Keep The North Wales House Chain Moving
May 7th, 2023
How to Keep The North Wales Property Market Moving?
A property chain is a term used to describe a group of buyers and sellers buying and selling properties from each other. Each party is linked together in a ‘chain’. The chain has a beginning, a first-time buyer for example, and an end, someone who is selling and is not buying on. The rest of the chain is made up of people who need to both buy and sell.
In theory, there could be any number of links in a given property chain, which can make them problematic at the same time. If one person forgets to return a signed document on time, the whole process could be delayed for everyone. Or even worse, if just one person changes their mind about their purchase or has their mortgage application rejected, the chain breaks down completely.
Your chain can only move at the pace of the slowest party. So what can you do to prevent everything from grinding to a complete standstill?
Firstly, if you have a good estate agent, your chain should be progressed efficiently. However, it only takes one party in the chain to not be efficient in responding to their conveyancer’s requests to slow things down. Unfortunately, some of these matters will be out of your control, but there are some things you can do yourself to help progress your part of the chain.
Employ a good, experienced estate agent and conveyancer/property solicitor. Ask them how long they have been doing the job for and how busy they are.
>Speak to your agent and conveyance regularly. Ask if there is anything they or you should be doing. Email is great for this; not so intrusive but reminding them to keep you updated.
>Get your finances in place early, especially cash for your deposit at the time of exchange.
>File everything. Keep copies of all correspondence relating to the sale of your property and the purchase of your new property, from all parties.
>Sign, date any paperwork promptly, including copies of your correspondence and notes of telephone conversations.
>Sign and return all of your paperwork promptly. Deliver documents by hand, courier or special delivery.
>Put clauses in your buying and selling contracts stating the dates of exchange, surveys and completion.
>Make clear your expectations, via your agent and conveyancer, on dates. Once a survey has been signed-off, and your mortgage has been approved, you can begin to talk about dates for exchange and completion. In a long chain, getting everyone to move at the same pace is difficult. Those higher up the chain will have agreed their sale/purchase later than you and will be behind you with mortgage applications, surveys, etc.
If you’re already in the middle of a sale or purchase and looking for guidance on what you can do to help keep your chain moving, the only real option you have, other than those mentioned here, is to chase up those who are falling short.
There are things you can do to help get it back on track. Communication is key to property chains keeping intact. Communicate, communicate, communicate. If you’ve chosen a good conveyancer, they’ll be happy to talk to you whenever and however it suits you. The key is to stay well informed and keep communicating, and always make sure to do your bit. Make a point of reviewing your tasks daily. If your ‘to do’ list is empty, call your conveyancer and ask if there’s anything else you could be doing.
No one can predict the future and therefore, although you may come across issues, sometimes it is difficult to foresee them. Just because one of the situations does arise, it doesn’t mean that they can’t be overcome. A lot will come down to making the right choice when selecting your estate agent and conveyancer, but you can also do your bit by being proactive, too.
I hope this helps!
If you’re looking for help in selling your North Wales home, I cover Bangor, Caernarfon, Llangefni, Pwllheli, Holyhead and the surrounding areas.
Eliminate The Stress of Selling Your Home
March 29th, 2023
How to Eliminate The Stress When Selling Your North Wales Home?
One of the most stressful events that we go through in our lifetime is selling a house. Whatever your reason for selling, you’ll likely have some stressful times throughout the process, so knowing what the most stressful aspects are can help you keep calm and collected.
Why is selling a house so stressful?
One of the most stressful aspects of selling a house is the length of time it takes to actually achieve your sale. Generally, your house is the most expensive asset that you have, so there’s also an element of fear of something happening to that and leaving you in a difficult position. The selling process, on average, takes 6 months. In those 6 months, you’re likely to have concerns of a sale falling through, or if your property hasn’t generated much interest, you might worry that you won’t achieve a sale at all. This can cause huge amounts of stress, especially as it’s likely that you’re relying on the sale of your house to buy elsewhere. If you’re in a chain, stress levels can also increase, as you’re at risk of not only your sale having issues, but if someone else in the chain has a problem, it can break the chain for you all. Selling without a chain is less stressful, but much rarer, and still comes with its own set of risks too.
