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What is Gazundering and How to Avoid It
As a seller in today’s world, there are lots of terms to get to grips with. Gazundering and gazumping are just two of the main ones – both of which can cause big problems.
While gazumping mostly affects buyers, gazundering is something that hurts the seller the most and can be extremely frustrating.
If you’re wondering what gazundering is, whether it’s illegal and how you can avoid it when selling your home, here’s everything you need to know about the subject.
What is Gazundering?
Gazundering is when a buyer lowers their offer at the last minute, usually just before you’re about to exchange contracts.
It’s completely different to gazumping, which is when a buyer is outbid at the final hour and a seller accepts. But it’s just as big of a problem. Gazundering can lead to delays in the chain, a loss of money and even a fall through in the sale.
Is Gazundering Illegal?
If the next question you’re asking yourself is ‘Is gazundering even legal?’, unfortunately, yes it’s legal in the UK. The contract for the sale only becomes binding at the point of exchange, so gazundering is allowed by law. But whether it’s ethical is a different matter!
Why Does Gazundering Happen?
There are many reasons why a buyer could offer a lower price at the last minute. It could be for genuine reasons, like the survey showing costly works or they’ve been gazundered themselves and can no longer afford your home.
But it could be for other, less favourable reasons too. Some people gazunder because of a miscalculation in finances, a change of heart, or simply to be sneaky to get a cheaper deal.
How to Avoid Gazundering
While there’s always a risk of gazundering when selling your home, there are some things you can do to avoid it. Here are Warren Powell-Richards’s top tips on how to avoid gazundering.
- Get a Realistic Valuation
One of the best ways to avoid gazundering is to make sure you get a realistic valuation in the first place. If you know about issues with your property, be upfront about them with your estate agent. And don’t worry about losing buyers – there’s a market for everything!
- Consider Paying For Survey Issues
Sometimes, you don’t know about issues with your home until the survey. If problems are uncovered, consider whether you’d be prepared to fund the works fully or partially, by doing it yourself or accepting a lower offer. Either of these things could help keep the buyer on your side.
- Choose a Good Estate Agent
Choosing a good estate agent is always important. But it could also be the best trick in the book to avoid being gazundered! While an estate agent can’t prevent gazundering entirely, they can help you find a good buyer. They’ll establish how serious a buyer is and won’t pressure anyone into a sale they’re not committed to.
If you’re selling your home, make sure you’ve got an expert on your side. Here at Warren Powell-Richards, our friendly team of agents are here to make the sale of your home go smoothly.
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How To Sell a Home in Need Of Repair
Just because your home is a fixer-upper, that doesn’t mean you can’t sell it for a great price. There is a huge market of family DIY-ers and developers that would love to snap up your home and give it a refresh.
Here at Warren Powell-Richards, we can help sell any property, no matter the condition. But if you’re worried about buy-ability, check out these tips on how to sell a home in need of repair.
- Make Small Updates
Are there small things you can fix that won’t make the house look so broken? Like a wonky door handle or a missing lightbulb?
If there are little, cheap things you can fix around your home, and you have the time, just do it. While these issues may seem small in comparison to the bigger deals, they can stand out in the photos.
- Clean Up
Even though your home needs investment, a clean home is always more attractive than a messy one. Cleanliness may not matter much to a developer. But if your buyer is a DIY family that’s looking to live in your home while fixing it up, cleanliness will make the house appear more homely and liveable. Plus, a tidy home can make the repair work seem less daunting and overwhelming.
- Be Honest
When meeting your estate agent, be honest about the repair work you know is needed. Just because your home needs investment, that doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get a great price. But lying about the issues or covering things up can break trust – not just between you and your agent, but with potential buyers, too.
If an estate agent is going to sell your home to the right buyer, they need to know everything. So don’t scrimp on the detail and make sure you’re being as honest as possible.
- Highlight The Positives
A good estate agent will automatically be able to draw on the positives. But it’s still good to share the small things they may not know. Like the fact that you get a great sunset from the master bedroom. Or that the garden is south facing. All these things can help highlight the potential of your home.
- Manage Expectations
If your home needs repair, it can still have great saleability. But it’s a good idea to manage your expectations, especially if your home needs a lot of investment.
Consider that your home may be valued at the lower end of the price range. Or that you may get a few offers under the asking price from interested buyers. If a buyer undertakes a survey, be prepared that they may renegotiate if any major work is thrown up. This may not happen, but it’s good to manage your expectations before you enter the process.
