Not quite the start to the New Year we had all been hoping for, but in many ways it was inevitable. Fortunately, unlike the first lockdown, WeBuyProperty welcomes the news that the property market can remain open for business. This is a huge relief for many home movers. With thousands of property transactions currently in the pipeline to complete before the end of the stamp duty holiday, shutting down the market would have created an avalanche of transaction fall throughs.
Operating as Normal
Estate agents, removal firms, and tradespeople who need to attend people’s houses are able to continue operating whilst adhering to strict safety and social distancing rules. Of course, there is likely to be increased caution whilst the new strain of Coronavirus is so prevalent, with homeowners less willing to permit several house viewings. This may lead to some properties being taken off the market for now.
The biggest challenge is going to be getting all the current transactions over the line before the stamp duty holiday ends on 31 March. Many mortgage lenders, surveyors and conveyancers are already at maximum capacity with current applications. Despite the property market remaining open, the latest lockdown will inevitably cause some delays with more people working from home.
Those most impacted will be buyers who would not have the funds to complete a purchase if it meant they would incur extra costs due to missing the Stamp Duty deadline. There have been calls on the Government to extend the deadline or phase the holiday period out on a sliding scale rather than a hard deadline. However, so far, the Government has rejected calls to extend it.
Demand shows no signs of slowing yet and positive news for prospective vendors is that the sales price growth reached a six-year high of 7.3 per cent in December, according to the Nationwide House Price Index, making six consecutive months of jumps in the rate of annual price growth.
If you want/need to sell your house fast in London but do not want physical viewings of your home, or you are concerned that your current chain may fall through and need to complete before the Stamp Duty holiday, we are here to help you. WeBuyProperty is fully operational and has the ability to transact property sales in a matter of weeks.
A property chain is when a number of buyers and sellers are linked together because each of their transactions depend on one another. For example, a buyer needs to complete the sale on their current home in order to finance the purchase of their new home.
A chain begins with a buyer who does not need to sell anything, for example, a first time buyer or investor, and ends with someone who is selling but not going on to buy another property, for example, they are moving abroad or selling the home of a relative who has passed away.
A chain is then made up of all the properties being bought and sold in between this, and can involve several properties which must all transact at a similar time so that those involved can move to their new property.
Problems occur when one link in the chain holds up the moving process for everyone, such as when a buyer in the middle of a chain suddenly finds out they cannot get the mortgage they need or perhaps they have to pull out of a sale for personal reasons. This can result in the whole chain breaking down and having to start from the beginning of the process.
In addition to a chain being made up of numerous buyers and sellers, each of these will be working with different estate agents, surveyors, solicitors and mortgage lenders. A smooth moving process relies on all of these parties working to a similar timeframe and with one another.
For some people, a property chain breaking down is not just extremely disappointing but can be disastrous if they are in a position where they have to move by a certain time.
As move closer to the end of the Stamp Duty holiday (on properties up to £500,000) which ends on 31st March 2021, more people are concerned about their transactions falling through, meaning they would have to pay more Stamp Duty.
Most recently, WeBuyProperty stepped in to help a homeowner whose buyer had pulled out at the last minute. The couple had to relocate due to a new job and needed to do so quickly to ensure their child was at her new school for the start of the academic year. They were unable to find a new buyer quickly enough so we purchased the property from them, effectively becoming the end of the chain.
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do if the property chain breaks. In addition to the disappointment, buyers can lose legal fees, surveying costs and their mortgage arrangement. If the transaction has already exchanged, the buyer will also lose their deposit.
If your transaction has slowed and you are concerned there is a chance your chain may break down, speak to your estate agent and get an update as soon as possible. If your chain has already broken and you need to move quickly, we may be able to help with a cash purchase.
Why not get in touch with a member of our team and see how we can help you!
If you own a property and are considering selling up, you will almost certainly be aware of the mini property market boom. This has resulted in the average property price increasing by 7.5 per cent year-on-year, hitting a new record high, according to Halifax bank, as well as an estimated 140,000 more home sales than last year currently waiting to be completed.
