hand signing a sales contract

What is a property sales contract?

When you agree to sell your property with an estate agent, the sales contract becomes a vital document.  It clearly sets out what is and is not expected of you, as well as what you can and cannot expect of your agent.  It might seem like lots of small print, but it is important you carefully read and evaluate the sales contract, so you know what you are signing up for.

Here are five key things to look out for on any property sales contract:

  1. Your property address details

Always make sure the property address details are correct including the postcode.  Mistakes can happen – but they can cause confusion with solicitors further down line, should you proceed with a sale.

  1. Asking price

Double check this is the price you discussed and agreed with the agent.  However do remember that this isn’t a valuation or any guarantee of the price you will actually achieve.  It is simply what you and the agent have agreed to start marketing the property at.

  1. Sole / Joint agency

Most property sales contracts are for sole agency.  This means that you cannot ask another agent to sell your property at the same time.  Even just a one-off viewing because they happen to have the ‘perfect candidate’ is not allowed.

  1. Minimum term and notice period

This area is vital as it sets out your rights, should you not be happy with your agent.  Everyone goes into an agreement hoping it will all go perfectly.  But things don’t always go to plan.  You don’t want to get stuck with an under-performing agent for months so check and question if needed what is written here.  Don’t sign for more than 8 weeks and expect to see a notice period of no more than 14 days.

  1. The fees

Confirm that the fees you will pay are what you have discussed with the agent, including when they have to be paid.  Historically all estate agency costs were paid on completion which was when you received the money from your sale.  Your solicitor paid the fees directly to the estate agent.  But with the rise of online estate agents this has changed. Some have up-front costs.  Others have fees that are payable on exchange.  This can work well as long as you receive sufficient deposit from your buyers or have the cash available.  Also don’t forget the VAT in your own calculations as it can make a real difference.  We don’t recommend you pay more than 1% for any estate agent and do consider up front/one off payment options as they can save you thousands.

Finally, ensure you read through other items such as whether you will be required to agree to or pay for extras such as For Sale boards.  Confirm how offers will be dealt with so you know what to expect during the process.

Whether you choose an online or offline estate agent – a major national chain or a local self-employed agent – the principle and importance of the sales contract remains the same.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you are not sure.  Taking the time up front to get things right should ensure a swift and successful sale will follow.

At Check 4 Houses we offer a flexible and reliable service that is as stress free as possible.  We can sell your property from as little as £599 or 0.5% + VAT, saving you thousands compared to some high street agents.

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.

Fleet Foot Festival logo

Feast yourself at Fleet Food Festival next weekend

On Sunday 28th May Fleet Food Festival returns for its fourth year with a mouth watering array of treats on offer.

Running from 10am-5pm, the Festival takes place on the Views in central Fleet and promises to be an action packed day for all the family.  New attractions for 2017 include a Wine Discovery Marquee and Afternoon Tea Tent.

A journey of wine discovery

There are three wine discovery sessions available, led by local wine expert Rebecca Dixon from Auriol Wines.  Options include a journey through Italy, an exploration of lesser known wine treasures and an in depth examination of Port.  Each session is £12 per head and must be booked in advance via the Food Festival website.

An indulgent afternoon tea

In the Indulgent Afternoon tea tent THE HOBO.CO will bring their legendary afternoon tea experience to the Fleet Food Festival.  Guests can indulge for a whole hour in the beautiful vintage themed and flower festooned marquee.  Visitors will enjoy a selection of dainty sandwiches, freshly baked scones with jam and clotted cream and sweet treats.  This will be accompanied by a signature sparkling cocktail and a choice of the finest teas from around the world.  Tickets are just £20 per person and must be booked in advance on the website.

Pickles, Paella, Pancakes and more

The festival also features all the popular attractions of previous years.  This includes the Pint’n’Pimms Tent, Market, Cookery Theatre, live music and children’s activities.  Masterclasses in the Cookery Theatre feature Gareth Jones from the Odiham Cake Company and Andrew Ryder, Head Chef & Owner of The Phoenix Inn in Hartley Wintney.  Gareth will be demonstrating delicious summer fruit tarts.  Andrew will be talking about provenance and seasonality, including cooking delicate Hampshire asparagus. The Market offers a chance to sample delights from 50 of our region’s best producers and makers.

