How to Sell Your Property Successfully

Selling property in the UK is relatively easy, particularly if you’re in the right area. There were 1.06 million successful property transactions alone last year. Success in property selling is very much a science. Do the right things and you should have no problem getting your home on and off the market in record time.

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Pick the Right Agent

The choice of estate agent  is vital because this is the person responsible for marketing and selling your property. Ignore any special promotions designed to get you through the door. Concentrate on the one performance indicator that matters: the number of sold properties.

Most property sellers are willing to share this information because it reflects well on them. Look for the number of ‘Sold’ boards in the areas they operate. A ‘For Sale’ sign doesn’t mean anything because any old agent can throw a property onto the active market.

Save Money through Negotiation

There are many expenses involved in the selling of a property. Primarily, you have to pay the estate agent’s fee, which is usually between one and three per cent. You should aim to negotiate with agents to see if you can get a better deal.

Rarely are these rates set in stone. Different customers can command different rates. All they have to do is ask.

The asking price is another factor you can negotiate on. Always call in multiple agents to appraise your home. If there’s suggestion of a higher asking price, ask why. Occasionally, agents appraise at the higher end of the spectrum because they already have a specific buyer in mind.

Prepare for Viewings

It’s difficult enough to attract buyers without making it hard for them to see the property when they want. Never be strict about when someone can view your home. Prepare for viewings by first giving your estate agent a set of keys.

Next, you should endeavour to keep the house clean and tidy whilst it’s on the market. Even the best house can give off the wrong impression if there are dirty clothes on the floor and children’s toys at the top of the stairs.

Thinking about the Offer

Always check to see how a buyer will finance the purchasing of your home. In most cases, this will be in the form of raising a mortgage. Consult with your agent to see how likely it is the buyer is able to acquire this mortgage. Thousands of transactions fall through because of a mortgage application rejection.

The Survey

Take your home off the market as soon as the buyer arranges a survey. The process has gone far enough to confirm that the buyer has genuine intentions regarding completion of the purchase. You can technically wait for better offers until contracts have been exchanged in England and Wales, but it’s not good etiquette.

In conclusion, the key to selling your property successfully is to be as flexible as possible. Make it easy for buyers to view and assess your property. At the same time, carry out due diligence on the financial means of any prospective buyer.

How to Sell Your Property Successfully

7 Tips for Renting a Home in London

London has a population of 8.36 million people. The city is large and the pressure of finding a good rental house can make you restless. According to a recent research conducted by Ocean Finance, more than 10,000 people are looking for houses in London daily. So how do you find the best rental house in London?

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To find the best rental house in London, you need to know where to begin your search, the right questions to ask; tenancy agreements, household insurance covers, deposit protection schemes and most significantly, know your budget.

1. When and where to start your search

The best time to start looking for a rental house is about three to seven weeks prior to your move. A three to seven week window allows you sufficient time to find the best house before giving notice to your current landlord. Where to begin your search depends mainly on what you want. Approximately 90% of rental house searchers and homebuyers in the UK strike amazing deals online. Alternatively, look for local estate agents and tell them your selection criteria.

2. Ask the right questions

Ask the landlords or estate agents the right questions when you are viewing houses in order to know what to expect when you move in. According to a research conducted by Daily Express, about 25% of tenants are living in rental houses they are not comfortable in at all. The questions you can ask include do they allow pets? Is the initial deposit refundable? What are the other fees? Is there a lot of noise in the neighbourhood? Is there rental emergency cover?

3. Cost/budget

If the price is too good to be true, think twice. Always stick to your budget and never pay before you have viewed the property. About 2% of house seekers in London have fallen into the trap of paying the initial rent to fake agents even before visiting the house. The initial deposit is normally more than the rental monthly charges. For example, if the monthly rent charge is £1,050, a landlord can charge you £3,150.

When deciding where to stay, take into account where you will be travelling to the most. It could be the case that the cost of renting in the area where you work is high, but living far away and paying transport costs daily could even be more costly.

4. Deposit protection

There are three government approved Rental Deposit Protection Schemes in London and you should pay your deposit in one of them. They are very handy. If you decide to vacate you house and the estate agent or landlord proposes deductions from your deposit, you can complain if you feel it is not fair by filing your case at the Rental Deposit Protection Scheme.

