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SPRING SELLING TIPS for 2020 in FIFE

SPRING SELLING TIPS for 2020: How to prepare and present your home for prime selling season

Spring is usually the time of year when the largest numbers of buyers start registering with estate agents to find their next home. And with two long school holiday periods on the horizon – Easter and Summer – family friendly locations like Dunfermline, Glenrothes, Leven, Cupar, Kirkcaldy, East Neuk and St Andrews see a lot of property market activity. Continue reading SPRING SELLING TIPS for 2020 in FIFE

Top Tips on Downsizing to a Smaller Home

For a lot of older homeowners today, downsizing can be a great way to have a good clear out after your kids have left home, but also a fantastic way to free up some equity from your home. This financial boost will most likely come with the added bonus of a reduction in running costs as you move to a smaller home.

While there are plenty of benefits of downsizing, moving home can still be a complex and stressful experience, so we’ve put together a quick guide on what to consider to help make your move a much smoother transition.

Decide what you REALLY need Continue reading Top Tips on Downsizing to a Smaller Home

It takes just eight minutes to decide on a house

As any estate agent can tell you, a successful sale hinges on a good first impression. Prospective buyers possess a sixth sense when it comes to viewing a property and if things aren’t up to scratch – inside and out – you can guarantee they will spot it.

In fact, a recent study has revealed that the average house hunter only needs eight minutes to decide if a property is for them or not and six in ten adults will also choose not to buy a property based on the condition of the exterior of the property, without even needing to view the inside.

In comparison, 18% of buyers admitted to buying the very first property they view and 15% said they decided to buy the property before they had even viewed it in person.

This decisiveness extends online, with the average buyer spending eight minutes deciding whether or not to visit a property – highlighting the importance of a good online advert. This comes back to making sure you have a professional photographer to take stunning photos, a professional copywriter to describe and measure the property, emotive descriptions to catch the buyers attention, a correct and not over-inflated valuation for the home report and most of all an agent that’s going to jump on an enquiry regardless of when and what time it comes in. Proactive rather than reactive.

75% also confessed to being irritated upon finding that an advert or online listing does not accurately represent a property when visiting in person.

The study also revealed which aspects of a viewing signalled an early exit for many prospective buyers. The main offender was an obvious damp patch, which 60% of buyers said would put a stop to any future transaction, whilst a house on a main road or cracks in the wall would also put an end to the viewing.

For the buyers who are good at seeking out the problematic finer details of the property, there were some decisive reasons for buyers backing out of the viewing, such as dirty toilet pipes, overflowing bins, wheelie bins left in front of the property and faded or yellowed paintwork.

Some viewers take issue with a sellers lack of preparation for the viewing such as untidy rooms, poor DIY and ashtrays left around the house.

Other reasons included logistical problems such as the size of the rooms being too small for the buyer’s furniture or issues with the natural lighting of the property. The current owner’s furniture cluttering up the layout of a room which preventing the buyer’s imagination from running wild led to over a third of buyers to back out of a purchase.

The list showcases the importance of sprucing up your home, both before putting it on the market and before every viewing. A prospective buyer needs to weigh up the additional costs and work involved in buying a property, so ensure you give your home the most generic makeover possible and organise your possessions and furniture in a way that won’t distract the prospective buyer.

Some of these issues might seem very minor to you but it highlights the need to have an experienced agent that can overcome what you see as minor objections so the buyer does not walk away over something that could be trivial in hindsight.

Tips for Buyers and Sellers looking to move

It’s the start of a brand new year in the market, with buyers and sellers alike preparing to fulfil their New Year’s Resolutions and make their move. Market conditions appear to have stabilised after December’s general election brought with it a majority Conservative Government, but what can you do to give yourself the best chance of a successful transaction? Read our top tips for Buyers and Sellers below.

BUYERS TIPS

Research, Research, Research

As clichéd as it sounds, buyers who prepare sufficiently are more likely to end up with a better deal for the home they’re looking for. Once you’ve made the decision to begin house hunting, look into sale and listing prices for properties in the local areas that you’re interested in; this will give you a rough guide as to how much you can expect to spend.

Prepare your mortgage

If you’re house-hunting in a competitive area where properties are quickly snapped up, then getting a mortgage agreement in principle will give you an advantage when you find the property that you want. Having your finances in order and prepared can save time and prove invaluable if the home you want is likely to generate significant local interest.

Check the Home Report

Make sure you check the home report (Scotland) and the surveyor’s comments before you offer. This survey flags up any major issues or elements of the property that require attention, such as urgent defects or structural concerns. Depending on the age of the building, you could find yourself a wildly fluctuating amount of work to carry out, especially if previous owners have neglected its upkeep. Either way, this is an invaluable belts and braces report of the property and will provide peace of mind in any outcome. If it’s more than 3 months old once you have had an offer accepted, insist on the seller getting a refresh so it’s up to date. If a long time has passed since it was first listed it could be there is other issues you need to be aware of that could affect your initial offer price.

