What are the costs of selling a home?
What are the costs of selling a home?
For those who have little experience in selling a house, learning about the additional costs that are often associated with the process can turn the situation into a cost-prohibitive nightmare. But what are the costs of selling a home?
What costs are involved with selling a home?
There are three main costs that most vendors will find themselves being responsible for before a sale can take place.
Of course, depending on the circumstances there are likely to be other charges that are entirely dependent upon your situation but nearly all sellers will find themselves enlisting the services of the following:
An estate agent will be the first port of call for many sellers, acting as a hub of information in an effort to guide you through the house-selling process2. While estate agents tend not to be thought of very highly by many – due to the publicity surrounding the immoral behaviour of a small percentage of agents who try to make a quick buck – the majority of agents are trustworthy individuals who specialise in helping venders sell their home fast in their chosen area3.
While there are numerous national agencies who offer ‘region-specific’ representatives who are marketed as experts, it can often be very hard to prove the credentials of these individuals- whereas most local independent agents have managed to stay in business over the years due to a strong reputation and repeated recommendations within the local community2.
Estate agents are used by over 95% of sellers2 and are – more often than not – paid by the seller as a percentage of the selling fee, usually between 0.75% and 2.5% (plus VAT), but usually around 1.5% (plus VAT) 1. So, for a £150,000 house, the fee would be £2,250.
This system works well for agents and sellers alike as the less valuable a house is, the cheaper the estate agent fee. This approach is made all the more intriguing thanks to the prevalence of agents today who will only charge a vender if an actual sale is achieved1.
Of course, no buyer in their right mind would consider buying a house unless they had access to the full legal details of the house. This is why buyers will always find themselves contacting a solicitor or conveyancer, who are able to carry out searches for legal documentation that will help them to buy with confidence4.
As a seller, however, you will also need to pay legal fees to a legal representative to make sure that there the sale is carried out in the correct manner5. Conveyancing, however, is an extremely competitive sector and there have, in recent years, been a rising number of complaints from consumers regarding both the level of honesty and quality of service provided by less reputable firms1.
An independent property expert is likely to advise you to contact an independent solicitor or conveyancer directly, not to solely rely on the advice of a lender or estate agents5. While it is a grey area from a legal perspective, there are many examples of companies providing kickbacks to one another in an effort to corner the market6.
Once hired, a solicitor or conveyancer will guide you through the following documentation once you have accepted an offer on your home:
- The TA6 form that will detail all an information that could affect the value of the property in the future including contact details, boundaries, disputes, complaints, proposed developments and existing utility access7.
- The preparation of information related to the status of the title-deed – i.e. whether it is freehold or leasehold. If your home is leasehold, however, be prepared to pay a higher fee due to the extra administrative work. This information is included in either a TA7 or TA9 form7.
- The TA10 form will detail what is and what isn’t included in a sale. This can include fixed appliances such as ovens and fridges7.
- The TA13 form details everything related to the finalisation of the transaction including a declaration that the buyer will not inherit any claims for liability, and when the contracts will be signed, and the keys handed over7.
As mentioned earlier, it is often a good idea to hire and pay for independent conveyancer fees for this service, likely to be in the region of £500 – £1000 (inclusive of VAT) 1.
One of the most important figures to identify while attempting to sell a house is the most suitable asking price. While many estate agents will be able to provide you a ballpark estimate, this figure can be heavily affected by features that may only be obvious to a chartered surveyor.
Ignoring the advice of a surveyor and prioritising your estate agent’s estimate is never a good idea as estate agents may overstate the value of your home in order to gain your business, making your home harder to sell and costing your more in the long run.
A chartered surveyor uses various methods of arrive upon an asking price that is reasonable given the current market conditions. It is somewhat unsurprising therefore that there are occasions when a seller is upset that their home has not increased in value as they expected8.
The methods employed by a surveyor will include, but are not limited to:
- Evaluating nearby sold house prices by comparing the house with similar properties in the same area that have recently sold9.
- A structural report that will relay any information that could affect the value of the home. These can include the presence of dampness, structural movement and subsidence, as well as the condition of the roof and its supporting structure9.
- The study of maintenance and upkeep that has been invested in the property9.
- The value of, and quality of an extension9.
It is also important to state that a surveyor is not responsible for unidentified faults that are inaccessible. A quality surveyor of experience, however, is likely to mention possible issues that could be present based on the other information they have gathered.
Luckily for a seller, the cost of a valuation is much less than the costs of a Homebuyers Report – which is likely to be commissioned by a potential buyer1.
While certain independent surveyors will provide a fixed fee valuation, most jobs will be quoted for based on the value of the property – so expect to pay anything between £150 for a smaller home, up to £1,500 for a larger equivalent1.
Who pays stamp duty when selling a house?
Thankfully, stamp duty is not a cost that is attributed to the seller. Stamp duty is effectively a tax on the preparation of documents related to a house sale and is only relevant for a buyer who is buying a house worth more that £125,00010.
Is there any tax to pay when selling a home?
The necessity of a tax payment is entirely down to the situation of the individual who is selling.
The only tax that may need paying – other than VAT for employed services – is Capital Gains tax, and is a tax imposed on the rise in value of your house during your time of ownership11. This tax is not payable if the following applies to you:
- The house being sold is the only home you own, and it has been your main residence since your purchased it11.
- It has not been split and let out (this does not include a lodger, or roommate) 11.
- It has not been used solely as business premises11.
- The entire grounds (including all buildings) are less than 5,000m2 in area11.
- It was bought solely to be flipped for financial gains in the short-term and not a residence11.
If these conditions do not apply to you, then you can enjoy Private Residence Relief and there is no charge11.
What are the other costs involved with selling a home?
Rather annoyingly – as many with experience of selling will be aware – there can be smaller costs that the seller is liable for, and these can often add up:
Energy Performance Certificate fees
An Energy Performance Certificate is a small survey that focuses on the environmental impact of your home. Brought into law on 1st August 200712, an EPC is carried out by an individual known as a Domestic Energy Assessor who uses software to give a house a score out of 100 based on its construction type, heating systems, loft and wall insulation, secondary heating appliances and glazing standards12.
When these certificates were introduced, a survey was likely to cost in the region of £120 (plus VAT), but as many estate agents have an individual on staff with the qualifications to perform the survey, the cost can often be as low as £30 to £40, and a generous agent will likely waive the fee. It is also worth noting that if an EPC has been performed in the preceding ten years, and there have been no structural changes that would affect its environmental impact for better or worse, then an EPC is not required12.
A seller can often be forgiven for forgetting to include the cost of removals into the house-selling equation as the focus required to obtain a sale makes the need to physically move your belongings a distant second priority.
Luckily, removal companies are a dime a dozen and tend to be experts at moving large items at high speeds with no damage. While you may occasionally hear about an individual hiring a van for the day and employing a few friends to help them out – for the sake of avoiding stress, most people will hire specialists.
Of course, the cost associated with removals varies on the amount of time needed to shift all your possessions. If you travel light, you will find yourself paying a little as £250, but if you plan on bringing your extensive collection of 1800s oak furniture., however, you could find yourself paying as much as £4,000 to £5,0001 – or sometimes even more.
If you have an existing mortgage, the chances are high that your lender will hope to keep your custom by allowing you to switch your mortgage to your new house with minimal stress. If you have found a more competitive quote for a mortgage from another lender on your new house, on the other hand, you will most likely find yourselves having to pay your original lender a mortgage exit fee13. This charge can often be contested but is predominantly in the region of £50 – £3001 depending on the small print in your original mortgage contract.
General cleaning fees
You didn’t think someone would buy your house without a little tidy-up, did you? As with so many purchases, the first taste is in the eye, and a messy home can often deter even the most enthusiastic buyer.
Yes, you can hire a team of cleaners for the day – and no-one will judge you if you do – but if you’re willing to put in a little elbow-grease, this is one part of a house sale that you can save money on.
So, how much does it really cost to sell a house in the UK?
Ultimately, the process of a house sale can be more expensive than many of us are led to believe. It is for this reason that so many sellers are so stubborn to listen to an agent advise them to lower their asking price – every penny counts.
There are, of course, many ways to avoid these costs – such as selling a house directly yourself instead of enlisting the services of an agent, or even carrying out removals and cleaning services themselves. But for the sake of ease, many vendors will pay for these services merely to avoid the accompanying stress – and the stress of needing to sell, especially when time is of the essence can often be too much to bear.
If you do need to sell your home in a short time frame, however, it is important to know the alternative ways available to you, and one of the fastest growing options for those who do not have the time to engage in the traditional house selling process is via the use of house buying companies such as National Homebuyers.
House-buying companies do not need to rely on lenders like an average buyer, and use their capital to purchase your home for cash directly, with many transactions completed within two weeks from the first point of contact, meaning that there is no waiting around for viewings, no charges for valuations or estate agents, and more importantly – a fast house sale.
House-buying companies are also a great option for those who simply can not sell their home due to construction or location-based issues, helping those who have struggled to find a buyer in the past.
Would you prefer to avoid the costs associated with selling a home? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property before it’s too late.
1 Brazg, G. (2018). Complete Guide: The Cost of Selling a House. Available: https://www.theadvisory.co.uk/house-selling/cost-of-selling-a-house/. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.
2 Woollsey, N. (2018). How to choose an estate agent. Available: https://moneyfacts.co.uk/mortgages/guides/how-to-choose-an-estate-agent/. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.
3 Cheek, N. (2011). Are estate agents really that bad? Available: https://conversation.which.co.uk/money/estate-agents-bad-trust/. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.
4 What Mortgage. (2018). Top five tips for choosing your conveyancer. Available: https://www.whatmortgage.co.uk/feature/top-five-tips-choosing-conveyancer/. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.
5 Anon. (2015). Conveyancing process explained for sellers. Available: https://hoa.org.uk/advice/guides-for-homeowners/i-am-selling/conveyancing-made-simple-for-sellers/. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.
6 Kirkman, W. (2018). Is your property lawyer getting a kickback? New rules force conveyancers to disclose referral fees. Available: https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-6218909/Solicitors-referred-estate-agents-arent-telling-clients-paid-recommended.html. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.
7 Cheung, C. (2019). Conveyancing. Available: https://www.which.co.uk/money/mortgages-and-property/first-time-buyers/buying-a-home/conveyancing-ag3rw2q052kz. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.
8 RICS. (2019). The myth of ‘down valuation’ – does it truly exist?. Available: https://www.ricsfirms.com/glossary/the-myth-of-down-valuation-does-it-truly-exist/. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.
9 McNulty, F. (2018). Legal Q&A: How does a surveyor value a property? Available: https://www.homesandproperty.co.uk/property-news/legal-qa/how-does-a-surveyor-value-a-property-a122566.html. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.
10 Admin. (2019). Stamp Duty: The basics. Available: https://www.postoffice.co.uk/mortgages/stamp-duty. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.
11 Government. (2019). Private Residence Relief – Capital Gains Tax when you sell your home. Available: https://www.gov.uk/tax-sell-home. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.
12 Government. (2019). Buying or selling your home – Energy Performance Certificates. Available: https://www.gov.uk/buy-sell-your-home/energy-performance-certificates. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019
13 Maundrell, H. (2018). Can you reclaim your mortgage exit fees? Available: https://www.money.co.uk/guides/can-you-reclaim-your-mortgage-exit-fees.htm. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.
How To Sell A House In A Slow Market
How To Sell A House In A Slow Market
Selling a house often involves bowing to the power of the influences that affect the property market. There are, however, certain things that you can do to learn how to sell a house in a slow market.
How does a slow market affect house sales?
The housing market is a strange entity. It can be affected by multiple factors for both better or worse and the results can often be dramatic – this is largely because the health of the housing market and sold house prices are forever at the mercy of consumer confidence.
A slow market, by definition, does not necessarily mean that the economy is in the throes of a recession. While a recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth¹, the property market will often fluctuate month to month as a result of legislation being changed, interest rate changes and even the weather – and as the property market is buoyed by consumer confidence2, any fears experienced en masse by the prospective house buyers or sellers in the UK can easily cause a slowdown in the housing market.
For example, potential sellers are more likely to hold on to their homes if they read reports about the market beginning to stagnate, as this can have a devastating effect on the size of the purchase offers they receive. Moreover, if they fail to sell within a reasonable timeframe, once the market recovers, they may be forced to drop their asking price in order to counter the suspicions held by potential buyers that it hasn’t sold because it has underlying issues3.
Potential buyers are also less likely to be searching for a new home if they read that the market is stagnating as they know the selection will be poorer. However, there will be certain savvy buyers who will use a slower market to their advantage by providing sellers with low-ball offers, hoping that some of them will be desperate enough to sell4 – although this practice is becoming less common.
How does a slow property market affect the economy?
Of course, when the market is moving slower than it should, there are often wider consequences for the country’s economy as a whole:
- Businesses such as estate agents that depend on the positive buoyancy of the market can find themselves in a worrying financial position leading to branch closures5 and limiting the competition outside of big cities.
- The Bank of England can be forced to change interest rates, limiting the cost to consumers of the charges that banks pass on when they borrow from one another6, the consequences of which mean that…
- Banks may become unwilling to lend during these times of crisis7, hindering the economic flow of money.
- Depending on the length of time that the market is considered weak, house price growth can fall8.
As two thirds of all properties are owned (or mortgaged), and only one third are rented it is fair to say that a large amount of personal wealth is tied up in property ownership, and if homeowner’s assets fall in value, they are less likely to be spending their expendable income on other items and experiences such as meals out, concerts and various luxuries, causing a slowdown in hospitality and other manufacturing industry sectors2.
What steps can I take to sell my house in a slow market?
If you’re already trying to sell your home fast in difficult market conditions, it is important to establish whether or not the failure to sell is a result of the slow market itself – or whether there are other factors at play. This means bearing the following in mind:
- Be realistic with pricing – valuing a house is never based on guess work, but rather comparables from the same area while also taking into account any unique structural changes or décor. While people may believe that they have had work done on their home that adds value, the additions they have made may not be of interest to potential buyers, and a house is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay9.
- Choose the right agent – choosing an agent to help you sell your home is one of the most important steps in the traditional house-buying process. Many sellers find themselves being swayed by the competitive prices of agencies who cover the entire country10, realising too late that they would have had more luck with a local agent with more experience selling in their area9.
- Keep your home at showroom quality – while it can be a pain cleaning and tidying up as you go, keeping your home at showroom quality allows you to be ready for a viewing, no matter when the call comes. A clean and tidy house will also fetch a better price than a home that isn’t cared for9.
- Take great pictures – if you know that you will be selling your home in the near future, make sure that you are pro-active and take some photos of your home on a bright summers day with clean windows and a nicely presented yard or garden. If you need to sell your house in a slow market and it’s the middle of winter, your home won’t seem as inviting if buyers can’t see it’s potential.
- Be personable during viewings – when prospective buyers attend a viewing, it is only fair that they are given the space to voice both their objective and subjective opinions – and as the owner, you may not always like what you hear so it’s important to give them space to look around without interference. Make them feel welcome upon arrival, and when they do ask questions, respond politely and informatively11. In a similar fasahion to buying a car, if a seller comes across as polite, calm and intelligent, this gives you confidence that the car has been well maintained and cared for, and you are more likely to pull the trigger on a purchase – and the same is true for housing.
I Need to Sell My House Fast, What Are My Options?
There are some situations where regardless of the effort you invest, your house still refuses to sell via the traditional methods. So, what are your options if you need to sell your home fast during a slow market?
Auction Houses are another popular way of presenting your home to prospective sellers. Similar to estate agents, auctioneers will take a percentage of the profit – often between 2-3% – so it is in their best interests to sell for as higher price as possible.
However, due to the amount of work necessary for an auction house to market your home before the auction itself, even if your house fails to sell you will still be liable for their costs – often in the range of £1,200-£1,50012. However, there are many auctioneers across the country, allowing you to find a local business that knows your area well.
It is worth mentioning that auction houses are usually frequented by investors, looking to pick up a bargain for renovation purposes12, as well as buyers looking for homes that are non-standard and a bit quirky. For these reasons, standard homes can sell for as little as 40% of their full market value.
Online property portals such as Purplebricks or YOPA are able to sell your house via their websites at a fixed fee, as opposed to a percentage-based fee that an estate agent would normally require. However, as with many great offers, there are strings attached.
Many online estate agents require you to use their own services for valuations – and these services often require additional fees. There have also been numerous complaints upheld by the advertising watchdog in regard to unclear advertising. An example of this is when the fixed fee itself is payable whether or not your house manages to sell, and Purplebricks’ 2016 claim to save a seller an average of £4,158 in fees versus standard estate agents was heavily critiqued because the claim was based on commission figures that had been published five years previously13.
