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Guild Blog: Good Tenants, Bad Tenants … and Amateur Landords

GOOD TENANTS, BAD TENANTS… AND AMATEUR LANDLORDS

A recent report by a leading Insurance Company claims that one in seven tenants break the rules of their leasing agreements.

The most common offences include a failure to pay rent on time, smoking and keeping a pet; but perhaps of even more concern is that it is claimed that one in eleven (or almost 10%) of renters are living contract-free.

25%    Failing to pay rent on time (or at all)
21%    Smoking in the property  
18%    Keeping a pet in the property   
17%    Damaging or making alterations to the premises  
16%    Changing the locks 
14%    Caused disturbances or a nuisance to neighbouring properties 
14%    Sublet a room without notifying the landlord 
13%    Failed to clean accessible windows 
12%    Redecorated without permission
10%    Failed to check smoke or carbon monoxide alarm 

The most common sanctions for breaking tenancy rules include losing some or all of the deposit (52%), followed by having to pay for any damages (22%) and in some extreme cases, tenant evictions (4%). However, more than one in five (21%) tenants say that the landlord never found out about their misdemeanours.

This lack of transparency can hurt both the landlord and the tenant. The renter risks exploitation and even summary eviction if they do not have a binding agreement to protect them, whilst the landlord is exposed to potential misuse of the property and possibly even a sitting tenant who can’t easily be removed.

In a professional world, the tenant’s behaviour is defined and bound by their contract, and a good landlord will actively manage and nurture the relationship to protect their investment.

Any failures for both sides to act responsibly can be very expensive; for example, a separate report published last week highlighted the risks taken by landlords who don’t properly deal with repairs requests by inhibiting the ability to serve a section 21 notice.

So what should landlords (or their letting agents) do as a minimum? A few simple rules may help:


Legal Agreement:
Ensure that this is appropriate, signed and dated. Writing your own contract will save some money, but may miss out important aspects – it is best to get proper advice, or employ a solicitor or letting agent to assist.  

Regular Inspections: 
If you inspect as opposed to expect, it is much more likely that the tenant will follow the rules. Always ensure that you give the tenant fair warning of your intentions to visit the premises so as not to breach their right to privacy.

Be Informed: 
There are increasing legal requirements on both landlords and tenants, and ignorance will not be a suitable defence if something goes wrong!

Respond in a Timely Manner:
Living with broken or poorly working appliances can be very frustrating, particularly when the tenant is paying significant rent. How long would you put up with a hotel room where the lights or plumbing does not work? Therefore, you should deal as quickly as you can with requests from tenants for repairs and improvements, even if the answer is ‘no’.

 
Keep Communicating:
Legal disputes can quickly get expensive, so the ability to discuss any issues openly and rationally may reduce the stress and potential cost. Remember that very few tenants set out to get themselves evicted.

See Both Sides
You need to think of the property as a business investment and not as your home. Your tenants may have a different lifestyle and tastes to you, and are paying in hard cash for the right (with few guarantees and little or no financial return) of borrowing your property; also, don’t forget finding new tenants can be expensive so you may want to bend occasionally over the small stuff.

With average yields now at about 5% across the UK, taking the time to find a good tenant and looking after them properly (avoiding constant personnel changes and voids) may be the best investment you can make in your rental property.

Also, the legal requirements in relation to letting are now so onerous that having a professional manage your rental affairs might be the best solution in the medium term.

Looking to rent a property? Find a Guild Agent here. 

Guild Blog: How to Survive the Rental Market

HOW TO SURVIVE THE RENTAL MARKET

An increasing number of people are now renting rather than buying. In fact, PwC has recently predicted that by 2025, 7.2m households will be in rented accommodation, compared to 5.4m in 2015.

With rising house prices, first-time buyers are renting for longer in order to afford. But the rental market can also be a challenge. As with most things, it’s much easier once you’re prepared, so here’s an overview of what you can expect so you can sail through the rental market. 
 
Flatmates
Many of us choose to go into flatshares when renting. They’re often cheaper and they’re a great way of making new friends. But they can be a challenge, especially if you’re not the biggest fan of the person in the next room. So how can you be sure that you’ve landed on a good selection of housemates before you start renting? First things first – always meet them before you sign the contract. This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people move in without any idea of who they’ll be living with. 

