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Selling Your Home Online? What You Need To Know

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:

Location

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.

Understanding Contracts

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.

Tie-in periods

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.

A year since the property market re-opened…

This week marks a year since the property market reopened following the first lockdown restrictions in England. As we know, it has been quite a year for the housing market with pent up demand following Brexit, and then a national lockdown, meaning more homeowners than ever have been reconsidering their living environment.

So which areas have seen the biggest hike in property values and which have lagged behind the front runners?

According to Rightmove, Wallasey in Merseyside has seen the highest rise in house prices in the UK – where properties have gone up by at least 15% from last year.  A year ago, the average house price in the area was £152,858 – it’s now £176,707. This was followed by Leigh in Greater Manchester where the average property price has risen by 12.8 per cent to now stand at £160,345.

 

It’s clear to see from the above table that the North West has outperformed most other areas with house price growth at 12.4%, followed by Yorkshire and the Humber (10.3%).

Interestingly, the traditional north-south divide on house prices has been turned on its head, with London the UK’s worst-performing region and north-west England topping the table.

According to Nationwide’s figures for the first three months of 2021, London was the UK’s weakest performer, with annual price growth falling to 4.8%, down from 6.2% in the final quarter of 2020. Of course there are a few anomalies if you were to look at specific areas of London.

For example, in terms of the largest monetary increase, Islington ranks top with prices up £67,000 since May of last year. Ealing (£53k), Rother (£51k) and Merton (£51k) have also seen prices climb by more than £50,000.

Windsor and Maidenhead (£47k), Bath and North East Somerset (£47k), Stratford-on-Avon (£46k), Cambridge (£46k), Sutton (£45k) and Surrey Heath (£44k) also rank with some of the highest monetary increases in property values in the last year.

Rightmove says that a quarter of all properties now sell within one week of going on the market – the fastest it has ever recorded.

 

However, Location Location Location presenter Kirsty Allsopp recently spoke of her concerns at the heated property market while filming a new episode of the Channel 4 show looking for properties in Cheshire and North Wales.

She said at the time: “The market is scarily heated. Given the fact that 17 percent of people are still on furlough and the economic impact of Brexit and Covid is unknown this feels troubling.” Frankly, we couldn’t agree more.

A shortage of people selling their homes means that demand from buyers is increasingly outstripping supply, accelerating house price rises across the UK. Of course, what this also does is leads to the collapse of property chains. Because of the buoyant market and covid measures, the vast majority of estate agents have been advising prospective buyers that they must be proceedable to even view a property i.e. they must have nothing to sell or already have accepted an offer on their own property.

This not only limits estate agents carrying out unnecessary viewing with people who are not particularly serious about moving, but also gives sellers a good selection of proceedable candidates from which to choose.

However, whilst many buyers have gone ahead and ‘sold’ their houses over the last view months, we are now facing a situation where many of these homeowners can’t find anywhere to move to. Some buyers are accepting of this and willing to wait, but the risk of a large number of chains collapsing is increasingly likely.

So, whilst agents are rubbing their hands in glee at the ever-rising commission they will receive when these sales complete, at prices extortionately inflated versus a year ago, there could be a long wait for some.

If you wish to sell but would prefer not to put your property on the open-market through a traditional estate agent, perhaps you want to avoid the agent fee or don’t like the idea of multiple viewings at your home, WeBuyProperty can offer you a no obligation valuation to purchase your property for cash.

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Why down valuations could start hampering house sales

Rising house prices are threatening to undermine the buying process as ambitious sellers and agents are hitting a bump in the road when it comes to lenders’ valuations. Here’s how:

Let’s assume you have seen the headlines about rising house prices and have decided to take the plunge and sell up for pastures new. You have your property valued by a few local agents, decide which one to appoint and within a few days your property is on the market. In the current climate, many vendors are seeing high interest in their properties due to the imbalance of supply and demand, resulting in some ending up in a bidding war.

You then accept an offer from a prospective buyer who has a mortgage agreed in principle and everything seems to be progressing along nicely. Next, the buyer begins their mortgage application.  The lender will always carry out its own independent valuation on a property.  This is to check the property is something that fits within its lending criteria, and that the amount being paid represents market value.