The issue of trying to sell a flat in the current circumstances…
However, not all is so rosy if you are looking to sell a flat. Covid-19, the subsequent lockdowns and our new found remote way of working, has led to a surge of flat-owners wishing to sell up and move to somewhere with more space and more land, or at best with a garden / outdoor space.
The issue is that with so many having the same idea, the demand for flats has diminished and owners, unlike those selling a house, are finding it difficult to find a buyer. This is of most concern to those who don’t just have a desire to move, but a strong need, such as a new job in a different location, attempting to be in the catchment area of a school in time for the application deadline or needing to sell for financial reasons.
Most recently, there has even been reports (in The Times) of some estate agents not wishing to take on any more one or two bedroom apartments unless the vendors are willing to accept a significantly reduced price because supply is far outweighing demand.
There are also three other factors at play which are contributing to the demise of the flat:
Typical buyers – Since flats are more affordable on the whole than houses, they have always been a good option for first-time buyers taking that initial step onto the property ladder. Unfortunately, many young people work in sectors which have been most impacted by the pandemic including hospitality, retail and travel which has contributed to the decline in demand. Cladding – Many buyers have been prevented from purchasing flats in buildings which have cladding that has not yet had an EWS1 form signed off to prove the building is safe. (Read more in our blog HERE) Leasehold Scandal – Four of Britain’s biggest developers are currently being investigated after buyers argued they are caught in a leasehold trap of rising ground rents and unfair fees.
Of course, there will always be a market for flats, and in time it is likely we will see a resurgence in demand once again. However, if you are in a position where you need to move now and are struggling to sell, We Buy Property will review your property and may be able to make you a cash offer.
To have a no obligation chat about your circumstances, Get in touch with one of the team on:
Legislation has been introduced so that landlords must now give tenants 6 months’ notice before they can evict tenants until March 2021, except in the most serious of cases, such as incidents of anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse perpetrators.
The Second Wave…
However, as the global pandemic enters a second wave, it is hard to see that this rule will be reversed in spring. Despite many landlords supporting their tenants during this difficult period with reduced rent or a rent holiday, with the furlough scheme now ended and unemployment on the rise, some landlords are being forced to consider an exit strategy.
Tommy Hughes, Managing Director of WeBuyProperty, says: “We have been contacted by a number of landlords who, for their own personal financial reasons, desperately want to sell their buy-to-let property. The problem is that the six months’ notice period means it will be some time before they can sell with vacant possession, and even longer if they have to go through eviction proceedings. To get around this, we’re finding that some landlords are enquiring about selling their property with their tenant(s) in situ.”
However, selling a property with a “tenant in situ” or “sitting tenant”, terms used to describe a person (or people) who has a legal tenancy which entitles them to occupy a property, is not without its challenges because the market for a house with a sitting tenant is generally quite small.
By having a tenant in situ, landlords limit the number of people who would be interested in buying their property as it rules out anyone who would want to purchase it to live in themselves. That then leaves landlords or investors, but this can still prove difficult because many banks and building societies will not give a mortgage on a property with a sitting tenant.
One quick and straightforward solutions for landlords who do not want to wait for vacant possession could be to sell their property to a cash buyer, complete with tenant in situ. Although landlords are less likely to achieve full market value, a cash buyer will be able to give a guaranteed completion in a fairly quick time-frame without the hassle of having to wait to evict the tenant.
“From an investors point of view, buying a property with a tenant in situ can be a win-win, purchasing a property with a ready-made income. With tenants less likely to move in the current climate it also means that income could be guaranteed for longer.”
Not only has the global pandemic changed the way we work, shop and socialise, it has also got many of us thinking about how we live…or rather, how and where we want to live.
Forced to spend much more time at home than we perhaps normally would, lockdown has encouraged homeowners to reevaluate their living requirements, with many seeking more space and flexible living to accommodate changing work/commuting habits.
The problem for some, is that there has been a shift in demand, with flats becoming somewhat less desirable than houses.According to Zoopla, houses are currently selling 33% faster than flats.
