Sellers Guide

We have provided below some information on the key steps to consider when selling your property. You can find more detailed tips, advice and help from our blog section on this web site, which will also give you information on how to download our free sellers ebook. If you need any further information or advice, please don't hesitate to contact us.

  1. Establish the value of your current property
  2. Selecting the right agent to work with
  3. Arranging an EPC Certificate
  4. Preparing your property to maximise its saleability and price
  5. Conducting viewings
  6. Negotiating the deal
  7. Completing contracts

Establish the value of your current property

A realistic assessment of the value of your property is an important first step to ensure you understand how you will finance your home move.

Whilst local property newspapers and websites can be used to provide a general indication of what your property might be worth, with our help and guidance on the specific features and strengths of your property, you will get a more accurate and realistic assessment of its real value. Not only that, we can also provide advice on how to maximise the value of your property.

At Smartmove we believe it's extremely important to get the correct valuation. Some agents will over value your home just to get it on the market. By pricing a property too high you will not be able to capitalise on the earlier interest when a property initially comes to the market. Most buyers will ask how long a property has been on the market and are less likely to offer a good price if your property has been over priced on the market for too long.

In fact, it is essential to get a realistic valuation not too high but equally not too low. At Smartmove we work for you the seller to achieve the best possible price for your property. At our free market appraisal you can ask our consultant any questions regarding our valuation of your property and we will of course show you how it was attained with clear comparable evidence.

Once you have booked your property appraisal, we will meet you at your property at a time that best suit your needs. Our appointment with you would typically take between 30-60 mins and would include a detailed inspection of your property.

We have found that most of our clients have the following three primary questions in their minds when they first think about selling their home:

  • How quickly will it sell?
  • How much will it sell for?
  • How much hassle will it be for me?

What we have discovered from helping hundreds of homeowners since we opened our Rainham office in 2004 is that the quicker your home sells, the higher price you will ultimately achieve. Usually, this also means less hassle for you and your family.

What stops a property selling quickly?

If you ask most estate agents why a house hasn't sold, they will usually cite asking price as the main cause. But is that the whole picture? What about all the other factors that determine whether or not a property will sell, how quickly and for what price?

At our meeting, we will discuss with you the specific needs relevant to your own situation, market forces and current demand, previous transactions in your area and activity levels with other property similar to your own. This information will help us advise you on:

  • the potential value range applicable to your property
  • anything you could do to enhance this value, and
  • a marketing strategy to suit your particular objectives and get your property noticed.

Any questions or concerns you have can also be addressed at this meeting.

To book a free valuation, please submit a request here.

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Having established the value of your property and decided to go onto the market, you will need to choose an Agent to act for you.

When considering which agent to use, watch out for those suggesting inflated values (which can leave you languishing on the market whilst those around you sell) or knock-down commission (you get what you pay for!).

A successful agency will have a comprehensive marketing strategy and methods, professionally qualified & courteous staff and a realistic expectation of what the market can achieve.

With Smartmove, you only pay commission when we successfully sell your property and you'll always have access to a specialist team dedicated to sales.

Contact us to find out more about what we offer you.

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Arranging an EPC Certificate

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for a property is a legal requirement. With our HIP partners, we can arrange to have an EPC produced for you, quickly and without fuss and at a very competitive rate! Contact us to learn more about our HIPs service.

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The majority of buyers now use internet property portals to search for a home. Therefore the visual imagery used with these listings are the first taste of your home a potential purchaser is likely to experience and this will be hugely influence whether they contact us to arrange a viewing. Preparing your home for photography and other visuals we develop (such as videos) is therefore one of the most important actions you can take to maximise your chances of attracting interest. Professional staging and photography is vital to help sell a house effectively online. Buyers don't like reading text and will often decide whether or not to view based solely on the photographs of your house. Spending time and effort, and even money, on this very important preparation for marketing could involve some moving of furniture, basic de-cluttering, and some home staging, in order to portray lifestyle images rather than just room photographs.
Choosing us as your agent, you don't have to, as we do all this for you as part of the instruction process. Our consultant will allow enough time to work through your property on a room-by-room basis to carefully consider the best layout of furnishings, removal of personal items and the best aspects and lighting to capture. Room dimensions and details will be recorded and a plan of the property will also be drawn, so that floorplans can be included in your particulars.
The description that we write for your online advert also needs to really sell your home to a buyer. To differentiate your property from your competition, we use lifestyle descriptions that sell the dream, not the bricks and mortar. So instead of saying a modern, well-presented home that needs an internal viewing to appreciate, which is the kind of agent-speak sure to turn a buyer off, we instead use descriptions such as this bright and airy home is perfect for the growing family, with spacious rooms and a wonderful garden much more appealing!
We try to really capture the essence of your home and why you bought it, into the written word, taking care to avoid clich's and other meaningless sentences. We will of course make sure the description complies with the Consumer Protection Regulations, but at all times will aim to make your property description stand out among your competition. After all, it is you who has the most to gain or lose by your property advert.

