Category Archives: Buying Property

Want To Sell or Want to Sit? There is a Choice!

Well,  Autumn ‘s here and the leaves are falling. Thankfully house prices aren’t. Indeed, thankfully for many, they are not soaring either. Forget London’s Boom, the reality all around us, is that the reports of a Boom have heightened the expectations of sellers throughout Britain.

I had a Seller last week tell me that the agent they were marketing with in Coventry had told them that house prices had risen 10% over the height of the market in 2008. He was bullish about this too by all account. This same agent had not sold the Vendors house. It had sat on the market without viewings for 6 months. That’s because the Agent was talking nonsense. He/She just wanted an instruction to sell the house. Maybe the individual was being pressured by targets. Whomever’s fault it was it wasn’t the sellers yet they were the ones that suffered. You shouldn’t play games like this. You get found out. 

Robin King a Director at “Move With Us” has just compiled a survey of over 100 Estate Agents. “Reports of a housing bubble may be pushing home owners to set unrealistic asking prices,” he said. “Putting a property on market with an accurate valuation is paramount. Our advice to home owners is not to always believe the hype and to listen to their local property expert, the estate agent”.

Good advice if you can trust your Estate Agent. If you can’t your house is going to sit on the portals and no one is going to come.

We have just compiled a list of every Estate Agents current stock and sales performance in Coventry. How much are they selling and how quickly? The results are shocking. Many of the “market leaders”, the household names, the old families and the aggressive corporates, are sitting on stocks of your houses with only very low proportions being sold. They’ve overpriced and for fear of admitting mistake they won’t approach you to discuss it.  They won’t request the reduction in case you decide to venture elsewhere. They’d rather your house just sit there. With that mentality, you will too so don’t wait for that non-existent call. If you’d like to know the statistics just let us know and we’d be happy to show you. We’re not all bad..

New Home Shock and Pre-Loved Favourites!

Researchers at Cambridge University have recently undertaken a study revealing British new homes to be amongst the smallest in Europe. New homes being built at sizes potentially detrimental to our health are  one of the claims the research suggests. With the average new build in the UK being measured with 76 sq metres of living space comparing to Ireland at 87.7, Germany at 115.5 and Denmark at 137 sq m the evidence does appear to overwhelmingly support the findings as well.

Pre loved, second hand, used or nearly new are not phrases associated with house buying or owning but every house has a tale to tell and older properties have assets all of their own. Mature Gardens with trees and hedges rather than seeded rubble strewn turf  are the external equivalent of high vaulted ceilings versus energy efficient light fittings. The emotion evoked when purchasing a period building cannot be replicated in other than the most bespoke new build. The space available in many a 1960’s detached home together with it’s driveway and traditionally generous plot should always compensate for it’s not so aesthetic façade. Two up two down Victorian houses, found abundantly throughout Coventry offer two terrific double bedrooms and two reception rooms and can be easily modified to incorporate two bathrooms if the mood takes. You’ll have period features, more floor space and real character for less than your average starter home! Look around, take your time and use your imagination. You don’t have to own a Castle for it to be a lovely home.

Rubbish English Football = Time to Buy Property

Every time the football World Cup comes round, expectations are high and “England Expects”. A good run in the tournament for the men in white translates into a long happy summer and the onset of the “feel good factor”. 

And in the past, statistics have clearly shown that when England do well and reach the late stages of the competition, a happy buzz is created throughout the land which causes people to go out and spend money, whether it be on cars, electrical goods, holidays, and even property.

Well sadly this time that hasn’t happened. Two dismal results against mediocre opposition has dumped England out of the tournament and (at time of writing) a pending third game that could prove to be embarrassing. No feel good factor.  🙁

Here’s a sneaky tip: If you’re in the market place to buy a property then go and buy something right now. Whilst everyone else is sitting at home feeling sorry for themselves and dreaming of Italia 90 or Euro 96 you can go and put an offer in on that dream home and with no competition to outbid you, that house could be yours!  🙂

And when Euro 2016 starts, all of your friends will want to come and watch it at your place (if we qualify!). For more tips on football & buying and selling property visit our website or call 02476 010105.

Come on Down! The Price is Right!

I’d like to think that Leslie Crowther and I have little to nothing in common. I was alive in the 1980’s but I didn’t present any game shows.  The famous “Come On Down, the Price is Right” catchphrase did though come to mind  after 4 new instructions were under offer within 24 hours of being launched to the market this week. We did not offer these house for sale less than others had valued them. In fact two of them were higher valuations than any other agent. The properties  were not being given away by any means. One of them was actually valued over 30% higher than our competition!

