The most rewarding part of my job as Managing Director is encouraging and developing my team and watching as they reach their full potential both individually and together. I also thoroughly enjoy welcoming past and new customers to the business.
I love my job when we hand the keys over to the new buyers, knowing that we have found them their ideal home, and when my clients selling thank me when we have managed to get them moved.
The biggest satisfaction I get from my job is helping buyers find their dream home, using my knowledge and experience to make the move possible.
I love being part of a fun and dynamic team, it truly feels like family. One lovely part of working for Oasis is seeing past clients come back to the business on the next step of their property journey.
I enjoy building strong relationships with both the team and clients and love working for a local family business.
Happiness is finding the perfect property for a buyer!
My role offers me ongoing challenges which I enjoy overcoming with the assistance of great teamwork throughout the office.
I love being part of a team that all share the same vision of offering outstanding customer service.
Seeing a person’s eyes light up and watching them imagine themselves moving in is a very heart-warming feeling. I never get tired of that.
I love helping people through major milestones, moving is a big part of people’s lives and I love how I can help people through that stressful period. I also love how every day isn’t the same and how rewarding it is to get people into their dream homes.
AT OASIS, OUR AIM IS TO MAKE THE PROCESS OF SELLING YOUR HOME AS SIMPLE, RAPID AND STRESS-FREE AS POSSIBLE, ACHIEVING THE VERY BEST PRICE FOR YOU
The first stage of the process of Selling Your Home is to establish a carefully considered and realistic valuation of your home, cross-checked against comparable properties, that reflects the market conditions. This is where the depth and breadth of our comprehensive local knowledge really comes into play.
We will then work with you to create a bespoke marketing strategy, showcasing your property in colour brochures and advertorials, in local and regional advertising, on our website, in the videocasts and across the leading national and international property websites and social media channels. In fact, because we worked out a long time ago the increasing importance of Selling Your Home online to the estate agency business, we were pioneers in the area in having a website that’s been specifically optimised (sorry for the jargon!) to make it easy for prospective purchasers to view properties not just on PCs but also on tablets and smartphones. Buyers can even arrange viewings straight from our website.
We recommend our Oasis Bespoke solution where listing the property on the online portals is the final phase. We have strong relationships with the most motivated buyers in the area which allows us to introduce your home to the most serious buyers and create real competition, withholding from listing on the property portals. This method gives control back to you as the vendor and us as an agent, allowing us to achieve a premium sale price, as we know from experience that buyers pay a premium in order to secure a sale before it enters the open market.
Another element that makes Oasis different is our unique ‘pooled commission policy’. This ensures that throughout the selling process, not only will you have a dedicated contact at Oasis managing your property, but the whole team will also have been briefed on your details to enable them to offer complete support when selling your home.
This support extends to pre-qualifying each and every applicant before we even send out the details of your property, in order to weed out time-wasters. And if appropriate, that same team will be responsible for organising a ‘launch event day’ to concentrate interest in your property.
From leading in negotiations with purchasers, dealing with surveyors, and our dedicated team of move managers who deal with solicitors and lenders, you can also rest assured that Oasis will be managing your sale smoothly, efficiently and professionally.
Many potential buyers will decide whether or not to view your property based on the photographs they see online and your property particulars, so we will always try to present your home in its best possible light.
We are frequently asked for hints and tips and have created the following guide to showing off your home. It is a guide only. We appreciate that it is not always possible to carry out some activities prior to the shooting of photographs, so we will always help you on the day of the shoot.
If you are looking to up-size (or down-size!) locally, let us know as we may have something on our Property Selling Register which might be suitable that we can arrange for you to view. If you are looking further afield, we can recommend an associate member from the Guild of Professional Estate Agents. Sadly, we know that not all decisions to sell are made out of choice, so making us aware of any sensitive issues is advisable. It may surprise you to know that whilst we are obviously keen to sell your home, if we think you are better advised not doing so, we will do the right thing and tell you.