5. Tenancy agreements

Do not sign any agreement without reading it carefully. Make sure you understand what type of contract you are signing as this can make you liable to some misfortunes. For instance, if you sign a shared property tenancy agreement, it is likely that you will be liable for actions committed by your co-tenants. “Only 1 out 3 tenants read tenancy agreements before appending their signatures,” says Paskot Melvin, a rental expert at one of the  best estate agents in the UK.

6. Safety and home insurance

According to London Police Crime Report, about 10,000 home burglaries are reported each year in London. Therefore, check that all windows and door locks are in good condition and get the landlord or the estate agent to fix any broken ones. Also, make sure that the burglar alarm is working if there is any. Residential estates without security systems are up to 200% more likely to be broken into.

It is also a good idea to insure house items. This will cater for the costs of theft, replacement locks and keys, and locksmith’s service fees if you damage or lose your keys.

“Make sure the insurance cover you are going to buy caters for the total value of all your assets. Underinsuring your high worth items may mean that you won’t get the total value of a claim in case of an eventuality, ” explains Johnson Paul, a home insurance expert at one of the best rental house letting agent in UK.

7.  Tenant’s and landlord’s responsibilities

Depending on the tenancy contract, all landlords have responsibilities which may slightly vary, but the fundamental principles are always similar. The landlord’s responsibilities include not troubling tenants or entering their rooms unannounced, conducting repairs to the property and following the right procedure when evicting a tenant.

Tenants have obligations and you can be evicted if you fail to follow them. These include paying rent and bills on time, giving landlord access when necessary, taking good care of the property, and not being a nuisance to other tenants.

A good rule of thumb to find the best rental house in London is to make sure you know where to start your search, the right questions to ask, read tenancy agreements, take insurance covers, make use of the deposit protection schemes and most significantly, stick to your budget.

7 Tips for Renting a Home in London

How to resolve disputes with your estate agent

Sometimes not all is well with an estate agent. You find that they aren’t everything they claimed to be. Thankfully, in the UK, consumer protection laws state that you can fight back. You can protect yourself against unscrupulous property agents.

If possible, though, it’s always wise to try to speak to the agent in question before issuing official complaints.

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Go through the Agency

In the event you believe your property seller has done something illegal, go through the agency’s complaints procedure. With 23 million homes in the UK, it’s inevitable that sometimes you will have to deal with something like this.

Most reputable estate agents have robust systems to serve customers who believe they have been wronged.

The primary reason for exhausting the internal avenues is simply a matter of cost. It’s costly to go straight to court. The shorter the time in court the less you have to spend. County judges look more favourably on cases when court really is the last resort.

Complain to the Ombudsman

Another option is to visit The Property Ombudsman, or alternatively Ombudsman Services: Property. These are two independent bodies setup in order to deliver fair and impartial advice for free. They house codes of practice that all members of their organisations have to follow. If you’re convinced that your estate agent has broken the rules, this is where you should go.

They will investigate fairly and look at all the facts. It’s also far cheaper than court because it’s entirely free.

56.8% of cases were in favour of the customer last year, with 93% of agents paying out upon the verdict going against them.

Approach the Trade Association

Chances are, if you’re dealing with a reputable agency, they’re already a member of a trade association or other professional body. Find the name of these organisations and contact them about potential wrongdoing by one of their members.
They’re obligated to conduct a full and fair investigation. It doesn’t give them a good reputation if their members are involved in practices that are against the rules.

The chances are your agency is a member of either the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) or the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

The only downside is these organisations rarely rule against their members. Back in 2011, only three members were fined by the NAEA.

Conclusion

The main take away from this guide is that dealing with an estate agent dispute can get tricky. Before you decide to seek an official investigation, it’s wise to try and deal with the problem directly. Most estate agents have your best interests at heart because it serves their best interests.

Only once you have exhausted the internal complaint procedure of the body should you begin seeking out professional organisations and the estate agent Ombudsman. Be warned that the investigation process is time-consuming, even if it doesn’t necessarily cost you anything.
You have to make a decision as to whether the potential pay-off is worth the effort of going through a process that can easily take months.

