Sales Guide

Whether selling or buying a property, everyone can benefit from a bit of guidance. The following advice and recommendations are not exhaustive but we feel that they are beneficial. If you would like more specific, detailed assistance, please feel free to utilise the vast experience of David and Richard. Call in to see us or ring 0161 860 6350.

Advice To Sellers - Presentation

We are often asked by our vendor clients what they can do, in terms of presentation, to help to sell their homes. At the extreme, new home builders spend a lot of money creating the perfect show home, and for very good reasons. However, in reality, both ourselves, and potential buyers, know that life goes on, and that homes are for living in, so perfection is not necessarily expected. Having said that, given that your home is in competition with all of the other homes on the market, it is always good to do whatever you can to steal a march on your competition. You might feel like you are living in an artificially neat and tidy environment whilst your home is on the market, but it will pay off in a quicker sale, and/or better offers, and it might even be a nicer place to live for the rest of your time there.

This is really a simple list of all of those things that are considered, and discussed at length, by Kirsty and Phil, (Location, Location, Location, amongst others), Ann Maurice, (The House Doctor), Sarah Beeny et al.

Do whatever you can to remove "clutter" wherever you can. Many things could be stored in boxes in the loft, garage, or shed. You might be surprised how few times you miss most things. Or you could use a storage facility as identified in our recommended services.

Gardens should be well maintained and tidy - clear of rubbish, weeds and discarded objects.

There is no doubt that a For Sale board helps to sell houses, even if it merely enables a buyer to identify your home when driving along a long road of similar houses.

If you have pets, where possible de-odorise all rooms prior to any viewings, and we find it very effective to take the dogs for a walk whilst we show viewers around.

A good airing before a viewing is a good idea. Open windows for a while, including kitchen and bathroom, and paying particular attention to bedrooms.

Try not to cook a meal just prior to viewings, although the smell of coffee and baking bread or cakes is always pleasant.

Whilst it is rare for us to see a car in a garage these days, it is good to keep it tidy enough for a viewer to appreciate the size and potential. Garages are often used as offices, playrooms, pastimes and, occasionally, cars!

A good clean is usually beneficial and, where appropriate, carry out those niggling minor repair and paint jobs, including walls and fences. There is no doubt that potential buyers magnify the cost and inconvenience of any visible work, whether real or perceived, and this is reflected in their offers, or lack thereof. A few hours of DIY, or a few pounds on a local handyman, will be well worth it.

Make sure curtains and blinds are open so would be buyers can see the double glazing and views. It will also let maximum light into every room which will make it appear bigger and brighter. In addition, turning on all the lights ensures that buyers know that everything works, and also has the benefit of improving the brightness.

Try to remember to turn TVs off, and music down low, or off. It is easy to forget when we are so used to them being on, but it can be off putting and distracting to viewers.

Advice to buyers – Sales Process

You have decided that you are buying a property, but exactly how much can you afford? On top of the cost of the house itself, there are many other, one-off expenses involved in buying a home and moving which can tot up to between £2,000 - £5,000. In order to get a good idea of what sort of homes you can realistically hope to buy, you also need to take these extra costs into account.

The next step should be to seek independent mortgage advice and try to get a ‘Mortgage agreed in Principal’ this would put you in a much stronger position to buy a property and avoid upset if you find you can’t afford the house of your dreams.

When you have found a home you are then ready to make an offer. At this stage you should ignore my advice because I am working for the vendor so I will say offer the asking price! Seriously, you should offer what you think the house is worth to you.

If your offer is accepted, you should then instruct a Solicitor to act on your behalf, and arrange to see your Mortgage advisor (if mortgage required) to complete an application. You will then be required to pay for a survey.

Both you and your mortgage lender need to know whether the property is actually worth the amount of money you have agreed to pay out for it. As well as what is known as the basic valuation, there are two main types of survey: the homebuyer's report and the buildings survey (also known as the full structural survey). All lenders require a basic valuation, but you may wish to have an independent, more detailed survey carried out as the basic valuation will only show up any obvious problems that you will probably have noticed yourself. The level of survey you need depends a lot on the individual property you are buying.

You will get a copy of the survey, usually within the week. Don’t be alarmed if further reports (timber and damp survey for example) are required as this is very common, especially on older properties. There may be some unexpected issues discovered, in which case you may be able to re-negotiate the price. Remember, the vendor does not have to reduce the agreed price but you will find that in most cases they will reach agreement. You, and your solicitor, will eventually receive a mortgage offer from the lender.

While that is going on, your solicitor will be doing the legal work known as ‘Conveyancing’. In essence, what they are doing is making sure that, from a legal point of view, the property is OK to buy and will liaise with your lender to arrange that the funds are paid at the right time. You will eventually be asked to come in to see the solicitor to sign a contract and arrange to pay your deposit. They will then be in a position to ‘exchange contracts’ with the Vendors solicitor and arrange a ‘completion’ date. This is the day that the property is yours!

Recommended Services.

Whilst we pride ourselves on our independence, we also appreciate that our clients require other services when buying or selling property. Please find below details of companies that we have had good experience with over the years. Feel free to contact any (or none!) of them for a quote.

Removals and Storage

Moving house can be a stressful experience, and with a 98% customer approval rate Britannia Bradshaw International Removals & Storage can help your next removal be stress-free. Established in 1884, and based in Trafford Park, Manchester, Britannia Bradshaw has the right experience and is perfectly located to perform your next house removal in Manchester.

Britannia Bradshaw is a member of the British Association of Removers (BAR), and performs local, national, international and European removals. Short and long term storage can also be arranged in their modern, purpose-built warehouse at prices less than self storage facilities.

Visit the website or call their Manchester headquarters at 0161 877 5555 for more information on how they can help your next house move go smoothly.


Janet Platts
Robin Burman & Co
446 Barlow Moor Road
M21 0BQ
Tel. 0161 860 7123

Mortgage Advice

Robert Sharpe
East Cheshire Mortgages
1st Floor 22 Church Street
SK11 6LB
Tel. 0162 543 0444
Robert will meet you at home or our office if you wish.