Something else you can’t expect if you use an online estate agency site to sell your home… discretion. There may be any number of reasons why you’d prefer the fact that you’re considering Property Selling to remain quiet, in which case you don’t want your house details broadcast for everyone on the internet to see. Perhaps you’re avoiding the prying questions of nosy neighbours or involved in a family dispute… whatever your reason for demanding a low-key approach to selling your property, you can rely on OASiS to respect your privacy and to pursue your sale through other routes, for instance, ‘the whisper market’ (see below).
When you call us to arrange a market appraisal, the more information you can give us the better, including style of property, number of different rooms, any extensions, recent improvements, size of garden, garages or off-street parking, freehold or leasehold (length of lease). At the market appraisal, we will try and bring a couple of the team to offer two perspectives (click here for more information on how we value your home) and explain our standard terms of appointment.
Once you are happy with the valuation, you will need to decide on the selling package that’s right for you and whether you will follow a sole agency or a dual agency strategy for the marketing of your home. We highly recommend following a sole agency strategy as a dual agency approach can ‘overexpose’ your home and make you look desperate to potential buyers. Like most agents, we prefer to work as your sole agents; however, we can work on a multi-agency and partner agency basis at a higher commission rate.
Your legal representative can be crucial to the success (and to minimising the stress) of the selling process, so choosing the right one is crucial. It is advisable to appoint one as early in the process as possible so you have time to make an informed decision once an acceptable offer is received. Unless you have chosen a special product such as OASiS’ own ‘Contract Ready’ conveyancing package, you only instruct them to work on your behalf once an offer is agreed.
The use of ‘For Sale’ boards goes back many years, and despite the increasing prevalence of online property websites, they are still important as a marketing tool. There are many occasions when a buyer has stated that they will only buy in a certain area, and had the board not alerted them to the property being available, they would have otherwise missed it. We do, however, appreciate that discretion is required on occasions and will work with our sellers on this area.
A crucial part of our offering at OASiS is our involvement in something we like to call ‘the whisper market’. It’s a specific area of expertise that only comes from years of hard-earned experience in a specific local area… and as such, it’s a powerful and unique bit of ‘added value’ that the cleverest algorithm on any online Property Selling website can never deliver.
Quite simply, for more than a decade, we’ve been building our own database of satisfied customers who’ve sold, bought, let and rented through OASiS. They’ve become friends of the business, and we like to keep in touch with our friends. So we hear in advance when customers’ interest in the property market is about to re-awaken. Perhaps they’re about to sell a property, but are demanding discretion. Perhaps they want to move back into our area. It might be that they’re waiting to move house, but only when the right property becomes available. So when we talk about ‘the whisper market’, we’re talking about a huge and potent wealth of potential customers whom the online estate agents will never even hear from… but to whom we’ve never stopped talking!
We will usually arrange for two team members to visit your property and prepare your marketing details. These will form the basis of your brochure and the content which features online, both on our website and other portals. We pride ourselves on our photography and will work with you to present your home in its best possible light. Before we arrive, it is worth clicking on our Hints & Tips as to how best to present your home. Beyond the basic property, if there is anything particularly special about your home that will help make it more saleable (e.g. the history of the property), please let us know. Once you are happy with your property details, we will be in a position to launch your home to the market.
This is a legal requirement for the sale of every property in the UK and must be carried out before a property can be officially marketed. OASiS can organise this for you, although you can appoint your own Energy Assessor if you wish.
At the point of instruction, we will ask you to complete a PIQ. This will contain a lot of information which will be useful to us during the selling process. It will include factual questions such as current utility suppliers and a basic fixtures and fittings list, as well as more qualitative ‘emotional & lifestyle’ questions such as what you love about your home and what you have enjoyed about living there.
