FAQ

Sales

What measures have been put in place for viewing properties? 

Booking your appointment 

  • Prior to requesting an appointment, you should, where possible, have already undertaken a virtual viewing in order to help avoid unnecessary appointments.
  • When making an appointment you will be asked if you or any of your household has shown symptoms of Covid-19 or has tested positive in the last 14 days. If yes then we will not be able to proceed with the appointment at that time but can be rebooked 14 days later.
  • Property viewings can take place as long as no more than three people are in the property at one time and anti-corona virus measures are taken. This is inclusive of the estate agent. This means it maybe agreed that the seller will wait outside of the property at a safe distance to allow two potential buyers and an agent to conduct the viewing. Or it will be the seller and one potential buyer and an agent.

The Appointment 

  • If the estate agent, or any member of either the household being viewed, or the household viewing, shows symptoms of COVID-19 or is self-isolating, then the property viewing should be delayed.
  • A face covering must be worn when meeting the estate agent, entering any household and the viewing until the viewing has finished completely with the estate agent.
  • From arrival at the property, a 2m distance should be maintained between all persons.
  • Please avoid touching door handles, light switches and other surfaces wherever possible.
  • Keys to a property should be appropriately cleaned before being handed over.

How will you market my property during this time? 

This is one of the things that has not changed significantly. We will make sure that your property appears on the number one property portal Zoopla and it will also be marketed across a range of partner sites including Prime Location, Mail Online, The Times and The Telegraph. Your property will also appear on our website. Remember that 90% of people start their house search online and with more people at home this may well increase. We still have new buyers registering with us every day and we are carrying out viewings in a safe and socially distanced way.

Can I get a valuation and find out how much my property could sell for? 

We can offer a FREE Sales or Letting Valuation and Comparable Reports with NO obligations.

We have a Zoopla valuation tool that provides free house price estimates to those seeking an instant valuation. You will receive an instant sales and rental estimate, within a range. These reports are based on the latest market conditions and that show you what’s on the market now. We can also offer a property consultation to visit and evaluate the condition and discuss a price we could achieve if you chose to put your property on the market with us.

What is included in my selling fees? 

Fees are calculated as a percentage (%) of the sale price achieved as a flat fee at the prevailing rate.

For all Sole Agency instructions, this percentage is at a rate of 1.2% flat fee.

For all Multiple Agency instructions, this percentage is at a rate of 1.7% flat fee.

The Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) is not included in our fee. It is a legal requirement to have an EPC before marketing can commence on your property. We can arrange this for you at a cost of £80.00 Flat Fee (Based on 1-3-bedroom properties).

How long am I tied in for? 

Our tie in period is 16 weeks.

How long will you market my house for? 

We will market your property for as long as it takes to sell. Along the way we can make changes to the marketing to keep it fresh and to get new buyers interested. You will only pay us once we have sold it and the sale has completed.

What happens if I do not sell my property? 

Should your property be on the market longer than expected, we will help you review your options and conduct a full marketing review of your property every month. We look at everything such as all of your previous viewings and feedback, ways to boost your viewings and we will re-evaluate the local market including details of what is selling in the area.

Are there any fees to pay if the property doesn’t sell? 

No, our terms are No Sale, No Fee! Our commission is paid upon completion once the monies have cleared with the solicitors.
If you choose to buy our marketing package, we charge this cost upfront which covers the best marketing package for your property. This is refundable upon completion of your property being sold. We invoice your solicitor, so your initial out costs are refunded once completed.
If you choose to leave us after our tie in period of 16 weeks, the cost of the marketing package is not refundable. Though at NO Additional Cost, you will have the right to have the copies of the Professional Photography, Floor Plans and Energy Performance Certificate.

Can I change estate agency after signing a contract?

You have the right to cancel the agreement under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 within 14 calendar days from the date upon which the agreement was signed and confirmed that you appointed Smart Properties & Investments Limited to commence marketing the property.

Instructions are a minimum contract period of 16 weeks. Either party may terminate such a contract by giving 28 days’ notice in writing and must email to sales.smartproperties@gmail.com. Such notice cannot be served less than 28 days prior to the end of the minimum term period of instruction.

Can I instruct another estate agent? 

Although, working with just one is the most common choice, it’s up to you how many estate agents you want to work with. It’s perfectly legitimate to work with one, two, or even more agents, when you’re selling, as long as the terms of your estate agent agreement allows it.
If you want to work with just one agent, you’ll likely sign what’s called a ‘sole agency’ agreement. Sole agency agreements are the most common form of estate agent contract in the UK. But, once the contractual period has ended, you can go on to work with whoever you want to (if you haven’t already sold your house). Some people choose to work with a sole agent initially, and then multiple agents once the contract term has ended.

Will I have any future liability if I take my home off the market and sell with another agent at a later date?

For an estate agent to be entitled to commission on the sale of a property, they must show they are the effective cause of sale. Disputes often arise where agents who have introduced a property to the buyer believe the sale is theirs to claim. However, introducing the buyer to the property does not necessarily demonstrate an effective cause.
Determining the cause of sale will always involve the terms of the agency agreement and the actual events of introduction, negotiations, offers and acceptance. So ensure you read your contract carefully to understand what continuing liability you might be signing up to beyond the term of your contract.

Should I put my property purchase on hold at this time?

