Tag Archives: Selling

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

 

hand signing a sales contract

Do you know what you are signing? Always check the small print of the sales contract

The first few weeks of January have been super busy for us here at Check 4 Houses.  Paul has been out on lots of property valuations.  Clearly local people in Fleet, Farnborough and Aldershot are keen to maximise the Spring sales window.

We love getting out and about meeting people and supporting them on the journey of selling their property – which can be stressful.  We are often reminded, as we have been this week, that even just choosing which estate agent to use can be a real minefield.

On the one hand, the rise of online agents has brought greater competition into the estate agency market and helped to bring down prices.  On the other hand it seems to have led to increased confusion.  In the old days, perhaps you knew what you were getting.  But now with so many agents available, all with slightly different packages, it can be difficult to know which to choose.

Cutting through the clutter

At Check 4 Houses we do our best to make things simple.  We urge people to always check the small print of the sales contract.  Ask the questions about any nagging doubts and make sure you really understand what you are signing up for.  For example, many people do not realise they have signed in to long exclusivity deals, leaving them stuck with what they might feel is an underperforming agent for months.  In a property market such as ours that could cost you valuable time and money.  Some online agents (especially those advertising heavily on TV) might seem like they offer a great deal, but do you realise that you may have to do viewings yourself?  Some people might be very uncomfortable with this, having to deal with buyers directly.

No sale, no fee?

Another area of confusion is around ‘Buy now, pay later’ options.  For years the estate agency market was based on no sale, no fee.  You only paid an estate agent once your house sale had completed.  So if a sale fell though (which unfortunately it sometimes did), you hadn’t lost anything.  This gave you security that you were only paying the money to the agent when you had it – once the property had sold.  Then came online agents (including ourselves) offering much lower fees if you paid upfront.  “Pay just £499 now and save yourself thousands compared to standard agency fees.”  Of course there was a risk that the property wouldn’t sell and you would lose your money.  But for many people the risk was well worth taking based on the financial gain.  For example, we sold one property in Wokingham last year for £850,000.  The owners had decided to pay upfront and use our standard package.  As a result they saved themselves nearly £15,000 in fees.  A third option has now appeared with some agents suggesting that you can ‘Pay Later’, meaning that you can still take advantage of a low sale price without having to pay it up front.  However what some people don’t realise is that pay later does not mean pay once the property has sold.  If you change your mind and do not sell the property then you still have to pay the fees.  It isn’t the same as a no sale, no fee option, even if it might appear to be.

Knowing which way to turn

So how do you navigate this minefield if you are thinking of selling your property in 2017?  Here are our top questions to ask prospective agents:

  1. What is the fee and what is included?
  2. When do I have to pay the fee?
  3. Do you do accompanied viewings or do I have to?
  4. Does the fee include a For Sale board or not?
  5. Is there any limit on the number of photographs you take, or websites you will advertise my property on?
  6. Am I tied in to using any of your other services, such as an EPC, solicitor or mortgage broker?
  7. What happens if I change my mind?
  8. What is the notice period?
  9. Please can I read the full Terms & Conditions of the sales contract?

Asking these questions of each agent should ensure you have a level playing field to assess the agents on.  You can then choose the right one for you.

At Check 4 Houses we aim to offer the best of both 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+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

Street of houses

New Year’s resolutions: Buying a new home?

2017 is finally here.  Christmas celebrations are behind us and January is in full swing.  Are you feeling enthused and persevering with the first few days of new year’s resolutions?  You might have chosen to give up smoking or drinking alcohol.  Perhaps you resolved to eat more healthily, or make other lifestyle changes such as looking for a new job.  Buying a new home could even be on your agenda.  Are you looking for more space for your growing family? Or to relocate for employment reasons?

Get Ahead, Get Ready, Get Prepared, Get Savvy

If you are looking for a new home in 2017 then we have four top tips to help you ensure it is one new year’s resolution you actually manage to keep.  Our suggestions will help you get your existing property ready for sale and on the market as quickly as possible, in the most cost effective way.

These tips are published in the latest issues of handy local guides Farnborough and Fleet Connection magazines.

Please click on the image to read the full article.  For any more tips or a free, no obligation valuation of your house, flat, apartment or bungalow please give us a call on 01252 819725 or contact us.   We can sell your property from as little as £599 or 0.5%+VAT, saving you thousands.

Article on buying a new home in 2017

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.