Leave plenty of time for the sale process
Far and away, the biggest source of anxiety when selling your home is feeling that your move may not happen when you need it to.
The speed of buying and selling is far from an exact science, so allow yourself enough time and flexibility to meet your ideal dates. Having plenty of breathing space will make it easier to make decisions calmly and to carry on with your work and home life as usual.
Take it step by step
Just like a house, moves are built from the bottom up. Nothing can happen without the foundations in place, and buyers are the building blocks of your plans.
So, if there’s only one piece of advice you follow, make it this: find a buyer for your current home before committing to your next one.
It’s completely understandable to feel so confident when estate agents are telling you they can sell your home quickly, and with all those beautiful listings staring out seductively from the portals, the temptation to view can be hard to resist.
But you’ll face stiff competition from buyers in stronger positions, and the fear of losing the home you’ve set your heart on can leave you desperate to sell, even in a fast market. Feeling compelled to accept the first offer you get is not only stressful; it could also mean taking thousands less than your home is truly worth.
Pick an estate agent with a plan
Imagine your sale as a series of time bubbles. With each subsequent one becoming less effective, your agent needs a plan to maximise response early on and then maintain momentum.
Your first two weeks on the market are usually the most active. Your home appears online, portals give you a shiny ‘New Listing’ label and send out alerts, your agent calls their registered buyers, and new enquiries come in. You’ve also decluttered to perfection, and you tidy up enthusiastically to prepare for a flurry of viewings.
The following two weeks are also busy. Responses are still coming in from the people who couldn’t get around before – maybe they were away, or tied up with life, or holding off till they got a buyer of their own – and anyone who liked your home on their first viewing has arranged to come back for a second look.
At this point, after about a month on the market, you’ll have hopefully found a buyer or have offers coming in. If not, you’ll at least have enough feedback to know whether a sale is likely, or if you need to change tack.
Here’s where a plan becomes really important. Before choosing who to entrust with the sale of your home, ask each agent what they’ll do after those first four weeks if you haven’t got a buyer. How will they keep you on track to sell?
Accepting the right offer
Getting an offer is exciting, and you might even be lucky enough to have multiple buyers competing against each other, so let’s explore what makes a good one.
There’s much more to an offer than money, and your buyer’s position is every bit as important as the price they put forward.
>Everyone who makes an offer on your home should be able to confirm:
>Whether they need to sell another property;
>If they have a buyer yet;
>Full details of any chain involved;
>Proof of funds (mortgage, cash or both);
>That their deposit is readily available;
>If any money is coming from somebody else who also needs to see your home;
>When they want to move.
Getting these questions answered will help you identify a strong and secure offer with a timescale that fits your own. Just like a jigsaw – all the pieces need to be in place for the puzzle to be complete.
Expect the unexpected
Bumps in the road can come from survey results, mortgage valuations and the conveyancing process. They can happen to any home in a chain, but they don’t automatically mean the end of your move.
You can’t plan for everything, but instructing a solicitor as soon as your home goes on the market can reveal and resolve any potential legal issues, giving you a draft contract ready to go the moment you accept an offer.
And getting timeframes confirmed for every link in the chain when your sale is agreed, along with any booked holidays that might affect your moving date, can avoid fraught conversations as you approach exchanging contracts.
It’s also worth remembering that, despite the ups and downs, things generally work out.
Do your research
Often, the most stressful part of selling a house is not knowing what the process is and if things are moving as they should. Before you sell your house, do some research, and look into how long it takes and what each step is, from finding your buyer to exchanging keys. An aspect that lots of homeowners forget about that is incredibly important and often time-consuming is the conveyancing process, so understanding what delays are normal here can give you some peace of mind. Selling a house is rarely a quick process, so knowing this from the start can save unnecessary stress further into the process.