How to resolve disputes with your estate agent

How to wisely choose an estate agent

In the UK we have a whopping 562,000 agents, according to the Office of National Statistics. That’s an incredibly large number of agents. It certainly makes it difficult for buyers and sellers to choose the right estate agent.
So how do you choose from the number of agents on offer?

Shortlist Some Agents

To start with, you need to build up a shortlist. This is no easy feat. Use these tips to help build a list.

  • Use family and friends. Chances are they have had a previously good experience with an estate agent.
  • Start local. Go into some local estate agent offices and speak with them. Who do you get good vibes from?
  • How do they deal with buyers? They should accompany them and allow for viewings straightaway.

These are a select few ways to do it. Overall, you should try to build a list of three to five agents to get started with. You can return to this step later.

How good are they?

The business of selling houses is based on performance. Look at their recent successes. With 1.07 million houses sold in the UK recently, you should be looking for an agent who has sold similar properties in a similar area at a similar price.

The easiest way to do this is to ask them.

The same principle applies when they assess and value your property. Ask them why they have come to a certain valuation. Always ask why they’re doing something and how they’ve reached their conclusions.

The Way they sell Your Home

property seller must sell your home in the right way. The goal is to unleash your listing onto as many people as possible. They should automatically have membership to OntheMarket, so they can go further than a listing on a platform like Zoopla and Rightmove.
They should be selling your home online, but don’t neglect what they do on the ground. Your listing should appear in the local newspaper and on various other community boards. Too many people fail to ask about this, since there’s so much focus on online selling.

Bear in mind that most people still prefer to deal with property in person. Only 5% of estate agents are considered ‘online estate agents’.

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Fees and Prices

It’s not uncommon for agencies to claim 1-3% of the selling price. Make sure this price includes VAT. Some agents are clever in that they’ll omit the VAT until later on. It’s unethical and it can cost you thousands.

Once you have a range of fees, get the agents to fight with each other over who wants your business the most. You should make it clear you’re shopping around.
Agents aren’t bound to any price, and it’s not unheard of for them to change their tune when they see a rival offering a lower commission.

Finally, when picking an agent, it’s always good to go with your gut instinct. If something doesn’t feel right about an estate agent, it’s best to look elsewhere.

How to wisely choose an estate agent

How Much Should You Sell Your House For?

The question of price has always been a big puzzle for many sellers. Is it too high? Am I undervaluing my house? How much should I sell my house for? These are just some of the questions that are probably giving you sleepless nights now that you have decided to sell your house.

There are various factors that determine the cost of a house, and the price that a buyer would be willing to pay for the same. The physical state of your house, its location, the current state of the housing market, the economy of the nation and so on. The lists of factors that influence the price go on and on, but the ultimate decision for the price really remains with you.

So, how much should you sell your house for? The simple answer would be for as much as it is worth. But then, how do you determine, or how can you tell the worth of your house now after you have lived in it all this while? The following questions and tips should give you a fairly good idea of how much you should sell for.

How ‘appealing’ is your house?

Some factors such as design and features of a house can make a price statement by the way they appeal to buyers. If your house is appealing enough to buyers, your odds are better that it will fetch a good price. This means that you can actually sell your house for a price that’s above the current market rates.

Do not rely too much on your agent’s valuation. Decide on an estimate price.

Estate agents sell houses all the time, and, therefore, often have a fairly good idea of how much your house would go for. However, they may have their own agendas when it comes to setting the price for your house. You already know what this investment cost you, and what you want to make from it. Even as you listen to your agent, trust your gut and stick to your guns.

Remember to set a negotiation space in your asking price.

There is always the presumption by buyers that the asking price is negotiable. This is something that every seller should always be aware of. You cannot deny a buyer the opportunity to bargain, so what you do is increase your price by about 5% to 10% to cater for that, but don’t make it too obvious.

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Compare with prices of other comparable properties.

Check around your neighbourhood and see who is selling a house or who has sold houses similar to yours. You can use their prices as a guide to set yours. By using the internet, you can check what other properties in your area are going for to have a good picture of how much people are willing to buy there. That should tell you how much you can possibly sell yours at.

How much time do you have?

If you are in a desperate hurry to sell your house, you may be pushed to set a lower price so that you can get a buyer quickly, which is not necessarily a bad thing considering your situation. For those who are ready to take all the time in the world, you can actually set high prices as you test the market and keep adjusting as time goes by.

