Selling a Property
Professional marketing and presentation is the key for selling or letting any property. We are renowned for our up to date marketing techniques. Our innovative and creative methods ensure that your property gets the maximum exposure which helps to sell or let your property quickly. This is done in a variety of ways:
City Quays Website
Your property will be advertised on our user-friendly and up-to-date website. Our website is directly linked with our computerised database to maximise efficiency.
We utilise the latest computerised system. Our advanced technology matches tenants with properties as they come on. It then automatically emails the property details to all active applicants. This is done as soon as we receive your instruction.
Our fleet of branded BMW Mini’s create name awareness and attract more prospective Tenants and Buyers for your properties. Our branded cars act as our mobile advertising medium being seen all over the Docklands, meaning your property will very quickly become hot stuff!
The Selling Guide
At City Quays we appreciate that selling a home or a property requires important financial decisions and that these decisions can affect you and your family. With our client-centred approach and excellent customer service, we can help you achieve the maximum price for your property with the minimum amount of hassle. Our simple and straightforward step-by-step guide here proves just this, as we give you the ins-and-outs of the selling process.
The Perfect View: Maximum Exposure = Maximum offers!
Our policy is to accompany all viewings. Having access to your property at short notice is important in order that we can show your property to prospective purchasers as soon as they contact us with an interest in viewing your property.
Our policy is to notify you of any viewings that are taking place and to follow up the viewing with a phone call to give you detailed feedback from the applicant.
Making things easier
We advise that you instruct your solicitor as soon as you are ready to start marketing your property. This will avoid delays and allow time for your solicitor to collect all the necessary documentation required to transfer the ownership of your property to a buyer. (This process is known as conveyancing).
We recommend that you use a solicitor who specialises in conveyancing.
Each of our offices will have a selection of solicitors that we work with on a regular basis who we would be happy to recommend.
Getting your property noticed!
When you instruct City Quays to sell your property, you will receive our comprehensive marketing package.
Getting your property noticed is key, and at City Quays as soon as we have received confirmation of your instructions to market your property with us, we will arrange for colour photographs to be taken and for floor plans to be drawn up that will appear on our website, and in our brochure.
All our prospective buyers will be alerted to your property via telephone calls, text messages and email alerts. Further to this, the photographs are then used in our extensive marketing activities which include your property being featured in our office window, in various internet property portals, in mail drops, weekly and monthly advertising.
Your local office will discuss with you the best campaign of advertising for your property to ensure maximum exposure to enable us to achieve the best price in your required timescale.
The importance of first impressions
First impressions count and it is important that you keep your property as presentable as possible throughout the time that your property is on the market for sale. How you present your home can have a huge impact on people’s impressions and your success in selling your property for the price you would like to achieve. Here are a few little things you can do to help with the sale of your property:
- Air the rooms.
- Fully draw back the curtains to get maximum daylight in the rooms.
- Paint the front door and ensure the entrance is clean and tidy.
- Spring clean your property (including skirting boards and windows).
- Give the bathroom sinks and baths a wipe over.
- Have some flowers in the main room.
- Weed and clean up the garden.
- Maximise a feeling of space – get rid of clutter. This is particularly a good time to do it as you will not want to pack and transport unused items to your new property.
- Redecorating may not be necessary – discuss this with your local City Quays agent.
- Make sure the shower works and is free from mould.
- Do a check to see if there is anything that needs to be fixed such as a doorbell or dripping tap.
- Put a lock on any rear gate.
The All-Important offer
As soon as we receive an offer on your property, we will discuss it with you and then confirm it in writing. If you have received an acceptable offer you need to make a decision as to whether or not to continue to market your property; we can advise you on this.
There is always the possibility that you will receive multiple offers and that you may receive several identical offers and need to decide between buyers. In these instances we will spend time with you going through the individual details of each of the offers to bring this situation to a satisfactory conclusion:
Open bids (“Dutch auction”): City Quays will negotiate with each buyer until they drop out, one by one, and the highest offer is left on the table. This method can achieve a high final offer from a buyer in the best position to proceed.
Sealed bids: Buyers are invited to submit their final offers in writing to City Quays, and the sealed bids are opened at a pre-agreed date and time. The highest offer wins. This method is seen to be fair to all buyers. As people are casting their offers blind and have only one chance, they are encouraged to put down the maximum they can afford. However this system does not necessarily take into account which buyer is in the financial best position to proceed.
Contract race: The buyers are advised that you, the vendor, will sell to the buyer who can exchange contracts first. This avoids you having to choose between buyers.
Accepting an offer
Once you have accepted an offer on your property the following details need to be agreed:
- Details of any fixtures and fittings to be included or excluded in the sale of your property.
- Date for the buyers or lenders survey on your property.
- Date for exchange of contracts.
- Date for completion.
Throughout this process we will be on hand to advise you and negotiate for you (if needed) and keep you informed every step of the way. This and the following stages of the selling process are critical as this is where many sales fall through. At City Quays we believe that by working closely with our vendors, applicants and solicitors, problems can be averted, and a successful sale achieved!
