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Private Sales Set To Be Made Easier

by Sarah Halloran

In recent months there has been a drive by some property vendors to move away from the traditional estate agents and to look to sell their property by other means. Previously, many private websites had to be treated as Estate Agents by law but new government plans could be set to do away with that legislation and make the whole process much simpler.

The benefit of selling privately is obvious and anyone who is able to complete a sale in this way is able to dispense with estate agents’ fees. Private Websites offered a money saving alternative until they were brought under the estate agent classification but the government now plans to allow both types of business to operate under entirely separate rules.

This could lead to an even bigger move away from traditional forms of selling but there are those within the industry that are concerned over the proposals.

“These [planned changes] mean that prospective homebuyers and sellers will find it harder to distinguish between intermediaries and traditional estate agents,” said Peter Bolton King of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

“Consumers could, perhaps unknowingly, be left responsible for undertaking their own detailed sale negotiations without the advice and guidance of a property professional.”

Mr Bolton King also felt that a greater move towards private sales could lead to more aborted transactions which could, in turn, impact on the property market as a whole.

“This could lead to delays, increased costs and even sales falling through, causing frustration and stress for all involved,” he added.

However, the government believes that the moves are necessary and that they will encourage and increase transactions in the months and years following their implementation. In short, there is a clear suggestion that lower fees might attract more vendors and lead to quicker completions.

One of the problems under previous legislation was highlighted in the case of Tesco. The supermarket giant had a website back in 2007 that charged a flat fee of just £199 for sellers to list their properties. However, once that site came under the estate agent umbrella, Tesco couldn’t justify the additional costs or time that was involved and the portal inevitably shut down.

“These intermediaries help buyers and sellers contact each other at a low cost, but do not engage in other estate agent activities, so it is unfair to expect them to go out and check all the property details of all the sellers on their websites,” said Jo Swinson, Consumer Affairs Minister.

“Reducing the regulations for these businesses will open up the market and increase choices for consumers looking to save costs when buying or selling a property.”

At first glance, it does seem that there are clear benefits for both buyer and seller but will the proposed changes really give a boost to the housing market once they are put into place?

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How to Sell Your Ex-Council Property

by Sarah Halloran

Last week we published an article on buying ex-council property and the savings that can be made, but what about selling your ex-council property?

Selling ex-council property can be a little tricky for a number of reasons.  Firstly, it can be difficult for prospective buyers to find the funds to buy ex-council properties.  And secondly, first time buyers are thin on the ground right now and this is the market your property will appeal the most to.

Whilst there are many resources online for helping people to buy a new home there seems to be a real shortage to help those trying to sell their home.  Here are a few things to bear in mind when selling an ex-council property.

  1. Ex-council properties are usually priced for a lot less than those built privately. Depending on the location and type of property, your ex-council house could sell for up to 40% less than comparable properties in the same region.  However, this is only a rule of thumb and this isn’t always the case.
  2. Most prospective buyers of ex-council properties are first time buyers, investors or people on a tighter budget.  Think about this when trying to sell your property as it’s important to know who your potential buyers are.
  3. The market is slow right now and will make selling your property that much harder.  However, everything depends on your location, the property itself and how many potential buyers you can attract.
  4. Just like a private house sale, ex-council properties require a valuation.  However, ex-council house valuations aren’t always so straightforward as they can be located in estates where the majority of properties are still owned by the council.

If you are just starting out in the house selling process there are many resources available to help you.  Just remember that selling an ex-council house requires the same attention as selling a private house.  It’s always advisable to hire the services on an estate agent and you’ll find most have invaluable expertise when it comes to selling ex-council houses and flats.

A good agent will steer you through the process ensuring your house is listed and advertised in the best possible light.  They can even show prospective buyers around your home if you are unsure of how to do this or you are uncomfortable doing so.  The great thing about hiring an estate agent is that they can handle the selling process for you ensuring all the great points of your home are highlighted.  An estate agent also has the required knowledge to give your house a fair valuation given the state of your property, the location and other similar properties in the area.

sell ex-council propertyIf you have sold a property in the past then perhaps you might want to get more involved in the process or even selling privately if you are brave enough!

Of course, supply and demand for ex-council properties varies, but if your property is well priced you may find you sell your home quite quickly.

This is especially true in London and other major cities.  Here there is always high demand from buy to let investors and in major cities there is already a market so you should be able to find lots of resources to help you sell your ex-council property.

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We are officially a Top 100 Real Estate Blog – Technorati

by admin

We were really pleased this week to discover that we’ve  made it in to Technorati’s top 100 Real Estate blogsworldwide! As the name suggests Technorati is the Web’s leading  authority for blogs and attaining the upper ranks is no mean feat in the today’s rich blogosphere.technorati logo blog started out on Blogger nearly two years ago and has gone from strength to strength, attracting guest writers from all over the property blogosphere such as Ollie Cornes, professional Landlord and owner of Landlord software company Juicy Property and Sharon Crossland, tenancy expert and blogger of Leasehold Life.

Visitor numbers and contributions have continued to rise on a weekly basis and we have been really pleased by the positive and supportive emails we’ve received from readers in that time.

Our aim is to continue to bring you the latest UK property news as well as property articles on a range of useful and entertaining subjects.  We will shortly be moving the blog to the prettier design that we employ on the main website as the property portal is finally getting close to launch (horaah!).  Originally planned to be a ‘For Sale by Owner’ property sales portal will offer an altogether different type of property search. The website has been delayed whilst we surveyed the market (especially in the wake of the Tepilo launch and while we finished other projects) and planned our next move.  So, you will just have to wait and see what the final site brings!

