• mint tips on how to choose an agent
  • our mint summer
  • purchasing your next home
  • the world of conveyancing .. buyers Addition
  • energy performance certificates explained..

minty tips on how to choose an agent

As the market begins to ‘level’ out, it’s more important than ever to consider these tips when choosing your estate agent. 

It is essential that you feel at ease and comfortable with the agent as  communication is imperative throughout the selling process.  Ask your contacts to recommend an agent – shortlist and invite three potential agencies to provide you with a market appraisal and don’t automatically go with the agent that offers you the highest value – they may be overvaluing your property in order to win your business!

Take a look at all the research and comparables the agent provides you with so that the pricing of your home is realistic – reductions further down the line can damage your final sale price.

Do your own research and compare the agents data – for example, take a look at the number of properties under offer, percentage of asking price achieved and average time a property has been on the market. Check that the agent is a member of a regulatory body such as The Property Ombudsman Scheme which provides independent redress in relation to disputes between consumers and property agents.

Take time to read reviews.

Make sure that you check exactly what services each estate agent offers, for example, ask if all viewings on your property will be conducted by knowledgeable people who care enough to answer every question in detail, with conviction and who are bursting with information and enthusiasm for the local area.

0ur mint summer

We feel passionately about giving back – we believe one of the best things you can do for yourself is to do something for someone else and this is why we are excited to invest in future projects in our area where we live and work.

We have truly had a ‘mint summer’ so far…. supporting our local communities and having fun.

On Saturday 9th July 2022 we supported The 75th Pyrford & Wisley Village Show on the cricket ground in Pyrford. What an amazing sunny day it was – with the theme of ‘Celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee’, children visited our stall to have their faces painted while parents had a cool drink of mint mojito. In addition to the arena events and dog show there was live music into the evening, refreshments and displays in the marquee staged by the junior, domestic and horticulture sections. This fantastic event aims to raise as much as possible for local charities and groups and we are very proud to have been part of a very special local village show.

Minus Five Pre-School is very fortunate to be situated within the grounds of Victory Park in Addlestone and they make good use of the park’s facilities – this included using the space to host their summer fair for their parents and carer’s. We were so happy to be supporting this event and provided the pre-school with special ‘mint bags’ filled with stickers and sweets for the children to enjoy.

purchasing your next home..

For our Vendors and Purchasers..

As it is probably your most important and expensive purchase, when it comes to buying your new or next home, it’s so important to choose a local estate agent who you can trust, feel that you are in a safe pair of knowledgeable hands and a team to help you to find exactly what you are after. 

As such, mint homes are fully committed to providing you with an open and honest professional service and we have compiled a guide on how the buying process works.

Decide on your budget and do you require a mortgage?

If you are in the fortunate position of purchasing a property with cash or savings, you will not require a mortgage and this can simplify and speed up the process of buying. If you do require a mortgage, our advice is to begin the process sooner rather than later to ensure credibility with any sellers and smooth the process once you have found your ideal property to purchase. Are you looking for sound financial advice? We do have a recommended financial advisor who can help you – whether it’s a straight forward upsize, you are self employed, or looking for a fantastic rate. Give us a call to discuss further. At mint homes we are here to help in any way we can.

Deciding on the property and location..

Having made the decision on what you are looking for in a property, consider the area and what you may wish for out of the location. Is it a garden and parking that is essential and are the local schools or shops important or a priority for you? Remember, there are compromises with any home, and the more properties you view, the more you will understand what is most important to you. We also would suggest viewing a property, even if on photos it doesn’t look like the right fit. Buying a property is all about a feeling and when you walk in to a property, even if you may not think it would be right, it may give you the lifestyle you fully require. You will not be wasting our time, or yours!!

Making an offer and getting it accepted!

As we work together to fulfil your requirements of your search, and together, we find your ideal property to buy, we will help and advise you on making an offer that is realistic based on your assessment of the property and our knowledge of our Vendor’s position and desires. Nicole and Sally at mint homes are here to help the negotiations come to a successful outcome for all. 

Appoint a Conveyancing Solicitor and organise a survey..

Congratulations, your offer has been accepted and you will require a conveyancing solicitor to work for you. Navigating your way through the purchase of a new home can be incredibly stressful and at mint homes we are fortunate to be able to offer the conveyancing services with our fantastic conveyancing team who works and communicates with us, understands and acts on your behalf throughout the whole process. We can guide you through the whole process and will keep communications open the whole way. Looking for a quote? Get in touch! If the home you are purchasing was built more than 20 years ago, we advise that you organise a survey and the options are  a ‘home buyers survey’  or a ‘full structural survey’. Please refer to our ‘survey’ blog for more information on which survey you will require, or speak to us further for advice.

Exchange of contracts!!

Once all legal and financial work is complete, and all are satisfied within the chain it is then wise to talk through exchange and completion dates and book your removal company. Once agreed, an exchange of contracts via the Solicitors takes place and it is usual to have to pay a deposit, which typically is around 10% of the sale price. Once signed and exchanged, the contracts mean that you, the buyer and seller are committed to the sale. Pulling out at this stage means you would be likely to lose your deposit.


Congratulations!! You now own your dream home!! This is where the balance of money is transferred from your solicitor – at this point the fees, stamp duty and any other costs are paid to complete the process. The day of completion is usually the earliest you can move in. Congratulations, the property becomes yours and the team at mint homes will arrange to meet you at your new home with the all important set of keys.

the world of conveyancing .. buyers Addition

For our Vendors and Purchasers..

