Category Archives: Residential Lettings

Property prices are on the rise – Is your home?

Peter Higham, director of Gascoigne Halman, said houses worth £200,000 are selling at very fast rate with the market for homes worth £1m or more has seen a real improvement.

He said: “Because it was a particularly hard last two or three years we’ve seen change because the market below has been a lot better and we have had very good sales which has moved people onward and upward.

“A person selling a £600,000 – £700,000 property asking ‘should I move upward?’ has now got more confidence in the market.”

Peter said houses worth £1m plus usually stay on the market for no more than six months.

He said: “It’s all about presentation. Ask the right price and it will sell.

“In the past many people have pushed some of the prices but this year I believe people have been more sensible in their approach to selling so homes have been selling quicker.”

Peter said the market at the lower end of the price range is even stronger especially for properties priced between £200,000 to £800,000.

He said: “There’s a lack of supply at the moment. When people are looking to buy there is a lot of competition from other buyers because of this lack of supply.

“The more people sell the better the market will become.”

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Top tips for selecting an Estate Agent

Selling your home can be a daunting prospect, in many cases a property is your most valuable possession and we understand there are countless estate agents to choose from in your area. We’ve made it simple for you by creating our 9 top tips for selecting the perfect estate agent. We have covered everything from who to trust, what to ask and where your property should be advertised to reach a broad market of potential buyers. Our top tips will help, support and guide you through making your choice.

 

  1. Do they know your local area?

It is important that the estate agent you choose understands the area surrounding them. This will enable a greater understanding of the housing market in your area and can only benefit you when it comes to the marketing and advertising of your home.

 

  1. Have they previously sold houses like yours?

Do they have a back catalogue of successful projects that they are willing to show you? An agent with knowledge on your type of property is vital, without this knowledge the agent may not understand how to market and advertise your home, and risk not reaching potential buyers.

  1. Do you like them?

Your estate agent will play a vital role in selling your house so it’s important to create and maintain a good relationship.

Go to a variety of agents in your local area and see if it’s a welcoming, professional environment, are the staff helpful and polite? When they visit your home are they enthusiastic about it? It’s your decision on who to trust with your home, so don’t just settle for the first estate agent you find.

  1. Recommendation

Positive recommendations from friends and family can be a great way to begin your search for the perfect agent. You can also check them out reviews and rankings on allagents.co.uk.

You can also seek reassurance by checking if the agent is a member of industry bodies such as The Property Ombudsman, RICS, National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents).

  1. Where do they advertise?

Are the agents widespread and visible online and offline? Many buyers might not have time to go into an agent’s office to search for their potential new home, so an online presence is a must have when it comes to attracting buyers.

  1. Can you find them on social media?

Is the estate agent visible on social media? If you can’t find the agent online how will potential buyers find your house? Social media is used by so many people, why miss out on a platform that can advertise your home and reach more people in the process.

 

  1. What area will your property be marketed to?

How widespread will the advertising of your house be? Will it stay in your local area, your region? Or national? Is the agent part of a relocation network, helping people moving to a new area?

  1. What marketing techniques do they use?

Don’t be afraid to ask your agent how they will market and advertise your property, what newspapers and magazines will it appear in? What property websites will it be listed on? Do they already have clients in mind for your property? If the agent is unsure of how and where to market your property then it may get overlooked by prospective buyers.

  1. Understand the agents fees

Fees do vary, many agents only charge a percentage of the selling price however, additional charges for valuations, photography and advertising can be costly surprises.

A good agent will discuss all the fees upfront, there should be no hidden charges so make sure to discuss this thoroughly with the agents before you make your final choice.

Home Buying Jargon Buster

Buying a property can be complicated and stressful at the best of times. To get the most from your estate agent, you both need to be on the same page, have clear and open communication and understand exactly what is going on through each stage of the sale. If you’re not well acquainted with buying or selling, you may be unfamiliar with the terms frequently used. We don’t want you to be left in the dark, so we’ve created a jargon busting blog to guide you through home buying.

 

Jargon buster Glossary of terms

Chain – The sequence of buyers and sellers

Chain free – Owner of the property doesn’t need to sell their house to buy a new one

Completion – This is when the sale has gone through, and everything has been completed, the house is legally yours

Exchange – The point at which the buyer and seller exchanges contracts

Fixed rate mortgage – The interest rate remains the same through the term of the loan

Flexible mortgage – A mortgage that is flexible in how you repay

IFA – An Independent financial advisor (May be recommended to use to help find a mortgage)

Loan to value – Ratio of a loan to the value of an asset purchased, usually mentioned when discussing mortgages

OMV – Open market value – The likely sale price of a property

Stamp duty – A tax paid to the government after buying a property

Survey – A report produced to determine the value of the property and if it is structurally sound

Under offer – When a seller accepts an offer, the legal process begins

Vendor – The name given to the person selling the property

Buy To Let Boom…really??

If we believe all we read then Britain is in the grip of a buy-to-let boom! In the past five years, the number of homes bought by Landlords to rent out as investments has more than doubled and we’re told one is being snapped up every five minutes…..really?