How Much Should You Sell Your House For?

A Guide to Selling Your Home in the UK

Public housing stock is at a mere 8% of the total number of properties in the UK. That means buyers of homes have a lot to choose from. If you’re thinking about putting your home on the market, it’s vital you do it the right way. The last thing you want is for your home to sit unoccupied for an extended period of time.

Should You Sell?

It might seem like a nice idea to sell your home, but you have to decide whether you should sell in the first place.
For example, if you’re in negative equity you don’t actually own a single brick on the property. You can’t afford to sell your home. Doing so would only put you in dire financial straits.

Sometimes you also have alternatives to selling a home. Need more space? Consider a loft conversion or an extension. It could prove cheaper.

Do the Finances Make Sense?

Notify your mortgage lender and check if there are any penalties for selling your home whilst the mortgage is still active. If so, you may find it’s not financially viable to sell at this moment.

You also have to consider how much you can possibly get for your home. When dealing with the numbers, you should assume you’ll get a few thousand less. Most people never reach the valuation. Your estate agent will always encourage you to leave room for negotiation.

The goal is to figure out how much you’ll have left over after selling and purchasing a new property. Can you do what you want to do?

What’s the Price?

It doesn’t take long to get an idea as to how much you can get for a property. You can look online and check what other houses sold for in your area.

But you have to be careful about minor fluctuations. Don’t be deceived by them. After the financial crisis of 2008 house prices in England shot upwards by 11%, before sinking back down again.

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Who Should Sell It?

The choice of estate agent is a big one to make. Here are some of the aspects you should take into account:

  • Do they come highly recommended by people or organisations you can trust?
  • Will they sell your house in both online and offline portals?
  • How much will you have to pay them? Between 1% and 3% is standard practice. Just make sure they’ve included the VAT.

Ready the Home

Solicitors and conveyancers are vital to the successful selling of a property, but you also need to ready your home. That means you may have to invest money in redecorating. Remember, nobody is going to buy a home unless it looks its best.

Once you’ve gone through the process of showing people around your home, you can begin considering offers.

The main message you should take away is that research in advance is vital to get the most for your property. Prepare well in advance and this process should run as smoothly as possible.

A Guide to Selling Your Home in the UK

How to Make a Return on Investment Out of Property

According to a report by Nationwide, the average prices of houses in the UK reduced from £188,000 in January 2015 to £187,000 in February 2015. However, not all investors actually realized substantial gains.

This fact is attributed to ignorance, lack of planning and improper management. Whether you want to maximize the direct rental income or the property’s value, discover a number of valuable approaches.

  1. Learn the risks of property investment
  2. Engage a property management agency
  3. Invest in managed funds
  4. Re-visit your leases contracts
  5. Set limits on expenses

Learn the risks of property investment

It is important to learn the risks so that you avoid their undesirable effects in future. For example, the interest rate for your property may rise unexpectedly, leaving you with little or no profits. Similarly, if for a reason you are compelled to sell the property, you may lose money if the property’s value is low at the time.

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Without a proper rent collection plan, you may find yourself making losses, especially when tenants delay payment or decide not to pay. If your property lender demands you repay the mortgage unexpectedly, you may not be able to unload enough money to cover the debt.

Engage a property management agency

As you may not always manage your property personally, let an experienced property management agency do the work for you. For example, obtain the services of an agent registered with Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA). Let one do the job on your behalf and save you the hassle.

An experienced agent knows tricks of attracting potential tenants to the property whenever there are vacancies. Although the letting agents will need some fees, it can save you a great deal of money by averting a risk.

Invest in managed funds

Managed funds are property companies that deal in buying, managing, and selling of property such as buildings, apartments, factories, malls, and the like. You can apply to become a shareholder in the managed funds.

When the company rents out or sells properties, you earn profits from the shares you hold. According to the Association of Real Estate Funds, there was £58bn worth of property in management as of December 2014.

Re-visit your leases contracts

Many landlords forget to update the terms of their property leases. As market prices change, your property rent should change as well. Similarly, revisit the lease contracts when you have upgraded the property or brought new installations.

