Summer Round Up – September 2022
September 4th, 2022
The last few weeks have been as busy as ever despite my promising to take a step back for the month of August!
Personally, I managed to enjoy some downtime including a wonderful day spent at the Rewind North festival held at Capesthorne Hall near Macclesfield. The highlight for me was seeing Jason Donovan (my childhood crush) plus amazing sets from Belinda Carlisle, Midge Ure, The Human League, Chesney Hawkes and Soul II Soul. The family then spent a week ‘house sitting’ on a farm for a relative and then we flew out to Malta for a sunshine filled 11 night break – pure bliss!
This was the first time I had been away for such an extended period as a small business owner and I learned there is no such thing as ‘getting away from it all’.
Whilst I managed to speak to every buyer, seller and prospective client prior to departing, I remained available throughout and even launched two properties to the market from over 2,000 km away (the joys of tech!). With 15 sales going through and issues arising daily, there really is no rest for the wicked!
Two issues I am seeing constantly at the moment are in relation to the expiry of mortgage offers and the speed at which conveyancing solicitors are dealing with matters.
If we look back six months, interest rates were stable and it was fairly easy to get a mortgage. If you were waiting for a specific property, you could quite easily renew the mortgage and you would pretty much be guaranteed the same rate. Fast forward to today and the mortgage offer you had a few months ago based off a much lower Bank of England rate is no longer available and at 1.75% today, your monthly payments could be hundreds of pounds more than before; and this could mean that the property you had originally thought you could afford, is now out of reach.
This means that anyone with a mortgage offer due to expire in the next couple of months is now in a position where they may lose their property and so they are piling on the pressure with the other people in the chain and conveyancers.
Conveyancers were already working at maximum capacity and with clients needing them to work faster, this is compounding the issue.
Despite the difficulties, we have completed on three properties in the last four weeks and it has been an absolute joy to see some truly lovely people moving on to the next chapter in their lives. Congratulations guys!
This month we have launched two properties to the market and here’s a bit more about them.
Manor Road, MARPLE
As soon as I set foot in to this property I fell in love. The house itself is so attractive and the rooms are such a great size but my favourite part is the garden. Southwest facing and private with a vast expanse of lawn (and a gorgeous plum tree). What also struck me is the share potential of the property with plenty of room at the back for a rear extension and the potential to build up into the roof; I could just imagine building a master suite with a super luxurious ensuite and a walk-in wardrobe to die for. There are some amazing views to the front and the location is just perfect.
Carlton Avenue, MARPLE
This is the third property I have been asked to sell on this wonderful road in the centre of Romiley. These Edwardian semis are just so gorgeous and each one is quite unique with changes made over the years. Number 5 Carlton has been extended to the rear and bedroom two has A balcony with views over Romiley Park.
Unusually we launched with just one photograph as my seller client is still making some home improvements prior to viewings starting.
I can’t wait to get in to see what they have done.
Just one more thing, if you are hoping to move by Christmas (eek, I said it!) you really need to get on the market NOW! If you or anyone you know is thinking of moving or struggling to sell, get in touch today and let’s chat about getting you to where you want to be.
How long does it take to move in 2022?
July 20th, 2022
Believe it or not, if you’re thinking of moving, based on the average time it takes to buy a home, you will need to start your search and get your property on the market right about now!
Check out this blog on Rightmove…
How to keep your property sale on track
July 5th, 2022
5 reasons a property transaction falls through (and how to navigate it)
May 27th, 2022
There are plenty of reasons why a house sale or purchase can fall through. Generally those reasons fall into five categories.
A chain that breaks
If you’re buying a home which isn’t your first, there’s a chance you’re in a chain. This means several purchases and sales rely on each other to complete. Of course, these transactions are out of your control.
They can be unpredictable, difficult and complicated, and you need to have a good agent and a good solicitor acting for you to help guide you through.
To understand the impact this can have on you, take a look at this very helpful video from the incredibly helpful Phil Spencer (he of Location Location Location fame).
