The Role Of The Estate Agent, Once An Offer Is Accepted
Many say and it’s so true that your house is the most valuable asset you will ever own. However, when you come to sell it your property it’s strangely one of the only things you will sell where you have very little control of. This just illustrates the importance and trust you put into the estate agent you employ.
Here we are going to explain what an estate agent should do once they have found you a buyer who is willing to pay how much you want.
Financially Qualify The Buyer
It will sound fantastic to you and you will be hugely excited that someone has agreed to pay the amount you are willing to accept for your property. However, we can all say we have access to a certain amount of funding. Therefore it is up to the Estate Agent to financially qualify the buyer proving they have the funding in place to purchase the property. There are two main ways a property can be financed.
- Cash Purchase – You may receive an offer from someone who has the cash funds to buy your home and are not reliant on any third party lending. If an estate agent receives a cash offer from a prospective buyer basically all they should do is ask for a copy of a bank statement in their name illustrating the funds. If the cash is coming from the sale of shares or a cashed in ISA then a certificate in their name should suffice. However, as you know share prices can fluctuate so I would suggest for the shares to be cashed in before this is accepted, unless the share value is significantly higher than the price they are agreeing to pay for the property.
- Mortgage – In most instances the buyer will require a mortgage for the property. If this is the case then the estate agent need to ask for an agreement in principle. This is a document basically stating the bank are willing to lend the applicant the money required to purchase your property based on the answers to some questions given by the buyer and a credit check. One thing to note is this is not a full mortgage offer so there is still a chance the mortgage application is still declined. Once the agreement in principle has been issued its up to the applicant to provide all the necessary documentation proving the answers given to the original questions. For example, wage slips proving the income they advised at the agreement in principle stage.
Once your estate agent has one of the above and the buyer’s solicitor’s details your property will be marked as sold subject to contract.
Progressing The Sale Of Your Property
The buyer has been found and financial qualified, if you are considering choosing an estate agent that now leaves you and the solicitors to it I strongly suggest to reconsider. I am of the opinion that finding the buyer is the easy part of the process actually getting the relevant sale completed is the hard part. Here at FastMove we spend on average 37 telephone calls per transaction between agreed sale and completion. Good quality communication now from your chosen estate agent is imperative. The role of the estate agent now till the end of the sale is to create relationships between the buyer, buyer’s solicitor and your solicitor they should already have one with you, the seller. Most importantly the agent needs to make the buyer feel at ease and comfortable that they can call the estate agent at anytime if they have any questions or problems. If they don’t make themselves approachable the buyers may feel they have no-where to turn if they have some concerns, this could lead to worry and eventually the buyer pulling out of the transaction. I have an opinion solicitors are allergic to a telephone and just rely on e-mail and post. However we all know e-mails and pieces of post can fail to arrive at their destination. A good estate agent will soon identify that something has failed to arrive on someone’s desk as they will have been checking in for an update from both solicitors on a regular basis. Finally, and what I feel is the most important part of communication throughout the sales process. We all know that generally solicitors operate 9am – 5pm Monday – Friday, this is more likely going to be similar hours to when you work and also the buyer. Therefore the benefit of using an estate agent who open outside these hours is hugely significant. I strongly believe one of the reasons people say moving house is the most stressful things you do is purely down to lack of communication. If you employ an estate agent who only opens 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday it’s easy to say why. How can you receive updates from your solicitor or estate agent if you all work the same hours? In these instances people get stressed because they are frantically trying to get hold of people on their lunch and can’t because they are on their lunch and when they do call back you are back at work and cannot answer the phone. However, if you employ an estate agent who opens outside these hours you know in your mind you can make a call when you get home from work or even a weekend for an update. For example, FastMove we are open from 8am – 9pm Monday-Sunday and we feel this is priceless for all our customers. If you are struggling with your existing estate agent or would thinking about moving home please click here for a free valuation.