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Guild Blog: First Time Buyers Benefit from Stamp Duty Tax Relief

First Time Buyer Stamp Duty Benefits
First Time Buyers Benefit from Stamp Duty Tax Relief

 

Yesterday marked a year that first-time buyers have benefited from the stamp duty tax relief. The money-saving tax relief, which is known as First Time Buyer Relief (FTBR), was introduced on 22 November 2017.  The Treasury announced that since the inception of the scheme, more than 180,500 first-time buyers have benefited, saving a total of £426 million pounds.

Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, said: “The government’s effort to assist first-time buyers to get into the market is seeing fruit with the number of first-time buyers at a 12-year high and climbing. Provided they have access to finances to meet deposit requirements, either through savings or their parents, first-time buyers will have an even greater impact in the market during 2019.”

The scheme is available to any first-time buyer purchasing a property in England or Northern Ireland with a purchase price of no more than £500,000, in the budget last month the relief was extended to first-time buyers purchasing a property through an approved shared ownership scheme. According to the Treasury, the relief was claimed in over 58,800 transactions between July and September this year, an increase of 12% compared with the previous quarter.

“While factors such as Brexit are still having a major impact on the housing market, the stamp duty relief will continue to increase the number of motivated buyers looking to purchase their first property,” adds McKenzie.

Find out what stamp duty you will pay on your property purchase by using our stamp duty calculator.

Guild Blog: How can you tell if an area has good community spirit?

Both Ripon and Thirsk have shown true Community Spirit over October and November with the Halloween Pumpkin Trail and the Commemoration of 100 years since the end of The Great War.  Check out our page to see what the local area has been getting up to … https://joplings.com/lifestyle-magazine-silhouette-soldiers-by-john-durkin/

 

Buying a property and moving to a new area can be a daunting prospect. There is nothing that will make your new house feel like a home like making new friends and getting involved in local events. Being involved in the community can bring a sense of belonging, fill your social calendar, and make it easy to find friends. But how can you tell if an area has a good community spirit before you move there?

 

Visit local community centres

Take time to visit local community centres, sports clubs, church halls, cafés, and local shops to see what’s going on. Find the notice boards for information on local groups and events.

Meet local people

Talk to the local people on the high street. If they are happy to stop and help a stranger, it’s a sign that the community is open, friendly and trusting.

Check local social media pages

A lot of community planning has now moved online. Try searching for Facebook groups and small websites with the name of the town or village. Look at how active the pages are to see if people are engaged.

Research local events

Pick up a local newspaper to find out about upcoming local events. Plus, it’s a good way to find out about the crime rate in the area.

Contact us

Speak to the local Guild Member, as they will know the area like the back of their hand and will have a finger on the pulse of local activities. Be sure to quiz them during a property viewing, or pop in to see them when you’re in the area.

The Guild is a network of the best 800 independent estate agents around the country. Find out why you should choose them to sell your home. Click here to find your closest Guild Member.

 

Guild Blog: Top Tips to Renovate your Property

Converting a derelict property into a beautiful home is a dream for many. But what do you need to know before embarking on a renovation project? 

 

Renovation projects can be few and far between. When one comes on the market, many people may try to snap it up to make a profit or create their dream home.  Register your interest with your local Guild Member to hear about suitable properties as soon as they come on the market. Also, check your local auction house.

 

If you have seen Grand Designs, you know that building projects often go over budget. Plan realistically and have a large contingency budget.

 

There is a lot of legal work to do before starting a build. Check building restrictions in the area or on the property itself and apply for planning permission.

 

Conduct several surveys before building starts to assess the building and work out exactly what you need to do.

 

Who is going to project manage the build? A professional could do everything for you, or you could do it yourself. From coordinating tradespeople to liaising with the planning department, arranging inspections, organising paperwork and get everything signed off.

 

Joplings are able to help and advise you with your Architecture, Planning and Project Management needs.  Please contact Michael or Richard on 01845 521317 and have a look at the Architectural Services on our website

 

The Guild is a network of the best 800 independent estate agents around the country. Find out why you should choose them to sell your home. Click here to find your closest Guild Member.

 

Guild Blog: Are you a First Time Buyer?

What to avoid when buying a property for the first time …

 

First Time Buyers

Buying a home for the first time can be an emotionally driven experience, especially when you consider the various elements that need to be taken into account. While there are several new and exciting things that go into buying a home, it can be a complicated process to negotiate. Often, it’s easy to focus on the smaller details and lose sight of the larger picture while possibly making mistakes.

