Blog
02Sep

Your moving goal, whatever that may be.

 

We’d love to have a chat with you about your moving plans, even if you don’t yet feel ready

to move. You can pop us an email at [email protected] or call us on 013 24 811233 We also have lots more information about selling your home here Successful downsizing – our complete guide

 

If you’re now or soon to be an empty nester, why waste money on space you don’t need? If it’s just you and your other half now, or perhaps just you, why not downsize to a smaller home or apartment to save not only on your mortgage but also on utilities, repairs, cleaning time, and more?

 

From helping hundreds of people to downsize, we know that moving into a smaller home is not a decision most people take lightly. Even though your home may be consuming more time, effort and money than you want to give it, it’s often an emotional wrench to leave behind a house that’s been a home for you and your family for many years. We understand that.

 

Our experience is that most of the best questions can be divided into three subjects: time, enthusiasm and finances.

 

Time

Choosing the right timescale is important when you’re downsizing. Having your last Christmas in a family home can be a way of coming to terms with a move and giving yourself time to plan it effectively. Pick a date in the future that works for everyone, and work towards it, a step at a time.

 

Enthusiasm

It’s much easier to look forward to moving when you know where you’re moving to. Whilst it’s tempting to sell first before you view other houses, having your next home in your mind can help keep you motivated and positive about your move

 

Finances

Plan out the financial implications of your move in detail, including the consequences of achieving a sale at less than your expected asking price. Most downsize moves release equity, and knowing how what you plan to use surplus funds can help to give you a goal to reach for.  Maybe now is the time for that long-awaited round-the-world trip, or to buy a new car. Whatever it is, planning will help make it more of a reality of your home move.

 

 

Planning to downsize: your checklist before you sell

Having a checklist of what you need to do before you put your home on the market can help you feel in control of your downsize move.  So we’ve put together this short list to help you stay on track:

 

  • Plan your finances to see the price you need/want from your sale
  • Draw up a wish-list and a must-have list for your next home
  • Create a Rightmove alert according to your criteria
  • Decide on a date to put your home on the market
  • Choose three estate agents and arrange consultations with them
  • Choose the estate agent you want to work with
  • Go through your home and make a list of any outstanding jobs
  • Make a list of any accessories to buy to dress your home for photography
  • Approve the images for use in your marketing
  • Sign-off the brochure once you’re happy with it

 

 

Focus on your future

 

It’s sometimes an emotional decision to downsize, and usually not an easy one to make. But the benefits of moving on, in every way someone can move on, can often outweigh these difficulties. Finding a new sense of freedom, being closer to family and loved ones, meeting new friends, discovering new hobbies and interests, and the relief of a secure financial future, can all make moving home after a bereavement a new start, in every sense of the word.

 

It takes careful guidance and assistance from an estate agent to help someone through this process.  The sale of the house itself is only the tip of the iceberg; the real work comes in the separation process, and a really good agent will not only help make this as smooth a transition as possible, they will also help in the more practical aspects of the move too. They should have excellent supplier contacts to help source someone to help with the home organisation, de-cluttering, storage, packing and moving, and may also be able to help find a new home too. In this situation a really proactive, and genuinely caring professional will be worth their weight in gold, especially if the homeowner doesn’t have close family or friends who could help them.

 

Sometimes it feels that deciding to move means you’ll have mountain to climb if you do. Preparing your home for sale, meeting with relevant estate agents, trying to assess the best deal in terms of service, fee and valuation, then choosing images, signing off a brochure, having your EPC drawn up – and this is all before your property actually comes to market. No wonder it feels as if you’re about to embark upon a huge climb.

 

But as with any arduous journey, finding the right guide can make all the difference. And we’d love to be your guide, to help you reach your personal goal.  Read more at: www.alexander-taylor.co.uk

04Aug

So you’ve boxed up a whole load of clutter, you’ve fixed that annoying dripping tap and buffed and polished your home. Well done! Now comes what for some sellers feels like a really challenging task: choosing your estate agent.

 

Most sellers invite three estate agents to give them an expert valuation, and discuss marketing approach. This does have the added advantage of giving you a balanced view of your home’s potential value, as well as to discover the various agency fees and range of services.

 

But how do you choose which three estate agents should be on your shortlist, and what criteria should you use to decide which agent will be the right one for you?

 

Broadly speaking, there are three main types of estate agents: the ‘DIY’ or online estate agent, the corporate, nationwide agent and the local independent estate agent, like us. There are pros and cons of each, and asking the right questions in your agent ‘interviews’ will help you make sense of your options.

