Blog Book a Property Valuation
THE DARTMOOR OFFICE, ASHBURTON: 01364 652652
THE TEIGN VALLEY OFFICE, CHUDLEIGH: 01626 852666
THE HIGH MOOR OFFICE, MORETONHAMPSTEAD: 01647 441104
ASSOCIATED PARK LANE OFFICE: 0207 079 1448

 
01Mar


Do you want to sell your property? In order for your home to appeal to the widest range of potential buyers, it’s a good idea to identify its strengths and weaknesses. Every property is different. Your home might have beautiful windows and a state-of-the-art kitchen, but be in desperate need of a fresh coat of paint. We’ve identified some common property weaknesses, and how you can turn them into strengths. 


Weakness: The windows in your home are outdated and tired. 


The Fix: Outdated windows can show the age of your property, and even make it look out of date when it isn’t. Hanging new curtains is an easy way to update your property. Install a simple metal rod with decorative finials and hang a neutral curtain with metal rings. Your home will look like a magazine, and what was once a weakness has become a strength. 


Weakness: Your kitchen needs an update. 


The Fix: Purchase new white goods for your kitchen. This will add plenty of value to your home, and keep prospective buyers from being put off because your appliances are past their prime. When you’re updating, think stainless steel. These appliances are popular and modern. 


Weakness: There are lots of small, ‘awkward’ spaces in your home.


The Fix: Hang a large mirror. Mirrors can make any space seem larger, so they’re especially important in an entryway or narrow hallway. Is the space too awkward for a large mirror? A gallery wall of mirrors in different sizes will solve that problem perfectly. 


Weakness: Your house looks old.


The Fix: What do you do when your house has been standing for over 200 years (and looks like it, too)? A fresh coat of paint and a top-to-bottom clean can work wonders to turn a rustic property into a character-filled dream. Highlighting the period features of your property is also a good idea. That way, the house becomes historic, not just ‘old’.


Weakness: There’s nothing in your property. 


The Fix: A few accessories go a long way. While it’s great that your property doesn’t have much in it (an empty canvas makes it easier for potential buyers to imagine themselves in your home), having a few accessories (think throw pillows and a light fixture or two) can make a huge difference in your home’s atmosphere. Use neutrals, and try visiting your local charity shop to make your improvements on a budget. 


Weakness: Your home is the priciest home on the street. 


The Fix: Whether you meant to or not, you’ve bought the most expensive home in the area and are now trying to sell. In this situation, take a look at your home. Why is it pricier than other homes in the area? Once you recognize why your home has been valued at a high price, highlight those features as unique selling propositions, or USPs. Turn price into exclusivity, and this weakness quickly becomes a property strength. 


Weakness: You’re extremely close to your neighbours.


The Fix: When you’re close enough to hear the neighbours next door, it can be a problem for potential buyers. Take this time to highlight the amenities that your property has close by. If you have a great relationship with your neighbours, this is the time to mention it. A sense of community is invaluable for new buyers, and proximity to amenities like a corner shop or department store are valuable assets to your property. 


Are you selling your home?  As the areas chosen Guild agent we can guide you through the buying and selling process simply call us on 01364 652652 or click here to get an instant online valuation


21Feb


Before selling their home, most people try to spruce up their property by decluttering and doing a thorough clean. But many people forget the area that gives a first impression is the garden. We all like to get outside and enjoy a sunny summer afternoon, so make sure your garden looks appealing for a potential buyer. Here are some easy tips to follow to make your garden add value to your property. 


1. Spruce up the space 


Just like inside your home, some decluttering and garden maintenance can add value to your property. Always start with tidying and key maintenance. 


“Depending on their situation, buyers could see the garden as entertaining space, a hobby, the place where their children will play, space for their pets, a source of food or a combination of any or all of these, so it is crucial that sellers place as much importance on the presentation of the garden as they would on the presentation of the house,” says Steve Thompson from Thomas Morris in Cambridgeshire. “Good gardens can add value to a home and poorly kept gardens can detract from it.”


