If you decide to sell or let your property, you will naturally have a lot of questions. Our expert staff are happy to advise you through the process but in the meantime, why not take a look at our frequently asked questions?
On average it takes around 3 months from putting the property on the market through to completion, however dependent on the status of the seller and buyer the timescales may vary.
Making sure that your property is well presented visually attracts more interest which will lead to offers.
Instructing an estate agent to sell your property is not a legal obligation. Some vendors try to keep costs down by not using an agent at all however, it is well worth considering the benefits an agency can provide. Estate agents can provide the man power and experience required to effectively market your property to ensure it receives maximum exposure to attract as much interest as possible. They also deal with the viewings, manage competing offers and oversee the entire process through to completion. In short, a good estate agent will find solutions to common issues and ensure a successful sale is achieved.
Estate agents typically charge between 1.5% to 2.5% commission on the sale of a property. They may also charge separate fees for advertising and promotional material. This should be confirmed to you by the estate agent before any instruction takes place. However, those experienced sellers and buyers may have preferred solicitors.
With regards to solicitors’ fees or conveyancing fees, these can vary from firm to firm. It is important to contact more than one solicitor to receive quotes as there are no set fees for conveyancing.
Not necessarily, however the legal side of selling a house can be incredibly complicated so it is recommended that you do use a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer. Although not using a solicitor or licensed conveyance may save you fees, the amount of time and effort required to organise this yourself may not be worth the monetary saving. An experienced solicitor will also bring to your attention concerns that a inexperienced person may well miss.
Yes. This is a legal obligation that has been in place since January 2013. It must be made available within 7 days of putting the property on the market. If you are selling your property through an estate agent then they will display the EPC rating in all marketing material.
If you’re selling through an estate agent, they will organise all viewings on your behalf. This can be very beneficial as they deal with any difficult questions, screen potential time wasters and are well placed to advise interested viewers (and you) on what happens next.
Capital Gains Tax (CGT) isn’t applicable on a main residence but may be applicable on a second home or an investment property. For more information, visit the HMRC website or speak to an accountant.
Although an estate agent cannot guarantee an accepted offer with progress to exchange and complete, they will keep you up to date throughout the sales process. Solicitors should also ensure that all relevant documents are ready to be signed or actioned before the sale. Your estate agent and solicitor should be available to discuss your concerns with at any point during the process. If you feel it is moving too slowly, or if you’re unsure about anything, don’t be shy! Selling your home can be a stressful process and your estate agent is there to make it easier for you and deal with any concerns and questions you may have.
This depends on how much you earn from the rental income. If you earn more than £2,500 in rental income then you need to inform HMRC. Should a property be owned by a company, then the rental income is dealt with in the same way as business income. Tax must be paid on any profit made from renting out a property after the deductions of allowable expenses. For more information, visit the HMRC website or speak to an accountant.
No you don’t, although there are many advantages to using an estate agent. A good estate agent should:
- keep you up to date with the latest legislation
- ensure your property receives maximum exposure to attract the right calibre tenant.
- negotiate the best rental price on your behalf
- where requested, manage all repairs and maintenance
- collect rent
Like Chestertons, some estate agents also have access to a corporate tenant database of companies looking for quality accommodation on behalf of their employees.
A gas safety check must be carried out every 12 months. There is no legal requirement to have electrical safety tests carried out annually but landlords are obliged to ensure that electrical equipment is safe. This is best accomplished by an independent electrical test. If your property is managed by an estate agent then they will arrange this on your behalf, giving you some peace of mind. Landlords who don’t comply with the relevant safety regulations can face hefty fines and in some cases prison sentences.
Yes. This is a legal obligation that has been in place since January 2013. It must be made available to tenants when they move in and is valid for 10 years, unless the property is subject to building / development works.
No, a property can be furnished or unfurnished. Most tenants in London look for furnished properties but there are also many who search exclusively for non-furnished properties, especially those looking to rent family houses.
The majority of tenancy agreements are ASTs. A tenancy is considered to be an AST when:
- The landlord is not resident, i.e he does not reside in any part of the building e.g an annex which is connected to the property.
- The property is the tenant’s main residence
- The tenant is an individual as oppose to a company
- The tenancy started after 15 January 1989
- The rental is less than £100k per annum
If the tenancy is on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) then the deposit will need to be held within a government authorised deposit scheme. This is to protect both landlord and tenant and is required by law. For more information, click here. Chestertons are members of The Dispute Service (TDS)
We highly recommend that all prospective tenants are referenced and as part of our process, Chestertons organise this on the landlords behalf through a third party specialist reference company. All reference reports are sent to landlords to approve prior to the start of the tenancy.