Monthly Archives: November, 2017

What’s included in the sale – An eSale guide.

BEWARE THE PROPERTY EQUIVALENT OF “BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED”

The house you viewed was everything you hoped it might be; it had some lovely features and even some of the little touches you’ve secretly craved in your own home.

You were diligent about making your offer, you waited for the keys and you looked forward to savouring that sensation of walking through the door knowing you owned everything on the other side.

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But wait! Surely there’s been a mistake…this isn’t the house you fell in love with! Those chandelier-style light fittings in the living room have gone and even the rustic oak shelves which filled that recessed alcove have vanished.

There’s a space on the wall where the mirrored medicine cabinet in the bathroom once was and even the novelty cat at the end of the pull-cord light switch has been replaced with a boring, bell-shaped piece of plastic.

What happened? How could the previous owners have the bare-faced cheek to take everything you loved with them when they left…?

But the thing is, all those quirky little details you fell in love with were not what you were buying. You bought bricks, mortar and the bit of land they stand on – not a home; you might be surprised how many make the same mistake.

Rewind to the viewing and it’s at that point that potential buyers ought to be checking exactly what is included in the deal. It’s easy to make assumptions that the carpets will still be there when you move in but, believe it or not, quite a few buyers presume the curtains will be as well – and that’s by no means guaranteed.

The same applies to light fittings, curtain rails, shelving, wall-mounted storage units, appliances, alarm systems and even some furniture which may appear to be built-in.

If you’re not sure, our advice would be simply to ask – particularly if it’s a feature of which you’re particularly fond. It may well be that the seller intended to take an item with them but, if they know you’re keen on it, they may be prepared to include it in the price, particularly if their property has been on the market for some time.

As Brits, we don’t like to appear too avaricious; it may seem a little gauche to haggle over the fixtures, fittings or personal effects of a vendor.

But, to be honest, it’s better to be clear about exactly what you’re buying before making an offer – especially as you’re likely to be negotiating the largest financial transaction of your lives. Make no assumptions and you’re less likely to be disappointed when you cross the threshold of your new house for the first time.

BUDGET 2017 – A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

There was quite a bit in yesterday’s Budget which will have been broadly welcomed across the UK.

Like a slightly premature Santa Clause, the Chancellor dealt out largesse to motorists by cancelling the planned rise in fuel duty in April; he raised a glass to those looking forward to a tipple or two at Christmas by freezing duty on beers, ciders, wines and spirits; for those thinking of a trip abroad next summer, he announced there would be no extra charge for short haul air passenger duty rates and no increase on tax on long-haul economy rates either.

But, for those hoping to buy their first home, he saved the best until last. As from today, first-time buyers will not have to pay Stamp Duty on a house priced below £300,000; for those house hunting in more expensive areas such as London, the first £300k of a home worth up to £500,000 will also be exempt.

In real terms, that means in excess of 40% of properties on the market will now be free of Stamp Duty, reducing the cost of purchasing a new home for the first time by around £2,500. Great news…

However, there is a “but”.

With such a sharp rise in house prices over the last decade, the real obstacle most first-time buyers face is raising enough for a deposit. It’s not easy to find an average of £33,000 – and, although any reduction in the cost of buying a home has to be welcomed, some analysts are already asking if it’s enough.

There’s also the fact that the abolition of Stamp Duty only applies to first-time buyers so, if you’re already on the housing ladder, there’s not quite so much of an incentive to move. You can’t apply for Help To Buy either so perhaps it’s not surprising that some feel a little aggrieved that Mr Hammond’s generosity only seems to be targeted at first-time buyers. There was little or nothing for so-called second-steppers or downsizers.

But at least there were other measures too which could help ease the crisis, not least Mr Hammond’s attempt to get Britain building again. For example, for the first time, the Government seems to have realised that it needs to do more to plug the skills gap and train and recruit more brickies.

