FIVE THINGS YOUR ESTATE AGENT PROBABLY SHOULDN’T SAY You’ve done your online research, you’ve chatted with friends and, hopefully, you’ve done a bit of field research yourself and now you’ve chosen your estate agent. You made an appointment to see them and
If you read the papers on a regular basis you can’t have failed to notice some strident headlines recently, claiming the UK property market is on the brink of another crash. It’s certainly true that the Halifax’s latest index showed a slight drop in the value of homes sold in April – the first time we’ve seen a fall in house prices for quite some time. However, the almost hysterical reaction by some parts of the media is a little puzzling. First of all, let’s remember many of the same publications have commented frequently enough about high prices making it much harder for first-time buyers to get a foot on the bottom rung of the property ladder. It’s been suggested numerous times that, if prices don’t stabilise soon, then the dream of home ownership will be out of reach to all but the very wealthy. The promise of more “affordable” properties has been one thing all the political parties also seemed willing to offer in the run-up to and the aftermath of the last General Election and was reported widely at the time.
Someone asked the other day, if online estate agents are the future, why don’t they have a bigger slice of the property market? And, to be honest, although it’s a good question, it’s actually quite tricky to answer without sounding peevish or paranoid. First of all, we’d point out Rome wasn’t built in a day. As BBC business “Dragon” Deborah Meaden once said, any company with its sights set on a national reputation is probably going to struggle unless they have £3,000 a month to spend on marketing as a bare minimum - and it takes time to establish that sort of financial clout without a big-name backer. More importantly though, few start-ups in any market other than estate agency would find elements of the media quite so closed to them quite so frequently. Let us explain…
If you’re in the property game, you’ve probably already heard that a new index will be introduced this summer which will better reflect the true value of homes in the UK. At the moment, the house price index – and there are many - can vary depending on who you prefer to follow and what metrics they use. For example, the Halifax may tell you the price of an average home in Britain is around the £214,000 mark, Rightmove reckons it’s around £299,000 while the Office of National Statistics (ONS) puts the figure at around £292,000. The variance is often accounted for by regional fluctuations in price and whether London and the south-east are included or not - but it’s no wonder the average seller is so often baffled when it comes to where they should pitch their property.
If you’re a landlord, then today is a bit of a watershed. From this morning an extra 3% Stamp Duty will be imposed on anyone buying a second home or buying property to let. The Chancellor’s reasoning appears to have been that the additional tax burden would prove a disincentive to anyone considering swapping their pension for property. That, in turn, would mean more small- to medium-sized homes coming onto the market as they wouldn’t just be snapped up by the avaricious buy-to-let set. More houses on the market would help to peg prices where they are or even prompt a modest decline. Combine that with an accelerated building programme, and suddenly you have even more ammunition to avert the risk of a fresh housing “bubble” threatening the stability of the UK economy.
TEN TIPS FOR FIRST-TIME BUYERSRead the papers these days and you may believe that getting on the property ladder is almost impossible. After all, the average house price is NOW close to the £200,000 mark and, apparently, saving up for a deposit is well beyond most people’s budgets. Our options are either to scrimp for years and deny ourselves the luxuries in life or to ask mum and dad to cash in their savings or even “downsize” themselves to raise capital which they can hand over. And it’s true; if you’ve got your heart set on starting out in a comfortable and reasonably modern three-bedroom semi with a garage and garden in a nice part of town or in the suburbs, then you probably will need to have some serious finance behind you, even if the Government’s Help To Buy initiative remains available for another 12 months. But, if you’re a regular reader of the property press or if you keep a weather eye on the relevant hashtags on social media, you may sometimes spot a comment or two about how talk of a “housing crisis” is overblown and, if you’re prepared to do the legwork and be flexible about location, then it is still possible to find a reasonable home for £100k or maybe even less. Some will give a derisory snort and suggest that anything for that sort of money is likely to come with its own raft of problems. But even a glance at our own property list – or those of any other agent – will demonstrate that there really are some cheaper homes around which aren’t riddled with damp or slap bang in the middle of a sink estate. So, if you are a first-time buyer, you’ve looked at Rightmove & Zoopla, and you’ve come up with a list of half a dozen homes for £80k or under - and they ARE out there - here’s a list of 10 things we recommend you do next: 1/ Don’t rush. One of the oldest sales tricks in the book is to lead you to believe you’re one of dozens of possible buyers and, if you don’t agree a deal quickly, you’re going to miss out. Far better to move on than find out later that your first house is actually a home from hell.
