June 2019 - Fife Properties
Fife Properties

How to sell your property quickly in Summer

With plenty of buyers motivated to move before the winter months set in, summer can be the perfect time to sell your property. If you’re selling, or considering selling, then read some of our pointers to help you sell quickly this summer…

Kerb appeal
As is always the case with selling properties, a first impression can make or break a sale with a poorly presented property often putting off buyers before they have even set foot in the home. In the summer this is especially important as buyers will often drive or walk past a property before they decide to book a viewing. With the summer sun shining a light on any less-than-perfect parts of the exterior of your property, you should ensure that flowers are planted, weeds are pruned and lawns are mowed. Extra attention to details, such as ensuring that the front door has been cleaned and the windows are streak-free will pay dividends in your selling process.

A neutral interior will appeal to a mass market and increase the scope of your property in terms of potential buyers, but if you are looking to make the most of the summer then don’t be afraid of colour. Using accessories to add pops of colour around your home that reflect the brighter summer season – such as burnt orange and lemon – will make your property stand out from the crowd in those all-important photographs.

When we think of summer, we all first think of sunshine and brighter evenings – so make the most of this light when presenting your home for sale. Get rid of heavy curtains and dark blinds, which can make a room feel smaller and prevent the light from entering a room. Buyers want to feel that rooms are bright and spacious, so if possible, have windows and doors open throughout the house to create a light, airy feeling (as well as bringing in those fresh summer scents).

Set dress
Set dressing refers to the arranging of a room or space in order to paint a picture of the kind of lifestyle which could be enjoyed in your property. Never is it more important to set dress your garden than throughout the summer months, with potential buyers wanting to know that they will be able to enjoy the outdoor space which your home provides. Tempt potential buyers by showing off your outdoor spaces with garden furniture, fire pits and barbecues.

Viewing times
During the summer months, many people like to start work early and leave early in order to benefit from the longer evenings; make sure that you can accommodate as many viewings as possible by being flexible with your viewing times. Allowing people to view your home early in the morning, as well as in the afternoon will help bring more people through the door as well as showing off your property in a favourable light.

Fife Properties Managing Director, Jim Parker commented: “Summer is certainly a lot faster when selling as people can now view in the evening because of the lighter nights. All these tips can add real value to your property and often get more than the home report value as people can see themselves moving in easily with not much to do. Now is the time to sell while the going is good”
Fife Properties currently offer a FREE initial consultation service which not only provides an idea of the current value of your property but gives extremely useful advice on maximising the value when selling. To book click the link: https://www.fifeproperties.co.uk/property-valuation/

Traditional estate agents found to be good value for money

With recent changes to the landscape of estate agency, including online-only providers and new fee structures, it may come as a surprise to some to see that traditional estate agents are considered good value with regards to fees and value-for-money, estate agent comparison site GetAgent has found.

The review site has found that 84% of home sellers who purchased a property over the last year decided to use a traditional estate agent, with 69% of those feeling that the fee which they paid was good value for money. It would seem, therefore, that when making one of the biggest decisions that many of us will ever make, the traditional method of building a relationship with an agent who then leads you through the buying or selling process is still heavily favoured.

Colby Short, founder and chief executive of GetAgent, said: “We’ve seen some big changes to the sector over the last decade through the rise and fall of the online agent and this consumer learning curve has led to an adjustment in opinion when it comes to the fee charged to sell a home.

“While a low fixed fee may have seemed like the future of home selling and many may have sold successfully via that model, a number of high-profile company collapses along with a consistent string of customer service failures has seen the market share of online agents fail to live up to expectation.

“Previously, the commission fee charged by traditional agents was seen as too high, I think the consumer is now starting to realise that you get what you pay for.

“To pay a few thousand pounds in commission to achieve a higher sold price while securing a buyer in current market conditions is ultimately much better value for money than a few hundred up front and no sale achieved at the end of it.

“Of course, the current lethargy plaguing the market is not ideal and has evidently had an impact on the price achieved and the time it’s taking to sell, but I think it has helped demonstrate the worth of a good estate agent which is a silver lining for the industry at least.”

Fife Properties Group Office Owner, Jim Parker commented: “I agree. Choosing an Estate Agent to sell your house will probably be one of the most important things you will ever do. While fees are important what is equally important is the end result. Having an Estate Agent that can demonstrate the ability to achieve more than the asking price on consistent basis could far outweigh trying to save a few hundred pounds in fees at the beginning. We have that track record”

Fife Properties currently offer a FREE initial consultation service which not only provides an idea of the current value of your property but gives extremely useful advice on maximising the value when selling. To book click the link: https://www.fifeproperties.co.uk/property-valuation/

Property transaction numbers increase by 4%

A key indication to the health of the property market is always transaction numbers, with healthy transactions pointing towards a strong marketplace with serious buyers. In April this year, there were an estimated 64,000 transactions which represents a 4% increase in transactions from the same point last year, according to LSL and Acadata.