Susie Davies from Debbie Fortune Estate Agents in Somerset recommends maintaining the lawns. “A manicured lawn always enhances the appearance of a garden and makes it look bigger,” she says. 


Lee Hussell from Webbers in Devon has some practical advice. “The first place to start is to give your garden a good tidy up. Winters are never kind to our gardens and damage may have been caused to fences and trellis or maybe the larger shrubs and trees. Any dead growth can be cut back and fallen leaves and other debris can be removed and cleared away.”


2. Add some seasonal colour  


Once your garden is tidy, it is time to make it into a key selling point that potential buyers will love. 


“When showing your home, you want the buyers to visualise living there, so have pot plants filled with flowers to give it some colour and the lawn mowed to make it look tidy,” suggests Celeste Hannah from Hamilton Parkers in Hampshire. “First impressions count, and in the spring and summer months, you want to show your garden off to its full potential. This will definitely add perceived value and gives you a better chance to maximise the selling price.”




3. Focus on what is seen first 


Struggling for time or budget? Start where your potential buyer will start and focus on this area. 


“Never forget kerb appeal, and, more relevant in the online age, photo appeal. The first impression really does count, so always start with the front garden,” says Martin Moore from Morris Marshall & Poole in Wales. 


4. Add a key selling point 


A well-maintained garden will make sure a buyer is not put off your property, but something more can make them want to buy your property above any others they have seen. 


“A nice summer house is a garden goal for many people,” says Phil Pritchard from Williams & Goodwin in North Wales. “It often feels like an extra room away from the main property and can be utilised as anything from a place to relax, an office, a man cave or a playroom for the children.” 


There are ways to maximise the impact of an existing summer house, too. “If you have a summer house, it is worth making sure the wood has been treated so that it is weather proof and you can easily give it a face lift by adding a touch of colour,” suggests Andrew Lodge from Andrew Lodge Estate Agents in Surrey. “There are so many good quality garden paints available in neutral tones.”


Don’t forget the impact that a child’s opinion may have on the decision makers, advises John Newhouse from Roseberry Newhouse in North Yorkshire. “Buyers may love the idea of a summerhouse or man cave, and of course children will be drawn to tree houses or play areas.” 


Simon Miller at Holroyd Miller suggests caution, though. “The truth is that some people like hot tubs or summer houses and some don’t. Additions of this kind shouldn’t be thought of in terms of re-sale, however, well looked-after and presented in the right way, they will certainly present something unique and a lifestyle image that potential buyers can see the value in.”


5. Add some shed-quarters 


Sheds are not only practical, but they are coming back into fashion. They can be used from anything as a useful place to store bikes and lawnmowers to a garden retreat. 


“By putting up a good-sized shed, you are adding a useful storage space for gardeners and families with outdoor furniture and even toys,” says Andrew Lodge. 


Many people choose to work from home, and an insulated shed could provide the perfect home office. John Newhouse says: “Additional space in the shape of pods, studios or cabins provide potential work space options for house hunters.” 




6. A little paint goes a long way 


If you’re looking to spend less to add value to your property, don’t underestimate the impact of a good coat of paint on fences, sheds and other wood in the garden. 


“Adding value to your home through the garden doesn’t have to break the bank. If you have decking or a perimeter fence, you could freshen it up with a coat of paint. If the garden is presentable it will be more attractive to viewers and could increase the price a potential buyer is willing to pay for your home,” suggests Jared Thomas from Emsleys Estate Agents in West Yorkshire. 


7. Think about the patio 


“We recommend investing in good quality patio, paving or decking,” says Andrew Lodge. “Having a professional job done will enhance the overall appearance of your outside space. Decent sized patio and decking areas add value as they are great for entertaining and alfresco dining. Adding some good lighting outside will also enable people to make the most of the garden on those long summer nights.”


8. Style your garden with furniture 


You wouldn’t show a room to a potential buyer without any furniture in it, so why show a garden without a table and chairs? 


“Depending on the size of the garden and who it will appeal to, ensure that the lawns are cut or the terrace is swept and ideally have the garden furniture set up so buyers can imagine themselves sitting out enjoying an al fresco evening,” said John Newhouse. 