First Time Buyers

 

Here what you need to avoid along the way…

Not getting a mortgage in principle

Once you have made the decision to buy a property, the temptation to jump into the search with both feet will be overwhelming. However, rushing in before speaking to your bank about the mortgage they are prepared to offer you could lead to disappointment. Imagine you find a house you love, only to learn it is not within your price range when applying for the mortgage. While not a requirement or guarantee, getting a Mortgage in Principle will provide you with a written estimate from a lender, giving an indication of what you can borrow.

It’s possible to apply for a Mortgage in Principle through a mortgage adviser such as L&C or directly with a lender. They will provide you with the reassurance that you are looking at properties within your price range and they will let the seller know you are serious and qualify to buy the property.

 

Not working out what you can afford

There might be a difference between the mortgage you qualify for and what you can comfortably afford in real terms. It is always advisable that you leave some cushioning in the budget. Look at your finances and make a list of your expenses before determining a budget for a property to gain a clear idea of what you can afford. Don’t stretch your finances too thin, as this will make you vulnerable if unforeseen circumstances rear their head.

 

Focusing on the flaws

You shouldn’t compromise on your ‘must-haves’ but placing too much focus on the home’s flaws might have you miss the things that really matter. Fixtures can be replaced, rooms can be made open-plan or walls can be added to create your dream home with a property that meets your essential criteria.

 

Falling in love blindly

On the other end of the spectrum, you shouldn’t overlook a home because of its flaws, but don’t completely ignore them either. The look of a home is one thing, but more serious issues such as structural damage are quite another. Often, once a buyer sees a home that they think is the one, their decisions will be based on the emotional connection rather than the facts. Be fully aware of all the property’s issues before you put in an offer. Ask your Guild agent to explain all a property’s past and current major or structural issues, or seek advice from a surveyor.

 

Waiting too long

It is crucial to make an informed decision when choosing the right home, but don’t take too long, otherwise, you could lose out to a faster buyer. Once you have found the right home, be decisive and take action to avoid disappointment.

 

Not thinking about the future

Consider aspects such as the home’s resale potential as well as your future plans. It might seem strange to think about selling the home before you have bought it but much of the home’s potential return on investment is based on decisions you make when buying, not selling.

 

Factors that will affect the home’s resale value include:

• Location

• Condition

• Type of property

• Number of bedrooms

• Garage or off-street parking.

• Investments in infrastructure, like HS2

 

Also, consider whether the home will meet your needs in the future. For example, you may not have children now but plan to shortly – this means needing an extra bedroom or ensuring that you purchase near a school with the desired Ofsted rating. Think about whether the home meets your situation now, but also if it can meet your evolving needs.

 

Are you looking for your first property? Contact one of our Guild agents today. Find your nearest office here.

 

 

(To read this blog post or other blog posts by The Guild of Property Professionals please visit their website.

Guild Blog: Buyers Remorse – Are you buying the right home for you?

 

While most people aspire to become homeowners, research has revealed that around 80% people who have purchased a property have at least one noteworthy regret regarding their home buying decision. Staggering numbers considering buying a property is often the largest financial decision a person is likely to make in their life time. 

 

So why do so many people have something they regret after they buy a home? According to data compiled by an online estate agency, it takes people an average of 38 minutes to decide on the home they want to buy. Around two thirds of home buyers will view a property twice before making an offer, while some make an offer after seeing the property just once. Making a large financial decision in less time than it takes to prepare the average dinner could result in a few issues.

It is easy to get caught up in the emotional aspect of buying a home, which could lead to you possibly overlooking certain key elements. It is often only once you have moved in and everything settles down, that you start to see things you might have previously only glossed over or missed. If you are not fully prepared and do not have an idea of exactly what you are looking for, it could be easy to miss something or make an incorrect decision.

 

Here are a few tips you can use to avoid regretting your purchase:

Separate the needs from the wants

Before you set out looking for the ideal property, make a list of what you need and what you want. Make the must-have a priority and note the features or aspects you are willing to compromise on.

Keep focused

It’s important to remain focused on your must-haves and not get distracted by your wants.  A property might tick many of the boxes on your wants list, but if it does not meet your main objectives – it can’t be the right home. It is likely that you will stay in the property for at least a few years, which means dealing with your compromises for that long. It is better to rather make the right decision upfront, than have to deal with living in a home that just isn’t right.

