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Buying your first home is both an exciting and daunting prospect, and making an offer can be particularly nerve-wracking if you’ve never done it before.

Getting your offer spot-on can be the difference between bagging a bargain and paying significantly over the odds for a property. If you’re a first time buyer, then read on for some top tips on making an offer.

  • Get a Mortgage In Principle

Before you even think about making an offer on a property, it’s vital that you know what your budget actually is.

Many would-be buyers make an offer on a property assuming they’ll be able to borrow the amount they need, but in reality, they might come up short.

And on the other hand, you may be able to borrow more than you actually think, so you’re viewing properties that are much lower than your real budget.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to visit a mortgage broker before making an offer so they can tell you exactly how much you can borrow.

Having a mortgage in principle will also help you when it comes to making your offer as it shows that you’re a serious buyer and that you’re well prepared.

  • Do Your Research

It’s worth bearing in mind that the asking price and the value of a property aren’t necessarily the same thing.

Remember, sellers want to get as much money for their property as possible, and the asking price is usually the figure they’re hoping to achieve, rather than the figure they’re willing to accept.

Find out how much other properties in the area have been sold for recently, and find out how long the property you’re interested in has been up for sale.

Has the price been reduced, or has it remained the same? Getting these valuable pieces of information will help you to put in an offer that’s more likely to be accepted.

  • Play To Your Strengths

As a first time buyer, you’re in a relatively strong position when it comes to negotiating, particularly if the seller is looking to move quickly.

First time buyers are generally very attractive to sellers because there’s no lengthy chain to consider, which means a faster buying process and potentially more flexibility on exchange and completion dates.

Therefore, don’t forget to gently remind your estate agent and the seller, of your first time buyer status.

If time is an issue for them, sellers may be willing to accept a slightly lower offer from a first time buyer than a higher offer from someone who’s part of a chain.

  • Don’t Worry If Your First Offer Is Rejected

Making an offer can be a bit of a balancing act. On the one hand, you want to get the lowest price possible, but on the other, you don’t want to make an offer so low that it frustrates the seller and leaves them not wanting to sell to you.

As long as your initial offer isn’t ridiculously low then don’t be worried if the seller rejects it. Remember, it’s all just a natural part of the negotiating process, as the seller is looking to get as much as possible for the property, and rejecting an offer isn’t anything personal against you or a sign that they’re offended.

There’s no set rule on how much to offer, or how much you can expect to knock off the asking price, but if you’re in two minds about making a cheeky offer, then don’t rush in!

  • Don’t Be Afraid To Renegotiate After A Survey

A property viewing is usually completed in under 30 minutes. Sometimes it can be less than 10, so of course, you’re not going to spot every detail that you might need to know before making an offer.

It’s only after the offer has been accepted and your solicitor has started their searches that you’ll start to get a more detailed picture of the property you’re buying, and it’s at this point that certain flaws or issues may crop up.

For example, the boiler may have never been serviced, or the conservatory might have been underpinned.

If anything comes up in your searches or survey that’s likely to cost you a lot of money to sort out in future, then you may be in a reasonable position to reduce your offer or ask the seller to have the issue fixed before you commit.

Of course, they may dismiss your concerns and find another buyer, but it’s worth remembering that you can renegotiate at any point before contracts are exchanged, so just because an offer has been accepted, it doesn’t have to be your final one.

If you are a first time buyer and you have questions about the buying process, give us a call for help and advice. Warren Powell-Richards are your local property experts, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or pop into branch and see us.

You may have heard about probate and “probate property” but not really know much about what it actually means.

You wouldn’t be the only person for whom probate is much of a mystery. After all, it’s not every day that you have to deal with probate matters.

In this article, we set out in plain English:

  • What is probate
  • What probate property means
  • How to navigate your way through probate whether you are buying or selling.

What is Probate?

When someone dies, the person who applies for the right to deal with the deceased’s possessions and property has to “apply for probate”. If the person who died left a Will, then the applicant can be given a “grant of probate”.

If someone has not left a Will, then a person gets “letters of administration”. If someone hasn’t left a Will but has part-owned a property it will pass to the part-owner. Note that the rules are slightly different in England when compared to Wales or Scotland. More information can be found on the Government websites.

Our Advice When someone dies, you will need to contact the owner of the asset (property). This is usually the organisation with whom the deceased has a mortgage. It is helpful in this case if paperwork is easily traceable along with details of finances and other things to do with a home.

