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Buying a property during COVID-19

COVID-19 has been an unpredictable time for billions across the globe. However, despite the uncertainty the property market has thrived. This is in no part down to the stamp duty exemption in the UK. The exemption has made it an ideal time for buyers to start looking and begin their search. However, we have been asked how buying a property during COVID-19 works many times. This article will explain all the details and how they differ from the usual procedure.

Beginning the search

The search for a house can begin like any other. Simply walk into one of our shops and talk to one of our friendly agents. Set out your budget and tell us what sort of property you’re looking for. After this we will get in touch to begin arranging viewings. If you’d prefer, we can begin your search over the phone. Don’t hesitate to call us to set out your requirements and we can proceed as normal from there.

Viewing a property

Viewing a property can work in one of two ways. You can choose to view the property as usual, visiting the house yourself in person. If this is your choice we would ask that you socially distance from the negotiator and any residents as well as wear a face mask at all times. Secondly, if it makes you feel safer, you may choose to have a virtual viewing. Our negotiator will ask for some details in order to video call you at an agreed time. The negotiator will then walk around the property with a video camera taking care to show you every detail you want to see. This method is certainly less thorough but is much safer for the negotiator, residents and yourself. The decision is yours!

Making an offer

If you’ve found your dream home and are happy to make an offer then you may proceed as usual. Should it be accepted then the process can begin. Please be aware that due to current circumstances these processes may take longer than usual. Your agent will work with you and the seller to build a timeline that suits everyone.

That’s it! Congratulations on your new home! Buying a property during COVID-19 may be different, but it couldn’t be easier with Chamberlains. If you’d like to get the ball rolling please come to our Newton Abbott office to discuss your next move.

 

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Can I sell my property during COVID-19?

During an uncertain time, both buyers and sellers have many questions regarding the property market. For sellers, the key question is “Can I sell my property during COVID-19?” The short answer to this is yes. Our offices are back up and running as normal, meaning we are fully operational once again. This means customers are able to sell their properties, however there will be some changes to the usual processes.

Valuations

Valuations are being conducted face-to-face, meaning an agent will come to your property to produce a valuation. All of this will be done while adhering to the COVID-19 guidelines as set by the government. This means our agents will wear a face mask while in your home and ensure they are at least 1 metre apart from residents. Should you prefer to be away from the property while the valuation is done, then arrangements can be made for this. Additionally, valuations can be made online. However, for the most accurate value to be determined, we recommend a face-to-face appointment.

Viewings

Viewings will be conducted in a similar way, with agents socially distancing while wearing a face mask. Again, residents can decide to be away from the property should they prefer. Viewings may also be conducted via video. This will involve an agent walking around your property with a video camera to record a short video for the customer. Alternatively, this will be done via a video call, allowing the customer to ask questions about the property.

Offers

Should someone be interested in your property they are able to make an offer as usual. If this offer is agreed then the sale can be completed as usual. However, during this current time expect there to be some delays to the usual processes. Your agent will work with both the buyer and seller to agree a suitable timeline for the sale.

We hope this answers the question “Can I sell my property during COVID-19?” and provides you all the information you need. Our Newton Abbott office is open as usual so please feel free to come in and arrange a valuation for your property!

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UK Property Figures for July: 13 Year Sales High

After Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced his decision to remove stamp duty on sales until April next year, there was always going to be interest in how this might effect the property industry. Last week, the NAEA announced UK property figures for July, and with the exemption of stamp duty in mind, the results are not surprising.

The overriding headline is that sales are at a thirteen year high, with sales per branch not reaching current figures since June 2007. Branches on average sold 13 houses throughout the month of July representing a massive 44% increase from July of last year. 

As you might expect, the increase in sales has come from an increase in demand, undoubtedly due to the stamp duty exemption. Between June and July there was a 13% increase in house hunters signing up at branches, indicating the effects of the Chancellors decision. This is also a significant increase in comparison to last July. Year-on-year there has been a 35% increase in new signups at branches, representing a large incline in demand.

Perhaps surprisingly, despite the increase in demand, sale prices have declined. 8% of sales were completed above the asking price in July compared to that of 10% in June. Prices agreed below the asking price tell a similar story, with 60% of sales being agreed below asking price during July.

Finally, supply of properties has played a role in these figures too. Between June and July of this year there has been a swift incline in the number of properties for sales across estate agent branches in the UK. During June of this year agents had, on average, 37 properties on their books. During July this figure rose to 43 properties, showing a sharp rise in the number of properties for sale and perhaps giving an insight as to why prices have dropped.

Overall, it has been a busy time for estate agents with plenty of movement still expected in the months to come. We’d be more than happy to help with your latest move, so come and visit us at our Newton Abbott office to get things started!

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Selling your home in 2020

Selling your home in 2020

With spring on the horizon, you can beat the rush by listing your home now. Spring often comes out on top as the best time to sell, once the end of year celebrations are over and the weather hasn’t yet warmed up for summer holidays, but online property portals mean people can look for property at all times of the year. Potential buyers at this time of year tend to be serious buyers and savvy buyers understand that by viewing a house in winter they’ll know of any weather-related issues. If a potential buyer views a property in January or February and it meets their expectations, they can be confident that it’s a property they will enjoy year-round.

Here’s our checklist for getting started:

1. Ensure your home is ready

Make sure your property is clean, tidy and free from clutter and that it has curb appeal, looking good from the outside in. It may be worth having a survey done, so you can fix any problems, and use it to demonstrate your house is in good condition.

Living room interior

De-clutter and de-personalise, storing as many personal effects as possible without making your home look empty. Don’t forget the garden, either. Gardens are increasingly regarded as an additional room, so trim those hedges and tidy up flower beds so potential buyers can imagine a burst of colour in spring.

2. Find an agent you trust

Find an agent you trust to value your property. Don’t be afraid to ask them why they’ve suggested that price and what they’ll do to find the most suitable buyer. You can also ask for recommendations on what you can do to increase your property’s appeal. We do a great job for our clients but don’t just take our word for it, google Chamberlains and see our customers reviews for yourself.

3. Prepare for viewings

First impressions count and it’s not just about your home. Just before any viewings begin, wander down your street and dispose of any rubbish – buyers are looking at your property and your neighbourhood. Freshen up each room with a subtle spritz of air freshener or open windows for a blast of fresh air and keep pets out of the way – not everyone loves your dog.

Declutter - Living room

4. Choose a solicitor or conveyancer

Your solicitor or conveyancer will handle the legal work to transfer ownership of the property. Getting this sorted now can take weeks of the process, so if you’d like us to get you a quote. Just let us know.

5. Get your paperwork in order

If you get your paperwork sorted out early, it will help the sale move quickly once you’ve accepted an offer. This includes:

Proof of identity

Shared freehold/leasehold documents

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

Property Title Deeds

Management Information Pack

Fittings and contents form 

Property information form 

Mortgage details

These steps can speed up the sale of your property, meaning you can be settled into your new home in plenty of time to enjoy the summer.

Ready to get a valuation? Chamberlains will guide you as to what you should do to increase the saleability and value of your home. Book your free valuation now!