Look at your finances, and then check them again

Often one of the main reasons that buyers have regrets is the unexpected costs of owning a property. It is vital that you calculate what you can afford considering all costs such as council tax, insurance, service charge, maintenance and ground rent if the property is leasehold.

The bank, mortgage lender or professional financial adviser will be able to provide you with a list of costs that you can expect to pay when purchasing a home.

Get another opinion

Hire someone to have a look at the property to give you an idea of the type of repairs you may need to address and budget for beforehand. If you don’t want to hire someone, at least have a trusted friend or family member have a look at the property to give you an unbiased, objective opinion.

Make sure you choose the right solicitor

All the legal aspects of buying a home will be handled by a solicitor or conveyancer. It is vital to choose and work with a solicitor that you trust and feel comfortable with, rather than one you have been forced into using by the agent. A good solicitor will ensure you are kept informed and will help guide you through the home buying process. The service you receive from your solicitor can make all the difference in how easy or difficult the all experience is for you, so choose carefully.

Don’t engage in a bidding war

Competition from another prospective buyer could make the property seem more attractive than it is and could lead you to put in a higher offer. However, it is important to remain focused on the main objective, which is finding the right home and not winning a contest. Rather walk away from the deal, than overpay. A higher price will mean a larger deposit, higher fees and thousands in additional interest on a larger mortgage. Another downside is that it will take much longer to build up any equity.

 

Buying a home is the largest financial decision that most people will make in their lives. While finding the right home will be an emotional journey, remember to keep things in perspective and focus on what matters most.

To find a home you won’t regret, visit www.guildproperty.co.uk  

Guild Blog: Buying and Selling Over Christmas

Should I put my home on the market now or wait until after Christmas?

 

Many people think that trying to move house over the festive period is a mistake, but that is no longer the case. People have more free time and motivation to make a change in the New Year, so it can be a great time to buy and sell. Guild agents share their top tips.

 

Make your property visible online 

If you are selling, your home needs to be listed and visible on all the major property portals (like Rightmove) over Christmas. People have more free time and will start to browse properties online over the festive season.

Ailsa Mather from Andrew Coulson says: “We are listing a number of properties now because statistically, property portals show that there is a substantial spike on Boxing Day. We appreciate Christmas is a busy time for families, so we operate a ‘Do Not Disturb’ policy, that is clicking the property on the market just before Christmas but refraining from viewings until after the New Year.”

Simon Miller from Holroyd Miller agrees that sellers need to take advantage of this busy time. “Once Christmas Day is done and Boxing Day leftovers eaten, what do people looking for a New Year move do? Start looking for a new home. Don’t miss the opportunity to sell your house during the holidays; what could be nicer than viewing a very festive home?”

Rightmove say that Boxing Day is their busiest all year, and Steve Thompson from Thomas Morris agrees that it is equally busy in their office.

“Statistics have shown over recent years that the busiest days of the year for internet traffic on property portals are the days immediately following Christmas and Boxing Day. Our own evidence appears to confirm this phenomenon, showing that during the period from Christmas Eve 2016 up to and including New Year’s Day, we received over 130 telephone calls and 170 email leads from property portals. We even received calls and emails on Christmas Day.”

But why is this period so busy? Stuart Mills from Rickman Properties has an idea. “The reason? All those lovely new phones and iPads. It is also one of the few holidays that the family will be all together and most likely at home. This means that any discussions about a move can be had, viewings can be done with all the decision makers present, adults and children, and with a coming New Year, what better than a new home?” he asks.

Winter weather 

Spring is a popular time to buy and sell, but winter has its benefits, too.

“Sometimes stepping into a bright, warm, cosy home on a bitterly cold day or drizzly evening can have just as positive an effect as viewing a property on a warm summer day,” said Ben Whiting from Victorstone.

Abby Wheeler from Keats Estate Agents agrees.

“If you walk into a property in the depths of winter, when the sky is moody and the nights are drawing in at 4pm and you still love it, imagine how much you will love it in the summer? If in winter you can see yourself living there, it’s a keeper.”

She has some tips for winter viewings, too. “Always arrange viewings in the daylight. If you arrange a viewing after work at 6pm, you won’t get the true experience of the property, especially if there are grounds to explore. It is important to view them before the night draws in.”