While there are trustworthy companies out there who are willing to help you sell your house, it’s important to remember that sometimes, the client is also the customer, and they always intend to make a profit. So make sure you read the small print before signing on the dotted line.
Thankfully, there is another way to sell your home without having to deal with additional commission fees, and this is through the use of house buying companies.
Companies such as National Homebuyers are capable of selling your home in as little as two weeks from the first point of contact – which is great for those who need to move house due to a sudden change in personal circumstances. National Homebuyers will buy any house for cash, regardless of condition or location, and always for a competitive price – even offering the seller additional financial support to cover any legal fees associated with the sale.
With an ever-increasing number of satisfied customers, why not make an enquiry and see how easy the house selling process can be?
Are you worried that the condition of the housing market could be affecting the sale of your home? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property before it’s too late.
¹ BBC (Anon) (2008) Q&A: What is a recession? Available: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7495340.stm. Last accessed 28th Oct. 2019.
2 Anon. (2018). How does the housing market affect the economy?. Available: https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/knowledgebank/how-does-the-housing-market-affect-the-economy. Last accessed 28th Oct 2019.
3 Anon. (2017). Making an offer – and haggling over the price. Available: https://hoa.org.uk/advice/guides-for-homeowners/i-am-buying/making-an-offer-and-haggling-over-the-price/. Last accessed 28th Oct 2019.
4 Smith, K A. (2018). Should fear of the next recession keep you from buying a home?. Available: https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/buying-a-home-before-recession/. Last accessed 28th Oct 2019.
5 Kollewe, J. (2019). UK estate agents at their gloomiest for 10 years, says Rics. Available: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/feb/14/uk-estate-agents-house-prices-are-at-their-gloomiest-for-10-years-says-rics. Last accessed 28th Oct 2019.
6 Anon. (2018). Interest rates and Bank Rate. Available: https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/monetary-policy/the-interest-rate-bank-rate. Last accessed 28th Oct 2019.
7 Richards, K. (2019). The Financial Crisis – Changes to Lending Policies. Available: https://www.cashfloat.co.uk/blog/money-borrowing/crisis-changes-lending-policy/. Last accessed 28th Oct 2019.
8 Canocchi, C. (2019). House prices grind to a halt as Brexit chill extends beyond London and the South East to slow property markets across the UK. Available: https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-7524071/Nationwide-House-prices-grind-halt-Brexit-chill-extends.html. Last accessed 28th Oct 2019.
9 Thomas, H. (2018). How to get your home sold in a slow property market: From painting the front door, to how to price it right… tips to make your move happen. Available: https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-5542545/Selling-house-paint-door.html. Last accessed 28th Oct 2019.
10 Dare-Hall, Z. (2019). Looking to move but can’t sell your home? How to make a deal in this slow market . Available: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/uk/tweak-asking-price-offer-sweetener-sell-home-slow-market/. Last accessed 28th Oct 2019.
11 Bennett, G. (2019). How to sell your home in a slow market. Available: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/how-to-sell-your-home-in-a-slow-market-t9839wn93. Last accessed 28th Oct 2019.
12 Cheung, C. (2019). Property auctions. Available: https://www.which.co.uk/money/mortgages-and-property/first-time-buyers/buying-a-home/property-auctions-athvb3j7lmd4#headline_8. Last accessed 28th Oct 2019.
13 Dean, S. (2017). Purplebricks apologises for repeating banned claims after share price falls 7pc. Available: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/08/03/purplebricks-apologises-repeating-banned-claims-share-price/. Last accessed 28th Oct 2019.
How to sell your house in winter?
While many property professionals prefer to advise their customers not to aim for a winter house sale, many vendors find that it is unavoidable for a variety of reasons. Luckily, the chances of selling a house in winter aren’t low as many people believe.
When is the best time of year to sell a house?
There are many people who like to pass on their opinion of the best time of year to sell a house based on their prior experience. Fortunately, we don’t have to rely on the subjective approach to the matter thanks to the vast amounts of data available from estate agents, lenders, banks and conveyancers.
Without a doubt, if you can afford to wait until it comes around, then March is always the best time of year to sell a house1.
Why? During March, the hours are beginning to get longer, allowing for more viewings and more natural light to help your home looks its best. Furthermore, with the onset of spring people are generally more jovial and if they wish to buy, they prefer to do it before summer arrives.
There are certain individuals who believe that selling a home in January is a great idea as it is the start of a new year and the Christmas holiday celebrations have been and gone. However, while certain types of valued property can sell early in the year such as one or two bedroomed flats or houses2 – often due to young people having ‘enjoyed’ one Xmas too many in the family home – but more often than not, you will have lower levels of success than in March.
Generally, you want to sell your home when the majority of buyers are looking, and they won’t be doing so when they’re busy – that means school and Christmas holidays are out. Buyers are also more likely to consider purchasing if they can attend a viewing in the evening after work while there is still daylight outside.
This is why many professionals will push their clients to sell at the beginning of spring, and if not aim for early autumn once the schools re-open3.
Why selling a house in the winter is smart
- The benefits of selling your home winter always start with the obvious answer – there is a huge lack of competition amongst sellers4. Many of those who aren’t in a rush will be hanging around for the March sales-window, without realising that the increased competition will always leave the sold property prices in favour of buyers.
- People will always need to buy a home, regardless of time of year. If an individual decides to permanently move to a new house as part of a career choice, they may believe that there’s a good deal to be made during the market’s quieter seasons.
- Solicitors, conveyancers and agents tend to be busier during the warmer seasons, as do those intending to sell. This often leads to house moves getting delayed due to lengthy chains. In winter, this is generally much less of a problem.
- With colder weather, people are more likely to spend time at home on the internet browsing properties – making newly added properies stand-out.
- Stay heated – during viewings, the contrast between the cold weather outside and the warm temperatures inside your home will make your property seem much cosier and welcoming than during the summer months5.
- People who are willing to come for a viewing when it’s the middle of winter tend to be a lot more serious about purchasing than the ‘serial-viewers´ in summer, who often visit homes on sale solely out of curiosity.
Will Your House Sell in the Winter?
The ancient Chinese general and philosopher Sun Tzu once said that “if you know your enemy well and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles”. And this is very true for those who wish to beat their competitors to sell their house during winter first. So, yes, it’s definitely possible to do – but only if you exploit the benefits of being on the market when the pickings are slim.
Those who own cheaper houses such as one or two bed flats and house can certainly prosper as smaller homes tend to be bought by younger people who can’t face another holiday season at the family home, and so tend to shift quite quickly2. Larger houses can take longer, but that doesn’t mean it’s a lost cause to attempt to sell in winter.
Although miserable and cold, winter can benefit those sellers who are savvy enough to realise that in this cold period, many potential buyers would prefer not to be traipsing up and down the high street looking through estate agents’ windows in the rain.
Of course, what many people forget, is that you can ALWAYS sell your home in the winter if you think outside the box. For a large number of homeowners, the need to sell can be extremely time-sensitive – and for that reason, many owners are finding themselves discovering the benefits of selling to a home-buying company.
The benefits of home-buying companies such as National Homebuyers is that from first point of contact, the sale will often be completed in as little as two weeks, allowing the buyer to regain capital in a short space of time.
Another advantage is that home-buying companies are not put-off by certain details that your average buyer may be deterred by; such as distance from shops, unappealing paintwork and structural issues etc.
The benefits of selling in winter are far-reaching for vendors, especially when safe in the knowledge that the people who are thinking about buying a home will be spending the cold evenings browsing web portals such as Rightmove, eMoov and Purple Bricks, so maybe it’s worth considering how to make your home stand out from the other listings?
Tips for selling your home fast in winter
So, you want to ensure a fast winter house sale? Thanks to the ‘ever-wonderful’ weather in the UK, many property market professionals have shared some fantastic ideas that can help you tip the odds in your favour:
- By adding attractive outdoor lighting to your home for dark photos in winter, you can make the entrance seem much more inviting that the average house, helping it to stand out in photos. Many designers consider this ‘kerb appeal’ to be extremely important5 – especially in town houses – as it always adds an element of prestige.
- Why stop at external lighting? By brightening up your home with a variation of direct, indirect and candle sourced room lighting, you can make your home seem especially alluring to those looking to buy a new winter house6.
- Make sure you decorate for the season. Many sellers try to go for the sterile approach that works so well in summer. Due to joint consciousness of the human condition, however, we seek out comfort and cosiness when it is cold outside7, so try adding touches such as a cosy sofa throw or an attractive rug in the bathroom? Remember though – don’t let your personality be reflected in these simple ideas.
- Ensure that your garden is kept tidy – even though it is unlikely to be in use during winter, it should still look attractive when it is viewed from inside the house.
- Odours can often be easier to notice when you try to sell your home in the winter. This is because moisture builds up inside the home from coats, shoes, and of course – pets. You can easily use a dehumidifier to dry the air, but these can be costly. An easier way to cover up the odours is to use the old trick of fabric softener or furniture polish on heated radiators8. Thanks to how drift-heating works, within an hour your home will be showroom fresh.
- Take the time to sand and varnish external window frames and sills, while also cleaning the windows – a dirty façade can often be emphasised by accident in a photo depending on the way it is processed.
- Ensure that any photos on your listings are free from clutter – nobody wants to move into a disaster zone.
- Take photos of your home during the summer for use in the winter – it’s always important to show how wonderful your home can look all year round.
Are you looking to sell your home during the winter? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property before it’s too late.
1Turrill, K. (2017). Selling your home? This is the best MONTH to put your property on the market. Available: https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/property/794435/selling-your-home-house-tips. Last accessed 24 Sept 2019.
2Brazg, G. (2016). When Is The Best Time To Sell Your House? Available: https://www.theadvisory.co.uk/house-selling/best-time-to-sell-house/. Last accessed 24 Sept 2019.
3Norwood, G. (2010). How to sell your house in the autumn market. Available: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/property/buying-selling-moving/7964544/How-to-sell-your-house-in-the-autumn-market.html. Last accessed 24 Sept 2019.
4Butterworth, M. (2016). Want to sell your home this winter? Follow these seven tips to win over buyers and get it sold. Available: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/property/article-3960370/Seven-tips-sell-home-winter.html. Last accessed 24 Sept 2019.
5Anon. (2017). How to sell your home in winter. Available: https://hoa.org.uk/2017/11/how-to-sell-your-home-in-winter/. Last accessed 24 Sept 2019.
6Robson, I. (2017). Selling your house this winter? 9 tips to tempt buyers to make an offer. Available: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/property-news/selling-your-house-winter-9-13973477. Last accessed 24 Sept 2019.
7Harris, B. (2015). 10 Ways To Create A Cozy Home For Winter. Available: https://www.forbes.com/sites/houzz/2015/12/10/10-ways-to-create-a-cozy-home-for-winter/. Last accessed 24 Sept 2019.
8Brennan, S. (2016). Store bedding in a pillowcase, clean radiators with fabric softener and wet wipe the carpet: Women reveal their VERY clever life hacks for busy mothers. Available: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3790960/Women-reveal-clever-life-hacks-busy-mothers.html. Last accessed 24 Sept 2019.
How Brexit Has Made Homeowners Turn to Quick House Sales
After three years of political back-and-forth, misinformation and numerous allegations of corruption, the UK is due to leave the EU on October 31. However, amid all the confusion and turmoil, it appears that homeowners are likely to be bearing the brunt of the economic damage for years to come.
What exactly is Brexit?
Brexit. A word that has only entered the lexicon in recent years, but whose consequences have propelled it to the forefront of the British collective conscious. But what exactly is Brexit?
Contrary to popular opinion, the anti-European sentiment held by many of those who voted to leave can trace its origins as far back as the years following the Second World War, as the more learned members of the British public found themselves becoming weary of the multinational financial, defences and trade organisations that had been set up to centralise power such as the European Union, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)1.
For many Brits, this centralisation of power meant losing sovereignty and the ability for the UK to make its own rules.
The rise of such organisations was also paralleled by a rise in immigration over the latter half of the twentieth century as increased globalism saw many educated individuals seek employment in more developed countries than their own in the quest for a higher quality of life.
While most young people in Britain today enjoy a secular multicultural social scene, just fifty years prior, most of the British population had barely been exposed to immigrants of different races and cultures. Unsurprisingly, this provided all the ingredients for a rise in nationalist, bigoted styles of thought – especially in areas with low standards of education amongst the working classes. Furthermore, as the rise of immigration and the European Union coincided with one another, it was very easy for Brits to blame the latter for the former.
In reality, the rise of immigration was a direct result of increased political and business agreements between countries as well as cheaper travel options and the need for a larger workforce to help re-build the country and its economy once the war was over.2
By time the 1990s arrived, the British industrial and political landscape had changed massively. The closing of coal mines and the movement of jobs abroad that had previously provided work within the poorer areas of Britain saw a rise of anti-establishmentarianism become embedded in the minds of those who struggled in poverty.
As time passed, it became clear to many that the country had become London-centric, with many other areas left to continue their decline3. And as politicians and other wealthy investors centred their businesses around the capital, a new form of political figure began to emerge, happy to exploit those who failed to understand the relationship between the EU and the UK.
It was during this time that anti-EU politician and grass-roots campaign leader Nigel Farage began to see his profile gain inertia as he marketed himself to less affluent areas as ‘a people’s man’ who is less tied to the elite than the opposing politicians against whom he was competing.
Farage campaigned with others who shared his viewpoint -including the late Sir James Goldsmith – in an effort to direct public attention towards the growing issue of direct immigration within the Eurozone from less economically resilient countries who had recently joined the EU, while also drawing attention to the troubled economies of southern European countries such as Spain4.
During the early 2000s, the idea of leaving the EU began to really gain traction amongst those who felt disenfranchised by the European and British elites who they believed benefited from EU membership at the expense of those lower down on the social ladder.
This growing belief, coupled with multiple Parliamentary scandals, a paralysing economic depression and additional political pressure from the growing anti-EU sentiment within the various parties led to the fulfilment of a promise made by then-Prime Minister David Cameron to hold a referendum vote on EU membership 23 June 2016.
In the months leading up to the referendum, the public found themselves inundated with media campaigns and political rhetoric, with one in six Brits admitting that the divisive nature of the matter had created rifts between families and friends.5
When the results were announced, many were surprised to learn that the Leave campaign had been victorious – winning 52% of the counted votes. A large number of analysts believe that this was due to a lack of engagement with the referendum by pro-remain constituents, combined with a constant stream of misinformation by the Leave campaign that led to the historic decision.6
While the referendum was by no means legally-binding, the government felt obliged to begin the preparations to leave the European Union – much to the ire of the 48% who voted to remain.
Due to the political and economic fallout that grew in intensity over the next three years, as well as the failure by the Tory party to negotiate a trade deal with the EU before the deadline passed on March 31st, an extension for negotiations was granted until 31 October 2019.
In June 2019, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that she would be stepping down from her role, forcing a Tory leadership contest whose winner will be responsible for the continued Tory efforts to take the UK out of European Union.
How has Brexit affected the economy?
Since 2016, the UK economy has seen its growth rate stall. By 2018, first quarter reports by Reuters showed that the economy was between 1-1.5 per cent smaller than it would have been if the Brexit vote had failed. Although many analysts cite an estimated GDP fall of 2.5 per cent – placing it second to last in the G7 economy rankings, just above Italy7.
The UK has, however, enjoyed a huge drop in the rate of unemployment, hitting its lowest level since the 1970s. Unfortunately, those within the work and pensions sector admit that this has been heavily influenced by the increase of ‘zero-hour’ contracts whereby an individual can ‘technically’ be counted as employed, but without a contract that stipulates a minimum number of working hours per week8. This lack of dependable income has forced many Brits to seek second, or even third jobs to cover their monthly outgoings.
Wage growth has also slowed significantly as inflation grew way above the 2 per cent target set by the Bank of England7. This devaluation in currency cannot be entirely blamed on Brexit, as inflation has outgrown wages for decades, with younger generations finding it increasingly hard to build up their savings. However, the inflation rises have forced many households to extend their lines of credit from lenders merely to cover month-to-month expenses9. The economic impact of Brexit, nevertheless, has led the household sector into a net financial deficit for the first time since 19887
As many Brits are probably aware, much of the economic downfall has been centred in and around the capital. Since the days of Thatcher, the UK has positioned itself as a financial powerhouse, with London serving as a middleman between the US and European trade. Unfortunately, many of the multi-national companies, banks, and potential investors perceive Brexit to be a huge mistake that may affect their bottom line if the UK leaves the EU. This has led to numerous organisations re-structuring and moving their operations from London into the Republic of Ireland as well as mainland Europe to avoid the possibility of unwelcome tariffs.