Set limits on expenses

To avoid spending more than you earn from your property, set a limit on the budget for expenses. This way, you will modernize your property while meeting the minimum safety and health standards.

Avoid withdrawing money from the profits of one property to upgrade another. If you have numerous properties for sale let each have its own separate account and records. If one does not bring the expected returns, consider selling it off while its value is high.

How to Make a Return on Investment Out of Property

Property Rental Advice & Tips

New property is being developed everyday with the aim of letting it out. This gives a person who is looking for property to rent so much variety to choose from. Figures from March 2011 census in England and Wales reported 36% of 23.4 million households as rentals, and that figure has been rising.

So, are you looking for property to rent? Here are five property rental tips that you can use to help you make that wise choice.

Engage an estate agent

This should be the initial consideration for anyone looking for property to rent. Property owners also know how easy it is selling or renting out property through an estate agent, so they will always list their property with them.

Estate agents who have been in the business for long understand that a good property is worth their time. An estate agent will provide you with important information about available rentals such as the location, the description, the rental price and the payment options available.

View as many properties as possible

Settle for a house after you have viewed several. This is because the facilities, price and design of rental properties vary.

After you have viewed all the properties available in your desired location, you will be in a position to make the best choice and get value for your money.

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Don’t overshoot your budget

Always stay within your budget when picking a rental place. It is not uncommon to find a more expensive place preferable because of an interesting feature.

To avoid being tempted into an unsustainable rental price, have a set price in mind and stick to it. You can give yourself a bit of a leeway but know your limit.

Use valuation resources

It is always important to know the range in pricing for your desired rental property. You don’t want to pay more than is necessary.

The office of National Statistics, for instance, informs us that in the 12 months leading to June 2015, private sector rents grew by 0.8% in Wales, 2.1% in Scotland and 2.5% in England. Such information is invaluable in making informed choices.

Make use of the world wide web

The internet is a nifty tool when looking for something. When looking to rent or buy property, you can always use information available on various online sites to find and make clever comparisons between available properties.

If similar houses for sale in a particular location have different prices, the lower priced one will of course be financially better since its going so save you a whole lot of money.

Property Rental Advice & Tips

Top 5 Tips for Buying a Property in Scotland

Buying a property is one of the most important things that can happen in your life. It is therefore important to plan and be careful every step of the way.

If you are buying a property in Scotland, there are some things that you need to consider. Below are five tips that you need to take into account.

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Plan and Budget 

The first thing before you look for a property to buy is to check how much mortgage you qualify for. Scottish property prices have been going up over the years, and The Registers of Scotland reported and confirmed a 3.5% property increase for the 2015 period compared to the same period in 2014.

There are many mortgage lenders to choose from in Scotland. You can use an affordability calculator to see the maximum amount you can borrow. You do not want to overstretch yourself, so make sure you plan ahead. Take the following into consideration.

  • Compare mortgage interest rates
  • Compare legal fees from different solicitors
  • Do you want to sell your existing property first and buy another one? Speak to your estate agent or solicitor first.

Get Advice from a Solicitor

The legal aspect of buying your property should be handled by property specialists. Choose a licensed and experienced conveyancer or solicitor to handle the transfer of the property. It is the solicitor’s job to negotiate the price, look at your contract and do the transfer.

The ‘draft contract’ from the seller will contain information such as the title deeds as well as the price. The conveyancer will also check and confirm with the Land Registry whether the property you want to buy has a valid title deed.

Choose a Reputable Estate Agent

An estate agent will help you at every stage of the way, from property searching, choosing a solicitor to signing the final deal. Estate agents are smart when it comes to negotiating and handling a property purchase.

Location and Structural Aspects of the Property

Choose a property that is conveniently located. You may want to look at aspects such as security, infrastructural developments, entertainment facilities and surrounding areas.

Search and Make an Offer

Make sure you do a thorough and detailed search for the best property that meets your budget and taste.

Remember that in Scotland offers are legally binding; once you make an offer there is no going back. When the offer is accepted, you should budget between £500 and £1,000 for the property survey. Survey fees are negotiable.

http://www.haplettings.co.uk provide a professional service for buying, leasing or renting a property in Glasgow, Scotland.

Top 5 Tips for Buying a Property in Scotland