Service charge accounts
If you live in a leasehold property your solicitor may require the following documents whilst preparing your Contract of Sale:
Service charge accounts and buildings insurance (This is generally not applicable to freehold properties)
We recommend that you forward copies of your service charge account for the past 3 years, estimates for the next year and your building insurance certificates to your solicitor. Try to get this sorted soon after you instruct us to market your property. It will help speed the process if your solicitors have this to hand when you have accepted an offer on a property.
If you reside in an apartment block you can ask your solicitor to get this information from your Managing Agents.
If you live in a freehold property your solicitor may request the following documents:
- Title documents (from you or your Bank/Building Society).
- Evidence of payment of last Council Tax (last 12 months).
- Paid utility bills.
- Guarantees and warranties related to damp proofing, etc.
- Gas safety check certificates.
- NHBC certificates.
- Planning and Building Regulations approvals for extensions etc.
- Exchange of contracts- the End is in sight
An exchange of contracts occurs once all the queries have been satisfied by the buyer’s solicitors and once they have seen the local searches and have agreed to them.
Your buyer may need a mortgage to purchase your property, and thus only once they have received a confirmation on their mortgage offer will they buyer be ready to exchange contracts.
The contract needs to be signed by you and the buyer. The deposit (which is usually 10% of the purchase price) is transferred to your solicitor. Once they receive the deposit, the contracts can be exchanged. It is at this point that the sale is legally binding.
The completion date is set.
Completion- Heading for the finish-line!
A completion can be set for any day from the day of exchange to a few weeks after exchange, depending on each party’s requirements and what was agreed.
The balance of the purchase price is sent from the buyer’s solicitor’s account to your solicitor’s account.
It is at this point that you have sold your property.
Capital Gains Tax
Valuations for Overseas Property Owners & Expats
The new Capital Gains Tax which will be enforced from 6 April 2015 will greatly impact on the gains made by non-UK residents in the residential property market. From April, any gains made from the sales and lettings of residential property will now be taxed at either 18% or 28%. This change will also apply to UK expats selling properties while based overseas.
What we do
At City Quays, we understand that this a crucial time for all foreign investors. However, with our team of professional valuers, the new Capital Gains Tax is not all that scary as there are ways around it if expat property owners act now, such as the Principal Private Residence relief (PPR). To find out more on how we can help, read our guide on Capital Gains Tax or contact us now.
Valuations for tax purposes, whether its inheritance tax or Capital Gains Tax, are more complex and is a specialist area where local expertise and experience are critical. As one of the leading independent agency in London SE16, our professional valuations are strongly built on evidence, interpretation and negotiation, which are imperative when dealing with the HM inspector of Taxes.
Only the amount of overall gain after 5 April 2015 is chargeable to tax, which can be calculated by establishing the property value as of 5 April (known as ‘rebasing’), and then calculating the amount of gain over that value. Alternatively, you can divide the whole gain on the basis of the time you held the property after 5 April compared to the total time you’ve owned it. This date you will minimise the loss that you will incur. We are experts in our field and can give you a valuation on your property with speed and efficiency, in time to save you a lot of money.
The aim of all of this is to help raise money for the Treasury, and maybe cool the constant rising property market in London. Also in order to close a tax advantage where overseas investors are treated more favourably from a tax perspective than British based landlords, but this is where we can help!
How We Can Help?
In order to get the least amount of capital gains tax you need to get an expert valuation on your property before April 6 2015, so that you are paying only on the amount it has gained from that point and not from the price it was valued at six months or a year ago when you bought it or last had it valued. We are experts in this field and can help you to greatly lessen the negative affect this new legislation will have on the profits you will gain from your properties in the UK.
At City Quays we have a team of recognised experts in property valuation, we can provide a comprehensive service to get your property valued at the current market value and help save you what could be a lot of money. You will need to make sure your property is valuated at market value before April 6th 2015 so get in touch and we can help.
Market value is a concept separate from market price, which is “the price at which one can transact”, while market value is “the true underlying value” according to theoretical standards. The concept most commonly happens in an inefficient market where prevailing market prices are not reflective of true underlying market value. For market price to equal market value, the market must have efficient levels of information and rational expectations must prevail. So the Valuation Expert also will be looking for conditions that render the disposal price above market value, such conditions could be ‘a special purchaser’ a ‘merger of land interests’ or just temporary market overheating or temporary shortage of supply.
We are best placed to get you the correct Market value to minimise the losses on your investment property, call us before 6th April 2015 to get an expert valuation.
What else has changed?
There are also things out there to help you get around these changes to capital gains tax such as Principal Private Residence (PPR) relief which in some circumstances may still be available.
To wrap it up
The Capital’s property Market is still a very attractive prospect to overseas investors looking for a safe haven for their cash, with average prices rising between 10 – 15% over the past 12 months.
Don’t let these changes deter you, let us help you lessen the losses by contacting us as soon as possible to give you a quick professional and expect valuation on your properties. We have vast experience and
knowledge of the property market in London.
ALSO check out our page about the new changes to and rules regarding Stamp Duty Land Tax and how this will effect you on the left hand menu.