What is a Probate Property?

A probate property is a property that is subject to the probate process. You will need to have the ‘grant of probate’ to be able to dispose of the property. You’ll have the authority to sell the property and sign all the required documents. Without it, the property will be in limbo.

Our Advice  The probate process can be lengthy, and sometimes seem complex. While probate may not be something you have to deal with right now, it is worth understanding what you need to do in advance.

How to Find Out Who Owns a Property

It’s quite simple to find out who owns a property. The Government website is the best place to refer to, although there are commercial sites that offer a similar service.

If you go to the Land Registry site, you need to create an account and then find the property you want information about. For a small fee, you can then download a copy of the Land Registry document that tells you who owns a specific property. If a bank or other organisation still has a charge over it (which means money is still owed on it), it will show up on the document.

Our Advice Know the exact address for the property you want the information for. While it may only be a small cost, if you’re downloading a number of documents, the cost will start to rack up.

Selling a Probate Property

Putting the property on the market is not the end of the story. Remember, when you’re selling a probate property, it has to be valued as it was at the time the deceased passed away. This is because it has inheritance tax implications and HRMC need to know the correct figures.

You should wait until you have the legal authority to sell the property before marketing it. While it may be tempting to get ahead of things by putting the property on the market, the legal side of probate means you could end up losing potential buyers if you are premature.

Our Advice Use a conveyancer to deal with the legal side of things. You can also use the services of a solicitor who specialises in inheritance tax and conveyancing.

Buying a Probate Property

A probate property could be an opportunity to get your hands on a relatively inexpensive home. Often, a property that has been inherited is not needed by the recipient and a quick sale releases preferred funds. In this case, the seller may be tempted to accept a lower offer to get the property off their hands.

Be aware that if the property is being sold by an executor who has never lived in the property themselves and doesn’t know it very well, there may be unknown issues so it’s wise to get a survey done. Similarly, make sure that whoever is selling the property has the authority to do so!

Our Advice Do your homework. Ask questions of the executor or the estate agent and be thorough.

A probate property presents opportunities, but there are i’s to dot and t’s to cross. There’s paperwork to get right and it’s paramount that you seek advice from transparent experts who will tell you everything you need to know.

Communication is key, whether you are buying or selling a probate property. We can help you with the process.

Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Home staging is the process of preparing your property for sale. It involves making your home look its absolute best, encouraging viewers to place an offer on your property.

It generally starts with a thorough declutter, which makes the property seem more inviting and helps hugely with the moving process. Where necessary, you might also decide to redecorate. Depersonalising your home and repainting in a neutral palette can also help viewers envisage themselves in your home.

Many seasonal factors will also affect how you display your home, so here are our top tips for staging your home in autumn.

Focus on Kerb Appeal

First impressions count. From the second prospective buyers see your home, they should be wowed.

You should start by tidying up the garden, including mowing the lawn, de-weeding the path and repainting the fence. Next, clean the windows and repaint the front door where necessary.

To add an autumnal touch, consider a wreath made from deep oranges and brown tones, a classy way to incorporate the season into your décor.

Clear The Entranceway

The attention you have paid to the front of your home should continue into the porch or hallway. In autumn, these spaces are often cluttered with raincoats, muddy boots, and rouge leaves.

Be sure to deep clean the space making it warm and inviting for your viewers.

Sprinkle Autumnal Décor Carefully

It can be easy to go overboard when staging your home in autumn. With so many fun seasonal accessories available, many homeowners struggle to know where to draw the line.

Each room should have a nod to the season rather than revolving around it. For example, consider a singular piece of artwork, floral arrangement or pumpkin display in each room, which will avoid your home being taken over by the season!

Stage The Outdoors

Just because the weather is cooling doesn’t mean that your buyers don’t want to see the outside space. Leave out your garden furniture to show your viewers exactly how they can utilise the garden with their family and guests.

Even for those with tiny outside spaces, showing prospective buyers how they can enjoy this area will encourage them to make an offer.

Incorporate Autumnal Scents

Making your home smell fantastic doesn’t have to be as cliché as warm cinnamon rolls in the oven, but incorporating autumnal scents into your home will entice buyers to stay and see what the property has to offer.

