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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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Giftwrap Your Home for That December Sale

by Alison Feemantle

Tis the season to be jolly, unless you are an estate agent or vendor maybe!  Traditionally, the festive period always means a drop in house sales and viewings.

However, it doesn’t have to be a completely dry month.  Many vendors are attempting to make the most of the yuletide period and making the sparkly season work in their favour.  If you’re looking to sell your property, you can still attract viewings during the month of December.  It’s all about playing on the season and with romantic notions of the perfect family home.

A house looks more inviting when it’s decorated.  A warmly lit room with fairy lights and candles can really welcome a viewer and give them a sense of what it would be like to live in your home and how cosy it could be.  Christmas trees surrounded with presents and a well decorated fireplace can also add to this effect.  It’s all about gift-wrapping your home and presenting it in a really happy and welcoming way.  All of these individual touches say that your home is very special and hopefully that feeling will rub off on viewers.

It’s important when using this approach that you get the look just right.  Using cheap and tacky decorations could send your viewers running in the opposite direction and even laughing about that ‘awful house we saw the other day’ when chatting with friends.  That’s exactly the opinion you’re not looking for.

Lucy Inskip from The House Doctor, a company that gives advice to vendors on how to dress and present their homes when selling, waned against overdoing the seasonal effect.

‘Avoid the cheap and cheerful approach,’ says Lucy. ‘Things like “Santa Stop Here” signs are great fun for the children, but they don’t exactly entice people to buy your home. ‘Only use white fairy lights and try to create a muted effect.”

This is sound advice as you don’t want to draw attention away from your home too much.  Every room should be tastefully presented with a warm and welcoming hallway, living room and kitchen.  It wouldn’t be going too far even to greet your viewers with a mince pie and glass of mulled wine.  If you’re planning an open house this is a great idea and will really make people feel welcome as they wander around your home.

Whilst you might be sitting there thinking the idea is a bit far-fetched, these approaches do sell houses.  You don’t need to erase December from your year just because it tends to be a little quiet.  Get that For Sale sign up and make your home look warm and welcoming inside and out.  You’ll be surprised how much attention you get!

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Gazanging – The New Threat to the Housing Market

by Sarah Halloran

Now, you’ve probably heard of gazumping and gazundering, but a new kid is in town that is threatening to damage the property market: gazanging.  This phenomenon is caused by a volatile housing market, and the lack of available property, and involves sellers pulling out at the last minute.  Notice we said ‘sellers’ there and not buyers.

Research from the legal property website In-Deed has found that over 54,000 homebuyers faced gazanging in the first half of 2011 because vendors changed their mind and decided they didn’t want to sell after all.  The website, also reported that the incidence of sellers pulling the rug from under buyers’ feet had risen by 20% in the first half of 2011 and was more likely to affect homebuyers than gazundering or gazumping.

Gazanging can have a huge effect on a property chain depending on which stage the gazanging happens.  Let’s say a seller pulls out just before exchange of contracts.  That’s a lot of money that everyone has paid out on surveys, conveyancing costs and other expenses.  An under-supply of suitable homes and an unstable property market are the most common drivers of gazanging with many sellers blaming ‘cold feet’ as their reason for staying put.

Figures released by the National Housing Federation (NHF) aren’t too promising and show just 105,000 homes were built in England between 2010 and 2011 – this is the lowest level in almost 100 years.  House sales also dropped to a two-year low in August according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors who also claimed that buyers were avoiding buying property due to a fear of falling house prices in the future.

Harry Hill, founder of Rightmove and former chief executive of Countrywide estate agents, said: “What we’re seeing at the moment is uncertainty in the housing market and poor consumer confidence giving sellers cold feet. Buyers can’t do much about the economy, but regardless of the state of the market, poor property legals continue to compound such problems, though this is easily avoided.”

