35% of homebuyers check with estate agent every day

Research for the Nottingham Building Society has found that over a third of us check in with our estate agent at least once every day when we are trying to secure our dream home.

The study revealed that 35% of homebuyers admit to contacting estate agencies either on the phone or online at least once a day. It also found that the average homebuyer registers with three estate agent offices or online services and an extremely eager 12% have signed up with five or more.

The Nottingham’s research highlights the ongoing British obsession with house prices and home buying – around 72% of homeowners admit to regularly looking at houses for sale and prices in their area even if they are not actively planning to sell or buy.

The Nottingham, which offers building society and estate agency services under one roof, believes the research underlines how important expert support is during the home buying process to enable customers to achieve the best possible service whether they are buying or selling.

Su Snaith, Head of Estate Agency at The Nottingham, said: “Home buying and selling has changed in recent years as more online services have become accessible but as this research shows the one thing that does not change is people’s appetite to keep updated of changes to the market. The number of available properties to buy is at an all-time low and it is understandable that some people that are checking with agents every day. It underlines the importance of a strong relationship with your estate agent and is the best way to stay on top of what is a major purchase.

Customers need to find a service which can help them research the market and work for them. At The Nottingham, and our Harrison Murray Estate Agency (part of The Nottingham), there are dedicated sales negotiators who can help find a dream home and specialist sales progressors who will provide support once a purchase has been agreed.”

The Nottingham’s study shows the most common way to research the market for buyers is going online to find average prices. However some buyers are still happy to go to estate agents offices.

Selling my residential Apartment

I am very impressed in the way chamberlain
dealt with my sell. They looked after the buyers
and were very prompt in coming back to me with my queries. I also like their professional
approach and tenacy in which they stay on top
of things and issues.

thank you
Seller

Same service, new look

We hope you like our new branding. We’ve been working on it for the last few months and we’re delighted with the final result.

Chamberlains has always prided itself on providing a friendly and professional service to our sellers, buyers, landlords and tenants and we believe that our new look injects a more modern and contemporary feel to our brand, which is more in keeping with our approach.

You may have seen that all of our office fascias have been changed over to the new brand image and we’ve also taken the opportunity to completely revamp our website which is now easier than ever to navigate.

A re-brand has been a great opportunity to evaluate our position in the market place and to consider our service standards and we are now determined more than ever to exceed expectations.

For a long time, Chamberlains has been among the first agents to adopt new technology, new marketing techniques and to innovate and our new image better represents our open-minded attitude to embracing new concepts.

After all:

we’re the only local agents that print, produce and circulate our own property paper that gets delivered to over 22,000 local addresses;

we have the largest rental department in the area which is about to become ARLA accredited;

we send out a weekly property e-newsletter with a featured property and relevant property news (sign up for it on our website);

we have an in-house mortgage adviser with access to over 80 lenders;

we’re part of the Fine & Country network of agents dealing with upmarket properties;

we make a contribution to Rowcroft Hospice for every sale that we make which has resulted in donations of over £11,000 in the last twelve months.

When it comes to choosing an agent, why not choose Chamberlains!

Efficient and personal touch

Helen Potts was acting for the vendor in our recent house purchase and I was impressed by the way she was on the case, keeping in touch with everyone and chasing solicitors on behalf of all parties. Although we did suffer some delays, she did what she could to push things along and never made us feel to blame (which we weren’t!) for the fact that it was our solicitors who caused the delay. I would be highly likely to choose her to represent our sale if we were planning to sell our house.

‘Traditional’ estate agents

Consumer organisation Whichsaid that in research amongst 2,000 recent home movers 55% found their new home using traditional methods such as looking in an estate agent’s window or local paper or spotting a For Sale board as opposed to 45% who found their home via a “modern” method.  

First time buyers, despite their younger age group, were even more unlikely to find a home on a property “portal”, with 60% using traditional methods rather than portals or apps.  This research confirms the importance of using an estate agent with an office on the high street.  

A “traditional” agent with an office on the high street provides a comprehensive mix of on-line digital and conventional marketing as well as offering the vital direct personal interaction so important in the buying and selling of property.”  All of Chamberlains’ offices are located in strategic “high street” locations in Kingsteignton, Bovey Tracey, Newton Abbot and Teignmouth.

Setting up a limited company for your buy to let properties. Is it worth it?