SELLERS TIPS

Research, Research, Research

Preparation is key for sellers, too! Make sure you know your property’s true value before it’s listed; carry out a full appraisal of your home with a trusted agent and not just an instant valuation to get a clear idea of what your property is worth. Inviting valuers into your home can also provide you with a fresh set of eyes which can be useful in flagging up any existing issues or reminding you of a few flaws that could require attention before going to market, too. Some even provide more specialist knowledge than just a valuation.

Find ways to add more value

If you’re looking for ways to add more worth to your property, then carrying out home improvement projects will certainly aid you. These can be relatively simple tasks, such as installing double glazing or adding extra insulation to your loft, or bigger jobs such as renovating your kitchen. Whilst the cost associated with these projects may be off-putting, it may pay off when it comes to increasing your home’s value. But ask the professionals first if it’s worth doing before doing it.

Declutter and organise

Take a look at each room in your house and you’ll likely find a few easy ways of decluttering and making extra space. This is vital for the viewing process as potential buyers need to be able to picture themselves living in this space, and in some rooms, it’s as easy as clearing a few worktops or mantlepieces.

In today’s market, preparation really is key whether you’re buying or selling. Carry out your market research, get your finances and paperwork and make sure you utilise a knowledgeable and local agent to help you through the process. One that has a consistent track record, years of experience and is an expert in their field. One that embraces and uses new technology and media marketing to hit specific target markets for your property rather than one that will put it on a few big websites and hope for the best. Proactive rather than reactive.

Preparing your property for sale in 2020

Time to pack up the decorations, take down the tree and munch down the rest of those leftovers; Christmas is over and 2020 is here! If you’re preparing to sell your property in the New Year, then you might be feeling a little overwhelmed at the amount of work your home requires before taking it to market. But don’t fret; we’re here with a list of top tips to help get you ready to show off your property.

How to nail the first impression

Almost all of the people with an interest in your property will get their first glimpse of what your home can offer in the form of pictures, either in an agent’s window or online. Not only that, but some buyers will drive by your abode to scope out its location and get a feel for it from the outside before they even enquire through the agent. If it’s not ready they might not even enquire as they have been put off before then. With that in mind, making sure your home is visually appealing and attractive will be your biggest priority in preparation for listing.

With that in mind, we’d strongly consider that you take the following into consideration:

  • Clean your windows – it’ll be easy to notice if you haven’t!
  • Give your front door a lick of paint to freshen it up and make your entrance feel more welcoming, along with a new doormat if yours is looking a little tired
  • Tidy up your entrance hall of any post and flyers
  • Clear out weeds from your paths and tidy your garden
  • Make space on your driveway for visitors to park
  • Be honest – hiding less-than-desirable features in the photos won’t help you as potential buyers will see defects when they view your home

Upping your Presentation

The above tips will certainly help to give your property a tidier feel, which is key; an organised home can give buyers a vital opportunity to picture how they will fit into the living space. But if you want to present your home in its best possible light, then consider how you present your home.

  • Declutter – a simple suggestion but one that can have a massive impact. Removing large bulky items from view, if only temporarily will have a massive effect
  • Let in the light – keep the curtains open, windows clean and any natural sources of light clear to give your home as bright a feel as possible
  • A warm place – make sure all rooms are heated prior to viewings, even those you don’t use often
  • Bathroom spaces – keep your bathroom and toilets clean, free of mould and tidy, and make sure your toiletries are kept to a minimum.

Time-consuming as it may seem, keeping your home tidy, organised and welcoming will put you in good stead for when those viewings start. Remember; visitors need to imagine themselves in your home!

What do homebuyers value most in a property?

According to recent research, home buyers regard traditional features as one of the most important factors in a property when looking for their next home. With the prevalence of first-time buyers in the marketplace, traditionally important factors such as school catchment areas are decreasing in terms of their importance to buyers.

At the top of the list of considerations for buyers is gardens – either private or shared – with almost a third of those surveyed ranking this as the most important factor when looking for a property. For those currently thinking of selling, the garden may take a backseat in terms of priorities over winter; however, in light of this research it may pay dividends to ensure that your outside space remains as pristine as your home over the coming months.

With the focus on gardens, it may come as no surprise that a private car parking or a driveway was ranked second with people now prepared to travel a little further to get that all-important additional space.

Additionally, the more mature generation look for garages and outbuildings to allow them to pursue hobbies as well as bathrooms, bedrooms etc on all floors to allow for more adaptable living.

Interestingly, in capital cities, good transport links were considered the most important factor, with 31% rating this as priority number one.

