As pension funds shrink, many people consider the buy-to-let opportunity as a viable alternative, and with good reason. The effect of low interest rates and a historically rising property market make buy-to-let one of the most attractive investments accessible to the public. And the great thing is – you can use the bank’s money! The
Friday is overwhelmingly the most popular day of the week to move house as it provides new homeowners with a long weekend of moving “fun” – unpacking boxes, hanging pictures and all the DIY that tends to accompany a move.
Due to this preference, it is therefore quite likely that other buyers and sellers in
Some landlords, especially those who are new to the experience, understandably wish to use a letting agent simply as a route to market in order to find a tenant. However, whilst a return on investment is one thing, sleeping well at night is quite another! A managed service is not just about chasing late rent,
It is interesting to note that some sellers are not as committed to moving as they might be, and are prepared to remain on the market until what they regard as an acceptable offer comes along.
Likewise, some buyers, whilst generally remaining committed to a purchase, do not exhibit a great deal of urgency, and
Almost half the UK population own a pet, yet many landlords are reluctant to accept pets! According to research by The Dogs Trust, some 78% of pet owners reported that they had experienced difficulty finding rented accommodation that would accept pets.
However, if you are a landlord, agreeing to accept pets can help you maximise
A covenant is a term you might hear when discussing a property during the conveyancing process. Covenants are a form of legal obligation that is binding on the owner of a property and passes from owner to owner whenever the property is sold. They form part of the deeds of a property and are recorded
Finally, after the pent-up frustrations of lockdown, we have some very good news to report:
Firstly, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has announced a substantial boost for the housing market with the raising of the SDLT (Stamp Duty) threshold from £125,000 to £500,000. This really is quite incredible and will save buyers up
Landlords often ask us what they should do about their garden and what they can reasonably expect of a tenant in terms of maintenance.
Having a well-cared for garden can definitely help to attract good tenants, particularly if they arrive on a sunny summer’s day. However, if the garden is just too magnificent and obviously
Our research has shown that buyers overwhelmingly prefer floorplans on property details in addition to the usual description and written dimensions. There are several good reasons behind this preference, which is why we always feature floorplans on our particulars:
Firstly, where several properties are competing for a buyer’s attention, a floorplan always makes an immediate
Immigration legislation means that all private landlords have to check that new tenants have the right to be in the UK before renting a property, although this responsibility can be given to your letting agent as part of a written agreement.
The penalties for ignoring the new legislation are severe. For the first time an
On 4th July each year Americans go to town on celebrating their national pride on Independence Day.
And well they might, as independence is a wonderful thing. As independent estate/letting agents, we experience daily what it is to be free of the constraints of corporate governance, number crunching, management reports and toeing the party
Superficially, lettings could be seen as relatively straightforward, and some firms do indeed regard themselves as a simple broking operation.
However, if your investment is going to provide you with peace of mind as well as a great return on investment, then you will want to know that the property is being managed by people
The opportunities opened up by technology in estate agency have been enormous, yet many local agents simply use their website as a glorified shop window. Like any agency window, the properties displayed need to be regularly updated and presented in a way that inspires buyers to take things further.
But a good estate agency website
If you’re buying a second home, Buy to Let, or investment property, you should be aware that there is an additional 3% Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on top of the standard SDLT amount payable. Since this regime was introduced in 2016, the market for second homes has certainly felt the pinch, especially for buy
It is perhaps quite worrying that anyone can start trading as an estate agent, without any qualifications whatsoever. This makes it all the more important that you choose an agency that puts a high value on training.
Better-trained staff gain an intimate understanding of what the customer is going through and are able to help
It might be tempting to believe that the pandemic has been destructive and all-consuming on all fronts, especially in relation to the property market, which virtually ground to a halt a few weeks ago.
But we British are a resilient lot! Our compliant “keep calm and carry on” mentality has meant that we have/continue to
Most lettings agents see their role solely as a “purveyor of tenants”, and they pride themselves on their ability to find the right tenant for a property and to negotiate attractive terms for the landlord.
But lettings agency has moved on. Indeed, finding a tenant is arguably one of the most straightforward aspects of letting
There can be nothing better suited to the internet than property, and hits to property websites far outnumber those of any other industry. The ability to be able to search in the comfort of your own home, usually without having to provide any personal details, is certainly attractive and has transformed the way the public
A recent survey of over 500 residential landlords reports that landlords are overwhelmingly satisfied with the service they receive from their letting agent and find them an invaluable resource. Some 92% of landlords reported a positive experience with their letting agent.
The market for lettings is of course relatively buoyant that the moment and agents
The adage that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link could not be more aptly demonstrated than in respect of property transactions in the UK.
Whilst a lot of agents focus on finding a buyer, which is obviously important, it is the quality of that buyer and their situation that will determine
The housing market has been an obvious casualty of the Coronavirus lockdown. Yet the desire to move is strong, once the decision has been made. Indeed, as soon as the government announced that people could once again move house, Rightmove buyer enquiries doubled within 24 hours. They were even 4% higher than the same day
According to the Department of the Environment about half of all landlords have had cause to ask a tenant to leave on at least one occasion, usually because of arrears, noise, damage, violence, or abusive behaviour. Around thirty percent of these end up having to go to court.
