In January this year, Government fire safety guidance on external walls of apartment blocks, which used to only apply to blocks taller than 60ft, was extended to buildings of all heights with any cladding.The new safety advice was issued in response to the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 but does not only apply to buildings with the type of cladding that caused the Grenfell fire.
Why is this a problem for homeowners?
The new requirement of an EWS1 form not only demonstrates that a building is safe but was brought in to give lenders more confidence in providing mortgages on multi-storey buildings following the Grenfell Tower fire.
However, there is a huge backlog in getting the forms due to the volume of properties which now fall under this requirement (an additional 2.7 million) and the very limited number of chartered fire engineers who can carry out the inspections.
This means that property sales are collapsing because to follow official guidance, many lenders are requesting an EWS1 form to show the building is safe. Without the form, buyers are unable to get a mortgage which means sellers are left trapped and unable to move.
We have been working with vendors who are unable to wait for the building inspections to be carried out due to a change in circumstances, such as a new job or growing family, and therefore need to sell quickly. We buy the property from them, with transactions completing in a matter of weeks or a timeframe to suit their requirements, and then we will pursue the building safety sign-off.
Whose responsibility is it?
To get these guarantees of safety, flat owners usually have to apply to the freeholders of the building. The freeholders then have to find a company to take samples of cladding from the external wall and have them sent away for testing.
However, freeholders are not obliged to get the building signed off if the building’s cladding is classified as low-risk. The problem for vendors is that some banks are so nervous that these flats could be declared unsafe in future, that they are requesting the EWS1 forms regardless.
WARNING: We have also read reports by Which? that leaseholders are being duped into paying thousands of pounds to fraudsters who are providing fake EWS1 inspection forms.
We have spoken to some flat owners who are unable to sell, even though the cladding material on their building is not combustible, as the freeholder will not pay for it to be tested. The issue can also affect those flat owners who are simply looking to re-mortgage. Even more worrying, is that some homeowners are being told it could take years for their building to be declared safe.
This is a situation that WeBuyProperty is monitoring very closely and will update our readers should we be informed of any updates. In the meantime, if you are in this situation and wish to discuss options for selling your property without the EWS1, call us on 0207 449 9797.
Selling a property can seem like a daunting task, considering it can be one of the most expensive decisions you might have to make.
There a many things you will need to take into to consideration, such as agent fees, auction fees, mortgage fees and many more things that can quickly add up. Selling your home isn’t as simple as just agreeing on a price and pocketing the final amount offered.
However, if you do your research, have the right information and understand the costs involved it doesn’t have to be so stressful. Planning ahead will help you to prepare and budget for your sale accordingly.
In this article, we’ll take you through the significant financial outlays you can expect to incur when it comes to selling your property. Besides this we’ll also provide a few tips and ideas on how you can reduce your costs.
Estate Agency Fees
When it comes to selling a residential property, the estate agency fee tends to be the biggest cost incurred by a home seller. Typically, estate agents in high street areas charge between 1% and 3% commission, including the VAT on the home sale price.
Here in the UK, reports reveal that the average sales price of a house is around £219,000. Estate agents typically charge around 2% on a home price which is around £4,380 and above in costs. If your home is worth more or your home sale price is higher you might find an increase in the commission fee charged by your agent.
When it comes to selling a home you would usually use a traditional high street estate agent. Although many online estate agents now offer dedicated local agents, the ability to just walk into a high street office is reassuring to many.
High street estate agents will often have greater overheads than their online counterparts. This includes rent for their storefront, business rates, staff, etc. These extra costs mean that you end up paying more for their services, in some cases a lot more. The usual commission for a high street estate agent can vary between 0.75% – 3% of the final selling price (often + VAT).
They’ll also be in charge of getting your property listed on their home sales portal and help arrange and host the inspections on your behalf.
Online estate agents offer their services similar to you doing it yourself, with you listing your home for sale on their website. This typically requires that you make an upfront payment for a specific package which includes a listing of the property on the site. However you’ll be organising the viewings and inspection of the property. Apart from that, some do offer advanced services similar to that of traditional estate agents to help with the management and other tasks involved in arranging viewings.
When using an online service make sure you do your research, take your time to find the best service that matches your needs. As a good alternative, when using WeBuyProperty.com you have no agents to deal with, no boards, no viewings, simply a quick cash offer within 24 hours, typically at 90% of the market value.
So now your aware of the agent’s fees, you still have to take into account the removal costs. Your removal cost depends on the amount of furniture and other items inside the property that you’ll have to remove. You should factor this into your budget before listing your home for sale. Of course, moving fewer possessions will significantly help reduce your removal costs. If your able to plan well ahead you can start clearing the property in small stages. Get family and friends to help or rent a van which can be done by yourself.
