For sale sign

Coronavirus measures put a stop to your house sale? Now is the time to get your house ready to go on the market

If you were planning on putting your house on the market soon you may be left feeling frustrated now that coronavirus measures have ground the housing market to a temporary halt. Rather than setting up a home gym, cinema, library or coffee shop, the most important thing you can do during the social distancing measures is pull together the information and supporting paperwork you will need to sell your house, so your property is ready to go as soon as the measures are lifted.

Most people start the house buying process by searching for a property that you want to buy, contacting an agent and getting a valuation. That's great, but it often leads to a property being placed on the market before it is 'sale ready'. This, in turn, leads to delays in the conveyancing process while you scramble to get sale ready retrospectively and ultimately results in frustration with the conveyancers for dragging things out.

The length of a transaction will stretch out as conveyancers raise enquiries and shelve cases while they wait for a response. Believe it or not, the seeds of these delays are sown at the very start and can be avoided.

What is ‘sale ready’?

There is a lot of work needed to get your house sale ready. In most cases, it will take weeks of digging through paperwork and searching websites to pull out all the information you will need. On top of that, a lot of the information can be complicated and needs extra care and attention to get it right.

To help with this process Propertymark have produced a Sales Protocol Toolkit to be used by professional estate agents in order to speed up your transaction. The toolkit includes a questionnaire (Property Information Questionnaire) that you can work your way through independently and tick off as you gather information.

All the questions cover information that will be needed either by your agent or conveyancer.

To minimise contact during the stay at home period, we have made this document into an editable PDF so that you can complete it on your home computer, laptop or tablet and e-mail to your estate agent without leaving your home.

You don’t sell a house every day though, therefore you are likely to need to ask your estate agent for guidance on some of the questions – guessing does not cut it, as incorrect answers and leaving questions unanswered leads back to the frustrating delays.

A professional estate agent, however, will understand all of the questions and will be able to support you even if that is by phone during the lockdown period.

Once you have completed the Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ) and gathered relevant supporting documents, your property is sale ready. Agents have tested the Sales Protocol Toolkit in over 200 sales over the course of 2019 and it works.

It saves you money as a vendor, it saves you time and it helps your sale go through much more quickly. In some agencies it is reported that the time between acceptance of offer to exchange of contracts has reduced to an average of 8 weeks.

Where do I start?

The Property Information Questionnaire spans the information you will need to gather, it includes questions like:

  • Is your property a leasehold?
  • If it is, how long is the lease?
  • How much is the ground rent?
  • What services are connected to your property?
  • Are you on main drainage or private drainage?
  • Do any drains, pipes or wires cross your neighbour’s property?

Property information questionnaire


What does that question mean?

Don’t be tempted to leave answers blank, say don’t know or guess as this will lead to delays. Correct answers at the start are essential in progressing a sale quickly.

Britons now move home on average every 20 years, so it’s no surprise that selling a house is not something we’re very experienced with. If you have worries about missing guarantees or certification, speak to your agent. They will have dealt with the same things many times over and will be able to suggest a solution, but you need to get those solutions in place as early as possible.

Ask your agent for the Sales Protocol Toolkit

The Propertymark Sales Protocol Toolkit is available for everyone including your Propertymark agent. It saves you money, saves you time and takes away a lot of the problems that so often occur in a property sale.

If you are looking to make a start on your sale prep, speak with your estate agent first and ask them to talk you through the toolkit to make sure you understand everything.

Remember, the Sales Protocol Toolkit:

  • Saves you, the seller, money.
  • Saves both buyer and seller time.
  • Helps your sale go through much more quickly, relieving stress and giving you certainty.
  • Takes away a lot of the problems that so often occur in a property sale.
  • Accelerates the time from acceptance of offer to exchange of contracts, in over 200 sales in 2019 down to an average of 8 weeks.
  • Gives both buyer and seller much more information ‘upfront’ so you enter into the deal with ‘eyes wide open’.
  • Enables your lawyer/conveyancer to address issues and deal with them before they become a problem.
  • Meets National Trading Standards requirements and complies with Consumer Protection Regulations.
  • Works and is proven.

Find an Expert

Ask your trained Propertymark Protected estate agent for further details

A Propertymark Protected estate agent will help guide you through the process and ensure that your property is in safe and reliable hands.

Find an expert


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