 

Motivated to move 

Those people who are looking to move in December and January are committed to moving quickly. It’s a great idea to make the most of this.

Richard Stovold from Seymours said: “Although there are downsides to house hunting over the festive season, the benefits can outweigh the drawbacks. Houses that are available for sale over the Christmas period have often either been on the market for a while or are very new to the market. This means that sellers are likely to be eager to secure a sale, giving buyers greater control as they find themselves in a much better bargaining position.”

Simon Davies from Norman F Brown completely agrees.

“The December and the Christmas period is a great time to try to sell your property as the quality of the buyer is higher than at any other time of the year,” he said. “If someone is out house hunting around Christmastime, it generally means they are motivated to buy quickly. The speculative, non-motivated viewings decrease as people are busy preparing for Santa and won’t go out to view unless they must. There also tends to be less properties for sale around this time of year and therefore less competition to compete against for a buyer’s attention.”

Justin Flanagan from Charles Eden agrees that there is a much higher number of motivated buyers and sellers, and the ‘the viewing to sale ratio’ is much higher at other times of year. “From a buyer’s point of view, there is not so much competition and the sellers are probably motivated to move,” he said.

Think about photography 

If you’re thinking of making the most of the Christmas attention, it’s a good idea to think ahead. “Try and instruct your agent prior to putting up any Christmas decorations,” says Gina Burbidge from Royston & Lund. “This prevents the photos from looking dated if it doesn’t sell instantly.”

 

Ready for the New Year rush 

In the New Year, there will be a rush of people looking to buy and sell. Why not beat the rush by getting your sale registered or getting to know the market in December?

“January 2nd is one of the busiest days for us at Drivers & Norris,” said Steve Barron. “There aren’t likely to be too many viewings happening over the Christmas period, but it’s nevertheless a great time to get some viewings lined-up for the New Year.

“Many sellers hold off until after the New Year and miss out on the busy online searching that takes place between Christmas and New Year. Additionally, because there are fewer sellers listing their property over Christmas, those who do benefit from having less competition than they typically would have in the New Year or spring.”

Don’t underestimate the time that it takes for your home to go on the market, either.

Steve Wiggins from Bond Residential said: “Given the time it takes for an estate agent to prepare the marketing material for a property including taking photos, preparing floorplans and commissioning an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), we advise our clients to actually start the process now so that they are ahead of the competition and ready to take advantage of these peak periods.”

It is a great time to develop a strategy with your Guild agent to make sure your home launches to market in the best possible way.

“We are currently running a ‘do not disturb’ campaign which means we are preparing properties to market with EPC, floor plan and images before the decorations go up and then launching them to market over the festive period,” explained John Newhouse from Roseberry Newhouse.

“We will then start arranging viewings in the New Year when the household returns to usual. In January 2017, we arranged more viewings on the first day back than in the whole of December,” he revealed.

It’s not essential to wait until spring to sell, agrees Celeste Hannah from Hamilton Parkers. “Most sellers wait until spring and then there is more supply and more competition,” she said. “Whereas over the Christmas season, there is less supply but still high demand. By selling your home over the Christmas season, you are more likely to achieve a better selling price than you would trying to sell against the flurry of stock in the spring market.

“My tip for house hunting over the Christmas season is to contact local agents and see what stock they have ready to launch over the festive period, as most agents hold back stock to launch over the Christmas holidays. This way you may get first refusal and will get to register your interest first.”

 

The property market is still active at Christmas 

Take our word for it: people are still looking to move, even on Christmas Eve.

“We have found that year on year we have improved with agreed sales figures in December,” said Laura Scott from Cooke & Co. “I am unsure if this is to do with investors in recent years trying to secure a bargain purchase, believing that anyone on the market at this festive time of year will be desperate to sell and more likely to accept an offer, but we have also seen a vast improvement with first time buyers agreeing sales too.”

Tim Goodwin from Williams & Goodwin says it is never too close to Christmas. “Having sold property at 4:30pm on Christmas Eve before now, I have no hesitation in recommending that potential sellers should place their property on the market sooner rather than later,” he says.

“I did have a viewing one year on December 20th, with the completion due the next day. The sole purpose of the viewing was to measure the oven to ensure it was big enough to fit the turkey in, so make sure you take your tape measure to the butchers as well as the viewing if looking to complete before Christmas Day.”