Big Friendly Fun

Buttons Children’s Parties will be running some fantastic Big Friendly Giant themed fun in the children’s craft marquee.  Children can decorate their own BFG Dreamcatcher or make their own glittery Dream Jar.  They can also choose to create a dinner fit for a giant on a Giant Dinner Plate.

Entrance to this year’s festival is £2 per adult and £1 for age 16 and under.  ‘Babies in arms’ are free.  Parking is £1 all day in Fleet town centre car parks on Sundays and free in Hart Shopping Centre.

Fleet is a thriving community.  As part of the Hart district in Hampshire it is consistently voted as one of the top places to live in the UK.  If you are looking to move within or even relocate to Fleet or its’ surrounding areas then why not check out our properties currently for sale.  You can also read comments from happy customers who have sold their property through Check 4 Houses for as little as £599 or 0.5% + VAT.

estate agent 4 me report best estate agent in Fleet is Check 4 Houses

The top performing estate agent in Fleet is …. Check 4 Houses

We are delighted to have been selected as the top 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 as the best performing estate agent in Fleet.  The statistics show we are delivering a 70% success rate of selling homes.  We take an average of 42 days to sell properties.  We have a track record of achieving 100% of asking prices.

Personal service from start to finish

Paul Hemmings, founder and director at Check 4 Houses says: “I am pleased to see 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 we sell properties in Fleet, Farnborough, Farnham and further afield across England, from just £599 or 0.5%+VAT.

We work together with our customers to ensure the house selling process is as stress free as possible.  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.

 

 

Pleased to

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

Have your say on the local Hart Development Plan by 9th June

Hart District Council have opened a consultation to enable residents to have their say on the Hart development plan.  This local plan will shape the future of Hart’s towns, villages and countryside.

Identifying sites for development

According to the Hart development plan, since 2011 5,304 homes have already been built or permitted.  Allowing for ‘windfalls’ from unidentified small sites, this means the council needs to plan for 4,591 new homes by 2032.  The council’s preference is to use brownfield (previously developed land) where possible.  Of the 4,591 homes required, 2,030 (44%) will be provided by ‘brownfield’ opportunities.  A new community of 1,500 homes will be built on the site of the former Pyestock National Gas Turbine Establishment (Hartland Village).  Extension of the Sun Park site adjacent to M3 Junction 4a will provide a further 320 homes.  The rest of the sites are expected to come from ‘greenfield’ land, including a new settlement of up to 1,800 new homes at Murrell Green.

Exhibitions and events

The council are running staffed exhibitions and drop in sessions at a variety of locations across the district.  These events are designed to give everyone a better understanding of the plan and the opportunity to talk to the council.  Dates include The Tythings in Yateley on 10 May and Hawley Leisure Centre on 15 May.  You can view a full list on the council website.  Leaflets have also been sent to all households and businesses in Hart.

You can find out more about the Hart Development plan and have your say online at www.hart.gov.uk.  You can also download a response form and email it to planningpolicy@hart.gov.uk.  The closing date for comments is 9th June so you still have time to share your thoughts.

If you are looking to move within or even relocate to Fleet and its surrounding areas then we can help.  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.  Please give us a call on 01252 819725 or contact us for a free, no obligation valuation of your home.  We can sell your property for just £599 or 0.5% + VAT.

Outline image of detached house above tablet with man about to type representing online property market

Is the property market stagnating or actually accelerating?

News out today suggests that the property market is stagnating.  The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) report says that the number of people interested in buying a property – and the number of sales – was “stagnant” in March.  The headline paints a somewhat gloomy picture.

But read further and the latest monthly survey shows that stock levels in the property market are at a new record low and because of the shortage of housing,  prices in many parts of the UK are continuing to accelerate.

