Paul Hemmings, Check 4 Houses

What’s it like to run a business in Hampshire?

This week sees the Virgin Media Business Voom Tour take place in Winchester on Thursday 19th October. Ahead of the event, Virgin spoke to three local Hampshire businesses including our very own Paul Hemmings. They discussed their views on running a business in Hampshire.

Paul says: “Hampshire is a great place to live and work in. Our landscape offers a real mix of major cities and towns as well as rolling English countryside. We also have many excellent schools in the area and top quality sporting opportunities.”

A supportive local community

Paul says he has found the Hampshire business community very supportive since starting Check 4 Houses seven years ago.  “I started Check 4 Houses in 2010 after becoming increasingly frustrated by the behaviour of other estate agents. I wanted to create a flexible and reliable service for customers that was as stress-free as possible. Since starting the business I have found the local community very positive. They value honesty, transparency and are open to change. There are more and more people running their own businesses and keen to support each other.”

Modern day innovation with traditional values

In terms of culture, Paul says that Hampshire embraces innovation, but still retains traditional values. “Particularly in an industry such as estate agency, word of mouth recommendations are still our most effective marketing tool. People still value personal relationships with real people, despite the rise of social media.”

You can read the full article, along with what the other business owners said about running a business in Hampshire here: https://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/whats-it-run-business-hampshire

At Check 4 Houses we deliver a genuine, reliable and professional house selling service for up to half the cost of a traditional high street agent.  From our head office in Fleet we sell properties in Fleet, Farnborough, AldershotBasingstokeCamberleyYateleyFarnham and beyond. We can sell your home from just £599 or 0.5% +VAT – saving you thousands in agency fees. Please give us a call on 01252 819725 or contact us and we would be delighted to give you a free, no obligation valuation of your home.

Results from estateagent4me survey showing Check 4 Houses as best estate agent in Fleet

Independent survey names Check 4 Houses as the best estate agent in Fleet

October’s independent survey results are in and we are delighted to see that Check 4 Houses has again been rated as the top performing  estate agent in Fleet.

The best performing estate agents in your local area

Independent comparison website estateagent4me helps you find the best estate agent in your local area.  It compares estate agents against 4 key indicators:

  • Fees they charge
  • Average days they take to sell a property like yours
  • How close they might get to achieving an asking price
  • How successful they are at selling similar homes

The tool was set up in partnership with the HomeOwners Alliance.  The complex statistical engine is fed on a daily basis with property data from over 18,000 estate agents across thousands of different websites.  It provides accurate comparison data which is free and impartial.  It currently covers over 95% of all property advertised for sale in England & Wales.

Check 4 Houses best estate agent in Fleet

We are delighted that Check 4 Houses has been ranked again as the best performing estate agent in Fleet.  The statistics show we are delivering a 71% success rate of selling homes.  We take an average of 33 days to sell properties.  We have a track record of achieving 96% of asking prices.

Personal service from start to finish

Paul Hemmings, founder and director at Check 4 Houses said: “I am pleased that we continue to be ranked highly as one of the best performing estate agents in Fleet.  As an online estate agent we can sell property anywhere in England.  But as local experts in the towns of Fleet, Farnborough, Camberley and beyond, local reputation matters.  Our commitment to the whole process of selling houses – from realistic valuations through to personal service, right through to completion is clearly paying off.  These results prove that our approach not only saves our customers thousands of pounds.  It also delivers real results.”

At Check 4 Houses we deliver a genuine, reliable and professional house selling service for up to half the cost of a traditional high street agent.  From our head office in Fleet sell properties in Fleet, Farnborough, AldershotBasingstokeCamberleyYateleyFarnham and beyond. We can sell your home from just £599 or 0.5% +VAT – saving you thousands in agency fees. Please give us a call on 01252 819725 or contact us and we would be delighted to give you a free, no obligation valuation of your home.

hand signing a sales contract

Conveyancing: A simple guide

When you come to buy or sell a property, you will need a solicitor or conveyancer.  They will complete the conveyancing process on your behalf.  But what do they actually do?  What does conveyancing actually mean?

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring home ownership from one person or company to another.

In conveyancing, the property is legally transferred from the buyer to the seller, or vice versa.  In this guide we will look at the key steps involved. The process is similar if you are buying or selling, but we will focus on buying a property in this article.

