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Selling & Buying Residential Property


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Valuing your property

In order to establish a value for your property, an estate agent will visit to perform what is technically called a ‘competitive market analysis.’ This takes into account factors such as the desirability of the area, local and national market trends, and any improvements carried out to the property (such as loft conversions) to calculate the ‘estimated market value’ of your property. You then use this figure to arrive at your asking price. There is no charge for a valuation.

To request a free market appraisal from Christopher Rawlinson & Co you can either:
Visit our office, call us, email us

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Choosing your estate agent

When selling your home the key task for your estate agent is to tell as many people about your property, as quickly as possible. A good estate agent will earn their fee by accurately valuing your property and promoting it at its best market value. They will reach more potential buyers and be on hand to field enquiries and vet the time wasters from the serious applicants. A good estate agent will also help with negotiations – should they be necessary – and be available to give advice and bring the sale to completion speedily and professionally. In essence, a good estate agent will pay for itself in the energy they put into your sale, and the time they will save you, and of course if they do not sell your property then they do not receive a fee!

When choosing an estate agent to market your property, it is a good idea to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Think about first impressions and whether you would want to buy from them. What was their telephone manner like? Have they responded to any requests promptly and politely? Does the office present a professional and welcoming image? Look in the local press and make sure they have a high profile in the property sections.

If you have obtained several valuations on your property, it is advisable to ask the agents for details of other properties which they have recently sold, in order to substantiate the higher valuations. This will help you to verify that the agent is being realistic and not giving false hope in order to obtain your marketing instructions. Remember that a first impression is very important to the marketing process and it is not ideal to see your home languishing on the market for weeks or months, being reduced in price time and again in order to secure a buyer

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Getting your property ready to market

Once we have received confirmation of your instructions to place your property on the market with us, we will arrange to take photographs of your property. The photographs are then used in our extensive marketing activities on our website (, various property portals on the internet, brochures and mail drops and weekly and monthly advertising.

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Marketing your property

Christopher Rawlinson is an independent agency whose foundation is based in customer service and communication. We provide an accurate appraisal, resulting from long experience, local knowledge and marketing expertise. We have a dedicated marketing team, which demonstrates our commitment to this integral part of the selling process. It is important for us to have a strong working partnership with the vendor to significantly improve the speed and success of a sale. We stand out from other agents by promoting a first class accurate and informative presentation of each property in the most attention – grabbing slots of the leading local newspapers, websites and clear eye catching window displays (conforming to Estate Agents and Property Misdescriptions Acts).

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You may well have seen our distinctive boards in your area. Boards are a valuable way of generating high quality enquiries, and complement the marketing effort, directly attracting buyers looking for property in specific roads or areas.

Christopher Rawlinson & Co online: attracts over 600 new visitors and generates over 90,000 page impressions per month.

And to ensure the widest audience for your property we are represented on the leading property websites:

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Office locations

Our office is prominently located close to Preston Road station, Our office window also promote your property.

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Preparing your property for sale

First impressions are lasting and good presentation can dramatically increase the prospect of a sale Here are some simple steps for ensuring that your home is ready to show:

• Make sure your front door is clean, well maintained and welcoming – a fresh coat of paint will immediately give a positive first impression of your home
• A tidy property suggests that storage space is not a problem, so clear away any unnecessary clothes, toys, magazines etc
• Have the carpets professionally cleaned and bring paintwork back to life with touch-ups or a fresh coat
• Replace any discoloured grouting and sealant in the kitchen and bathroom
• Consider updating low cost items such as cupboard door handles for a fresh look
• Make sure all the lights work and the house is well-lit – even during the day
• Keep the windows sparkling clean, inside and out to maximise the impression of light
• Ensure front and back gardens are tidy, and paths and driveways well swept
• Add welcoming touches, such as fresh flowers

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Working Together

The most successful sales tend to be ones where the seller and the agent work hand in hand during the marketing process. At Christopher Rawlinson & Co we share your objectives – to achieve the fastest sale at the highest possible price with minimum disruption to your lifestyle

What you can expect from Christopher Rawlinson & Co if you appoint us as your agent

• We are the Longest established Estate Agent in Preston Road.
• We are a professional and independent firm with extensive and unrivalled knowledge of the local property market.
• We take our reputation very seriously, and are proud that the majority of our sales and lettings result from referrals and repeat business
• We provide a professional service with honest advice and a personal touch.
• Is our office ideally located to serve all aspects of the property market with prominent high street location offering a No Sale / Letting - No Fee basis
• Competitive commission rates.
• Commitment to our vendors.
• Communication and honesty. We prioritise feedback, ensuring vendors are kept informed of all developments in the sale of their property.
• Promotion of your property presenting every single property at its very best
• Comprehensive property details which are emailed and posted to buyers, and loaded to the websites and our office window
• A tailored marketing programme with extensive, premium position advertising and a website, updated constantly and linked to all of the major property portals
• Constructive advice about how to prepare your home for sale
• Accompanied viewings if requested at all times during our working hours
• Quote a realistic asking price from day one, rather than an inflated one that is subsequently reduced
• Left to their own devices many sales do not go through. Using our skills and knowledge, we nurture every sale through to exchange of contracts then on to completion

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Help us to achieve a quick sale keeping it simple and stress free

• Arrange for us to have access to the property at all reasonable times (preferably a Key)
• Ensure that we are informed about which fixtures and fittings will be staying and which will be going
• Be open with us about any problems with the property. Most problems can be solved with an experienced agent to guide the sale
• On the rare occasion of an unaccompanied viewing, let us know immediately how the viewing went, so that we can follow up appropriately
• A tough one to ask, but do aim to keep the house and garden clean and tidy at all times – you never know when you might get a short-notice viewing

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Our Fees

Up until the time that we exchange contracts on the sale of your property, you will incur no fees what so ever. Fees are only paid on completion. If you decide on sole agency then your fees will be lower than multi agency

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Appointing a solicitor

Christopher Rawlinson & Co work closely with many solicitors in the local area and are always happy to recommend a solicitor. It can definitely be an advantage to use a solicitor that has a good working relationship with your Estate agent.

