ONE Estates are an independent estate agent based in Yeadon, Rawdon and the surrounding areas and serving the whole of the Leeds and greater West Yorkshire area.

Selling your home is a complicated and potentially life-changing journey. Our company vision is “Enriching, improving and protecting lives through property” because we understand the criticality of the sales and buying processes.

Here we have produced a guide to selling your home which we hope will provide you with useful information.

1. How to choose an estate agent

Your estate agent will play a vital role in the sale of your property. There are a number of things that should inform your decision about who you choose – here are a few hints and tips:

  • Meet with a few estate agents and find out who you get on with. You should be looking to work with an agent who shares your values, has great knowledge and experience of the market and who you think will be best positioned to represent your property.
  • Choose whether you would prefer a local or national agent. Local agents will often have the best possible knowledge of the area and potential buyers, but won’t necessarily have the reach of a national agent.
  • Do your research. Speak to family and friends. Draw up a shortlist based on reviews, testimonials and case studies. What does this tell you about their customer service and responsiveness? Are they going to market your property with real energy and vigour?
  • Find out how they will market your property. Online marketing is a pre-requisite these days, but a sale will only happen if the legwork is also put in.
  • Find out what fees are involved. Fees may vary from agent to agent, but cheapest doesn’t always mean best. Remember though, a larger fee should translate into better marketing and support.

2. Instructing a solicitor

The choice of a solicitor to conveyance your sale is equally important. The conveyancing process is complicated and needs great attention to detail. Here are a few things to look out for

  • Speak to family and friends about their experiences with solicitors. Look online for reviews, and see what experiences others are sharing.
  • Make sure that you get at least three quotes from a shortlist of solicitors. Don’t be tempted to go for the cheapest if you don’t like their credentials – cheapest is not necessarily best, and what you gain in the short term, you may lose due to a lack of care and attention.
  • Speak to your estate agent about who they would recommend – it might be useful if your agent and your solicitor are already working together and aware of each-others’ processes.
  • Make sure you speak to the actual conveyancer who would be working on your case. Get a feel for them, make sure you are happy for them to be representing you.

3. Marketing your property

Marketing your property is a combination of online and offline activity. Whilst almost all property searches start online these days, it still pays to advertise in your agent’s high-street window and erect a for-sale board. Here are some of the things you should be bearing in mind:

  • Presentation. Make sure the photographs, videos and images are of the highest quality and well-lit. The old adage “You only get one chance to make a first impression’ is important here.
  • Reach. Ensure that all of the main online platforms are being used by your agents. Find out if there is an option to print and distribute flyers around the area. Does your agent already have a database of potentially interested parties?
  • Information. Your agent is paid to be accurate with their marketing information. Check that measurements are right, floor plans are in place etc. Don’t be afraid to be critical – they are working for you!

4. Viewing and offers

Your agent should understand all they need to know about your property and surrounding areas so that they can conduct viewings and answer all appropriate questions. Here we look at this stage in more detail.

  • Pre- viewing. You are relying on your agent to only conduct suitable viewings. They will find out about prospective buyers’ needs, and ensure that they are not likely to waste time.
  • Viewings. If agreed, your agent will curate visits on your behalf, but it is your responsibility to ensure your house is maintained in a neat and tidy condition. If you are able to keep to neutral colours and decor, this is more likely to appeal.
  • Offers. Having agreed a sales price with your agent, you should expect to have further conversations if and when offers start arriving. Make sure that your expectations are fully understood by your agent, as they have authority to negotiate on your behalf.

5. Sales Progression

Once a suitable offer has been accepted, a good estate agent will be able to manage the entire process in a professional and organised manner. They are at the hub of conversations between buyers, sellers and solicitors. Here are a couple of tips to be aware of:

  • An experienced estate agent will work proactively to make sure that problems are resolved before they arise. They will have been on this journey many times before, and should be well-versed when it comes to trouble-shooting. Find out if your agent has staff dedicated specifically to sales progression. Ask about the process and what it entails.
  • Until contracts are exchanged, either party – seller or buyer – is still able to pull out of the deal with impunity. A clear chain of communication is key to ensuring that a sale progresses without a hitch.
  • The final stage of the process is known as ‘Completion’. This is where monies are exchanged and your buyer is able to pick up the keys to the property. If your estate agent has been commissioned on a no-sale no-fee basis, they will be particularly motivated to achieve a successful completion on your behalf.