  1. Once you have had an offer accepted on a property you will need to find a solicitor or conveyancer to complete the legal process on your behalf.  It helps speed up the process if you have already decided which one you will use.  You can do this as soon as you start house hunting, then formally instruct them to start work once you have had an offer agreed.
  2. Your conveyancer will request draft contracts and other documents from your sellers.  You will need to go through these forms which provide further detail on the property you are buying, as well as what the buyers are planning to leave behind etc.
  3. Searches will be carried out to give you a full picture of external factors that might affect the property you want to buy.  For example, are there plans to build a new motorway just across the road?  Searches cover this kind of information as well as flooding and subsidence risks.  Data on water and drainage which may be important if you are planning any building works.
  4. Your solicitor will write to you with details of all the search results and highlight any areas of concern.  You can then address any of these issues with the sellers as appropriate.  Once you are ready to proceed, you will confirm a completion date and sign the draft contract.  You must also pay the deposit into your solicitors account.

From exchange through to completion

  1. Once you and the seller have agreed, your solicitors or conveyancers will exchange contracts on your behalf.  This is usually done by both solicitors/conveyancers making sure the contracts are identical.  They then immediately send them to one another in the post.  Remember, once you have exchanged contracts you are now in a legally binding contract to buy the property.  You can no longer change your mind or renegotiate, without risk of being sued.
  2. Completion day arrives!  The day you have been waiting for is here.  Usually you collect a set of keys from the estate agent, once they have confirmed that the purchase has been completed and the sellers have vacated.  Your solicitor or conveyancer pays the outstanding balance to the sellers’ solicitor, along with any mortgage funds.  Your solicitor hands over the legal documents that prove that ownership has now been transferred and the process is complete.

You can find out more about what to expect from the conveyancing process and how to find a solicitor or conveyancer from websites such as The Money Advice Service or The Home Owners Alliance.

At Check 4 Houses we are passionate about supporting people through the sometimes stressful challenge of purchasing a property.  We offer personal contact from start to finish, from local property experts.  We know the towns and cities of FleetFarnboroughAldershotBasingstokeCamberleyYateley and Farnham inside out.  Our internet based approach means we can sell your home from just £599 or 0.5% +VAT.  This could save you thousands in agency fees.  Please give us a call for a no obligation valuation of your home on 01252 819725 or email info@check4houses.co.uk.

Table of best performing estate agents in Fleet with Check 4 Houses at the top

Check 4 Houses rated as no.1 estate agent in Fleet

We are delighted to see that Check 4 Houses has again been rated as the top performing  estate agent in Fleet by independent comparison website estateagent4me.

The best performing estate agents in your local area

Estate agent 4 me helps you find the best estate agent in your local area.  It compares estate agents against 4 key indicators:

  • Fees they charge
  • Average days they take to sell a property like yours
  • How close they might get to achieving an asking price
  • How successful they are at selling similar homes

The tool was set up in partnership with the HomeOwners Alliance.  The complex statistical engine is fed on a daily basis with property data from over 18,000 estate agents across thousands of different websites.  It provides accurate comparison data which is free and impartial.  It currently covers over 95% of all property advertised for sale in England & Wales.

We are delighted that Check 4 Houses has been ranked again as the best performing estate agent in Fleet.  The statistics show we are delivering a 69% success rate of selling homes.  We take an average of 33 days to sell properties.  We have a track record of achieving 98% of asking prices.

Personal service from start to finish

Paul Hemmings, founder and director at Check 4 Houses said: “I am pleased that we continue to be ranked highly as one of the best performing estate agents in Fleet.  As an online estate agent we can sell property anywhere in England.  But as local experts in the towns of Fleet, Farnborough, Camberley and beyond, local reputation matters.  Our commitment to the whole process of selling houses – from realistic valuations through to personal service, right through to completion is clearly paying off.  These results prove that our approach not only saves our customers thousands of pounds.  It also delivers real results.”

At Check 4 Houses we deliver a genuine, reliable and professional house selling service for up to half the cost of a traditional high street agent.  From our head office in Fleet sell properties in Fleet, Farnborough, AldershotBasingstokeCamberleyYateleyFarnham and beyond. We can sell your home from just £599 or 0.5% +VAT – saving you thousands in agency fees. Please give us a call on 01252 819725 or contact us and we would be delighted to give you a free, no obligation valuation of your home.

Rushmoor Food Festival logo

Mouthwatering delights and family fun at the first ever Rushmoor Community Food Festival

On Saturday 16 September the Rushmoor Food Festival will make its debut in Aldershot.  The event aims to bring local people together and celebrate the best in food, music and entertainment.

The festival takes place between 11am and 4pm at the Municipal Gardens and the West End Centre.  The event has been organised by local community groups and offers a packed programme for all the family.