So what does all this mean?  Is it a good or bad time to be thinking about selling your property and moving home?

Moving for life changing reasons

Most people move house not just because it might be a ‘good time’ for the property market, but because they need to.  New babies arriving, families moving in together, people downsizing for retirement or sadly moving on due to family loss, all of these are common reasons for buying and selling property.  Yet it is true also that some people can put off the idea of moving if they worry about what the market is doing and whether they will be able to get a good enough price for their home, or secure a new property for what they can afford.

Short supply can mean bigger rewards

Whatever your reason for moving, a lack of supply in the property market can actually be a good thing.  It can make it the perfect time to sell.  A lack of housing stock, as we face in our local area, means that prices are continuing to rise, with more buyers looking than properties available.  Particularly if you have found the property you want, you may be able to capitalise on the market and get more for your property than you might expect.

At Check 4 Houses we can sell your property from as little as £599 or 0.5%+VAT.  This could save you thousands when compared to standard agency fees.  We offer:

  • 24/7 national marketing
  • Unlimited photos
  • Accompanied viewings
  • Personal contact from start to finish
  • A price match guarantee*

Please contact us for a free, no obligation valuation on your home on 01252 819725 or info@check4houses.co.uk.  We would be delighted to help.

*See website for full terms and conditions of our price match guarentee

 

Easter eggs and Happy easter message on dark background

Egg-citing local events to keep you entertained this Easter

With Easter being slightly later this year, there is even more reason to get out and about in Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire and celebrate the joys of Spring.

Egg hunts for everyone

There are plenty of outdoor egg hunts available at key National Trust sites across Hampshire, Berkshire and Surrey including The Vyne in Basingstoke, Basildon Park near Reading and Winkworth Arboretum near Godalming.  Easter is also lambing season and you might be lucky enough to see some being born if you head to farms such as Lockey Farm in Arborfield or Manydown Farm in Basingstoke.

In Fleet you can join the annual Ancells Farm Easter Egg Trail on Good Friday with plenty to keep children entertained.  Activities include the trail itself, Easter bonnet and colouring competitions as well as an Easter raffle.  There is also an Easter trail on Yateley Common on Easter Monday where you can follow the trail around the woodlands and heathlands, collect all the clues to tell the Ranger and receive an Easter Surprise.

Indoor activities to keep the kids entertained

If the weather isn’t so kind, head along to The Mall in Camberley which has free events running for two weeks from April 3rd to 15th.  Activities include an egg hunt around The Mall for the chance to win a chocolate egg. as well as arts and crafts, animals, magic, storytelling and a Punch and Judy show at the Kids Camp in The Square.  The Broad Street Mall in Reading are offering fun filled workshops, face-painting, an Egg trail, and the chance to win a family trip to Legoland as part of their egg-citing entertainment from April 10th – April 15th.  You could even check our your local garden centre.  Some are offering Easter activities including egg hunts, seed planting workshops and more.

Spring is traditionally one of the busiest times on the property market so if you feel you are ready to make your next move then please give us a call on 01252 819725 or email us at info@check4houses.co.uk.  We would be happy to give you a free, no obligation valuation of your home.  Our local team has all the knowledge of a traditional high street agent, but at the cost of an online agent.  We can sell your property from as little as £599 or 0.5% + VAT. This could save you thousands when compared to standard agency fees, giving you more to spend on your new home.

People running on the road

Good luck to all the Fleet Half Marathon runners this weekend

This Sunday 19th March is the date for this year’s Fleet Half Marathon and we would like to wish all the amazing runners good luck for the event.

A new route for 2017

This year’s Fleet Half Marathon sees a new, revised course with a faster, flatter final 2 miles.  The event will also support a new local charity – Fleet Pond Society – helping to support the natural environment in Fleet.  Fleet Pond is the largest freshwater lake in Hampshire.  Along with the nature reserve that surrounds it, the Pond provides a haven for natural wildlife and an important part of our British heritage.