In celebration of making it to the top 100 Real Estate blogs and as a nod in the direction of our fellow property keyboard tappers, here’s a list of our favourite property blogs elesewhere on the web:

  • Housing Dabble –  Property Marketing, Brand Building and Social Media from Ben Harris
  • Agent’s Diary The weary musings of a time-served estate agent (realtor) somewhere in the UK
  • Modern Estate Agent –  Brain food for the modern estate agent
  • Facts Not Headlines –  Kate Faulkner, author of Which? property books and consultant to the industry tells the REAL stories in the property market
  • Landlord Law Blog – Tessa Shepperson, a solicitor and specialist in residential landlord and tenant law

Happy reading…

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Co-op gives sound advice re: Private Selling

by admin

Whilst researching mortgage options this morning I was surprised to find a page on the Co-operative Bank’s website discussing the pros and cons of selling your house without an estate agent.

Two of the critical ‘cons’ were:

  • one of the first places that buyers will look is a local estate agent and you may find it difficult to reach a sufficient number of potential buyers.
  • if you’re planning on selling your home yourself online, make sure that you check the website’s area coverage, user statistics, claims and other statistics before you commit yourself. Some websites are better than others.

Thats why we recommend marketing your house alongside your estate agent.  There will always be some contacts and clients that he has that you will not reach otherwise – just ensure that if you find the buyer you are not contractually obliged to pay his fees.

To the second point, we would always recommend using a ‘for Sale by Owner’ website that puts your advert on some of the mainstream property websites like, Globrix and Googlebase.  Many For Sale by Owner websites feature very few properties and are do not attract the visitor numbers that you need to find a buyer – on the other hand using them to get your advert onto a national property website gives you great exposure without the cost of the estate agents’ bill.

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Private For Sale signs available!

by admin

We’re very excited to announce that our professional Private For Sale signs are available to buy immediately!

Visit online shop

We guarantee you will not find these quality design heavyduty weatherproof signs anywhere cheaper!

These are exactly the same type and quality that estate agents use, only you can save yourself thousands by erecting it yourself to attract your own buyer without using an estate agent.

1 in 3 people find their new home by seeing a For Sale sign.

Even if you have a ‘sole agency agreement’ with an estate agent you can avoid paying their fees by finding your own buyer – but watch out if you have signed a ‘sole selling agreement’ you will still have to pay.

Private For Sale Sign Features

–  2 x 4mm thick weatherproof board

–  We can supply 8ft white post which slides through the middle to create a ‘T’ board

–  All fixings and 2 ‘SOLD’ sashes included

–  Room to add phone number with a large permanent marker (not included)

–  Lovely logo and classy burgundy colours

–  Calls out rather than shouts at you!

–  We can advertise your property online (contact us for info)

Visit our online shop now to order your Private For Sale Sign

A Private For Sale sign advertising a house


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BoE maintains base rate at 0.5%

by admin

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee today voted to maintain the official Bank Rate paid on commercial bank reserves at 0.5%.

Despite the continuance of low base rates, mortgage deals still do not reflect the low rates and wide availability we experienced in the pre-crunch days. Banks and building societies argue that the base rate is not the key driver in their own cost of funding mortgages, however the profit margins being made by mortgage providers seem to be many percentage points higher than in the pre-crunch days.

It seems to be a lenders’ market, where the criteria have swung from lax or reckless to overly cautious and in many cases prohibitive. Here at TBPL we’ve got our fingers crossed that the criteria will eventually land somewhere in the middle and be just plain sensible.

One example of tightening criteria is the new rule for Buy To Let mortgages that stipulates the mortgagee must have an income of at least £30,000 in addition to proving the affordability of the mortgage based on the incoming rent. This could have a big effect on professional landlords with a small portfolio providing an income less than £30,000. Self employed landlords with less than 3 years’ accounts will be similarly restricted.

There is also a great differentiation of mortgage offerings based on the Loan To Value, with those people who were lured into low LTV deals with a zero, 5 or 25 % deposit now losing out on the availability of preferential rates being offered to customers with a deposit of 25 to 50% or more.

No-one really knows what’s going to happen to mortgage deals, interest rates and house prices, but lets just hope the banking industry supports us through it by offering sensible deals on sensible terms.

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Bookmark and Share website to launch in October 09

by admin

This blog has been the fore-runner to the full website which will allow UK property owners to market and sell their own home without the services of an Estate Agent.

We’re delighted to announce that the website will be launched very soon, and to celebrate the launch we’ll be offering a standard advertising package (usually £49.99) for FREE whilst the site is growing. This will allow you to upload up to 5 photos and a detailed description of the house and area for interested buyers to view. You will also be able to order a competitively priced Home Information Pack, a For Sale sign and value for money conveyancing services.

In the meantime you can visit the site and register your interest to be notified when the site goes live.

Now, those people willing to conduct viewings and negotiate directly with buyers will now have access to the same knowledge and marketing materials that estate agents use, and will save themselves thousands of pounds in fees. The British public have long questioned the practices and value of estate agents in the sale process but until recently there has been no viable alternative. The age of the internet has seen a shift in buying and selling behaviour and a growing number of people use the internet to research buying decisions from houses to mobile phones and televisions.

We believe that no-one will sell your house as effectively as you. You know the area, you know the house and you know the benefits to living there. And now you have the tools to market the property, with TBPL For Sale signs and the ability to add your property advert to national property portals like and

Things are getting better!

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