Good Presentation – It’s Common Sense

Buyers in the current market are particularly fussy so right now it’s more important than ever to get the presentation right when selling your property.

That means the whole property including the exterior, interior and gardens (if any).

Excess furniture and clutter should be packed away and put into storage, childrens’ toys cleared away, any peeling paintwork should be touched up. In bathrooms it’s essential to replace mouldy sealant and revive any dirty grouting. Kitchens need to be ultra-clean and free from grease and grime. Broken cupboard doors must be fixed and dirty carpets should be cleaned or replaced. Bad smells (from dogs or other pets) must be eradicated, they’re a real turn-off for buyers.

Lawns should be cut, hedges trimmed, borders weeded. A few nice potted plants and hanging baskets will really freshen things up. The driveway or front path should be freshly swept and a new front doormat saying “Welcome” will create an inviting first impression.

And if you simply don’t have time to do all of this then you should pay someone to do it for you. It will be well worth the investment. A clean and well presented property will always sell before a similar property that’s messy and untidy. Put quite simply, a better presented property is worth more money.

For further expert advice about selling or renting your property, call one of our experts today and we’ll be happy to chat.

 

2021. Here we go again…

Happy New Year! And what a year 2021 is set to be. After the miserable annus horribilis of 2020 that many folks will be delighted to forget, the new year brings a fresh feel and invigorated spirit with feelings of joy and optimism for better things to come. iStock_000014885905_Medium

With hospitality able to start up again in the near future and people happily returning to work after months of misery, this will give a welcome boost to the economy and start to get everything back on track. It will also mobilise a large chunk of the workforce, when times are hard people follow the work trail and this will mean additional demand for housing in many areas either through purchase or rental.

Whilst 2020 was one to forget generally, the property market did receive a big boost because of the stamp duty holiday and although this (at time of writing) is still due to end after March, it has meant that property prices remained firm and confidence was retained. It’s still not inconceivable that the Chancellor will extend the SD holiday, he will want a healthy property market to bolster the economy generally. Extension or not the current trajectory of the market has already been set, add to that the stubborn shortage of homes nationally, increased demand due to workforce mobility, and ever-present record low borrowing rates, the outlook looks solid for the foreseeable future.

And with ‘Brexit Done’, whatever that means, business will have more certainty giving more job security and certainty for mortgage payers and renters alike. So in summary, the future looks bright!

If you need to move home this year or release equity in your investment portfolio, call our office for further advice about going on the market. Likewise if you have a rental property that is empty or coming up for renewal, our experts are on hand to help out. Call us today and get the ball rolling for 2021!

Merry Christmas!

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Whether you can believe it or not some of the most recent statistics released from Rightmove have revealed some really surprising and unusual activities over our Christmas holiday’s! I’m not talking about “Pie Face” or “Charades” here, I’m simply talking about online property views.

Rightmove reports show a whopping increase of over 20% activity levels between Christmas and the New Year.

The last published statistics revealed that on On Christmas Day there were nearly 14 million page views and over 10,000 people took time out from the festivities to send emails to agents.

On Boxing Day it gets traditionally  busier, with page views jumping to over 25 million.

Views peak on New Year’s Day, with an average of over 38 million page views  (This is no doubt due to many being unable to even step out of their armchairs!).

What does this really tell us? Well, unarguably it shows that when we have time, we use it. Christmas and more specifically the New Year, with the hopes and ambitions it promises (who can’t fail to at least have hopes and ambitions for the year ahead whether realised or not!), is time for prediction and planning. Physical viewings are not so common, but planning ahead and looking at what’s available, can be the spark that lights the fire. Having your property on the market over the Christmas period doesn’t mean that Mr and Mrs Smith are going to disrupt your Figgie Pudding and Brandy Snaps. It means simply that they will likely plan to visit your house after Christmas.

Seeing your home for sale may persuade them to sell their own property and enable them to move forwards. Yours could be the property that instigates those decisions. And more importantly, yours could be the property they buy as well.

Lastly, we just wanted to wish all our customers past, present and future a very Merry Christmas. 2020 has been such a testing year for everyone and we wish you all a happy, healthy and hopefully  successful 2021!

Autumn Market Update

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The UK housing market starts autumn with momentum following a post-lockdown mini-boom, making summer 2020 busier than usual. Buyer demand has soared, up 34% on a year ago according to Zoopla, while supply to the marketplace is at its highest level since March 2008, according to Rightmove. Over 81,000 property sales were recorded in August, which is up 15.6% on July, with competition in the market leading to one in eight properties selling at or above asking price. Larger properties and those with gardens are proving immensely popular, with the impact of COVID-19 set to have a lasting change on our home and work lifestyles. Price growth is strongest across the East Midlands and the North West, but across all regions the trajectory is positive.