Use candles and reed diffusers to allow subtle scents to float around the home. Pumpkin and burnt orange align with the seasons but be careful not to use too many contrasting scents, which can often counteract each other.  

Style The Dining Table

As the nights begin to draw in, our homes truly become our sanctuaries. So when buyers are viewing in autumn, they are already thinking of the festive period they will enjoy in their new home.

Therefore, showcasing how great the property is for hosting is of paramount importance. Lay the table, complete with an autumnal runner, crockery and glassware. This will make the room warm and inviting, encouraging visitors to imagine their friends and family enjoying the entertainment space. 

Focus on Lighting

Lighting is crucial when staging your home in any season.

Without enough lighting, your home will look dark and uninviting. On the other hand, if the lighting is too intense, the space will look uncomfortable and clinical.

Soft, freestanding lights tend to work better than brighter overhead bulbs. Use a collection of table and floor lamps to create a subtle glow around the home, complimenting any natural light rather than overpowering it.

Highlight The Fireplaces

As mentioned, viewers want to see a house they can imagine spending the winters tucked up inside. And nothing screams cosy evenings like a fireplace.

The warm embers and soft glow of an original fireplace will be enough to entice any buyer.

Use Dried Floral Arrangements

Flowers are an excellent final touch for styling any home. They allow you to add just the right amount of personality along with a pop of colour to every room. However, autumn is not the optimum time for fresh flowers.

Consider instead investing in a few dried bouquets to dot around the property. These look incredible, stand the test of time, and can be easily transported to your new home.  

Earthy tones are perfect for autumn, and be sure to add in some bright yellows to liven up the room.

We’re here to help

At Warren Powell-Richards, we understand that selling your home can be stressful and we’re here to help you every step of the way.

Contact us today via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a friendly chat about our services.

Selling your home to a property developer can be very different to selling to a homeowner. Even though a sale is a sale, there are certain things to consider before deciding whether it’s right for you.

In this article, we’ll explore what the pros and cons are when selling to a property developer to help you decide if it’s the right path for you.

What Are the Pros?

  1. Chain-Free Sale

Selling without a chain is often highly desirable. You can achieve this with a first-time buyer. But selling to a developer is another way of getting a chain-free sale.

Without a chain, your home can usually sell quicker (meaning you can move quicker). Plus, if you’re buying at the same time, your offer could be more favourable to other sellers.

  1. Less Uncertainty

With every sale, there’s a degree of uncertainty. A buyer could pull out at any time – even a property developer.

However, generally, selling your home to a property developer comes with less uncertainty. Most developers will already have sufficient plans drawn up for your home and are unlikely to pull out at the last minute.

  1. Quicker Sale

There are always hoops to jump through when selling a property that takes time.

But since developers likely invest in property often (and therefore have everything ready – including a solicitor lined up), you can usually get a quicker sale.

  1. No HomeStaging

If you’ve been approached when your home wasn’t listed for sale, you won’t have to deal with home staging entirely when selling to a developer.

What Are the Cons?

  1. Risks of Fall Through

Just like every sale, there are risks that it can fall through. While selling to a property developer can be seen as a guaranteed sale, things can still go wrong.

With a homeowner buyer, pulling out is usually a big decision that people are more reluctant to do when they’ve spent money on searches and surveys. However, if your developer decides at the last minute not to invest, they may not be as concerned about money lost.

  1. Being Out of the Loop

If you’re selling directly to a developer without an estate agent involved, this can have downsides. Even though you’ll be saving on estate agent fees, you could be left out of the loop about how the sale is progressing.

Plus, communicating with the buyer will be entirely in your hands – so if there are issues or breakdowns, you won’t have support from an estate agent to manage the situation.

  1. Sentimental

We often have an emotional attachment to where we live. If you’ve lived in your property for many years, seeing it ripped apart may be emotional and not what you want for your home.

Even though you don’t have control over what happens to your property when you sell it, a developer will almost certainly demolish it or change it entirely. If you’d rather sell to a family, it’s your choice.

How to Decide Whether to Sell to a Developer

Ultimately, deciding whether to sell to a property developer is your personal choice. But if you need help deciding how to sell your home, Warren Powell-Richards are your local property experts and we’d love to chat.

