Published 06th February 2020 | Conveyancing

Beyond Brexit – Selling your property in 2020

If you are thinking of selling your property this 2020, now may be the best time!

The United Kingdom left the European Union on January 31, more than three years after the Brexit referendum. During the 11-month transition period the UK will remain in both the EU customs union and single market, allowing time for trade negotiations to be agreed.

The speculation about life beyond Brexit continues, bringing with it political and economic uncertainty. Some property experts believe that some of this uncertainty has dissolved, after estate agents reported a ‘post-election bounce’, with the number of sales increasing in December.

The latest Rightmove house price report, which tracked average asking prices in the capital from mid-December, saw the largest monthly rise ever recorded in January, pushing the average to £612,500 – an increase of 2.1 per cent.

With a good deal of the recent political and economic uncertainties resolved, the odds are that property sales are likely to boom in 2020 — so if you’re thinking of selling, now is the time!

If you aim to sell your home, there are two things you will want to ensure work out as well as possible. Obviously, you want to get the highest possible price for your property, but you will also want to make a sale as quickly as possible.

Making your property as attractive as possible to buyers is an obvious way to achieve this, but when you put it on the market can also make a difference.

How to get a quick sale

These results are, of course, only an average. A well-marketed property is likely to sell more quickly at any time than a poorly marketed one in January. So, what are the things that can make a property sell quickly?
Firstly, make sure your property has kerb appeal. If the roof is clearly not in need of repair and the windows are in good condition, the property is likely to sell more quickly.

Secondly, make sure you set the price realistically. If you are asking too much, the likelihood is that you will have no viewings, while a price set too low may mean that you are unable to cover the costs of repaying your mortgage and buying a new home. Your estate agent will be able to advise you on the ideal sale price for your property.

Thirdly, and crucially, a quick sale can depend on having an efficient specialist Conveyancing solicitor. It’s never too early to start the search for the right solicitor too early in the process, even before you begin selling your property.

Why is a good Conveyancing solicitor important?

Conveyancing is a general term for the various legal processes that are carried out between accepting an offer for your home and completing the sale.
This will involve obtaining and supplying documents, conducting searches, transferring funds and conducting negotiations with the other side’s solicitor.

As the seller, your solicitor will need to produce a Draft Contract to send to the buyer’s solicitor and various information about issues such as boundaries and energy performance. They will also ask you for the Deeds to the property, so it is important ensure that you have the necessary documentation at an early stage of the process.

Delay in any of these processes can seriously impact the time it takes to complete the sale. The effects of this can range from frustration at the hold-up to financial implications and even the risk of losing the property you are buying, if delays to the sale are protracted. Having an expert Conveyancing solicitor can significantly reduce the risk of this happening.

What delays can occur in Conveyancing?

Conveyancing is a complex process, and any stage of it can cause a delay. Sometimes delays are nobody’s fault in particular, but very often they are caused by one or the other solicitor (or other agency) not doing their job as efficiently as they might.

It will be necessary to apply for a number of documents, especially if you are selling a leasehold property. Any one of these could take longer than expected to arrive, while the searches can also cause a delay if they turn out to be more complex than anticipated.

These are difficult to avoid. However, if you have chosen your solicitor carefully, they will be able to chase whoever is causing the delay and minimise it. This is also the case if the buyer’s solicitor proves to be less efficient, or if negotiations over the contract take longer than normal.

How to choose the right Conveyancing solicitor

This makes it vital to choose your Conveyancing solicitor carefully, rather than simply picking the first one you come across. Personal recommendations are invaluable, of course, especially in a case where difficulties have arisen and been dealt with efficiently, but these are not always available.

The first thing to check in any firm is whether they have a dedicated Conveyancing team of specialist solicitors. Conveyancing law is not something that can be handled efficiently by a generally qualified solicitor, so make sure the person you will be dealing with has the appropriate qualifications.

Another thing to avoid is any firm that is too busy. Some prefer quantity over quality and will take on so many clients that they are unable to give any one of them sufficient attention.

Questions to ask a prospective solicitor include:

  • If they are 100% independent of estate agents (do not pay a % or referral fee to estate agents for work)
  • their qualifications and accreditations
  • examples of case studies
  • how they propose to communicate with you and with other parties
  • an expected timetable for completing your Conveyancing
  • if they offer a fixed Conveyancing fee, so there are no hidden costs

Even the best solicitor will not necessarily be able to avoid delays, but they will be able to ensure that the sale of your property is completed in the shortest time possible in the circumstances.

The optimal time to find your expert Conveyancing solicitor is when you first put your property on the market, or even just before. If you are considering selling your home and would like a free fixed-fee quotation for Conveyancing services, please get in touch with our expert Conveyancing team today.

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