Although there’s no definite way of being sure what they’re actually like to live with, there are a few things you can look out for when you meet them. Firstly, don’t be afraid to ask questions; go beyond what they do for a living, and ask what they do for fun, how often they’re in the house, and if they socialise together. All of this will add to the general atmosphere in the property. Secondly, take note of how well the house is being looked after when you visit for a viewing. If the bin is overflowing and there are dirty pots on the stove, it might not be for you if you like things to be clean and tidy. Finally, discuss how bills are split and paid. This will give you a good indicator of how organised your potential housemates are, and you can iron out any problems before signing for the property. 

Finding the property
One of the best things about renting is that it’s temporary. Although this can feel like a downside, it does mean that you don’t need to think too far into the future and can find a property that suits your current lifestyle. To find a good rental property for you, make a list of all the things you require for your lifestyle and search for a property that fits the bill. And remember to prioritise; it’s unlikely that you’ll find the ideal property, so think about what is a must and what you can compromise on. 
 
Securing the property

The rental market moves extremely fast, so it’s important to be proactive in your search. Set aside time when you’re available for viewings and ask the lettings agent to take you to a few properties during each appointment so you can compare them easily. When you find a suitable property, be prepared to move quickly and put in an offer on the day or the next day. 

It’s also a good idea to be prepared well in advance for the next few steps. Make sure you have funds for your deposit and references ready so the next part of the process runs smoothly. Informing the lettings agent that you have these available will put you in a strong position for securing the property. 

Fees
It’s now a legal requirement that all lettings agents display their fees on the websites and in their offices. Sometimes, you also have to pay a holding fee to secure the property. Make sure you have a look at the fees before going on viewings so you know how much you will have to pay.

Deposits

A rental deposit covers your landlord should you miss any rent or damage their property. They are typically between four weeks and eight weeks rent, but check this in advance so you can save the money.

It is a legal requirement that your deposit is put into a deposit protection scheme, so always check this before signing any contracts. 
When it comes to getting your deposit back, it’s a case of looking after the property while you’re a tenant and reporting any problems. Check the inventory when you first move in and add any existing damage that you notice, making sure it is confirmed by the landlord. Take photos when you first move in and when you leave so you have proof of any previous damage to avoid being penalised. If the property is furnished, remember to take photos of what is present when you first move in and when you leave. All of this should be recorded on the inventory, so check everything is present and correct. For more advice on getting your deposit back, please click here

Insurance
Tenants can get home contents insurance to cover the cost of their belongings under unforeseen circumstances. Most tenants won’t need to worry about buildings insurance as this should be covered by the landlord, but check this before signing for the property. You can get home contents insurance if you’re renting a shared property, but find out from the insurer exactly what you need to do to ensure you are covered. 

Guild Blog: What is ‘Right to Rent?’

WHAT IS RIGHT TO RENT?

As of the 1st February 2016, no tenancy can legally commence until the right to rent has been established. But what exactly is right to rent? Here is a very brief overview.

Before a property is legally rented, all landlords have to confirm that the tenants have the right to rent residential property in the UK. And, under Section 22 of the Immigration Act 2014, landlords should not authorise an adult to occupy a rented property unless the adult is a British Citizen, is a European Economic Area citizen, or Swiss National, or has a Right to Rent in the UK.

Who needs to be checked?
Landlords or the lettings agent must check that a tenant or lodger can legally rent the residential property in England.
Before the start of a new tenancy, they must make checks for all tenants aged 18 and over, even if:

•    they’re not named on the tenancy agreement 
•    there’s no tenancy agreement 
•    the tenancy agreement isn’t in writing

All new tenants must be checked. 

If the tenant is only allowed to stay in the UK for a limited time, the check needs to be undertaken in the 28 days before the start of the tenancy.

Some types of accommodation are excluded from these checks. Click here to view these types. There is no need to check tenants in some types of accommodation (e.g. social housing and care homes).

How will tenants be checked?
All landlords and lettings agents have to check original documents to make sure a tenant has the right to rent in the UK. 

What will happen if a tenant fails to pass the checks?

If a tenant fails to pass the checks, the landlord or letting agent cannot legally allow the tenant to rent the property.

Further checks
Landlords and lettings agents must make further checks on their tenants to make sure they can still rent property in the UK, if their permission to stay is time limited.

If tenants fail to pass the further checks, they may be evicted from the properties.