It’s hard to altogether avoid the stress of selling, but these tips can help you reduce your stress levels and make your selling experience the best it can be. Some things you have no control over, and sometimes just accepting that can help you reduce your stress levels, but that isn’t so easy for most homeowners.
I hope this helps!
If you’re looking for help in selling your North Wales home, I cover Bangor, Caernarfon, Llangefni, Pwllheli, Holyhead and the surrounding areas.
How to Pick the Ideal Estate Agent
February 26th, 2023
How to Pick the Ideal Estate Agent For Your North Wales Home?
If you are looking to put your North Wales home on the market this year you’re probably going to need the help of a local estate agent. However, before you go for any old estate agent, here are some tips to help you choose the right estate agent for you and your property.
Are they local?
Every market is different. Whether you’re buying in a city, the suburbs, or the country, you’ll want an estate agent who knows local market trends and patterns like the back of their hand. But not only do you want them to be knowledgeable of your local property market, but you also want them to know the community too. After all, they aren’t just selling your home, they are selling the lifestyle of living on the street and in that part of the community.
A good way to gauge local knowledge is simply to ask. Inquire about the basics, like average time on the market for newly listed homes and average sale prices, but also ask about their knowledge of the local schools, shops, parks, markets. And so on.
Do they have reliable experience?
It’s important to ask a potential agent how long they’ve been buying and selling homes, but don’t forget to dig a little bit deeper into their experience. Ask about their average list-price-to-sale-price ratio, as well as the amount of time it typically takes their clients to find and close on their new home. You’ll want to choose an estate agent who has a proven track record of getting buyers into homes fast (and getting them a great deal, too).
Choose the person, not the experience.
I am a firm believer in choosing an agent who works for you and with you. Don’t choose an agent based solely on experience. Although it’s good to have, it’s not everything. You will be spending a lot of time with that agent and you need to gel. Choose someone relatable and real. Choose for you, not for the house. Choose someone good at talking and negotiating.
Seek referrals from other homeowners.
Despite the technology that seems to take over much of the searching for a home, the right estate agent is still a human-to-human choice. A referral is best. There’s no bigger compliment to an agent than a referral from a past client. Ask homeowners who they would recommend. If you know the area you want to purchase in or sell your home in, there will be an expert in that area.
Find an agent you can trust.
As the client, you begin the dialogue — but pay close attention to the agent and how he/she listens and asks YOU questions. Most successful agents have access to the technology it takes to make your property seen or to find options for purchase, but it takes a human being to understand and work to achieve your specific goals. Take time to find a human you respect and trust.
Look for passion, conviction and honesty.
Look at the agent’s work. The easiest and most valuable way is to review how they’re marketing other properties. Look at their listing materials, website, brochures and signage. Pay attention to their personal appearance. Look for passion, conviction and honesty. You want your agent to tell you what it’s going to take to get your home to sell faster and for the best price.
Look for strong core values.
Whether it’s business or pleasure, finding a good person all comes down to core values. Core values are important because you want to work with someone that plays by the same rules you do. For example, if you are an honest person who tells the truth, would you not want someone to tell the truth to you?
Seek clear lines of communication.
First and foremost, you need to feel completely comfortable talking and communicating with the estate agent. If it feels awkward or if there is undue pressure placed on you by the estate agent, this is not the right fit.
Buyers Market vs. Seller Market
January 30th, 2023
What’s the difference between a buyers and sellers market?
A buyers market describes an economic situation in which goods are plentiful, buyers have many options and prices are low because of excess supply relative to demand. A sellers market describes an economic situation where goods are scarce, the number of buyers is relatively few, and prices are high because demand exceeds supply. However, the difference between buyers markets and seller markets is not as straightforward as it may initially seem.
What is a buyer’s market?