Of course expert opinion can be helpful and, in one way or another, we all probably rely on it for one thing or another when it comes to making everyday decisions. There is a down side though when people in the know make forecasts as what they predict can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Take Brexit as an example. The debate is already heating up as we head towards a vote on Britain’s future role in the EU – and not just among politicians. Some will tell you leaving will be a disaster for the UK economy and others are equally adamant that going it alone will be good for the country in the long run. It’s no different in property and, although there are a few – mostly with vested interests - who will tell you that the Great Debate isn’t really putting the brakes on house sales, more are saying there’s every evidence that sellers are waiting until after June’s vote before putting their home on the market.
THE HOUSE THAT TALKEDWe had to take or hats off to someone who beat us to a novel way to sell your house on the internet. It’s what we do for a living and to be honest we thought we had all the bases covered. We advertise our clients’ homes on all the major portals, we have a state-of-art website (how do you like the new one, by the way?) we’re active on all the main social media channels, we use video and - seeing as you’re reading it - we guess you know we also blog quite regularly. But still someone – and someone possibly not even in the property game – came up with a new way of getting their home in front of buyers. How? Well, put simply, they gave their house in Bradford its own Twitter account.
If you have ever thought about selling your property yourself to save on estate agent fees but wondered how to go about it then read on. Below are some frequently asked questions from people wanting to sell their own property.
Do I need an estate agent?The way property is bought and sold in the UK is changing. The majority of purchasers find their property on the internet. Gone have the days of trawling the high street estate agents collecting brochures. People want instant access to all the properties available from the comfort of their own. The three big property websites, Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location cater for this need, they have invested millions of pounds in convincing buyers that there is no need to look for a property elsewhere. The key to selling your own property is advertising it on one, or preferably all of the big three websites.
The price of property in the UK has been a hot topic for much of 2015 and was even the focus of most parties’ election campaigns during the elections in May. Much has been made of the Government’s attempts since to tackle talk of a “housing crisis”, fuelled by property prices rising beyond the reach of most while rents have also increased, leaving many on the breadline.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVDZG8oTXAw “A couple of years ago we decided we would emigrate. Naturally, it was a big decision and one taken only after a considerable research and a lot of thought – but we knew straight away one of the biggest tasks would be selling our house. “We thought the best time to make the move would be the summer. We thought we’d need the winter to get all those DIY jobs done around the house before putting it on the market. Besides, like so many others, we didn’t think anyone would be looking at moving in the run-up to Christmas so hadn’t even considered approaching an agent. When we made contact with Esale is was really just to take advantage of the speedy and free valuation advertised on their website.
North Yorkshire has diverse appeal as a place to live, work and explore, renowned for its rolling hills, historic towns and of course the infamous Bettys tea rooms. However, beyond the attractions that draw visitors to the region every year, this picturesque part of Yorkshire is home to some stunning properties – new and old – with prices far below those you’d expect to find in more southerly areas of the UK. And yet, as homebuyers wake up to the benefits of moving to North Yorkshire, house prices in the county have been growing rapidly. To give you an idea of what you could expect to buy within your budget, let’s take a look at some of hot spots in the region, and why you might want to relocate there.
Nowadays, we manage almost everything online from our laptops, smartphones and tablets. And yet when it comes to buying and selling houses, many people prefer to visit their local estate agents. Moving home is a momentous decision, and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. But as online estate agents become increasingly sophisticated, should you be wary of their services? Not if you choose one you can trust.
So, you’ve decided to sell your house. You’ve spent a little time and money getting it ready for the market, you’ve done your research on what it might be worth and you’ve picked your estate agent. You’ve made the appointment and now you’re waiting in for them to visit to cast a professional eye over your property?
We’re getting to the time of year when some will tell you, if you’re thinking of selling your house, you’re better off waiting a few months. The clocks go back shortly and, as the nights draw in, some will claim it’s harder for prospective viewers to find time to inspect properties in daylight. They may also remind you that your garden isn’t at its best in the winter months either and, besides, most minds are occupied by thoughts of Christmas – and just how they’re going to afford all the kids’ presents, never mind a mortgage.