What could happen to landlords if they fail to comply?
Landlords can be fined if they rent their property to someone who isn’t allowed to stay in the UK and you / they can’t show that they checked a tenant’s right to rent.

Can landlords delegate the responsibility to a lettings agent?
Landlords can ask any agents that manage or let their property to carry out the check on their behalf. All landlords and lettings agents should have this agreement in writing.

If a tenant sub-lets the property without the landlord knowing, they’re responsible for carrying out checks on any sub-tenants. 

For further information on right to rent, please visit gov.uk

Property of the Week – 4 Clarkes Croft

4 Clarkes Croft is situated in the village of Dishforth between Ripon and Thirsk.

To find out more about Dishforth Village click through to their website.

For further information about 4 Clarkes Croft, visit our website or click through to … OnTheMarket.com

Contact our Ripon office on 01765 694800 to arrange your viewing
of this lovely property in the pretty village of Dishforth.


Guild Blog: A Walk in the Park – Homes near Pretty Parks

Are you thinking of moving to another part of the country? Why not pop into Joplings in Ripon or Thirsk and tell us about the new dream home you are searching for and we will pass this onto the Guild agent who will be able to help you with your search.

As a member of The Guild of Property Professionals we are part of a network of over 800 independent Estate agents in England and Northern Ireland. Have a look at these stunning properties which are situated near scenic parks, from some of our network agents.

Homes near Pretty Parks

Looking for a fresh start in 2019? We have scoured the country for homes near pretty parks. Whether you enjoy a gentle stroll in the park, a trek in the hills, or a place to play sports at the weekend, these properties have one thing in common: they are beautiful places to live and explore. 

1. Western Park, Leicester – Asking price £550,000

The Pavilion is an outstanding period home, built circa 1830. With large, picturesque gardens, the traditional property enjoys a prime position within the delightful Western Park. The four-bedroom home offers a wealth of period features including tall ceilings, paneled doors and antique French marble fireplaces. Presented to an exceptional standard, with expansive gardens, a car port and far-reaching, panoramic views, this residence is a hidden gem.

Western Park is the largest park in Leicester, and arguably the most beautiful, offering 178 acres of meadows, woodland plantations and formal areas to explore. This delightful park has a great cycle trail and offers a wide range of activities all year round. This includes two bowling greens, seven football pitches, five cricket wickets, six tennis courts and one baseball field. 

2. Llandwrog, Gwynedd – Asking price £300,000

This Grade II Listed cottage makes for an excellent family home, located in the heart of the charming village of Llandwrog, north west Wales. The house is deceptively spacious and has been extended to offer additional living space. With a captivating front exterior and a lovely enclosed garden and gated driveway that leads to a large garage and useful workshop, the property offers an abundance of charm and character including coved ceilings with exposed beams and a traditional Inglenook fireplace. 

The property is located near Parc Glynllifon in Caernarfon, Gwynedd, a historic country park with an outdoor Amphitheatre, children’s play area, a popular café and gift shop, as well as several water features, including a delightful river. A winner of the ‘Green Flag’ award: A Visit Wales Accredited Attraction, this park is perfect for a Sunday stroll, a bike ride, or a picnic in the warmer months.

3. Chudleigh, Devon – £745,000

A unique detached home designed to blend with its surroundings, Sedgewell Coach House is a rare find set in four and a half acres. Situated to the southern slopes of the Haldon Hills with extensive uninterrupted views across a stunning wooded valley in Chudleigh, Devon. The property effortlessly merges period charm with modern living in contemporary accommodation where you can both relax and entertain in comfort and style. 

Crafted to embrace both space and light, this home overlooks extensive woodland and rolling fields. Dramatic sweeping lawns and drystone walls emphasise the natural beauty of the landscape.  The property is perfect for those who enjoy country walks and a home with an unbeatable view.

4. Sandal, West Yorkshire – £875,000

This breathtaking Victorian stone-built residence is located within a short walking distance of Pugney’s Country Park in the heart of Sandal village, south of Wakefield city centre. The property offers a high degree of privacy and character. The home also boasts mature gardens with Yorkshire stone paving, an excellent gymnasium with useful storage and a sauna.

Pugney’s Country Park is set in 300 acres, offering a variety of walks with good footpath links to Sandal Castle where there are spectacular views to the west along Calder Valley. Cycling is also very popular, and the park operates a rental service. The park also offers additional watersport facilities including sailing, windsurfing and canoeing. Bird watchers indulge themselves in the bird hides overlooking the Local Nature Reserve, while other visitors stop at the café for some refreshments while they enjoy the views across the park.