When we bring prospective purchasers to view your property, we will also have screened them (to weed out the timewasters!) and qualified them as serious potential buyers. We take care to gain important insights into where the buyers currently are in the decision-making process, gleaning information about such topics as their reasons for moving, the number of properties they’ve already seen and – crucially – how they will be financing their purchase.
This will be discussed at your market appraisal as a really good way of making sure that our appraisal is correct and also helping to fine-tune the way we present your property. Pre-launch Trialists are a select number of active buyers on our database who have viewed other similar properties and can, therefore, give us a valuable market insight into your property; they could also be your hottest potential buyers!
The full launch involves going live to the internet and social media channels with your property details. If you are an active member of any of these channels, we will ask you to ‘like’ or retweet your own details to give further momentum. We will also email your property details to all the active applicants on our extensive database of pre-registered approved buyers and follow this up with a subsequent phone out to the hottest prospects.
Did you know that, statistically, the ‘hit’ rate for converting accompanied viewings into sales is something like 1 sale per 10 viewings? But when sellers conduct viewings on their own without the assistance of a professional negotiator, that rate plummets to something like 1 sale per 44 viewings! For that reason, we pride ourselves on always sending a knowledgeable member of the team out to accompany all of our applicant viewings. We will endeavour to bring all viewing guides to your property prior to the market launch so that they’ve met you and are familiar with your home. We are delighted that our team are all local experts with personal buying and selling experience and tend to be that much more mature than the standard agent! They will also attend with the Property Information Questionnaire you’ve supplied, giving them access to a wealth of information beyond the standard property brochure.
Remember, this attention to detail and superior ‘one to one’ customer service is something you simply don’t get from online estate agents – nor, indeed, from the vast majority of our traditional competitors! – but it’s another area where OASiS is proud to be refreshingly different.
It is our intention to provide you with feedback from your viewings as quickly as possible, usually with 24 hours of the appointment. On a weekly basis, we will email you (or post if you prefer) an activity report based on the previous week’s marketing activity.
All offers received on your property will go through a stringent process of due diligence. This will include checking the applicant’s ability to finance the purchase, and if they are themselves selling or involved in a chain, we will assess the position of these associated buyers and sellers. All agents are legally obliged to present any formal offer made, regardless of the ability of the buyer to proceed and the amount of the offer.
Once you are happy with an offer, we will write to both parties to start the legal process. If you have not already done so, you will need to appoint a conveyancer at this stage, as the sale cannot progress without one.
Once the sale has been agreed, you might think that we sit back and take it easy, having done our job. And for most of our competitors, that’s true. But at OASiS, the work continues behind the scenes. We will be chasing up surveyors, conveyancers, and checking that all the necessary boxes are being ticked by all the relevant people in the process. And we’ll also be chasing the professionals acting for the people above and below our customers in the chain to minimise the risk of any omission potentially delaying the process further down the line. It’s painstaking, time-consuming work (we estimate that for every sale, the Sales Progression phase will take up a full week’s worth of one of our negotiator’s time!) but it’s another refreshingly different way that OASiS goes the extra mile to deliver the seamless transactions our customers expect.
Conveyancing is the legal transfer of ownership of a property from one person to another and OASiS offers comprehensive and great value conveyancing packages for sellers (‘Contract Ready’) and buyers (‘Best For Buyers’).
If your buyer is purchasing your property with a mortgage, then their lender will require a valuation survey to be carried out to ensure that the price at which the property is being sold is fully justified given its size, condition and location. This will involve a surveyor attending your property and carrying out a short inspection; however, if the lender fails to be convinced by the surveyor’s report that the agreed value of the property is fair, this can sometimes result in ‘down-valuing’ of the mortgage offered. This is the number one cause of buyers pulling out and sales falling through.
However, this is also one more area in which OASiS is refreshingly different in the way that we operate. We make a point of providing surveyors with Properly Prepared Valuation Information, supplying not only the valuation details of three comparable recent local property sales, but also a comprehensive package of accompanying Land Registry information in order to support the price agreed. In this way, we try to solve any potential problems before they even crop up!
