Selling your home: 5 Expert tips to prepare your house for a Spring sale

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, it’s a great time of year to get ready to sell your house. But where do you start? It’s no secret buyers are rather cautious and cost-conscious at the moment given the recent uncertainties of the housing market, but just like storm Ciara, this uncertainty is clearing, and now is the time to make your house shine and stand out from the crowd, and we’re not just talking about a good Spring clean.

Our role at Check 4 Houses is to help local people sell their homes as quickly as possible at the best possible price. We often get asked how do you maximise the value of your home and from our experience, there are a few surefire things you can do to make sure your home is a hot property. Here are our top 5 tips to prepare your house for a Spring sale and take advantage of the growing market in our area.

Declutter like Marie Kondo

Yes, that’s right it’s time to dump the junk, and tidy tidy tidy! One man’s trash is indeed another man’s treasure, but that doesn’t mean the treasure is left out for all to see, viewers, don’t want to see piles of letters or magazines, and millions of ornaments and trinkets, think blank canvas.

Store kitchen utensils and pans in cupboards where possible, so viewers see a clean washing up area and sparkling sink. Make sure bedrooms are tidy and that you have made the beds. Clear away, children’s toys, you don’t want viewers to trip over them. Equally prospective buyers want to see the potential in a space, so if you’re selling a three-bed home and the third bedroom has descended into a state of chaos with piles of abandoned laundry or over time has evolved into an untidy man cave, clean it out, make the potential in the space glaringly obvious, as not everyone has an imagination. A little staging goes a long way, and that applies as much to the outdoors as it does the indoors, tidy the front and back gardens if you have them, and clear any rubbish or untidy bins. And organise the garage, again, so people can see the space available.

Time for a Spring Clean

Mrs. Hinch’s mops and sponges at the ready, it’s time for that all-important early Spring clean. Thoroughly clean the house and vacuum all carpets. Clean all the windows to allow as much light in as possible. Everyone loves a bit of good lighting, and when it comes to property, good lighting is key to showing off your home at its best, quick fixes like swapping out low voltage bulbs for the high-voltage variety, can have a small but effective impact, helping to brighten your home on a dull, grey day. If you have a car on the drive, make sure it’s clean. And remember, your buyer may not love your furry friends as much as you do, so try to clean up after them where possible.

Be organised

Find out recent council tax, water rates, electricity and gas bills and have them to hand. If you’ve had any new appliances such as a boiler recently fitted, leave out the receipts or guarantees for viewers to see. This applies to any information regarding planning permission. Perhaps you had sought permission to add an extra bedroom or extend the kitchen before deciding to put your house on the market – with planning consents usually valid for three-years, these could easily be passed on to the new owner, and are a major draw for prospective buyers if they know they can make adjustments to the property without any council red tape.

Address the DIY

If you’ve not already guessed from this piece, first impressions do count. So no half-finished DIY jobs, please. Apparently, a quarter of viewers will make their minds up about the property in the first 30 seconds, literally moments within stepping through the front door. So to ensure your home has curb appeal and is looking its best from the very outset, a few little DIY tweaks could help from giving your front door a fresh lick of paint to banish the paint chips to fixing loose doors, fixing up small holes in the walls to ensuring any gates and boundary fencing are in good repair. Use professionals if needed – the investment may well pay off both in terms of securing a better price for your home and selling it quickly.

The smell of fresh coffee

There is nothing worse than walking into a property and being hit by an unsavoury smell. You want your home to be inviting like the allure of a coffee shop with the smell of fresh coffee. Therefore try to omit odours such as pets, smoking, and cooking oil and replace them with more welcoming, fresh scents such as fresh flowers, freshly made bread, or even lemon. Open the windows where possible and leave internal doors open to create a feeling of space and fresh air. If the weather turns cold, ensure the heating is on and turn on lights to make rooms brighter.

Finally, once you have decided to sell your home, and you have done everything possible to get the best price for it, make sure you don’t spend more than you need to in agency fees; shop around to find the right estate agent. For just a small upfront fee of £699+VAT or low 0.5% Selling Fee (No Sale, No Fee) saving you thousands, Check 4 Houses will expertly sell your house – giving you more to spend on your new home.

For a free valuation of your home, then please give us a call on 01252 819725 – we would be delighted to help.

Happy New Year, A new home for 2020?