5. Bassaleg, Newport – £1,250,000

This beautifully presented seven-bedroom family home is positioned in the tranquil hamlet of Penylan, overlooking beautiful countryside, near the village of Bassaleg. The property is set within over three acres of picturesque grounds and features a fresh water lake. 

The residence is extremely private and peaceful, with spacious gardens and parkland surrounding the property including a boat deck, barbecue, chalet, out building and fruit orchards. The timber deck relaxation area is adjacent to the lake, which features a magnificent backdrop of the Newport countryside.

The Guild is a network of over 800 of the best independent estate agents around the country. To find your dream home, visit our website.

Our latest online magazine

Click on the online magazine below to see a selection of our properties from both the Ripon and Thirsk offices.

online magazine

Call 01765 649800 or 01845 522680 to ask for more information or to arrange a viewing.

To find out more about Joplings #OneStopPropertyShop of services visit our website home page – www.joplings.com

Guild Blog: Why are people not viewing my property

Why are people not viewing my home?

Putting your property on the market is an exciting time. The photos are taken, the floorplans completed, and the home is perfectly presented, so it’s time to start the viewings. But how many should you expect? What if viewings are not as regular as you hoped? We asked Guild agents to share their tips and advice. 

Check the price

One of the biggest deterrents for a viewing is the price. “How does your home compare to competing homes on the market?” asks Ian Southall from Chess Moves of Tewkesbury. “Query your agent if you think the price is set too high and consider talking to agents who quoted a more realistic price during the valuation.”

Martin Moore from Morris Marshall & Poole in Tywyn, Gwynedd agrees. “If a property is getting no viewing interest at all, then the first place to look for an answer is the asking price. Compare the property with others for sale around it and see if it compares favourably, if not you need to think about a reduction.”

The price needs to attract potential buyers, points out Steve Thompson from Thomas Morris in St Neots. “The housing market is now incredibly transparent, information on marketing and sale prices of similar properties is easily available on the web, so it is important that properties are marketed at a realistic price. Nothing turns a buyer off quicker than a house that is perceived to be over-priced.

Pick an estate agent well 

“There’s absolutely no point in appointing an agent who isn’t embedded in the community, you need an agent who knows all about the area, is connected and recommended, but also one that knows where your target audience is,” said Simon Miller, from Holroyd Miller in Wakefield.

Mark Noble from Castles Estate Agents in Swindon agrees. “Without a shadow of a doubt, if a property is well-prepared for the market, it will get a better response and potentially a higher offer. In reality, if you market the best-presented property with an estate agent who is not motivated, then the property can easily stagnate in the marketplace.

“There is a misconception that all agents are the same and that popping a property on a portal will do the trick. The more motivated the agent you choose, ideally a traditional agent who will fight for your price, in most cases achieve higher prices as well as selling more properties.”

The approach that an agent has can have a big impact too, says Linda Mortimer of Mortimers Estate Agents in Woodbridge. “If an agent bombards a potential buyer with lots of questions and insists they speak to their mortgage adviser before even handing out any details, you can be sure you will be missing out as an aggressive approach can send some people running for the door. 

“Buyers usually enter an agent’s office because something in their front window has drawn their attention. Greeting a potential buyer in a friendly way and then giving them details of what they are enquiring about is a better way to encourage them to discuss the property they have shown interest in. The agent can then proceed to offer their time to show them the property. This calm approach is far more likely to result in a viewing or even a sale.”

Spruce up the property 

“Aside of de-cluttering, attending to those long overdue maintenance jobs, and ensuring everything is visually appealing for the marketing materials, the best route to more viewings is to employ the right agent,” advises Simon Miller, Holroyd Miller, Wakefield. 

Vicki Field, Cooke & Co, Kent, always recommend for sellers to have a good clean and tidy throughout and to de-clutter. “Try not to de-personalise your property, as making it feel homely to viewers gives them a feeling of what it would be like when they are living there.” 

If you have already moved out, it may be a good idea to add furniture. Linda Mortimer, of Mortimers Estate Agents in Woodbridge, says: “If you are selling an empty property of a higher value, it’s worth looking into getting it furnished. It makes a huge difference. Coincide the furnishing with an open house and you can be guaranteed viewers, maybe even an offer or two.”