In most cases, buyers will opt to have a survey on the property to ensure they don’t come across any surprises when they move in.
A poor survey report doesn’t mean the end of the transaction! In many cases, renegotiation can be the answer, and a bit of give and take on both sides will do the trick.
Where a property is found to be structurally questionable, it is highly likely that the buyer will pull out – the deal then collapses and the seller is left to address the issues raised.
Bear in mind that agents cannot then remarket the property without informing new buyers of the issues raised. In the event the issues are addressed, the agent is obliged to disclose those issues and state that they were subsequently addressed.
Contrary to popular belief, an agreement in principle doesn’t guarantee that you will be able to obtain finance for a property. It is ‘in principle’ and doesn’t take into account the details relating to that specific property.
There are many reasons why a lender may refuse a buyer a mortgage. These include factors such as a change in their circumstances (job loss, risk of redundancy) or an incorrectly completed application form.
The biggest issue facing buyers and sellers nowadays is ‘downvaluations’ (which many valuers would argue is not an acceptable term)!
With so many properties going to ‘best and final’ offers, buyers are resorting to overbidding. When a valuer then comes to check that the property stacks up for loan security purposes, they can find no evidence to support the price offered.
This results in a ‘downvaluing’ of the property – leaving the buyer short on finance and having no choice but to either find the money from another source or renegotiate.
Alternatively, they will withdraw from the purchase. I advise all my sellers that they must carefully consider gargantuan offers from those requiring a mortgage as this is a very real risk.
Gazumping and gazundering
Gazumping is where a seller initially accepts an offer from a buyer, and then subsequently finds another buyer willing to pay a greater sum.
A buyer can also lower their offer at any stage, usually at the last minute. Both practices are frowned upon (totally immoral), but unbelievably, they are legal up until the exchange of contracts.
Change of heart (or circumstance)
Sometimes it’s simply a case that we humans change our minds. This is one of the most frustrating reasons, especially when you have committed time, energy and money, but there is little you can do about this. Again, all perfectly legal up until exchange of contracts.
Ultimately so much of the process is out of your control and in almost every instance, you are putting your trust and faith into complete strangers to do what they say they are going to do. My advice to you would be to work closely with both the agent selling your property and the agent of the property you are buying and, probably most important of all, use a solicitor who has been recommended by a friend, family or trusted advisor. Look for evidence of their responsiveness and willingness to speak to you the client on the telephone or by email. And pay attention to the adage, “buy cheap, pay twice”.
If you would like any advice on the house buying and selling process, I’m happy to help.
Is now a good time to buy or sell your home?
April 14th, 2022
There’s a lot going on in the world right now and you may be wondering whether now is a good time to buy or sell your home.Spring is without question the most popular season in the agency calendar and you cannot fail to have seen more and more properties hitting the market as the days go by. So, is it the right time for you?
Making the decision to move home is without doubt one of the biggest you’ll make in your lifetime and it’s important to be sure of your motivation to move before you take the plunge. The right time to buy or sell is of course impacted by the market but ultimately, it is down to you and your needs. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Why do you want to move house?
Be very clear on this one. Really explore your motivation and once you have made the decision, you then need to detach yourself from your current home and focus on what you are looking for in your next one.
What is your budget?
Have you fully explored this aspect? Do you know what your current property is worth? Be aware that whilst we are in a ‘seller’s market’, pricing still needs to be realistic and not based on a figure you pluck from the sky. Take a look at what other properties have sold for and compare them to your own. Obtain valuations from local agents who provide evidence for their valuation and don’t just tell you what you want to hear.
And how much can you borrow? Yes, ask your bank or existing provider but the best way to secure the best deal is to seek financial advice from an independent advisor ie one who can search the whole of the market and is not tied to a particular group of lenders. This initial advice should always be FREE and even if there is a broker fee to pay upon completion, you will more often than not find that this works out less to pay over the term of the mortgage. You may be surprised how much you can borrow and an advisor will help you figure out what is best in your situation.