Happy 2020, it’s the start of a new and exciting year ahead, and if you’re like most people, you’ll already have set some New Year’s resolutions to follow for the year ahead, you may want to exercise more, lose weight, or even save money, but why set unachievable goals, why not set a realistic goal and kickstart 2020 by bagging that dream home you’ve always wanted.

Here at Check 4 Houses, the first few months of a new year is always a busy period for us, undertaking lots of new property valuations, with local residents keen to get their properties on the market ready for Spring. Perhaps you’re looking to add an extra bedroom, a bigger garden, downsize or even move to a new area for schools, or a new job. Whatever the reason for moving, we know that it can be both an exciting and stressful experience that’s why we’re on hand with vast experience and local knowledge to help you make the right move.

Taking the plunge, where do you start?

Having set up Check 4 Houses over nine years ago, we’ve managed all types of property sales, from quick and simple to the long and complex, from properties that sold within less than 24 hours to those deals that took over a year to complete. We strongly believe the most important first step in the house-buying process is finding the right agent to sell your home. By finding the right agent,you’ll not only achieve the best price for your existing home, but it may also save you thousands of pounds, leaving you with more to spend on your new property.

Our top tips for choosing the right agent to sell your home

Obtain at least three valuations from different agents before making a decision.

Don’t be tempted by the highest valuation there is no guarantee they’ll be able to deliver it. Choose a flexible agent that is open seven days a week, to allow weekend or evening viewings to suit your prospective buyers. Check the agent offers wide-angle photographs to show off your home in the best light.

Cast the net wide to gain the maximum exposure for your property

Make sure your agent advertises on the leading property websites including Rightmove, Zoopla, and Primelocation. Don’t just put your house on the market with an agent because you’ve viewed a potential property through them, it may seem convenient but may not be the best solution.

Negotiate the selling fee

A little negotiation can go a long way and can save you money. Don’t pay more than 1% in selling fees. With online property portals continuing to shake up the property industry, you can sell your home for as little as 0.5% or £699 + VAT.

Check the small print

Do not sign a contract for more than eight weeks, as you may run the risk of being stuck with an underperforming agent. So read the terms and conditions to confirm what is and is not included or expected of you. Most importantly, don’t be rushed or pressured into a decision. Take your time to understand the facts and make the right choice for you. Don’t believe the agent’s own success stories, research their reputation online, ask friends and families who they would recommend.

If you are looking for any more advice or a free valuation of your home, then please give us a call on 01252 819725, we would be delighted to help.

‘Ethical’ buy-to-let investment puts money into affordable homes

A property investment claiming to be an ethical alternative to buy-to-let helps individuals invest in affordable housing.

Reap, which stands for Real Estate Annuity Plan, aims to offer people a regular return on their cash while using the money to tackle the housing crisis.

The scheme is offered by Equfund, whose core business involves bringing empty properties back into use.

It uses investors’ money to offer loans to social enterprises providing affordable housing.

Minimum investments start at £15,000 and people earn 3% a year on their cash.

What are the advantages of the scheme?

Following a raft of tax hikes and new regulations, the buy-to-let sector is no longer as appealing to investors as it once was.

Reap enables people to invest in property without all the associated hassle of being a landlord and the risk of having no income during void periods.

It provides a fixed regular income for investors with no hidden fees.

All properties are covered by rent guarantee insurance, so investors still receive an income even if the tenant falls into arrears.

The initial investment period is for five years, after which investors can access their money after giving 90 days’ notice.

People can also gain satisfaction from knowing that their savings are being used to help others.

What are the downsides?

Perhaps the biggest factor investors should be aware of is that investments in Reap are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme in the way that traditional savings providers are.

The scheme pays single account holders compensation of up to £85,000 to cover money they lose as a result of their provider going insolvent.

Reap points out, however, that its loans are secured against properties, and it never lends more than 85% of a property’s value, offering investors some security.

Investors’ legal interests in properties are also registered with the Land Registry.

Reap invests in affordable housing, so its rents are deliberately set at a lower level than market rates.

As a result, the 3% return you receive on your money, while higher than you would obtain from a fixed rate savings account, may be lower than the yield you could achieve by purchasing a buy-to-let property.

Finally, while the scheme does not have some of the disadvantages of investing directly into property, such as maintenance costs, investors will also not benefit from any increase in property values.

What other property investments are there?

Property ISAs offer an alternative for savers who would like to gain exposure to the housing market.