There is no doubt tenant demand outstrips supply, and the result of the election looks as if the UK property market is set for further growth due to the stability it brings………….. Great news for Landlords but where are the properties for all these new investors to buy?

In the South Manchester/North Cheshire area in which we operate, new build stopped abruptly with the property crash in 2008 and it is only now that we are seeing the re-emergence of newly built homes in this area, and from what I can see in the main they are tending to be family detached properties not the 2 and 3 bedroom properties tenants crave.

So I’m sorry Mr Landlord you may have to wait a bit longer for those landlord desirable properties to arrive on the scene but where there is a demand there will be a supply – watch this space.

More tips on preparing your home for a speedy sale

This is the second in our advice series on preparing your home for a speedy sale. In this issue we also look at things to consider during viewings.

When it comes to property sales in Cheshire, South Manchester or the High Peak we have many years’ experience assisting homeowners to achieve a speedy property sale.

We have developed some golden rules that are certainly worth remembering when it comes to selling and presenting your home for a speedy property sale.

Top tips 6 to 10:

6. Curb appeal: First impressions count. Try to ensure that the front of your home looks as inviting as possible. If you have a front garden ensure it is weed free! If you don’t then consider some planters to add colour and greenery. 

7. Do that DIY: Tending to those small tasks now can save big money in the long run. Whether it’s a tile that needs replacing, or a leaky tap that needs mending, remember that buyers are always on the look-out for problems. Try to make sure that potential buyers have nothing to worry about. 

8. Make it look pretty: Make sure the windows are properly dressed with blinds or curtains as naked windows make a place feel impersonal and run down. A carefully placed vase of flowers brings colour and life to a room and can also smell delicious. 

And during the viewing…

9. Don’t hover: If you are conducting the viewing yourself, being on hand in case a viewer would like to ask a question is a great idea, but try to keep your distance so that viewers don’t feel hurried or pressured. 

If the viewing is being conducted by the estate agent then let them get on with it.

10. Pets: As much as we love our furry friends some prospective buyers may not! Try to make arrangements for a friend or neighbour to look after them until the viewing is over.

 

 

Some top tips for selling your home

Some top tips for selling your home

When it comes to property sales in Cheshire, South Manchester or the High Peak we have many years’ experience assisting homeowners to achieve a speedy property sale.

If you are selling your home you want to present it at its best and ensure that prospective buyers are charmed by your property.

We have developed some golden rules that are certainly worth remembering when it comes to selling and presenting your home for a speedy property sale.

Here’s our top 5:

1. Depersonalise: As much as you love your children’s drawings on the fridge and the pencil artwork on the wallpaper, chances are your prospective buyers may not. In order to allow buyers to picture themselves living in your house, try to create a blank canvas wherever possible.

2. Declutter: When it comes to selling your home, the more clear surfaces you have, the better. It will make your home look larger and cleaner.

3. Disassociate yourself: Prepare your home for a viewing, step outside and re-enter the house with the mind-set of a potential buyer. Look for any possible flaws or limitations and do your best to address them.

4. Define every space: You may use a bedroom as a gym or storage area but portraying a room like this will bamboozle your prospective buyers. Each room should have a clear and distinct purpose.

5. Lighting: Dark corridors and pokey bedrooms can be brought to life in a second with a flick of a switch. Never underestimate the power of lighting and ensure that all the required lights are turned on before anyone comes to view.

Watch out for a future article with more top home selling tips!

Estate Agent to share £25,000 with local community

JFH&PH_team_med

Photo caption: John Halman, managing director (left of banner) and Peter Higham, operations director (right of banner) with staff members

Independent estate agent, Gascoigne Halman, has set up a £25,000 fund which is to be shared out amongst organisations, charities and groups doing good work in the local community.

The fund has been set up to celebratethe company’s 25th Anniversary this year.

The estate agent is calling the scheme the ‘£25k Community Challenge’. Launched this month, Gascoigne Halman is inviting local charities, organisations and community help groups to apply for a slice of the fund.

Speaking about the Challenge, managing director of Gascoigne Halman, John Halman said, “We were keen to mark our 25th anniversary in a meaningful way. Over the past eight years we have raised over sixty six thousand pounds for a number of charities and it has become part of what we do as a business. Each year we focused on a different charity.

“However, to celebrate working in the area with so many local people for 25 years we decided to take a different approach. We wanted to help and support a large number of organisations and in particular we wanted to help the smaller groups working at grass roots level. And so the idea of the Gascoigne Halman £25k Community Challenge was born.

“We envisage making probably around 10 donations but that is in no way fixed, it’s up to organisations, charities and local groups to tell us what they need in terms of funding, why they want it and who will benefit. It’s possible that we end up giving 25 smaller donations – it’s up to the public now.”

More information and an application form can be found at any Gascoigne Halman office or at their website. Applications can be made online from February 16th up to Friday 17th July 2015.

The company will announce a shortlist in September and those applicants invited to make a short presentation to the judging panel in November prior to the successful applicants being announced later that month.

In closing, John said, “We are really excited about hearing from many local groups.

“We are putting together a judging panel of prominent local people who will work with us to make decisions about who is shortlisted and where the money eventually goes. I would urge local groups, no matter how large or small, to get in touch.”

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