Nicole Woolley, Goodwin Property, Stamford, said: “Be sure to tidy up, and not just inside the home, but outside too, even if you have an apartment. A lot of buyers won’t even step outside the car if the kerb appeal is not good enough. If there is paint peeling on the front door or windowsills have them repainted, fixing them is money well spent. Have a good clear out and declutter; if you have rooms full to the brim then buyers will need a good imagination to see the potential, and the same goes for the garden. Mow the lawn, trim the hedges, weed the flower beds. Try to show a lifestyle in your home; properties sell much faster if a buyer can imagine themselves living there.”

Who is your likely buyer? 

“Consider targeting your market and draw attention to the benefits the property can offer a particular type of buyer,” suggests Martin Moore, Morris Marshall & Poole, based in Tywyn, Gwynedd. “For example, if you are selling a property that would suit a buy-to-let investor, think about offering an initial period of guaranteed rent. Even simple things like providing a list of schooling options with a family home or explaining the convenience of public transport in the commuter belt could help. You will, however, need to make it individual to the house rather than relying on the generic information provided by the internet portals.”

Invest in photography 

“Many people now judge properties through online platforms, so the better the picture, the more chance of your potential buyer investigating further,” said Ian Southall, Chess Moves of Tewkesbury. Stand back from your home and ask yourself what could be improved upon. Is the garden tidy? The décor is another key factor.”

Martin Moore from Morris Marshall & Poole in Tywyn is also keenly aware of the importance of high-quality photos. “Most people start their search on the Internet and this is a very visual medium, especially on mobile devices. People often skip over the text, so properties with good external and internal photographs and floor plans get noticed. Invest your time wisely in this area and use professional services where appropriate, ensure also that the property is well presented with the photographs as high-resolution images show great detail. Always have a good selection of photographs available and change them frequently so that the listing does not become stale.

Vicki Field from Cooke & Co in Kent had some alternative photography tips. “Ensure your agent makes the most out of your most valued asset by taking good photographs on a sunny day and remember to keep the toilet seat down! It always helps to make your home aesthetically pleasing from the outside, so maybe brighten it up with flowers and flower pots.”

Jennifer Butler, Trading Places in Leytonstone, London, said: “Before engaging in the photography, make sure your home is ready. Declutter, clean and pay attention to the front of your property and the rear garden. 

“Perhaps have the photography carried out over two days, allowing a couple of rooms to be used as temporary storage areas, whilst the rest of your property is being photographed. Afterwards, you can empty out those rooms and the photographer can return the next day to finish the job. Rushing the photography would be a big mistake.”

Steve Thompson from Thomas Morris in St Neots says that photos are a crucial first impression. “It is important not only that the photos show the property at its best, but also that the quantity of pictures right. Too few may lead to potential buyers either assuming that there is something wrong with the property or deciding not to view as they couldn’t get a reasonable impression of the property.”

“As an estate agent, I am particular about the weather for photos. A clear blue sky on a sunny day will show the natural warmth and brightness of the house,” says Jamie Fisher, Taylor Milburn, Essex. 

Best mix of exposure 

“It is crucial that the property is exposed to the maximum number of potential buyers to attract the maximum number of viewers. An attractive price and great photographs will mean little if they are kept a secret,” said Steve Thompson from Thomas Morris in St Neots. 

“Many agents in recent years have focused all of their marketing on the internet through the myriad of property websites including major property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla and their own websites. This is incredibly important, but providing the widest possible exposure must include far more. Other areas of focus can include; advertising in newspapers, advertising in office windows, advertising across local, regional, national and even international branch networks, promotion on social media, marketing to known/registered buyers via phone and email, for sale boards and leaflet drops. A good agent will cover these areas and more.” 

How many viewings should you expect? 

“In the current busy market in Margate and the surrounding areas, we look to have a surge of viewings within the first week with offers coming in – if this isn’t the case then a price reduction or amendments to the details could certainly help,” said Vicki Field of Cooke & Co, based in Kent. 

“Check the demand,” suggests Jennifer Butler, Trading Places of Leytonstone in London. “As a proactive estate agent, we monitor internet click through rates and constantly review market activity for all types of property. Some property types will be more in demand than others so it’s important to know the current market and manage the seller’s expectations, especially when it comes to the number of viewings they should expect to receive.”