The tax-free investments, such as the one offered by Zoopla’s partner, pool investor’s cash into a REIT and use the money to purchase buy-to-let homes across UK cities.

Unlike Reap, investors benefit from both the rental income and any increases in the value of the properties purchased.

However, the return is not guaranteed at a fixed amount, as is the case with Reap and you can only invest up to £20,000 each tax year.

Top 3 takeaways

  • A property investment which claims to be an ethical alternative to buy-to-let helps individuals invest in affordable housing.
  • Reap uses investors’ money to offer loans to social enterprises providing affordable housing.
  • Minimum investments start at £15,000 and people earn 3% a year on their cash.

At Check 4 Houses we are passionate about providing a professional, reliable service that is as stress-free as possible.

Please give us a call on 01252 819725 or contact us for a free, no obligation valuation of your property as well further advice and support. You can also download our Selling Guide.

From our head office in Fleet, we sell properties in FleetFarnboroughAldershotBasingstokeCamberleyYateleyFarnham and beyond. We can sell your home from just £699 or 0.5% +VAT – saving you thousands in agency fees.

Beat the pet pong and sell your home

So you have taken the plunge to market your home for sale, many people have viewed your home but so far no offers yet. The feedback is favourable yet the house still remains unsold…

If you have pets and find yourself in this very situation – read on. People returning from a viewing are very forthcoming with their feedback and would be happy to say that the property doesn’t have the desired downstairs loo or that the garden just isn’t big enough for their 3 children to happily play in. However, if the house smells of dogs or cat’s people can be totally put off but in most cases they just won’t say. This is because we are nation of animal lovers and people know it can be a sensitive issue. The trouble is it can put people off from returning.

Unfortunately, the pet pong often permeates the whole house, although many owners aren’t aware of it because they get so used to it. Visitors however will usually be able to quickly sniff out the fact that they are entering a house where dogs or cats live.

Of course, considering how much joy they bring, dealing with muddy paw prints and hair on the furniture is part and parcel of living with a pet, but there are steps you can take to help minimise the whiff factor.

But a word of warning dogs and cats like to be able to smell themselves in their own home, so the house should always smell of them at least a bit. Over cleaning to the point of completely removing the smell could lead to pets marking their territory and this ‘wet’ outcome is far more undesirable!

So how do you stop your whole house smelling of Dogs & Cats?

  1. Wash the cats/dogs beds
    Make sure the bed is odour resistant or at least washable. Usually, beds have a washable cover that you can slip off and put in the washing machine.
  2. Wash everything regularly
    If you let the cats and dogs on the furniture – we suggest using throws that can be easily removed and washed thoroughly.
  3. Brush the smells away
    Groom your pets regularly rather than bathing them. You can keep their coat clean without washing out their essential oils. Bathing can cause problems and make matters worse.
  4. Check their ears and teeth
    Smells particularly from dogs don’t just come from a dog’s coat; they can also travel from their ears and mouth, so check these regularly. Do take your pet to the vet if you smell or spot something that could be a problem.
  5. Use an air purifier
    Air purifiers can cut down on airborne odours, and a good one will not only filter particular matter but also will kill bacteria and fungi in the air.

At Check 4 Houses we are passionate – not only about our furry friends! But also about providing a professional, reliable service that is as stress-free as possible.

Please give us a call on 01252 819725 or contact us for a free, no obligation valuation of your property as well further advice and support. You can also download our Selling Guide.

From our head office in Fleet, we sell properties in Fleet, Farnborough, AldershotBasingstokeCamberleyYateleyFarnham and beyond.

We can sell your home from just £699 or 0.5% +VAT – saving you thousands in agency fees.

10 top tips to instantly improve your home – and sell ability

1. Paint your front door (easy)

When potential buyers arrive at your home, the front door is the first thing they see. It’s also the most often neglected area of a home. A new look entrance can be achieved in a simple weekend project involving the preparation to the door and then the application of two well-applied coats of paint. You may want to consider a new look for your door – if you currently have a high gloss dark coloured door, would a matt finish in a pastel shade suit your home and make it stand out from your neighbours. While you are tidying up the front door also think about the general area. Replacing the house number adds a nice finishing touch.