 

 

Questions to ask prospective estate agents

 

Here are some pointers to help you prioritise your selection criteria, and sort the wheat from the chaff:

 

“What’s your commission?” – and no, this doesn’t mean choosing the agent with the lowest commission rate, or the one that allows his fee to be negotiated to below his proposal.  One tactic is to select an agent who values his commission, and this may mean choosing one who charges above the area average, and who doesn’t discount it.  After all, you will be putting your trust in him to negotiate on your behalf with a buyer, so you need to know he won’t crumble at the first sign of pressure!

 

“What happens if something goes wrong with my sale?” – if something unexpected happens with your home sale, you need to know that you can take the issue up the chain, to the most senior person available.  Ask who that would be, and how you can contact them.

 

“What marketing do you use?” – your photography and online marketing created by the agent all need to be of the highest quality, so they stand out when compared with the competition, and successfully target the right type of buyer for your home.

 

“Is your fee payable if you don’t sell my house?” – make sure you’re entering into a no-sale, no-fee agreement, so if you don’t sell, you don’t pay. If you do decide to take your home off the market, there may be some incidental out-of-pocket expenses your agent will ask you to reimburse, so make sure you get these listed and in writing.

 

 

You may have the answers to your questions, but how do you choose the right estate agent and make sure they will be on your side, from beginning to end? Here are our five tips to help you choose the right agent for you and your plans:

 

5 tips to help you choose the Estate Agent that fits with you and your home

 

  1. The value of homes they sell

 

You will probably have a rough idea of what your home is worth. We suggest you choose an estate agent with a track record. One who regularly sells homes of the same kind of value and type, who can show you some case studies of similar homes they’ve sold, and who can think of several potential buyers who might be interested in viewing your home.

 

  1. Fee

 

If securing the lowest possible fee is of the highest priority to you, you may be better using a DIY estate agent. They typically charge an upfront cost, starting at around £850. Be wary of unexpected add-ons, like your for-sale board and floor plan, and be prepared to do your own viewings.

 

  1. Marketing

 

Scroll through Rightmove and click on the homes that really stand out – be it photography, written description, anything that catches your eye (in a positive way). Make a note of the agent. This is what buyers do subconsciously, so by thinking like a buyer, you’ll be drawn to the agent with the best property marketing.

 

  1. Experience

 

Every agent in the country claims to offer ‘good service’! Selling your home can sometimes be a difficult time and you need to know your agent will remain onside. Choose an agent who listens to you and understands the concerns that you have. A good estate agent won’t have hundreds of homes for sale; they know they need to give all their clients the best possible experience, so you don’t just feel like a number.

 

  1. Gut feeling

 

What do your instincts tell you? Your estate agent needs to be completely on your side.  They need to display enthusiasm for your home, and a belief that they can sell it for the price you want.  If you trust them, and genuinely like them, you’re starting the relationship in the best possible way.

 

If you’re selling your home – or thinking of it, we’d love to have a chat with you. You can pop us an email at [email protected] or call us on 01324 811233  We also have lots more information about selling your home here www.alexander-taylor.co.uk

 

15May

When your house is for sale, it’s exciting to get a viewing booked. After all, that viewer could become a buyer!

It’s important then to make sure your house is looking its absolute best, and dressed to impress, so we’ve created a three-step guide to make it easy for you to get the important things right:

 

Step 1: Check your kerb appeal

 

If your viewer doesn’t love the look of your home from the front, they may never get past the front door!

  • How’s your front door looking? Smarten it up with a new coat of paint and make sure your handle and letterbox are relatively new.
  • Check your lights. If you’re showing your home in the evening, you need to make sure your buyer doesn’t trip on their way in! Make sure your outside lamps are working and clean.
  • Keep your path, driveway or steps swept of leaves, and free from rubbish. Park vehicles neatly and put away bikes and toys out of sight.
  • House name or number– is it straight and clean? Make sure your viewers can find your home easily, without stress.
  • Windows– keep them sparkling clean and make sure there’s no flaking paint or greying uPVC.
  • Green stuff – even if your front space is tiny, plant a creeper or buy plants in pots to add colour and interest.

 

So now you have your outside looking wonderful, it’s time to move inside…

 

Step 2: Giving your interior the WOW factor.