However, the surveyor says the property is worth less than the price that has been agreed – it is down-valued. This now presents a problem for both the seller and the buyer.
Let’s say your buyer was purchasing your property for £330,000 with a mortgage covering 90 per cent of the value, the mortgage amount required would be £297,000.

If the valuation then came back at £310,000 for example, your buyer’s 90 per cent mortgage would now only cover £279,000 of the purchase price, leaving the buyer having to make up the £18,000 difference themselves if they wished to stick with the same mortgage deal.

If the buyer does not have access to any other funds, such as savings or means to loan the additional money, the only other solution is for the buyer and seller (you) to renegotiate a new price. Of course, at this point, many sellers are already banking on achieving that agreed price for their ongoing purchase.

 

In the present Covid climate down valuations appear to be increasingly common – the recent stamp duty cut has seen high demand from buyers, but at the same time the economic uncertainty means lenders are operating with much greater caution.A survey of 1,000 buyers whose transactions spanned the first six months of the Covid crisis, found 46 per cent have had their prospective property down valued by their chosen mortgage lender after a sale and price had been agreed with the homeowner.

While most were down valued by between £5,000 and £10,000, one in four were hit with an adjustment of up to £20,000.

 

So, yes, the current market is certainly in sellers’ favour, but be mindful not to be too ambitious as it can result in a sale falling through and you having to start the whole process again.

WeBuyProperty can offer you a no-obligation valuation to sell your property for cash within a matter of weeks. This could save you significant time and hassle having to go through the traditional route, which is currently taking as long as five or six months to complete due to high demand.
To discuss in more detail or for any queries, please contact us by:
Phone: 0207 449 9797
Email: info@webuyproperty.com

Are you looking for a quick house sale?

If you need to sell your house fast, you might have been considering ways you can go about it. In the current ‘sellers’market, you could also be led to believe that you can use a traditional agent and your property will go on the market today and be sold by tomorrow.

In actual fact, in many cases right now that is happening. However, what it does not account for is the lengthy process that follows the point of accepting an offer. There can be so many twists and turns in the sale of a property, from buyers pulling out, mortgages not being approved, properties being down valued (more on this next week), and of course surveyors finding something wrong with a property, that it is rarely plain sailing

Whist having these thoughts, you may also have considered using a quick house sale company. In a nutshell, they offer to buy your house quickly at a discounted price. However, there are, like all industries, rogues out there who can mislead homeowners causing them to lose out financially.

 

So, WeBuyProperty wanted to offer some honest advice with pros and cons to help you in your decision.

The idea of organisations like WeBuyProperty is to provide a useful service for homeowners who need to unlock cash in a hurry. Some companies are able to buy your house within days and pay all fees (such as for solicitors and searches) for you.  They pay cash for your property and usually buy at a discounted rate.Pros

  • Avoid repossession, clear debts or sort out financial issues
  • Move for age or health related reasons
  • Dispose of inherited property
  • Sell as a result of relationship breakdown or divorce
  • Want to sell quickly due to ill-health
  • Relocate due to a change of job or to emigrate
  • Good way to sell a challenging property (Short lease, high flood risk, subsidence)

Cons

  • Some companies agree to buy a house, but then reduce the price at the very last minute. The company should make clear to the owner that the valuation is subject to change based on further investigation
  • Fee structures are not always made clear and these should be totally transparent
  • Some companies make false property valuations
  • Some contracts tie customers in, preventing them from selling to anyone else who might come along with a better offer

 

What can you do to protect yourself?

Just like traditional estate agents, the quick house sale market is not regulated so consumers aren’t protected when selling a property to one of these companies.

However, the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB) ensures all members must register with The Property Ombudsman (TPOS) and adhere to its Code of Practice. By using a member of the NAPB or a company registered with TPOS, homeowners can access its independent redress in the event of a dispute.

The NAPB is a not for profit organisation that alongside The Property Ombudsman promotes high standards in the quick property sale sector. All members must follow a strict Code of Conduct to treat sellers fairly.

WeBuyProperty is proud to be a member of NAPB – to check you can visit www.napb.co.uk.
We would also recommend you only ever use a traditional estate agent which is a member of one of the government approved redress schemes, The Property Ombudsman or Property Redress Scheme.