2. Repaint a room (easy)

If your home feels tired this can easily be resolved by just repainting one room and this job can usually be completed in one day. After you have chosen your colour you need to ensure you have the correct type of paint. If you are painting a kitchen or bathroom you should remember that the paint has to be suitable for a high humidity environment, vinyl silk emulsion is a good choice. The key to achieving a good finish is good preparation; this is essential before you start any painting. Before you start remember to fill any cracks with smooth decorators filler, and then rub down when the filler has dried. Ensure all the walls and paintwork are dust free and then wash them all with sugar soap and rinse with clean water. After protecting all your furniture you are ready to start painting, start with the ceiling, move onto the walls and then do the woodwork. If the first coat does not produce the desired finish you may need to apply a second coat.

3. Declutter your home (easy)

This advice is often given when you are preparing your home for sale but it can be relevant to any time. In the busy lives we all lead it is very easy to accumulate piles of paperwork or possessions we no longer require. A cluttered home will appear smaller and it won’t be a relaxing place to live in. Be sensible about this project though, it makes much more sense to break it down into separate rooms, don’t get so motivated you try and tackle the whole house – the motivation will soon diminish! Before you start designate an area for items to go to a charity shop, and another area for general refuse. Start working in one area, don’t do more than a couple of hours and come back and finish the room before moving on. Once this room is done it will motivate you to conquer the others!

4. Clean the grout in your bathroom (medium)

Over the years the grout in your bathroom can become dirty and this results in a bathroom that looks grimy. As grout is porous it easily absorbs dirt and grease and the chemicals contained in soap and shampoo. Although it can be a long slow task cleaning the grout will easily return your bathroom to its former glory. The first method to try is to use an old toothbrush and a specialised cleaner to tackle the grime. If the cleaner has anti-mold qualities it will help to break down the mold and also help to stop it reappearing. If possible try to keep the room ventilated, as the fumes from some cleaners can be toxic. If this method doesn’t produce good results you can purchase a grout remover and carefully remove the existing grout. You can then apply a topcoat of new grout and the bathroom will look like new.

5. Lay a wooden floor (medium)

Adding a wooden floor to your home adds a highly desirable finish to a room and is also a great finish to live with. Laying the floor is a DIY task that anyone with simple skills can do, you just need a willingness to plan, be able to work methodically and some patience! There are hundreds of different types of flooring available, and choosing one designed for DIY will help you in the task. Many floors simply click together allowing you to produce a perfect finish. Before you start ensure you have all the tools you need, and also purchase the correct underlay – you also need to decide which way you want the floor to run. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to lay the floor, many boards comes with a simple locking mechanism to join the boards together with a perfect join. You will probably need to cut the final boards to fit, and then either reapply the skirting board or apply a wooden baton to cover the expansion gap.

6. Decorate a feature wall with wallpaper (medium)

Adding a feature wall to your home can add a very modern aspect to any room and liven up your interior, and if this is your first time wallpapering doing just one wall is a good introduction. Choosing a high quality thicker paper will allow you to produce a good result easier, and a plain textured paper is an easier choice than one requiring pattern matching. As with most DIY tasks good preparation is the key, ensure your wall is cleaned, washed and dry. You can now start to cut your paper; the lengths should be cut around 100mm longer than you require allowing for trimming. If you have a paper with a large pattern hang the first piece in the center of the room, otherwise start in a corner. Remember to follow the manufacturer instructions when choosing which paste to use. After the first piece gradually work your way to the edge of the walls, cutting each piece as you go until you have completed the wall.

7. Put up shelving / create storage (medium to easy).

Every home needs storage and adding shelving to your home can help you get organised. There is a huge selection of shelving available and you can have them in wood, MDF or glass – they can be either bought ready-made or you can buy the materials and make a shelf that will fit exactly. Before you begin to hang the shelves you need to know what type of walls you have. For brick or concrete walls you will need to use heavy duty wall plugs, if you have stud walls you can either screw into the stud or use hollow wall fittings. This is one place where it is definitely worth spending extra money to get decent quality fittings. Another important thing is to ensure you know if there are any pipes or cables in the wall, you can buy a tester to help you with this. You can now mark the position of your brackets and after using a spirit level to ensure they are even, drill the holes and mount the brackets using the plugs and screws. You can now add your shelf and remember to screw it to the brackets to add extra rigidity.