 

Are you thinking of buying or selling during the Christmas period?  Why not contact us on 01765 694800 or 01845 522680 for your Free Market Appraisal.

 

If you are thinking of moving this Christmas, why not look at what properties our Sales Department have on the market right now!

Lifestyle Magazine – ‘Silhouette Soldiers’ by John Durkin

‘Lest we Forget’

In Commemoration of 100 years since the end of The Great War of 1914 – 1918 we have chosen a photo of one of Ripon’s ‘Silhouette Soldiers’ taken by Ripon teenager John Durkin for our front cover image.

 

Silhouette Soldier

 

#RiponRemembers has been a true community project with Community Poppy Project coordinators Stuart Martin and Hazel Barker leading the way.  The support from Ripon residents, extended families, friends and visitors has been amazing to see with approximately 50,000 poppies being knitted and displayed across the Ripon area.  The Remembrance week finishes with the lighting up of Ripon Cathedral – https://www.harrogateadvertiser.co.uk/news/remembrance-ripon-unveils-best-light-show-in-the-uk-1-9435682 and the Armistice Day Parade – https://www.harrogateadvertiser.co.uk/news/armistice-day-in-ripon-full-timings-and-everything-you-need-to-know-1-9432612

 

 

Poppies on Ripon Cathedral

 

Soldiers

 

Field of poppies

 

Silhouette Soldiers, placed in meaningful locations in both Ripon and Sharow have also helped to bring about thoughtful discussion – http://stjohnssharow.org.uk/silhouette-soldiers/.  The silhouettes are also within the  “Fields of Mud” an art installation by Dan Metcalfe inside Ripon Cathedral – https://www.harrogate-news.co.uk/2018/11/10/timelapse-video-of-fields-of-mud-seeds-of-hope-at-ripon-cathedral/

The Chairman of Ripon Royal British Legion, Jeet Bahadur Sahi, was presented with a cheque from North Stainley Arts Society following their two commemorative First World War performances.  The presented funds were donated to be used for the Ripon Royal British Legion’s new garden of Remembrance project.  The garden can be found facing the north side of Ripon Cathedral – https://www.ripongazette.co.uk/news/funding-boost-for-ripon-royal-british-legion-as-city-marks-centenary-year-1-9420752

 

 

Guild Blog: Do you have a Gorgeous Garden?

What do you think makes a Gorgeous Garden?  They can be the found in the smallest tranquil Courtyard setting or in acres of stunning landscaping.

For many, the ideal garden is a perfect blend of manicured lawns, flowerbeds overflowing with abundance, trimmed topiary and box hedges. An escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life, gardens can be a refuge designed to suit any lifestyle. From small kitchen gardens to grand country grounds, each has its own character and can be a place of serenity amid the daily routines of life. We look at a few properties with gorgeous gardens guaranteed to inspire.

 

1.Edford, Exeter – £1,000,000

A superbly appointed detached Regency residence reputedly built in the 1820s, Ebford House has recently undergone a complete refurbishment and modernisation programme creating a grand home of distinction and great character. Located in a highly desirable hamlet close to Topsham, Edford House’s gardens wrap around the home with an array of mature trees and shrubs. To one side is a woodland style area with an old oak tree and Douglas fir and an area of lawn with raised beds, a greenhouse and garden shed. To the front of the property is a veranda terrace with wisteria. Steps from the terrace lead down to a gravel pathway which in turn has steps down to a good-sized lawn with mature planted borders and trees.

For sale through Wilkinson Grant & Co (topsham@wilkinsongrant.co.uk, 01392 875000).

 

2. Grove Park, Camberwell – £2,875,000

On a sizeable corner plot in Rylstone, this seven-bedroom Victorian home is somewhat of a hidden gem. Named in honour of William Wordsworth’s poem ‘The White Doe of Rylstone’, the property enjoys many original features, including stained glass, textured Ashlar coving, fireplaces and decorative wooden detail. Another standout feature are the three separate garden areas, which each supply a peaceful space to unwind. Tall trees on both sides of the garden afford it privacy, while still allowing for plenty of sunlight. Adding to the charm of the home, mature creepers make their way the up the walls alongside wide bays of sash and casement windows. Not just aesthetically beautiful, but functional as well, the paved patio garden area outside the kitchen is where the current owners cultivate all manner of vegetables and herbs.

For sale through Wooster & Stock (sales@woosterstock.co.uk, 020 7952 0595).

