Our Guide To Selling Your Property

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Simpson & Marwick & You


The Simpson & Marwick Way is our unique approach to selling your residential property. It’s how we help make the process as successful and streamlined as possible. First, we put you at the heart of everything we do. As a solicitor agent, we can handle both your estate agency and legal work in-house. We give you a dedicated Valuer, Sales Negotiator and Solicitor who are all on hand whenever you need them. And we offer quality, proactive advice and guidance at every stage until we’ve successfully sold for you. This handbook is just another way we make the process as straightforward and stress-free as possible. We are a team of like-minded people who care about you and your property sale. Simpson & Marwick & You

Contents First steps


Home Report


Marketing 05 Going live


Live on the market


Notes of Interest, Closing Date & Offers


Legal Work


What our clients say


We’ve created this guide to give you a complete overview of The Simpson & Marwick Way of selling property. We will keep you updated at every stage and we are here to give you all the help and advice you need. — Richard Loudon Property Partner Simpson & Marwick



First steps These steps are the things that you need to action or think about so we can progress the sale of your property. Anti-Money Laundering Regulations For private individuals, we need to see and take copies of: Passport (proof of ID) Driver’s licence (proof of address)

Title Deeds If we are carrying out the legal work of your sale, we need to obtain your Title Deeds as early as possible. Where are my Title Deeds?

We need these for each of the property owners to comply with Anti-money Laundering Regulations.

If you HAVE a mortgage, they will generally be held by your mortgage lender.

If you do not have a passport or driver’s licence, please let us know and we can discuss other acceptable documents.

You should contact your mortgage lender and ask them to send your Title Deeds to us.

For Companies, Partnerships, Trusts or Executries we need to understand the structure of the entity and then establish and verify the beneficial owners.

We also need a note of your mortgage lender’s details and account number.

If we cannot meet you face-to-face, we’re required to carry out enhanced due diligence which includes an online ID check.

Fixture & Fittings Think about moveable items which may or may not be included in the sale price e.g. carpets, curtains, blinds, light fittings and kitchen appliances. Are there any items that you would like to take with you which are fixed to the property?

If you DO NOT have a mortgage they may be with a previous solicitor or held by you.

Marketing Materials Re-read our marketing report and familiarise yourself with the advertising and brochure recommendations. We’ll need to confirm these in order to create your bespoke marketing campaign.

Viewing Arrangements Think about the viewing arrangements you’d like. We often recommend offering open viewing times (Sunday 2-4pm and sometimes Thursday 6-8pm or 7-9pm) and a telephone number for viewings by appointment. 02

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Home Report In 2008, Home Reports became a legal requirement for most properties listed for sale in Scotland. We’ll order one for you. Here’s all the information on how the process works. There are three parts to the Home Report: 1

Single Survey

This contains an assessment by the Surveyor on the condition of your property. It will detail any problems and how urgently they need to be repaired, and will also contain an accessibility audit for people with particular needs. This report also provides the valuation of your property.


Property Questionnaire

This is completed by you as seller of the property. It contains information about the property such as the council tax band, utility suppliers etc. that will be useful to buyers.


The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

This is an assessment of the energy efficiency of the property, its environmental impact and ways to improve its energy efficiency. It is completed by the Surveyor.

What happens and when?

We order your Home Report through the ESPC. You will receive an email asking for online payment. Once payment has been made the Surveyor will contact you to arrange a convenient time to visit. You will also receive an email asking you to complete the Property Questionnaire. The Surveyor will visit your property to complete the report – this visit will generally take an hour. You will be sent a draft copy of the Single Survey by email for your approval. Once you are happy with the Single Survey and EPC, please notify us and the Surveyor. The Single Survey, EPC and your completed Property Questionnaire will be combined into a Home Report, which will then be published.




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Marketing We will prepare all your marketing materials – the only input we need from you is your feedback and approval. Here’s what happens next.

Client Login

Photos, Floorplans & Video

A soon as you proceed with us, you’ll get access to your unique client login. This allows you to monitor the progress of your property whilst it is being prepared for market. Once live, the client login becomes your hub for all data relating to the sale, including viewings, notes of interest, website hits and brochure downloads.

Square Foot Media, our trusted supplier, will contact you directly to arrange a visit. Their visit will take between 1 – 2 hours depending on the size of the property. A video may require a separate visit. After their visit, we’ll send you links to the photos/video. Although the number of photos we can publish in the brochure is limited, we’re able to present a much wider selection online.

