Tips on how to sell your home 11 – 15

It’s a flat market out there so if you are going to sell your home in a reasonable timescale you need to make sure you give yourself the best chance.

Here are the next 5 tips on selling your house

 

11. Access is essential

Homes that don’t get shown don’t get sold. Don’t make it difficult for the agent to make viewings. If you have very restrictive timeframes, or make prospective purchasers book viewings way in advance your property is less likely to sell.

 

12. Showing a Property

You are paying an estate agent to do this, so let them do their job and stay out of the way.

If you are showing the property yourselves.  Don’t unnecessarily point out problems. Do point out positives. Also make sure you allow them time to look around the house on their own.

On a first viewing be friendly but professional and don’t overload viewers with detail.

 

13. Choosing the Best Buyer

The person who offers the most is not always the best choice. Try and find out as much as you can about the buyers financial circumstances.

Cash buyers are best but if they are arranging a mortgage ask to see an “agreement in principle”.

If they have something to sell then their property should be “under offer” before you take your property off the market.

First time buyers with finance arranged can be great news because they have nothing to sell. However, they will be inexperienced so this can delay the process especially if they are trying to go it alone without a broker.

Find out what your buyers agenda is, does this match your own? Do they want to complete as soon as possible or are they fairly relaxed. You may want the latter if you are yet to locate a property.

 

14.  Accepting the offer

Your agent should present every offer to you. Make sure your agent has all the background information about the buyer’s position and their ability to move quickly. Also get all offers in writing.

Usually there is an element of negotiation, so make sure you know the lowest figure that you will accept.

Also know what items you are happy to leave behind. Curtains, furniture and white goods can all be used as bargaining chips.

 

15. Holding it all together

Make sure communication channels are kept open. It is important you speak to your estate agent and solicitor on a weekly basis. If things are dragging on a little, try to find out what is causing the hold up, also ask the estate agent to speak to the buyer to gauge their motivation / level of commitment.

I’m done with House selling tips – I hope they help… next week something different!

 

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Your initial mortgage consultation is obligation free. There may be a fee for our mortgage service of up to £395 though in some circumstances this may be waived. Being independent we also offer a “fee only” option which is typically 1% of the amount borrowed and any commission derived from the lender is returned to you. The precise amount will depend on your circumstances and mortgage loan amount, and will be discussed and agreed on before you make a mortgage application.

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Home Buying Tips – Tip 16 – 20

It is the biggest purchase of your life – let’s make sure that you get it right!

 

16. Credit File

Get a copy of your credit file from Experian or Equifax, to make sure that you know if there are any nasty entries.

In the modern climate even a couple of late payments can mean a decline or that you pay a higher rate or that you will need a higher deposit.

If there is any adverse credit at all, you need to speak to a mortgage broker as he may have specialist mortgage products or help you in repairing your credit file.

 

17. Check out the property

When you look around a property, check it thoroughly. Don’t be shy – you are spending 100’s of thousand’s and are entitled to check everything before parting with your hard earned cash.

You don’t need to be a surveyor to do these checks….

  • Check Windows and doors

Cupboards/ Draws to be opened to make sure they work

Check double glazing for signs of condensation as they may need replacing

  • Check for damp

Wet spots & mouldy peeling wallpaper. Look inside cupboards and does it smell musty?

  • Do touch that dial!

If it’s electric, switch it on – Switch on lights, test sockets, fire up that oven and switch on any  electric fires. Also make sure you have enough sockets (in the right places) for your needs

  • Locks

Ensure locks meet insurance requirements. Usually a 5 lever Mortice deadlock’s are required. Check windows for locks and make sure there are sufficient keys.

  •  Ceilings

Cracks, leaks, stains can all show signs of problems

  • Plumbing

Turn taps & showers on. Flush the toilet. Check that cupboards underneath sinks are dry.

  • Fire up that boiler

              Check the boiler works and isn’t making nasty sounds. Make sure all the radiators are getting hot and do not leak.

  • Lift mats and rugs

Are they being used to cover something nasty? If you look below you will know!

  •  Roof

             Check the roof for missing tiles or dodgy guttering

  • Walls

Cracks or mould could indicate something costly

  • What’s in the loft?

