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Final reminders

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Don't take your home off the market for a buyer who has not exchanged contracts on their own home. Until this happens you have no guarantee whatsoever how long it will be before they are genuinely in a position to go through with the purchase of your property.

Similarly, don't exchange on a property you are buying until you have exchanged contracts on your existing home. If you do, then we have it on good authority that the old sod Murphy has decreed your buyer will pull out, the result being an expensive bridging loan for you to be able to buy your new home if you still decide to go ahead.

Whoever the buyers are and whatever their tastes, you have to remember that you are not going to be living with these people. Just because you are chic and sophisticated, it doesn't mean that you should do anything to hinder their plans for turning your (soon to be ex) home into a tacky mess of uncoordinated colours.

Personality conflict is said to be the primary cause of around 10 percent of broken down negotiations - don't allow yourself to be added to this statistic. Keep things civil even if you fail to keep your emotions separate from your negotiations. Being rude doesn't get you anywhere and is frankly just…rude.

So don't let your personality get in the way of negotiations. It doesn't really pay to be sentimental with your home. You may not like the buyer, but letting that obstruct proceedings could put the sale in jeopardy, and you never really know when another buyer is going to come along.

Sale agreed
Once you have agreed a price, it is a good idea to send a letter of confirmation to the buyer and to the estate agent. This shows everyone that you are on the ball and gives everyone involved a concrete reference of what is going on.

The letter should include details of the price that has been agreed and preliminary details of what items are to be included in the sale. You should also request details of the buyer's solicitor. Your agent may do this on your behalf, but there is no harm in you contacting the buyer directly if information seems to be slow in finding its way to you.

You also need to inform your own solicitor that you have agreed the sale and provide them with the buyer's name and address, the contact details for the estate agent for their records and when you receive the details yourself, the name and address of the buyer's solicitor. From here on in, your solicitor will become increasingly involved and in an ideal world, will be working hard with the buyer's solicitor to drive the sale forward.

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