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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
" It was a first purchase in UK. Stephanie was always available to assist and answer our queries. The process took longer than expected but was smooth and this was helped along by Stephanie. I would recommend Stephanie and this agency from my experience. "
Carole & FloNovember, 2017
" Dovile had immediately understood our expectations.
We found our perfect flat after 2 visits in the same day.
Very professional but also friendly, we highly recommend Dovile. "
Audrey and SeanJanuary, 2018
" Stephanie was very helpful and she was constantly keeping us informed about the sale of our building. She's reliable, punctual, professional and eager to assist. "
" As a first time buyer, Franklyn James and in particular Mark Kimber was extremely helpful with the entire process. Mark was friendly, easy to contact, always on hand to give useful advice and I'd recommend him and his services in future. I experienced a few estate agents across my property search and Mark was by far the best. I thank him personally for helping us purchase our first property.
Amy DaviesNovember, 2017
" Phil and Mark did a good job of selling my flat in difficult market conditions. I spent some time researching estate agents in the Greenwich area and interviewed half a dozen different agents before deciding who to go with. Franklyn James stood out because of their straight-talking honest approach, good value, and flexibility.
They managed to sell my flat within 6 weeks in tepid market conditions. We initially put the flat on the market for offers in excess of £375k, but interest was disappointingly low - we received less than a handful of enquiries in the first 4 weeks. Mark advised dropping the price a little to spark more interest - a strategy which ultimately worked well. With a couple more potential buyers through the door, Mark managed to find a very keen buyer in the final days of FJ's contract. After some negotiation, we agreed an eventual sale price of £366.5k - a figure I was happy with.
Phil and Mark and the rest of the team at Franklyn James were also very good at following up throughout the rest of the process and showed great flexibility in getting the final sale over the line when dealing with difficult demands from the buyers and delays from their solicitors.
If you're looking for a no nonsense, straight talking team of estate agents, who charge reasonable fees and are always on hand to help, then I'd recommend Franklyn James. "
" 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. "
" Mark is fantastic estate agent and negotiator. From the moment the property went on the market he provided excellent service. Mark's ability to read people and the market meant he was able to get the right people in to view the property and achieve some amazing offers in a difficult climate.
He is very responsive and very easy to contact. He is easy to talk to and listens to what you are looking for.
As a property investor I often work with estate agents to buy and sell property and without doubt Mark is the most skilled and professional agent I have worked with.
If you need to sell a property go to Mark! "
Sofia ThomasNovember, 2017
" Great service, kind and fast responder. Glad to have done businesses with him! He helped us going beyond his duties. "
" Very helpful throughout the process. Special mention to Jamie who went the extra mile in terms of effort and communications to get the transaction over the line. "
Alex SAugust, 2017
" We used Franklyn James to purchase our flat. Stephanie was very helpful and polite throughout the process and always made herself available for additional viewings and always answered our queries in a timely manner. Thanks to the frequent communication, the negotiation process went very smoothly. "