Most buyers will also commission a Buildings Survey of some sort, and a further explanation of the different types of these can be found in the Surveyors section of our Mortgages & Professional Services menu. These may be carried out at the same time as the valuation survey or at a different time by a different surveyor.
Whilst we never recommend that you actually book your removals company in advance of the official Exchange of Contracts (see below), it is advisable to have at least done the ground work and secured a trusted, fully-insured company, if only provisionally.
Once a prospective completion date has been agreed it is advisable to inform any utility suppliers and the local authority of your impending move, following this up with final confirmation once you have exchanged contracts.
Again, when a completion date has been agreed it is advisable to inform any key contacts of your new address details. This includes doctors, dentists, bank, pension providers, friends and family, DVLA, Passport Authority, telephone and internet suppliers, TV Licence and SKY, insurance company. It is also advisable to set up a mail re-direct service at this time.
Once all the legal requirements have been completed, contracts can be exchanged and the sale becomes legally binding. Your buyer will have deposited 10% of the sale price with their solicitor (this figure may be negotiated down in certain circumstances) and this is then passed to your solicitor. A completion date will then be agreed for the exchange of the actual property.
The sale is completed when all mortgage monies have been received and passed between solicitors. Completion can happen at any time of the day, particularly if the sale is linked to a number of others in a chain. It is worth liaising with your agent who can help agree a convenient ‘moving out & moving in’ time between yourself and the buyer. You will need to have deposited at least one set of keys with us at OASiS and agree where in the house the remaining keys will be left for the new owner.
Dealing with the legalities of selling or buying your home can be a confusing, complicated, time-consuming and expensive operation. Choosing the wrong solicitor to look after the whole process (known as ‘Conveyancing’) can be a costly and stressful mistake.
Thankfully, OASiS works in partnership with a dedicated team of conveyancers who know our part of the world well (vital when it comes to dealing with any typical legal peculiarities attaching to deeds in the local area). Our sellers’ service is called ‘Contract Ready’ and offers a fixed fee as well as a no sale, no legal fee guarantee. For buyers, we offer a fixed fee as well as a no purchase, no legal fee guarantee and protected searches. Both packages are designed to give you complete peace of mind and a fast and cost-effective service and we confidently recommend them to all our clients.
If, however, you decide to instruct your own solicitor to do the conveyancing on your prospective sale, you obviously won’t want work to start until an offer is formally agreed. However, it is essential that you have the details of your chosen conveyancer available as early as possible because the sale cannot proceed without them.
Once a formal offer is agreed, OASiS will write to the seller, the buyer and both sets of conveyancers to give details of the property, the price and all the parties involved.
Your conveyancers will then write to you confirming their terms of business. The buyer’s conveyancers will ask the seller to complete a range of client and property information forms, including topics such as boundaries and ‘Fixtures & Fittings’.
The seller’s conveyancer will produce the draft Contract of Sale which will be sent to the buyer’s conveyancer along with the Land Registry documents or, if unregistered, the original deeds, along with the Transfer of Deed form. From this information they will raise enquiries. It is likely that the seller’s conveyancer may require further information in order to reply to some of these.
The buyer’s conveyancer will then request a number of searches to be carried out, including Local Authority Search, Water & Drainage Search, Environmental & Flooding Search and Chancel Search.
If the seller has a mortgage secured against the property, arrangements must be made for this to be repaid upon completion.
Once exchange and completion dates have been agreed between the seller and the buyer, the contracts can be exchanged, with everyone selling within a chain also agreeing on these dates and exchanging at the same time.
On the day of completion, the seller hands over the keys to the property (the easiest way to do this is to ensure that we at OASiS already have a set) making sure that all other sets of keys are left inside the property. Once the buyer’s purchase money has been received by the seller’s conveyancers, any outstanding monies will be sent to mortgage lenders and any remaining balance to the seller.