 When it comes to selling, whether through a traditional agent or to a quick sale agent, I would always advise vendors to do their own research too. Understand what is happening in your local market right now, have an idea what you home is worth if you were to take it to market, but keep in mind you will be offered less for a quick sale – but you still want it to be fair. You should also be honest about any material information to do with your property, for example, if you know it is in an area with a high risk of flooding. This will help the company give you an accurate valuation from the outset and prevent hold-ups further down the line.

Always use a company which is a member of TPOS and NAPB as above.

If you have any questions, big or small, about selling your home through a quick sale agent like WeBuyProperty, we are happy to answer them. We can also provide a no obligation valuable or just give you some guidance on your current situation if you aren’t quite ready to sell yet.

Phone number: 0207 449 9797
Email: info@webuyproperty.com

Do ultra-low interest rates mean record high house prices are the new norm?

The property market is undoubtedly experiencing a prolonged frenzy of activity which has driven UK property prices to a record high this month.  Online property portal Rightmove said the average asking price jumped by 2.1% in April to a new all-time high of £327,797 –  an increase of £6,733 from March. The number of sales agreed is up by 55% on the same period two years ago, reducing the stock of properties that are available to buy to the lowest proportion ever recorded. 145,000 properties were newly marketed this month, but Rightmove says this is still not enough to meet buyer demand.

As we have said before, this activity has been largely driven by a shortage of houses on the market.  The coronavirus pandemic is driving many families to search for properties with extra space and away from inner city locations, as more people make a more permanent move to working from home.

But as the old saying goes, what goes up must come down, right? Well, at least that is what has historically happened in the housing market over the years. But this bubble is different and I, like many other property professionals, am starting to think that, whilst there could be a slight softening in prices when the stamp duty holiday comes to an end, this is not a bubble that is going to just burst any time soon. But how can it continue, I hear you ask.

The housing market is not what it used to be and with the pandemic crisis seeing interest rates slashed last year to yet another all-time low, prices are being steadily inflated.

The US Federal Reserve sets the tone for other central banks and is telling financial markets that ultra-low interest rates could be with us for years.  Look at Europe as an example – The eurozone base rate is now -1%, so mortgage rates in the UK could still go lower if required. House prices are rising but wages are not, so affordability is all based around rates.

 

With worldwide economies extremely fragile, this would not be the time to start raising interest rates. So it would seem that this new era of cheap money could be with us for some time to come. If you combine low-borrowing costs with first-time buyer incentives, such as the new 95% mortgage guarantee scheme and building grants, it is possible that property prices will keep rising despite the coronavirus recession.

 Of course, whilst this is great news for sellers, it has also created a very competitive and highly charged market. Sellers are often overwhelmed by the number of viewers wanting to visit their property and underhand tactics by agents to achieve the highest fee. There is no quietly and discreetly slipping your property on the market these days, agents are fighting for every instruction so social media has become a big part of their overt marketing tactics.

Perhaps you want or need to sell your home but don’t want the fanfare that comes with the current market climate? If you would like to know how much WeBuyProperty would offer you for cash, without having to take your property to the open market, we will give you a no obligation valuation. We can also transact within a matter of weeks.

Phone number: 0207 449 9797
Email: info@webuyproperty.com

Will ‘Boomin’ revolutionise the property market?

This month, a new property portal, planning to ‘revolutionise the property market’ and disrupt the existing dominance of Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket, has finally launched after two years in the making. The question is, will ‘Boomin’ live up to its name or end up like the many others which have tried and failed before?

Backed by Purplebricks’ founders Michael and Kenny Bruce, the aim of Boomin is to transform the property market for all, both agents and customers alike.

For agents it has promised to get customers engaging with agents like they used to, to give agents unprecedented life-long exposure, increase productivity and increase revenues during and long after the transaction. Whilst there is no denying that some leading agents have taken the decisions to sign up to Boomin, I think it will take a lot more than promises to change the Bruce brothers’ long-standing anti-agent image that has existed in the industry since their Purplebricks days.

For consumers, aside from the usual browsing features of the traditional portals, Boomin has added Secret Properties, the Sneak Peak and MatchMaker features, as well as having a utilities section, which could prove convenient for homeowners and renters as well as a lucrative market to tap into.