Both the economy and consumer confidence have both shown signs of improvement throughout the summer. The economy grew by 6.6% in July (ONS), however it remains over 11% lower than pre-lockdown, while consumer sentiment continues to rise, albeit slowly. Recovery remains cautious as the government grapples with balancing the economy and public health. Stamp duty holidays across the nations offer a saving for many buyers, however, while interest rates remain low, a reduction in high loan-to-value lending products is impacting first-time buyers.

In the lettings market, as with the sales sector, demand for rental property increased over the summer, although new instructions remain muted, a continuation of the pre-lockdown trend. Average rental values across the UK rose by 1.5% in the year up to August, and yields remain attractive. Increased demand and a shortage of supply in many areas should help underpin rental values over the coming months. Just 13% of tenancies expire during the final quarter of the year but landlords will be keen to avoid unnecessary void periods.

Properties are selling quicker than they did a year ago, and latest mortgage approvals suggest the market is returning to more ‘normal’ levels. However, the forced pause in the housing market means 2020 sales levels will no doubt end below those of 2019. UK house price growth is at its highest level in over two years and revised forecasts anticipate property prices will end the year 2% higher, a significant reversal to the negative expectations anticipated as the market reopened. Interest rates are predicted to be held at 0.1% until 2022 offering hope of favourable buying and selling conditions for the foreseeable future.

CAN I STILL MOVE HOME DURING LOCKDOWN?

The new lockdown measures in England, implemented since Thursday 5th November may have left you wondering what your options are in terms of moving home, or even going to look at properties for sale or rent?

Moving HomeCan other prospective buyers come and look at your own property with a view to purchasing or are they confined to peering through the window or simply looking at photos before they make their decision? Are you allowed to have an Estate Agent visit your house to give you advice on selling?

In order to answer your questions, we have been working closely with our governing body and the Guild of Property Professionals to interpret the latest government advice and the good news is that the property market is still very much “open for business”.

If you are due to move home and have either agreed a sale or exchanged contracts, then you are allowed to continue with your move during the current lockdown restrictions. If you have agreed to rent a property, then again you can still carry on with the move. Appointments can still take place at properties being marketed, so long as strict Covid-safe guidelines are followed (including no more then the agent and the buyer being present, the property should also have been sanitised prior to the appointment and those present must wear masks, gloves and observe social distancing).

Most good solicitors and removal companies are still operating safely at the current time. It’s worth also bearing in mind that there is a backlog of properties waiting to exchange contracts so timescales are slower than normal. For rentals, timescales haven’t really changed so good news there.

“My property isn’t getting any interest. Is it because of Covid?”
Probably not, the market is still very buoyant. If this is the case please contact us as we can almost certainly help you.

So if you need to move home or are looking to either sell or rent your property, call one of our experts for further advice on 01926 298 298.

CONTINUED ACTIVITY, COUNTDOWN TO MARCH

With no let up in activity for the property market in the Warwickshire Area and the half term holiday upon us, things look remarkably different in 2020 compared to years gone by. Those wanting to take advantage of the Stamp Duty holiday have 5 months left until the deadline. This may seem a long way off but with Christmas and new Year to come, the clock is definitely ticking down already.Sold Board Kenilworth

Traditionally the conveyancing process takes around 12 weeks on average. With significantly increased volumes at present, this time frame is now longer so waiting until after Christmas to go on sale or purchase will leave many would-be movers and buyers disappointed.

If you’re not bothered about Stamp Duty then there’s no problem. If you want to take advantage of potential savings of up to £15,000 then pick up the phone today and call us for more expert advice about moving home.

If you have a property in Leamington, Kenilworth, Warwick or surrounding villages then we can help you. We have hundreds of buyers registered who could well be interested in buying your home.

We’re also offering complimentary restaurant vouchers to home owners who go on the market with Elizabeth Davenport between now and the end of December. For further information call us on 01926 298 298.

Does The Asking Price Matter So Much?

If your property has been on sale without success for more than 3 months then this probably means something is wrong with the marketing. This could be any of a number of things, perhaps the photos aren’t up to scratch or maybe the property isn’t being advertised through the right channels. Just as likely though is the possibility that your home is on sale at too high an asking price.

We hear many homeowners say “If the price is too high then people will just make lower offers.” Unfortunately this often isn’t the case and in reality overpriced homes often receive few viewings and subsequently don’t receive any offers at all. The reason for this is simple.iStock_000002696243XSmall

An RICS report has shown that 70% of buyers pay 20% more than they originally set out to spend. This means that if your property is worth say £400,000 the most likely buyers will have been searching for properties advertised between £320,000 – £400,000. So if you put your home on sale at £450,000 the most likely buyers won’t be coming to view it. In fact all of the WRONG buyers will come and view and when they do it won’t live up to their expectations. So you won’t receive any offers.