It was also encouraging to see Mr Hammond announce an investigation into why the number of approved planning applications for housing are not correlating with the number of new homes built. If developers are “land banking”, then maybe we’ll see sudden surge in construction – and, hopefully, the new properties will be the ones we need and not the three- and four-bedroom “executive” homes which make the most money.

So, if we had to summarise on yesterday’s announcements we’d probably agree it’s a step – and a significant one – in the right direction. However, Rome wasn’t built in a day – and it’s very unlikely Britain will be either.

Millennials, housing and the budget – our tuppence worth!

A NEW HOPE?

If you read the recent articles in the media about so-called millennials blowing their income on extravagances rather than sensibly saving for a deposit on their first home, it would have been easy to assume these were the claims of some crusty, deluded Westminster politician.

But, as we all know by now, it wasn’t; it was a well-known high street estate agent which had issued a press release which, perhaps in hindsight, was a little ill-judged.

Not only did it come across a more than a little patronising, no doubt thousands of first-time buyers struggling with rising rents or stuck at home with their parents will have felt a sense of indignation that a significant player in the world of property could be so dismissive of their plight.

But amid all the ruffled feathers, Strutt and Parker did actually have a point. Well, sort of.

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There are affordable homes out there…

An interpretation of their argument could be that there are still properties within the means of those prepared to make a few sacrifices or consider a new start in a different (cheaper) region of the UK – and, in all fairness, it’s true.

We’re by no means the largest of estate agents but, if you take a little time to scroll through the properties page on our website, you’ll see that we have sold quite a few homes for under £100k and even have one or two available right now.

Admittedly, they won’t be south of Watford; they might not have a designer kitchen, an expansive garden or a smart en suite in the master bedroom. But the thing is every one of them represents a start; and, once you have a foot on the property ladder – as long as there are no dramatic changes in the economy and interest rates remain reasonably constant – it becomes a little easier to find the next rung .. and the next … and the next.

It’s true that few these days can afford a smart, executive three-bedroom home with a garage and gardens as their first purchase. In the south-east, even a two-bedroom terrace is probably out of reach of many aged below the age of 35.

But it’s wrong to generalise, be London-centric or to quash the hopes and dreams of a generation by telling them repeatedly via the mass media and the property press that home-ownership is simply beyond their grasp. It isn’t; not entirely – at least not yet.

 

Waiting for Wednesday

And that’s why Wednesday’s Budget could be crucial. The Government is making the right noises; Mr Hammond has even let it be known he wants to see 300,000 new properties built every year to tackle a crisis of the lack of supply.

But, if that’s to happen, then controls will need to be in place to make sure developers build the right kind of home. After all, 300,000 more four and five-bedroom executive properties are not what we need and Mr Hammond and his Westminster cronies need to do all in their power to ensure that’s not what we get.

How to value your house.

WHAT SHOULD YOU BE ASKING?

One of the toughest bits to get right when you’re selling property – and therefore one of the best reasons for instructing an estate agent – is gauging the asking price.

There are tools on the portals you can use these days to establish what similar homes in your area have sold for. If you have an address to check against, selling prices are also available from the Land Registry.

However, a good estate agent should also have a finger in the wind and be able to tell you if the current trend has been upwards or downwards and base a sensible figure on the features your home has to offer.

Get it right and you could be on your way to a new home pretty quickly; get it wrong, and your property could be sitting on the market for ages. A small reduction could be all it needs but, if you have to make several downward adjustments, buyers watching may suspect there’s something wrong and then it becomes even harder to get a move on.

So, in the current climate – with the ramifications of Brexit playing on the nerves, rising interest rates and the reservoir of affordable stock dwindling as some potential movers opt to stay put for now – how about a bit of advice?

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First, don’t pitch too high…

It’s not uncommon for some estate agents to persuade you to stick and extra £20k on top of the price you would expect simply because they want your business. Of course we want the most we can get for our home, particularly if we’re on a tight budget, but if your gut feeling is that the figure you’ve been quoted seems over-ambitious, listen to it.

