Tag Archives: Property

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.

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

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

 

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.

Red Christmas balls on shiny background which says Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from all of us at Check 4 Houses

With Christmas Day fast approaching we wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

2016 has been another record year for us at Check 4 Houses thanks to our fantastic clients. Over the past 12 months we have saved them an astounding £286,000 when compared to standard agency fees. That’s an average of about £4,500 per sale and an increase of 22% verses last year. What would you do with the extra £4,500? It’s a long way towards a new kitchen or new bathroom.

24 hours from start to sale

Our record quickest sale this year was a house in Wokingham which had an offer accepted in less than 24 hours from when we started advertising it. Not only was it a super quick sale, the client sold their property for £850,000 using our standard £499+VAT package. This means we saved them nearly £15,000 in fees they could have paid to a traditional high street agent.

Many of the properties we have sold have been in our local area of Fleet, Farnborough, Camberley and Aldershot, but we have also sold properties as far away as Southampton and Twickenham. Thanks to our internet based approach we can sell properties anywhere in England from our head office in Fleet, Hampshire.

We have enjoyed working with a variety of clients this year – some of which had not bought or sold a property for 30 years, and others which have used us twice in the last 12 months to help them manage their buy-to-let portfolio. Whatever our sellers’ circumstances, we pride ourselves on our customer service and our personal contact from start to finish. As Ms Christie from Farnborough said: “Paul was always available if I needed to get through to him and was on the ball pushing things through when it looked like things would be delayed. He was very committed in getting the completion through on time unlike larger estate agents who don’t bother. Would definitely recommend.”

Despite the challenges of Brexit and the stamp duty rise on second homes the property market continued to show growth, particularly around our local areas of Fleet, Farnborough and Basingstoke. Supply continues to outstrip to demand, allowing us to achieve higher asking prices and deliver even greater savings to our customers.

Best performing estate agent in Fleet is … Check 4 Houses

We were delighted to be the ‘best performing estate agent in Fleet’ across all three criteria on comparison website estateagent4me. The site looks at each estate agent’s success rate of selling the properties they advertise, the speed of sale and the achievement of asking price. This particular criteria was very relevant this year as we saw overvaluing in the local property market. We strongly believe in an honest, practical pricing approach as to what we genuinely believe we can sell your property for. You can never under value your property – but you can price yourself out of the market.

After such a busy year we will be taking a few days off over Christmas. Our offices will be closing on Christmas Eve and reopening on Tuesday 3rd January.

If you are looking to sell your home in 2017 then please contact us on 01252 819725. We would be delighted to give you a free valuation of your home as well as talk you through our competitive pricing options, personal service and price match guarantee.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at Check 4 Houses.

Property for sale

Too late to get your property on the market before Christmas?

Christmas is less than five weeks away.  The decorations are in the shops and your shopping may already be in full swing.  Buying a new property might be the last thing on your mind.  But for others it might be a top priority.

Traditionally December to mid January is a quiet time of year for the property market.  However Boxing Day is said to be one of the busiest days for people looking at property online.  People move house for all sorts of reasons such as a new job, a new addition to the family, people moving in together.  These things can happen at any time of year. They don’t go on hold just because it is nearly Christmas.

There is still time to get your house on the market before Christmas

It can even be an advantage to go on the market at what can be seen as a quieter time.  With less properties on the market yours can seem more desirable.  Depending on your property, Christmas decorations can add real charm and a sense of celebration.  They can help prospective buyers imagine just what it could be like to live in your property.

We can get your house, flat, apartment or bungalow on the market in just 24 hours.  We have even sold properties in less than 24 hours, thanks to our extensive database of buyers.  We always offer honest valuations of what we think your property is genuinely worth.  We take into account your personal circumstances, how motivated you are to move quickly, as well as market conditions.  We work with you to provide a personal service from start to finish.

Contact us for a free, no obligation valuation of your property on 01252 819725 or email info@check4houses.co.uk.  We can sell your home from just £499 or 0.5% + VAT, giving you thousands more to spend on your new home.

Keys with house in background

Is the property market declining or just correcting?

There has been lots of talk in the press for months (even years) about the property market ‘bubble’ and the implications of Brexit. The property market can be a volatile thing.  Just like money markets it can be driven by emotion, as well as cold hard facts.

Here in our local areas of Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire we have been out valuing properties and hearing concerns about the market ‘declining’.  Sometimes clients call us in because they have marketed their property with another agent, but it hasn’t sold.  In some cases they have already reduced the price and that doesn’t seem to have made any difference.  They are asking ‘Are the buyers actually out there?’

We firmly believe that the buyers are out there, but what we are seeing is properties being over valued.  With years of property boom you might think your homes is worth a lot more than it actually is. You also may be flattered by agents who suggest a high valuation for your property.  In some cases all this is true.  But in others, we need to be more realistic.

Honest, practical pricing

We promise to always give you an honest valuation of what we genuinely think your home is worth.  This won’t always be the highest valuation.  It will be what we actually think we can sell it for as ultimately that is what most buyers want.  Yes in some cases you might be downsizing and feel you have one chance to maximise that pension pot.  But for many people they just want to move on with their lives.  They might be looking for that bigger home, or more manageable flat.  It might be that first step on the property ladder, or a family home with a garden.

Whatever the reason, getting your property sold is the only way you can move on.  We pride ourselves on delivering a personal service every step of the way that helps our clients to do just that.  We maximise the value of their property through our local market knowledge and our marketing.

