All posts by check4houses

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.

 

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