Contract terms and conditions word with pen

Always check the small print of the sales contract

When it comes to selling your house it can be difficult to know which estate agent to choose.  There are so many options out there, from traditional high street agents to modern online agents.

You may have been recommended someone by a neighbour or friend.  You may have seen that an agent has recently sold a property in your road or area.  Whatever your reason for choosing an agent, we always recommend you get at least three agents around your house or flat to give you their valuation and talk through their sales approach.

We suggest you prepare and ask questions of each of the agents.  It can be easy to be dazzled by high valuations and compliments on your lovely home, but selling your house is an expensive business and you need to make sure you get the best value for money.  That value for money will be made up of a number of factors:

  • The personality of the people you will be dealing with (bear in mind this is not always the one who comes to value your property)
  • Their fees – in terms of either % or £
  • Their contract length – how long will you be tied in for?
  • Their valuation – how much do they (realistically) think they can sell it for?
  • Their reach to potential buyers – both on and off line

Before you sign on any dotted line to instruct an estate agent we always recommend you read and read again their Terms and Conditions.  The contract small print might seem a lot to read and some of it technical or not relevant, but these terms and conditions can be used to input clauses you might not expect -such as a minimum £ fee.  You might think you have agreed to a percentage deal, but occasionally a minimum fee will be inserted into the Terms and Conditions that you were not aware you had agreed to.  Don’t be caught out by signing up to something you didn’t realise was there.

If you are thinking of selling your property and buying your next home then we would be delighted to 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.

Money saving tip: Use an online estate agent

Moving house can be an expensive business, but there are a number of things you can do to reduce the cost.  Conducting your own viewings or not having a For Sale board can both save you money, as well as enabling you to take more control of the house selling process.

Another way of saving money is to use an online estate agent.  Over the past few decades, buying and selling online has taken an increasing share of our spending.  Whole companies such as Woolworths, Comet and HMV have either disappeared or completely reinvented themselves to compete with online retailers who in many cases can offer the same or even better products and services, at cheaper prices.

Here you can read our article explaining four reasons why going online might be a better approach for selling your property.  The article was published in the latest issues of Farnborough and Fleet Connection magazines.

Please click on the image to read the full article.

Check 4 Houses Proof 2 July 16-001

Property for sale

Can you ever undervalue your property?

Valuing a property is a tricky business.  You can apply logic, by looking at properties that have sold recently nearby.  You can look at overall property prices and Zoopla valuations.

But valuing a property can also come down to experience and to detail.  If there aren’t any comparable properties then you need to make your best estimate.  A property might look comparable, but the actual particular circumstances may have been different.  It may have sold for less than expected as the sellers wanted a quick sale in order to not lose something they had found.  Or it might have been immaculate inside and got lucky with the right buyer.

Ultimately a home is worth what someone will pay for it, but when you decide to put your house or flat on the market you need to decide on a starting figure.  Estate agency is a competitive business and one way of trying to win your business might be to come up with a high valuation.  Short term, this can be persuasive – “If they think they can get more money for it then let’s go with them” but overvaluing can be risky.  Of course, if you have the benefit of time then you may wish to try a price that is out of line with local market data just to see if you get lucky.  But an inflated price can put buyers off even viewing your home.  You may then have to look at your house sat on the market for weeks, constantly having to keep it ready for a viewing.  You then reduce the price and wait.  You may even have to reduce the price again which can become a negative cycle with buyers asking questions “Why has it been on the market for so long? Why have they had to reduce the price so much?”

People are understandably scared of undervaluing their property.  It is usually the biggest asset you will ever have.  You want to get the most you can to fund your move, your retirement or a change in lifestyle.  But can you ever undervalue a property?  Generally in a market such as ours we don’t believe you can undervalue.  Of course, we always look at market data and calculate what we honestly believe is a realistic valuation for your property.  But starting at a more achievable price can encourage more people to want to come round for a viewing, and then give you an offer.  Having more than one buyer wanting to buy your home puts you in an excellent position – able to push the price higher, able to choose the buyer which you feel suits you best (perhaps a lack of chain, or one with funds already in place).  If buyers really want your property then original asking prices become a starting point to see who wants the property most and what they are prepared to pay.

We always recommend to prospective sellers that they do not go with the highest valuation.  Though the pound signs can seem attractive, it is money in the bank that really matters.  Choosing a lower valuation can actually end up delivering you more.

If you are thinking of selling your property 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.