Conveyancing is the legal transfer of ownership of a property from one person to another, from the seller to the buyer, and the process is usually undertaken by choosing either solicitors or a specialist conveyancer. At OASiS, we recommend choosing our own ‘Contract Ready’ conveyancing package. OASiS has also teamed up with a national firm of solicitors offering competitive rates for both selling and buying. If you would like a free quote for the conveyancing work for your
A solicitor is a qualified lawyer in all aspects of common law and should be a member of the Law Society. A conveyancer has less general training but specialises in property law, and should be a member of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers. In general, a solicitor will cost more than a conveyance, although some larger practices will use a combination of the two to offer a more competitive fee.
Most conveyancing practices are more than capable of acting on your behalf. However, should your sale involve elements beyond property law, for instance, the issue of probate or divorce, then you will need to use a solicitor. Similarly, a solicitor will be required if a lease extension forms part of the sale or a boundary dispute exists.
There is a third option when it comes to conveyancing and that is that you do it yourself. However, the reality is that it is a complex and time-consuming process, and if you are buying with a mortgage, the lender will insist that a solicitor or conveyancer acts for them as well as you on this aspect of the transaction regardless. There is also the danger that you will be considered a less favourable buyer or a riskier seller, so caution is advised.
If you opt not to use OASiS’ own ‘Contract Ready’ service, whichever form of representative you decide on can be crucial to maximizing the success and minimizing the stress of the selling or buying process.
So how do you decide who to appoint? If you have used a solicitor or conveyancer before and you were happy with the service they provided, or one has been recommended to you, that’s great. If you don’t have one then it is worth bearing the following elements in mind.
Throughout the process, OASiS will seek to keep you informed of the progress of your purchase or sale, as well as any related sales if a chain is involved. Your solicitor or conveyancer should be equally prepared to communicate with you – be warned, they don’t all take your calls or answer your emails, and this can be hugely frustrating.
At the height of the property boom in 2007, there were 1.67 million property sales* all requiring conveyancing. After the property crash, a large number of firms withdrew from this area of law or disappeared altogether as transactions dropped by almost half to 859,000* (2009). In 2013 there were 1.07 million transactions* yet the number of firms offering conveyancing services has not grown at a proportional rate.
Similarly, not all firms can cope with the workload; however, few will admit to this and rarely turn work away. The larger ‘conveyancing factories’ are just as susceptible to capacity fluctuations as the smaller high street solicitor, especially during holiday months, so it is worth asking the question before service levels become an issue. Where smaller firms are concerned it is worth enquiring as to continuity of service during holiday periods.
(*HM Revenue & Customs Annual UK Property Transactions Statistics June 2014)
It is no longer necessary to physically attend your solicitor’s or conveyancer’s offices. Much of the information flow can be done electronically and that has opened up a greater range of choice. You will still need to provide certified identity so this is worth bearing in mind as you could incur additional costs if you chose an out-of-area firm. Some conveyancers will accept certified identification from an agent or a financial adviser, so check with them if in doubt. Some documents will still need to be signed and returned, and we would always suggest these are sent via registered post.
This is an area worth considering and applies equally to buyers and sellers. If for any reason you have to abort a sale or purchase, you could be liable for a percentage of the solicitor’s or conveyancer’s fees depending on how much work has been carried out on your behalf. Some – like the OASiS ‘Contract Ready’ service – offer a ‘no sale, no fee’ guarantee whereby no legal fees are payable in the event of the transaction falling through. This will only apply to recoverable costs and would not include payments for searches or disbursements already carried out.
If you are buying with a mortgage then your lender might have strict guidelines relating to which solicitors or conveyancers they will work with. If you have a solicitor or conveyancer in mind, it’s advisable to make sure that they’re on the ‘approved panel’ for your mortgage provider.