Whilst there will always be a market for flats, those struggling most in the otherwise buoyant market are homeowners looking to sell a property with a short lease.
In the last month alone, WeBuyProperty has received five enquiries from potential vendors who thought they would be able to bag a buyer looking to take advantage of the Stamp Duty holiday, only to later realise the challenges presented by their short lease.
Owning a property on a leasehold basis means that you only have the right to occupy the property for a fixed number of years, which on many properties can be up to 999 years and therefore does not present a problem. However, once a lease has less than 80 years to run, the value of the property begins to fall.
The big problem is that banks and building societies will not usually lend money on houses, flats or apartments with a short lease. Some banks will not lend to a person buying a property with a lease under 70 years, which means unless the vendor can find a cash buyer, the property is impossible to sell.
In addition, whilst the value of a property with a short lease comes down as every year rolls on, the cost of solving the problem rises. That is why it is imperative that leaseholders find out how much time is left on their lease, particularly if they think they are nearing the risk zone of around 85 years.
There is nothing more frustrating than making the decision to move and then finding that external factors are preventing you from doing so. However, there are a number of options depending on how quickly you need/want to sell:
Once you have a lived at the property for two years you can apply to extend the lease. Typical extensions are 90 years for a flat and 50 years for a house. However, extending a lease can be a costly exercise running into thousands of pounds depending on the value of the property and time left on the lease.
You can also buy the freehold, but this can be challenging in a block of flats as it requires all neighbours to come to a joint agreement to do so, and again can be costly.
WeBuyProperty will make cash offers to vendors who wish to sell properties with a short lease.
If you would like to some advice, or to find out how quickly you could sell your short-lease property, contact:
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.
Due to the new eviction ban that has now been extended, millions of people have been affected. Currently, there are eight million renters in the UK, of whom 4.5 million have private landlords, while the remainder rent from social landlords such as councils and housing associations. Thousands of landlords have now become trapped, but there is a way out.
Webuyproperty will still buy your property with your current tenants and will save you the hassle that most Landlords are now facing. Learn more about how we can help.
What Challenges Do Landlords Now Face With The Eviction Ban Being Extended?
Due to the ministers extending the current ban on eviction until March 2021 it leaves a lot of landlords now in a very difficult position. Courts were due to resume cases on Monday after a long pause of 5 months due to the Covid 19 outbreak. Landlords will have to provide six months notice if they plan to evict their current tenants. These actions by the government have left Landlords angered and frustrated. Before the country faced a world wide pandemic the given notice from a Landlord to a tenant on eviction was two months. “according to independent research, 87% of tenants have continued to pay full rent since the start of the pandemic, with a further 8% agreeing reduced fees with their landlords.”
A survey which has been carried out by a homelessness charity shelter recently showed that thousands of private tenants had been threatened with eviction by their landlord or letting agents and thousands of them in England have fallen into arrears since the pandemic.
The extended ban comes as the government did not want the ban lifted until they could provide a plan to prevent people losing their homes due to Covid 19.
What Rights Do Landlords Now Have?
Landlords have been left with little to no power after the unacceptable plot twist from the government. They have no legal rights to deal difficult tenants that are not related or impacted by the results of Covid 19.
Landlords have now no way to evict tenants that are abusive, disruptive or cause problems to the remaining household tenants or neighbours. Landlords face months of unpaid rent and court cases in the coming future due to the extended eviction. This means landlords will be at a loss.
We here at Webuyproperty want to bring it to the attention of Landlords that we will buy your property with or without tenants. We are a company that are here to help.
Selling your home can be something tempting to try alone. Maybe you don’t want to hire a real estate agent as you need to save money and keep costs down. However you do need to be careful and use a reputable agent or service even if they are online.
Some internet agents simply list your property online — leaving you to do all the work, from taking photographs, to conducting the viewings and handling negotiations. If you’re in a hurry to sell your property or need to liquidate fast then obviously this doesn’t help much.
The truth is that there are several factors involved when it comes to selling your residential properties. And if selling them by yourself, you might unknowingly ignore important issues. Depending on your level of experience in the real estate industry, you might lack the right knowledge of how things actually work and the best way to approach them.