Secret Properties – This is where, let’s say a property is being valued, an agent can list basic details such as the approximate area, number of bedrooms and bathrooms of a property, but not enough that it can be identified. Prospective buyers can then register potential interest – a clever way for agents to assess demand and hopefully win the instruction off the back of it.

Sneak Peek  – This is where agents can offer prospective buyers a sneak peek at a property 14 days before the property is fully listed on the other portals, allowing Boomin users early access. To me, this seems to benefit the portal more than homeowner, who is effectively restricting the number of potential buyers who may see their property.

Matchmaker – This is perhaps the most controversial of features, described by Boomin asa unique service that helps buyers connect with homeowners who aren’t on the market. Simply place an advert pinpointing your dream locations and potential sellers can ask to be introduced, with the support of a professional local Estate Agent.” Whilst this sounds like a great idea, rather like a dating app, will it work in practice? It relies on prospective sellers, who may not have even considered selling, registering with Boomin.

 There are also other features which are yet to be developed fully, such as the idea that if you see a particular piece of furniture in a home for sale or rent on Boomin, you will only be one-click away from purchasing it. A great idea and concept, given the fact that many people browse houses on the market for their own interior design ideas, but whether this will materialise is yet to be seen.

With 5000 registered agency branches, in comparison to Rightmove and Zoopla who have in excess of 19,000, there is clearly still quite a way to go. However, with Channel 4, Foxtons and Mortgage Advice Bureau having all agreed to take a stake in Boomin, alongside existing investment from DM Capital, a pledge to spend £50 million on marketing over the next three years, and former Virgin Group chief executive Stephen Murphy as the company’s new chairman, it’s clear Boomin mean business.

Buy, if you can’t wait for buyers to start ‘Boomin’ and you need a quick sale now, WeBuyProperty will purchase your property for cash and transact within a matter of weeks, all without your home ever having to have appeared on a property portal. We will provide you with a no-obligation valuation and explain the entire process to make it as simple and stress free as possible for you.

Feel free to get in to contact:
Phone number: 0207 449 9797
Email: info@webuyproperty.com

Are bridging loans worth it?

Bridging loans are used in a number of circumstances, particularly by property investors wanting to purchase for buy-to-let or development purposes, purchasing a distressed sale or via auction. They might also be used by people who don’t want to miss out on their dream home but haven’t sold their own house yet and sometimes in divorce settlements.

In the simplest form, bridging loans are used to finance the gap between buying a new home whilst waiting for your existing home to sell so you can release the equity.

As an example, let’s say you want to buy a property for £600,000, you plan to have a £200,000 deposit and a £400,000 mortgage. However, you currently only have £60,000 in cash and need your existing property to sell in order to free up the rest of the deposit. However, the sale of your home has just fallen through and you don’t want to risk losing your dream home which you have already paid various fees on such as surveys etc. So, you take out a bridging loan for £140,000 to ‘bridge the gap’ and repay it once your property sells.

Seems likely a fairly simple solution, right? Before you make your mind up, let’s look at bridging loans in a little more detail.

There are two types of bridging loans.  The first is an open bridge loan which has no set end date, meaning it can be repaid when the funds become available, although typically within 6 to 12 months. The other is a closed bridge loan which is typically used when you know exactly when you will have the funds available to repay – these are normally used for shorter term loans of a few weeks or months.

However, it is important to know that bridging loans can be quite costly, particularly open bridge loans due to their flexibility, so you need to factor this into your calculations and your plan to repay. As an example, annual rates on bridging loans can be more than 10% and can often have fees attached to the terms such as admin, legal and even exit fees.

The pros are obviously that they can provide a great short-term source of finance to help with a property purchase and in many cases can be repaid early without penalty.

The cons are that, if you are borrowing over a longer period, then the interest charges are likely to be much higher than a standard mortgage and if you don’t keep up with payments, your home is at risk.

You need to be mindful that having another mortgage size debt is a big financial burden. Unless you know when your home sale is going to go through, it could leave you significantly out of pocket and therefore is not always the best way of beating property-chain problems. In a property boom, like now, where buyer demand is high, the risk is lower as the chances are your property will sell sooner rather than later.  However, if the market suddenly slackens off, as it very easily could as the economic impact of the pandemic becomes reality, then buyers should take a cautious approach.