 

3. Dennis Lane, Stanmore – £2,395,000

Located in beautiful grounds of just over three quarters of an acre, the garden of this seven-bedroom detached home in sought-after Dennis Lane, Stanmore, offers plenty of space for entertaining or enjoying outdoor activities. The west-facing rear garden of the country-style family home, complete with sun-trap terrace and heated swimming pool, features ample lawn area and high mature trees and scrubs providing both privacy and shade.

For sale through Breslauer (sales@breslauer.co.uk, 0208 954 2200).

 

4. Sussex Square, Brighton – £575,000

Located in the Kemp Town Conservation area, this three-bedroom apartment in Sussex Square looks out across the greenery of the beautiful landscaped gardens of Kemp Town Enclosures. A communal garden, Kemp Town Enclosures is owned collectively by the freeholders of 105 houses that make up the Kemp Town Estate. Residents have access to these private enclosed gardens and can enjoy easy direct access to the seafront without crossing the coastal road via its secret tunnel.

Local horticulturist, Henry Phillips was responsible for landscaping the gardens in 1828, around the same time that the Kemp Town Estate was being constructed. The tunnel to the esplanade was added later in about 1830. Royalty such as William IV and Queen Adelaide, and later Victoria and Albert, enjoyed walks in the gardens on their visits to Brighton.  In 1908, the gardens were set aside for the exclusive pleasure of Edward VII when he and his daughter stayed at 1 Lewes Crescent.

For sale through Sawyer and Co. (brighton@sawyerandco.co.uk, 01273 685111).

 

5. Valley Road, Leigh Woods, Bristol – £1,600,000

A magnificent six-bedroom Edwardian home in a leafy private road on the very edge of the city, in the enviable location of Leigh Woods. Three Gables was built for the Wills family in 1908 in a bespoke style and now occupies an outstandingly beautiful plot of around a quarter of an acre. The beautifully manicured gardens in the front and rear of the home have an array of mature tree and plant specimens alongside impressive, well-tended lawns and have clearly been a labour of love.

The front garden enjoys a southerly aspect, while the rear faces a north westerly direction. With the overall plot measuring just over a quarter of an acre, there is ample space for interesting features such as the hexagonal summer house to located on the western boundary of the rear garden.

For sale through Hydes (post@hydes.co.uk, 0117 973 1516).

Should you buy, sell or trade up before Brexit?

There is no doubt that Brexit has already had an impact on the property market with many adopting a wait-and-see approach until the final deal has been made. As March 2019 and a final decision edges closer, many people are wondering whether they should take advantage of the current situation and buy or trade up, while house prices have subsided. On the other hand, some people are conscious that a hard Brexit could see the housing market slow down and are trying to decide whether now is a good time to sell. 

 

We asked Members of The Guild to give their advice about what they think homeowners should do. Here’s what they said:

It remains a case of supply and demand

Andy Goundry of Goundrys said: “Interestingly, where we are in Mid Cornwall, it appears that people have taken two different views. We have had potential buyers saying they will wait until the uncertainty is over as they feel prices may well reduce and so they will wait. Conversely, we have had some sellers place their property on the market in the hope if they sell now, they may obtain a better price than if they wait until next year. In our area, as always, it remains a case of supply and demand. We have seen a decrease in the number of buyers. However, the dearth of available property still means that a realistically priced property is agreeing a sale within a matter of days.”

Andy adds that if people are trading up or down, then it remains a matter of relative price differential and makes little difference whether that is in a falling or rising market. “Certainly, if the property isn’t on the market, then I guarantee it won’t sell!”

 

Good stock is being secured quickly

Director of Maguire Jackson in Birmingham, Philip Jackson, says that the Brexit question has undoubtedly injected some caution in recent weeks into the local market, taking some of the projected growth out of the market. “However, it hasn’t completely stopped the annual growth we have witnessed over the past three years. There are indications this autumn that some vendors are making the decision now to sell, in the anticipation that the sales market going forward into 2019 might become more difficult.  For purchasers, it means there is more stock coming into the market and positively slightly more choice, however, good stock is still being secured quickly, helped by continuing anticipated overall price growth.”

 

We will begin to prosper again

According to Ben Dreher of Mansbridge Balment, the current uncertainty in the market has caused a drop in sales volumes and an increase in available property. “For the first time in many years, buyers now have the upper hand and as such, there is more scope for negotiation – so yes, they should buy now if they can. Once Brexit is agreed and as a country, we begin to prosper, house prices will undoubtedly start to increase again, so buying now could prove to be a very wise move.”