When you let your property, you hope
One of the most important aspects of your estate agents role is not only to negotiate a price (or ideally secure the full asking price of course) but actually to generate an offer in the first place! Too many agents simply see themselves as people who show buyers around property, hoping that an offer will
Just as anyone can open up an estate agency, so they can also start up a lettings business, without any training, experience or qualifications. This should concern landlords, because there is far more to the business than meets the eye. In some ways, finding a tenant is the easy bit!
The issues arise over how
The layman’s view of an estate agent is simply someone who shows prospective buyers round properties. Whilst understandable, this simplistic perspective belies the fact that the well-trained agent knows how to maximize the viewing opportunity with the specific objective of prompting a sale.
Whilst “showing someone round” might appear straightforward, vendors who do this themselves
All residential tenancy deposits must by law be protected by being lodged in a government-recognised scheme, such as the Deposit Protection Service (DPS), which is evidence based. This means that the decision to either return or withhold a deposit at the end of a tenancy is made by considering any differences between the condition of
The phrase “Willing and Able” is seldom heard today, as it no longer appears on estate agency documentation. However, it remains important to discover if a prospective buyer for your property is indeed willing and able to proceed, should they express interest in your home.
This is especially the case today, when people are finding
Apart from actually finding a tenant and agreeing the rent, the one headache about which many landlords are concerned is, “will the rent be paid – on time?” Many landlords have stretched themselves in order to purchase a buy-to-let investment and even one month’s rent in arrears can put strain on the finances as mortgage
In the old days, a property ad in an estate agent’s window and the local newspaper were all that was required to promote a property. Today we also have our website and numerous portals ensuring that our clients property receives the maximum exposure to the right people – or ideally thousands of them! Plus, of
For many homeowners, letting provides an obvious investment opportunity as an alternative to selling. With the right expert help from your letting agent, the matter should be quite straightforward, although there are certain consents that should be obtained if you are to avoid some potentially costly problems.
You will certainly need the consent of your
Valuation is possibly the most contentious aspect of estate agency, and emotions run high when discussing most people’s most valuable asset. It is natural that the vendor of a property will want as much as possible for it, as does the agent.
However, vendors should be careful about opinions, especially when everyone seems to have
Why is it that tenanted properties appear to be damper than those that are owner-occupied? Firstly, we’re talking about condensation here, not rising damp. Condensation is caused when warm air, which holds more water vapour, meets a cold surface, forming water droplets. This may attract fungal growths such as Mildew leading that “that damp smell”.
Straight-talking sincere advice can be invaluable in a world where too many people would just tell you what you want to hear! For example, the oldest trick in the book is for an agent to suggest an inflated suggested asking price in order to impress you enough to secure your business, only for tears to
The onus on landlords to provide energy efficient accommodation has once again stepped up a gear, now that part three of the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 has come fully into effect.
It is now (since 1st April 2020) illegal for landlords to continue to let a property, or grant
What a difference a month can make! Our March Market Comment was very positive and full of the joys of spring. Indeed, the Halifax subsequently reported that house prices were 2.1% higher at the end of March than they had been at the end of December 2019. The “Boris Bounce” was very much in evidence,
It is well documented that, nationally, around 30% of all sales arranged fail to reach a successful exchange of contracts. Fortunately, our success rate is much higher than this!
However, the sales cycle can be frustratingly slow and the longer the sale takes, the greater the chance of it falling through. This makes it particularly
There is a lot of talk and numerous TV programmes about home improvement and the benefits of presenting your property at its best when the time comes to sell.
However, if you are thinking of selling and your property is not necessarily the prettiest in the street, or perhaps it is a bit tired, needs
As the country gears up for the potential prospect of a pandemic, what are the implications for home movers and how are we, as estate agents, rising to our responsibilities?
The property market is currently enjoying renewed strength following years of Brexit doldrums, during which it proved highly resilient. Is it also immune to Coronavirus?
When letting your property, your primary objective is simple – you want to find a reliable tenant who pays the rent regularly and looks after your property as you would yourself.
The reality is usually more complex than this. Letting your property comes with legal obligations and social responsibilities, many of which are unknown to anyone
Recent research has shown that about a quarter of home-movers leave themselves open to some form of identity theft when they move, simply by failing to redirect their post promptly.
Indeed, almost half of all identity theft cases involve a previous address, and 70% of new occupants receive mail addressed to a past occupant. This
One of the greatest areas of dispute in lettings is the issue of deposits and the fair return of money at the end of a tenancy. An unscrupulous landlord could claim that minor damages justify the non-return of the deposit, which usually amounts to between four and six weeks’ rent.
However, tenancy deposit protection legislation
Buyers often waste an inordinate amount of time viewing property that is either too expensive or blatantly wrong in other critical ways.
Additionally, more than 30% of property sales fall through due to buyer or seller suddenly changing their minds. Both these annoyances could be attributed to the agent not having gained a good understanding
Building on the increase in January activity we reported last month, the local market has been just as frenetic during February with intense buyer activity continuing to play “catch-up” following years of mild depression.
According to the National Association of Estate Agents, there has been a 25% year-on-year rise in the number of active buyers,
Many sellers who receive a good offer for their home turn it down because they have not yet found “the right property” and worry that they will in effect become homeless should they sell first (although we have never known this to happen!)
Of course, the problem would become a self-fulfilling prophecy if everyone were