Amenities such as shops and restaurants, as well as good transport links, followed in the list of priorities with around 13% of respondents noting the importance of good local facilities.

Jim Parker, Managing Director of Fife Properties, noted that: “Buyers are placing more emphasis on searching for the right lifestyle fit for them and not just the right property, so it’s important to tick all the right boxes when selling your home. Concentrate on why they want to buy more than what they want to buy as this will be a key indicator in selling your home which allows you to stand out from the crowd and get a far better offer in the asking price for your home.”

House prices forecast to increase 1.2% over next three months

A new study from reallymoving.com has found that current market conditions are indicating a 1.2% increase in property prices over the next three months of summer, which bodes well for a strong summer. The average UK property price now stands at £237,110.

These figures are supported by analysis by the Halifax looking at house prices over the last quarter. The latest Halifax house price index showed that property values actually increased by 2.4% over the last quarter, with Russell Galley, Managing Director of Halifax, explaining that, “Generally the housing market is displaying a reasonable degree of resilience in the face of political and economic uncertainty. Recent figures show demand looking slightly more stable, with mortgage approvals ticking along just above the long-term average.”

With regional markets also showing resilience in the face of the potential instability that can be attributed to the ongoing Brexit uncertainty, property is set for another strong quarter. Eight of the twelve regions of the United Kingdom are set to see prices rise in the period to September 2019, with Northern Ireland and Wales all showing extremely positive growth.

Rob Houghton, CEO of reallymoving.com noted that: “The chance of us leaving the EU without a deal seems increasingly likely and people are realising that the window between now and the end of October may present their best opportunity to sell. The market has proved itself to be surprisingly stable over the last twelve months.”

Nearly half of over-55s would downsize to fund jet-setting lifestyle

With more people living longer and ageing with much better health than ever before, those aged 55 and over are playing a key part in the national economy. Recent research from SunLife has surveyed this age group and found that nearly half would sell up in order to fund a more jet-set lifestyle.

Recent data from the Office of National Statistics has shown that the proportion of those aged 65 and over will rise by 5% over the next thirty years, with greater economic contributions coming from this group as the years progress. For those currently 55 and over, SunLife questioned 1,000 homeowners with a big choice; if they had the option between staying in their family home but never holidaying away from the UK again, or downsizing and then using the cash for foreign holidays which would they choose?

Interestingly, nearly 50% said that they would downsize (44%) in order to enjoy a jet-set lifestyle in their later years – what this does suggest, however, is that 56% would not be prepared to sell their family home. The research has shown that as we get older, the more attached we become to our properties; with those in the 65-80 group voting overwhelmingly to keep their property at the expense of not holidaying again.

Of course, as we get older the inclination to travel could decline as we may be less mobile or find the appeal of travelling for long periods less attractive than in our younger years, which could explain the growing desire to stay-put as we age.

Fife Properties Group Office Owner, Jim Parker commented: “Years ago this was never a factor but more and more people are realising that it’s more beneficial to release equity now by downsizing so they can either enjoy a better quality of life at a more affordable level and also passing some money on to their children to help them get started or pay off their mortgage. One other factor that seems to be appearing is the realisation that life savings could end up being taken by the government to pay for long term care if it’s needed.”

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/

One in six parents are remortgaging for their children

With interest rates remaining incredibly low and competition amongst lenders producing some of the most favourable finance options ever seen, many are remortgaging in order to benefit from cost savings. Rather than simply easing the financial burden, however, recent research has shown that many parents are remortgaging in order to gift the extra money to their children.

A popular Price comparison website has found that one in six parents who remortgage their home then gift some of that extra cash to their children, with the average financial contribution standing at £9,050 per child and nearly 10% of parents giving over £20,000.

More than a third of the children who receive the financial gift utilise it as a deposit for a property, whilst others use it to go travelling (11%), buy a new car (11%) or pay for ‘everyday essentials’ (9%).

Rachel Wait, consumer affairs spokesperson at the price comparison website commented: “Our research found that 15% of parents released equity when they remortgaged to help their children. However, you’ll only be able to do this if your property has gone up in value and you’ll need to be sure you can afford to keep up with your new repayments.

“It’s also important to factor in the costs associated with remortgaging, such as arrangement fees which can be as much as £2,000, as well as legal, admin and valuation fees. Try to be realistic – only release equity to help your children with life events if you can really afford to do so.

“Also keep in mind that because a mortgage takes so long to pay back, remortgaging may not be the right option for everyone – there may be cheaper ways of getting a cash sum. It’s important to look at all options and shop around before making a decision.”

Fife Properties Group Office Owner, Jim Parker commented: “Remortgaging is a popular choice in a rising market but you need to be careful this does end up backfiring on you if the market does not continue to rise and leaves you in a difficult position that you cannot move when it becomes essential.” 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/

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