In a buyer’s market, real estate is more affordable because supply exceeds demand. This means there are more homes on the market than there are buyers – putting downward pressure on prices.
In a buyer’s market, properties not only tend to sell for less, but they also tend to stay on the market longer before an offer is made. Less interest from buyers means vendors need to price their properties more competitively to sell within a reasonable timeframe.
Although a buyer’s market typically means properties are cheaper to buy, they also might not offer much growth potential in the short term if the market is continuing on a downward trajectory.
What is a seller’s market?
A seller’s market is the opposite of a buyer’s market in that demand exceeds supply, meaning vendors can usually sell their properties quickly and at a favourable price.
In a seller’s market, time on market tends to be low, while median home and unit prices are high. Under these conditions, vendors are less likely to budge on price simply because they have more negotiating power.
It’s also not uncommon for properties to sell above their list price in a seller’s market as buyers compete for the hottest commodities.
How to tell if it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market
In most cases, property markets aren’t strictly favourable to buyers or sellers but rather a combination of both. For example, most UK cities have suburbs where demand is greater than supply and vice versa, creating pockets of both buyer’s markets and seller’s markets.
Tips for selling in a buyer’s market
In an ideal world, you would be able to sell during a seller’s market when property prices are at a peak and buyer demand is high. But there are a number of reasons why you might need to sell in a slow market, such as a change in family circumstances or because you’re moving to a different area. In any case, there are still things you can do to help secure the best price and sell within a reasonable timeframe, even in a buyer’s market:
Cast a wide net – Instead of waiting for prospective buyers to come to you, you’ll need to get in front of as many eyeballs as possible to improve your chances of selling. In addition to listing your property on the usual platforms, talk to your estate agent about marketing your property on places like social media and other community platforms to give it as much visibility as possible.
Have your home professionally staged – If you’re planning to sell your home, professional home staging can go a long way to getting you the maximum sale price. It helps accentuate the space and gives prospective buyers a view of your home as an attractive, modern space with plenty of lifestyle appeal.
Be flexible – You’ll want to take advantage of any potential opportunities that pop up, and that means being flexible and ready for inspections at any time. Keep on top of those little chores so your home is at least largely presentable for any prospective buyer who wants to make a last-minute viewing, as it takes only one to make the sale.
Consider incentives – Buyers are more likely to ask for incentives in a buyer’s market, so consider offering a couple of incentives upfront. This could be anything from throwing in the dishwasher and fridge with the property to offering to pay council rates for the first few months after the sale. Think about what you can do to sweeten the deal and get an edge over comparable properties in the area.Choose a trusted estate agent – Don’t just go with the most recognisable estate agents by default. Make sure to do your research and ask the right questions when evaluating estate agents so you can be confident the person you choose has an in-depth knowledge of your market and a solid track record.
Tips For Better Energy Efficiency at Home
December 28th, 2022
Why An Energy Efficiency Property Matters.
There’s been a significant rise in buyer interest in the energy efficiency of properties – but so far, it’s making no difference to house prices.
62% of respondents anticipate demand for energy-efficient properties improving over the coming three years; the current barrier for 85% of respondents to improve their energy efficiency is cost.
Energy efficiency means doing more with less. So, for instance, energy-saving light bulbs create the same amount of light but use less energy and waste less heat than old-style light bulbs.
In the same way, if two buildings use the same amount of energy to create heat, the building that can keep in more of that heat is more energy-efficient than the one that lets more escape. You get the idea!
Energy efficiency saves wildlife habitats and helps safeguard the planet. It helps to cut down our reliance on planet-polluting fossil fuels, and it also helps us pay as little as possible for our energy bills.
Taking just a few simple measures, such as turning your heating down or switching to a lower washing machine setting, can significantly affect annual bills. The sooner you start making changes; the more significant the savings will be.
So here is how to make your home more energy-efficient.