8. Install coving (medium)

Adding coving to your home will give any room a finished look and it can add a nice architectural detail to plain rooms, especially important if your home is recently built. Coving is available in several different materials and price ranges. Polystyrene is the cheapest and easiest to install but it will require more painting and due to its construction it can be damaged easily. The best quality coving is made of plaster and requires less painting; it can also be purchased in many authentic period styles. Before you start the job you will need a saw and a coving mitre block to cut the corners. Start on the longest wall, cut the coving it to length and after applying good quality coving adhesive place the coving on the wall. To ensure a good fix you can use small nails above and below the coving to hold it in place until the adhesive has set. You can now move around the room using the mitre block to cut the angles for each corner. When you have finished you may need to apply some filler to the joints to get a smooth finish before you decorate. You can then apply a couple of coats of paint to finish the job.

9. Hang a new (internal) door (hard)

Many homes, especially new builds, are often fitted with inferior quality internal doors. Upgrading the doors to higher quality is a medium skill DIY task that immediately improves the appearance of your interior. Internal doors are available from many DIY stores or you can have them made bespoke, although this option will produce more solid doors that may require more people to install them. After removing the old door you may need to cut the new door if needed, prepare for the new hinges and fittings and then hang the new door. This part of the process is usually much easier if you can have two people helping, one to hold the door while the other fixes it in place. You should now decorate the new door if it requires painting, and then finish the job by attaching the new door handles.

10. Hire a handyman for a few hours (very easy!!)

If you have a list of jobs you want to get done but really don’t know how to do them, don’t just keep putting them off – consider hiring a handyman for a few hours. A handyman service can help you with plumbing, electrics, decorating or any general household DIY you don’t know how to do. Start by taking a walk around your home to list everything that you think needs doing as if you are going to hire someone; try to get everything done at the same time. Then seek a recommendation – try asking on Facebook first, or if not perhaps speak to a neighbour, or simply find a handyman via the Internet. When you agree a price for the work make sure to ask how long it will take. On the day they visit ensure everything on your list is done, and then sit back and enjoy your home.

sold sign

Get your property ready to sell in 2019

There’s no doubt that the property market, like many parts of our economy, is facing challenges at the moment. Uncertainty about Brexit is causing some concern. However, that doesn’t mean its all doom and gloom.

People still move house, whatever happens in the economy

According to research by AA Mortgages, the top 5 reasons for moving home in Q2 2018 were:

  1. Work – either a change of job or to be nearer work
  2. Saving money – looking for a cheaper area
  3. Expanding family – starting or extending a family, with the arrival of a new baby
  4. New surroundings – moving away from a neighbour or area they don’t like
  5. Family relationships – being closer to family

All of these reasons still exist, whether house prices are rising or falling. The biggest issue in our local area of Hampshire for many years has been the lack of supply. Due to our excellent commuter links, schools and leisure facilities, properties are still highly sought after.

So, if you are planning to sell in 2019, what can you do to maximise your chances of success?

Here are our top tips for success:

  1. Really think about your reasons for selling and what you want.

Being focussed on your goal can help you during what can be a stressful process. Do you really need to move house? If so, why? What does your new property need to deliver?

  1. Be realistic about your price

It’s your choice what price you market your property at. Estate agents will advise you on what they think is a suitable valuation. You might be prepared to sit at a high price and wait, but if you are motivated to move, considering a lower price to maximise interest may be a better approach. The right estate agent will then be able to work with those buyers to get the best possible value for your home.

  1. Choose your estate agent carefully

We always recommend getting at least 3 estate agents round to value your property and talk you through their fees. Check what their terms and conditions are, so you know what notice period you are signing into. Don’t expect to pay more than 1% or agree to anything more than an 8-week contract, to give you maximum control. If you are considering an online estate agent, check whether services like accompanied viewings or For Sale boards are included, so you don’t end up facing unexpected costs.

  1. Prepare your home for sale

Particularly in winter, it can be hard to make a property look at its best. But you’ll be amazed what a difference a good clean and tidy up can make. Try and keep spaces as light and clutter free as possible, to allow viewers to see themselves in your space. If your property appears well looked after it gives prospective buyers confidence that they are buying a quality property that won’t cause them issues further down the line.

  1. Get solicitors in place

Did you know that around one in three property sales fall through within the first few weeks? Being proactive about moving a sale forward can help increase trust at a vital time. Research solicitors as soon as you have put your property on the market and get approximate costs so that you can budget accordingly and be ready to appoint someone as soon as you agree an offer.

At Check 4 Houses we are passionate about providing a professional, reliable service which is as stress-free as possible.

Please give us a call on 01252 819725 or contact us for a free, no obligation valuation of your property as well further advice and support. You can also download our Selling Guide.