At least check it out, perhaps by asking for additional valuations from other estate agents or against Land Registry information on any similar homes which have sold near you.

Don’t pitch too low…

Once we decide we’re moving, it’s natural to want to get on with it as soon as possible and a competitive price can be key when it comes to a quick sale. However, if you go too low, you may find potential buyers are suspicious and, even if they can’t pinpoint any issues at a viewing, their own gut feeling may be to steer clear.

Keep it real, ask for what your home is worth on the current market and …

Be patient.

If you’ve seen a “sold” board go up outside a nearby property when yours has been on the market longer, it’s natural to feel disappointed. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean your home is going to be forever left on the shelf.

You don’t know the reasons why the buyer chose that home over yours but they are likely to be many and varied. Size, décor, or interior features you’re not aware of could be just some of them.

Okay, if you’ve had no viewings and your house was first advertised six months ago, then fair enough; you probably need to ask your estate agent some searching questions.

However, it’s only been a few weeks there’s every chance your buyer is still out there. Give it time; but, in the meantime, why not get Tweeting or post on Facebook? Anything you can do to add to your audience isn’t a bad thing.

We’ve attached a recent article on statistics released this month by Rightmove as guidance but, should you need any further advice, feel free to drop us a line or give us a call.

(https://www.propertywire.com/news/uk/asking-prices-fall-existing-sellers-drop-prices-latest-uk-index-shows/)

Alternatively, why not browse our blog for earlier articles on buying and selling your home. Just click on the links for more details.

Is it the time of year to sell your house? – An eSale blog

WINTER IS COMING …

The clocks have just gone back so it’s the time of year we usually hear sage advice on how it’s not the right time to sell your home.

Folk will tell you, once the night’s draw in, it’s hard to view a property after 4pm and everyone’s thinking about Christmas anyway so it’s pointless getting your property listed.

One upon a time, that might have been true; there’s also no denying there is an annual surge of new homes going on the market in spring and in sales in September and October as buyers want to see themselves safely ensconced in their new home before Strictly has finished on the telly.

But, as we’ve said many times – and probably will again – the best time to sell your home is when someone wants to buy it and there’s every chance they’re out there waiting in November or January as at any other time of year.

“Only in an idyllic world would everyone move house just when it suited them”

Admittedly, the thought of leaving a warm home to view properties is less appealing in the winter but then people have all sorts of reasons for looking. Only in an idyllic world would everyone move house just when it suited them.

Not only that but modern technology has made it easier to research property in advance from the comfort of your own armchair. A savvy buyer will already know quite a bit about your home before they ring your doorbell; they will have been able to see images on the portals, research the street on Google and even have used the Land Registry website to see what homes are selling for in your area.

 

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The Christmas Spirit

The viewing is still important of course; nothing beats actually walking round a property to get a feel for the place and for the location – but it’s a tad naïve to suggest that, once we say goodbye to British Summer Time, all buyers go into hibernation.

We’ve sold homes on Christmas Eve and between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day before. Indeed, the festive season even added to the sellers’ excitement as it’s a great time of year to discover that your plans for the following one have just taken a huge leap forward.

So, if you are thinking of selling and you hear any more armchair experts tutting and suggesting you wait for the spring, you might want to suggest they introduce themselves to the 21st century. The property market has moved on and, with more new technology in the pipeline, will probably continue to do so.

 

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About esale

eSale  Estate Agents, founded in 2012, bringing a fresh, clear and easy approach to online estate agency in England and Wales. We are a group of professionals with years of experience in helping people sell and buy property.

We have the skills to ensure the correct price is set for your property and we can negotiate the right sale price between buyer and seller.

Additionally, we can arrange accompanied viewings and also see the sale through to completion.

Your property will feature on Rightmove , Zoopla  and Primelocation esale have a wide advertising network, come and join our approach to selling a property, no matter what your property value is.