Do you have the money to cover the costs of moving home – estate agent and conveyancing fees, surveyors, stamp duty costs and removal fees?
These fees can add a not insignificant amount to a home move especially stamp duty which can add thousands to your costs.
Can you afford to decorate or repair a new house?
Another cost to factor in. Redecoration and unforeseen repairs. It’s a good idea to have a budget in mind for this. Think £5k for a bathroom; upwards of £10k for a kitchen; carpets/flooring; painting and decorating.
Where do you want to live?
Do you want to stay in your current locality or is a complete change on the cards? Make sure you thoroughly research the area you are interested in moving to. Does the neighbourhood have good schools and local amenities? How good are the transport links? Where do you need to commute to and where do you spend your leisure time?
Will moving house make your life any better?
Seems like a ridiculously obvious question but REALLY think about it. Talk it through with your family and friends and make sure you are making the right decision for the right reasons.
I’ve worked in property for many years and, having moved several times myself, can view the process from both a professional and personal stance. If you are thinking about moving and want to explore any of these questions with me, I’d be very happy to help.
Five ways to house hunt in a hurry
February 1st, 2022
House hunting in a hurry can be incredibly overwhelming but there are certain steps you can take that will help to take some of the stress out of the process.
In an ideal world you would want all the time in the world to land your dream home. However, it doesn’t always work out like that; maybe you have to relocate for work or there is a change to your personal or financial circumstances. Or it could just be that demand outweighs the supply of quality homes in the areas where you want to move to and you have to be quick on your feet before your dream house gets snapped up.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to take months to find an awesome house. Here are five things you can do to speed up the whole process for yourself and all parties involved in a house sale:
1. Contact all local Estate Agents
Any good, trusted and professional Estate Agent will always be the first in-the-know when it comes to properties that are getting ready to hit the market in their local area before anyone else does. Build a good relationship with them, get added to their mailing list, watch their Social Media channels and call them regularly to make sure you don’t miss out.
It’s really important to be clear about what you want and what your budget is, so be sure to let the agent know all of these essential details when you get in touch.
2. Get your finances in order and get pre-apporved
First thing’s first: get your deposit finalised and get your mortgage-in-principle in place. The best way to do this is by contacting a mortgage advisor who will take the stress out of the process for you. You can’t go house hunting if you don’t know what you can afford, plus, many Estate Agents won’t even let you through the door of a house if you haven’t been pre-approved.
3. Make a list of things you need to have
If you’re in a rush to buy, never waste time looking at houses you know will not suit your needs. Therefore, you should draft up a list of things you really want to have in your new house as well as all of the amenities you want to have. Do you want an office at home? Do you want a private garden? Are you after a house or an apartment? Know what you’re after and cut out any uncertainty.
4. Search areas with a lot of stock
Don’t waste time looking at areas that don’t have that many homes available as competition will be high. Instead, choose neighbourhoods that have plenty of houses on offer that meet your needs.
5. Make informed decisions
If you need to purchase a new home quickly you have to be careful that you aren’t jumping in with both feet and getting in over your head. Speed may be of the essence but it’s still important to make informed decisions before you put in that offer. Remember to ask questions and to do your research. Just take a moment to understand all the consequences before moving forward with your purchase.
There is not any guarantee that buying your dream home will be plain-sailing, but as long as you have things sorted on your end with all of these handy tips, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be getting ready to pack up and move in no time!
Thinking of selling your home in Marple or the surrounding areas? Get in touch today for a free home valuation.
Staging secrets to getting your home SOLD
February 1st, 2022
9 Staging Secrets to Get Your Home Sold
Staging your house for sale can make a huge difference to the offer you receive and the length of time it sits on the market. In fact the latest statistics suggest a staged home will sell on average 25% quicker than one that hasn’t been.
So, here are 9 staging secrets to get your home sold:
When you say declutter to someone the first thing that springs to mind is clearing out wardrobes or kitchen cupboards. But have you ever thought of decluttering your furniture? A professional stager actually removes half a homeowner’s furniture to make a house look bigger. So have a look around and see what you can throw out, pack away or pop into storage for a few months.