9. Secure the garden 


If the people viewing the house have pets, they will want to see a garden that is fully secured to avoid an escaped dog. 


“It is important that you invest in secure fencing, walls or gates,” advises Andrew Lodge. “People like to feel secure in their gardens so that they can relax. It also makes the garden more appealing to those with young children and pets.”


10. Make it private 


If your home is overlooked by other homes or gardens, it’s a good idea to give the idea of privacy to the garden. If it isn’t too expensive, add hedges or trees in key spots. It will make the potential buyers be able to imagine themselves enjoying a peaceful afternoon outside in the summer. 


Susie Davies advises that ornamental trees have a pleasing, aesthetic effect in a garden. 


Are you looking for a new home with a beautiful garden? Why not cotact Sawdye & Harris your local Guild Member today to start your property search. 


22Jan


Putting your home on the market can be an exciting time. But once the floorplans have been drawn up, the photos taken, and the property listed online, what else do you need to do? Being proactive at this stage can lead to a faster sale. 


Watch our video from The Guild of Property Professionals for some top tips. 


1. Set clear viewing times. Talk to your agent so they have easy access to the property for viewings, and agree certain times that are not convenient in advance. 


2. Be ready for questions. Draw up a list of frequently asked questions to make sure your agent can get back to a potential buyer as quickly as possible. 

3. Tidy at all times. Making your home look its best at all times can be difficult, but it will be worth it when a sudden viewing crops up. 

4. Be prepared to buy. If you plan to buy and sell at the same time, start looking at properties and seek mortgage advice early on. This shows buyers that you are serious about moving. 

5. Decide what offer you would accept. This will save you time when offers come in. Set a figure that you would accept, and you can happily confirm when the right offer is made. 

As the areas chosen Guild agent we can guide you through the buying and selling process simply call us on 01364 652652.



22Jan

What is the modern method of auction and why is it a good way to sell your home?

Think of a property auction and you may think of developers snapping up a bargain on a TV show like Homes Under the Hammer. But savvy sellers are learning that there is much more to selling at auction, and it’s not all cut-price properties. In fact, the smallest flats to large mansions are all selling through the modern method of auction. 


This is how it works and why you should consider selling through the modern method of auction. 


1. Auctions can run for 14-28 days, so there is more chance for the future owner to think about the price they want to pay and bid accordingly. In the traditional method of auction, lots sell in an auction room, but with the modern method, everything happens safely and securely online. 


2. Completion happens within 56 days, which can be a lot faster than selling your home on the open market. If you want to move quickly, an auction could be the perfect method for you. 


3. We can help you sell through the modern method of auction, so you have the safety of knowing that you are dealing with a local property professional, working in partnership with experts IAM Sold. 


4. Both cash buyers and mortgage buyers can bid for your home, vastly widening the number of people who can bid. All the buyer will need up-front is cash for their reservation fee. 


5. Fewer sales fall through due to the non-refundable reservation fee. This will lessen the threat of an expensive fall through and means that you can be much more confident in your sale. There is also no chance of re-negotiation or gazumping once contracts are signed. 


6. You can save money on estate agent fees. With an auction, the buyer pays the reservation fees. These cover the costs of the auction and leaves the seller without a hefty bill to pay. However, you may still need to pay a small fee to market your home for auction, so be aware of this before you decide on who to sell with. 


7. Competitive bidding can drive up the sale price. You can set your own reserve price, which is a great safety net if the interest isn’t there. However, bidders can often drive up the price when there are two or more parties interested in the same property. You could leave with a price higher than you ever expected. 


To find out more about using the modern method of auction to sell your property - contact Sawdye & Harris on 01364 652652 or cliek here to read more https://sawdyeandharris.iamsold.co.uk/




16Jan

Everybody likes to try to predict what is hapening in the property market for the forthcoming year.  The truth is nobody really knows but data experts Dataloft give us their thoughts and predictions for 2018.