First steps to going live We need to: • Complete Anti-Money Laundering Regulations • Discuss marketing options with you • Agree fixtures and fittings to be included/ excluded

Marketing Text We will write the text for the marketing materials and send you an electronic draft of the brochure to make sure you’re happy with the property description and the photo choices. Once you’ve approved it, we’ll send it to print.


Marketing Costs We ask for payment of the initial marketing costs before the property goes live. We’ll send you a note of these and how to pay.

For Sale Board We aim to have your For Sale Board up the day your property goes live on the market, though in some cases it may be the following day – particularly if access is required.


Going live Once your marketing has been approved and the Home Report has been published, your property is ready to go live on the market. Here are the next steps.

Online Your property will appear on our own website and ESPC.com very quickly but it can take a bit longer* to feed to Rightmove, Boomin and OnTheMarket.


*If you decide to use ESPC Exclusive, your property will appear exclusively on our website, and ESPC.com 72 hours before appearing elsewhere online.

Your Sales Negotiator Whilst your Valuer will remain involved throughout your sale, at this point we will introduce you to your Sales Negotiator who will be on-hand to deal with enquiries from prospective buyers and will keep you updated with viewing feedback, interested parties and statistics of your property’s performance. You may also hear from our Viewing Co-ordinator who organises all of our appointment viewings.

Brochure Pack Once approved, the printed brochures are generally delivered to our offices within 24 hours. We’ll let you know when they are available for collection, or we can send them in the post. We will also deliver copies to the ESPC showroom on George Street. Viewing Sheets and Doorbell Stickers (for shared entrances) will be provided with your brochures.

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Live on the market When your property goes live, the length of the sale period – the part of the process until an offer is accepted – will depend on the level of interest from prospective purchasers and the course of action they take. Here’s what will happen during this time. Client Login

Viewings FAQs

You can get up-to-date information using your client login 24/7.

How do I deal with tricky questions? e.g. “How much are you looking for?” or “Would you accept an offer of £X?”

Advice and Feedback Your Sales Negotiator and Valuer will be on hand to deal with enquiries from potential buyers and to keep you regularly updated with viewing feedback and information on how your property is performing. They will also provide tactical advice as the campaign progresses.

Viewings If you’re conducting your own viewings, make sure you get the viewers to leave their contact details on the Viewing Sheet. We recommend you return Viewing Sheets to your Sales Negotiator as soon as possible following the open viewing so that we can follow everyone up.


In the event of questions like these, please politely ask the viewer to call us or let us know and we can contact them. We will answer on your behalf. What if I’m unable to cover some or all of my viewings? No problem. We can provide a professional viewing service for a modest fee. Please let us know if you require this as soon as possible. How is the asking price set? We normally set the Offers Over price around 5% lower than the Home Report Valuation to generate interest and competition. However, we anticipate receiving offers on the property in excess of the Home Report Valuation, and for properties in high demand this could be considerably more.



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Notes of Interest, Closing Date & Offers Buyers who are seriously interested in your property will ask their solicitor to note interest with us. We will advise you when we receive notes of interest and you will also be able to see it in your client login. 1 Setting a Closing Date If enough notes of interest are received, we will agree with you to set a closing date. We will then contact everyone who has noted interest or viewed your property to let them know of the closing date.

2 Offers Buyers who are still interested will submit written offers at the closing date. These offers are blind i.e. buyers don’t know what the other parties are bidding. An interested party may submit an offer at any stage before a closing date is set, even if there are other notes of interest. A negotiation can be entered into with this party and a sale agreed. This is not possible after a closing date has been set.

3 Offer Accepted You can decide to accept any offer received, which may not be the highest price. Many offers will be subject to conditions e.g. an additional survey or sale of another property. While these conditions are being met, as the seller, you generally don’t negotiate with another party or carry out any further viewings.


Survey Conditions When an offer is subject to survey it is sometimes because the buyer wishes to have their own survey carried out. However, more often than not, it is because the purchaser does not yet know if their lender will accept the Home Report or requires their own survey to be carried out. If the Home Report is more than 12 weeks old (from the date the inspection took place) by the time an offer is accepted or, in some cases, the date of mortgage approval, the purchaser is entitled to ask for the Home Report to be refreshed at the seller’s expense. The refresh cost is 25% of the original Home Report cost.