GROUP YOUR FURNITURE
A common staging misconception is that pushing your furniture up against a wall instantly makes the room look bigger. However, the truth is, to make your room look bigger and more inviting then it’s best to float your furniture in each room away from the walls. Just remember to make sure that your furnishings are placed where traffic can still flow through the room.
TRANSFORM SPARE ROOMS
Get rid of that spare room that has only ever collected boxes or other junk and turn it into something functional. Make it into an extra bedroom, a home office or reading room. Buyers want to see themselves living in the property and this helps them to do that.
Great lighting is a must when you’re staging your home for sale. You can flood a room with natural light if you put mirrors on the walls opposite light sources. Also, make sure you include table lamps and floor lights in your rooms as that creates ambient lighting. Never use the light in the middle of your room as your main source of light as it won’t show your room off to its best.
If you’ve a bright pink room or have invested in wallpaper that has a unique pattern then a fresh lick of paint can go a long way. Off-white, creams and neutral soft greys can transform your home into a modern fresh canvas for a potential buyer. If you do want to be a bit bold then please make sure it’s only on a feature wall.
USE YOUR GARDEN
Fancy flowers and floral arrangements can be pricey but you can get the same effect with a simple bunch of flowers from the supermarket or by picking some flowers from your garden. Just keep the arrangement simple and throw in a little bit of colour. Flowers can instantly bright up a room.
GET A QUICK FACELIFT
Give your kitchen an instant facelift by painting cabinet doors or drawers or by vinyl wrapping them. It’s a cost effective solution and the results can be incredible. Also, tackle your bathroom by freshening up the grouting or sealant for quick results.
FINISH THOSE REPAIRS
Unfinished home repairs can really put off potential home buyers. If you need to touch up the paintwork on a chipped banister or replace a wonky door handle then please do it. Don’t give a buyer ammunition to negotiate a lower price for your home. So finish those repairs you’ve been meaning to do for years and you’ll reap the rewards.
CLEAN YOUR HOME
We’ve saved the best for last because this is the most important tip- clean your house from top to bottom. A dirty house is a massive turn off for potential buyers. Make sure your home is spotless, scrub the kitchen and bathrooms and eliminate any odours- especially if you’ve pets or smoke. If you can afford it then get professional cleaners to come in and blitz the place, as buyers want a nice, fresh welcoming home they can see themselves building a life in.
So, there we have it, just a few simple, affordable tips that can make a huge difference to the sale of your house.
Thinking of selling? Get in touch with me today for a FREE home valuation.
The Conveyancing Process Explained – A Step by Step Guide for Home Sellers in Stockport
January 30th, 2022
Selling a property can be a very confusing and lengthy process but having a good solicitor or conveyancer will help it to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Here is an easy step by step guide to the whole conveyancing process.
Find a Conveyancer
The conveyancing process formally starts when you’ve accepted an offer on the property.
However, it’s recommended that you have a conveyancer in place before accepting an offer so that they can get the process started immediately and avoid delays.
When it comes to choosing a conveyancer, speak to two or three and get some quotes before deciding who to go with. I can help with recommendations for tried and tested firms. Alternatively, if you have friends or family who have recently moved, find out who they used and if they were happy with them.
Don’t just go for the cheapest option, it could cause major issues further down the line if they cut corners!
Sign the Conveyancer’s Letter of Engagement and Verify Your Identity
Once you’ve chosen a conveyancer and discussed the fees involved, you’ll need to sign their letter of engagement. It’s only at this point that you commit to using their services. You will also need to verify your identity and address in the form of a passport or driving licence and supply a mortgage statement or utility bill for example.
Your conveyancer will send you some forms to complete, including a Property Information form and a Fittings & Contents form.
It’s vital that you complete these honestly, as failure to do so could lead to delays later in the process.