If you’re starting to feel the pinch in the buy to let market and have concerns ahead of the proposed changes to lending affordability and the additional tax changes coming into force in 2017, now could be the time to consider limited company buy to lets.

Setting up your buy to let investment in a limited company allows you to benefit from advantageous tax rates that can be lower than high-rate income tax and capital gains tax rates which could apply if property is held in your personal name. Those who hold property in limited companies will also be unaffected by the tax relief changes coming into force in 2017, meaning that buy to let lenders may continue to offer lower rent stress tests and improved lending affordability to such landlords.
Who are buy to let Limited Company investments for?

Whether you’re an established buy to let investor or just starting out and considering investing through a limited company, it’s important that you seek tax, legal and mortgage advice from the outset. This knowledge will help you understand the potential advantages and disadvantages associated with company ownership as well as the additional responsibilities you’ll be taking on.

The decision as to whether a company should be used to hold property will essentially depend on your future intentions. As with any financial decision, suitability is dependent on a number of individual factors, from your goals, financial situation, current rates and the availability of mortgage finance to Limited Companies. There are many things to think about if you’re looking to move from personal name to limited company and many possible advantages and disadvantages that you’ll need to consider.

Possible advantages of using a Limited Company

Higher tax relief – from 2017-2020 the amount of buy to let tax relief individual landlords will be able to claim back, will be progressively cut from a maximum of 45% to 20% for top rate taxpayers. This change does not affect Limited Companies though, so if you are a top rate tax payer, the amount of tax you’ll pay via a Limited Company will be lower than tax on your individual income.
No income tax when reinvesting profits to secure further properties – this means you could grow your BTL portfolio quicker within a Limited Company because you won’t be paying income tax on the retained profit. Although corporation tax is payable on trading profits, this is lower than the higher income tax rate.
Personal funds can be drawn back out of the company – any advances your you makes to your Limited Company, for example the mortgage deposit, can be drawn back out of the company by way of a Directors Loan, which is a tax efficient way of withdrawing the money.

Possible disadvantages of using a Limited Company

No Capital Gains Tax (CGT) allowance when you sell a property – whereas individuals selling a property would have £11,100 CGT allowance (2015/16)
Additional cost of running a Limited Company – such costs include the preparation of accounts, company tax and corporation tax calculations for HMRC, filing at Companies House, legal fees, and annual auditing if applicable. Your accountant may also charge higher fees when preparing the accounts for a Limited Company.
Higher mortgage rates – Most lenders charge higher interest rates and fees for buy to let mortgages via a Limited Company to individual buy to let mortgages. This could change if competition increases in the market.
Reduced choice of lenders and mortgages – Many lenders do not offer mortgages to Limited Companies and often, if they do, their product range is much smaller.

Should you transfer from individual name to Limited Company?

If you don’t yet own any buy to let properties it’s simpler to start the process with a Limited Company than if you’re an investor transferring existing property. However, before deciding to proceed you should seek independent advice from tax, legal and mortgage specialists.

If you are transferring property from your personal name to a Limited Company you are likely to be liable for Capital Gains Tax and Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on the transfer, so it’s important to understand if the overall benefits outweigh the costs. It is therefore important that you speak with an accountant or tax advisor before undertaking this type of transfer.

What you plan to do with your buy to let investment will impact this decision so it’s important for you to outline what you ambitions are. Do you want to downsize or grown your portfolio? If it’s the latter then doing so via a Limited Company structure, if you’re willing to pay these one off costs, it could possibly be worth it in the long run.

Great estate agent

I can’t recommend the Chamberlains team enough. They made the whole sale process run smoothly and stress free. Every member of the team I spoke to were friendly and helpful. Nothing was too much trouble. It was so refreshing to work with Chamberlains after dealing with another local agent who were very poor.

Fabulous

I’m very pleased with the enthusiasm dedication and professionalism of the staff at Chamberlains Kingsteignton, particularly Leanne and Scarlett. Nothing was too much trouble – peoceedable buyers were secured swiftly and the process was made extremely easy. A truly fabulous service that I’d highly recommend and use myself again in future.

Jo P

Positive and proactive

We are happy to recommend Chamberlains as our initial impression was one of being positive, proactive and pleasant to deal with. We were happy with the valuation and having achieved a sale in good time and at a good price we then asked them to act for us again straight away on the disposal of another property; this has achieved a sale at above our initial expectation (stc) using another branch nearby.

All in all a very positive experience and we won’t hesitate to consider using Chamberlains again.