 

Styling the interior of your home to make it more attractive for viewings doesn’t have to be expensive. We’ve put together a list of a few home styling accessories that will add some stylish polish your viewer will love:

 

  • Cushions– a really easy way to instantly update that fading suite and add colour, texture and interest at the same time.
  • Rugs– a large, deep rug can transform a room, adding warmth and style.  You don’t have to spend a fortune on them; eBay shops are full of large fluffy rugs for less than you might think. Stick to neutral colours to add a sense of spaciousness.
  • Fruit – fill a big glass bowl or wide vase full of just one type of fruit for instant contemporary style. Oranges, green apples or lemons look wonderful.
  • Flowers – long elegant Cala lilies look great on a large dining table, and little hand-tied posies are just right for a rustic kitchen.  Choose carefully for maximum impact
  • Toiletries– invest in luxury, and just keep them out for viewings.
  • New bedding– especially for the master bedroom, where it matters most to your buyers.  Go for plain, neutral designs, then add some cushions and a textured throw.  Voila! A hotel-style bedroom your viewers will adore.
  • Towels– used towels never quite look the same as brand new ones, so treat your home to some gorgeous new towels, and make sure that no one uses them – they’re just for show!  Whip them away and hide them after each viewing so they stay looking their best.

 

Step 3: A final check

 

Here’s a final checklist to make sure your viewers have the best possible experience of viewing your home:

 

  • Shut all your doors – let the viewers open them, so each room becomes a little ‘surprise’.
  • Laundry – check radiators and put away clothes maidens to hide all signs of domestic chores.
  • Pets – if you have a cat litter tray, put it outside or in the garage, out of sight. If you have a dog and you can persuade someone to take it for a walk, it would save a viewer being distracted by sloppy licks – especially if they’re a non-dog lover. Also move Fido’s bed, food bowl or anything else out of the way.
  • Open windows – unless it’s really cold, it’s nice to have some fresh air in the house.
  • Is it warm enough? You may have been rushing around doing last minute tidying, but your viewers need a warm, welcoming home to look around, so err on the side of warmer is better.
  • Put all toilet seats down – enough said!

 

So your home is looking wonderful – inside and out, and you’ve checked to make sure your viewers don’t see anything they shouldn’t. What’s next?

 

Atmosphere! That elusive element that can put your viewers at ease and relax them so that they enjoy viewing your home.  Light some lightly-scented candles and make sure your lamps are all lit to create a lovely warm glow. If you have a fire – real or otherwise – light it around half an hour before time. Playing some soft music in the background is a nice touch, and if it has a slow beat, it could even help persuade your viewers to linger – just long enough to fall in love with your home!

 

If you’re selling your home – or thinking of it, we’d love to have a chat with you. You can pop us an email at [email protected] or call us on 01324 811233.

 

20Jul

Planning to make the next step up on the property ladder? Now is the time to look at your current property and see what changes you can make to add that much needed value so you can get the best price possible when it comes to selling it. Here are six ways that you can add thousands to your home’s value:

  1. Buy a new door

You only get one chance to make a first impression, so your homes kerb appeal is important. Look at your current front door – is it damaged? Is the paint chipping?  Or is it just looking plain old and tired? If the answer is yes to any of these then you could be putting potential buyers off before they’ve even stepped through the front door. Whilst it may not add thousands to your home’s value like a loft conversion can, it could certainly give your viewings a boost.

 

  1. Get gardening

Is your garden in need of a spruce up? You best grab those gardening gloves and get outside and work on it, as a tidy and well-designed garden can add a great deal of value to your home. Whether you have a large green space or a cosy courtyard, outside spaces have become a room in their own right so investing time and money right now could not only make it more enjoyable to live in but also add around 6% to your overall homes value.

 

  1. Bring the outside in

Making improvements to how your outside and inside space flow could add as much as 15% to the overall value of your home.  Look at building a conservatory to add another room to your living space. They can be very flexible rooms that can be used as a fantastic general living space, dining room or even a playroom for the kids. But if your budget doesn’t stretch that far bi-fold doors are a slightly cheaper option they will give the illusion of an extension making the outside space into functioning living space where you can enjoy some alfresco fun.

 

  1. Update your kitchen

The kitchen is often be considered the heart of the home so take a look at yours – is it in need of a revamp? If it just needs a little facelift then replacing doors and update backsplashes can make a big difference . If you have some money to spend creating an open living space it could make it more saleable and add 4% to your property’s value.

 

  1. Turn the garage into a living space

If your garage has become more of a dumping ground for all your old junk than somewhere to store your car, it could be worth considering transforming it into a practical, useable space. It could be a play room for the kids, a useful utility room or even a home gym. The cost of making changes to your garage typically outweigh the value that it will add to your property but, it’s well worth looking at what your garage could become.

 

  1. Loft conversion

This is probably the easiest way to add an extra bedroom and bathroom to your property without causing too much disruption to the rest of your home. And the great news is that can add a whopping 12-15% to your property’s value. But before you start making any changes you will need to check you have planning permission. It’s also essential to consult an architect or builder who will be able to tell you if you need to strengthen the joists and what other changes you might need to make to the structure to ensure it is safe and liveable.

 

Need more help in how best improve your home ready for sale? Give us a call 01324 811 233 or email [email protected] and find out more about our property presentation services.