Progressing sales and our first exchange & completion – September 2018

What’s been going on?


Our first exchange and completion

Earlier on this month I was looking back at the first 4 weeks or so that we have been open. Naturally I had a target in mind for the number of properties I wanted to put up for sale and had a big smile on my face when we hit that number and an even bigger one when we exceeded it. It’s one thing to put a property up for sale but the proof is in the pudding as they say! You need to find buyers and the sales need to get under contract and exchanged for everyone’s piece of mind. This month saw the lovely property on Acre Meadow become the first one we exchanged contracts on and completed. 


Buying a house. A huge decision!

Properties don’t sell overnight, although we did agree a sale on our first property overnight but that is certainly not always the case! A lot goes in to the marketing of a property and it needs to be shown in the best possible way to ensure that you achieve the best possible price for the vendor. I’d like to think that we advertise our properties in the best possible light and the marketing of them is second to none. There is a fair bit of choice out there for buyers and a property needs to stand out from the rest. Buying a property is not something people do on a whim and an article by Money Saving Expert earlier this year suggested that a buyer can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 8 months to find a property and make an offer on it and 4 to 12 weeks for contracts to exchange after the offer is accepted.


Communication is key!

Where we really show our worth as estate agents is our ability to negotiate and obtain the best price for a property and using our experience to progress the sale of a property through to exchange and completion. I was talking to a friend recently who said their daughter was purchasing a property and, once the offer was accepted, her daughter never heard from the estate agents again not even when the sale had completed! She had to call the agents to see if she could collect her keys!!! How did they know if she had submitted her mortgage application and paid her valuation fee? Was she getting a private survey as well? Had she sent the Client Care Letter back to solicitors and done the necessary Identity Checks? Had her solicitors even sent out the paperwork yet? What about paying for searches? When did she want to complete!!!!??? Scary! The agent and vendor were very lucky that the sale went through without a hitch.

We want to push sales through to suit the timescales of the buyer and seller. We always ask when they would like to ideally exchange and complete and are often met with the same “As soon as possible” reply. Naturally once you’ve made such a huge decision to buy something that is very expensive, you want to be in possession of it as soon as you can. In order to achieve this communication is key!

I’m sure you’ve all seen various social media posts by us about Acre Meadow, but it is a very special property for me as it is the first property I listed for sale, had the first viewing on, had the first offer accepted on and was the first to exchange contracts. All of this was done in just under 6 weeks. Here’s how.


Agreeing the sale.

The property was listed for sale on the 1st August 2018. We used a quality and local professional photographer for the shots and within a few hours of the property going live, we have a lovely couple that requested to view the property. At the viewing the next day, I found out a little more about the viewers who told me about a nightmare of a property purchase that they had been involved in that had been going on for months and months. It got to the point that they just had to walk away as there was no end in sight. It was clearly an upsetting time for them and their family. The viewing went so well that the offer was made as we were leaving the property. A fantastic result and the property was under offer in one day. Now came the hard part of getting the sale through to exchange!

It is obviously important to know the situation of a buyer, how they are funding a purchase, if there is a related sale and what their timescales are. The good news was that there was no related sale, meaning that we had full control over matters. We had seen evidence of the buyers’ finances, carried out our identity checks to comply with anti-money laundering regulations and had both parties’ solicitors’ details.


Checking the chain – Why it is important. 

….. I have dealt with hundreds of properties in the past that have been part of a chain. Any agent worth their salt will check the chain and make sure that there is someone at the bottom of it, that being that there is someone down there that does not have a property to sell (first time buyer, someone in rented accommodation and investor etc) meaning that the related sales/purchases can all move forward. Not all agents check the chain though, which is utter madness. A buyer will tell us that they have sold their property through an agent, we’ve then called the agent for chain details and they don’t know the position of their buyer! ……. Anyway, I digress!


Solicitors instructed.

On the 7th August we issued our memorandum of sale to all parties. The sales memos provides everyone with information about each other, the agreed sale price, details of anything that is included in the sale and we like to add on there the ideal exchange and completion date that the seller and buyer would prefer, which is usually “ASAP!” The memos act as formal instructions to the solicitors that a sale has been agreed and sets the solicitors off with opening an file and making contact with their client.


Sales progression.

Joanne in the office here has done the job long enough to know not to rest on her laurels and expect the sale to run its course with no involvement. The first two main milestones are that we want to make sure have been hit are that the buyer has an appointment to submit their full mortgage application and pay a valuation fee and that the paperwork the solicitor sends out to their clients is returned as soon as possible. They will not be able to do anything with the legal aspects of buyer/selling a property until they have confirmation from them. Sometimes clients need a little reminder to send them back, sometimes solicitors need a little reminder to send them out. What helped in this sale was that both parties were very much on the ball with things.

With the mortgage submitted and solicitors on with the conveyancing, now we need that call for access from the surveyor to carry out the mortgage valuation. This milestone offers a huge amount of reassurance to the vendor, as it means that the buyer is financially committing themselves to the purchase as the vast majority of the time they will have had to pay a valuation fee. Another milestone that offers reassurance is when the buyer has paid their solicitor for searches, again something that you only find out by communicating!

With knowing when the surveyor was going to the property and when searches were submitted Joanne could then diarise on for when you would expect the results of these to come back. There is also the matter of making sure that the buyers’ solicitor has raised enquiries and the sellers’ solicitor is answering them. More things to diarise on and make sure the seller and buyer are aware of what is happening and what to expect next.


Talking dates.

With the mortgage offer issued, the search results back and enquires answered; you enter the final stretch and the most vital, getting the sale under contract by exchanging. Joanne spent a lot of time backwards and forwards with all parties involved here. Finding out when deposit monies would be transferred; making sure solicitors have received them and thus confirming the exchange, all whilst communicating the details to the seller, the buyer and their solicitors.



Thanks to Joanne’s incessant involvement, on the 11th September contracts officially exchanged on our first sale and completion took place today. In total there were 38 diary entries detailing what Joanne had done over that 5 week, 6 days period to ensure that the sale exchanged “ASAP”.


Happy customers.

A job very well done and one that was very much appreciated by everyone and resulted in the following review:

“Fabulous service. Sold our house in 1 day. Sale went very smoothly. We were kept up to date by Michael & Joanne through the whole process. First class Estate Agents many thanks”.

With excellent customer service being paramount for us it is lovely to see that it does not go unnoticed. We were so pleased for these kind words. Onwards and upwards!


What’s been going up?

We’ve listed another 7 properties since the last blog. For one of them we arranged for a drone to take the external, one of them has already sold, one has had 4 viewings already and the final three all went on in the last few days. 

Click on the externals below for more information.

Ash Street, Cross Hills – SSTC

Ilkley Road, Riddlesden

The Old Corn Mill, Glusburn

North View, Cross Hills

Bolton Road, Silsden

Oaklands, Sutton-in-Craven

Cartmel Lane, Steeton


Thanks for reading.

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