Have you ever thought of selling your properties directly to an online buying service? You could end up saving a lot of time and avoid a many of the headaches involved with an online listing agent or traditional agency.
At We Buy Property, we’ll reveal the most important things to consider when deciding to sell your property online and why you should sell your home to a buying service like us. Let’s get started:
Regardless of your current location, an online buying service can help you. You don’t have to rely on a local market purchaser or agent to be in your area, in order to make the sale.
Using a reputable and reliable online buying service that purchases property nationally can be a huge advantage, as they can buy your home directly from you no matter where your based.
With online listings platforms and agents, you still have to wait for someone to show interest in your property listing for that area before they contact you. With an online buying service you can get a valuation and quote to purchase your property within 24 hours.
You’re Already Busy
Selling a residential property is sometimes a full-time job. It isn’t as simple as you may think. Things to consider are the time spent in fielding calls from prospective buyers. Or the time spent to source the platforms where you’ll have to advertise the property. There are also dozens of other essential tasks before you will be able to finalise the sale with a prospective buyer.
You are already busy with your life and your job, so why not eliminate all these extra tasks and just use and online buying service.
At We Buy Property, we can help ease the process and take care of all the details. We aren’t too busy to handle the solicitor fees, valuations and legal checks to help get you a final offer. We Buy Property offers the best possible price for your home without the worry of viewings, chains and long timelines. No need to worry about your position or the condition of the property as we purchase it for cash.
Incredibly, we always work around the clock to ensure that a large percentage of our clients actually turn into qualified sellers and help them complete a successful transaction with us. If you are already finding yourself busy with activities revolving around your job and personal life, you definitely need an online buying service like We Buy Property to purchase your home.
Contracts can be complex and cost you time and money – when dealing with an online agent make sure you know what you’re signing and remember that they want your business, so challenge anything you don’t like and never pay more than you need to.
No sale, no fee
Some online estate agents will ask you to pay upfront, but some do offer a ‘no sale, no fee’ guarantee – which means you won’t have to pay if the sale falls through. But check the small print first.
Lots of estate agents, even the big high street brands, include a tie in period. But if you end up not getting on with them or become unhappy with their service you will want to terminate the contract. Make sure your contract gives you the flexibility to terminate without incurring a penalty, and go elsewhere if you’re unhappy with your agent.
At We Buy Property, we know everything that comes with contracts and closing and can simplify the whole process, and remove the stress. We are professionals. We know what is meant to be disclosed and are completely transparent and ethical in our whole process with you.
Selling a property involves signing paperwork. We know the nitty-gritty of contracts and closing and can help keep things smooth and straightforward. Having us to help you navigate through the closing contract signing situation is a significant step towards the successful sale of your home.
Deal With Us Now!
We are We Buy Property! We Offer Quick Property Sales. No Fees. No-Fuss!
Based in London, our team has worked in the property industry for over 50 years. We are proud to offer clients a bespoke service. Whatever the circumstances, our experienced staff will guide you from start to finish, supporting you all the way. Sell your house in days, not months.
We are a cash-rich principle buyer who actively seeks motivated sellers that can transact and complete in a matter of days. Our house buying service caters for all types of clientele and is designed to remove the hassle and stress associated with managing a property.
We can guarantee a quick sale that can be completed in a matter of days instead of weeks. If you think this might be of interest to you, visit our website and enter your postcode for a free no-obligation cash offer.
It’s one thing to have your home clean and tidy when people come to view it, but can you really affect how much potential buyers will offer? The very simple answer is yes, absolutely.
Following the latest advice from the Government, estate agents are back up and running as of today (Wednesday) so there is no better time to start preparing your home for sale.
