Tag Archives: Property

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.

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.

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.