Runners this year will also benefit from more toilets within the park following runner feedback from last year.  All entrants are able to buy an official Brooks event t-shirt when they enter the race, as well as enjoy a medal, re-useable kitbag and other gift when they finish.

A new race partner

This year there is also a new race partner Everyone Active – the management company of the new Hart Leisure Centre opening in the next few weeks.  The much awaited grand opening is scheduled to take place on 1st April, giving local residents access to fantastic new facilities to enable us all to get out there and get active.

From our head office in Fleet we pride ourselves on being local property experts. We deliver everything you would expect from a traditional high street agent but with the cost of an online agent.  We can sell your home from just £599 or 0.5% + VAT, saving you thousands.

If you are looking to move within or even relocate to Fleet and its surrounding areas then we can help. 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. Please give us a call on 01252 819725 or contact us and we can give you a free, no obligation valuation of your home.

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

Visit the Homebuilding & Renovating Show this month

The doors to the biggest homebuilding and renovating exhibition open later this month at the Birmingham NEC.

The National Homebuilding and Renovating Show is the go-to exhibition for self builders and renovators.  Run over the 4 days, the show offers the chance to meet hundreds of exhibitors.  You can gain free advice from home building and renovating experts and increase your knowledge through free theatre sessions.  You can even have a free one-on-one consultation with an architect, planner, builder, architectural technologist or Homebuilding & Renovating expert to get tailored advice for your own project.

Free talks and free advice

The show offers a wide range of free talks covering self-building and renovating.  In the Masterclass Theatre you can learn about everything from kitchen design to ultra low energy homes to specifying the correct glazing.  At the Tricks of the Trade Theatre you can gain practical skills on how to skim plaster, hang doors or even avoid cowboy builders.

Hundreds of exhibitors

In the exhibition hall you can see, touch and test thousands of products from frameless sliding doors to steel balustrades to frozen damp proof course systems.  There are also many building firms, architects, financial advisors on hand.  They can help you turn your dream into reality.

You can find out more about the show and book tickets on their website.

Don’t worry if you can’t make it to Birmingham this month.  The show moves around the country at various locations.  It will be coming to Surrey on 1st and 2nd July at Sandown Park.

Building or renovating can be a great way to add value to your property.  It can also help you fall in love with your home all over again.  But if you think that your current property simply doesn’t give you that opportunity then we can help sell your home and enable you to move on to a new project.  We can sell your property from as little as £599 or 0.5% + VAT. This could save you thousands when compared to standard agency fees, giving you more to spend on your new home.  Please give us a call on 01252 819725 or email us at info@check4houses.co.uk.  We would be happy to give you a free, no obligation valuation of your house, flat, apartment or bungalow.

male hand activating a Property market button on virtual screen

Property market news: New Rightmove & Zoopla rules, overvaluing and the big vs local agent debate

The property market has been hitting the headlines recently and a number of interesting stories have got our attention.  Clearly there are current concerns about prices due to Brexit, but there are also good news stories around of local property hotspots.

New rules for selling your home on Rightmove & Zoopla

One story that caught our eye was the new Rightmove & Zoopla rules over relisting properties.  In an effort to combat unscrupulous activity in the property market by some estate agents both portals have now set tighter rules on re-listing homes.  In a practise called “portal juggling”, some agents were re-listing homes that have been on the market for a while to make them look new and bump them up the search rankings.  This could be done by taking a property off the market for just 14 days, but Rightmove have now increased this to 14 weeks.

We are huge supporters of this move as practises like ‘portal juggling’ is part of the reason we set Check 4 Houses up back in 2010.  Our founder Paul Hemmings recognised the notorious behaviour of some estate agents who appeared to be complicating the selling or purchase of a property for customers.  He wanted to create a flexible and reliable service for customers that was as stress free as possible; offering a personal approach to with a cost-effective pricing package to suit them.  We also strongly believe in not overvaluing properties.  Therefore we wouldn’t ever need to engage in practises such as portal juggling anyway.

