A Guide to Selling Houses
Caesar & Howie property staff work hard to achieve the sale of our clients’ properties as quickly as possible and at the best price obtainable in the market. Our networked computer system enables details of all properties for sale to be held in every office. In each Centre our staff will therefore be able to deal with any enquiries concerning your property and in particular give potential purchasers every possible assistance in pursuing their interest in your property.
We will automatically distribute details of every property to those people on our computerised contact list who might prove to be suitable purchasers for your property. This computer matching service proves to be a continually effective sales aid.
Our Sales Staff will prepare and place all newspaper advertising for you, having previously agreed an advertising budget with you. They will also enter details of the property in all agreed publications and for example, Solicitors Property Centres.
A “For Sale " board or sign will be erected at your property.
Our staff will arrange viewings where necessary and most importantly will “follow up” any viewers to try to encourage their interest in your property or alternatively to obtain some feedback from viewers which might prove useful in the sales effort. We also provide where necessary a viewing service whereby our staff will accompany potential purchasers in their viewing of your property. This service ensures that potential purchasers are not prevented from going ahead simply because our clients cannot arrange a suitable viewing time perhaps because of work commitments.
Particular emphasis will be given to window display in the Centres nearest to the location of your house. Window and Property Centre displays will be rotated regularly. We also have a network of property display windows throughout the heart of Scotland in fact from Biggar to Buchlyvie!
Our Sales Controllers are "Office based" Staff who oversee the sales effort relative to each property. The Sales Controller will have Schedules of Particulars printed and distributed, deal with enquiries, place advertising, regularly contact you and generally do all the day to day work associated with your property sale. It is important for you to realise that your point of contact will be the particular Sales Controller assigned your property. Your first contact with us may well have been with a Property Consultant who measured up and valued your property. As Property Consultants are constantly out of the office visiting properties we have found that it is far more effective for the sale to be passed over to the Sales Controller to look after the transaction after the Property Consultant has done the necessary initial work. This office based back up system is a particular feature of our service and we therefore encourage you to understand our system and to get to know the Sales Controller in charge of your sale and to keep in regular contact with them.
Where someone is interested in buying a property they normally go to their Solicitor or other Agent and "note interest" with us. This simply means that their Solicitor or Agent makes contact with us and indicates that their client is reasonably seriously interested in proceeding with a purchase.
Someone who has been to their Solicitor and had their "interest noted" in a property will normally then proceed to have it surveyed before deciding whether or not to proceed with an offer. On occasion however, people go as far as "noting interest" but then simply take no further steps and for whatever reason go no further with the transaction.
When two or more people have "noted interest" our Sales Controller will normally fix a "Closing Date". The Closing Date is simply a time by which offers should be received for the property. This deadline is communicated to the Solicitors of the people who have "noted interest".
It is important to note that manyproperties sell to individual buyers without a closing date ever having been fixed.
Once the Closing Date deadline is reached, our Sales Controller will telephone you advising you of the details of any offers received and a decision in principle will normally be taken by you then as to which offer is to be accepted.
It should be noted that on occasion even after a Closing Date is fixed, either no offer is received or no acceptable offer is received and the property has to be re-advertised. This is a slightly unusual situation but it does happen from time to time.
Offers in Scotland take the form of letters from the buyers Solicitors offering to buy the property at a certain price with a certain date of entry and on certain legal conditions. Our sales staff will contact you when any offer is received and advise you of the principal clauses in it, eg, price, date of entry and what extras such as carpets and curtains are to be included in the price. Sometimes these clauses are a matter for negotiation between the buyer and seller and if so our Sales Controller will handle this negotiation on your behalf. At a Closing Date however, where a number of offers have been received it is accepted practice that the price is no longer subject to negotiation although some of the ancillary clauses in the offer can be adjusted.
Once an offer has been received which in its principal terms is acceptable our sales staff will pass this offer to your Solicitor or Legal Executive who will deal with the formal legal conclusion of the contract and the subsequent conveyancing.
Our legal staff now became involved. They will contact you to discuss the various terms in the offer and issue normally what is called a "qualified acceptance". This acceptance will basically adjust any of the clauses requiring adjusting in the buyer’s offer. Normally there are about thirty legal clauses in offers and some adjustment is required as some of the clauses might not be acceptable for various reasons. A period of adjustment of the clauses between the buyers and sellers Solicitors now follows, typically taking a fortnight, although it can be longer or shorter. At the end of this a "concluded Contract" is achieved. In that contract a date on which the price is to be paid and the title transferred to the buyer is agreed.
Between the "concluded contract" stage and the date on which the price is to be paid or "settlement date" our legal staff will attend to all the documentation necessary for the transfer of the title. They will also deal with any loan over the property as in virtually every case all loans secured over the property must be paid off in full out of sale proceeds.
This is the date scheduled for payment of the price and transfer of the title. Normally the seller will require to have vacated the property by that date and will have handed the keys to Caesar & Howie property or legal staff. On the settlement date we receive the purchase price and in return for that we will deliver the keys and the documents of title to the purchaser. Except in unusual circumstances and by prior agreement with you the keys and title will not be delivered except in return for the full purchase price.
We will repay any loan secured over the property and the account in full to you in respect of the money we have received and what we have paid on your behalf. A "State of Settlement" showing our full dealings with your funds will be sent automatically by Caesar & Howie Accounts Department to you at your new address our fees are normally deducted at this stage.
Most properties placed in our hands proceed to a successful sale. There are a number of things you can do to help this.
Good communication between us is necessary at all times. In particular during the sales period please keep in touch with the Sales Controller. Make yourself aware of what is happening and do not hesitate to be in contact with your Sales Controller to discuss any aspect of the sale. Your Sales Controller will be anxious to help.
8.2. Showing the property
- Take telephone numbers and names and addresses of viewers and advise your Sales Controller of them.
- Welcome viewers with a smile and handshake and keep them away from your pets!
- Show your best room first and bring your viewers back to that room for final discussion.
- Have the house warm and tidy and put flowers around the house if possible.
- Don’t cook strong smelling dishes before or during viewing.
- Never discuss prices with viewers. Leave the negotiating to our trained Sales Staff.
- Be positive, stress to viewers the attractive points in the house.
- Make things easy for buyers, allow them access at reasonable times.
- Co-operate with your Sales Controller-take their advice, pass on any relevant information to them and don’t be afraid to participate in the sales decisions.
- Finally BE PATIENT - not all houses sell quickly. Our system will sell your house and for the best price the market will bear - give the system time to work.