The Property Information form is where you tell the buyer about any changes that have been made to the property, such as extensions, solar panels or a loft conversion. You’ll also need to provide any supporting documents you have, so if your double glazing is still under warranty or you have paperwork to show that your boiler has been serviced in the last 12 months, you will need to provide copies.
When it comes to fittings and contents, you don’t need to decide what you’re leaving behind at this point, you can confirm later or leave it open to negotiation. Your conveyancer will be able to advise how to complete the form if you get stuck.
Speak to Your Mortgage Provider
Assuming that you have an outstanding mortgage on your property, you will need to contact your mortgage lender and inform them that you’re in the process of selling. They’ll be able to advise you about paying off your outstanding balance when the sale goes through, or porting your mortgage, which essentially means transferring it to your new property.
When your conveyancer has received your completed forms, they’ll draw up a draft contract to send to the buyer’s conveyancer.
The contract will outline which fixtures and fittings are to be included, along with copies of all the supporting documents you’ve provided.
It will also give a date for completion, which is typically around two to four weeks after the exchange of contracts.
The draft contract stage is usually the point where most of the negotiations take place, including the final price of the property.
It’s also at this stage where you’ll need to allow for the buyers to have a surveyor come in and inspect the property. Depending on the answers you’ve given in the questionnaire the buyer may also want other professionals to come in and carry out inspections, such as a plumber or electrician.
They may also request that you pay for the costs of any further inspections or repairs, but you will be under no obligation to agree to this. However, it’s at this point that a buyer may try to renegotiate on the final price of the property to take the extra costs into account.
Exchange of Contracts
Once the buyer is satisfied with the condition of your property and a final agreement has been reached on the price, including all fixtures and fittings, your conveyancer will exchange contracts with the buyer’s conveyancer.
Between Exchange and Completion
At this point both you and the buyer are fully committed to the sale of the property. You’ll receive the buyer’s deposit and if either party pulls out, they’ll open themselves up to legal action.
This is the day on which you hand over the keys to your property. The completion date is usually around two to four weeks after the date of exchange, but you can ask for this to be extended, or in some cases, shortened.
The date of completion is also the date on which you’ll receive the outstanding balance for the property from the buyer.
If you are planning on selling in the Stockport area soon, why not get in touch with me on 07770 976137. I’ll be happy to advise you and help with your conveyancing needs.
Happy Anniversary – One Year In!
December 16th, 2021
Today. 17th December 2022, marks a year since I became my own boss and I’m so happy to still be here!
There’s been highs and lows. I’ve laughed and I’ve cried. I’ve panicked and I’ve triumphed. I’ve asked for help and it’s come from not only friends and family, but colleagues who until recently I hadn’t met and even strangers who’ve offered their time and help to keep me on track.
From a standing start, I’ve built a cracking little enterprise I’m so very proud of. Although I live on the edge of insanity a lot of the time, I love what I do and who I do it with.
I have sold 14 properties, 10 of which have safely completed, 4 are still going through not to mention another 5 that for one reason or another didn’t make it over the line.
I’ve met some wonderful people along the way and have ultimately done what I set out to do; to help people move on to their next chapter by giving them the very best advice and the attention they deserve.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me in any way and to those who continue to have my back. I salute you.
Here’s to 2022.
Gifts that keep on giving…
December 6th, 2021
I read an article about giving gifts recently – five ways you can give gifts better than Santa – and it made me think about how I work with people.
🎁 Give solutions, not more problems
The road to a house move is seldom plain sailing so ride the storm, don’t shy away from problems, find the solution and get it DONE!
🎁 Be practical, not flashy
Give realistic advice – don’t get carried away
🎁 Give gifts that keep on giving
Good advice and regular communication
🎁 Put the ‘present’ in presentation
Put love into marketing the property and the buyers will come
🎁 Create an experience
Want to be just another number? Get a big firm out.
Want to feel valued and important? Work with a bespoke agent.
If you are thinking of moving or struggling to sell, contact me today to discuss how working me can help you get to where you want to be.