              Pop your head into the unknown and bring a torch. Check to see if any wood work is rotten.

 

18.       Consider resale value

If a property has been on the market quite a while – why hasn’t it shifted? Remember at some point you may wish to sell the property. When your secluded “niche” property, miles away from anything hasn’t sold in 3 years – it may not seem like such a bargain. Parking, garden size, transportation links, local schools and amenities should all be considered.

 

19.          So what ‘s it made of then?

Brick and tile are easy. However what if the property has a thatch roof or has concrete walls. Did you know that a property that looks similar but is made of concrete could be hard to obtain a mortgage on, or may be worth tens of thousands of pounds less than one made of brick?

20. Leasehold properties

Look for at least 80 years lease on properties. If it is less than this it may be harder to sell on in future. Leases can be extended but can cost upwards of £10,000 to do so.

 

5 More Home Buying Tips in the next blog………….

 

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Your initial mortgage consultation is obligation free. There may be a fee for our mortgage service of up to £395 though in some circumstances this may be waived. Being independent we also offer a “fee only” option which is typically 1% of the amount borrowed and any commission derived from the lender is returned to you. The precise amount will depend on your circumstances and mortgage loan amount, and will be discussed and agreed on before you make a mortgage application.

I’m a Control Freak!

I’m going to admit it, I am a bit of a control freak and there are parts of my job that drive me nuts!

Let me just start by saying I love what I do. Chatting to my clients, finding the best deal that’s the fun bit. Even with the masses of paperwork there is a certain satisfaction to knowing its correct.

Things would be fine if that was the whole job but from day one sometimes it seems that everyone else is trying to put a spanner in the works:

Here’s the top 5 things that drive me nuts

1. Solicitors

When I first started as a broker I needed to find a reliable solicitor to work with to cover the legal work for my clients. Over the first 2 years I used multiple firms – most were fairly poor:  Asking for documents at last minute before completion, missing completion dates, losing documents, not returning calls ….I could go on.

If you think that sounds like your average solicitor you would be right….but after searching high and low 7 years ago I found that elusive thing a “proactive” solicitor – yes they do exist! His name is Mark Lloyd and he actually chases me for the mortgage offer, he updates my clients without being asked, always gets back to me, he asks me to get involved if I need to get something outstanding. In short he’s another control freak and my client’s love him for it.

2. Lenders

Now I have to be careful here because if I rant too much they might stop giving me the money I need  for my clients!

Lenders like to withdraw rates with little to no notice. I had a notification from a lender that a rate would be pulled by close of business that day (5pm) Thanks for the heads up at 4.45pm. You can’t even key in an application from a client that quickly!

Lenders that ask for documentation one piece at a time. ” I know we asked you to get this from your client yesterday but can you get this from them now” – GGggggggrrrrrrrrr!!!

Lenders whose own staff don’t know their own criteria. A suggestion – read your own manual!!

Don’t get me wrong some lenders are an absolute joy to work with, I just don’t know how other lenders can make the same process so painful.

 3. Doctors surgery’s

Don’t get me started here!

If you need Life cover to protect your family when getting a mortgage, sometimes an insurer will require a Doctors report. They pay the Doctor up to £90 for what is often a couple of paragraphs. So why can it take up to 4 months (if left to their own devices) to get one back.

Most Surgery’s attach no importance to the task. However if it doesn’t come back in time we have one of 2 things we can do:

1. Delay the date you move into your new house.

2. Proceed without cover.

Option 1 is a real pain but Option 2 is dangerous, because depending on the cover if you suffered an accident or died before the cover is “live” your family could lose everything and be out on the streets.

This is not being dramatic, I have had more than one client calling me within a week of taking the keys to their property needing to claim on their insurance. If it wasn’t  “live” then that family would be homeless as well as dealing with some devastating news.

The point is that it is so un-necessary. Some surgeries are very efficient, proving it can be done.

To those surgeries that have no administrative faculty….”Get your finger out, get organized and get me that report”!!!!!

4. Estate agents

From the offset:

1. Stop trying to force people to use your broker if they don’t want to because you are on a commission. If they decline leave it alone.

2. Don’t lie to them by saying that you have to financially vet them before you can put in an offer.  A purchaser has a legal right to bring their own financial and legal team to the process.