So asking price is critical in attracting viewings but even more crucially it’s very important in attracting the RIGHT viewers. In Warwickshire over the last couple of years there has generally been a shortage of property for sale so if your home goes on sale at the correct price and is promoted well by your Estate Agent with good marketing details then you should be able to find a buyer in a matter of weeks.

Call Elizabeth Davenport today for more expert advice on selling your property or for a free valuation.

STAMP DUTY HOLIDAY BOOST FOR BUYERS

In July, the Chancellor announced immediate plans for a Stamp Duty Holiday on the first £500,000 on residential property purchases.

This has been a huge boost for homebuyers and the property market as a whole. Buyers are making substantial savings when purchasing a home and this has meant additional sales with buyers and sellers who had previously been hesitating, now striking while the iron is hot and deciding to move home.iStock_000002696243XSmall

On a £300,000 purchase the saving is £5,000 (a new luxury bathroom) whilst on a £500,000 property the saving is a whopping £15,000 (average cost of a bespoke fitted Kitchen with appliances).

This could be a once in a lifetime opportunity if you are looking at moving home. In the coming months and years, the taxman could be looking to recuperate some of the lost revenue that he has suffered during the lockdown. Taxes could rise (including stamp duty) in the future so this is an opportunity not to be missed.

Speaking as a buyer, my only regret is I moved house last November and have already stumped up a sizeable Stamp Duty payment to the Treasury in the last few months. Such is life.

If you would like to take advantage of this incredible opportunity or need further advice on moving home in the current market, please call our office on 01926 298 298 and we will be delighted to offer a free consultation.

Thank you Mr Sunak…

Should We Have A ‘For Sale’ Board?

Many homeowners are unsure whether to have a ‘For Sale’ board when they place their property on sale. There are a number of reasons they might think of to not have one: They don’t want to upset the neighbours. They don’t want people knocking on their door. They think it might be a security risk.

In reality these reasons are unfounded and there are many advantages to having a ‘For Sale’ board put up. If you decide to put your home on the market then you will generally find it easier to sell with a board for the following reasons:

Sold Board Kenilworth Buyers expect a house that is for sale to have a For Sale board outside it. A board sends a very positive message to buyers by confirming that the seller is committed.
A board helps buyers to locate and identify the property when they come to view, making their experience an immediately positive one.
Many buyers go on a Sunday afternoon drive searching for ‘For Sale’ boards in their preferred locations. I myself have bought 4 properties, all of which I discovered via the ‘For Sale’ boards!!
The neighbours will know that the property is on sale very quickly via the internet anyway so not having a board won’t stop them finding out. It’s best to simply tell them yourself than let them find out the hard way.
If your Estate Agent has an attractively designed board, this can add to the kerb appeal and the saleability of your property.
Even if you live in a no through road, a board can alert potential buyers to your property. For example, friends or relatives visiting one of your neighbours.

So if you’re going on sale this year then the message is simple. Get an attractive ‘For Sale’ board mounted outside the front of the property and increase your exposure to potential buyers. You’ll be moving in no time.        by George Hartshorn

Accepting An Offer On Your Property

Selling property is a process that many homeowners have limited experience of and it can be a maze of processes. However is some instances it can also be relatively straight forward and choosing the most suitable buyer can streamline the whole process and substantially increase the liklihood of a successful result.

Once you’ve marketed your property for sale and received viewings the offers will start to come in. It’s easy at this point to play buyers off against one another in order to drive the sale price as high as possible. However this is also an ideal opportunity to cherry pick the best buyer that can proceed to completion in the smallest time frame with the minimum amount of fuss.

Good Estate Agents

There are a number of factors that drive the suitability of buyers and these include:

Finances: does the buyer require a large mortgage or are they a cash buyer?

Chain Details: Does the buyer have a property to sell and if so how long is the chain?

Solicitors: Does the buyer already have a solicitor. If they do is it an established local practice with local market knowledge and experience?

Your Estate Agent can advise you on the suitability of any particular buyer. The amount they have offered is clearly an important factor but you should strongly consider the buyer’s circumstances and sometimes it may be better to accept an alternative offer if the underlying circumstances are superior.

Having the luxury of multiple offers often depends on how well the property is marketed and correct exposure to the best potential buyers, including both active and passive purchasers. Elizabeth Davenport are experts at maximising the number of viewings on a property and this in turn often leads to multiple offers and finding the best candidate to purchase. Call us today on 01926 298 298 to arrange for your free, no obligation valuation.