If you have been considering a bridging loan, we would advise that you consider all alternatives as well, before putting yourself in greater debt.

Have you considered selling your home to a cash buyer like WeBuyProperty? If you need to have sold your property by a certain date for any reason, feel free to contact us for a no-obligation chat about how we could help you achieve this and save you having to take out a loan.
Phone number: 0207 449 9797
Email: info@webuyproperty.com

Short-term holiday lets – boom or bust post pandemic?

 

Finally, lockdown as started to ease (just slightly), and the sun has poked its head out (temporarily). Unlike the headlines of last year, the UK is receiving praise thanks to its successful vaccine rollout and it seems, for once, we are on a positive trajectory. As we head into the Easter weekend there is definitely a sense of optimism in the air for the first time in months.

Over the last year we have talked about a number of property related topics and some in relation to what impact the pandemic has had on the market.  I think what is really interesting, as mentioned last week, is that we have lost any kind of predictability when it comes to the property market and in truth, no one really knows what is round the corner.

One side of property investment we haven’t spoken about before is short-term holiday lets. We know that people who invested in property, purely for the purposes of using it to let on a short-term basis in the self-catering holiday sector, have experienced some extreme peaks and troughs over the last year.

From being completely shut down one minute, to being inundated with enquiries the next, only the lucky few who managed to make significant gains in summer 2020 have been able to recoup some of their losses. Others have turned to the private rented sector for longer-term security. Although that’s another topic altogether.

One positive for owners that currently pay business rates on their holiday let, is that there is a business rates relief scheme available, which offers a 12-month payment holiday for 2020/2021 for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England.

 

But today is 1st April, and here we are again. The beginning of the peak season for short-term holiday-lets and unable to open until May.  By that time we should have a clearer idea whether international travel will or won’t be permitted this summer, so could that change everything? Whilst it could sway some people to ditch the staycation and jet off to sunnier climes, I think most holiday-let owners can be confident that there will be enough demand this summer not to worry. Prices on sites like Airbnb have reached astronomical levels over the last few months, as Brits scramble to secure something for the summer holidays.

But let’s fast-forward one maybe even two years. After being advised to stay at home and remain in sunny old Blighty, are the masses going to be itching to get away and turn their backs on the Great British holiday? Or will there be a renewed love for our home country, it’s beautiful seaside villages, countryside and National Parks?

I think, much like the residential sales market, where buyer criteria has shifted from, for instance, city bolthole to country escape, the short-term rental market will do much the same. People’s priorities and desires have changed and a getaway for the weekend to the coast will be even more appealing.   I think since people will still be wary for some time to come about spending time in crowded cities, those are the property owners that may question the sustainability of their investment choice.

However, the key is being creative, and adapting to the new world in order to appeal to a new market. For example, a short-term let in a city may appeal to someone who has now moved out of the city because they no-longer need to be there 5 days a week but still needs to occasionally frequent for meetings etc. Before you may have marketed nearby tourist hot-spots, restaurants and bars, but now, perhaps highlighting fast wi-fi, close proximity to travel routes and creating a nice workspace could help appeal to a different market.

Or perhaps you have decided that the short-let market is no longer for you and you are looking for a quick sale?  WeBuyProperty can offer you a no obligation valuation and are able to transact within a matter of weeks.

Contacts us on 0207 449 9797 or Email info@webuyproperty.com

Why isn’t my property selling in a seller’s market?

You will have seen the many many reports that despite our economic woes, the thriving property market is bucking the trend with booming demand and record house prices.

So why, in this seemingly perfect market for sellers, is your property not selling? As we mentioned in our blog last week, if your property has been sitting on the market for a couple of months now with little or no interest, the first thing you need to do is get to the root cause of the problem. It could be simpler than you think.

Changes you can make

Price

The classic supply and demand conditions are at play in a seller’s market i.e. not enough supply to meet growing demand. This means that sellers can usually ask more for their home. However, sometimes agents and homeowners can be overconfident in a seller’s market and overlook some of the aspects of the house which may be less appealing to prospective buyers. These should still be taken into account when reaching the best asking price, and the price should reflect what similar properties on the market are selling for. If you push it too far then you risk missing out on prospective buyers.  You also risk your property sitting on the market for longer, which can also strangely deter buyers who assume something must be wrong with it.