During the process:

Please, for the love of all that’s Holy, return calls when you say you will and communicate information up and down the chain when asked to.

 

5. Clients

Yes you!! – I’m talking to you!!

You see that Mortgage deed that has been sat on the coffee table for a week…. I need that back a.s.a.p if you want to complete by the weekend………

So next time you speak to a Broker find out if all he does is arrange the mortgage and leave you to it or does he like to be a little more controlling………

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Your initial mortgage consultation is obligation free. There may be a fee for our mortgage service of up to £395 though in some circumstances this may be waived. Being independent we also offer a “fee only” option which is typically 1% of the amount borrowed and any commission derived from the lender is returned to you. The precise amount will depend on your circumstances and mortgage loan amount, and will be discussed and agreed on before you make a mortgage application.

Home Buying Tips – Tips 11-15

It is the biggest purchase of your life – Let’s make sure that you get it right!                  

11. Work out what you can afford

What you can borrow and what you can afford are 2 different things.

  • If you are going to stretch yourselves to buy the biggest property you can afford, will you be happy with the compromises to your lifestyle such as socialising less?
  • Would you be more comfortable spending less and having more disposable income?

This is where a Broker can really help. They can provide “real–world” figures and help you define a realistic budget you are comfortable with.

12. Private deal

If you see a road you would really like to live down, why not write a nice letter and post it through the letterbox’s of houses that you like.  Owners may be keen to sell because they won’t have to pay an Estate Agent’s fees. This can really work!!

13.Buying at auction

  • The Golden rule regarding buying anything at auctions is to go a couple of times before you want to buy – just to get a feel for things.
  • Make sure you get a full survey to make sure you know what you are buying.
  • Get a solicitor to check for legal issues
  • Have a maximum “walk away” price for the property and STICK TO IT!
  • This is different to a normal purchase – as soon as the hammer goes down it will cost a fortune to pull out
  • You will have to pay a 10% deposit, YOU WILL LOSE THIS IF YOU DONT COMPLETE WITHIN THE ALLOTED TIME (USUALLY 4-6 WEEKS)
  • Use a broker to arrange the finance first. The lender he selects may not be based solely on the lowest rate but also the ability to complete quickly.
  • If you have a property to sell then make sure you have completed on the sale before going to auction. As a delay could cost you BIG!

14. Ask them to take the property off the market

Make your offer conditional on the basis that they take their property “off the market”. This will help to stop you being gazumped (where a seller accepts a higher offer having accepted a lower offer).

Either part can pull out right up until exchange of contracts.

15. Minimise your financial exposure

Some property chains are simple -if it’s just you and the seller and both you of you want to complete as quickly as possible then you can pull out all the stops.

However most property chains are more complex and may take longer to form. As soon as you put in an application with a lender they will carry out the valuation/ Survey. This could be up to £1000 (depending on type), the way I work with my clients is to hold off on this until the chain forms. If the chain collapses then you haven’t lost the survey fee.

The same goes with search fee’s (£200 – £250). Get the mortgage offer in place and make sure the chain is fully formed before you fork out!

 

5 More Home Buying Tips in the next blog………….

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Your initial mortgage consultation is obligation free. There may be a fee for our mortgage service of up to £395 though in some circumstances this may be waived. Being independent we also offer a “fee only” option which is typically 1% of the amount borrowed and any commission derived from the lender is returned to you. The precise amount will depend on your circumstances and mortgage loan amount, and will be discussed and agreed on before you make a mortgage application.

Why use a Broker?…. Why shouldn’t I just go directly to a Lender?

Reason 1 – Choice

Okay! Okay! – I know what you’re thinking! Of course I’m going to recommend using a Broker because I’m biased. But that’s the whole point – a Whole of Market Broker isn’t biased towards one Lender – he can find the best Mortgage to suit your circumstances.

In simple terms a Lender is a shop that sells money, a Broker helps you pick the BEST shop!

Reason 2 – Advice

Many people are not aware that many Lender’s do not offer advice, they simply show you the range of available products and let you pick. They are not accountable for advice because they give none.

A Broker is fully accountable and works under full advice and recommendation. Unlike a Lender who may have 4 or 5 mortgages – a Broker may have to select from 1000’s and therefore the questions asked are much more thorough to ensure the mortgage is the best one available for you.