With a lack of employment opportunities within these organisations, the capital has become a less attractive proposition for younger people who have recently graduated, while also forcing many established homeowners in London to find employment elsewhere.
Many companies – both national and international – have also moved their headquarters out of the capital, choosing to move north where land-rent is much cheaper. This increase of investment into cities that had previously been considered ‘secondary’ to London began to turn the commercial property market upside-down as northern towns started to flourish at the expense of the South.
The capital is also finding itself starved of investment, with the Bank of England admitting that before the referendum took place, they expected the economy to grow by 13 per cent between 2016 and 2018. As a result of the leave vote, however, investment in the UK grew by only 2 per cent in total, including a fall of 0.2 per cent between 2017 and 20187.
The signs that Brexit may well spell further disaster are also worryingly clear, with UK stocks becoming a less attractive investment within the FTSE250 in the US, falling by 0.3 per cent (an increase of 12 per cent in Sterling) – a figure that is dwarfed by other developed economies who have seen investment rise by 26 per cent7.
How has Brexit affected house sales and the housing market?
The British house market is entirely sustained by consumer confidence in the economy. Thanks to the fall in GDP, Brits are generally earning less than they would have if the Brexit vote was for remain. Since the vote, house price rises have started to falter, forcing many potential sellers to consider waiting until after the dust has settled before making any plans.
While employment is at its highest level for over 40 years, the continued effects of rapid inflation; the proliferation of zero-hour contracts and the static but overly expensive house prices thanks to years of growth in value have left a large percentage of individuals from Generation X, the Millennial generation, and Generation Z with very little chance of ever owning a home of their own. This has led to an increase in rental properties, and consequently, and increase in rental fees as landlords exploit the situation for further profit10. This hike in rental fees also swallows much more of the income from those within these generations – preventing them from building up savings.
For homeowners in the capital, the effects of Brexit have been startling, with a £40bn drop in property value increases between 2018 and 2019 according to recent data released by London-based agent Savills11.
“Given the extent to which London is [currently] priced relative to the rest of the country,” said Lucian Cook, director of residential research at Savills in July 2019, “the extent to which it had pulled away from the rest — the Brexit vote may well have been the catalyst for a shift in the market.”
It isn’t all doom and gloom, however, as thanks to the closing of the north-south divide in property values thanks to the aforementioned re-distribution of investment from the south to the north, the total value of housing stock across the UK has still increased by £243bn since 201611.
Unfortunately for the UK government, this increase is mainly a result of property value increases across Scotland and Wales7 – countries who have both expressed an interest in leaving the United Kingdom in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
What options do homeowners have amid Brexit?
While a large proportion of homeowners can sit back and watch the Brexit saga play-out, there are, unfortunately, many who will have no choice but to sell while the market is stagnant.
Employees who have been made redundant in the capital, for example, have found themselves needing to move cities to find another job. And as much of their equity is tied into their house, they need to sell their house in order to buy another.
While some individuals choose to commute, the increase in prices for train fares has made this an increasingly undesirable option.
Why are homeowners trying to sell before the Brexit deadline?
Those who own a property that they have considered selling for several years are now finding themselves between a rock and a hard place. As of mid-2019, the UK property market lies in favour of buyers12. So why are they so desperate to sell before the Brexit deadline?
The answer, it seems, is very simple. Fear.
Homeowners have seen the decrease in market activity in the years since the Brexit vote, as well as the falling sold house prices that have so far been concentrated in the south of England. For many of these individuals, they have already acknowledged that they have lost profit on their homes, but the fear that their home could lose even more value if the UK leaves the EU on 31 October encourages them to play their hand early.
This situation is not helped by the amount of misinformation being spread by the less-reputable members of the leave campaign, who believe that even an independent analyst’s estimate that the UK will be “worse-off” once Brexit is finalised is all part of a propaganda campaign by the UK and EU elite they refer to as ‘Project Fear’.
In reality, there is no easy answer to the question ‘Should I sell my house before Brexit?” as, in truth, those within the industry can only make educated guesses that often need revising thanks to the repeated changes in government policies and legislation related to the October deadline.
Luckily, there are always ways to sell a house – even in a stagnant market. And if the value is presently higher than it will be in the event of a no-deal Brexit, many homeowners believe that it is worth it.
So, how can these homeowners sell?
- They can choose to sell the traditional way via a high-street agent who is likely to have common knowledge of the area but will take a percentage of the agreed sale price.
- They can enlist the help of online estate agents, who offer flat-rate fees to lure customers away from their competitors. Although certain companies such as Zoopla and Purplebricks have been caught numerous times transgressing the guidelines set out by the Advertising Standards Authority in relation to false marketing claims as well as failing to disclose additional fees to their customers
- They can try to sell the house themselves privately, although this approach rarely leads to a profit comparable to that negotiated by a professional agent.
It is important to draw attention to the fact that although these methods will – more than likely – guarantee a sale, it is ultimately the strength of the market that governs the value of their home. This means that if they wish to sell their house within a short-time frame, they will most likely have to accept a purchase offer much lower than they anticipated.
Is there a faster way to sell a house?
There are always options for a homeowner if they wish to sell their house fast – no matter the location, situation or quality of construction – and this is via the use of private house buying companies who have the resources to purchase a home outright for cash. This method has increased in popularity over the last ten years as the need to move to a new house in pursuit of higher earnings has become a priority for a growing number of households.
Other options include the use of an auction, where a property can be placed on a ticket and bid for by prospective owners. Auctions are often used by property developers and landlords to find bargains that they can profit from by either ‘flipping’ the house, or by placing tenants inside once it is renovated.
While some sellers report excellent experiences within the auction world – there are yet more who are unable to sell for their reserve price, forcing them to either accept a substantially lower amount than they hoped – or withdrawing their property from the auction, whilst still being obliged to pay the auctioneer’s fees.
How will the property market react once Brexit is passed?
As mentioned earlier, the condition of the housing market – as well as the UK economy – once the Brexit deadline passes is not an estimate many experts are prepared to make publicly with making a disclaimer. There have been claims that the UK could face its greatest economic recession since the Second World War if it were to leave the EU with, or without, a deal as negotiations to arrange trade deals with other countries appear to be weakening13.
One thing that all analysts all agree upon, however, is that if Article 50 were to be withdrawn and Brexit cancelled, the British Pound would likely rise in value significantly amongst the other developed nations. Echoing this sentiment are the many international corporations that are still in the process of drawing up plans to withdraw and re-locate from the UK, stating that they may be willing to reverse their decision to leave.
Are you looking to sell your home before the Brexit deadline? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property before it’s too late.
Sources and references:
1Friedman, G. (2016). 3 Reasons Brits Voted For Brexit. Available: https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnmauldin/2016/07/05/3-reasons-brits-voted-for-brexit/. Last accessed 9 July 2019.
2Yeo, C. (2017). Freedom of movement didn’t start with the EU – it’s the norm for Britain. Available: https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/staggers/2017/05/freedom-movement-didnt-start-eu-its-norm-britain. Last accessed 10 July 2019.
3The Economist. 2012. The Great Divide. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.economist.com/britain/2012/09/15/the-great-divide. [Accessed 9 July 2019].
4Carter, Neil; Evans, Mark; Alderman, Keith; Gorham, Simon (1998). “Europe, Goldsmith and the Referendum Party”. Parliamentary Affairs. 51 (3). pp. 470–485.
5Mischke, J. (2019). Brexit has made Brits ‘angrier’ and ‘deeply divided’: survey. Available: https://www.politico.eu/article/brexit-has-made-brits-angrier-and-deeply-divided-survey-referendum/. Last accessed 9th July 2019.
6Cassidy, J. (2016). Why the Remain Campaign Lost the Brexit Vote. Available: Why the Remain Campaign Lost the Brexit Vote. Last accessed 9 July 2019.
7Giles, C. Fray, K. (2018). The UK economy since the Brexit vote — in 6 charts. Available: https://www.ft.com/content/cf51e840-7147-11e7-93ff-99f383b09ff9. Last accessed 9 Jul 2019.
8Trotman, A. (2015). Zero-hours contracts ‘save UK from eurozone levels of unemployment’. Available: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/11435789/Zero-hours-contracts-save-UK-from-eurozone-levels-of-unemployment.html. Last accessed 9 July 2019.
9Burroughs, C. (2019). Companies are fleeing the UK no matter what happens with Brexit. Here’s all the damage that’s already been done. Available: https://www.businessinsider.com/brexit-damaged-city-of-london-2018-11?r=US&IR=T. Last accessed 9 July 2019.
10White, A. (2019). Renting in London forecast: Brexit uncertainty set to push average rents up faster than house prices by 2023. Available: https://www.homesandproperty.co.uk/property-news/renting/renting-london-forecast-brexit-uncertainty-will-push-rents-up-faster-than-house-prices-by-2023-a126901.html. Last accessed 9 July 2019.
11Pickford, J. (2019). London property values down £40bn in past year. Available: https://www.ft.com/content/3f105808-9e62-11e9-b8ce-8b459ed04726. Last accessed 9th July 2019.
12Collinson, P. (2019). UK house prices likely to keep falling for another six months. Available: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2019/apr/11/uk-house-prices-likely-to-keep-falling-for-another-six-months. Last accessed 9 July 2019.
13Chu, B. (2018). Brexit: UK could suffer devastating recession and worst economic slump since Second World War with ‘disorderly’ exit, Bank of England warns. Available: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/brexit-no-deal-latest-bank-of-england-warning-recession-financial-crisis-a8656561.html. Last accessed 9 July 2019.
How Will Brexit Affect House Prices In The UK?
As the UK passes the original deadline for Brexit, many industries continue to be affected by the ongoing confusion regarding the state of the markets if the country leaves the European Union. But how will Brexit affect house prices in the UK?
How does Brexit affect the property market?
The property market is heavily tied-in with the state of consumer confidence, which can be observed through historical data gathered during the recessions over the last 40 years. In the most recent recession over a decade ago, average sold house prices across the country fell by 20 per cent over 16 months, while house purchase transactions fell from 1.65 million per year, to 730,000 in 2009.
For many analysts, this recession – or the Financial Crisis as it became known – was the worst economic downturn for the UK since the days of the Great Depression. However, housing values were propped-up in the years following by wealthy foreign investors taking advantage of cheap property in the capital.
Unfortunately, in the time since, the London property bubble has started to burst as more and more companies have moved their headquarters to the EU mainland to avoid trading issues if Brexit goes ahead. It is, therefore, more likely that the housing market will suffer a decline greater than that of the Financial Crisis in the event of a negotiated deal with Brussels, or no deal at all.
Will Brexit cause house prices to crash?
Large numbers of property experts believe that the property market, along with many commercial businesses will be the first to experience a huge downtown as the government attempts to collaborate with other nations in an attempt to secure trade deals.
As retail and service providing businesses will lose money due to increased trade tariffs, it is more than likely that they will freeze pay rises, lay off staff and close the number of outlets from which they operate. This is likely to lead to a higher number of people being out of work or earning less than expected, so the rate of consumer spending is also likely to drop – and this includes large purchases such as houses.
What impact will Brexit have on property prices?
Many homeowners have situations arise that requires them to sell their house regardless of the market condition due to starting a new career, or simply due to ill health. But if the demand for houses drops, then those who are looking to sell their house fast will have to accept much lower offers if they wish to complete the transaction. If this occurs en-masse, then it is very likely that house prices will crash.
While it is impossible to calculate the fall in house prices in the event of a deal due to Theresa May’s inability to reach a consensus with the EU’s negotiators, banks believe that if we leave the EU without a deal then they would expect to see a fall of 30%, placing large swathes of the population into negative equity, quite possibly leading to another recession even worse than the Financial Crisis.
If you’re worried about the effects of Brexit on your house sale, why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Estate agencies under fire for turning a blind eye to crime
Despite a strong belief that the estate agency industry is heavily regulated, the lack of oversight by many unregistered agents has forced the government to hand out fines to tackle the growing problem of money laundering.
While estate agents are hardly regarded as the most trustworthy of professionals by consumers and industry experts alike, large numbers of vendors who are looking to sell their home fast are often more than happy to hire an agency – with little research of their own – in the hopes of securing high sold house prices.
Unlike many financial businesses which require a prolonged vetting process designed to rout out applicants who could be considered morally flexible, anyone can set up an estate agency business with little more than a registration with HMRC and a redress scheme – potentially allowing anyone to become an estate agenct.
While this is not a massive issue in itself, these loose set of rules allow criminals to launder money gained through wrongdoing via real estate investment. An obvious example of this is the mass-purchasing of central London residences by Russian Oligarchs in an attempt to safeguard their finances.
The government introduced regulations and fines many years ago in order to curb the exploitation of agencies who fail to probe suspicious clients, and to prevent housing values being falsely inflated. And as a result of fifty spot-checks carried out by HMRC this year, so far there have been a worrying number of agencies hit with financial penalties for failing to register with, or for not adhering to the HMRC money-laundering regulatory scheme. The most high-profile of which has been Countrywide, who were last month hit with a fine of £215,000.
“Criminals who seek to use this country as a place to launder money should be in no doubt that they have nowhere to hide,” said Ben Wallace, Minister for National Security and Economic Crime.
Estate agents are a crucial line of defence against them and that’s why they’re under a legal – and moral – obligation to file a report when they spot something amiss. It’s wrong to think of money laundering as a victimless crime. Those with dirty cash to clean don’t just sit on it – they reinvest it in serious organised crime, from drug importation to child sexual exploitation, human trafficking and even terrorism.”
So how does this affect the average consumer? For buyers, as long as they have no nefarious plans for illegal investment then they need not worry as the regulations are there to help those who stay on the right side of the law. For sellers on the other hand, a failure to deal with a reputable estate agency who are willing to protect their interests can lead to a number of complications further down the line. For example, sellers who discover that their home has been purchased through money laundering schemes may find themselves out-of-pocket as money seized by the authorities can leave the status of the sold property in limbo as legal issues are resolved – a process that can take years.
Is it any wonder then that companies such as National Homebuyers are finding themselves inundated with vendors looking for fast house sales via a reputable company who can complete on a purchase in as little as two weeks?
Prefer to avoid estate agents? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Sellers in shock as asking prices fall to new lows
As fears regarding Brexit continue to affect the housing market, sellers are finding themselves having to continually reduce their asking prices in order to entice buyers – leading to the weakest market growth since 2010.
Whether you need to sell your house fast, or are happy to wait until the right offer comes along, all vendors are desperate to get the highest price for their home. Unfortunately, things don’t always work out that way, as changes within the economy as well as differing levels of enthusiasm from buyers throughout the year can force a seller to reduce their asking price to ensure a sale.
Thanks to the public insecurity regarding the upcoming Brexit deadline, along with growing levels of poverty as a result of the austerity measures introduced by the Tory government over the last eight years, the housing market is struggling to maintain momentum – and it appears to be the vendors that are bearing the brunt of the situation.
According to property portal Rightmove, the asking price of a UK home dropped by 3.2% between October and December, and consequently, house prices for the entire of 2018 only rose by 0.7% – far below the 2% per annum rise the majority of surveyors and valuers would expect in a healthy economy.
Certain government officials have voiced their concerns regarding the falling housing values and the knock-on effects that could arise if more homeowners decide to stay-put, instead or sizing up or down.
For example, industries that rely on new homeowners for their profits – such as DIY retailers and curtain, carpet and furniture manufacturers – could face a slowdown that would be unprecedented.
The fall in sold house prices appears to be centred around the south and south-east, where housing has become unaffordable for all but the most affluent individuals in recent years. With the capital facing many potential setbacks in the upcoming months, however, as an increasing number of businesses threaten to relocate their headquarters elsewhere in Europe if no trade deal is in place by March 29th, those who have bought in the last 12 months in the worse affected areas may find themselves in negative equity as values slump.
“It’s usual for new-to-the-market sellers to price lower in the run-up to Christmas to tempt distracted buyers, so we should not read too much into the mere fact of two consecutive monthly falls,” said Miles Shipside, a Rightmove director and housing market analyst.
“However, these falls have been larger than usual, making this the largest fall over two months for six years, showing that there are more than just seasonal forces at play.”
It is, nevertheless, important to remember that if you do need to sell your house in as shorter time as possible, it is always worth contacting National Homebuyers who are willing to buy any house, regardless of market strength or condition.
Not getting the asking price you’re looking for? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
How to avoid repossession of your home
While many consider it a personal dream to own a home, the dream can quickly turn into a nightmare if you are unable to keep up with the repayments. In this article, we’re going to look at the repossession process, and how to avoid it.
How does a house repossession work?
The term ‘house repossession’ can strike fear into the heart of the bravest of homeowners. After spending years saving for a deposit due to high housing values, it is always undeniably heart-breaking to learn that you have to start again from nothing. However, house repossession laws are there to protect the interests of the mortgage lender as a result of your inability to cover the monthly fees you agreed to pay.