Above all, if using a removal firm you should ensure that you get your quote in advance and don’t leave things till the last minute.
The buyer covers the costs relating to search, survey, and stamp duty. However, the services of a solicitor or licensed conveyancer cannot be left out when it comes to selling your house. Their primary role is to act on your behalf, and they handle all the legal documents related to selling a property. Apart from that, they help clarify what’s included and what’s not included in the home sale agreement.
Depending on the complexity of the sales, local, and size of the property, the pricing of hiring a solicitor ranges between £500 and £1,500. However, there are parts of the transaction you can go without, but that always comes with a risk. If you want to get the specific price of hiring a solicitor, you should consider comparing quotes or probably use a comparison website to get the best deal.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Costs
Usually, an EPC is a legal requirement when selling a property, and it lasts for about 10 years. So, make sure you check the validity of your current one. If necessary, you can arrange for a new certificate. The cost of an energy performance certificate usually varies between £60 and £120.
An EPC basically provides information about the energy efficiency of the home. It’s a certificate that provides home buyers with insights regarding the possible energy bills and the areas that need improvements.
The cost doesn’t end here. Other things you may need to consider can include, mortgage costs, capital gains tax, property tax, and more.
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For months, Brexit and the wobbly state of British politics hit the property market hard. Should we sell? Should we wait? Those were the questions on every seller’s lips.
The market was slow for most of 2019 as the uncertainty took its toll, with house prices increasing just 0.3 per cent in the last month of the year.
But following the General Election in December, and then Brexit finally happening – whether we liked it or not – things were on the up with stability in the economy at long last.
The number of house sales rose by more than 12% in January 2020, there was a spike in mortgage approvals, as well as an increase of buyer demand in the property market.
Then, as news of a novel and deadly coronavirus began to spread, the World Health Organisation declared a global pandemic.
Boris Johnson announced the UK lockdown on 23rd March, grinding the UK economy to a halt.
With strict social isolation measures and a nationwide lockdown in place, entire buying chains froze, throwing the property market into a position never before seen. Mortgage offers expired, wreaking havoc on chains all over the country.
Landlords were issued with warnings they were not allowed to evict tenants even if they failed to pay their rent.
Mortgage holders were able to access payment holidays to ease the financial strain, but many lenders put new lending temporarily on hold.
Of course, staff were furloughed, many made redundant and the millions of self-employed saw their income disappear overnight, creating financial crisis for hundreds of thousands.
People were also advised not to move home, with removal firms ceasing most activity, too.
Moving past the peak
Deaths from Covid-19 increased almost daily, hitting a peak of 1172 in late April.
But now, as the daily Covid-19 infection and death rates begin to slowly – and thankfully – trend down, the Prime Ministers and his team are devising a plan of action to ease the UK out of lockdown.
So, what does this all mean for the property market moving forward?
Data released for the first financial quarter is based on sales finalised before the lockdown began, therefore not giving us an accurate picture of the current state of the property market.
New figures that will be released later this month, or in early June, will give us a better snapshot of the property market during Covid-19 but until we know when the lockdown will end, uncertainty will hang over the property market like a black cloud.
Whatever the statistics, getting your home on the market is going to be more challenging than usual.
Due to continuing social distancing rules, estate agents won’t be able to come to your home for a valuation or to take marketing pictures of your property for the foreseeable future.
If your property was listed before this nightmare began, you won’t have had any viewers for many weeks for the same reason. Most people won’t risk buying a property without seeing photos or being able to visit.
Knight Frank forecasts that UK prices will fall by 3% this year, then bounce back by 5% in 2021, in line with its predictions the country’s economy will shrink as a whole due to the impact of the pandemic.
There is good news, though.
Our team at webuyproperty.com does not require a visit your property to complete our valuation. We have cash in the bank to buy your property outright, right now, meaning uncertainty in the economy doesn’t impact our ability to buy properties.
We’ll complete in a time frame to suit you too, meaning completion is possible in as little as two weeks, or as long as you need to get your next property lined up. We can even buy your property and rent it back to you until you’re able and ready to move out, giving you the upper hand as a cash buyer when the market gets moving again.
It sounds too good to be true but trust us – it’s not. You can read the details of our ethical and straightforward work here.
For more information, please get in touch with our experienced team who are on hand to talk you through your options. Like many companies, we’re working remotely to protect our staff, so drop us a line on email@example.com and we’ll get back to you ASAP.