Overvaluing costing homeowners thousands

This leads us on to another recent story reported in the Telegraph.  A new Which? study  found that 1 in 5 properties sold in England and Wales had been heavily reduced from the original asking price.  This is something we wrote about last year, in our post ‘Is the market declining or correcting?‘  A high valuation for your home may seem exciting and flattering.  But if it isn’t realistic it will only lead to disappointment and disillusionment.  We always offer a free property valuation with a realistic price as to what we think we can sell your home for.

The big vs local estate agent debate

A final story that caught our eye was this debate on the Homeowners Alliance website about whether big estate agency brands are better than local high street firms.  Their research using their EstateAgent4Me tool showed that home sellers could be missing out on thousands of pounds by opting for well-known estate agent chains rather than local options.  To get the best price for your home, those with a larger share of their local housing market were more likely to sell a property and to achieve the asking price.

At Check 4 Houses we aim to offer the best of both these worlds.  Our local team has all the knowledge of a traditional high street agent, but at the cost of an online agent.  We can sell your property from as little as £599 or 0.5%+VAT.  This could save you thousands when compared to standard agency fees.  We offer:

  • 24/7 national marketing
  • Unlimited photos
  • Accompanied viewings
  • Personal contact from start to finish
  • A price match guarantee*

Please contact us for a free, no obligation valuation on your home on 01252 819725 or info@check4houses.co.uk.  We would be delighted to help.

*See website for full terms and conditions of our price match guarentee

Wooden house or home with love heart

Show your home some love this month

This time of year, with shorter, colder days and longer, colder nights, it can be easy to take your home for granted.  Gardens can look like a neglected sea of mud.  But our houses and gardens are usually our biggest assets and it does pay to look after them.  Even if you are not planning on moving for the foreseeable future, maintaining your property now should pay dividends when the time does come for your next move.

This time of year can actually be the best time of year to tackle those jobs you have been putting off, so that when the Spring weather comes you are ready to enjoy it.

Here are some of our top tips to show your home some love this month:

Let it breathe

Ventilation is a big issue in many houses.  Particularly during the colder winter days the last thing you want to do is open a window and let all that lovely heat escape.  But houses need to breathe.  Opening windows or trickle vents even just for a short period each day can allow moisture to escape and reduce the risk of any mould or damp.

Let it flow

Clear out gutters to ensure water can run freely.  During autumn and winter they can get blocked with leaves and twigs.  But any blockages run the risk of water sitting next to roof tiles and leading to leaks or gutters breaking.  Clear them out yourself or ask a company who can come and do it for you.  Some window cleaners offer it as an extra service which they can do at the same time.

Don’t let it slip

Check your roof for any slipped tiles or appearance of damage.  Winds and rain in winter can cause loose tiles to move.  Getting them repaired not only looks better but ensures your roof is water tight and your home is protected.

Tidy, Tidy, Tidy

Tidy up gardens and repair any fences.  Of course now isn’t the time for planting and it can seem too early to be out in the garden.  But tidying up and ensuring fences are in order can make a big difference in a short space of time.  It also means that you can be ready to start planting and enjoy your outside space once the warmer weather arrives.  Maintaining boundaries is a vital part of looking after your property – especially when it comes to the sale of your home.  If a boundary that needs repairing isn’t yours, start discussions with the owner early and don’t just leave it.  When you do come to sell your home it might cause more of a problem than you think.

Time for a Spring clean

Yes it isn’t quite Spring yet.  But if the weather leaves you stuck inside then why not take the opportunity to tackle some of those jobs like cleaning carpets and curtains or daring to look behind the sofa.  With those out of the way you can make the most of the better weather when it comes.

Spring is still traditionally one of the busiest times on the property market so if you feel you are ready to show a new property some love then please give us a call on 01252 819725 or email us at info@check4houses.co.uk.  We would be happy to give you a free, no obligation valuation of your home.  At Check 4 Houses our local team has all the knowledge of a traditional high street agent, but at the cost of an online agent.  We can sell your property from as little as £599 or 0.5% + VAT. This could save you thousands when compared to standard agency fees, giving you more to lavish on your new home.