Want More Tips From An Expert?
At Warren Powell-Richards, we pride ourselves on getting the best value for you. We’re always looking for new homes and new challenges – and we’d love to hear from you if you’re selling your home!
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How to Find Out When a House Was Built
If you’re selling your home, you may need to find out when exactly the property was built. Finding out is usually very easy. But, sometimes, limited data is available about when a property was developed – so you may need to do some digging.
Thankfully, there are multiple ways to find out when a property was built to help you when you’re selling your home.
If you need to know when your house was built, here’s an overview of some of the different ways you can find out the exact year.
- Contact HM Land Registry
One of the most reliable ways to find out when a house was built is to contact HM Land Registry. They keep records of land ownership and can usually provide information about who bought the land and when – which can tell you the approximate age of your home.
- Contact the Local Authority
Sometimes, local authorities hold archives around when planning permission was requested on the land to build your home, which can help you find out when your home was built.
- Check Previous Mortgage Surveys
If the property has a mortgage and a survey was undertaken, this will usually contain information about what year the property was built.
- Ask the Previous Owner
Another great way of finding out when your house was built is to ask the previous owner. This is especially helpful if you can’t find any records online about your property and its history.
- Speak to Neighbours
It’s not uncommon to have neighbours who have lived in a house all their lives, so they may know exactly when your house was built. If there are homes similar to yours nearby, speak to your neighbours to see if you can find out a date.
- Ask a Local Historian
If you want to know more than just the year your property was built (like the exact date, who built it and more information about the previous owners), you can ask a local historian or someone that specialises in researching the local area.
If you have an older home, this can be particularly helpful to understand more about its history – which can be a great talking point with potential buyers!
- Ask an Estate Agent
As your local estate agent, we have a wealth of information about properties. If you’re selling your home and need to know when it was built, ask us for advice and we will do our best to help.
Need Property Advice?
If you need help finding out when your house (or a house you’re interested in buying) was built, Warren Powell-Richards are your local property experts. Our friendly team of estate agents are happy to help answer your questions about properties in the area.
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Essential Tips to Help You Rent Out Your Home
Considering renting out your home but not quite sure where to get started? You’re in the right place. With years of experience in matching landlords with tenants, we’ve got the lowdown on all the essential steps you need to take to rent out your home. The team at Warren Powell-Richards have put together our top tips for homeowners who are now thinking of renting out their home:
First things first: research, research, research
As with most things, renting out your home should start with lots of research!
Start by checking out other properties being let in your area to see what’s on the market. What kind of features do they have? How much rent are they being advertised for?
We can help you greatly in this regard, allowing you to get a good idea of the local rental market and help you feel prepared.
Find yourself a great letting agent (Hint: we can help!)
This is an essential step that can make or break how smoothly the letting process goes.
If you’d like expert help with the letting process, take the time to find yourself a capable local letting agent. Do your research online and check out customer testimonials and online reviews.
We recommend getting quotes from at least three local letting agents and having a face-to-face meeting or video call with them all before you decide to entrust them with your property.
We would love you to choose Warren Powell-Richards to help you let your property, but we also understand that it’s essential you get a good fit. We are happy to discuss your requirements, and you can book an appointment with us on 01483478200 for an informal chat!
Not quite sure why you might need a letting agent? Here’s how we can help:
Advise you on how much rent to charge
Market the property for you
Hold viewings and show prospective tenants around
Draw up tenancy agreements
Deal with any property maintenance and repairs directly with the tenant on your behalf
Most letting agents will charge around 10% of your rental income for this service. Which brings us on to our next point…
Do the maths
Before you commit to renting out your home, take some time to weigh up the costs to see whether it will be worth it financially. You can do this once you’ve researched the market and spoken to us to get a better understanding of how much rent you should charge. Factor in tax, agent fees and any other costs involved in maintenance and management to figure out how much you’ll actually be left with.
Ask yourself: will this figure cover your mortgage payments and leave you with a little extra to justify the time and effort spent letting your property? You should also be left a little extra for any ‘in case of emergency’ funds.
Inform your mortgage lender
Once you’re sure it makes financial sense to rent out your property, follow the terms of your mortgage contract and let your mortgage provider know.
It’s easily done, just discuss a ‘consent for lease’ with them and once approved you’re free to start letting.
Arrange your landlord insurance
If you already have an insurer for your house, inform them of your decision to rent out your property. They may need to change your existing insurance policy to reflect that there will now be tenants living there.