4 Under Offer Once conditions are met an offer is considered ‘unconditional’ and the property is formally shown as Under Offer.

5 Meet Your Solicitor If we’re carrying out the legal element of your sale, we will introduce you to your Solicitor. We’ll also email you a Conveyancing Questionnaire that we ask you to complete as soon as you can in order to speed up the process of concluding missives. If you are using another firm of solicitors, please provide us with their contact details as soon as possible and also ensure that they have ordered your title deeds. 09

Legal Work Every property transaction is unique. While the steps below provide a general overview of the legal sale process, the timescale and sequence of events may change.

1 Handover

4 Issue Written Acceptance of Offer

Once an offer has been negotiated and verbally accepted by your Sales Negotiator, the file will be passed to your Solicitor. Your Sales Negotiator will keep you informed of progress and let you know when the file is being passed over. Each of our Solicitors also has a Paralegal supporting them.

Whilst the offer has already been accepted verbally, your Solicitor will now formally accept the offer by sending a Qualified Acceptance letter on your behalf to the purchaser’s solicitor, having taken your detailed instructions.

2 Review Title Deeds and Alteration Paperwork Your Solicitor will review the title deeds that should hopefully already be with us, together with any alteration paperwork and specialist work guarantees. They will also look over the Home Report.

3 Take Instruction for Qualified Acceptance This is the most significant part of the legal sale process and generally requires a detailed conversation between you and your Solicitor. Your Solicitor will talk you through all of the terms and conditions of the offer and go over your completed Conveyancing Questionnaire.


5 Contract Concluded Also referred to as the Conclusion of Missives, the contract is concluded once all of the terms and conditions of the offer have been agreed. At this stage there is a binding contract. You do not need to sign anything; your Solicitor will do this on your behalf having taken your instructions. It is extremely unlikely that your purchaser will conclude missives until they have received their formal offer of loan from their lender (if lending is involved). The timing of this part of the process can therefore range significantly. Other factors, such as the purchaser concluding missives on their sale, may also have an impact. Once the contract has been concluded, the purchaser is entitled to up to two visits to the property e.g. to measure up for curtains/ furniture. Removal firm arrangements can also be finalised at this time.

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6 Searches

9 Settlement

Your Solicitor will carry out a number of searches before the property is transferred to the new owner. These searches check that there are no issues affecting either the property or the parties involved that would prevent the sale concluding smoothly. A Coal Authority Search may also be required, depending on the location of the property.

The transaction is then settled/completed in the vast majority of cases on the agreed date of entry. Payment is made by the purchasing Solicitor for the sale price and keys are released to the new owner. It is useful if you provide us with a set of keys as early as possible.

7 Titles The title deeds are sent to the purchaser’s solicitor for checking.

8 Disposition This is the title deed that transfers ownership of the property from you to the new owner. The disposition is prepared by the purchaser’s Solicitor and then checked by your Solicitor. It must be signed by all selling parties, so it is generally prepared in advance. If you do not live locally, the disposition may be emailed to you, signed and couriered back to us.


In advance of the date of settlement, you will be advised of your mortgage repayment figure (if applicable). This is then repaid by your Solicitor and the remaining sale proceeds, less the costs of sale, are sent to your bank account.

When preparing for your move, don’t forget to: • Book a removal firm • Read the meters before you leave the property • Pack a bag of new house essentials e.g. tea bags, toilet rolls • Cancel the telephone/internet connections • Switch Utility Services • Re-direct mail • Tell everyone: Doctor, Bank, DVLA, TV Licence


What our clients say Thank you to all at Simpson & Marwick for making the sale of our late parents’ home such a smooth and stress-free process. Not only was it stress free but we were also delighted with the price and such lovely buyers. Both the estate agency and legal teams were incredibly professional throughout. Their friendly, caring and empathetic approach was so refreshing and greatly appreciated. Communication was exceptional and the systems in place are user friendly and informative. The client log in really is amazing. We would certainly recommend Simpson & Marwick to anyone selling a property. — M MacNaughton, Dec 2021


I cannot rate Simpson & Marwick highly enough. Throughout the entire selling process they offered a professional, courteous, and first class service from start to finish. Every member of the team was a pleasure to deal with. Would have no hesitation in recommending. Absolutely five star. — H MacTaggart, June 2021

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23 Alva Street Edinburgh EH2 4PS

88 High Street North Berwick EH39 4HE

0131 581 5700

01620 892000



Your Property | Our People | SOLD