Fantastic food from around the world

Some of the Army’s top chefs will be working with members of the community to cook food representing their communities.  Expect to see plenty of new dishes to try as well as some old favourites.

‘One of the best live bands we have in this country’ BBC Radio 2

Live music will form a key part of the day, with different styles of music from around the world.  The headline set will be from the Hackney Colliery Band.  This Times described this revolutionary band as ‘reinventing the brass band format for the 21st century’.  They played the 45 minute closing set at the 2012 London Olympics. They have also been featured on BBC Two, BBC Radio 2 and Jazz FM (UK).

Family fun activities

A wide variety of events will be available to keep the little ones entertained.  These include face painting and crafts as well as Bollywood dance workshops, henna art and storytelling.  Visitors will also be able to have a go at sports like touch rugby, football and cricket.  These sports and their clubs play an active role in our local community.

Among the diverse groups involved will be the Greater Rushmoor Nepali Community, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, Aldershot Baptist Church, the Buddhist Community Centre, the Shiva Cultural Centre, Holy Trinity Church and members of the West Indian, Romanian and Fijian communities.

You do have to buy a ticket to attend the Rushmoor Food Festival BUT that ticket is just £5.  Children under 14 go free with a paying adult.  The ticket price does include everything once you are inside – from the food to the face painting and more. Tickets can be bought from the West End Centre box office on 01252 330040 or online from the West End Centre website.  Tickets are selling fast with just 800 available.

At Check 4 Houses as local property experts that know the towns and cities of AldershotFarnborough, FleetBasingstokeCamberleyYateley and Farnham inside out.  Independent reviews rate us as one of the top estate agents in our area.  If you are thinking about moving, our internet based approach means we can sell your home from just £599 or 0.5% +VAT – saving you thousands in agency fees.  Please give us a call for a no obligation valuation of your home on 01252 819725 or email info@check4houses.co.uk.

hand signing a sales contract

Conveyancing: A simple guide to what happens when you sell your property

When you come to buy or sell a property, you will need a solicitor or conveyancer.  They will complete the conveyancing process on your behalf.  But what do they actually do?  What does conveyancing actually mean?

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring home ownership from one person or company to another.

In conveyancing, the property is legally transferred from the buyer to the seller, or vice versa.  In this guide we will look at the key steps involved. The process is similar if you are buying or selling.  In this article we we will focus on the process of selling your property.

  1. Once you have accepted an offer on your property you will need to find a solicitor or conveyancer to complete the legal process on your behalf.  It helps speed up the process if you have already decided which one you will use.  You can do this as soon as you put your house on the market, then formally instruct them to start work once you have accepted an offer.
  2. You must complete a number of detailed questionnaires about your property.  They are standard forms which will be provided to you by your solicitor/conveyancer.  The forms include information on boundaries, utility providers, fixtures and fittings to be included etc.  It is really important you complete them as truthfully as possible and take the time to do so.
  3. Your solicitor or conveyancer then writes up a draft contract and sends this to the buyers for approval.  At this point there may be some further negotiation between you and your buyers about date of exchange and completion.  You may also need to negotiate any payments for fixtures included, and any issues arising from their survey or home buyers report.
  4. Once you and your buyer have agreed on all the details and a date and time to exchange contracts, your solicitor or conveyancer will exchange contracts on your behalf.  This is usually done by both solicitors/conveyancers making sure the contracts are identical.  They then immediately send them to one another in the post.  Remember, once you have exchanged contracts you are now in a legally binding contract to sell the property.  You can no longer change your mind or renegotiate, without risk of being sued.
  5. After exchange of contracts you should receive the buyer’s deposit – usually 10% of the property price.  However if you are purchasing another property at the same time, your solicitor may hold this on account for you. They will use it to pay the deposit on the property you are purchasing.
  6. Completion day arrives!  Once you have packed up and done a final clean it is time to hand over the keys.  Usually your buyer collects a set of keys from the estate agent.  You leave any spare sets and other keys in the property.  Your solicitor or conveyancer will receive the outstanding balance of sale price.  Any outstanding mortgage on the property can then be paid off from the proceeds of the sale.  Your solicitor hands over the legal documents that prove that ownership has now been transferred and the process is complete.

You can find out more about what to expect from the conveyancing process  from websites such as The Money Advice Service or The Home Owners Alliance.  They also have tools to help you find a solicitor or conveyancer.  Your estate agent may also recommend people they work with regularly.

