Many of you out there will have seen the adverts on the television saying how many thousands of pounds you may or may not save by selling your house via an online estate agent such as Purple Bricks or Tepilo. However, before you decide which estate agent to instruct, do you know what they do and how they can assist in getting the sale to Completion?

If you have not bought or sold recently then you may think that the estate agent finds you a buyer and then sits back waiting for the commission, some might, but the good estate agents are part of your team working towards the common goal of Exchange of Contracts and Completion of your sale. The team working towards Completion are you, the Estate Agent and your Solicitor.

What does the Estate Agent do?

  • Yes, we all know they find your Buyer, but that is just part of the process.
  • The ability of the Buyer to proceed is verified – do they have or can they obtain a mortgage, what deposit do they have, are they selling and if so is their property under offer? There is not much point proceeding with a Buyer who has not yet sold……….
  • A Memorandum of Sale is sent out confirming the details of the sale and introducing the two sets of solicitors to each other.
  • The Estate Agent will chase progress of the Buyer’s mortgage application and pursue the valuation – without a valuation no mortgage offer will be issued and no sale will proceed.
  • The Estate Agent will chase to ensure that the contract is issued to your Buyer’s solicitor – make sure you complete the forms your solicitor requires and then your solicitor prepares and submits the papers.
  • The Estate Agent will chase your Buyer and their solicitor to make sure formal instructions are given and monies on account have been paid so that the searches can be applied for once the contract papers are received.
  • The Estate Agent will liaise with both sets of solicitors to ensure searches are received, queries are raised by the Buyer’s solicitors, these queries are then answered by both the Seller and the Seller’s solicitor so that once all searches have been received, queries have been resolved and mortgage offer issued we can look to exchange.
  • The Estate Agent is a go between for the Buyer and Seller to resolve issues to do with Completion Dates, house contents to be left/removed.
  • On Completion the Estate Agent is there to receive the keys from you to hand over to the Buyer once the purchase monies have been received.

All of the above seems straightforward, however, it is extremely rare for a transaction to proceed in 9 simple steps……..

You, the Estate Agent and your Solicitor are a team. Your solicitor cannot speak directly to your Buyer, so if there any delays the Estate Agent can chase your Buyer (to make sure funds are paid to apply for searches, to obtain progress reports on the mortgage offer, that the Buyer signs the contract and pays the deposit to their solicitor, to agree Completion Dates), your Solicitor can chase the Buyer’s solicitor to make sure searches are applied for, enquiries raised, contract sent to the Buyer to sign, to exchange contracts and to complete the sale. In tandem the good Estate Agent and Solicitor push the transaction to a satisfactory conclusion; the sale of your home.

Whilst I agree that the level of the Estate Agent’s Commission is a factor in deciding who to instruct, now you know what they do and how they can assist your Solicitor in progressing the sale to Exchange and Completion, pick one that will go the extra mile, pick one that will work with you AND your Solicitor.

If you are thinking of selling then do not be afraid to sound out your solicitor and find out who he/she would recommend, sometimes the relationship between the Estate Agent and the Solicitor is the difference between your Buyer pulling out or the Buyer moving into your home…

  • Spencer is a Partner who specialises in residential and commercial conveyancing and also in wills and probate.
  • What Spencer’s clients say:
  • It was great to have a Solicitor do what you want to do rather than do what the agent or the other side wanted”
  • “Spencer takes a lot of the stress out of the transaction, he is quick and efficient and explains everything in a way we could easily understand” “Quite simply an approachable and speedy lawyer”
  • “I cannot fault the level of service I received from Spencer. Everything was done on time or in advance, and he kept me updated on the progress of the sale throughout”.