From our head office in Fleet, we sell properties in Fleet, Farnborough, AldershotBasingstokeCamberleyYateleyFarnham and beyond. We can sell your home from just £699 or 0.5% +VAT – saving you thousands in agency fees.

red and white christmas baubles on white background

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

With Christmas Day almost upon us, we wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

2018 has been another fantastic year for us at Check 4 Houses thanks to our lovely clients in Fleet, Farnborough, Frimley, Mytchett, Aldershot, Maidenhead and beyond. Over the past 12 months, we have saved our clients an amazing £230,000 when compared to standard agency fees. That’s an average of over £5,900 per sale. What would you do with the extra £6,000? It would certainly make a big difference towards your new home.

Speedy service

One of our highlights of the year was our fastest sale where our clients managed to complete within just 28 days of accepting an offer. Given that one in three house sales collapse within three weeks, and that many sales that do succeed can drag on for months, that’s a fantastic achievement. It just shows the importance of using the right agent, to find the right buyer. That’s something we pride ourselves on. We do our homework to ensure we present the best buyers and manage sales closely through to completion.

Service above and beyond what you might expect

At Check 4 Houses we are passionate about delivering exceptional levels of customer service, which has earnt us a place in the Best Estate Agent Guide 2019. Even though we do not do lettings, this year we actually ended up sourcing a short term let for a prospective buyer. This enabled us to keep a buyers sale on track. The buyer was able to relocate the area and the ongoing chain remained intact.

An honest estate agent in Fleet

Our aim has always been to offer a professional, genuine and reliable service. We don’t over-value properties just to get business or overpromise on what we can deliver. We firmly believe honesty is the best policy, and we’re delighted that clients like Mr B Attree from Farnborough agree:

“Many thanks to Paul and all his staff for a job well done!

From the outset, Paul was frank and honest about the market conditions and the value of my home. We agreed to market the property using ‘offers in excess of’ and within a week I had 13 viewings and several offers including several over the asking price!

Check 4 Houses were always attentive and extremely professional!

I can’t thank them enough for all of their hard work, great communication and attention to detail throughout.”

Brexit and beyond

Of course, Brexit is coming and people are worried about all sorts of things from holidays to our harbour ports. We don’t know yet exactly what effect it will have on the property market. But we do know, Brexit or not, that people still need to move home. Be it new jobs, new partners, new babies, new schools or simply new surroundings, people will always want to move house, whatever happens to property prices. We also know that our local area around Fleet, Farnborough and Aldershot is a highly desirable area. Good commuter services to London and access to the motorway network are major plus points. We have a low crime rate, good schools, a wide variety of sports facilities and stunning green spaces to enjoy. Demand is still likely to outstrip supply.  

After such a busy year we will be taking a few days off over Christmas and New Year. Our offices are now closed and will reopen on Thursday 3rd January at 9 am.

If you are thinking about selling your home in 2019 then please give us a call on 01252 819725.  We would be delighted to give you a free valuation 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.

Bronze medal best estate agent Hampshire, Berkshire and IOW

Bronze medal! Best estate agent in Berkshire, Hampshire & the IOW

We are delighted to have received a bronze award for single office estate agent sales across the whole of Berkshire, Hampshire & the Isle of Wight in the Best Estate Agent Guide.

These awards put us in the top 5% of estate agents in the country. They are based on real data about how long we take to sell properties, prices achieved etc. We were also mystery shopped, to experience first-hand the service we deliver.

At Check 4 Houses we have always been passionate about providing a professional and reliable service during what can be a stressful process. We are delighted to have been recognised in these awards which reward the hard work we put in.

Personal service from start to finish

Of course, the most important feedback is from the actual people that we help move. As Ms Parker from Mytchett says:

“I placed my property on the market end of June and less than three months later have exchanged due largely to the efforts of Paul and his team.

At the outset, Paul was extremely realistic in his valuation, explaining how time-wasting it was to overvalue, only to then have to reduce further down the line.

Throughout the process either Paul or Julie were always instantly available and upon reaching the final stages when we were having considerable communication problems with the buyer’s solicitor, Paul come in to his own, continually chasing and not letting go until all was resolved.

Paul is a straight-talking agent and for commission of 0.5%, no sale, no fee, Check 4 Houses was well worth the money. I would therefore have no hesitation in I recommending the very efficient Check 4 Houses.”

