Selling a Home in England-It's a Lot Different Than In Virginia

By
Real Estate Broker with CJ Realty Group, Inc.

76 St Michaels Grove-Fareham UKFirst of all the disclaimer. I'm not an expert in International Real Estate.  However since my daugher and her husband own a home in Southeast England they've taught me that it is an entirely different process than what we are used to in Virginia.

They've had the fun (term used lightly) of purchasing their first home and then discovering that their home needed far more than just cosmetic repairs.  No home inspections and contingencies to protect a buyer from a lemon.  As a result they've stripped their home to the studs and rebuilt it doing most of the work themselves.  Now they are returning to the US and it's time to sell their home.

They contacted a few local estate agents and found one to list their home.  The first big difference in selling a home in the UK is there is no multiple listing service.  You list your home with one agency and anyone looking to buy must go through that agency.  Internet savvy agency are hard to find and most agencies post photos in the windows of their offices and wait for the buyers to walk in.  

76 St Michaels Grove-Upper Bath Before
Fortunately they found an agency that understands the value of technology and photos of their home at 76 St. Michaels Grove on the internet. Despite the news in the UK of a down trend in the housing market they had an offer on their property in less than a week.  The estate agents don't handle any of the writing of contracts or processing of the transaction. Everything is handled by solicitor's aka attorney's to a US folks.

The seller's solicitor sends out a draft contract to the buyer's solicitor who who then puts together a draft offer. With the draft the buyers and sellers agree on dates for the survey on the property, exchange of contracts and proposed date for completion.  There are no legal obligations until contracts are signed which means either party can drop out of the contract,

Once the contract has been signed by both parties the deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) is paid by the buyer's solicitor to the seller's solicitor. The completion date is then set by mutual agreement and the sale is complete with final exchange of contracts and the buyers mortgage approval.

Hopefully they will have a better selling experience than they did buying.  The couple buying their home will find a home that doesn't have rotted floor joists or "wonky" plumbing.  Now that they are skilled rennovators I think I'll put them to work on one of my investment properties...I"m sure they'll love that idea.

 

 

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                                   Real People*Real Lives*Real Estate

If you are interested in learning more about the Northern Virginia Real Estate market including Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William Counties give Cindy Jones and CJ Realty Group,  a call at 703-346-2213. 

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Comments 27 New Comment

Ambassador
1,772,804
Cindy Jones
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
CJ Realty Group, Inc.

Kathryn-I know across the US there are different norms for contracts.  In the UK it is the solicitors who handle the bulk of the process which on some days would be a welcome relief for me.

September 13, 2010 01:19 PM
Rainmaker
281,654
Carra Riley
CRB, CRS, GRI
Author, Speaker, Consultant, Carra Riley Inc.

Cindy....I have traveled to the UK numerous times and continue to be intrigued by their real estate practices.  Even though we complain at times about our system, it is far superior in my opinion. 

September 13, 2010 02:02 PM
Ambassador
2,272,410
Patricia Kennedy
For Your Home in the Capital
Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc.

Cindy, do they still have, what do they call it?  Gazumping?  Where up til settlement someone can kick out a buyer with a higher offer?  Or something like that.

September 13, 2010 10:38 PM
Ambassador
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Cindy Jones
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
CJ Realty Group, Inc.

Carra-we are fortunate to have at miniumum buyer agency to provide buyers protection.  Something my daughter and her husband could have used.

September 17, 2010 12:45 PM
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Cindy Jones
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
CJ Realty Group, Inc.

Pat-yes the dreaded Gazumping still exists.  Don't see it as a benefit for anuone as it would delay settlement for the seller to go back to square one.

September 17, 2010 12:46 PM
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Cindy Jones

Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
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