All posts by GeorgeHartshorn

George is Managing Director at Elizabeth Davenport Estate Agents. He enjoys writing this weekly blog and hopes that you enjoy reading it!!

What about the Stamp Duty Cliff Edge?

With the stamp duty holiday due to end in a few short weeks, those wanting to take advantage of this tax break are rapidly running out of time. In recent days and weeks there has been some negative commentary from various quarters about “cliff edges” and the “race to beat the deadline”. Will there be a ‘stamp duty cliff edge’ as predicted?
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Whilst you may well agree that paying large amounts of tax isn’t the most exciting proposition, the reality is that stamp duty has been a part of English Law since 1694 when it was introduced during the reign of William and Mary in order to raise funds for the war against France. It was introduced on conveyances of sale, including the sale of land in 1808. So for most homebuyers Stamp Duty has been a reality since we purchased our first home and remains so today.

With the prospect of having to pay Stamp Duty again soon, a few buyers and sellers may decide not to move home after all and stay put as they were only really moving in the first place to save some money. Lucky them.

In the real world, most of us move home for a variety of practical reasons: we need a bigger house, we need a smaller house, we want a garden, we need more bedrooms for our growing family, we are getting divorced, a relative has died, the house has been repossessed, we want to live closer to Grandma, the neighbours are a nuisance, we want a house with a view, we prefer a south facing garden, we need to be by a good school, our employer has moved our job location, etc. The list goes on.

The majority of us don’t have the luxury of deciding to move because “there’s a stamp duty holiday”. So in the real world, the property market will march on and it will be business as usual. 2021 will no doubt see a resurgent economy and a resurgent housing market.

For further advice on your property sale or rental speak to one of our friendly team of experts.

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!

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…

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.

 

 

 

BUSINESS AS USUAL – YOUR SAFETY FIRST

July has seen record activity levels at our Warwickshire branches. The number of viewing requests, new valuations and properties coming onto the market is currently eye watering. Good news if you’re a buyer as there is going to be more choice with more properties available for sale. At the same time there also appears to be more buyers searching. Kenilworth Estate Agents

The Stamp Duty holiday announced 2 weeks ago certainly seems to have had a big impact and with the clock already ticking, many people have taken the decision to move home in 2020 and take advantage of the huge savings on offer from the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak. Purchasing a property at £500,000 prior to March 31st 2021 will save you a cool £15,000. Normally this money is simply deducted upon completion of purchase, you get nothing in return, not even a receipt! Wouldn’t you rather spend the money on a brand new luxury Kitchen or even a couple of dream family holidays?

If the answer is yes then give us a call today for further advice about selling your property. If you are located in Kenilworth, Leamington Spa, Warwick or surrounding villages then we are here to help and offer professional advice.

Of course your safety is paramount and all of external appointments are now conducted with face masks, gloves and proper social distancing. If you arrange an appointment to come into our office then rest assured there are screens at all of our desks to protect you and your family.

We look forward to working with you.

Prepare For a Quick Sale!

Like most things in life, preparation can be key to a successful outcome. Or put it another way “If you fail to prepare then you are preparing to fail” goes the saying. Popular-web

So why would you need to prepare for a quick sale of your home? Because quite simply finding a buyer is one of the simpler parts of the process in the current buoyant market (there is currently lots of pent up demand from buyers after the lockdown). Once a buyer is secured, the complicated legal process begins and this can take several months but on average takes around 12 weeks, depending upon the urgency of those involved and how quickly all parties are to getting paperwork filled out, responding to queries, etc.

If you are suitably motivated then you can begin preparation for this process beforehand. Start by finding a good local solicitor/conveyancer. Local means one that is based in the same town and will be familiar with most of the local housing stock as well as already having relationships with other local solicitors and Estate Agents. In addition you can begin filling out some of the paperwork required by the solicitors. “Property Information Questionnaires” are standard forms used by all conveyancers. We can provide one for you before a buyer is even found and you can get a head start on other sellers by completing it at the start of the process.

The majority of agreed sales that do fall through are as a result of delays in the legal process that drag the sale out and ultimately a change in circumstances down the line by either the sellers or the buyers causes a change of mind and a collapse in the process.

If you make the best preparations possible and help speed the process along by liaising closely with the Estate Agent and your solicitor you will increase your chances of success and a speedy move to your next home.

For more expert advice on the moving process or to get your property on sale call our office today on 01926 298 298 and we’ll be delighted to help.

PENT UP DEMAND SEES HIGH LEVELS OF PROPERTY ACTIVITY

After several weeks of paralysis, the property market has returned with a bang. Activity levels have quickly reached those achieved during early March and the 2 preceding months.

Sales completions have begun again, those sellers that were unable to finalise their sales prior to the lockdown are now able to get moved, buyers who previously couldn’t get removals services can now do so again and solicitors who were furloughed during April and May are now back and getting the legals finalised on outstanding property transactions. iStock_000014885905_Medium

So it really does seem to be “Business As Usual”. The “doom-monger” media predictions seem to have got it wrong yet again. Their stories of a collapse are nowhere to be seen, the reality on the ground is strong buyer demand (pent up in many cases after weeks of inactivity) coupled with sellers keen to get moved. Mortgage rates remain at record lows and the sales agreed over the last couple of weeks reflect stable prices, the majority of sales agreed through Elizabeth Davenport have been for full asking price or even higher.

Safety measures remain paramount of course, if you wish to view a property that we are advertising there are now strict procedures in place at all physical viewings. All of our properties have “Video Viewings” available for you to watch online first, this has avoided many wasted viewings where the property perhaps wasn’t suitable for the prospective buyer, reducing potential risks to all concerned. If you are selling then this means only the most suitable buyers will be looking around your home.

If you do have a property to sell and want expert advice on the current market conditions then call our office and we will be delighted to assist on 01926 298 298.