There is no reason to put your property purchase on hold at this time, in fact as well as seeing a demand in sales the latest data from Zoopla shows that the housing market remains strong at this time.

Our local property experts will always be here to go the extra mile to ensure that your purchase is successful.

If the chain collapses in my sale due to the issues we are facing, what will happen?

We are experts at progressing sales and managing property chains and we will still proceed with your sale, liaising with all the key parties. In the unfortunate event that your sale does fall through, we will work with you on a plan for your property and your circumstances.

How long does it take to buy a home?

In England and Wales the conveyancing process normally takes less than 3 months, but it can be delayed because of a number of different reasons.
For example, the process can take longer if you are:

  • Part of a chain
  • Buying a New Build
  • Having issues with your mortgage lender

However, you should expect the legal conveyancing process to take longer due to COVID-19.

Do you ever release my personal contact details or information?

We will not share any of your personal details without your prior consent and any personal paperwork will be either shredded and disposed of or returned to you (we reserve the right to hold electronic copies of ‘non sensitive’ personal information on file for our use only).

Lettings

What does the Letting Agent do?

The agents Client is the landlord. Therefore, their powers are limited in helping you.  You can rely on a professional letting agent taking any of your concerns seriously during the tenancy and advising the landlord if they are being unreasonable. The agent has a professional obligation and duty of care to the tenant. A professional agent should not undertake to let any property that is unsafe (doesn’t conform to safety regulations) or overpriced and would also support the tenants’ viewpoint if they believe them to be valid and lawful.

Will I have any contact with the Landlord or will the Agent handle all matters?

The letting agent will deal with the property viewings, references, agreements and assisting you through the moving process. The contact then depends on which service the agent is acting on behalf of the landlord for. If the landlord takes the Let Only option all correspondence with the agent after “move in ” is ended apart from any advice needed. Rent Processing is the same but the agent will collect the rent from the tenant and pass on to the landlord. With the management service the tenant will deal on all matters via the agent who will have a dedicated “management department” to deal with all relevant issues and queries.

What is included in my letting fees?

All fees are a percentage (%) of the gross rental income for the term of the tenancy contract agreed.
For our Standard Letting Service we charge 6% Flat Fee.
For our Letting and Rent Collection Service we charge 8.5% Flat Fee.
For our Management Service we charge 12% Flat Fee.
It is a legal requirement to have an EPC, Gas Certificate and an EICR certificate before marketing can commence on your property. We can arrange this for you at additional cost.
Please visit our website here to view more information about our letting fees:
https://smartpropertiesandinvestments.com/lettings/our-fees/

How long do I have to rent for?

Most tenancy agreements are for a six- or twelve-month period. However, some landlords may consider shorter terms.

How do I pay my rent?

Rent is payable in advance for each tenancy. You will therefore need to pay, as a minimum, the first month’s rent prior to the commencement of your tenancy.

Rent/Deposit Account Details (Rent due the 1st of every month)
Smart Properties & Investments Limited
Sort Code: 20-71-75
Account Number: 93353613
Please reference your bank transfers accordingly:
Addington RD (Your Initials) For example, Addington RD SS Rent or Deposit.

Does my rent include the cost of utilities?

Your Tenancy Agreement should state if the rent includes any utility costs and if so what costs exactly are included.

Where the Landlord does not carry out repair works, can I stop paying the rent?

This tactic is not permitted because you would be in breach of the tenancy agreement and the landlord could take you to court. However, it would be worth taking advice if an important repair is needed. A tenant should not stop paying the rent until they are satisfied that the delay is due to the landlord and not on the part of the agent. We ask for repairs to be reported in writing – this avoids ambiguity.

What do I do if I break or damage something at the property?

The tenant is responsible for any damage they or their guests have caused.
You will need to report the damage as soon as possible to our office on 02033182453. We will evaluate the damage caused and confirm whether it was due to wear and tear or not. The sooner you update the office, the sooner we can provide a repair service if required. Your deposit will be used at the end of the tenancy if any damage has been left to be rectified.

What if I need to move out before the end of my lease?

Yes, you can move out before your lease ends. In the event that you wish to leave your contract early, you will be required to pay the landlord’s costs in reletting the property as well as all rent, council tax and utilities due under the tenancy until the start date of the replacement tenancy. The costs will be no more than the maximum amount of rent outstanding on the tenancy.

What happens if the owner of the property I am renting decides to sell?

According to the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, the owner of the property has the right to sell the property at any time however they cannot ask you to vacate the property until the completion of your lease.

Just because the property is being sold does not necessarily mean that you will be asked to vacate the property at the completion of your lease.  Often rental properties will be purchased by investors who wish to continue leasing the property so you may be able to continue living at the property as you have done, the only thing that’s changes is the landlord.

What is a final inspection and how does it work?

At the end of the Tenancy you will be invited to attend a check-out process which will be arranged by us. The check-out process will comprise a full inspection of the Property and its Contents and an opportunity to take meter readings. Any items missing, damaged or otherwise in a different state to their condition at the check-in will be recorded. You are strongly encouraged to be present at this process as best practice. This will give you the opportunity to dispute or explain any deficiencies or defects discovered at the check-out or to take any immediate remedial action by negotiation with us or our Agent.

How often will you inspect the property?

You will have to permit us reasonable access to the property for any authorised purpose where you have been given 24 hours notice, or access is required urgently for the purpose of carrying out work on the property or inspecting the property.

 

 

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