Are you buying your next home? This is all you need to know regarding the conveyancing process as a Buyer.. Navigating your way through the purchase of a new home can be incredibly stressful and at mint homes we are fortunate to be able to offer the conveyancing services of our fantastic conveyancing team who works and communicates fluently with us and to understand and acts on your behalf throughout the whole process. We can guide you through the whole process and will keep communications open the whole way. Looking for a quote? Get in touch!

Once you’ve made an offer on a property and it has been accepted, you will need to have a solicitor in place to be able to act for you whilst the purchase goes through. When you formally instruct your chosen solicitor, they will require suitable ID to do their inhouse checks. The Estate Agent will send out the ‘Sales Memorandum’ to each solicitor, plus yourself and the Vendor to let everybody in the sale know who is acting for who.

The sellers solicitor will then send your solicitor the Contract Pack (this is the formal agreement to sell) along with the Property Information Form and the Fixtures and Fittings Form. This will provide your solicitor with the property title and forms that have been completed by the seller, information about the property, ie boundaries etc, and what is to be left included in the sale price – for example, the oven, fridge etc.. if the property is leasehold, a copy of the lease will also be sent over. Your solicitor will look over all the paperwork on your behalf, but it is still very important that you look through these forms and raise any questions you may have via your solicitor.

Whilst the legal work is taking place and if you require a mortgage, a mortgage valuation would have taken place once it has been accepted, and your application approved. The mortgage offer will get sent to you and a copy to your solicitor.. did you want to know more about the mortgage side of things? Take a look at our blog on mortgages and everything you need to know! If you decide to carry out a survey on the property, you can send the report to the solicitor to look over. We also have a blog on surveys and which type you should go for! Until that all important exchange date, either you or the seller could change your mind and pull out of the sale without any legal consequences. It is important to note that some solicitors do charge an ‘abortive fee’. They should highlight this to you in the initial stages.

Your solicitor will carry out required searches, to include a Local Authority search, Environmental search, Land Registry search and Water Authority search. We will be doing a separate blog on searches in the near future.. keep your eyes peeled!

Once your solicitor is satisfied with all enquiries raised on the searches and paperwork that was sent via the sellers solicitors, they will then prepare all their documentation for signature and report to you with documents to sign. You will then check your signed documents and settle your deposit in order to exchange contracts.

You can then talk to your solicitor about a suggested completion date and negotiate an agreed date with the sellers solicitor. This may be a good time to get the estate agent involved if an agreement isn’t forth coming. Your solicitor will gather the final completion statement, transfer deed and mortgage deed for you to sign and agree. This will also advise you on what money you have to provide them for completion. A final Land Registry search will be applied for to check that no changes have been made to the Land Register since your initial search. Once an agreed completion date has been put into place, your solicitor will notify the sellers solicitor that exchange can go ahead and your solicitor will send them the signed transfer deed, deposit and contracts will then be exchanged. Your solicitor will request mortgage funds from your lender. On exchange, you are legally committed to proceed with buying the property or risk losing your deposit.

That all important completion date is when the sale is finalised and the property is transferred to you as the new, legal owner! At this stage, your solicitor will pay the balance of the sale price (less the deposit as you paid that on exchange) via the lender, and receive the signed Transfer Deed. Title deeds, transfer deeds and proof of outstanding mortgages will be obtained by your solicitor.

After Completion, your solicitor will send your deeds to your lender, arrange for Stamp Duty Land Tax (if applicable) to be received by Revenue and Customs and finally, send you documents to HM Land Registry which will register you as the new owner of your home! This is to be done within 30 days of completion of the purchase. HM Land Registry will send the title deeds to your conveyancer and these will subsequently be passed to your mortgage lender, or if you are a cash buyer, passed on to you.

The conveyancing process for sellers coming soon…

energy performance certificates explained..

If you’re selling or renting out a house or a flat, you will need an Energy Performance Certificate in order to put your house on the market- it shows how energy efficient your property is. EPC’s are needed whenever a property is built, sold or rented and contains information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs. It includes estimated energy costs, a summary of your homes energy performance related features and provides recommendations on how to reduce energy use and save money with estimated costs for implementing the changes. It also offers an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years. They were first introduced in England and Wales. New build homes tend to have high EPC ratings whilst older homes often have lower ratings. The average in the UK is D.

Common recommendations on how to improve your energy efficiency rating:

Insulation for your floor, roof, loft or walls. Better insulation will reduce the need for heating. Double glazing / triple glazing. Solar panels produce cheaper and greener energy. Low energy lighting is a cheap and easy way to lower energy bills

EPC Register: The EPC register is a governments online database of all EPC’s in the UK. You can search for any EPC by using the postcode of the property you wish to look for. This is a useful tool to look up either your EPC or a property you intend to purchase/rent.

Finding an energy assessor: If your property doesn’t have an EPC or has expired, you will need to get one before you can sell. You can source an energy assessor online or mint homes can arrange this for you.

How much do EPC’s cost? They can cost anywhere up to approximately £120. mint homes charge £80 plus VAT and instruct a 3rd party to carry out the work.

EPC’s for listed properties:

Since 2013, listed buildings have been exempt from EPC’s, providing they reach a certain minimum standards for energy performance. Many recommendations that can help with increasing an EPC rating such as insulation or double glazing can harm the authenticity of a listed property, but you can make improvements which will cause minimal harm to the aesthetics/structure such as switching to a renewable energy source, installing a more efficient boiler and draught-proofing.