There are also many things so consider other than the headline rate including: Lender criteria, loan to value, portability, fees, incentives, term, overpayment, tie-in, rate type, service levels – a good broker should be able to advise on these based on what is most important to you.

Reason 3 – Time

Ask yourself these questions:

1.Do you want to spend the time to trawl through the offerings of dozens of Lenders?

2.Do you want to take the risk of losing a lot of time (and potentially your dream home) when you’re application is rejected because of something in the small print?

3.Do you have the time to fill out the forms, ensuring they are filled out right first time and the time for the usual back and forth with the lender?

4.Do you want the headache of chasing up solicitors, chasing Estate Agents, Lenders and Surveyors?

If you answered NO to any of the above questions then you need a Broker, if you answered YES to wanting to fill out paperwork then you need to get out more!

 

Reason 4 – Broker only deals and Lenders

Some Lenders only deal with Brokers and not the general public

Some high street Lenders give exclusive rates to Brokers

A Broker will give you availability to these products.

Reason 5 -Technology

Many people research mortgage or insurance products on-line using a comparison website. However the information required is basic and does not take in to account more detailed criteria – therefore the recommended product may not be best or even available based on your circumstances. A Broker will use a professional sourcing system which is much more accurate helping to ensure you get accepted for the right mortgage first time.

Reason 6 -Experience

Technology can only take you so far – an experienced Broker is familiar with the rapidly changing criteria in the small print. One example is the type of income that a Lender will take into account. Some Lenders will take 100% benefits, overtime, bonuses etc. Some won’t take any.

No system is sophisticated enough to reference all of this criteria, but a good Broker dealing on a daily basis with his Lenders contacts can.

Reason 7 – Getting Accepted

Did you know if you go to a variety of Lenders and aim to get accepted they may all run credit searches against your name? This could actually stop you getting an acceptance from any of them.

Did you know that many Lenders will not accept someone who has used a pay day Lender in the last 12 months?

A good Broker can help advise on the do’s and don’ts to ensure you get accepted in these days of tougher lending criteria.  Sometimes it may mean that I work with a client for months prior to purchasing to get them into a position where they would be accepted.

Reason 8 – Protecting your Family

Lenders don’t really understand insurance – would anyone want to get insurance from them after the payment protection miss-selling scandal??

They also only have one, usually expensive, Provider. When it comes to insurance one size does not fit all!  You can also spend a lot of money on cover that doesn’t do what it’s meant to do. One slip on the paperwork can mean your insurance won’t payout when you need it to and your family could be homeless.

A decent Broker will advise from a variety of Providers to find you the best product with the best premium that fits your criteria and your budget. He will also make sure the paperwork is filled out correctly.

If you don’t know whether you need waiver of premium, DTA, LTA, Critical Illness, Income Protection, Own Occupation, Suited Occupation, TPD….I could go on…then you need a Broker.

Reason 9 – Ongoing Advice & Other services

A good Broker should keep in contact and also be available should you need to “sound things out.”

Often a client will call me months before a new move so I can supply options before we finalise things.

A good Broker may also be a portal to Commercial Lending, Secured Loans, Debt Advice, Wills and IHT Planning and Pension advice. In essence he is a “go – to” guy for your financial requirements.

Reason 10. Relationships

The average mortgage is 25 years to 35 years in duration – Murder carries a shorter sentence!

If you find a good broker you will be doing business for a very long time. He will get to know how you like to work, he will have a good understanding of your finances and will provide differing financial advice based on your requirements at the time.

A good Broker will proactively give you advice and options throughout your relationship that can save you thousands of pounds and save you from costly mistakes.

In the long run he benefits by your repeated loyalty and you may even refer him to friends and family.  Find a broker who values your business and everyone wins.

Now try getting all of that from a bank….

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Your initial mortgage consultation is obligation free. There may be a fee for our mortgage service of up to £395 though in some circumstances this may be waived. Being independent we also offer a “fee only” option which is typically 1% of the amount borrowed and any commission derived from the lender is returned to you. The precise amount will depend on your circumstances and mortgage loan amount, and will be discussed and agreed on before you make a mortgage application.