As estate agents in Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket and Cambridge, we believe that there are several ways in which you can improve your chances of selling your property quickly and minimising your stress. Here are our seven steps to selling success:

1) Arrange your finance
Before you start putting any plans to sell in motion, make sure you can finance your move. Believe it or not, some people have found issues when looking to fund their next move. Unsurprisingly, this can jeopardise any potential sale as a purchaser may not be prepared to wait for you to sort your affairs out. Fortunately, it has been our experience that you will very rarely get a seller client who finds (usually through nobody’s fault) that they have to pull out of a sale. It would be very embarrassing and, if solicitors are involved by this point, potentially very expensive as both sides will have run up some costs!! If you are in any doubt about your financial position, speak to an independent financial adviser or mortgage broker.

2) Find a conveyancing solicitor
Ensure you have a good conveyancing solicitor lined up, or ask your agent very early on for their recommendation. (Do be careful to make sure that you are being recommended a ‘local’ reputable firm though!) It has been our experience that most local ‘high street’ or ‘bricks & mortar’ solicitors practices/licenced conveyancing firms have a good reputation and will work very hard to keep it. They will also usually have a very good working knowledge of the area where you are selling and/or looking to buy in. If issues are discovered later on in the conveyancing process, there is always a good chance that your ‘local’ solicitor will have the local knowledge and/or resources to correct any issues or fill in any gaps on the legal enquiries – something we have very recently experienced and saving our clients solicitor a lot of time and potentially money.

3) Engage a solicitor early on
Consider engaging with your solicitor early on in the marketing of your property in order to get the ball rolling on the legal paperwork in a timely fashion. Q: Can you do this before you have secured a buyer? A: Yes, absolutely! It will help speed up the conveyancing process when you do find a buyer as your solicitor will be able to provide the buyer’s solicitor with certain information straight off at the start.

4) Find all your legal paperwork
You might think that this goes without saying. Alas no! Therefore, as soon as it looks like you may be accepting an offer, find all the paperwork you can lay your hands on. Keep your papers in a safe – but memorable – place. As soon as the offer moves forward to the conveyancing phase, have those papers delivered to your ‘local’ conveyancing solicitor. Better yet, while your property is still being marketed, find all your paperwork and deliver it up to your chosen solicitor, but don’t forget to instruct them first – they may well have certain procedures that will need completing.

5) Set up your ‘speed dials’
You’ll be contacting your solicitor and your estate agent on a regular basis, so it’s worth adding them to your ‘speed dial’ list, or at the very least to your Contacts, and also to your email address list. This might sound a little dramatic! Bear in mind though that you should want to keep an ear or eye out for any communications from your solicitor and respond to those in a timely manner.

6) Plan your timescale
Be thinking about when a good time would be to be moving – i.e. plan your short-term personal commitments around the fact that you will (hopefully) be moving sometime in the next two or three months. This may sound harsh, but if you want to minimise the risk of delays you should at least try thinking along these lines.

7) Research removal firms
It’s always worth making contact with local removal firms. Whilst this could be seemed by some to be ‘jumping the gun’ or by the more superstitious as ‘tempting fate’ with your sale, it’s really just a case of just starting to get prepared, especially if you are ‘serious’ about selling and moving. All you should be doing at this stage is getting some quotes and perhaps asking to find out the future availability of various removal firms. This exercise is also useful in budgeting the move, and in planning overall.

So those are our seven steps to selling success, but it’s worth considering that when you exchange contracts, there’s additional work to be done. We’d recommend informing all your utility providers of your property sale – once you know your moving date, advise them when you will be moving. Get ready to set up your mail redirect service with Royal Mail. You can now also book your removal company! And on moving day, be sure to take your final metre readings.

To conclude: moving can be much less stressful if you can exercise a degree of pre-emptive control at the earlier stages. If you follow our advice and start working with a conveyancing solicitor early on, this will help you to make a quick start to the conveyancing process, which should make it more likely that your sale will progress with potentially less stress and hassle.

Good luck with your future property sale and enjoy the sales ride!

April Homes are estate agents in Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket and Cambridge, so if you’re looking to sell your property, please contact us for an initial discussion.