Don’t be tempted to instruct the agent that promises you the highest price for your property. Instruct the agent that can demonstrate success at selling properties similar to yours, in your area, and that you believe will offer the best service.

 Curb appeal

In a seller’s market it can be tempting to just list your property and see what happens rather than spend time and money making improvements that you won’t benefit from. This is the wrong approach. Remember, photos on property portals are your shop window and your house is the item you are selling. How do you make it stand out from all the other houses on there? This does not have to involve vast expensive home improvements.  Trimming bushes, painting the front door or fences, fixing broken drainpipes and moving cars and vans out of the way when the pictures are being taken can make a big difference to that all important first impression. Consider what will be important to you when you look for your next home.

Internal presentation

Some people like to live in very minimalist surrounds with nothing on their surfaces and just a few select pieces of furniture. Others prefer to be surrounded by all their worldly goods. There is nothing wrong with either, but when it comes to selling a house, you have to strike a balance which appeals to the masses. You would be surprised how many buyers struggle to visualise anything but what is put in front of them. On the whole, having a tidy up, a de-clutter and a good spring clean can make all the  difference.

Market to today’s buyer

Remember to adapt and/or market your property to today’s buyer.  Over the last year, having a home office with good Wi-Fi and garden space has become more important than ever before. You can’t make rooms that don’t exist, but you can repurpose rooms you have, or areas of a room, to demonstrate where a home office may go and ask the agents to point this out to prospective buyers based on their criteria.As we head into spring, get in the garden, pull up those weeds, cut the lawn, plant a few colourful flowers and jet-wash the patio to bring life back to your garden.

 

Changes you can’t make

 Other people’s property criteria
As well as knowing all the best bits about your property, it is equally important to recognise and accept some of things which might be less appealing to some buyers.  Unfortunately, these might be things which you can’t change, such as the location of the property, the number of bedrooms, the direction the garden faces, a shared driveway or an awkward layout. All buyers have a list of things they are looking for and a list of things they are not willing to compromise on and you cannot control what other people are looking for. However, for the right price, most sellers will find a buyer that can compromise on aspects they are not so keen on, in favour of the ones they are.

Problems with the property

One of the biggest issues sellers have is if there is something fundamentally wrong with the property. For example, there is Japanese knotweed in the garden, the property has subsidence, is at risk of flooding, or has damp. Perhaps it has a short lease, unsafe cladding or structural issues from past building work.

Whilst you might be tempted to keep quiet about any issues your property has, in the long run it is best to be honest as you will only waste more of your own time and other people’s. Estate agents also have an obligation to disclose any material information which may influence a buyer’s decision to purchase, so you must tell them everything you know when instructing them.

If you are in this position and struggling to sell your property, no matter what the reason, a property buying service like WeBuyProperty might be the best route to a guaranteed sale.
We will listen to where you are in the selling process, understand any challenges you have faced and provide a no-obligation valuation based on the information you provide. There will also be no estate agent fees to pay and we can transact in a matter of week or in a timeframe to suit you.

Should you wish to keep your property on the open market, we hope that some of the tips in this blog are useful for you and wish you the best of luck with your house move.

Call: 0207 449 9797
Email: info@webuyproperty.com

Spring has Sprung – is now the best time to sell

Traditionally, as soon as the daffodils peep through and the days start to draw out, that is the peak time to put your house on the market. As well as looking more attractive on a bright sunny day with life returning to gardens, and the Easter break giving homeowners the chance to do some DIY touch ups, it means movers can be in their new abode by summer.  For those with children, is also enables them to be settled in their new home before the start of the academic year in September.

The second most popular time is usually autumn. With summer holidays over and children back at school, September and October gives homeowners a chance to be sold and moved into their new home by Christmas.

However, that is a rough rule of thumb and one that has all but gone out of the window since the last 12 months has ripped up the rule book in pretty much all areas of life.

 

Moving home has been, and always will be, predominately dictated by a person’s objectives.  Not only has activity in the housing market over the last year been largely influenced by various lockdowns and the Stamp Duty holiday, but also by peoples’ changing objectives.  I believe this is something which will influence the property market for some time to come, making it really difficult to predict the usual peaks and troughs of the market.