Whether your home is a quaint countryside cottage or an urban apartment, creating an illusion of spaciousness within your main rooms is an invaluable skill. As enthusiasts of interior design, our team at Warren Powell-Richards are thrilled to help you with a question we are often asked: “How do you make a room look bigger?” Through our collection of strategies, each chosen to help you maximise the feeling of space and light in your home, you can transform your rooms.

The Illusion of Light

Let’s start by unveiling the magic of light, arguably one of the most powerful elements in interior design. Natural light possesses an unparalleled ability to create an airy and open atmosphere. To harness its potential, consider using sheer curtains or blinds to infuse your rooms with warmth.

The Power of Colour

In interior design, colour holds transformative capabilities. The right colour becomes a crucial tool when creating a sense of spaciousness. You should opt for lighter shades that bring an aura of airiness. When asked how to make a room look bigger, we suggest soft pastels, pale neutrals, and cool tones like serene blues and tranquil greens.

Clever Furniture Selection

The art of furniture selection is always a balance between functionality and aesthetics. In your quest to create the impression of space always look for furniture that serves a dual purpose. Think storage ottomans, sleek sofa beds or nesting coffee tables that offer style and practicality. Additionally, furniture with exposed legs establishes a sense of visual openness, allowing light to infiltrate beneath and around.

Streamlined Storage Solutions

A decluttered space promotes mental clarity and contributes to the illusion of space, so streamlined storage solutions are your friend here. Consider built-in shelves, floating units, and wall-mounted cabinets because these pieces optimise storage and maintain an uncluttered floor, heightening the perception of spaciousness.

Mirrored Magic

Among the most transformative tools in an interior designer’s toolkit are mirrors. So, how to make a room look bigger with mirrors? Well, mirrors hold a unique ability to transform space as their reflective nature not only amplifies light but also creates an illusion of depth. Consider placing a substantial mirror in a strategic location as this single addition can instantly double the perceived dimensions of a room.

Vertical Elegance

A journey into space enhancement wouldn’t be complete without exploring vertical elements. By drawing the eyes upward, you invite a sensation of heightened ceilings and, consequently, expanded room proportions. Embrace vertical stripes on walls for an elongating effect. Incorporate tall bookcases or floor-to-ceiling curtains that guide the gaze upward, effectively creating a captivating sense of elevation.

Decluttering Zen

The ideology of minimalism isn’t just a design trend; it’s a philosophy that celebrates the synergy between simplicity and spaciousness. As you work out how to make a room look bigger than its physical dimensions, you should champion the art of minimalism. Decorate surfaces with intention, displaying only a few meticulously selected items.

Multi-Functional Zones

One of the hallmarks of successful interior design is creating distinct functional zones within a room. This principle works seamlessly to generate a sense of space. Use rugs, creative furniture placement, or diverse lighting to create different zones. Each zone contributes to the overall design while enjoying a seamless transition between various activities.

Transparency with Glass

The transparency of glass introduces an element of magic into your design repertoire. Consider incorporating glass furniture such as transparent chairs or coffee tables. Furthermore, glass panels can function as elegant room dividers, effectively segmenting spaces without obstructing the visual flow.

The Wonder of Open Shelving

The allure of open shelving carries the potential to redefine the perception of space. Consider the use of open shelving, particularly in kitchens and living areas. Thoughtfully arrange items on the shelves, optimising storage efficiency and contributing to an uncluttered, expansive atmosphere.

Seamless Flooring Transition

The choice of flooring material and its flow from room to room play a pivotal role in establishing a sense of spaciousness. The continuous flow of flooring creates an uninterrupted visual journey, effortlessly guiding the eye from one area to another. If possible, try and choose the same flooring material for all your main rooms as this will help forge a harmonious and spacious atmosphere.

Smart Furniture Arrangement

Strategic furniture arrangement serves as the cornerstone of interior design. When aiming to increase the perceived dimensions of a room, use furniture arrangement as a defining tool. Consider pulling furniture slightly away from walls – a technique that introduces a sense of depth. By introducing cosy conversational clusters, you will create an intimate atmosphere while at the same time, preserving a feeling of spaciousness.

Great Interior Design is a Balance of Creativity and Functionality

In the world of interior design, the notion of space extends beyond physical dimensions. With each brushstroke of design finesse, you are adding square footage to your main rooms and creating an atmosphere of peace, tranquillity and beauty.

If you would like more expert advice on all things property related our team at Warren Powell-Richards would love to hear from you. Please drop in to see us or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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