 

The ideal time to trade up

Residential Sales Manager of Rickman Properties, Stuart Mills, says that when the market is sluggish, and prices are proving more flexible, this is the ideal time to trade up. “The gap between higher and lower priced properties narrows considerably, for instance, if selling at £500,000 and buying at £1,000,000 the difference is £500,000. However, if the market were to come down 10%, the figures look different you are now selling at £450,000 and buying at £900,000, the difference is now £450,000. It’s the same properties, but you are saving £50,000. Looking forward, when the market goes back up 10% your old property is worth £495,000 and your new property is worth £990,000, so you have gained £45,000, making a total saving and gain of £95,000.”

He adds that more than ever this is a great opportunity to trade up, for those who hesitate, and wait until the market is back and moving forward they will see the gap between the more expensive properties and their own grow, and perhaps become unaffordable.

“Another factor to bear in mind is that if you buy a property now, the value becomes unimportant, it only becomes a factor when you sell. Most properties these days are owned for 10-12 years and longer. A property should be a home and enjoyed as such, if you like it and can afford it, and it’s what you want, buy it.”

 

The markets and economy will take time to adjust

Avin Jay, Director at Mansell McTaggart, agrees that now is a great time to sell and trade up if you are playing the percentage game. “Whatever the outcome, the markets and economy will take time to adjust. Very much the same when interest rates rise,” he explains. “I think there are two types of buyers out there, the ones who want to make a profit and the ones who make that emotional purchase. The real problem in the market is overvaluing and Stamp Duty, the additional 3 per cent required when purchasing a second home has got to go.”

 

Property prices in the UK will always increase

Fine & Country’s Adam Tahir, says that very few people truly understand Brexit and what will or won’t happen across all public and private sectors. “Having worked through two prior recessions, there has always been one clear outcome, property prices in the UK will always increase. This comes down to the lack of supply and the ever-increasing demand of homes available. Over the next few years, uncertainty is the key feature here, however, with interest rates lower than they have ever been before, pre-Brexit remains to be a good time to sell, buy or upgrade,” he says.

“Some buyers have lost the meaning of buying a property now. Too many people buy a property for one price because it will be worth a higher price in six months. Over the next five years, we need to go back to buying properties as homes and stop focusing on the appreciation value. Brexit will be another blip, another reason for prices to come down or ‘balance’ so to speak, but eventually prices will increase again and when they do another situation or scenario will arise and the entire cycle will start again.”

 

Brexit, No Brexit, Hard Brexit…people still need a roof over their head

According to Steve Wayne of Benjamin Stevens in Edgware, the property market is largely influenced by interest rates and salaries.

“Brexit, No Brexit, Hard Brexit…in the whole scheme of things, it will be another footnote to history in a decade. We have survived the Oil Crisis, 20%+ Hyperinflation in the 1970’s, Mass Unemployment in the 1980s, Interest Rates of 15% in 1990s, the Global Financial Crash in 2009, whatever happens, happens. People still need houses and a roof over their head. If property values drop, it is only a paper drop in value because you lose when you sell. Long term, we aren’t building enough homes, and so, property is a long game no matter what happens – the property market will always come good,” he concludes.

 

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Guild Blog: What are the 10 biggest turn-offs for home buyers?

Pink cottage on the South West Coast path as it passes through Empacombe Quay at Mount Edgcumbe in Cornwall

When it comes to selling your property, making a good first impression is imperative. Our Guild agents share their expertise and identify the top 10 biggest turn-offs for prospective buyers and how to avoid them.

 

1. Clutter

Clutter is not only distracting, but it could indicate that the property does not have adequate storage.

Nick Manson from Mansons Newcastle upon Tyne said: “De-cluttering is a great way to increase your chances of completing a sale, but that doesn’t mean that you have to part with your prized possessions. You can box them up and store them in the loft or garage. If this is not an option, ask family or friends to store them. Failing that, there is always the option of self-storage.”

Creating a clutter-free, minimalistic environment will help buyers visualize themselves living in your home. Additionally, too much furniture can make a property seem a lot smaller than it is.

 

2. Smells

No matter how pleasant your home appears, persistent odours such as the smell of pets, cigarettes, or pungent food can be detrimental when it comes to selling your property.