Protect your property and your investment further by sorting out landlord insurance. Some landlord insurance policies will cover you in case of missed rental payments. Please ask us for recommendations if you’re not sure where to find the best policy.
Prepare your property
Once you’ve done all your research, worked out your numbers and hired a reputable letting agent, it’s time to shift your focus back to the property itself. Before any tenants move into your house, there are a few vital preparation steps to take. These include the following:
Deciding whether you’ll be including furniture or renting out an unfurnished home. This is important to clarify early on in the process as some tenants are only looking for furnished homes.
Making sure any required maintenance checks and repairs are carried out before your tenants move in to avoid inconveniencing them.
Removing any items or pieces of furniture that could easily be damaged – there’s no point putting yourself through the stress of leaving them there!
Checking that all appliances are working and investing in any essentials that could sweeten the deal for potential tenants.
Giving your property a little spruce up and a fresh lick of paint if needed. Staging your house with appealing decor can make a huge difference in how quickly it comes off the market.
Interested in letting your property? For expert rental advice, please contact our team of professionals at Warren Powell-Richards.
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5 Tips to Make Your House Look Larger
For many people, buying a bigger house or building an extension is an unaffordable dream, but being short of space doesn’t mean you have to feel squashed in your home.
Here are 5 tips to help you make your house look larger.
Nothing makes a room feel smaller than unnecessary clutter. Whether it’s paperwork and magazines lying around, or kids’ toys strewn across the living room floor, a messy room always feels smaller than it actually is.
If this sounds familiar then it’s time for a clear-out, and don’t be afraid to be ruthless. Divide all your unnecessary clutter into three categories. Things that just need throwing out, items you can take to the charity shop, and items you can sell to make some extra cash.
Not only will a good decluttering free up some space and make your house look larger, but it’s also great for your mental wellbeing too.
- Brighten Your Rooms Up
Painting your rooms with light, bright colours will automatically make them feel bigger. And by bright, we don’t mean fluorescent yellows and pinks. Just an off white or a pastel yellow will instantly transform a room.
Avoid darker colours and heavily patterned wallpaper, and go for neutral, light and bright colours.
And when it comes to brightening the rooms up it’s not just the walls to consider. Having blinds instead of curtains will take up less space, and you can opt for light fittings with brighter bulbs to really lighten the room up and allow more light to radiate.
- Buy Multi-Functional Furniture
This is definitely the most practical thing you can do to create more space and store away clutter. For example, you could invest in a sofa-bed that can be folded up when it’s not being used, giving you more floor space.
Or you could opt for an Ottoman bed, so you’ve got lots of extra storage space without cluttering the room.
Essentially any furniture that can be folded up or doubled up for storage is likely to be a good investment.
Another tip when it comes to furniture is to avoid items that lie on the floor and buy ones with legs, such as coffee tables and sofas. This allows more light to come in and give the room an airier feel, and it can also double up as extra storage space underneath. Just be careful not to use it as an excuse to add more clutter though!
- Use Mirrors
A couple of well placed mirrors can make a huge difference when it comes to making a room feel bigger.
Choose a range of shapes and sizes and place them strategically throughout your house and you’ll be amazed at the effect they can have.
Because they reflect natural and artificial light, they’ll make any room seem brighter whatever time of day it is, and they’ll give the illusion of making a room feel larger just by being there.
Another tip with mirrors is to place one near a window so it’s reflecting the outside world. This can make a huge impact on a room’s perceived space.
- Arrange Your Furniture to Maximise Space
Large items in the middle of a room are probably the biggest no-no when it comes to maximising your space. Unless of course, there’s plenty of room to get around them.
Keeping large, bulky pieces of furniture against the walls is usually the best thing to do, so you can keep as much floor space free as possible. And be sure to keep pathways around furniture as clear as possible, as squeezing between a bed and a wardrobe for example will only heighten the feeling of being cramped.
Another trick you can use when it comes to furniture is to use shelves over cabinets as much as possible, and the higher up the better. A bulky bookcase will take up a significant amount of space, but if you can put a couple of shelves high up on the wall which will fit all of your books then you’ll be freeing up valuable floor space.
When it comes to furniture, if space is at a premium, then stick to the essentials. While it’s nice to have extra armchairs and fancy floor lamps, ask yourself if they’re actually necessary or just an extra feature that’s nice to have.
The key to making a room feel larger when it comes to furniture, is to keep as much floor space free as you possibly can, especially pathways through rooms.