For example, some people no longer feel they need to be near a city as their employer will allow them to continue working from home. These people might be more inclined to move to the countryside. Others are having to relocate for work because their existing employment sector has been ravished by the pandemic. Being lockdown has encouraged some to realise they would like to live closer to family, whilst others living in flats have an increased desire for outdoor space or a dedicated area to work. The last year has given everyone more time to reflect on their current circumstances.  We know of more retirees wishing to downsize because they have realised their current home is unmanageable. Some people will have decided to expand their family while others may sadly have decided to separate. All of these changing life choices impact the property market.

Overall, activity in the property market has remained buoyant during the first quarter of this year, with the exception of some regional variants, as demand continues to outstrip supply. But reading the market and predicting what is going to happen next is nearly impossible. You can read one report which will say we are heading for a house price crash, only to read the next day that experts believe that house prices will steadily increase over the next 12 to 18 months.

 

So, if you want to know the best time to sell, the honest answer at the moment is there isn’t one and my best advice is to make sure you are moving for the right reasons.  These are likely to be driven by necessity and lifestyle rather than investment.

If you are in a position where you need to move for whatever reason and have had your property on the market for some time without receiving many viewings or offers, you might wish to consider reasons why you are struggling to sell. In the current sellers’ market, if you have the right ingredients it shouldn’t be too challenging. Look out for our blog later this week on ‘why isn’t my property selling’. You may also want to keep in mind that the average time for an agreed sale to complete has currently extended from 90 days to 110-115 days according to Zoopla, with some taking even longer. So if you are in a rush and haven’t sold yet, you may need to factor this in.

WeBuyProperty is here to provide a no obligation quote to purchase your property for cash and transact within a matter of days leaving you free to move to wherever and whenever you wish. If you are struggling to sell and would like to discuss your options with us, please do get in contact by calling 0207 449 9797 or email info@webuyproperty.com.

Selling a property to pay for care

It’s common knowledge that, as an aging population, more and more people are becoming reliant on care homes later in life. The biggest issue with this, is that the cost of social care is rarely free and a person’s ability to pay for care is worked out through a means test.

Under a means test run by councils in England, if a person needs to go into permanent care, anyone with savings and property worth more than £23,250 must pay their care home bills. Once that threshold is reached, councils pay a share of the bills until a resident’s assets are down to £14,250.
After someone’s savings have dwindled to this figure, the council will pay care home fees, but those who still own a property must sell it to meet the bills. The only caveat to this is if the property is still occupied by:

  • a partner or former partner
  • an estranged or divorced partner IF they are also a lone parent
  • a relative who is aged 60 or over
  • a relative who is disabled
  • a child of the person going into care is aged under 18

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s election pledge was that ‘Nobody should sell their home to pay for the cost of that care.’ However, up to now there has been no count of how many people have sold their homes to pay for care, therefore, Mr Johnson has no way of knowing the potential cost of his pledge. It is estimated that between 40,000 and 70,000 people per year sell their home to pay for care. Now with billions of pounds of national debt following the Pandemic, it is hard to see that this is a pledge the Tory’s will be able to uphold.

Some people, if eligible, are able to enter into a ‘deferred payment agreement’ (DPA) with the local council. This is where the council makes a legal agreement to provide financial support for a person’s care costs, on the condition they will be repaid from the property at a later date. This usually involves the council placing a legal charge on your property with the Land Registry to secure repayment.

A DPA could last until the person passes away, after which the costs will be paid from their estate, or could be a temporary arrangement to give the person or their family time to sell the home when they choose to do so.

The decision to sell a family home, or a property belonging to a family member, is never an easy one, particularly if the decision has been forced through financial necessity. We have worked with many families in this position who do not want the heartache of putting the property on the open market and having to conduct viewings or deal with agents and solicitors.

If you are facing the difficult decision of having to sell your home, or someone else’s, to pay for care, and would like to speak confidentially and without obligation about the possibility of a quick property sale for cash, WeBuyProperty  will be happy to discuss this with you and answer any questions you may have.

Phone number: 0207 449 9797
Email:  info@webuyproperty.com