Whether you choose to use a solicitor or a conveyancer, make sure you know the extent of your costs upfront. Most firms these days will charge a set fee for carrying out the basic conveyancing process, with the exceptions to this being lease extensions and boundary disputes etc. Avoid those firms who proffer an hourly rate as this can quickly become expensive if issues arise.
As a final point, your solicitor or conveyancer is only as good as the information you provide and this is especially true where sellers are concerned. This similarly applies to the speed at which you return paperwork and answer any enquiries; the more you co-operate, the greater your contribution to the overall efficiency of the transaction.
As a general rule, most professional removals companies suggest that you start planning the removal process around six weeks in advance to give you plenty of time to have a real purge of unwanted items which can then either be disposed of or sold.
As part of the moving process, it’s also advisable to start thinking about who else needs to be informed of your new address and contact details, such as your bank, doctor, dentist, employer, utility suppliers etc. You should also look into having your mail re-directed by the Royal Mail.
There are generally two ways of moving home; doing it yourself or employing a professional removals company to handle the move for you.
Although the cheaper option, there are a number of factors that you need to consider, not least the quantity of items that you will need to move. If you are a first-time buyer, it may well be feasible to hire a van and enlist the help of friends and family to move yourself.
If, however, you are moving to your second or later home, then the likelihood is that you will have acquired a lot more possessions over the years and you should really consider whether hiring a van is a realistic option.
Timings are another important factor to consider if you are planning to move yourself. If you are buying a home involved in a chain, then you are unlikely to be able to move your possessions into your new home until the sale has officially completed. If you are moving yourself and likely to require more than one trip then you need to consider how this will affect those buying your house if you are delayed at any point.
Damage caused in transit is also another important consideration. If you plan to move yourself it is advisable to contact your insurer to check their position on this, should any of your valuables get lost or damaged in the moving process.
Although clearly the more expensive option, the advantages of using a professional removals company are numerous. Most removals companies will offer a range of services from a ‘full packing and move’ to a basic, more cost-effective service where you do your own packing. And they should offer a free consultation and quotation service where various elements will be discussed, including what is to be moved from where, and what challenges the existing and new locations may present. A word to the wise – when you’re selecting your removals company, please check that they are fully insured!
Once you’ve chosen a removals company, they should nominate a ‘Move Manager’ who will be responsible for planning and managing your move. The company will organise a packing team to attend the property and start packing (or supply you with packaging materials if you are planning to do this yourself) and they will also arrange for appropriate insurance for specialist items cover, should this be required.
You will need to have planned for the move day to assist the teams. If there are any parking restrictions at either of the move locations, you will need to plan for these well in advance and organise permits or request parking exemption in the case of yellow lines from the local council. It is always worth arranging for pets and small children to be moved to a neutral location to avoid placing them under unnecessary stress.
If your move involves an item that is directly connected to a mains utility such as an oven or cooker or electrical fitting, then a specialist contractor will be required, especially where gas is concerned. In these cases, you will need to make arrangements for this to be carried out, ideally in advance of the actual move date in case there are any unforeseen issues.
Where valuables are concerned it is advisable to put these in a safe place that is easily accessible by you, even during the move. Computers should also be backed up to prevent any data loss.
On the move day, the teams will arrive and the removal process will start in earnest. This is when the advantages of using a professional mover will become apparent. Make sure that the room location of all packages is clearly marked up so that they are unloaded into the correct rooms at the new property.
And most important of all… never, ever forget to keep the kettle out of the packing and stock up on tea, milk, sugar and biscuits. Professional removals people work much more efficiently when they’ve just had a fresh brew!
OASiS has been working with the best local removals company for a number of years. They share our commitment to customer service and are renowned for their attention to detail, offering a range of moving solutions from straightforward ‘pack and move’ to international relocations, as well as short- and long-term storage options.
Best of all, they offer highly preferential rates to OASiS customers! For a free consultation or advice, please call us and we will put you in contact.