There are no laws regarding gazanging and you could find yourself on the receiving end of a seller pulling out, but the good news is that this is unlikely once you have exchanged contracts.  If you have reached this stage when buying your new home then the seller will be liable to quite expensive fines and to pay compensation to you if they decided they don’t want to move after all.  If you are thinking of selling your home, think before you put that For Sale sign up.  Do you really want to move?  Can you afford to move?  Asking yourself these questions now will save a lot of stress and heartache for yourself and others later.

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What’s in a Number? Why Living at No. 13 Could Save You Money

by Sarah Halloran

What’s in a house number?  Well, it all depends how superstitious you are.  Whilst many hotels have avoided using the number 13 for their room numbers, there are many streets with a house brandishing the number 13 on the front door.  There are also many streets without a number 13 such is the mistrust of this number.  However, what might be unlucky for some might be lucky for others.

Whilst superstition about the number 13 might seem a little irrational many of us do believe that this number will bring bad luck and misfortune.  But did you know that houses with this number are likely to be worth £4000 less than their identical neighbouring houses?

A recent study looking into the value of all properties in the UK found the average price of a ‘number 13’ home as being £205,085 whilst neighbouring houses were priced at £209,009.  These houses were identical all apart from the number on the door.

The number 13 has been associated with bad luck for many centuries and even has a phobia named after it – those suffering from ‘triskaidekaphobia’ are petrified of the number 13 and all that it might represent.

Some house builders are permitted to leave the number out of new council housing developments.  Lewes District in East Sussex says the number 13 can be omitted from plans if specifically requested.

The findings on home value come in research from property website Zoopla.co.uk. It said that for those looking to buy a house and who do not care about a number -purchasing an address at number 13 is a chance to save a tidy sum.

There are many reasons why the number 13 is considered less than lucky, but in some countries the number is very lucky.  If you are property hunting, not particularly superstitious and looking for a bargain then number 13 might be for you.  If you are one to not walk under ladders, open an umbrella indoors or put shoes on the table then number 13 is to be avoided!

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Where does your inspiration come from?

by admin

When I talk to people about my new business, people invariably ask what inspired me.  Of course the question does not always come in that form – sometimes it’s ‘what made you think of that?’ or a similar variation.

In my life I feel it’s important to reflect on these things and so I can identify a point in time where the seed was planted and this is the moment that I say inspired me.  Rarely accompnaied by a ray of light through the clouds and sometimes a ‘lightbulb’ moment but often an instinctive reaction to a situation, opportunity or problem.

So what inspires you?  Not in the necessarily in the Nelson Mandela sense, but in the everyday; what makes you get out of bed and do what you do?  Can you pin-point moments where people or events or something else provokes a thought, idea or response that inspires you to act, think or feel differently?

This picture represents my inspiration for creating thebigpropertylist.co.uk.

As I was on the way to the airport to leave the UK for 12 months I saw a home-made For Sale sign outside a house in  a small village in Hampshire and thought ‘good for them’, why not advertise your own house and sell it privately. Let’s face it estate agents haven’t got the best reputation, and they would save thousands of pounds in fees by selling their house themselves.

After doing my research I found that about a third of people find their new home by seeing a For Sale sign and that led me to find out that between two thirds and three quartners of people look for their new home on the internet.  I’d always bought property that I’d researched on the net or driven round an area and seen – so thought why not create a site that allows people to do just that – and give them all the advice and support they need to ‘axe the agent’ to coin the title of the BBC show hosted by Gary McCausland and Jonny Benarr.

So this explains a moment of inspiration that has sparked me to create a new business.  Maybe it won’t be the next ebay or Ford motorcars but at least I can say I followed my inspiration.  Of course I am inspired to other, much worthier, causes and actions in my life – such things that often get left behind in the rat-race but which I feel are important.  But those are for another blog, another day…

James Cole is a Director of thebigpropertylist.co.uk where you can search for property for sale by the owner or list your house for sale or rent with or without an estate agent.

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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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