Thursday, 30 October 2014

A Quick Guide To Selling Your Home

Many people have questions about the processes involved in selling their home or the jargon that is used. As independent property experts in Huddersfield we have created a quick guide to answer some of the most common questions.

The first steps:

It goes without saying that the first thing you need to do, in order for you to sell your house is put the property on the 'open market' for people to view. To do this  you need to have it valued. Getting an accurate valuation is key to a sale at the best price in the shortest time; over-egg it and you won't get any viewings and may have to reduce your price, under value it and you lose money - either way you can be left disappointed having wasted time and money. Using a RICS surveyor like Chris Jowett to value your home will help you correctly position your home to the market and maximise your chances of a successful sale.

With your valuation done, and if you are happy with everything, you will be asked to sign a service agreement which instructs the agent to act on your behalf in selling your property. Once signed your property will be put on the open market.

All viewings will be coordinated with you; you have the option of having an accompanied viewing where we attend with the prospective buyer or if you prefer you can show the potential purchaser around the property yourself. Having us at your viewing means we can help listen for buying signals and objections, develop a relationship with the buyer and talk objectively about their plans for a property without being emotionally attached to it.

When you receive an offer for your home:

We will aim to get the best possible price for your property at all times. If there are multiple offers then we will give you the best advice based on our assessment of each individual buyers’ circumstances and how quickly you will need to move.

We will establish whether the proposed purchaser has enough money available to buy your home. If necessary we will introduce the buyer to an independent Mortgage Advisor who will be able to help them arrange a mortgage. 

If you decide to accept an offer we will pass on your decision to the person who made the offer, alternatively we will act as negotiator on your behalf. We have over 35 years' experience of such dealings that can't be learnt on a two day estate agency course!

When you accept an offer:

If at this point you have not appointed a solicitor/conveyancer now is the time to do so. If you require help we are always happy to recommend one whom we trust.

At this point you must decide whether or not you wish us to continue marketing your property - we will advise you on any issues that may affect your decision. 

Once the buyer is clear to proceed, we will advise all parties concerned by sending them a 'memorandum of sale'. Your property will now be treated as Sold Subject To Contract.

If your buyer requires a mortgage (which is so often the case), we will advise you if their surveyor needs to carry out a survey on your home. The application process generally takes 14 days so it will be at least this length of time before a survey is carried out. In the meantime if we are continuing to market your property we will let you know if there are any new or revised offers.

Your solicitor/conveyancer will talk to you about the legal process. We will chase legal teams for you as and when necessary and we will keep you regularly updated with the progress of your sale, liaising with all parties to make sure the sale proceeds smoothly.

Please remember that an agreement to purchase does not constitute a contract and at this stage; either you or the buyer can still withdraw from the sale.

When the sale becomes binding:

When the solicitor/conveyancers have carried out all the necessary checks and documentation, they will agree to 'exchange contracts'.

Your sale is now legally binding and a mutual date will be set for 'completion', this is the date by which you must have vacated your property.
During this period Jowett will:

  • Liaise with all parties to finalise the completion date
  • Organise the handover of keys
  • Arrange to remove all marketing material, including our For Sale board, and inform other interested parties that your property has been sold
We hope that our guide has been helpful for you! 

For more expert advise call Jowett Chartered Surveyors & Estate Agents on 01484 536799. Or arrange for a free valuation to find out how much your Huddersfield home is worth.

10 Step Guide for Tenants

Renting a home is not always as straightforward as it sounds and we at Jowett Chartered Surveyors & Estate Agents understand that. We have assembled this handy guide for tenants to help you get the home you want and what to expect whilst living there.


The homes we manage are (in most cases) either the landlord's own home that they need/want to rent out for a period of time or properties that have been bought specifically as an investment for the rental market. Both landlord and tenant have obligations to meet when they enter a tenancy agreement.

Private landlords are usually looking for tenants to rent for a period of 6 months to several years, at the end of which they either return to occupy their home themselves or put the property on the market to sell.

Investment landlords hope to achieve continuous renting of their properties, either with a succession of shorter tenancies or one long period of occupation.

In each case the owner/landlord has asked us to act on their behalf in their absence and to seek suitable tenants who will be happy in their new home.