At Check 4 Houses we are passionate about supporting people through the sometimes stressful and emotional challenge of selling their property.  We offer personal contact from start to finish, from local property experts that know the towns and cities of FleetFarnboroughAldershotBasingstokeCamberleyYateley and Farnham inside out.  Our internet based approach means we can sell your home from just £599 or 0.5% +VAT – saving you thousands in agency fees.  Please give us a call for a no obligation valuation of your home on 01252 819725 or email info@check4houses.co.uk.

Money - Bank of England notes and coins

Hampshire County Council asks residents for their views on balancing its budget

We all know that councils are under pressure to do more with less.  Like many public sector organisations, budgets have been squeezed yet in many cases demands for services are increasing.  Hampshire County Council is no different.  The County Council claims that by April 2019 it will be facing an anticipated budget shortfall of £140 million.  In an effort to involve local people, they have opened an online consultation about strategic options for balancing the books.

Saving money: the options

The consultation asks for residents’ views on the key options for saving money, which are:

  • reducing and changing services
  • introducing and increasing charges for some services
  • lobbying central Government for legislative change
  • generating additional income
  • using the County Council’s reserves
  • increasing Council Tax
  • changing local government arrangements

At each part of the consultation you will be asked if you agree or disagree with the council making changes in this way.  For example, reducing services might mean reducing library opening hours, or routine road salting during winter months.  Lobbying central Government for legislative change could allow Councils to charge residents to use services such as local Household Waste and Recycling Centres or concessionary bus fares.  Changing local government arrangements in Hampshire could mean having fewer councillors and senior managers, reducing back office functions or disposing of surplus buildings and equipment.  All of the options are outlined in the Information Pack.

Online and paper options

You can complete the consultation online on the Hampshire County Council website here, as well as view the Information Pack.  You can also download and print paper copies of the Information Pack and Response Form or request copies by emailing insight@hants.gov.uk or calling 0300 555 1375.  Paper copies are also available from Hampshire libraries.

The closing date for the consultation is 11:59pm on Monday 21 August 2017.  You still have a few weeks to have your say and help influence the future direction of our local area.

At Check 4 Houses, as local property experts we know the towns and cities of FleetFarnboroughAldershotBasingstokeCamberleyYateley and Farnham inside out.  We are passionate about supporting our customers through the process of selling their property.  With personal contact from start to finish, our internet based approach can save you thousands.  We can sell your home from just £599 or 0.5% +VAT – giving you more to spend on your next property.  Please give us a call for a no obligation valuation on 01252 819725 or email info@check4houses.co.uk.

House sitting on calculator with word mortgage on

Survey or Homebuyers Report: Do I need one and if so, which?

When buying a property you will probably think about having some kind of survey done.  In most cases you will have to organise your own survey.  Your mortgage company may complete a valuation.  However you may wish to organise a survey as well for your own peace of mind.

So what is a survey?

According to RICS, the professional body that represents Surveyors, A Home Survey is an in-depth visual inspection of a property.  At the end of inspection, the surveyor produces a report.  This provides an expert account of the property’s condition and highlights any problems.  If using a RICS Surveyor, the report communicates these in clear and easy to understand ‘traffic light’ ratings.

What are the options available?

There are 3 different options of home survey available, to allow you to choose which best suits your needs:

  1. A Home Condition Report: The simplest (and cheapest) of the options, this report describes the condition of the property.  It identifies any risks and potential legal issues and highlights any urgent defects.  It is most suitable for conventional or unmodified properties and new homes.  These are less likely to have significant issues.
  2. A Home Buyers report (may include a valuation): This mid-range option is most suitable for conventional properties which are in reasonable condition.  It gives more detailed information than a Home Condition Report about the current state of the property and any remedial works required or issues to be aware of.  It can include a valuation for mortgage and insurance purposes (though be aware this may be done separately by your mortgage provider).
  3. A Building Survey: This is the most expensive option – but the most comprehensive. It is particularly useful for larger or older properties or if you are planning to do substantial work to a property. The survey provides an in-depth evaluation of the current property condition.  It includes advice on any issues that need to be addressed or repairs that are required.

Why would I need one?

For most of us, property is the biggest investment we will ever make.  Whether you plan to live in a property or rent it out, you still want to be aware of any potential issues before you part with your hard-earned money.  A survey delivers expert advice on the condition of the property.  This enables you to make an informed choice.  It helps to ensure that your dream home does not become a disaster.

How can I find out more?

You can find out more about the importance of surveys and the different types available on the RICS website http://www.rics.org/uk/.  Their online tool enables you to search for registered surveyors in your local area.  You could also ask for recommendations from your estate agent or solicitor.