To be fair to lenders, they are often more than willing to give you several opportunities to clear your arrears over several months, and will only allow the courts to get involved if it becomes obvious that you have no intention of paying, or are unable to afford the repayments at any point in the near future.
What happens when your house is repossessed?
All lenders must follow a pre-determined set of rules to before initiating court action. In normal circumstances, a lender will contact you if you miss a payment in order to learn why you have done so. More often than not, if it is simply a case that you have lost your job, or have had an unexpected payment leave your bank account high and dry, they will happily adjust the amount you pay over the proceeding months until the arrears are cleared.
If, however, you have missed multiple payments, the lender may apply for a court order to commence repossession proceedings. If a judge considers their reasoning just, then the courts will schedule a hearing during which the aforementioned judge will hear both sides of the story and decide whether you can keep your home, or if the lender has sufficient reason to repossess your home.
During the hearing, it is entirely possible that you can stop the house repossession. This is, however, up to the discretion of the judge.
How to prevent the repossession of your home?
You are always entitled to discuss the situation with a legal advisor prior to the court date in an effort to prevent repossession, and there are three possible outcomes with which the judge may help you in accordance with house repossession laws:
- They could rule in your favour, allowing you to continue living in your home without risk of further prosecution.
- The case could be adjourned, providing you with more time to prepare before returning to court.
- The judge may issue a suspended possession order which allows you to stay in your home – provided you adhere to the conditions set forth within the order.
Can house repossessions be stopped?
Many people who are facing repossession will take the opportunity to sell their home as fast as possible in order to make the necessary repayments, and still recover a portion of the deposit that they originally paid the lender in order the buy the home. One of the ways to accomplish this that is growing in popularity is to utilise the services of a house-buying company such as National Homebuyers.
Since National Homebuyers are able to complete a sale in as little as two weeks from first point of contact, you can rest assured that you will be able to sell the home and repay the lender before being removed by a bailiff.
Other methods used to avoid a house repossession are as follows:
- Renting the property out to tenants can be a godsend, as rental payments are almost always more than the monthly mortgage repayments you originally agreed upon. This means that you can move into a separate rented property yourself and cover those costs with your wages, and use all the money earnt from the tenants in the property you own to pay your mortgage, as well as begin to pay back your arrears.
- If you have mortgage repayment insurance, and the reason for which you are unable to make the repayments are covered by the terms and conditions – for example illness, injury or loss of a job through no fault of your own – then your insurance provider will be able to continue making mortgage repayments on your behalf for however long the policy allows.
- Consult the citizen’s advice bureau as to whether you qualify for aid from the government as a result of your situation.
- Simply discuss your situation with the lender before a judge is involved. For many lenders, it is much simpler to work out a repayment plan than to employ house repossession laws and risk losing a case, as well as ending up spending more money in legal fees. Furthermore, in accordance with lending law, a lender must treat you fairly and provide you with ample opportunities to make the necessary repayments.
What happens after a house repossession?
If worst comes to worst, and you do face a house repossession, the following will happen:
- You will be given a set amount of time to vacate the property, and if you do not leave within this time then the courts will send a bailiff to forcibly remove you.
- The lender will take possession of your home, and list it for sale.
- The lender must sell the property in a reasonable amount of time, otherwise they may be seen as trying to capitalise on the situation by taking advantage of rising sold house prices. If you feel that they are doing so, then you are within your rights to complain to the Ombudsman.
- The price at which the property is sold will not necessarily be as much as you would have received yourself if you were to sell it, but the price that the property is sold for will be used to cover the following costs:
- Your outstanding mortgage.
- Any repair or maintenance fees for damage that could prevent a sale.
- The legal costs they incurred from taking you to court.
- The costs involved in the sale of the property such as estate agent fees, solicitor fees, or conveyancing fees.
Looking to sell your home before it is repossessed? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
The secrets behind how to sell a property successfully
Selling a house is never a stress-free experience but being prepared can help you to complete a sale as efficiently as possible.
While many homeowners love the idea of moving to a nice new property, the move itself is often hindered by the sale of their current home. So how do you ensure that the house-selling process goes as smoothly as possible?
How to sell your house
There are several methods that allow you to sell a house:
- High street estate agents are the most common method used by sellers but as many can attest, the likelihood of a fast house sale is entirely dependent on the experience and professionalism of the chosen agent. High street agents are also known to be quite expensive, often with many additional fees.
- Online estate agents are growing in popularity due to their fixed rate pricing and their ability to reach a wider audience of potential buyers. However, there have been many cases in recent years where the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have found that companies such as Purplebricks, Housesimple, Hatched, and eMoov have misled customers, as they have often applied additional charges during the selling a house process that they initially fail to mention.
- If you believe that you have the ability to sell your home privately, then you can avoid the fees often associated with estate agents. Unfortunately, many who choose this route find that the stress involved is unsustainable, and eventually decide to refer the sale to a professional.
- If you need to sell your house fast, you can contact house-buying companies such as National Homebuyers who will value your home by providing a no-obligation quote, allowing you to decide whether to proceed or not. The benefit of using a company such as National Homebuyers is that sales are often completed in as little as two weeks, regardless of the location or condition of the property.
What do you need to know to sell your house?
When you sell your home, it is always a good idea to familiarise yourself with the house selling process:
- Make sure you only deal with reputable agents or companies who have a proven track-record of house sales in your area.
- Find out the sold house prices for homes similar to your own in nearby locations as a guide when deciding upon your asking price.
- Research customer reviews for local solicitors before making your choice. Many individuals have had a house sale held up, or even fallen through as a result of paperwork delays.
- Remember that when you are selling your house, it must be immaculate in order to gain interest from prospective buyers. This means tidying up, a little renovation, a lot of cleaning, and a willingness to keep it at showroom quality throughout the entire house selling process.
- If you decide to use National Homebuyers to sell your home, we will be available to provide independent, honest advice every step of the way – helping you to avoid the pitfalls and legal issues most commonly associated with a house sale.
What documents do you need to sell a house?
The documents needed to sell a house are as follows:
- Proof of identity
- Details of your current mortgage.
- The Title Deed to the property, a copy of which is likely to held by your mortgage provider or solicitor.
- An Energy Performance Certificate which states the efficiency rating for the house based on its CO2 impact and insulative properties.
- The Fittings and Contents Form (TA10) which details exactly what items will be included in the sale of the property.
- The Property Information Form (TA6) which includes an in-depth examination of every detail of the house, including service, utilities, insurance costs, boundaries, neighbour disputes and much more.
- Shared freehold / leasehold documents that state whether the property retains a share of the freehold, or whether it is leasehold.
- A Management Information Pack which provides details of any service or leasehold charges that need to be paid by the owner.
- An Acceptance of Offer Form once you have agreed a price with the buyer.
What are the costs of selling a house?
There are numerous costs to legally sell a home, many of which can shock vendors. There are, however, always numerous options available:
- Estate agent fees vary, but tend to be around 1.3% of the total sold house price. This can be avoided if you choose to sell your home privately.
- An Energy Performance Certificate is necessary if it has been more than ten years since the last certificate was issued, or if you have made changes to the property that could affect its energy rating. The average cost for an EPC is between £50 to £120 depending on the Domestic Energy Assessor used.
- Conveyancing fees will always apply as they need to be processed by either a solicitor or licensed conveyancer. These fees cover the legal aspects of the house sale and can range from £500 to £1500, depending on the value of the property.
- Removal fees will also be necessary unless you are happy to hire a van and are lucky enough to have a few friends to help. If you hire a removal firm, however, expect to pay anywhere between £400 to £1500.
Of course, there are ways to avoid a large portion of the fees associated with selling a house, and this is by using National Homebuyers.
When National Homebuyers purchase a house, there is only a small service fee necessary, and this is fully refunded once the sale is complete. National Homebuyers will even cover up to £1000 of your conveyancing fees, helping you save money, and sell your home with minimum stress.
Looking for a quick way to sell your house? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
The Top Ten Worst Places To Sell a Home In The UK
No matter the quality or condition of a home, if it is located in an area that offers little in terms of services or personal safety then the vendor will always find themselves consistently lowering their asking price in desperation to complete a sale.
If you’re browsing through listings on an online portal such as Rightmove, you will occasionally see a beautiful property for a staggeringly low price. Opening the listing, you remain optimistic but cautious as to why such a wonderful example of a home can be so cheap despite its large open rooms and well maintained exterior, so after a period of reflection you decide to contact the agent to arrange a viewing.
As you approach the house, it slowly dawns on you why the vendor is having such a hard time selling. For starters, there doesn’t appear to be any local amenities or shops within a 2-3 mile radius – so if the new owner wishes to pick up a few essentials, it would be necessary to catch a bus or drive. Secondly, the neighbourhood appears to have high levels of crime – a deal-breaker for most of us. And once you finally go inside, you hear the dreaded words “I’m afraid we don’t have broadband available in this part of town”.
In the UK, there are many places that buyers would prefer to avoid, and as a result National Homebuyers have been inundated by vendors who need to sell their house fast. Luckily, National Homebuyers will buy any home regardless of location with competitive quotes and industry leading service – but where are the worst places to sell a home in the UK?
This year, Home.co.uk compared data from sales across the nation, presenting a list of the areas where a house sale can turn into a nightmare that never ends, along with the average time it can take to sell:
1. Rotherham –279 days
2. Knightsbridge – 277 days
3. Sunderland – 277 days
4. Mayfair – 272 days
5. North Shields – 268 days
6. Marylebone – 268 days
7. Soho – 266 days
8. Charing Cross – 265 days
9. South Shields – 264 days
10. Strand – 262 days
Perhaps the most shocking thing regarding the list is the number of London boroughs. Many of these boroughs were in great demand just five years ago, but thanks to rising sold house prices, higher taxes and low wage levels, sellers who refuse to lower their asking price are finding themselves on the market for nine months or more.
Another interesting point is how few northerly towns are included in the list versus similar previous surveys. Analysts believe that the relocation of big companies such as the BBC to large northern cities with lower land values has had a positive effect on neighbouring towns as commuters vie for the best available properties.
With limited trade and falling levels of available industrial work, it is unsurprising to learn that other than the six areas near the capital, three out of the four remaining places on the list are occupied by towns from the north-east.
However, first prize goes to the large South Yorkshire town of Rotherham where houses take, on average, 279 days to sell. With high levels of crimes and the proliferation of ‘grooming’ gangs, combined with high rates of binge drinking and drug abuse within its population, Rotherham often finds itself named on humorous websites as one of the ‘worst places to live in the UK’.
While these lists do change as time passes with the rise and fall of local economies, it is clear that the economic downturn and public insecurity concerning Brexit has had far-reaching consequences for vendors up and down the country – even in the capital.
Are you unable to sell? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
The Secret To The Best Time To Sell Your Home
Finding the best time to sell a property is not always easy in the UK thanks to our inconsistent weather and the complexities associated with the house-selling process. Luckily, in this blog we’re going to discuss the best time to sell your house, and how to use this information to ensure a high value sale.
When do most houses go on the market in the UK?
Traditionally, the majority of houses across the nation are placed on the market when the weather is bright and the temperatures are warmer. This allows vendors to showcase the exterior façade of their home with the plentiful amounts of available natural light, while also helping the property feel warm and welcoming. However, if you are hoping to sell your home fast, you need to choose a time of the year when large amounts of potential buyers are scouting the market for their next big move.
When is the right time to sell a property?
Throughout the year there are many events that can limit the likelihood of your home selling in a short-time scale, subsequently forcing you to reduce your asking price. In the summer, many young families are often busy with their children while the schools are closed, and trying to look after children and organise a house move is often a recipe for disaster. During the winter, the short days and cold temperatures limit the enthusiasm of buyers, and only a very small number of them would be willing to move house during Christmas time.
In the autumn, conversely, children are back in school and buyers who are desperate to move before the cold weather sets in are more likely to make a serious offer with the intention of purchasing. For the majority of estate agents, however, the busiest time of the year is always spring. This is because the days are longer, the weather begins to brighten and the increased competition between potential buyers increases the prospect of you receiving your original asking price – or even higher.
Which month is the best to sell a house?
According to industry analysts, the best months to place your house on the market are between February and June. By the time February arrives, the Christmas and New Year festivities are over and thanks to the ending of the tax year in April, it’s a great time for buyers who are self-employed to finalise their proof-of-earnings for their mortgage application.
The best month to sell your house in terms of sales figures is May, but it is often a good idea to beat the crowd and list your property with an agent a little sooner.
When is the best time to put a house on the market?
The best time to sell your house is not a question that is easily answered. While many individuals have the luxury of being able to wait to place their home on the market, there is always a large number of sellers who cannot delay their sale due to a new job, or simply because they need to move closer to family due to their failing health. Luckily, even when the market has been slow, sellers have been able to contact National Homebuyers to help them to gain high sold house prices with competitive quotes and an ability to complete a sale in as little as two weeks.
Looking to sell your home out of season? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
The insider secrets that can lower the value of your home
In this blog, we’re going to look at the more unusual factors that influence the saleability of your house, and what you can do to ensure you get the best price possible.
If you’re looking to sell your house fast, it can be surprising how even the smallest things affect the value of your home, and consequently, the likelihood of a prospective buyer making a reasonable offer.
If you live on a street of identical houses, you may feel a bit disconcerted by the range of sold property prices – even if they all have the same floorplan. However, if you take a closer look at the available photographs, the difference in value can easily be explained by the owner’s personal taste.
When you are presenting your home, it’s important to decorate it in a way that allows a prospective buyer to visualise themselves living there. This is often achieved by using basic colours such as cream or lavender wall paint and carpets – acting as a blank canvas for the buyer’s imagination. If you choose to incorporate odd decorative elements into your home, it may appear charming to yourself, but there is always a strong chance that it will deter previously interested parties.
Be nice to your neighbours
We all know that the personality of our neighbours is outside of our control, but for the sake of keeping your property value high it is always worth, when possible, to treat them with respect. There is always a chance that both your estate agents and prospective buyers will choose to talk with your neighbours to learn more about what it is like to live there – and a disgruntled neighbour can easily discourage a potential buyer and force you to lower your asking price.
It’s good to be odd
As strange as it sounds, the value of a home can be affected by the number on the door. Research by Zoopla found that odd-numbered houses can reach, on average, £538 more than their even-numbered counterparts.
While there is very little you can do with the designated number of your house, you can always choose to name it, and register that name with the Land Registry. Of course, the number will still remain in the address, but a pleasant title for the property can often encourage buyers to ignore the numerical curse.
Go for natural privacy
If you’re lucky enough to have a front garden, or a rear garden that is overlooked by other homes, you may want to invest in some trees. Much research has been conducted into the effect of trees and hedges on a street, and property values can be as much as five per cent lower if there aren’t any. The benefits of trees and hedges are obvious – the contrasting colours, the improved air quality and noise reduction from roads – but it is the privacy those plants provide that entices buyers and increases property values. After all, it’s always nice to be able to sunbathe privately in your own garden during the few warm days we get per year.
Campaign for development
While many people would prefer companies not to build supermarkets, stadiums, and golf courses near their homes – they may change their tune if they knew the mere presence of those developments can send your home’s value shooting through the roof. Having a supermarket nearby can raise the value of a property by as much as a whopping £40,000 (depending on the quality of the brand), and having a golf course within a reasonable distance of your domicile can increase the value of your home by a shocking 56 per cent. So if large companies begin to question residents regarding their support for large developments such as these, it may be worth letting those who live nearby know about the benefits.
Unfortunately, there are always some homes that are impossible to sell in a short time-frame. This can be because of structural issues, bad neighbours, or simply due to a lack of local amenities. Luckily, National Homebuyers are always willing to buy any home, regardless of condition or location, and are constantly inundated by clients who need to sell their homes fast for the sake of a new job, or simply to be closer to family.
Looking for a quick sale? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
How to sell a property online
Not happy with your local agent? In this blog, we’re going to look at the best ways to sell your home online.
Where to sell a property online
As technology progresses, the traditional method of buying and selling property via a high street estate agent is slowly disappearing. In the last five years alone, almost 2,500 estate agents have permanently shut their doors as online rivals continue to thrive, offering flat rate fees and the ability to market listings nationally without the need for a brick and mortar storefront.
There are currently three main ways to sell property online. The first is through one of many online estate agents such as Purplebricks or Emoov. These agents employ regional specialists around the country who negotiate with potential buyers once they signal their interest in a property via the website.
The second main way is to use a traditional agent who will list the house on an online portal such as Rightmove, a website that has exploded in popularity since its inception almost 20 years ago.