First of all you need to find a home that you'd like to rent. Take a look at our selection of rental properties HERE. We check all our rental properties carefully to ensure they are safe and habitable and ask all our landlords to meet our standards.

Having viewed a property and decided you'd like to rent it we need you to complete a 'referencing form', which will then be processed to verify the information you've provided. 

Regrettably simply by submitting the referencing application does not in itself guarantee you the tenancy. A final decision as to whether or not a tenancy can proceed will depend on responses received and the decision of  the landlord.
  • You will be required to provide personal details ranging from name and address to occupation and salary
  • You will be asked to provide financial, employer and sometimes character references as we can only agree to a tenancy subject to satisfactory replies from those referees
  • Our investigations will also include a credit check search of the credit registers to establish your financial credibility and contacting your previous landlord / agent if you were previously a tenant
  • These are standard routine procedures taken to protect all parties.

If you have County Court Judgements (CCJs) registered against you it may unfortunately prove impossible to grant you a tenancy, unless satisfactory evidence of the clearance of any debt is produced, prior to starting the tenancy.

Should you be unable to provide satisfactory references or credit checks you may still be offered a tenancy subject to a satisfactory guarantor being provided (someone else to guarantee to make the rental payments if you can't). The guarantor will also need to provide satisfactory references and credit checks.

Given satisfactory replies to all the above you should be offered the tenancy of the property. You'll need to agree to the terms of the agreement, payment of the deposit and the agreed advanced rent. The landlord’s agreement to the tenancy is also needed.

IDENTIFICATION: To support your application you will need to provide two forms of identification. These could be a birth certificate, full driving licence, full 10 year passport or new style National Insurance card.


A security deposit is required for all tenancies and is equal to one month's rent + £100. This deposit is in addition to the advanced rent payment required.

If you want to pay the rent and deposit by cheque we must have at least 7 banking days to allow for clearance. Alternatively you may pay by cash, bankers draft or debit card, if that facility is available.

The deposit you pay acts as security to ensure you meet your obligations as a tenant under the agreement. Your deposit will be returned to you at the end of the tenancy term without added interest and subject to any deductions that may be necessary to compensate the landlord for any breach of the tenancy agreement e.g. damage.

Please note that the same security deposit is required from Housing Benefit  tenants. Should the property be covered by the Bond Board and you wish to apply for a bond, we MUST have confirmation in writing that this has been agreed before the tenancy can commence.


When you rent a property an inventory (that you sign) is taken of everything in the house and the state of the property when the agreement commences. Should we need to replace items on the inventory that have been broken or gone missing, or clean the house at the end of the tenancy, or if there has been a breach of the tenancy agreement, the return of your deposit will be delayed until all items are valued and replaced / cleaned. In any case we will aim to return your deposit within 28 working days.

Damage and breakage of the landlord's fixtures, fittings and effects, lost inventory items etc, which occur during the period of the tenancy will incur deductions from your deposit. It is important, therefore, that you look after the property during the tenancy and take the utmost care to inspect the property and its fixtures and fittings at the outset. 

This inventory / statement of condition will then form the basis of assessment of the property's condition at the end of the tenancy term. Fair wear and tear will obviously be taken into consideration. Damages that occur will be charged to your account, as will invoices from contractors employed to undertake necessary repairs or replace any items.


You are responsible for the payment of all utilities (gas, electricity, water etc) during the tenancy and for the payment of final bills.
You are required by law to inform the Council Tax Register of your change of address and pay the appropriate council tax.


Before you sign for a tenancy you will be given a copy of the tenancy agreement and any appropriate notices. Read these carefully and ask us questions if you are unsure of any point.

During the tenancy term you have the right to enjoy the property without interruption provided that you abide by the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement. However we, as agents for the landlord, have an obligation under our contract with the landlord to inspect the property at regular intervals. We usually do this at approximately 3 monthly intervals but will do so more frequently if deemed necessary. We will write to you to make a mutually convenient arrangement prior to such a visit.


Inspection of the premises is primarily undertaken to ensure that you are observing the conditions of the tenancy agreement, though this is not the only reason.