Insulate Your Roof
Insulating a roof is perhaps the easiest of all the energy-saving home improvements. It’s also within the capability of most DIYers, and the effect it will have on your energy bills depends on what you’re replacing and how big your roof is. It’s also much more important to do if you don’t have any loft insulation at all. Laying down a layer of roof insulation could cost very little. On average, loft insulation for an average semi-detached house costs around £300 – and it could save you as much as £750 on your bills after 5 years and about 610kg of carbon per year!
Insulate Your Walls
Insulating your solid walls could cut your heating costs considerably and make your home more comfortable. If your home was built before the 1920s, its external walls are probably solid rather than cavity walls.
Solid walls have no gap, so they can’t be filled with cavity wall insulation.
Cavity walls are made of two layers with a small gap or ‘cavity’ between them and could save you as much as £165 a year in heating bills and 680kg of carbon a year.
Solid walls can be insulated, though – either from the inside or the outside. This will cost more than insulating a standard cavity wall, but the savings on your heating bills will be bigger too.
Upgrade Your Boiler
Inefficient boilers are a significant source of expensive home energy bills. Your boiler accounts for 55% of your energy bills. That’s more than the rest of your electrical appliances combined!
How old is your central heating boiler? If it’s more than ten years old, it may be time to think about replacing it with a new high-efficiency model. You could save up to £205 per year on bills by replacing an old gas boiler with a new A-rated condensing one.
Today’s central heating boilers can heat water more efficiently, meaning they use less gas or oil to do the same job. This saves energy and will save you money.
Building regulations stipulate that the new appliance must be A-rated for energy efficiency if you replace an old boiler. This means it must be at least 88% efficient (most new boilers score over 90%), and to reach this level, it will almost certainly be one of the new-style condensing boilers.
Install Solar Panels
Installing solar panels can indeed be expensive, but in the long run, it’s one of the most effective things you can do to save energy at home. And with the price of solar panels being 70% cheaper today than in previous years, it’s much more affordable lately.
An average solar setup will cost you somewhere between £2,500 and £8,000 (including installation), depending on the number of panels and the size of your roof. Larger solar systems can generate as much as 4kWp, which is enough to meet the energy needs of a family of 3 to 4!
Draught-proof Your Windows
The average home loses 10% of its heat through its windows1. So when you’re thinking about making your home more energy-efficient, your windows should be one of the first places you look. Although double-glazing can be expensive, draught-proofing can be comparatively cheap and easy and often gives immediate results.
Do this, and you could save up to £160 a year on heating bills and 80kg of carbon. And that’s not to mention the increased levels of peace and quiet you’ll enjoy.
Switch To a Better Energy Plan
One of the easiest ways to save on your energy bills is to find the cheapest energy deal for you. You could also use the savings to invest in making your home more energy-efficient.
Most people end up saving money when they switch their suppliers. According to Moneysupermarket.com, customers could save up to £300 per year by switching their energy company.
Fit double glazing
Windows contribute 25-30% of heating and cooling energy in your home. Your home could easily lose heat or air conditioning simply because of the type of windows you have.
Double glazed windows not only improve heating and cooling efficiency, but their reinforced material has natural benefits to increase your overall comfort. The most significant benefits to installing double glazed are related to efficiency and heat. Since these factors affect your energy bills, they’re typically the most important to homeowners.
It’s easy to overlook the little things – but enough small actions can add up to some big changes. Taking small steps such as remembering to switch off lights or TVs does make some difference, so don’t give up on changing habits like this, and try to invest in things like a water-saving showerhead and an eco-kettle. A well-insulated, energy-efficient home can not only lower your bills and boost your home’s value, but it can also lead to a cleaner, greener world for everyone.
The UK government recognised the importance of good insulation and has announced The Green Homes Grant. It’s part of their effort to reduce carbon emissions and help cut energy bills. As part of the scheme, you’ll be able to spend up to £5,000 vouchers towards making your home more energy-efficient.
You can check here to see if you’re eligible for the scheme.