If you are looking to move within to Hampshire, Berkshire, Surrey or beyond 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 £499 or 0.5% + VAT. Please give us a call on 01252 819725 or contact us and we can give you a free, no obligation valuation of your home.

Meet the Check 4 Houses team: Julie

Selling your property can be a very stressful time but it doesn’t always need to be.  At Check 4 Houses we go out of our way to offer you the best advice, guiding and updating you through each stage of your property sale.  We offer dedicated, personalised contact from start to finish wherever you are in England, from our head office in Fleet, Hampshire.

Here’s a little more about Julie who joined the Check 4 Houses team last year, having spent her entire career working in the Property industry.

Name: Julie

Job role: Conducting viewings, managing the sales process and general administration

When & why did you join Check 4 Houses:  I joined Check 4 Houses in May 2015 after having a career break following the birth of my twins.  I was genuinely excited at the prospect of joining a progressive company which was changing people’s idea of how homes could be sold.  With the emergence of more internet based estate agents I felt that Check 4 Houses offer the best of both worlds – local knowledge and expertise paired with internet pricing, all backed up with excellent customer service.

What did you do before you joined Check 4 Houses:  I have always worked in the property industry starting my career as a trainee in a residential letting agency before working as a PA for a number of leading property companies.  I finally settled into a career in the City of London working as a Client Services Manager for a fund management company.

Best thing about working for Check 4 Houses:  I believe the best part of working at Check 4 Houses is making a difference to people’s home buying/selling experience.  Not only can we save sellers money but I take an enormous amount of satisfaction in helping people find the right buyer for their home.  We aim to make  the buying and selling process as stress-free as possible.

Best thing about living in Fleet:  I have lived in Crookham Village just outside of Fleet for nearly 10 years.  Before that I was a bit of a nomad having lived in Eversley, Aldershot, Ash Vale and different parts of Camberley.   We are so lucky to live this area – we have great countryside on our doorstep, excellent schools and a great choice of local shopping.  Most importantly for me, we have a real sense of belonging to an amazing community.

Plans for the future:  Professionally I would like gain more experience and to help grow and expand the business.  Personally I love to travel and now that my children are a little older, I would like to show them some more of the world!

If you are thinking of selling your property and buying your next home then we can help.  With all the knowledge of a local high street agent, but at the cost of an online agent we can sell your property from as little as £499 or 0.5%+VAT, saving you thousands.  Please give us a call on 01252 819725 or contact us and we can give you a free, no obligation valuation of your home.

Paul Hemmings, Check 4 Houses

Meet the Check 4 Houses team: Paul Hemmings

Selling your property can be a very stressful time but it doesn’t always need to be.  At Check 4 Houses we go out of our way to offer you the best advice, guiding and updating you through each stage of your property sale.  We offer dedicated, personalised contact from start to finish wherever you are in England, from our head office in Fleet, Hampshire.

Here’s a little more about Paul who founded Check 4 Houses in 2010, aiming to deliver a genuine, reliable and professional service for half the cost of a traditional high street agent.

Name: Paul HemmingsIMG-20140727-00407 - cropped

Job role: Founder and Director.  Dealing with valuations, meeting clients, conducting viewings and managing sales through the process.

When & why did you join Check 4 Houses: I started Check 4 Houses back in 2010 after becoming increasingly frustrated by the behaviour of many high street estate agents.  I felt that sometimes they unnecessarily complicated the selling or purchase of a property for customers.  I wanted to create a flexible and reliable service for customers that was as stress free as possible.  With the advance of the internet, there was a real opportunity to create a new way of buying and selling houses, without the high costs of high street rents and newspaper based advertising.   A genuine alternative to the traditional high street agent – at a significantly reduced cost, savings customers thousands of pounds.

What did you do before you joined Check 4 Houses: I started my career in sales, working for a major brewery company, which helped me gain an extensive knowledge of the South East region.  I also started buying and selling a few properties both in the UK and Europe, which opened my eyes to the world of estate agents and the sometimes fraught process of buying and selling houses.

Best thing about working for Check 4 Houses: Saving our customers thousands! It is gratifying to know what a difference we have made to our customers being able to afford the property they want.  Sometimes we are lucky and sales fly through (we actually managed to take on a house and sell it within less than 24 hours) but in a way the most gratifying sales are the ones that take longer to complete.  We had one sale that took over a year to go through due to various issues in the chain, but when we finally got there it was such an achievement for the customer who was at last able to move on to the property they wanted.

Best thing about living in Fleet:  I have lived in Fleet since I was 4 years old and have seen it evolve and grow over the last 35+ years.  Not only does Fleet offer great transport links, great schools and a safe place to live there is also a unique community and spirit, with fun community events such as the annual carnival.

Plans for the future: To continue to grow the business.  We are lucky that much of our business comes from referrals and for people coming back to us.  In the six years since I started the business online estate agency has really become so much more mainstream and clients are much more aware of the benefits.  Outside of work, I enjoy travelling, football and boating which is a great way to get a break from the office (as much as you can these days!).

If you are thinking of selling your property and buying your next home then we can help.  With all the knowledge of a local high street agent, but at the cost of an online agent we can sell your property from as little as £499 or 0.5%+VAT, saving you thousands.  Please give us a call on 01252 819725 or contact us and we can give you a free, no obligation valuation of your home.