Could a lack of viewings just be one of those things? “Sometimes it’s just a blip. Viewings can be like buses. None for ages then three at once,” says Linda Mortimer, Mortimers Estate Agents, Woodbridge. 

“There will be a week or two where things go quiet. This is when your agent needs to retake pictures and move things around on the websites and window displays. A refresh is always a good idea.”

Be prepared early, advises Nicole Woolley, Goodwin Property, Stamford. “Don’t forget you will see about five or six times as many people in the first couple of weeks as the subsequent weeks – make sure everything is ready and that your agent is fully briefed.”

How many people should you expect, though? “Viewing in the first month is important and if ten people are not through the door, things need to be changed,” advises Jamie Fisher from Taylor Milburn in Essex. 

Click here to contact your local Guild agent to ensure a professional service with honest and integrity to create results. 

Guild Blog: How to get more from a Property Viewing

Are you getting all you should from your viewings?

Most property viewings happen in the first month of marketing a property. What can you do if your home isn’t attracting much attention? 

Here are five tips to make sure your property has more viewings in 24 hours. 

1. Run a social media campaign 

Ask your agent to boost your property on Facebook. They will be able to target people who live in your local area to generate attention. Make sure people can easily book a viewing from the post. 

2. Host an open house 

Set a date for an open house and invite interested people to attend. Most open houses run from about 11am to 1pm on a Saturday. You could get up to 30 people through the door on just one day. 

3. Stage your home 

Are your interiors inspiring? Hire a homestaging firm to help declutter and present your home in the best possible light. This is particularly important if your property isn’t furnished. 

4. Reduce the price 

This is a big decision, but a reduced price will get a lot of new attention. If you need to sell quickly, this is a good option. 

Are you looking to sell your home? Contact your local Guild Member for help through the moving process.

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: Which room convinces you to buy?

Which Room Convinces you to Buy your New Home?

When you step into a house there is naturally one room which buyers gravitate towards. The important question is, which room convinces you to buy? If you’re looking to sell your home it is useful to know which room to prioritise for open houses, images of the property or facts about your home.

Read what some of our Guild agents had to say about their experiences of which rooms convinces people to buy.

Simon Davies, Branch Manager of Norman F Brown said: “I believe the kitchen is the heart of a home. The current trend is a space where everyone can be together. Historically this was the sitting room, but recently there is a shift to living kitchens, especially if there is an open-plan design with the sitting room. The best kitchen I have seen interlinks the garden with French Doors or Modern Bi Folds to bring the outside in and make the garden more inclusive.”

Simon Bradbury, Managing Director of Thomas Morris said: “The room which I believe most convinces a buyer to purchase a home is the hallway, although it’s not technically a “room”. Normally, it’s the very first internal part of a property that a buyer will see. Therefore, the hallways establishes the tone for their experience with the rest of the property by setting a positive or negative level of expectancy. The hall should be bright and feel warm (or cool depending on the time of year) and inviting. Clutter should be put away to make the area appear more spacious. Air fresheners, diffusers, scented candles or flowers are simple, but effective methods to enhance a buyer’s first impression of a property.”

Does the Living Room help you to decide whether to purchase a new home?

Simon Miller, Partner of Holroyd Miller said: “Open-plan kitchens create the lifestyle of family and friends coming together in a space that can accommodate eating, drinking and socialising. The kitchen is normally the most expensive and time-consuming room in a home to decorate or renovate. A kitchen already supplied with good quality appliances and high-end worktops are favourable. Buyers are usually looking for minimum effort, focusing on moving in and opening a celebratory chilled bottle of fizz.”

Steve Wayne, Director of Benjamin Stevens Estate Agents said: “The centre of any home is often thought of as the kitchen. Depending on the size of your kitchen, it can often be the social hub of any home. It is where loved ones come together and a space in which you can get creative, both in design and culinary delights. The advantage of an eat-in kitchen allows for communal meals and socialising. Good food and communication makes for a happy household.”

Jenny Owen, Head of Marketing for Sawyer & Co. said: “A room with a view is always a great selling point for buyers. A well-fitted, spacious bathroom is really popular and at the moment.”

Pav Lotay, Account Manager for the Guild of Property Professionals Head office said: “For me, the living room is the most social space in a property and the area which I spend the most time in. This is the room that stands out the most and would convince me to buy. I look for a homely property: a spacious living room where I can see myself having guests to visit and putting up a Christmas tree.”

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

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