At Check 4 Houses we are passionate about supporting people through the sometimes stressful and emotional challenge of purchasing a property.  We offer personal contact from start to finish.   As local property experts we know the towns and cities of FleetFarnboroughAldershotBasingstokeCamberleyYateley and Farnham inside out.  Our internet based approach means we can sell your home from just £599 or 0.5% +VAT – saving you thousands in agency fees.  Please give us a call for a no obligation valuation of your home on 01252 819725 or email info@check4houses.co.uk.

House being built or having building work including loft extension - homebuilding and renovating in progress

Last chance to have your say on the future of Rushmoor

Rushmoor Borough Council, which covers the key towns of Farnborough and Aldershot, have been working on a new development plan called the Rushmoor Local Plan. This document provides the overall development strategy for the area. It guides the location, scale and type of future development for 2014 to 2032. Other local councils such as Hart District Council have been going through similar processes, in order to meet government requirements for new housing.

Time to have your say

The Rushmoor Local Plan has now entered its final stage and local residents are invited to give their views through an online consultation. The consultation is open until Friday 21st July, so you still have a few days to make your comments count.

You can view a copy of the draft plan, along with its supporting documents on the Council website. You can also view the documents at the council offices, Farnborough Library and Aldershot Library during office hours.

A ‘spatial strategy’ for residential development

The plan covers many key aspects of living in Rushmoor including sustainability objectives, the employment environment and more. A major part of the plan is the ‘spatial strategy’. This identifies the potential capacity in the Borough for around 8,700 new dwellings between 2014 and 2032. Of these, approximately 3,850 new homes will be created at Wellesley, Aldershot. At least 4,000 new homes will be built from the rest of the region. Around 1,700 will be situated within Aldershot (outside Wellesley) and 2,300 from within Farnborough.

To submit your comments on the proposal you can use this online link. You can also download and complete a representation form from the website and email or post it to the Council.

At Check 4 Houses we pride ourselves on being local property experts. We know the towns of FleetFarnboroughAldershotBasingstokeCamberleyYateley and Farnham inside out, yet we also recognise that 90% of property searches in the UK take place online.

Our internet based approach enables you to save thousands in agency fees – giving you more to spend on your new home. Please give us a call on 01252 819725 or contact us for a free, no obligation valuation of your property. We can sell your house, flat, bungalow or apartment from just £599 or 0.5% + VAT.

Fleet Carnival logo

Enjoy some family fun at Fleet Carnival this weekend

This weekend sees the streets of Fleet transformed for the Fleet Carnival.  Carnival runs from Friday 30th June – Sunday 2nd July, with the Grand Procession on Saturday 1st July.

Underwater fun

2017 is the 62nd anniversary of the Fleet Carnival and the theme this year is ‘Under the Sea’ so expect to see plenty of starfish and seahorses on display.  2016 was a record year with 40 procession entries.  2017 could beat that with 35 entrants already registered, including local schools, charities and companies such as Everyone Active.  The people of Fleet have chosen Surrey and Hampshire Borders Riding for the Disabled as the nominated charity this year.  Procession entrants will have their buckets ready to collect donations along the route.

An action packed programme of events

As always the Carnival offers something for everyone.  Friday sees the opening of the Carnival at 5pm on Calthorpe Park playing fields.  An evening of fun fair and live music awaits.  Those visiting the marquee can take part in the family Bingo night.

On Saturday a full programme is on offer with stalls open from 10am – 5pm.  The Bar/Pimms tent and food stalls run even later until 9.30pm.  Enjoy live music throughout the afternoon from 3pm – 9.30pm.  The Kidszone is open from 12-5pm and the Baby show takes place at 11am.  If you think your little cutie is a winner then you’ll need to be at the Carnival marquee by 10.45am to complete the entry form and pay the £5 entry fee.  There are 4 categories available, from 3-18 months.

Sunday sees the dog show and car show take centre stage.  More live music and food is on offer, as well as the Maker’s Market and funfair.  The Maker’s Market will be situated in the Fleet Carnival Marquee on Calthorpe Park and will have over 40 stalls including Crafters, Quilters, Jewellers, Painters, Jams and Fudge. The music line up is yet to be confirmed but promises to have plenty of local talent on offer.

Fleet is a thriving community with a regular calendar of events such as this to bring local people together.  If you are looking to move within or even relocate to Fleet and its’ surrounding areas then we can help you find your ideal property.  Why not check out our properties currently for sale, as well as some comments from happy customers who have sold their property through Check 4 Houses.  We can sell your home from just £599 or 0.5% + VAT.  Please give us a call on 01252 819725 or contact us for a free, no obligation valuation of your home.