The third method is often preferred by those who wish to sell their property online fast, and that is via a house buying company such as National Homebuyers, who will purchase any house, regardless of location or condition, without the delays that are often associated with estate agents.
Selling a property online vs other methods
The key benefit of selling a property online is the number of potential buyers you can reach. In the days of old, the only people who would see your home for sale are those who happened to wander past your estate agent’s window. Nowadays, however, your home can be viewed 24 hours a day by anyone with an internet connection.
Of course, rapid growth often encourages controversy – and this is especially true with some of the online estate agents. Both Purplebricks and Emoov have faced lawsuits from clients over hidden costs, and they have been on the receiving end of several warnings from the advertising watchdog as a result.
Tips for selling a property online
If you want to sell your house online, there are some things you can do to encourage buyers to notice your listing:
- Research your chosen method or agent carefully, including visiting forums where past clients discuss their experiences. If a company has a reputation for not getting the vendor within a reasonable range of their asking price, it may be worth looking elsewhere.
- Be prepared for the necessary photography by cleaning the house thoroughly and reducing clutter – buyers find it harder to imagine living in a house if it looks messy.
- If possible, buy a premium listing to make your home stand out.
- Keep your home in show-room condition, you never know when a potential buyer will call on short-notice to arrange a viewing.
- Ensure that once your listing is online, you set aside some time to check it thoroughly for errors and spelling mistakes – especially if the company have missed a marketable feature of your home.
How to sell a property online quickly
One issue with online agents is the speed with which a sale can be completed, as listings can often become lost in the sheer number of houses for sale. And as certain vendors use the ability to promote their listings for a cost, those who are unable to afford a premium listing for their home can often find themselves waiting a long time for an interested party to call – often leading to lower sold house prices.
Luckily, if a vendor needs to sell their house fast, they can always enlist the help of a house buying company who are able to purchase a home in as little as two weeks from the first point of contact. The benefits of companies such as National Homebuyers is that receiving your quote is absolutely free, and many clients are surprised how much they can get for their home.
With a slowed market, many individuals have found their life has been put on hold as they wait for a buyer to make an offer, preventing them from moving closer to family or to a new area for a new job – and in these instances, a house buying company is always the best option.
Looking to sell your home online fast? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Is this the end for high street estate agents?
Estate agents appear to be the latest victim of the modern high street as consumers move to online competitors.
The face of the UK high street has undergone a dramatic change over the last 15 years as a result of increased internet-based competition and lofty overheads. In many town centres, it’s hard to ignore the increased visibility of coffee, vape and charity shops while big names such as Woolworths, BHS, and Maplin are nowhere to be seen.
Unbeknownst to many, there is another sector that has suffered greatly as wage levels continue to stagnate and sold house prices continue to rise, and that is the local high street estate agent.
While big hitters such as Emoov and Purplebricks have been snapping up market share thanks to their lower overheads and their ability to market their listings nationally, localised private agencies are facing the executioners block at a frightening pace.
This news is backed up by new research from prominent estate agency DJ Alexander Ltd. Who have found that in just the last five years, 2,446 agents have closed their doors amid falling profits.
Thanks to the internet, the need for a brick and mortar store front to reach customers is no longer necessary, and those agencies who have failed to move with the times are finding that more and more prospective house-buyers prefer to search for listings from the comfort of their own homes without sauntering from agent to agent on a gloomy weekday morning.
“The internet has undercut much of the High Street in the retail and other sectors over the last five years and this is likely to continue,” said David Alexander, managing director of the Edinburgh and Glasgow-based agents.
“The generational and cultural change is enormous. For most people under 40 the idea of wandering from shop to shop in city centres is alien to them and they conduct many of their purchases on their phones, tablets, or computers.
However, as more and more vendors choose to list their homes with a concentrated number of online companies, they often find that the battle for visibility against other sellers makes it increasingly hard to sell their home fast at an appropriate value.
It must be no wonder, then, that more and more people are choosing to sell with National Homebuyers, a house-buying company who are always happy to buy any home, at competitive prices with a quick turnaround on completion.
Looking for a quick and easy sale? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Can a landlord sell a house during a lease?
The sale of a rented home can easily become a confusing affair, so it’s always important to understand the legal rights of both the tenant and landlord.
So, you’ve just found out that your landlord wants to sell the house you’re renting. While there’s no reason to panic, it’s always useful to know the status of your rights as a tenant during the sale.
Can the landlord sell the house I’m renting?
As a privately-owned property, a landlord is entitled to sell their house, as long as they complete the process in the correct legal manner. They may wish to sell the house fast due to an increase in sold house prices in the surrounding area, or simply because they do not wish to be a landlord anymore.
Can a house be sold with tenants in situ?
If a landlord is selling a house that is mid-way through a fixed term lease, then they are within their rights to do so. While a tenant may be anxious regarding a new landlord, they are not entitled to have any input into the sales process as they do not hold any equity in the property. The tenant does, however, have a number of rights in regard to their tenancy agreement.
What are my rights if my landlord decides to sell?
If a landlord is selling a house, the tenant has rights enshrined in law to protect them. Once a property has been leased out to a tenant for a fixed term, that legal interest must persist for the full agreed length, regardless of the property’s owner. This means that when the incoming landlord takes ownership of the house, it is against the law for them to evict the tenant while the lease period is still active.
Furthermore, the tenant is still entitled to his/her privacy in accordance with the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. This means that unless there is an emergency, the tenant is fully permitted to refuse entry to anyone related to the sale – including the prospective buyer. The tenant is even allowed to refuse entry to the landlord themselves, even if a 24 hour notice is provided.
If a new landlord takes ownership of a leased property, then he is obliged to perform all the duties set forth in the tenancy agreement signed by his predecessor, including repairs and maintenance within a reasonable time of notification.
Moreover, if the new landlord fails to comply with these regulatory minimum standards, then they are in breach of contract and the tenant can not only withhold rental payments, but also report the landlord to the courts for prosecution.
A tenant cannot legally be evicted until the fixed term has ended – unless they have breached the tenancy agreement. While rare, there are stories of landlords using section 8 and 21 legal loopholes to force tenants out of their homes during a fixed term lease, so it is important for anyone who lives in a rental property to gain a comprehensive understanding of the lease before they sign it.
How much notice does your landlord need to give when selling a house?
Under Section 3 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, the new landlord is required to notify the tenant that the property has changed hands. However, the tenants are not entitled to know when the property has been offered up for sale, the value of the house, or even whether the property has been sold until two months after the sale is completed. The prior landlord may inform the tenant as a courtesy that they intend to sell the house, but they are not obliged to do so.
Looking to sell your rental home fast? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Third of homeowners would not be able to afford their own home today
A new survey has found that a third of British homeowners would be unable to afford their home if they had to re-purchase it today thanks to record value increases.
We often hear about the ever-widening gulf between wages and sold house prices, yet the quantitative data provided rarely illustrates the points in a fashion to which many people can relate. Every so often, however, surveys are carried out that use a more qualitative approach, offering a more straightforward viewpoint from individuals to which we can relate ourselves.
This month, a new survey of 3,000 homeowners by MyJobQuote has provided an interesting perspective held by many in regard to the steep rise in house prices over the past few decades.
In the survey, over a third of those sampled stated that if they would have to re-purchase their own home today, they could not afford to do so. Furthermore, the research found that across the 3,000 homes in question, there had been an average increase in value of over £50,000.
Despite the low-performing economy, house prices have continued to increase in value at an unprecedented rate – with a 2.2% increase in the last year alone. And while this may appear to be great news for those who own, the true value of a home is, in reality, based on how much a prospective buyer is willing to pay for it. And as houses continue to become more and more unaffordable for those who are not already on the property ladder, those looking to sell their house fast should be weary if they opt for a high asking price – unless they are willing to see their house spend a long time on the market.
Interestingly, the Halifax House Price Index has found that the number of those currently living in rented accommodation who are planning to buy their first home appears to have fallen in first half of 2018.
While this may be a result of national insecurity regarding the aftermath of the decision to leave the European Union in March 2019, many social experts believe that the fall in interest may simply be the result of renters already giving up on the dream of one day owning their own home.
“The Halifax numbers confirm other reports of a more general slowdown in market activity, with fewer homes being sold, fewer houses being put on the market, and a decline in consumer confidence,” said Mike Scott, chief property analyst at estate agent Yopa.
“If this slowdown continues for the rest of the year, 2018 will turn out to be the least active year for the housing market since 2013.”
So, what can sellers do if they need to sell but can’t find a buyer? Well, one of the increasingly popular methods to secure a sale in the short-term is to contact a property buying company who can provide a competitive quote, and if the vendor is happy, then a sale can be completed in as little as two weeks.
Can’t find anyone to buy your home? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
When is the best time to sell your house in the UK?
Selling a house in today’s market can be a nightmare – but knowing the best time to sell can save you a lot of hassle.
If you need to move house for the sake of work, or simply to be closer to family, you’re probably crossing your fingers and hoping to sell your home fast. Unfortunately, many vendors find themselves a little disheartened when their property ends up sitting on the market for months on end – especially if they’ve taken the time to make their house presentable and already had several viewings with no offers.
What many of these sellers don’t realise, however, is that the property market has high and low activity seasons, and if you want to sell fast, it’s worth paying attention.
Is it a good time to sell my house?
If you’re thinking of placing your home for sale in the next few weeks, you may want to consider holding off for a while as we’re about to enter the summer months – but why is this such a bad thing?
Put simply, the majority of Brits enjoy going on holiday in either July or August to ensure they get a nice sunny break from their everyday life. And consequently, are less likely to have the necessary funds for a mortgage deposit after splashing out for flights, accommodation and food. Plus, they’re unlikely to want to deal with the stress of a house sale while they’re supposed to be relaxing abroad.
Similarly, parents with young children are likely to find themselves swamped as schools close for the summer – and trying to look for a new place to live while finding things to keep their hyper-active infants busy is no mean feat. So, when is the best time to sell your house in the UK?
What’s the best month to sell your house in the UK?
When people begin the process of selling their home, they often ask themselves “how much are properties in my area?” in order to gauge the amount of profit they could make once the sale has gone through. What they often don’t realise is that the prices they research may have been deeply affected by the time they were originally placed on the market.
A house that has been placed for sale in summer, may fail to sell in the short-term due to a quiet market place – and the longer a house is on sale, the more suspicious buyers will be regarding its appeal. It is therefore quite possible that the house will have, at some point, been reduced in price before it was finally purchased.
So, when is the best time of year to sell a house? Traditionally, summer should be avoided for the reasons stated above. However, winter should also be avoided. During the winter time, the days are short and dark – making it hard for potential buyers to appreciate the effort you’ve made to make your home look inviting. For parents, the weeks leading up to the Christmas holidays are often an extremely busy time. And due to the festivities and gift purchases, their bank accounts are more likely to be running dry than in spring or autumn.
The best months to sell your house in the UK are always the same each year. If you wish to sell fast in the first half of the year, aim to put your house on sale at the end of March just in time for spring. At this time of year, the kids are in school, the days are starting to get longer and more importantly, there will be more buyers actively looking to purchase.
If, however, you were unable to get the house ready for spring, try holding off until mid-September. By this time, all the kids will have returned to school, there’s still enough warmth to encourage buyers to get out and look for a new home, and there’s enough time for them to complete on a sale and get settled before the countdown to Christmas starts.
When do most houses go on the market in the UK?
The busiest time for the UK housing market is always in spring. Maybe it’s the renewed enthusiasm that people enjoy as the temperatures climb, or maybe it’s just because of advice from a friend or colleague, but when buyers start looking for a new home – you want your house to be ready for viewings.
Another reason that spring tends to be the busiest time for house purchases is the competition. A buyer is more likely to successfully haggle the asking price of a house down if they have several options available to them, and buyers are usually worried that if they don’t accept an offer, they may end up waiting for months for another.
Luckily, if you have to sell a home and can’t afford to wait until spring or autumn, you can always use the services of house buying companies, who are willing to make generous offers all year round – even if you’ve had trouble selling in the past.
Hoping to sell during the quieter months? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Councils under fire for banking unspent public funds
A number of councils across the UK have found themselves at the centre of a fresh scandal thanks to the discovery of large amounts of public cash meant for spending on infrastructure residing untouched in their bank accounts.
When the Town & Country Planning Act came into force in 1990, there was a minor piece of legislation included known as Section 106, which allowed councils to take vast sums of money from private contractors in exchange for planning permission within the boundaries established by the local planning authority. These Section 106 Agreements were often open to interpretation as a result of the lack of specificity, and so these were amended and clarified in 2010 to ensure that the system could not be exploited through previously known loopholes.
The key point of Section 106 agreements however, were to ensure that the money earnt by councils would be re-introduced back into the local economy in the form of affordable housing, and various infrastructure maintenance.
Worryingly, reports have emerged that a number of councils have collectively been hoarding over £375m in cash donated as a part of these agreements, with one council – Labour’s Southwark constituency – holding a shocking £52.6m alone.
Many of the councils implicated in the scandal have claimed that the money itself has already been earmarked for various schemes – but journalists looking into the matter have found that over 60% of that money is yet to be designated for use within potential projects.
“It is deeply concerning that councils in England and Wales are sitting on a pot worth hundreds of millions specifically earmarked for affordable housing,” said James Prestwich, Head of Policy at the National Housing Federation.
“This reconfirms our view that affordable housing should be delivered within new developments, rather than developers simply funding its delivery elsewhere. This would guarantee that affordable housing will be built alongside other homes within the same development, rather than the money getting lost in the long, bureaucratic process of allocating it for housing elsewhere.”
The issue of unspent public cash residing in private banks appears to be the latest in a long line of faux pas by local governments in relation to their control of housebuilding companies. As recently as this year, a number of prominent constructors including Barrett, Tayler Whimpey and Persimmon have been accused of purchasing land for housing, then holding back on development in an effort to keep sold house prices high.
This continued drive to push up house prices may seem great for those who own, but if they need to sell their house fast, they may find that prices have risen to a point where their asking price is outside the realms of affordability for many potential buyers.
Can’t sell your home? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
How much are estate agent fees?
If you’re looking to sell your house fast, there’s a good chance that you’ll be on the lookout for an online or high-street estate agent. However, with so many agents around the UK, it can often be hard to find one that you can trust to sell your house successfully with an offer as close to your original asking price as possible.
The quality of an agent can often be hard to judge. Many agents seem to request a ridiculous fee as payment, while others appear to undercut the competition significantly, but how can you – the client – know whether or not they are worth the requested payment percentage based on current sold house prices?
How much should I pay the estate agent?
With few exceptions, estate agent fees are always calculated on a percentage basis from the final sale figure for the property they are representing. As a vendor, you should not be expected to make any additional payments for any service related to the sale of your home. Of course, certain agents will offer – for an additional cost – to promote your listing above other similar listings on online portals such as Rightmove – but remember, it is in the agent’s best interests to sell your house in a short time period for as much as possible, and so most reputable agents will cover the cost of premium listings themselves.
So how much commission does an estate agent make? Across the UK, the average fee is around 1.3% of the final sale figure. Like many things in life, you get what you pay for, and consequently it’s worth being a little suspicious of estate agents whose fees are undercutting their competitors drastically – any agent worth their salt would never de-value their brand in such a way. Conversely, it’s also worth being suspicious of agents who overcharge their clients significantly unless it is clear why they do so, and whether their track-record in sales is productive enough to warrant the extra cost.
What are an estate agent’s fees?
An estate agent’s job is to promote your home to potential buyers who are looking to buy in the area. These may be local families who are planning to upsize, retired individuals who are looking to downsize, or even people from hundreds of miles away that need to move to the area for a job. Ensuring that your property is viewable by all potential buyers is no easy task – hence the sizeable fee. Using various mediums such as online portals, word-of-mouth, local and national advertising, an effective agent will be able to target those who are open to the possibility of purchasing. The fee that an agent charges also covers the man-hours involved by staff, operational overheads, valuation costs, and promotional materials for your home such as professional photographs and well-written descriptions.
However, it is important to remember that although an agent will provide you with a percentage quote, this does not mean that you can’t negotiate. Thanks to the competition amongst agents, there are certain situations that allow you to haggle:
- If an agent requests to be the sole contract holder for the sale, this can limit the number of potential buyers who will see your home and allows you to negotiate a lower commission – often as low as 0.8-1%
- If your property costs much more than the average home in the area (research these values in advance), it should be relatively easy to push down your agent’s fees as the sale of an expensive home does not necessarily require more work than a house of a much lower value. And as an agent’s commission is percentage based, they are still likely to collect a great paycheck at the end.
- Since 2016, the Property Ombudsman has instructed all estate agents to include VAT in any quote they offer to a client – so if an agent tries to charge you an additional amount once the sale has gone through, ensure that you contact your solicitor for legal advice, as well as report them to the necessary authority. Luckily, these underhanded tactics are rare.