Dataloft expects that UK house prices will rise in 2018 but only by a narrow margin – an average of around 1.8%, ranging from small falls in some markets – notably London, to a 5% uplift in others.  The Treasury, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) and multinational professional services firm PwC have published slightly more optimistic forecasts for the UK average price growth, of 1.9%, 3.1% and 4% respectively.

An escalation in their forecast rates of growth could be triggered by successes in the Brexit negotiations and if economic indicators return to their pre-Brexit trajectories. Downside risks include significant job losses, rising inflation and rising interest rates – all of which will put a squeeze on affordability. New housing supply may also increase as the government continues support this ambition but it is unlikely reach a level which will plug the gap between supply and demand to a level which impacts pricing at a national level.

As ever, there will be significant variations at local level – these are, after all, forecasts of the national average. Local markets can outperform for a plethora of reasons, including: new train services, new employers, new visitor attractions and new housing completions. The national outlook is mostly driven by availability of mortgage finance and economic confidence – if either are low, demand subsides.   

To put forecasts in context, we need to reflect on the state of the market at the end of 2017. The prospect of Brexit and associated economic uncertainty overshadowed the UK in 2017. In the light of this, the UK housing market was surprisingly resilient and continued to gain value, albeit at much reduced rates of 2.4%/2.5% according to Halifax/Nationwide, or 4.5% based on Land Registry/ONS.  In fact, the pace of growth exceeded some expectations, Savills, for example predicted 0% growth in 2017 but fell woefully short of others, such as the OBR’s prediction of 6.5% growth.

For good or bad, housing and house prices were high up the political agenda in 2017, culminating in the abolition of stamp duty for first time buyers in November, for purchases up to £300,000 (or the first £300,000 for properties up to the value of £500,000). Other notable policy interventions targeted the buy to let sector, creating further disincentives to private individual landlords and effectively reducing competition for owner occupiers.

In London, affordability (the ratio between house prices and earnings), or lack of it, began to impact house price growth and the market experienced a significant cool down. We expect the slow market to persist, to give house prices and earnings time to realign. For that reason alone, the UK mainstream market is likely to outperform the London in 2018. The prime London market is also under pressure, still reeling from the shock of further stamp duty changes that affected the top end of the market.


Our national forecast of 1.8% growth in 2018, is based on the signals from these leading indicators: economic growth; interest rates and affordability and sentiment. 

The outlook for the UK economy remains uncertain in the lead up to Brexit and wage growth is likely to be muted as a result, although no sharp falls are expected. All economic indicators are expected to pick up momentum once a Brexit deal has been completed.

Inflation has eaten into household earnings. Any rises in interest rates will push up the cost of borrowing (even if gradually) and, although still low compared to the long term average, it may mean some aspirational homeowners find that they are out of reach for qualifying for a mortgage under the stricter assessments regime introduced after the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) in 2008/9.  

Even so, there is room for further house price growth outside of London, as affordability has not been as stretched, particularly in the midlands and more northern regions. Hometrack’s latest Cities Index highlighted that house prices are growing the fastest at a city-wide level in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The RICS monthly agent survey gives a useful indication of sentiment in the sector. Opinion on the prospects for house price growth was negative in November 2017, for the fourth consecutive month.

There are also other indicators that impact at a more localised level such as the performance of the London market on the region’s commuter zone, levels of new housing supply, infrastructure improvements and policy affecting sub-markets such as buy-to-let.

While there are variations in the house price forecasts for UK house prices for 2018, as is shown by the individual forecasters contributing to the Treasury consensus (i.e. from negative figures to +4%), Dataloft predict that average prices will rise by low levels again this year (1.8%).


The outlook for UK house prices for the next few years is likely to be a period of continued and prolonged period of low levels of house price growth. Unlikely, however, that we will see price drops across the board although this may happen in some markets.  Through our local research we are able to provide bespoke property research for your area so just email me at katie@sawdyeandharris.co.uk to request your FREE local research to see exatly what is happening with house prices for your village, town or city.


Source: DATALOFT INFORM


Check mortgage eligibility online