Now you have appointed a professional to market your property and handle the legal necessities, you need to prepare your property for viewing . It is always a good idea to complete any outstanding work and keep your property clean and cheerful for viewings

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Preparing your property for viewings

This will help to ensure a positive impression of your property
• Paint the front door and ensure the entrance is clean and tidy.
• Put a lock on any rear gate.
• Spring clean throughout the property.
• Weed and clean up the garden.
• Maximise a feeling of space - get rid of clutter.
• Redecorating may not be necessary - discuss this with your Estate Agent.
• Make sure the shower works and is free from mould.

The following checklist is useful for preparing your home for viewings:

• Tidy up.
• Air the rooms.
• Hide clutter.
• Vacuum clean and dust the main rooms.
• Give the bathroom sinks and baths a wipe over.
• Have some flowers in the main room.
• Fully draw back the curtains to get maximum daylight in the rooms.
• On dull days, turn all the lights on and light any fire in the main room.
• Turn the television and radio off (light music is fine).
• Close all windows that are affected by background noise (traffic, trains etc).
• Try not to let pets and children interrupt the viewing

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Receiving an offer

We will confirm verbally and in writing we have received an offer on your property. If you have received an acceptable offer you need to make a decision as to whether or not to continue to market your property . If you decide to continue marketing you could undermine your buyer’s confidence and result in their pulling out. However, the buyer may wish to renegotiate or pull out following the survey or local authority search, leaving you vulnerable. These problems can be offset by arranging a verbal or written undertaking to take the property off the market after an agreed period while the survey and local authority search are being completed. We can advise you on this. There is always the possibility that you will receive multiple offers.
It is also possible that you might receive several identical offers and need to decide between buyers. We can help in a number of ways in these circumstances to bring this situation to a satisfactory conclusion
Open bids ("Dutch auction"): The agent negotiates 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 the buyers in the best position to proceed
Sealed bids: Buyers are invited to submit their final offers in writing, 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 best position to proceed

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Accepting an offer

Once an offer has been accepted the following details need to be agreed:
• Date for exchange of contracts.
• Date for completion.
• Details of any fixtures and fittings to be included or excluded in the sale of your property

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Preparation of a draft contract

Your solicitor will forward a draft contract of sale and a copy of the title deeds (or copy of the lease if appropriate) to the buyer’s solicitor who will verify all the documentation. Your solicitor will require you to fill our a ‘vendor’s questionnaire’ therefore it is worth considering the following factors in advance such as:
• Restrictions/boundaries.
• Owner's understanding of rights of access
• Any disputes over the above.
• Guarantees/insurance policies e.g. NHBC.
• Utility services at property.
• Planning.
• Lists of fixtures and fittings

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Service Charge Accounts

Whilst preparing your contract of sale your solicitor will require the following documents:

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Freehold property

• 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

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Leasehold property

• Leasehold title deeds will replace title documents.
• A history of service charge payments.
• A history of ground rent payments

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Exchange of contracts

Once all the queries have been satisfied, the buyer’s solicitor will obtain a local authority search and a copy of a mortgage offer. The buyer’s solicitor sends a signed contract and a deposit cheque to the vendor’s solicitor and exchange of contracts takes place, making the sale legally binding

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Completion will then take place 2-4 weeks after exchange of contracts . The outstanding money required for the purchase of the purchase money is transferred to your solicitor. They pay any mortgage, deduct their legal fees, pay the estate agents fees and forward you the balance

There's nothing worse than not knowing what's happening and how far advanced you are. Here is a helpful guide for you to monitor how your sale is proceeding
Arrange market valuations
Put your property on the market
Consider all offers and accept the one your are happy with
We will confirm the sale is agreed subject to contract
Instruct Conveyancer to proceed
A survey of the property should be carried out on the buyer’s behalf
Title Deeds obtained and passed to Buyer's Solicitor
Draft Contracts signed and provided to Buyer's Solicitor
Enquiries received from Buyer's Solicitor Response made on enquiries from Buyer's Solicitor
Response made on enquiries from Buyer's Solicitor
Get quotes from removal companies
Agree a date for exchange of contracts and completion
Contracts should be signed, deposit received and funds cleared
Contracts exchanged
Completion of the sale and Key Released to the buyer

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Contact utility companies
Gas company
Electric company
Water board
Local authority
Telephone / mobile company
Television licence
Sky digital / cable tv
Driving licence
Car registration / insurance details
Mortgage company
Endowment company
Home insurance
Inland revenue
Banks / building societies
Credit card company
Store card provider
Post office – redirection of mail

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)

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