How to sell a house without an estate agent
Luckily, if you’re a vendor who would prefer to avoid the hassle of dealing with agents, there are other options. If you can spare the time, you can always try to sell the house yourself – although as many others can attest, this route can be absolutely exhausting. Other options include the use of house buying companies such as National Homebuyers, who will happily buy any house, regardless of location or situation for a competitive fee – perfect for those who need to move house in a limited time-frame in order to move on with their lives.
Looking for a fast house sale? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Thousands to lose mortgage support benefit from April 2018
As a result of continued efforts by the government to reduce the national debt, many are finding that it is those living in low-income households who are bearing the brunt of the austerity measures.
Since 1948, those who own a house but struggle to keep up with their mortgage payments have always had a lifeline – the Support for Mortgage Interest scheme. Introduced to prevent thousands of low-income households from losing their homes, the SMI has been a godsend for many older people who, today, still rely on it to ensure that they can keep a roof over their heads.
Thanks to favourable interest terms and a strong economy during the 1960s and 1970s, many buyers took the option of an interest-only mortgage rather than a repayment-based equivalent due to the minimal monthly repayments. But what once appeared to be a sensible idea is, today, beginning to look like a bad decision.
The Tories, in an effort to reduce the national debt, have decided that from April 2018, this benefit will be axed – replaced by the opportunity to take out a ‘loan’ from the government that must be paid back upon sale or relinquishment of ownership.
Consequently, many experts have pointed out that those who need the SMI scheme are hardly in a position to afford a further repayment plan on top of their own mortgage – a mortgage they are already having trouble finding the funds for.
Across the UK, there are currently 124,000 individuals who rely on the benefit, with over half of those in retirement age. This situation is partially due to the fact that pension credit is one of the qualifying criteria for the scheme. However, it isn’t just the retired population who are going to be affected, as many people on income support, as well as those on jobseeker’s allowance will also find their safety net removed in four months’ time.
The government have stated that the current status quo is unsustainable, and that because the repayments will not need to be made until the properties in question are sold or passed on to another individual, it will not have a great effect on those who need the loan in the short-term. Unfortunately, many industry experts are worried that thanks to the addition of interest rates to these ‘loans’, the government will be profiting from those who are most at risk of losing their homes.
“The government needs to make sure people have the help and advice they need to decide whether or not to take out a second mortgage to pay for this,” claimed a spokesperson from mutual insurer Royal London.
“But instead, thousands of people are getting letters that miss crucial details such as the interest rate on the mortgage.”
This situation, combined with the government’s plan to remove the ability of those on the Universal Credit scheme from using their benefits as proof of earnings when applying for a mortgage on a home of any value, it appears that those from low-income backgrounds may be forced into renting for life, which will ultimately reduce the number of people who can afford to buy a home from an owner who needs to sell their house fast.
No offers on your home? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Can you sell a house with asbestos in the UK?
Across the country, there are a number of older properties that still contain the toxic material, and its presence can often deter potential buyers for good reason. So how do you sell a house that contains asbestos?
Asbestos is a silicate mineral has been mined for over four thousand years around the world. With a wide range of uses, it was often hailed as a ‘wonder material’ by many prominent historical figures throughout the Roman Empire and Persia.
Why is asbestos dangerous and is it illegal to sell a house with asbestos?
Categorised into six separate classifications, it’s easy to see why asbestos was heavily used in UK property construction during the 20th century – it was resistant to fire, did not conduct electricity, and was an excellent heat insulator – but most importantly, it was mined locally and therefore extremely cost effective.
While the different available forms of asbestos vary in their potential to harm those who come into contact with it, they are all linked to a condition known as asbestosis. During its manufacturing process and implementation in many types of construction, the dust that was produced contained sharp asbestos particles that often found their way into the lungs of workers, cutting and scarring the delicate tissue inside and frequently causing tuberculosis and fibrosis. In the US alone, the handling of asbestos has led to the deaths of approximately 100,000 people since records began.
In the modern era, large-scale mining in the UK started in the late 19th century, but despite the first asbestos-related death occurring in 1906, it took until 1985 for the first partial ban to be passed through parliament.
While it isn’t illegal to sell a house with asbestos, for homeowners in the process of selling a house containing the material, the number of steps required to find a buyer can be a nightmare. But what measures need to be undertaken in order to sell a house fast?
Asbestos disclosure when selling a house in the UK
Since the repeal of the Property Misdescriptions Act in 2013, all sellers are obliged to disclose the presence of asbestos during a sale. Of course, owners are not expected to detect the presence of asbestos in their home by themselves, but more than likely this information will have been uncovered by a chartered surveyor before they moved in.
In a large majority of cases, a seller will also be using a surveyor to determine the value of their home prior to placing it on the market, and their estate agent of choice will likely query the presence of asbestos based on the age and construction type of the property. Generally, any home built before 1978 could contain the toxic material, and a failure to detect the presence of asbestos in these instances could open up both the surveyor and agent to prosecution.
However, in many cases a surveyor would only be liable if asbestos was detectable by reasonable means – i.e. a surveyor cannot be expected to detect its presence through a solid wall or other unreachable areas.
How can I sell a house with asbestos?
If a surveyor’s valuation or agent’s report have determined that there is asbestos in your house, then further inspection is needed by a qualified professional who will be able to establish whether or not it could endanger the lives of those living within the property. It is important to note that asbestos does not pose a threat if it is in good condition – it is only when the material has been damaged or disturbed that its removal may be warranted.
If the material is in good condition then the law merely requires the seller to disclose the information to potential buyers and it is up to the latter to decide whether or not it is worth pursuing a purchase. If the asbestos, however, is found to pose a hazard to health then the situation can become a little more complicated.
Asbestos removal can be expensive, with average prices reaching £75 + VAT per sq. m – so even a small 6m x 5m ceiling can reach £2200 + VAT. For a seller, it comes down to a choice between having the material removed themselves at great cost, or placing the house on the market at a reduced rate to encourage a sale – although the number of potential buyers is likely to be limited due to health concerns.
House buying companies, however, are always happy to offer competitive prices to owners regardless of the presence of asbestos. Those looking to move house in a short time-frame often find this to be a preferable method, with sales completed in as little as two weeks.
Finding it hard to sell? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Vendors cutting prices to encourage sales
As insecurity regarding the outcome of the UK’s planned exit from EU continues, vendors are slashing their prices to increase the likelihood of a sale.
Vendors across the country are slashing their asking prices in an effort to sell their homes fast, as fears grow that once Article 50 has been finalised, the value of their home may be even lower.
For London-based properties, the discounts have been stark. In prosperous areas such as Kingston and Richmond, vendors have cut their asking prices by an average of £84,244. While these reductions are smaller in size than those recorded after the financial crisis over a decade ago, they remain over 6% higher than those recorded prior to the EU referendum.
The online property portal Zoopla claims that around half of all properties in wealthy areas around London and Surrey have had their asking prices reduced under the advice of their agents in order to remain competitive. While this is good news for buyers who have the available funds to buy these discounted properties, it is bad news for both sellers and the property industry as a whole.
For an industry built on consumer confidence, such huge reductions in value are likely to put-off any homeowners considering selling their home in the short-term and instead encourage them to either place their home on the rental market, or stay-put until the market has recovered post-Brexit – assuming that it does.
The average reduction across the UK currently stands at £25,562, but with wage increases failing to meet expectations, those looking to buy their first homes are still unlikely to be able to take advantage. And while house values in general are still on the rise – albeit at a much slower rate than before – many analysts and economists are understandably weary regarding the robustness of the UK’s economy by the end of 2018.
“We see house prices rising a modest 2-3% in 2018,” said Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the forecasting group, the EY Item Club.
“The fundamentals for house buyers are likely to remain challenging over the coming months with consumers’ purchasing power continuing to be squeezed by inflation running higher than earnings growth. Additionally, housing market activity is likely to be hampered by fragile consumer confidence and a limited willingness to engage in major transactions.”
For many owners who need to sell, the current outlook appears to be a no-win situation without an element of luck – especially taking into account the interest rate hike in November that appears to have further dissuaded potential buyers. However, by using a company such as National Homebuyers, vendors can sell their homes for competitive prices before their values fall further.
Are you worried about selling your home? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Selling a hoarder’s home
While many people enjoy tuning into reality television shows that expose the nightmarish conditions within which many hoarders live, the reality behind the ratings push is often much more morbid.
Many of us know, or have known an individual who lives in a hoarder house, and are more than aware that the problem has its roots in mental illness. For older people who lived through the Second World War, the lack of available provisions and luxury items at the time led to a shift in mentality where the idea of discarding unwanted or unnecessary items could come back to haunt them if they ever faced the same situation. For others, it is an offshoot of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and depression – believing that an item they no longer need could be either useful in the future, or has a sentimental value that elevates its status above that of a simple ‘object’.
As hoarding itself is surprising prevalent across the country – albeit at different levels of severity – it often affects not just the hoarder, but their friends and family also. Moreover, hoarders themselves are more likely to suffer from depression, social anxiety, and various other disorders that heavily impact their mental and physical health. And sadly, as a result of these ailments they are far more likely to die earlier, leaving their nearest and dearest with the unpleasant task of selling a loved one’s hoarder home.
On the other hand, a hoarder may simply be trying to move so that they can fight the illness and make a fresh start, and in these situations, they are hoping to sell their house fast before they have a change of heart.
Obviously, a hoarder home is often unsellable as it stands, and so a number of steps must be taken to make the property seem appealing to those who are in the market to buy. But how do you go about selling a hoarder’s house?
Cleaning a hoarder’s house
An important realisation to make early on in the process is to be aware that you need more than one person to see the task through to completion. Not only is it dangerous to clean a hoarder home by yourself in case of an accident, but also because of the sheer scale of the task. While there are many companies who are happy to be sub-contracted to carry out the cleaning, they are unlikely to have known the hoarder on a personal level, and as a result they may find it hard to differentiate between the accumulated items that bare no value, and those items that are genuinely important or carry a true sentimental value to the ex-resident. By overseeing the project, you can ensure that important memories are kept safe by employing people you trust to help.
In order to put a hoarder house up for sale, it must first be habitable and safe. So, if you find yourself tasked with a hoarding clean up, there are some important rules to be followed.
1) Make the necessary safety arrangements
Due to the sheer number of objects, a hoarder house will have been hard to keep clean. It is, therefore, of paramount importance to wear the right protective clothing in case you run into any issues that could directly affect your health.
- Ensure that you have face masks to protect your team from dust, fibreglass insulation, rotten food, or dead rodents.
- Wear industrial-grade protective gloves to prevent cuts, or from having your skin exposed to dangerous materials.
- Wear appropriate waterproof overalls to prevent you from carrying any hazardous substances away from the house in the fibres of your clothing.
- Have a first-aid kit on site, as well as someone who is trained as a first-responder.
2) Hire skips for disposal
It is surprising just how many items can fit inside a home. In many cases, a small two-bedroom house can hold up to several skips worth of refuse, so be sure not to underestimate the situation.
3) Gather your cleaning supplies
Some of the key supplies needed throughout the clean-up will include: heavy-duty leak-proof refuse sacks; receptacles for items you aim to keep; both light and heavy-duty cleaning agents; disposable sponges, mops and cloths; a vacuum cleaner; and commercial carpet-cleaning equipment.
4) Empty the house
For anyone looking at buying a hoarder house, it’s much easier to see the property’s potential if they can see the layout in all its glory – so get your team to start with a single room, separating out items that need to be kept from those that can be disposed of, and start filling the skips. Once the first room is complete, move onto the next.
5) Start cleaning
Using the cleaning supplies, start sponging down walls, windows and windowsills before utilising industrial strength cleaners in rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens to remove any residual bacteria. There are likely to be many things in the house that are unsalvageable such as soiled carpets and curtains, as well as dis-coloured and damaged wallpaper – so prepare yourself for several days of elbow-grease.
It is also important to find the source of any unpleasant smells – if a hoarder has had pets, you may find that certain floorboards are soaked with urine, and they will need to be replaced.
6) Start restoring
Once cleaned, your can start making the home look habitable again. Go for neutral-colours when painting the walls and ceilings, and ensure that any out-dated equipment such as old ovens and microwaves are removed and replaced. It’s also a good idea to check the heating systems, as boilers in a hoarder’s house are unlikely to have been serviced in recent years.
Selling a hoarder’s house
Once you are ready to sell, the majority of the hard work will be behind you. Look for a local agent with prior experience with hoarder homes, but ideally, hire the photographer yourself. A true professional will always know the right angles from which to snap a shot, and through the use of a wide-angle lens make the home itself seem much more spacious.
For those who would prefer to avoid the traditional route of selling a house, you can also try hosting open days where in a preferred time slot, anyone who wants to look inside can come and show their interest.
Alternatively, you can contact National Homebuyers who will offer you a competitive price for the home, with the benefit of a fast sale within two weeks regardless of situation or location. And remember, if you would rather avoid the task of cleaning the house yourself, house buying companies will gladly offer to do the hard work for you once it is purchased.
Are you desperate to sell a hoarder home? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
How to sell a house that needs work done
For those who need to sell their house fast but don’t have the time to renovate, finding a buyer willing to pay a decent sum is hard work – so how do you maximise your profit?
Many individuals purchase a home with the hopes that, over time, they can renovate it. However, by the time they need to sell, they find that they have either never had the time to commit to making the necessary repairs, or simply lacked the motivation to do so.
The house, if sold, may provide a better return than the price it was purchased for, but the likelihood is that it will fall well-short of the asking price the vendors were hoping for.
Luckily, if you are selling a house that needs repairs, there are steps that you can take to ensure you attract the right kind of buyer who sees the potential in your home, despite the obvious drawbacks.
So, what are the important repairs to make when selling a house?
Deciding which features are worth spending money on is always a bit of a gamble, but the best way to get the most out of your sale is by putting yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer, and identify issues from the outside-in.
If you were to look upon your home for the first time, what would be immediately obvious? For many houses, the front elevation can be easily improved by re-varnishing wooden window and door frames – as well as ensuring that the windows themselves are kept clean. It’s also worth looking at the possibility of purchasing a new front door if your present one is beginning to look a bit shabby.
For many city houses, a build-up of carbon from road traffic can also make a home look tired and undesirable. So why not hire a pressure washer to dispel the decades of unsightly pollution and make your external walls look brand new?
Other peripheral features that are easy to tidy up include gardens and yards. By using weed-killer on paths and flower beds as well as re-gravelling your driveway and re-seeding your lawn, you can easily show that the house itself is well cared for, providing a great reason for buyers to enquire further.
Inside the home, there may of course, be a number of obvious issues that need attention such as damage to walls and doors – much of which can be taken care of with a liberal application of filler – but what about the less obvious details?
Many sellers choose to replace flooring in preparation for a sale, but it is worth noting that the majority of buyers will be replacing the floor themselves at some point, no matter how pleased you are with the present style. So why not save yourself money and time and hire a carpet cleaning machine which can easily remove years of dirt and discolouration.
So, what else should you consider when selling a house that needs repair? Regardless of your preference for colour and style, remember that you need a buyer to see the potential in your home, so make sure that all walls are painted in neutral colours such as cream, white, or lavender. While a paint job may take up a few weekends, the increased saleability of the property will make it all worthwhile by the time you finalise a deal.
What about a house that needs major repairs?
The roof may be starting to sag – but is it leaking? The foundations are not in the best condition – but do they pose a threat to the house in terms of stability? For serious issues, there is little point trying to pretend they don’t exist.
Any self-respecting buyer or developer will undoubtedly employ a structural surveyor prior to purchase, and if these structural problems end up being exposed in a Homebuyer’s Report after you have tried to conceal them, any trust a buyer has invested in you will disappear.
If a potential buyer is aware of an issue before a sale, however, it is a lot easier for you to negotiate the cost of repair into the asking price itself. In situations such as these, honesty is king.
Of course, you can fix serious defects yourself prior to selling, but it is worth remembering that the amount you spend on the repairs may end up costing you more than the return you gain after a sale – so temper your hopes and expectations.
Selling a house that needs repairs done
Selling a house that needs repairs is all about knowing your target buyers, the majority will fall into the following categories:
- Flippers – who aim to buy low, renovate and sell high.
- Developers – who make their living by flipping, but on a larger scale.
- Landlords – who aim to restore the property for rental purposes.
- Bargain hunters – who hope to find themselves in a great district for schools, or simply wish to move into a well-respected neighbourhood but have so far been unable to afford a house in A1 condition.
All of these potential purchasers will be aware that the home will need some renovation, but their urge to buy – especially in the case of bargain hunters – will allow them to see past many of the flaws your house exhibits.
