the tenancy, they have been respectful of our space and understanding. When we first moved in, the extractor hob wasn't working and Nicole was very quick to respond to emails and sort the situation out! (Not easy with manufacturers based in Germany). "

Gwsmith22June, 2017

DocklandsDocklands

" Stephanie helped us on our flat purchase. During the course of purchase, she was very helpful, professional. She was always available to assist and answer my queries. We are very happy to have her as our agent, and I would definitely recommend this agent. "

AaronApril, 2017

LimehouseLimehouse

" ...we instructed Franklyn James to handle the letting and management of our flat following my meeting with Lee Alter. He arrived on time in order to view the flat and gave an honest opinion as to what to expect. His enthusiasm, knowledge and good communications are the reason why he was able to achieve a let within days. Very professional "

Mrs WhiteFebruary, 2017

LimehouseLimehouse

" We retained Franklyn James to sell our flat after arranging a few valuations as we found them to be proactive and enthusiastic and they didn't disappoint. Our buyer ended up in a more complex situation than anticipated which put the chain at risk but their professionalism and thoroughness kept everything calm and all eventually went through as planned. David and Jason were both lovely chaps to work with and kept us up-to-date with everything that was going on. Wouldn't hesitate to recommend them. "

Lisa CJanuary, 2017