Research, market analysis and a working  knowledge of remedial and installation costs from Lighting to Lofts, enable us, we believe, to price sensibly for both the seller and the buyer. After all, however long the process of selling a property, the  reality is that the price will be justified by external forces anyway! The Mortgage Survey, The Home Buyers Report and The Building Survey will all aid (or band aid, pardon the pun) the correct and actual sale price.

A market leading trainer whose course we attended showed how vital the “asking price” was within the first few weeks of marketing. To achieve the highest “actual” price, the volume of viewings is no accident. If the “asking price” is incorrect the viewings will not occur. If it’s correct they will. In fact if the “asking price” is less than the “market price” then for goodness sake don’t panic. The house will simply attract a greater volume of viewings and the price will rise to it’s “correct” value. Remember if you are the seller then the property for sale is yours. No one can steal it from you. If the offers that come in aren’t to your liking then don’t accept them. If they continue to come in without much variance then rethink. A house on the market for a long time very rarely gets sold for what it could at the beginning.

Sharp As Knives.

Monday night’s “Dispatches” program on Channel 4 revealed some real problems in the Estate Agency industry, especially in regard to corporate and large chains of Estate Agents.

Sharp practices were revealed in the program with illegal methods of mortgage selling and many instances of not acting in the clients best interest. For thoses that didn’t see the documentary here are some of the problems that were uncovered:

Only allowing buyers to view a property if they bought a mortgage through the same Estate Agent. (this is illegal)

Only considering offers from buyers who took a mortgage product at the same time. (this is illegal)

Advising buyers to take out a buy-to-let mortgage when they intended to live in the property (this is illegal)

These practices occurred in environments where agents were pressurised by the company they worked for to achieve high sales targets and where commission based wages were in place. This is the typical set-up at corporate and large chain Estate Agencies.

So how as a seller or buyer do you avoid these pitfalls? By using a small independent Estate Agent that always acts in the clients’ best interests and where selling ancillary products is not a priority. At Elizabeth Davenport, our priority is to our client and our goal is to sell all of our properties for the maximum price possible. This can only be achieved by making the properties available to the widest audience possible (REMEMBER: the higher the demand, the higher the price.)

So don’t get caught out. If you want the best sales service or the best buying experience then give us a call today.

 

Right to Buy or Right to Loan!

If you stand still you die. Or is it if a Shark stops swimming? Whichever, the property market cannot realistically wait for wages to rise to allow it’s members to move. We know that’s not going to happen. So has the scheme allowing us the ability to save the deposits we need and afford the repayments on the houses we would love to own, been redressed, elaborated and improved?

Shouldn’t the very fact it’s conception occurred become the  unwritten warning following the aftermath of David Cameron’s fast tracked “Help To Buy Scheme Part Deux”?

The scheme will not lend to those without a 5% deposit in place on a new or now an “old” build home and it will undertake “strict” application measures to ensure the affordability is legitimate. The 95% balance will be in a repayment form rather than interest only and there will be no addition loan, just a guarantee. So, in essence the vehicle is identical to the one we discussed a few weeks but with Grandpa being replaced by The Government.

The dotted i’s and crossed t’s have not been finalised but lenders have geared themselves up for this. The opportunity will have an initial live span of three years. This may be longer than Grandma as well. I’m not being cynical I’m just worried. Although on paper the bubble burst a while ago now, trying to re-inflate it without taking into consideration why it happened seems dangerous.  It’s not just me that’s a little concerned. The chief executive of Britain’s biggest mortgage lender, Lloyds Banking Group,  says he fears Help to Buy could create a dangerous bubble in property prices. He said this a matter of weeks after telling the Government they had his unequivocal support. Antonio Horta Osorio seems to have stopped in his tracks and as the CEO of Lloyds, who own Halifax a major lender in this market, it is particularly concerning. I’d like to think that as long as everyone remains sensible and the “new” lending is vigilant then it could help stimulate the market. Strangely enough it does though seem to be gaining momentum without it?     By Mark Walmsley

A Do’er or a Not to Do’er!

Sometimes we have to do for ourselves what we recommend to others and quite recently I found myself struggling to take my own advice! It’s all to easy to recommend an improvement here and an improvement there to enable the well located sows ear become the perfectly situated silk purse of your dreams. The reality is exactly what that particular idiom suggests. You can’t make a solid chair out of poor quality wood.