It is worth, however, being a little savvy if dealing with flippers, developers and landlords as these individuals are professionals, and will go out of their way to secure a price that maximises their profit, not yours. This can be remedied by having a valuation carried by an impartial third-party surveyor complete with an estimate of value once all repairs have been carried out. This ensures that you know where you stand with regard to the value of your home, and gives you further ammunition when dealing with particularly ‘hostile’ buyers.
Need to sell but no time to renovate? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Mortgage applications affected by Universal Credit scheme
The beleaguered Tory-led benefits scheme known as Universal Credit is again under fire as reports surface that claimants are unable to use their income from benefits as proof of earnings during the house-buying process.
When Tory MP Iain Duncan Smith pushed for a revamp of the country’s benefits system in 2011, many of those already receiving financial aid from the government feared that the motivation behind this potential legislation was a push for further austerity measures to combat the UK’s ever growing fiscal deficit.
Their fears were, however, allayed as the Universal Credit scheme encountered multiple roadblocks on its way to implementation, leading many to believe that the scheme itself may never see the light of day.
The idea itself was sound in theory. Instead of administering different forms of benefit through separate policies, they should be combined into a simple, easy-to-use online system which can be accessed by anyone who needs them. This system would also incorporate incentives to get those without a job back into employment and allow the government to redirect the excess funds back into the UK economy. Unfortunately, after several IT programmes failed to deliver the desired functionality at a loss of over £30m – almost 10% of the entire IT budget – as well as numerous management failures, the Universal Credit system fell behind schedule by almost five years.
In early 2017, the scheme was rolled out in a number of test areas, the feedback from which has, so far, been worryingly negative. The lack of an intuitive online portal has led many of those lacking in IT experience to lose out on vital benefits due to an inability to navigate the site itself – and new reports are emerging that the aforementioned scheme is carrying with it such a stigma, that it is beginning to affect the prospect of a successful mortgage application for a house of any value.
An investigation by the Guardian newspaper has found that various lenders are not willing to accept Universal Credit as proof of earnings during the submission process, leaving many potential house buyers in a state of limbo ahead of its planned full implementation over the next few years.
Many experts have echoed the sentiments of these claimants, stating that there have been enough issues from the relatively small pool of 600,000 citizens upon which Universal Credit is being tested to warrant a suspension of the scheme – and that any plans to widen its application would likely end in disaster.
While certain lenders are willing to incorporate the scheme’s ‘earnings’ into their application process, the path to achieving this is littered with obstacles that prevent it. Moreover, in many cases mortgage applicants have found, mid-process, that the amount they are able to secure has been halved upon the lenders discovering their Universal Credit status, thwarting their plans to become homeowners.
For those who already own a home in areas where Universal Credit is currently implemented, fears are growing that if they need to sell their house fast, the inability of potential buyers to secure the capital they need to purchase will lead to a stagnant market, forcing the seller to reduce their asking price if they wish to complete on a sale in the short-term. While venders do have the option of using house buying companies such as National Homebuyers, who are willing to make substantial cash offers on any home, regardless of location or situation, there are fears that the those living in poverty will end up being deprived of their one chance to buy a home.
Need a quick sale? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Retired sellers hoping to downsize unable to find younger buyers
As the cost of living for younger generations continues to grow, older homeowners who need to downsize are finding themselves unable to find a buyer with the necessary financial resources.
For many millennials, hearing the constant tirade from older generations about how they complain too much and “don’t know the meaning of a hard day’s work” helps to illustrate how little empathy many older people have regarding the cost of living for young people today.
In return, younger people often draw attention to the fact that many baby-boomers enjoyed a care-free existence in a thriving economy – voting for long-term investment gains that benefitted themselves as opposed to long-term stability for future generations. The British youth also feel the lack of sympathy they receive in regard to their inability to save money stems from the fact that many older individuals have never felt the negative impact of this societal shift in their own lives.
However, a growing number of those in retirement age are beginning to see the plight of the youth now that they are choosing to downsize their homes and are failing to find buyers who can afford them.
In many ways, the decrease in the number of UK homeowners is indicative of a country that fails to invest in the areas that need it most. After all, if an economy is powered by the expenditure of its population on goods and services – how is the economy supposed to grow if the majority of residents are only spending their hard-earned cash on rent?
Have things changed that much?
By the time they reached 45, 70% of all baby boomers were registered homeowners – whereas less than half of all millennials are likely to achieve the same. In fact, there has been a 7% drop in the total number of homeowners in the UK since 2003 alone.
With today’s living costs accounting for three times the proportion of earnings needed in the 1960s, and more than double the number of residents living in rented accommodation – the cost of which, incidentally, has risen by 15% in the last six years alone – is it so shocking that younger generations cannot afford the homes that the elderly wish to sell?
Sadly, the bad news doesn’t stop there. Today, the average cost of a deposit is over £32,000, and even if young couples with children are able to save the required amount of money to qualify for a mortgage, they are penalised for having children in the first place, as lenders believe that increasing childcare costs could hamper their ability to meet the required monthly repayments.
So what options are there for older individuals who cannot find a buyer for their home?
If an individual of retirement age needs to sell their house fast due to health issues or would simply prefer to be closer to family, they can consider renting their home out and use the income as a pension. Unfortunately, the majority of people who currently rent are doing so because they can’t afford a home themselves, and as a result, are less likely to be able to afford the rental fees for a large prestigious house.
They can stay put, and hope that in the future the economy will recover to a point that younger generations will have enough disposable income that they could make an offer – but given the current shape of the economy, this is unlikely to happen any time soon.
Luckily, there are house buying companies such as National Homebuyers who are willing to buy any house for cash at competitive prices, regardless of situation or location. And with a sale often completed within seven days, older homeowners are able to downsize without the stress often associated with the traditional selling process.
Hoping to downsize as soon as possible? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
How to sell your house without an estate agent
Selling a house can be a stressful experience. Even so, more and more sellers are choosing to decline the use of an agent in favour of more profitable options.
For the majority of people looking to sell their house fast, the use of an estate agent seems like a great idea. While agents do take a cut of the profits, many sellers prefer to avoid the stress of self-marketing and will happily pay to avoid the headaches.
However, with the advent of numerous online property portals; the increased ability to reach a wider audience of potential buyers through social media; and the ability to cut down on expenses – as a seller, you may find yourself wondering whether it’s possible to learn how to sell your house without an agent.
It is, however, important to realise that in most cases, managing your own sale requires a great deal of time and devotion, as well as being ‘available’ 24/7 to take calls regarding offers and general enquiries.
In this blog, we will be looking at the most popular methods you could employ when setting out to discover how to sell your house yourself.
Make your house sellable
As with all planned property transactions, a buyer is less likely to buy if they view a house that is unkempt and messy. When you use an estate agent, you can often gain pointers from their sales specialists with regard to making your house marketable. When you decide to shoulder the responsibility yourself however, you need to make the judgement calls on your own. Luckily, there are a huge number of internet-based resources that can help you bring your house up to showroom quality.
Once your house is in tip-top shape, consider employing the services of a professional photographer to take the marketing pictures. Photos taken by amateurs often stand out a mile in listings by making your home look ‘cheap’ and claustrophobic – whereas a professional, by comparison, can make your home look open, palatial and desirable.
How to sell your house yourself
No matter which method you choose, it’s always important to learn the value of your home. Set the asking price too low, and you risk losing a vast amount of your investment – set the asking price too high, and you risk deterring potential buyers and finding yourself waiting a long time for the possibility of a sale.
In these situations, it’s always a great idea to employ an RICS-accredited surveyor to carry out a valuation. With a much lower price than a homebuyer’s report, a valuation is an important step in finding out how to sell your house without an agent.
Choosing the right path
Many vendors choose to employ the services of auction houses in an effort to sell fast. However, it’s important to remember that most buyers at auctions are there because they’re looking for a bargain. While unusual homes and derelict houses at the lower end of the scale tend to make the seller (and auctioneer) a lot of money, an average standard house is liable to perform less well during the bidding process.
Even if you set your reserve price at the price point advised by your surveyor, many auctioneers will forgo the chance of including your home in their auction if they feel the price won’t entice enough potential buyers. It’s also worth remembering that auctioneers make a great deal of money in commission from both the seller and the buyer if the property sells – and even if your house does not sell during the auction, you would still liable for the attached administration fees.
Luckily, there are alternatives. Online property portals such as Purplebricks or Tepilo offer you the chance to sell your home through their websites at a fixed fee, rather than a percentage-based fee with an agent. However, as with many great offers, there are strings attached.
Many property portals require you to use their services for valuations – services that have, on many occasions, required additional fees. There have also been numerous complaints against Purplebricks that have been upheld by the advertising watchdog regarding misleading marketing claims. For example, the obscuration of the fact that the fixed fee itself is payable whether or not your house manages to sell, and their 2016 claim to save a vendor an average of £4,158 in fees versus standard estate agents, which was heavily criticised due to the fact that the claim was based on commission figures published five years previously.
Ultimately, any company that is willing to help you sell your house is doing so with the aim of making a profit – and so it is up to the client to read the small print before deciding to sign on the dotted line.
If you wish to find out how to sell your house yourself without having to deal with additional commission fees, there are better options, and these are house buying companies.
Companies such as National Homebuyers offer you the chance to sell your home in as little as seven days – great for those who need to move house fast due to a change in personal circumstances. With a small upfront fee that is refunded upon completion of the sale, National Homebuyers will buy any house for cash, regardless of condition or location for a competitive price – even offering the seller additional financial support to cover any legal fees associated with the sale.
With an ever-increasing number of satisfied customers, why not make an enquiry and see how easy the house selling process can be?
Prefer to avoid estate agents? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Mortgage approvals fall to nine-month low
Mortgage approval figures have fallen for the ninth month in a row, as inflation, rising house prices and wage stagnation continue to blight the housing industry.
Many within the housing industry are at odds with one another with regards to the new figures released by the UK trade body UK Finance.
The report has detailed that as of June, gross mortgage borrowing has continued to rise – 6% higher than the same time in 2016 – but the number of mortgage approvals have slipped for the ninth month in a row.
With low interest rates, mortgage providers are currently offering excellent deals on fixed-rate deals, and these packages have been designed to tempt potential homebuyers into pulling the trigger while the market seems buoyant.
However, the stark difference between the increase in total mortgage borrowing and decrease in mortgage approvals have given experts much cause for concern.
Representatives from various lenders have been quick to thank the ‘resilient’ housing market for the increase in money borrowed. They are, however, failing to realise the dangers of a reduction in the number of transactions and what this could mean for the industry in the future.
The economic squeeze
With the outcome of Brexit hanging over the heads of the British population, combined with the high rates of inflation reducing the value of the pound, it seems that for now at least, UK consumers are choosing to bide their time when it comes to large purchases such as homes and cars.
“The fundamentals for house buyers are likely to remain weak over the coming months with consumers’ purchasing power continuing to be squeezed by inflation running higher than earnings growth,” said Howard Archer, chief economic advisor for EY Item Club.
“It is also very possible that the labour market will increasingly falter despite its current resilience.”
Moreover, it’s not just the total mortgage borrowing rates that have increased, as credit card borrowing has also increased by 5.5% over the past year.
These divisive figures make it clear from a macro perspective that a large proportion of the British public are being forced to borrow money for purchases that just ten years ago could be afforded through everyday savings.
But what about those who wish to sell their house fast?
In the near future at least, current homeowners are finding themselves having to stay-put unless the move is unavoidable.
With falling levels of mortgage approvals and ever-increasing house prices in a world where wages are failing to match up, those who need to sell may have to prepare themselves for a long wait as the pool of available buyers continues to dry up.
Need a quick house sale? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
When is the best time to sell a home?
As many property professionals can testify, the housing market can be volatile – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t steps you could take to maximise your chances of a quick house sale.
The period between the day you place your home on the market and the day you finally sell can be a nightmare. Sellers often find that the daily regime of keeping the property at ‘showroom’ levels of cleanliness can drive them mad – and that’s without the ritual of waiting by the phone after a viewing for that all-important call.
If you are looking to sell, surely then, it would make sense to try and reduce the length of that time period and sell your house fast. Luckily, those who have spent any length of time in the industry will soon learn when to sell a home with regards to seasons – and the differences can be staggering.
When’s the worst time to sell a property?
Despite the differences between us all, most members of society tend to have similar routines throughout the year – and as a result, it’s clear there are times when you should avoid trying to sell:
- Parents tend to be busiest during summer and Christmas thanks to the horror of having the kids at home 24/7, and they can’t imagine dealing with the stress of looking for a new home.
- Many workers aged 18-45 tend to go on holiday during the summer – and with the steadily rising prices, it’s unlikely they will have too much spare cash at that time of year even when they get back.
- During the darker months, a house can lose its ability to impress potential buyers, yet this is academic as most potential house buyers would prefer to avoid house-hunting whilst it’s cold out anyhow.
So, when is the best time to sell a home?
We know from the above reasons that it’s best to avoid both summer and winter – but what are the advantages of putting your home on the market during spring?
- The longer days allow more potential buyers to view your home in all its glory without rushing.
- The newly blossoming trees and flowering shrubbery in your garden can be a big pull for many buyers.
- Parents whose children are coming up to school age will always aim to move into their preferred school district ahead of time, and before the kids break up for summer.
- You can always guarantee that more people will be browsing the property market during spring.
Another great time to sell is autumn. It may not be spring, but the browns and reds on the trees always offer romanticised imagery for those people looking for a place to call home. By the time autumn comes around, the excitement of summer has faded, and there’s still plenty of time before Christmas so many buyers will be looking to make an offer and complete before the end of the year.
Why is it important to learn when to sell a property?
In a word, stagnation. If you place your home on the market in mid-November, you may still be looking for a buyer by the time February arrives – and this often makes buyers question why the house has been on the market for so long.
Does it have structural issues? Are the owners a nightmare to deal with? Is it overvalued? It doesn’t take much to scare off buyers, and nobody wants to buy a house that won’t sell.
Luckily, the seasonal differences in the housing market do not vary between regions, so you should be able to sell within 4-6 weeks during the stronger months – so there is little to no reason to take a chance at other times.
Is your house failing to sell? Even during the busy months? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
How to sell a house at an auction
When a seller is faced with several different options to sell their house, they often find the prospect of using an auctioneers quiet tempting. But how do auction houses work? And are they worth your time and trouble?
How confident are you that your house is a purchaser’s dream? Do you like to gamble? Are you willing to risk your investment for a chance to strike it rich?
These are among the first questions anyone considering selling a house in an auction should ask themselves. We’ve all heard stories of property owners who took a chance that paid off in spades, and this often piques our interest – but bear in mind, those sellers whose make-it-rich-quick plans backfired spectacularly are unlikely to be overly vocal about it.
So how do you auction a house?
An auctioneer is simply another means of presenting your home to potential sellers, much like an estate agent or through private listings. Similar to estate agents, auctioneers will take a percentage of the profit – often between 2-3% – so it is in their best interests to sell for as high a price as possible.
However, the work necessary for an auctioneer to attempt to sell your house means that even if your home does not sell, you will still be liable for their costs, often in the range of £1,200-£1,500 plus VAT. There are many auctioneers across the country, so if you are planning on taking this route for a quick house sale, ensure you find a local business that knows your area well.
What are the benefits of auctioning a home?
To put it simply, speed. Once the hammer is down, the winning bid needs to pay a 10% deposit to secure the property. After the auction, the buyer must present the full amount of funds within 28 days – which helps to prevent gazumping – or the sale will fall through and the deposit will not be refunded.
What is the guide or reserve price at an auction?
For those who wish to know how to sell a house at auction, it’s important to not to be confused between the two. An auctioneer and seller will provide two separate prices to entice buyers:
- A guide price is provided to buyers through marketing and lets them know the price at which bidding for the property is most likely to start.
- A reserve price is the minimum price that they would accept in order to part with the property. Of course, if the reserve price is not met, the seller is still liable for the auctioneer’s fees.
What are the disadvantages of selling a house at auction?
The greatest worry facing a buyer at an auction is the failure to know the future. Those who do choose to use an auction house should fit into the following criteria to stand a chance of a successful outcome:
- Your house is hard to value – some houses are simply so unique that there are no comparables in the area. For this reason, estate agents could undervalue the property in an effort to encourage a sale. Buyers who frequent auctions are usually more likely to pay a higher price for distinctive, rare houses.
- Your house needs renovation – many buyers at auctions also tend to be investors and will pay good money for a property that they can quickly renovate before making a swift sale and pocketing the difference.
- Your house has sitting tenants – for those looking for a bargain that can immediately pay dividends in the form of rental payments, houses that already have sitting tenants save landlords from extra legwork.