We Buy Property’s simple guide with expert property developer Tommy Hughes will give you the lowdown on how common seller mistakes could knock thousands off your property’s value and how to turn viewings into offers at asking price or more…
Think of your home’s exterior as the face of your sale. What might a viewer’s first impression be? You can help your house sale along no matter the season by taking these simple steps:
*Jet-wash your patios and driveways. If you don’t have one of your own, borrow from a friend or rent one for as little as £22 a day
*Ditch rubbish or broken garden furniture and invest in a cheap and cheerful new set. You want your buyer to picture themselves sitting there on a summer evening with a cold drink in hand
*Tidy the garden borders and plant a few new shrubs. A bit of colour in the garden goes a long way
*Clean your doors and windows
If you have a budget for landscaping, go for it. Whatever you spend on a professional garden makeover will add double the value. If you spend £10,000, the value of your property is likely to go up by £20,000.
Rip out old bathrooms
You want a potential buyer to come in, take a look and think: ‘Great, nothing to do here.’ If your bathrooms (or kitchen for that matter) are dated, they will devalue your property by thousands. But don’t fret! You can pick up a simple updated bathroom suite for as little as a few hundred pounds from online suppliers. Fitting costs will be extra, and kitchens will cost more, but expect your return on investment to triple. It’s well worth the spend.
At a time when energy prices do nothing but soar year on year, it’s important for any buyer to know how good their new home will be at keeping the heat in. It’s a legal requirement for all UK property listings to come with an up-to-date EPC energy rating to let buyers know how energy efficient your home is.
Solar panels are great for this, but they’re pricey to install and upgrade, and surveys have buyers can be put off by their aesthetics. However, there are many other things you can do to improve your property’s rating.
Old boilers, single glazed windows and poor insulation in the walls and roof will make buyers start knocking numbers off their offer – 5k to add double glazing, 5k to insulate roof and 3k to update the boiler – not to mention how undesirable the disruption will be.
If the buyer is debating between your house and the one up the road with a similar spec, the energy rating could make or break your sale, especially in a delicate market as finicky as ours. Buyers have had a lot to contend with – Brexit, the Boris Bounce and now Covid-19. Don’t give them any more reason to worry. Spent the money to upgrade, knowing it won’t be wasted – a good energy rating can boost your property’s value by 14 per cent.
Keep it neutral
We all love to put our own stamp on things, and nothing is more personal than how we decorate our home. But take a look around. Do you have loud wallpaper patterns, bright or dark colours on the walls? No doubt they’d redecorate over time. But OVER TIME. Whilst some buyers hanker after a doer-upper, many will want to simple move in without doing any work. Get rid of feature walls, opting instead for neutral tones and colours throughout the house. It’ll only cost you a few hundred at most to give the walls a new lick of paint, but it will be exponentially beneficial in securing offers.
Watch out for Japanese Knotweed
This invasive plant is fast-growing and shockingly strong. It can push through concrete, meaning it can cause structural damage to your property that can devalue your property by 100 per cent. Some mortgage lenders will refuse finance on a property with Japanese Knotweed in the garden, or even in neighbouring gardens.
Call in a specialist to remove it as soon as possible. It can be pricey (around £2000-5000) and slow to get rid of – taking anywhere from 8-12 months of monitoring to ensure it doesn’t come back.
Neighbours are not legally obliged to remove it from theirs, but they can be prosecuted for allowing it to spread.
Planning permission and building regulations
Have the correct planning permission for any building work you’ve carried out for extensions and loft conversions. If problems are uncovered in the legal work, you may be able to purchase an indemnity policy for your buyer, but at worst you may be forced to pull down the building work.
High rates of crime locally can impact property prices, but you can invest in good security measures like window and door locks, alarm systems and security lights front and back to help mitigate this risk for buyers.
Good school premiums
According to a recent survey by Rightmove, parents in England are prepared to pay an 18 per cent premium to buy a home in the catchment area of an Ofsted-rated outstanding school. You can’t do anything about the location of your house or the schools around it, but it’s good to be aware of it, so do your homework.
If you’ve been unlucky enough to have one, you’ll know how hard it is living next door to a nasty neighbour. There are measures in place so you can report noise or air pollution to the council, but your solicitor will be obliged to disclose official disputes with neighbours during the sale process. If you can, always try to reach an informal and amicable solution before reporting your neighbour.