Prior to renovating your resale project, if you think that the builders quotation is incredibly reasonable it probably is. You need to know that any renovative costs are genuine before you’ve offered on your property. Talk to contractors, get quotes, choose the styles of windows and the kitchen and the bathroom fitments, don’t falter but don’t choose such that are unfit for purpose. Look to your needs and your pocket. If the costs are dangerously tight then the risk of a “Do’er Up’er” is such that you may loose money if you are able to sell at all. And, if you can’t sell what then? “Let It!”, the Estate Agent shouts but this brings it’s own risks and rewards.

It’s planning for the need.  We’ve just sold a property in Cannon Close to the South of the City and the wonderful property needed work. The vendor and myself knew that the volume of work would not enable a “Do’er Up’er” purchase  despite a tremendous volume of such buyers looking and offering. If the property is for you and your family then it’s about your own needs and the long term. So throw caution to the wind and have the two Ensuite bathrooms, under floor kitchen flooring and granite work surfaces. It’s yours to live in and enjoy and if you do it properly it will last and the eventual sale, so distant as to not warrant contemplation, will not disappoint.     By Mark Walmsley

Now You Can Afford Your Dream Home

So you’re thinking of selling your house and moving to that dream home?

But whenever you look on the web the properties that take your fancy seem to be just out of reach for your limited budget. The tempting solution is to put your own property on sale for more than it’s worth and hope that you strike lucky. NO!!!!!! This will not happen. Even if an uninformed buyer is daft enough to pay over the odds (which is highly unlikely in today’s market), their mortgage lender will refuse to lend against an overpriced property.

Here’s a secret tip. Lot’s of homes regularly sell for less than market value BUT rarely do properties sell for more than market value. So if you’re struggling to bridge the gap between what your home is worth and the price of your dream home then the solution is to sell your own place at market value and then to try and pick up a bargain.

And finding bargains is easier than you think. Look for properties that have been on sale for a long time. The owners will be getting anxious and may well be prepared to listen to offers. Also be prepared to look at the homes that all of the other buyers are ignoring. These may have issues that are putting people off,  but these may be solved quite easily and allow you to pick the property up at a bargain price.

Remember: no-one will pay more than market value but owners often sell for less than market value due to exceptional circumstances.

 

Christmas Shopping

As the temperatures drop and the nights close in again, Christmas is just round the corner. Will your festive shopping include a visit to the local Estate Agents office to see what’s on offer? If not then it should do!

November and December are traditionally a very quiet period for the housing market with many buyers going into hibernation or hiding away under the mistletoe. Shrewd buyers will see this as a great opportunity to hunt for bargains and find a good property without the hindrance of competition.

So if you’re thinking that you should wait until the new year then it may be worth thinking again. As sure as day follows night, the market will pick up momentum again come January and you could find you’ll be competing with lots of other buyers when the desirable properties come to market. With the average conveyancing period being around 10-12 weeks, an accepted offer at the end of November will  mean a completion date in February, so any worries of having to move prior to Christmas are unfounded and not really a consideration.

So pop down to your local Elizabeth Davenport office and after we’ve given you your free mince pie we’ll see if we can find you a suitable dream property to buy.

Confidence is Key

Plans for the future always depend upon ones state of mind and current outlook. So when it comes to purchasing a new property (or renting one) mental positivity and confidence can be key to the way forward. And in a world where the media tends to report all of the bad news and good news seems to be completely ignored it can be difficult to focus on reasons to move forward.

But lets face it, life goes on and everybody has to live somewhere. So if you’re hoping to move to a new home then there’s no time like the present. And after all, it makes much more sense to purchase property at the bottom of the market than at the top so if you can get the finance you will surely be making a smart move.

Everyone was buying in 2007 and at the time thought that they were being clever. But in years ahead people will look back and realise that the sensible time to buy was between 2010 and 2014 when prices had fallen back and bargains were readily available. So why not be one of the confident, clever buyers and strike while the iron is hot (or stone cold in the case of the housing market!!!)

If you have access to a deposit of 10% and a mortgage then in my humble opinion you would be mad not to buy during the current economic downturn. And at Elizabeth Davenport we price our property to sell and in keeping with market conditions. So you would be a shrewd buyer to look at one of our properties. And if you are a seller then you would be smart to market your home through us. Call me on 02476 010105 and I’ll be happy to offer you advice, whatever your circumstances.

George Hartshorn   21st June 2012