Many sellers who start to research how to sell a normal-everyday house at auction soon discover a few depressing facts that often encourage them to reconsider:
- An everyday house is not an attractive prospect for most buyers – hence why standard homes often sell for as little as 40% of their market value.
- Auction houses are there for people with a lot of disposable cash who a looking for a bargain whose aim is to buy your house for as little as possible.
- While you can often pass all associated auction fees to the buyer in the small-print, more astute buyers will make note of this and ultimately drive down the price during bidding.
While auctions may be fast, there are better, safer, ways of achieving a quick house sale, such as house buying companies who offer competitive prices with excellent communication throughout the whole process, and if you don’t feel the offer is right for you, you can pull out of the deal without any further penalisation.
Need a quick sale but don’t want to use an auctioneer? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
National Cash Buyers Broaden Their House Search
In the latest Market Insight from Hamptons International, they have shown that UK cash buyers are now starting to broaden their horizons when it comes to buying a house.
The report shows that there were 92,845 cash only house transactions in the UK in the third quarter of 2016. This figure is a 5% fall compared with the same period last year.
This seems to be part of a consistent trend in the reduction of national cash buyers in the market since 2014.
This decline in the reduction of cash buyers seems to be the highest in the most expensive areas of the UK. Broken down into regions, the report shows that in the South East, the number of cash buyers fell by 13% compared with 2015: in the East, it fell by 11% and in London by 9%.
In the past national cash buyers would generally buy property in and around the UK region they currently lived in. However, this report shows that in 2016 Cash buyers are broadening their horizons on their search for a home. Back in 2013 83% of national cash buyers bought in the same region they came from, but in 2016 this figure has fallen by 5% to 78%.
London cash buyers have now set their sights further afield in the search for debt-free homes.
The South West has seen an increase in the proportion of London cash buyers buying there. In 2013, only 7% of London cash buyers bought a home there but this has now grown to 10% in 2016. Similarly, only 2% of London cash buyers bought a home in the North in 2010 but this has now grown to 8%. South East national cash buyers also show a similar trend.
Here is the full Market Insight from Hamptons International
Selling at Christmas – the best or worst time to market property?
The Christmas period has long been associated with a lack of activity within the property market – but an increasing number of potential buyers are spending the festive season house-hunting online. Wait for the new year and you could be missing out on some great opportunities.
In the last 15 years, there has been a huge increase in the use of websites that allow buyers to preview properties from a variety of estate agents. For many, this increased accessibility has made the stress so often associated with house-hunting a thing of the past – and these property websites aren’t just making the process of searching easier, but also changing the way we go about it.
For years, the Christmas period has been linked to a slowdown in the buying and selling process, with professionals advising sellers to wait until the new year to put their home up for sale. But new figures from leading property website Rightmove have indicated that the festive season is fast becoming one of the busiest periods for online viewings by UK home buyers.
With 14 million views alone on Christmas day in 2014 and a further 25 million on Boxing Day, there are those clearly less interested in the festivities, and more interested in getting ahead of the game. After all, there are few opportunities throughout the year when one can enjoy a prolonged break from work, sit down with a glass of wine at midday and browse everything the property market has to offer from the comfort of an armchair.
So, how can you make the Christmas period work for you? With increased online activity comes increased competition, so use the countdown to Christmas to get your house in top physical condition and ensure any photos used to advertise your property are handled by a professional who knows how to get the best out of your home’s aesthetics – and for external shots, don’t forget to rake the leaves from the garden and take advantage of the picturesque wintry light.
Plus, if time is a factor and you’re looking to sell your house fast, professional property buying companies such as National Homebuyers can help you move things along and get you a cash offer in place before the New Year.
If your looking for a sale house fast company then get n contact with National Homebuyers for advice, as we guarantee to buy any home. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Property Lease Expiring Soon?
Why a Short Lease Could Prevent you from Selling Your House and Cost You More Money in the Long Run
There are 1.43 million leasehold properties in the UK and many of their owners are unaware of the financial implications of their property’s shortening lease. Not a lot of people realise that a property’s value will decrease as its lease gets shorter; a lease with less than 75 years left is considered to be a short lease and can cause serious problems if you are trying to sell and can even leave you in negative equity if the short lease means that its current value is less than the amount you owe on your mortgage.
The majority of mortgage companies will refuse to lend if a property has a short lease, meaning that if you want to sell or re-mortgage the property you will have great difficulty finding a lender willing to give you a mortgage. There are some lenders who will consider lending if the lease has at least 65 years left, but any less than that and it will be virtually impossible to re-mortgage and you will have difficulty selling your property due to the short lease, as buyers who need a mortgage won’t be able to buy it.
It may be possible for you to get a lease extension; if you have owned the property for 2 years or more, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993, you have the right to extend the lease, but it will cost you. You will need to instruct and pay for a surveyor to determine the value of the lease to start off with and you will need to pay legal/admin fees on top of the cost of extending the lease. You may also be liable for the freeholder’s costs as well. Depending on how long is left on the lease the cost of renewing it could be up to £10,000. When the lease reaches 80 years or less the Marriage Value comes into play and the value added to the property by renewing the lease will also be taken into consideration, this means it is wise to apply for a lease extension before the lease reaches 80 years.
If you are trying to sell your property and have a short lease, this will significantly reduce the value of the property and will eliminate any buyers who would need to obtain a mortgage, meaning that only cash buyers will be able to purchase the property. If you find yourself unable to sell the property on the open market and can’t renew your lease, either because you do not have the right to or cannot afford to, then you have very few options left open to you; you can save up the money to extend the lease, or you can try and find a cash buyer who doesn’t mind the short lease term.
The longer you own the property and the more time that lapses on the lease, will devalue the property even further and the cost of a lease extension will only increase. If the lease runs out completely then the property’s ownership will legally revert to the freeholder. If you are having difficulty selling a property due to a short property lease then it may be worth considering other options such as contacting a fast purchase property company, like National Homebuyers, who will be able to buy your house from you directly and will not be deterred by the short lease. This means you will be free of the property and can move on, whatever your reason for selling. So if you are looking to sell your house fast, contact us today.
National Homebuyers – We Buy Any Property
National Homebuyers are a UK based property buyer who really do buy any house or property! In fact we will buy anything, absolutely anything! Whether it is a house, flat or bungalow we will buy it!
If you are looking for a fast house sale then we are here to help you. Our team of property experts are always on hand to share their expertise with you and help you achieve you aim of selling your house fast in a time scale that suits you and not us. So if you want a we guarantee to buy any home service then give us a call on 08000 443 911.
Get your no obligation cash offer now by using the Get Offer on the right-hand side of this page and take the hassle out of selling your home!
What does Trump’s election victory mean for the UK housing market?
As anti-Trump rallies are held across the US in reaction to the stunning result of the presidential election, UK economists and property selling experts find themselves experiencing a feeling of unease about the future of British markets.
To state that Donald Trump’s victory against Hillary Clinton was a shock may well be the understatement of the century. As the UK celebrates losing the crown of the most controversial vote of the year to the US, it leaves us pondering the knock-on effects of the contentious billionaire becoming the most powerful man on earth.
For the housing market in the UK, it seems to be a case of sitting, biting our nails and hoping that the cards fall in our favour. Those looking to sell their homes fast may find themselves looking towards property buying companies in an effort to strike before they lose too much of their house’s value.
Trump’s win was seen by many as the ultimate anti-establishment vote against a deeply unpopular politician. Clinton is viewed by a large percentage of the population as untrustworthy; and a symbol of all that is wrong with the culture on Capitol Hill.
Across America, low-paid workers are celebrating at the proposition of manufacturing jobs returning home, while the increased taxes on Chinese imports will urge consumers to buy US-made products. Sadly, however, with the increase in automation of low-paid jobs from factories and drivers, it is unlikely there will be any jobs left upon their return.
Furthermore, with Putin stating upon Trump’s victory that he is ready to fully reinstate diplomatic and trade ties with the US, the American public see this as a way to avert any future military action between the two super-powers. Yet many others believe this is the first step for the withdrawal of the US from both NATO and the United Nations, while allowing Russia to gain the support it needs to recover former Soviet states back from Europe.
For the GOP, the win means retaining a majority in the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as another stab at the White House. For the DNC, however, the painful loss will not be forgotten easily – especially considering the imbalance of support shown for Hillary over the more progressive and popular candidate Bernie Sanders (a man whose approval rating is one of the highest in Congress). In hindsight, many believe that Sanders would have been a shoe-in for the presidency had he been the DNC’s priority, but the influence and power of the Clintons ensured that this would never happen.
But what about the UK? Global markets reacted with a sharp fall upon the election announcement, but this fall is expected to stabilise over time, much like Brexit. However, as Trump was a big supporter of the UK’s choice to leave the EU, it is entirely possible that stronger trade ties between the US and UK will develop. But then, as the majority of imports arrive from Eastern Asia, the benefits of any supposed deal are hard to gauge at this point.
The UK has historically been used as a ‘middle-man’ by both EU countries and the US, but with Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, many believe that the America’s need for a ‘special relationship’ with Britain may not be a priority for Trump anymore.
The president-elect himself has called the deeply unpopular Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal a “rape of our country”, a sentiment echoed by many in the UK – but his emphasis on aiding American industry as opposed to strengthening ties with Western Europe could lead to a reduced level of globalisation, reducing business opportunities for the UK and thus impacting on all our markets, including housing.
There’s also the weak British pound and a lack of consumer confidence due to the Brexit referendum, as well as the potential change in international relations with China, the US; and the EU itself could go either way. So will we enjoy a commercial and industrial renaissance across the country? Or are we facing a depressive period devoid of economic growth? Only time will tell.
Worried about your home’s value after global changes? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Are the lessons of the past being ignored?
In an effort to boost house sales, Barclays has launched a 100% ‘Springboard mortgage’. It seems a great deal for first-time buyers – but is it simply a case of déja vu from the days before the recession?
In the midst of the recession during the last decade, it slowly became clear that many product mortgages were being sold to those who clearly would not be able to afford the repayments. It was also clear the amount needed to be repaid to lenders was vastly overpriced, leaving many new homeowners in a state of negative equity when the value of property crashed in 2007.
In the aftermath, many of the large banks and industry regulating bodies triumphed the additional safeguards put in place to ensure that another recession of the same magnitude could never happen again. At the same time, politicians from various countries around the world rose up and promised to punish those who placed the public’s livelihood at risk – a move which resulted in very few criminal convictions, and a number of banks being fined for amounts that when compared to annual profits would be considered petty cash.
With the property market all but recovered, we are now lucky to live in a world where such financial atrocities and irresponsible lending are a thing of the past, and where banks take a much more responsible position in relation to safeguarding the wellbeing of the UK property market.
Of course, we all know that’s not true. Enter Barclays, and their 100% mortgage.
For those struggling to raise the necessary deposit to purchase a home, particularly first-time buyers, this news is marvellous. No down-payment, and a reasonable fixed rate of 2.99% is a dream quote for many – but is this just rehashing the past and making the same mistakes again?
To be fair, Barclays are making the mortgages available on condition that a family member can provide a cash contribution of 10%. However, whereas in 2013 Barclays asked for a 10% deposit from family members (that could be claimed back after three years), it also required a 5% contribution from the buyers themselves – providing reasonable protection for the purchase. With the new ‘Springboard’ mortgage, on the other hand, that 5% buyer input has been removed – making the mortgage attractive to those who have never proven themselves to be financially savvy – and who may not be a position to budget correctly for mortgage repayments in the future.
And therein lies the problem. It is important to remember that in the early days of the recession, almost a thousand buyers were losing their home and deposit every week due to their inability to afford the necessary repayments. Moreover, the new mortgage system places much of the risk on the family member who provides the 10% down-payment, facing a huge financial loss if the buyer fails to meet their monthly fees.
While this mortgage is clearly marketed with the purpose of reinvigorating an increasing quiet market, many UK property selling experts are urging caution to prevent another economic downturn which would affect both buyers and sellers alike. And despite the market being quiet, there are still options for those looking for a fast house sale without waiting for a buyer to complete their mortgage application, such as property buying companies who will buy any home for cash without incurring estate agency fees.
Are you struggling to find buyers? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property
Another property crash looms as history begins to repeat itself
Despite the safeguards currently in place, many experts believe the property market is facing a second major recession within 10 years – and that major changes will be needed to ensure it doesn’t happen.
“How do you persuade people to buy something today that they think will be cheaper tomorrow?”
Industry professionals often appear in newspapers and television offering their own personal insight regarding the direction of the property market, and many are easy to ignore. The above statement, however, is a quote by Henry Pryor – also known as the BBC’s favourite property expert. It was almost a decade ago when Henry had a story published in the Financial Times, despite mass disapproval from his peers in the field, where he claimed that the property market had topped out.
As we well know, Henry’s prophecy came true with one of the largest recessions the world has ever seen – but why is this relevant now? Simply because the above statement was not made in 2007, but by Henry in a report published on 31st May 2016 by the Financial Times – and few are willing to call his bluff this time around.
More worryingly, on this occasion Henry is not alone, with many UK property selling experts agreeing that the disparity between wage increases and house price increases has now reached a point considered by many to be untenable. It’s a similar situation to the years leading up to the 2007 recession, as the property market has increased by 20% in value between 2012 and 2016, with the average house price across the UK reaching £292,000, and as high as £552,000 in London.
With wages only reaching 78% of the rise expected by economists in the months leading into February, macro-research firm Fathom Consulting found that wages would have to rise ten times their current pace for the next five years in order to catch up with the radically high house prices.
Plus, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors recently confirmed that in April this year that the number of enquiries regarding house purchases had dropped sharply, while the number of mortgage approvals had dropped by 8.6% – similar to figures provided during 2007. While there have been factors this year that could have conceivably affected the market, such as the stamp duty tax hike as well as the forthcoming Brexit vote, according to industry specialists there are too many precedents to dispel the negative rumours as sheer fear-mongering.
“There are plenty of headwinds facing London irrespective of the referendum vote,” said Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack, whose views will worry those sellers looking for a fast house sale. “It’s down to affordability – at some point you have to run out of buyers.”
For those looking to sell, there is always the alternative route of house buying companies, which are willing to offer cash for any house regardless of location or condition. But for those hoping to join the property ladder, the rent cycle and spiralling house costs have locked them into a life with little chance of upward social mobility, and without intervention by the government the country may be heading towards another recession, in spite of all precautions and safeguards put in place to prevent history repeating itself.
Location, location, location… how in-demand is your area?
With better transport links and increased investment from large companies, Rightmove has seen a huge increase in searches for certain locations that offer all of the benefits of larger commercial cities, with none of the drawbacks.
When moving house, it’s fair to say that many people look to purchase in the same area within which they lived previously. There is however, a rising number of UK homebuyers with plans to move to locales which offer a better deal in terms of investment. So where do they tend to focus their efforts? Online property giant Rightmove has recently carried out research into the most-searched locations around the UK – and some are quite surprising.
Many believe that the capital’s housing bubble is set to burst, with skyrocketing prices and a limited selection of properties available for purchase… and for the financially savvy, the idea of moving to a commuter town seems a very attractive prospect. This is aided by the government’s increased investment in high-speed rail links that are cutting commuting times to a minimum, allowing many London workers to live in more affordable areas. Towns such as Milton Keynes have seen a huge increase in popularity in recent years, thanks to a large selection of schools, shops and amenities, as well as the number of large companies establishing their headquarters within its boundaries.
The story is similar for Cambridge, which many biotech companies have chosen to call home thanks to its excellent transport links – not to mention the increasing overseas investment in new-build housing. Of course, for many buyers, the historical significance of the city is reason enough to consider starting afresh. Norwich is another city benefiting from a fast commute to the capital – and with the average home selling for half the price of Cambridge, and a third of the price of the average London home, it’s not hard to see why.
However, many places are seeing increased interest regardless of links to the South East – towns such as Harrogate, which has been named as the happiest place in the UK three years in a row and offers historic buildings, a bustling high street and a number of schools with high reputations, like Harrogate Grammar School and St. Aidens.
It’s the same case in cities such as York and Sheffield, where the industrial history of the north has been modernised with mills and factories being converted into affordable apartment complexes. With major commercial cities such as Liverpool and Manchester a short train ride away, it’s a no-brainer for the average buyer looking for an affordable property in a beautiful area.
For those looking to sell their home fast in these areas, it’s great news – multiple offers are driving up prices, allowing for larger profits on even smaller properties. Unfortunately, this also means that there are areas that are failing to garner interest from buyers due to poor locations and crime rates, causing many vendors to worry about losing money on their homes. Luckily, for those looking for a quick house sale, property buying companies are willing to buy these homes for cash at competitive prices without having to use an estate agent.
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