It also gives you the opportunity to discuss with us any problem that you might be experiencing relating to the property and for us to consider repairs/decorations etc before they become a major concern. 

If however you experience any problems of maintenance or repair at any time please notify us immediately and we will do our best to get it sorted. We have a number of trades people available to ensure that delays are minimised and that you can continue enjoying life in your home with minimal disruption.


For unusually high rental values, under the Stamp Act 1891, there may be a liability on you as the tenant to have the agreement stamped. In these cases, you are advised to seek independent advice. We will let you now if this applies to you.


We will help you set up the correct payment for your rent, which needs to be paid direct to Jowett Chartered Surveyors & Estate Agents by the due date each month. The method of payment is by standing order only from your bank, which needs to be set up 3 days in advance of the due date to allow for clearance through the banking system.
Where there are a number of occupiers sharing accommodation each person is jointly and severally liable to pay the rent as tenant and will need to pay the rent as a whole. It is important to realise that each tenant is jointly and severally responsible for the whole rent as  it means you are equally liable for the non-payment of rent by one of your co-tenants, should they fail to pay.


When its time to leave preparations should be made to hand the property back to us on the due date. You'll need to arrange readings of utility meters and ensure that the authorities have your forwarding address for the payment of all invoices raised. 

In no circumstances should you allow the authorities to disconnect supplies. The authorities should be informed that the managing agent will contact them when the property is handed over and provide details of the new account holder. This may be the owner or a new tenant.

Inventory items should be placed in their respective rooms to facilitate easy checking on handing over. Read carefully the inventory/statement of condition, clean curtains and carpets etc if required and generally prepare the property for the final inspection. Liaise with us and arrange a convenient time for handing over the premises. We can advise of local trades people who will carry out all cleaning/preparation at a most competitive rate.

Once checking has been completed and deductions
 (if any) from your deposit have been agreed, the deposit or balance of deposit will be returned to you.


These notes are intended to provide only a summary to assist you to understand your obligations when you wish to rent a property from a private landlord. It is not our intention to give an authoritative interpretation of the law. 

Please do not hesitate to call, visit or e-mail us at any stage prior to or during your tenancy if you wish to clarify any details.

We hope that this guide has been helpful and insightful!

For more expert advise call Jowett Chartered Surveyors & Estate Agents on 01484 536799. Or if you would like to see our selection of rental properties in Huddersfield  take a look at our website; 

The Property Misdescriptions Act 1991 and how it affects you

At Jowett Chartered Surveyors & Estate Agents we often get questions about The Property Misdescriptions Act, what it stands for and how it helps us to better represent you. 

To help you understand the Act we have assembled this quick guide!


The description of your property, which we give to potential buyers, is crucial in helping them to decide whether they want to buy your house.

The more complete the information, the more chance you have of making a quicker sale.

The Property Misdescriptions Act of 1991 was introduced to make sure that the information sellers provide about their property is truthful and accurate.

In short, it says that everything that is said or written by an estate agent must be true and that the public must be able to rely on estate agents’ information without asking for further proof.

It is an offence for estate agents to make a false or misleading statement about property, whether verbally, in writing, pictorially or by omission.

We rely on you our vendors to provide us with precise and accurate information for our property descriptions, including improvements and alterations, the availability and nature of services, such as gas, electricity and drainage, the working order of equipment, the precise tenure, or extent of your ownership.

We may therefore ask you, or your solicitor/conveyancer, for documents which prove details about your property.

We also ask that you tell us immediately if there are any changes to your property as this means that we must amend the sales description.

If we cannot verify information or obtain verification we may not be able to include it in the property description or advertisements.

Jowett Chartered Surveyors & Estate Agents fully supports the Act and is a member of The Property Ombudsman Scheme for Estate Agents.

I you would like to discuss anything to do with the Act or our commitment to fair property descriptions please contact our office.

With your help and honesty we will promote your property to its fullest extent, ensuring that all descriptions are accurate, realistic and reliable. 

You can read  the full Act HERE.

We hope this has proven insightful for you!

For more expert advise call Jowett Chartered Surveyors & Estate Agents on 01484 536799. Or arrange for a free valuation to find out how much your Huddersfield home is worth.