With a marked increase in transaction numbers, the market is proving to be extremely resilient in a turbulent political landscape. Strong first-time buyer activity in the marketplace, with many taking advantage of the Government Help-To-Buy scheme, as well as the changes to Stamp Duty encouraging purchases. Indeed, only 65% of transactions were reported as liable for Stamp Duty during the first quarter of this year.

Supporting this increase in transaction volumes is an extremely solvent mortgage market, with more money being injected into the housing market in May 2019 than at any point since 2017. In May this year almost £9bn of home-purchase mortgages were approved by banks and lenders, which is 6% higher than the previous month and an 11% increase on the same time last year.

“April’s marked rise in mortgage approvals suggests that housing market activity may well have got at least some temporary support from the avoidance of a disruptive Brexit at the end of March,” said Howard Archer, chief economic adviser at EY ITEM Club, an economic forecasting group.

It seems that the sentiment in the market is that both buyers and sellers are somewhat fed up of waiting for a Brexit resolution, and are therefore eager to carry on with their property transactions in the present rather than biding their time.

Fife Properties Managing Director, Jim Parker commented: “It is business as usual as the public cannot hold on forever to see what Brexit brings. I am not convinced that it will have any further adverse effects as these have already been factored in when people are deciding. The reality is you have to move for circumstances and not because you feel like it so my advice is always to do it now if you need to, as you don’t know what will change later.”

Fife Properties currently offer a FREE initial consultation service which not only provides an idea of the current value of your property but gives extremely useful advice on maximising the value when selling. To book click the link: https://www.fifeproperties.co.uk/property-valuation/

How to become a buy-to-let landlord (3 min read)

Bricks and mortar have always been a bolthole for people looking to invest their money in a safe place and, despite recent changes to the lettings market, buy-to-let remains a popular investment avenue. If you are looking to become a buy-to-let landlord, then the results can be fruitful – follow our five tips below to start your journey!

Mortgage Matters
The first port of call if you are considering becoming a buy-to-let landlord is the mortgage market; either with your current mortgage provider if you are looking to convert a current mortgage into buy-to-let, or to the general marketplace if you are looking to buy a new property for lettings purposes. Ensure that you shop around for your buy-to-let mortgage as the marketplace is currently extremely competitive in terms of lending, which should help you to obtain favourable rates. If you are converting your mortgage, ensure that your lender has granted you “Consent To Let” before you move any tenants into the property.

Managed or Unmanaged?
With the recent surge in tenant and landlord legislation, managing your own property may seem like a daunting prospect. If this is the case, then look for a reputable estate agent who will manage the lettings process for you – this will take a lot of the stress out of letting a property for you. If you are more confident, then you may want to work with an agent to list your property and find tenants, but then manage those tenants independently – if this is the case then seek as much advice as possible and keep legislation at the top of your list as a landlord.

Landlord Insurance
When it comes to buy-to-let properties, you will need to make sure that you are covered for every eventuality. Specialist landlord insurance is a must, as well as buildings insurance, and if you have furnished a property then contents insurance may also be required. Speak to your chosen estate agent about their recommendations in terms of insurers and remember that spending a little on comprehensive cover may save you a lot in the long run.

Once you have your buy-to-let mortgage in place, you have your tenants in a fully-insured property and you are reaping the rewards, one of the key steps will be filing your taxes correctly. With buy-to-let being an investment source, you will have to pay specific taxes regarding the property and the profit which you are making from that; speaking to an accountant will help you to get your finances in order. Further to this, you will be able to offset some of your expenses and costs against tax – don’t miss out on these opportunities.

Target Market
It would be easy once you have your investment property in place to then sit back and relax. One of our recommendations would be to keep your finger on the pulse of the lettings market and adapt your property accordingly. Currently, the student lettings market is extremely popular and the potential rental yield extremely high, therefore it could be a good market to position your property within currently. As the economy changes, families may be the driving market in lettings, or indeed young professionals, therefore stay flexible with your offering and you may well be able to increase your portfolio.

Fife Properties Lettings Director, Richard Cook commented: “This is a market that we are leading in and with over 50 years of combined experience and track record it speaks for itself. Letting a property is not for the faint-hearted because it is not about getting the tenant in the property it is making sure you have the right tenant that has undergone proper vetting and after this, it is the 50 pieces of legislation you have to contend with next to make sure you are doing it right. If you are not sure then it pays to get the best advice first on all of the points about and more. This is where we excel.”

Fife Properties currently offer a FREE initial consultation service which not only provides an idea of the current rental value of your property but gives extremely useful advice on maximising your return of investment when renting. To book click the link: https://www.fifeproperties.co.uk/property-valuation/