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Conducting viewings

At Smartmove, we commit a huge amount of time and resources towards marketing properties to prospective purchasers - with the prime aim of encouraging them to view the property.

We will discuss with you the best times of the day & week to present your property and do our best to steer appointments around these times. Many considerations need to be made, including your normal weekly patterns, parking availability and traffic levels, children and pets, light levels and garden aspects.

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Negotiating the deal

As soon as an offer is received from a potential buyer we will notify you verbally and in writing and can also advise you on whether to accept or decline the offer, however, the final decision will always be yours.

We will always advise you and negotiate on your behalf throughout the whole process. Any paperwork that is requested by your solicitor should be returned a soon as possible in order to keep the process moving swiftly.

We will make all best endeavours to qualify purchasers in advance of any viewings - but at the very latest, at offer time. By "qualify" we mean that we will formally check their status and ability to proceed with any offer they make. In order for us to do this, we will ask for contact details of their broker or mortgage lender, and any estate agent dealing with their current property sale.

When you have agreed to sell at the offered price we write to all parties with a memorandum of sale. This is when you will need to instruct a solicitor to undertake the legal work on your behalf. It is only when this information has been provided and we have contacted the necessary parties for verification of your purchasers' situation that we will consider whether it would be pertinent to stop showing your property to other prospective purchasers.

It is at this stage that we will try to make you aware of any chain implications and the likely timescale of any agreed transaction. Due to the nature of the buying process, it is important to note and understand that any information provided by us concerning the transaction chain is not guaranteed and could change at any time. However, regular liaison will be made with legal parties acting on both your and your buyers behalf to ensure we can keep you abreast of progress on a timely basis.

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Completing contracts

Once you have accepted an offer the legal process starts to arrange for contracts to be drawn up and agreed, to confirm payment is made for your property, and that legal title is properly transferred to your buyer.

To support these activities you (and your buyer) will need to instruct a solicitor or conveyancer to do this work on your behalf.

The choice of who will act for you is entirely at your discretion but to help you with this, we promote a range of different and very competitive conveyancing options. Please contact us for further information.

Summary of the legal process

In summary, the overall legal process to exchange and complete contracts with your buyer generally takes the following steps:

  • Terms are agreed between Seller and Buyer and both parties instruct their conveyancer to work for them.
  • The Seller's conveyancer obtains the Seller's title deed and prepares the draft Contract for the Buyer's conveyancer to approve
  • The Seller's conveyancer send to the Buyers conveyancer the draft Contract together with rest of the documentation needed to form the overall contractual package.
  • The Buyer's conveyancer reviews the detailed terms of the Contract, does the Searches and reviews the results, confirms that there is a Mortgage Offer in place, and also checks the readiness of any dependent sale (in the same chain) to proceed.
  • Contracts are then signed and exchanged at which time a Completion Date is agreed between both parties.
  • The Transfer Deed is prepared by the Buyer's conveyancer and approved by the Seller's conveyancer, and then signed in readiness for the Completion Date.
  • The Buyer's conveyancer obtains the funds for the purchase from the Buyer either directly, or though the sale of his/her previous property and the lender (if there is a Mortgage)
  • On the Completion Date the Buyer's conveyancer sends the required funds to the Seller's conveyancer (on behalf of the Seller). When receipt of these funds is confirmed by the Sellers conveyancer, the purchase is deemed compete and the Buyer can take legal occupation.
  • The Buyer's conveyancer pays any Stamp Duty due, and registers the Buyer as the new owner of the property at the Land Registry

Our advice: The time it takes to progress through to this stage is dependent on various factors but the entire process could take at least 6-8 weeks. However, to speed up the process from your end, we recommend you instruct legal representation prior to finding a buyer as there are various things they can do well in advance, and hence save time later. This includes calling for your title deeds office copy entries and various other documents all of which can take some time to get hold of. Its worth completing various documents in advance such as the Sellers Property Information Form and Fixture Fittings and Contents declaration as these will also help speed up things later.

Surveys In parallel to the legal process, one of more surveys may be commissioned on your property. If the Buyer requires a Mortgage their lender will make arrangements for a very basic survey (known as a Valuation) to provide assurances that it's worth the price being offered for it. In addition to this, the Buyer may also commission a more comprehensive survey which will assess in more detail the condition of the property and make appropriate recommendations.

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We hope you have found our sellers guide useful. Please contact us for any further information, advice or help you may need to help you with buying your next home. Alternatively, check out our blog section on this web site, or our social media platforms, for more tips and advice on selling your property. You can also download our free Selling your Property ebook.

Has your property's value increased? Call 01708554659