Simon Bradbury from Thomas Morris Cambridgeshire explains: “An unpleasant odour is sure to put off a prospective purchaser or tenant. Whether it’s the whiff of stale food, pets or even something more… ‘human’… make sure that your property is free of unwanted smells. Ask a trusted friend to give your home a ‘sniff test’!”

It’s better to be safe than sorry, so we suggest opening your windows to air out your property before a viewing and use air freshener or light a candle to ensure your home doesn’t smell unpleasant.

 

3. An untidy exterior

Overgrown, unkempt gardens are a big no-no. Abby Wheeler from Keats Estate Agents Haslemere said: “The first thing viewers see is the exterior. Ensure your bins are not overflowing and your pathway is weed free. Do whatever you can to make your home feel inviting from the outset. Don’t forget, our viewers have probably already done a drive-by before making an appointment.”

 

4. Noise

Most people expect their home to be a place of peace and tranquility. It may not always be preventable, but there are steps you can take to reduce unwanted noise from your property.

Mandy Thomas from Keats Estate Agents Haslemere said: “Upgrade your glazing or install sound proof fencing. Alternatively, try to avoid organising viewings at busy times of the day such as rush hour, when traffic will be particularly bad.”

 

5. No natural light

Light and warmth are two of the most important factors to attract a buyer for your home, especially in the colder months of the year. Angie Kraft from Simmons & Sons Henley-on-Thames explains: “A cold or poorly lit home can be an instant turn-off  to potential buyers by making the property appear dingy and dark in places. If this is the case, it gives the impression of a house that is unloved and uncared for.”

Resolving this issue can be simple. Philip Trollen from Keats Estate Agents Haslemere said: “Natural light is very important as dark rooms are always off-putting. Ensuring the room is well lit, whether that be naturally or with staged lighting is quite simple to do. Make sure the curtains are open and remove those net curtains!”

 

6. Bad décor

Avoid controversial or quirky décor in your home as it is not to everyone’s taste. What you think is retro, others may consider dated. Bold colours and patterns can turn-off a prospective buyer, as it is important for them to see themselves living there and décor plays a huge part in this.

Simon Miller from Holroyd Miller Wakefield said: “Replace heavily patterned retro carpets, when purchasers are greeted with such a carpet all they see is decades of dirt and grim – I can guarantee the viewer will want to leave as soon as they’ve stepped through the door.”

 

7. Nightmare neighbours

Nobody enjoys noisy or messy neighbours, especially not a potential buyer. This is something you cannot change, but it is something you can manage. Whether their garden hasn’t been cleaned in years, or their pet dogs incessantly bark, get to know your neighbour and perhaps they may be able to help. If all else fails, organising viewings for when they are not home might be beneficial, too.

 

8. Poor presentation

Poor attention to detail such as: flaking paint on soffits, grubby kitchen units, tatty net curtains, unemptied ashtrays and nicotine stained walls are taken into consideration when viewing a property.

Lizanne Simmons from Penny & Sinclair Oxford said: “First impressions are massive and we often find ourselves apologising for the sights of the less cared for properties. We always arrive early to a viewing to open the windows, curtains, close the lids to the toilets and pull a duvet into position here and there.”

Simon Bradbury from Thomas Morris Cambridgeshire said: “Dirty kitchens or bathrooms are not a nice thought and certainly not something that a viewer will want to see. My best advice: have the property professionally cleaned before going to market.”

Small and affordable fixes such as: freshening up the paint work, or having your home professionally cleaned will make a world of difference and worth it in the long run.

 

9. An unexpected problem

Martin Moore from Morris Marshall & Poole Mid Wales said: “There is nothing worse for a viewer than turning up to find there is a significant issue with a property which they were not aware of such as a structural defect, a problem with something in the neighbourhood or compromised accommodation. It is a wise precaution to maintain compliance with Consumer Protection Regulations, but it also makes good business sense – the viewers are more trusting of us and willing to discuss the issues and the available solutions.

 

10. An over zealous vendor

It is common for a vendor to want to take part in the viewing or show off their DIY aspects of the property. However, vendors being present at viewings may not always be a good thing.

Stephen Ingram from Penny & Sinclair Oxford said: “A seller that follows the viewer around is never well-received. With the best intentions, those scenarios always highlight why it’s best to leave it to your agent.”

Take a step back and let your agent do the work, it is their job after all and you will thank them later.

 

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