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.
So you want to buy a property? First things first – if this will not be a 100% cash purchase what are your savings looking like? How much have you got put aside that you definitely don’t need to use for anything else? Also, how good is your credit rating – do you have a credit card, do you pay council tax in your own name and are you on the electoral register – all these things will help. What are you currently paying in rent and could you pay a bit more if it was for a monthly mortgage repayment?
Next, decide whether you feel confident enough to research the available mortgages yourself, or whether you would prefer to pay a mortgage broker to do this for you. Franklyn James can provide details of a trusted mortgage broker who may be able to assist you — for further information, please see our Mortgages section.
Be prepared to fill in a lot of paperwork in order to get a mortgage offer agreed in principle. Don’t forget that there will be quite a few fees and other costs involved in the buying process, the biggest of which will almost certainly be stamp duty on top of the purchase price. Find out how much this will be by looking on the gov.uk website here:
So, that’s the money bit out of the way for the moment. Now comes the fun bit where you actually get to view available properties. No amount of online research can replace actually seeing properties in person, so try to allocate sufficient time to do this. Contact Franklyn James and make sure the sales negotiator knows exactly what you are looking for and your budget. You will always like the properties at the top end of your budget better than the ones you could easily afford, but think about the sacrifices you may need to make for the property you’ve set your heart on. When you find a property that you would like to buy, check out the background information thoroughly before making an offer. Ask to see the exact parking space, get the council tax band, ground rent and usual annual service charge in writing first.
Make a reasonable offer based on what similar properties have sold for (ask your agent or do your own research online). Be prepared to show proof of deposit, proof of mortgage in principle and be ready to instruct a local, reputable solicitor quickly. Franklyn James can provide you with a list of experienced conveyancing solicitors — for further information, please see our Solicitors section. Don’t get carried away, resist the temptation to offer more than you can actually afford.
Your solicitor will need you to pay a sum of money up front and complete a lot of forms too, do this as quickly as you can to show that you are serious about the purchase. Contact your mortgage broker or lender and get your formal mortgage application under way. Pay for the valuation or homebuyer survey promptly to keep things moving along swiftly. Come to an agreement via the agent on a completion date which is acceptable to both you and the seller. Let your solicitor and agent know as soon you receive your mortgage offer.
Contract and deposit
When you receive the Report on Title (thick document) and the contract (a couple of pages) set aside the time to read the Report thoroughly and ask your solicitor about any sections which you are unsure of, or any plans which don’t look quite as expected. When you are happy, sign the contract and return it to your solicitor. Make sure your deposit funds are readily available and look into what method you are going to use to transfer the funds and how long this will take. Even after you have signed the contract, there may still be a few outstanding issues which your solicitor needs to attend to. Once they are totally satisfied that everything is in order they will ask you to confirm the completion date and send the deposit. Once the deposit has been received, your solicitor 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 take over at the property. Arrange buildings and contents insurance. Get funds ready to pay the balance of all costs, fees and stamp duty.
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, check with the agent that they have the keys to your new place and drop round to the office to collect them. Take meter readings as soon as you get to the property and begin the hard work of unpacking. Enjoy!
All information provided correct at time of publication.
" We were very impressed with Franklyn James, in particular Philip Dockerill.
We felt Philip genuinely cared, and that practically he could handle the high stress of certain elements of our move. He managed complicated negotiations, questions and problems throughout the sale with calm, professionalism and proved the depth of his knowledge around all elements of a property sale and the market at the time.
We also found that we could always reach Philip, or if we couldn't he would return the missed call promptly. He maintained regular updates and contact via email and we also found him willing to pick up the phone to manage and discuss difficult scenarios. This seems a simple thing, but is a quality we very much valued and appreciated in him during a stressful time.
We cannot recommend him highly enough if you are looking to buy or sell in the area. "
" Lee is really professional with quick response from beginning to the end and frequently provides advice wholeheartedly. I appreciate his assistance and the renting experience with his assistance is impressive and unforgettable. "
" We were glad we made the enquiry to Franklyn James and was passed directly to Tristan.
Tristan is the epiphany of professionalism and courtesy.
He was happy to hear our requirements, discuss our options and make valuable proposals. He had never refused to revert and respond to even the most difficult of questions, almost seven days a weeks! He is an asset to the Organisation.
I highly recommend Tristan and indeed Frankly James! "
JC & SYSeptember, 2017
" David provided an excellent service from viewing to completion on our recent purchase of a flat in Bow. David was very knowledgeable and answered all our questions thoroughly. He also went out of his way to be useful and we are very grateful for his help. "
" I would like to express a note of thanks for Lee Alter. I am very pleased with all the work he has done. I highly recommend working with Lee, as he always answers emails on time, offers the best possible solutions, very kind and lovely person (which is very important quality for the time of job he does), knows well what is going on the market, very professional and has advanced knowledge in the time of work he does. Many thanks! "
Natalia KalenovaJuly, 2017
" 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 "
" Mark's service was excellent. He was responsive, knowledgeable and very helpful in resolving last minute issues in order to ensure completion occurred smoothly and on schedule. I would definitely recommend the services of Mark and Franklyn James. "
" Franklyn James did an excellent job letting out my flat in Limehouse. I had previously used Foxtons but I feel their standard have dropped recently and think this is likely because they do not have an office which focuses exclusively on the Limehouse area. Franklyn James do and it shows as they really seem to understand the area and the value proposition of my property.
It is also worth noting that the level of service they provide is very high, both from the Sales team but also Property Management and Accounts Management. Swift and accurate responses at all times. "
" From the outset David has been a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend David for his professionalism and dedication to providing the best possible service for his clients. "
" Mark and Philip helped me in the renting process from start to the end in an extremely professional way; their approach is proactive and you can feel from the beginning how professional they are and how much they care about their clients. Constant communication, associated with an excellent suggestions throughout the process, make Mark and Philip (and obviously Franklyn James) the best choice if you want to rent or sell your property! "