From our Check 4 Houses Hampshire head office we sell properties in Fleet, Farnborough, AldershotBasingstokeCamberleyYateleyFarnham and beyond. We can sell your home from just £599 or 0.5% +VAT – saving you thousands in agency fees. 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 property.

Person putting on a running show ready for a run or half marathon

Energetic and entertaining events coming up in Basingstoke this October

This October sees two very different but equally interesting events taking place in Basingstoke. The Basingstoke Half Marathon starts on Sunday 7th October at 11am and will be closely followed by Hampshire’s 10th Anniversary OktoberFest which runs from Friday 12th – Sunday 14th October at Basingstoke Cricket and Sports Club.

Scenic countryside and a community feel

The route for the Basingstoke half marathon starts and begins on Hackwood Road adjacent to the War Memorial Park in Basingstoke’s town centre, but quickly moves out of town and into the surrounding countryside. With all roads along the route closed, this is a traffic free race. It includes some challenging hills near Cliddesden and Farleigh Wallop, as well as some beautiful countryside and scenic villages.

There is still time to enter the race if you are feeling energetic. If not, check out the route and come out to support your local community. There are cash prizes for the winners so expect to see some competitive spirit along the way.

Award-winning family fun

Hampshire’s OktoberFest takes place at Basingstoke Cricket and Sports club and offers a celebration of food, drink and fun. It attracts over 8,000 visitors every year and won the “Arts and Entertainment” category at the “Place to be Proud of” awards this year.

There will be a sumptuous variety of over 220 different beers, craft ales and ciders available. New for this year,  two gin bars will offer some of the finest tipples and tonics. You certainly won’t go hungry with the range of food on offer. Choose from Greek, Pizza, and Thai food along with the expected Bratwurst sausages and burgers.

Over 40 bands will be performing across two stages throughout the weekend, from boozey blues to funky ska. The line-up includes local talent such as B-funkt, an 11 piece funk/soul/rare groove outfit and Green Embers, which has been featured on BBC introducing.

Family Fun Sunday offers a range of exciting activities to keep the kids entertained. In the marquee the whole family can watch The Bonkers Balloon Science Show and The Flying Bazazi Brothers. A bouncy castle will be available on Saturday and Sunday, as well as dodgems, ferris wheel and a roundabout.

You can buy your tickets for the Friday, Saturday, Sunday or all weekend here:

From our Check 4 Houses Hampshire head office we sell properties in Fleet, Farnborough, AldershotBasingstokeCamberleyYateleyFarnham and beyond. We can sell your home from just £599 or 0.5% +VAT – saving you thousands in agency fees. 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 property.

hand signing a contract such as an estate agent contract

What length of estate agent contract should I sign for?

When choosing which estate agent to sell your property there are lots of factors to consider. What experience of the local area do they have? What is their track record of selling properties similar to yours?

People sometimes get persuaded by high valuations and promises of buyers just waiting to walk through your door. But one question you shouldn’t overlook is what length of contract you will be asked to sign for.

Check the small print

Even if you have already decided which agent to go with, always check the small print of the contract. Contact periods can range from 4 weeks to 4 months, depending on the agent. On the one hand, it is only reasonable to give an estate agent enough time to do their job. Drafting sales particulars, conducting viewings and managing negotiations all takes time. Potential purchasers may want to come back for a second or even a third viewing. They may have to wait for their own property to go under offer before they can proceed.

Having said that, as a seller you don’t want to get stuck with an under-performing agent. For most properties, the maximum interest is in the first few weeks. As your property comes onto the market, you’ll usually get an influx of viewers and have the highest chance of success. What will an agent be doing if your property is still on the market 2 months later, especially if they have other properties to sell? You don’t want to be tied to an agent who you feel isn’t giving you their best, when you could be moving on with a new estate agent and a fresh approach.

Don’t sign a contract for more than 8 weeks

We don’t recommend signing a contract for more than 8 weeks. This strikes the balance of giving enough time for an agent to do their job, whilst giving you the control to move on if they don’t deliver. Your agent should be confident that they can achieve what they say and work hard to keep your custom.

Why not check out our FAQs for answers to questions such as this to help get your property sale moving?

From our Check 4 Houses head office in Fleet, we sell properties in Fleet, Farnborough, AldershotBasingstokeCamberleyYateleyFarnham and beyond. We can sell your home from just £599 or 0.5% +VAT – saving you thousands in agency fees. 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 property.