How To Keep The House Chain Moving
October 12th, 2022
Keeping The Property Market Moving
A property chain is a term used to describe a group of buyers and sellers buying and selling properties from each other. Each party is linked together in a ‘chain’. The chain has a beginning, a first-time buyer for example, and an end, someone who is selling and is not buying on. The rest of the chain is made up of people who need to both buy and sell.
In theory, there could be any number of links in a given property chain, which can make them problematic at the same time. If one person forgets to return a signed document on time, the whole process could be delayed for everyone. Or even worse, if just one person changes their mind about their purchase or has their mortgage application rejected, the chain breaks down completely.
Your chain can only move at the pace of the slowest party. So what can you do to prevent everything from grinding to a complete standstill?
Firstly, if you have a good estate agent, your chain should be progressed efficiently. However, it only takes one party in the chain to not be efficient in responding to their conveyancer’s requests to slow things down. Unfortunately, some of these matters will be out of your control, but there are some things you can do yourself to help progress your part of the chain.
- Employ a good, experienced estate agent and conveyancer/property solicitor. Ask them how long they have been doing the job for and how busy they are.
- Speak to your agent and conveyance regularly. Ask if there is anything they or you should be doing. Email is great for this; not so intrusive but reminding them to keep you updated.
- Get your finances in place early, especially cash for your deposit at the time of exchange.
- File everything. Keep copies of all correspondence relating to the sale of your property and the purchase of your new property, from all parties.
- Sign, date any paperwork promptly, including copies of your correspondence and notes of telephone conversations.
- Sign and return all of your paperwork promptly. Deliver documents by hand, courier or special delivery.
- Put clauses in your buying and selling contracts stating the dates of exchange, surveys and completion.
- Make clear your expectations, via your agent and conveyancer, on dates. Once a survey has been signed-off, and your mortgage has been approved, you can begin to talk about dates for exchange and completion. In a long chain, getting everyone to move at the same pace is difficult. Those higher up the chain will have agreed their sale/purchase later than you and will be behind you with mortgage applications, surveys, etc.
If you’re already in the middle of a sale or purchase and looking for guidance on what you can do to help keep your chain moving, the only real option you have, other than those mentioned here, is to chase up those who are falling short.
There are things you can do to help get it back on track. Communication is key to property chains keeping intact. Communicate, communicate, communicate. If you’ve chosen a good conveyancer, they’ll be happy to talk to you whenever and however it suits you. The key is to stay well informed and keep communicating, and always make sure to do your bit. Make a point of reviewing your tasks daily. If your ‘to do’ list is empty, call your conveyancer and ask if there’s anything else you could be doing.
No-one can predict the future and therefore, although you may come across issues, sometimes it is difficult to foresee them. Just because one of the situations does arise, it doesn’t mean that they can’t be overcome. A lot will come down to making the right choice when selecting your estate agent and conveyancer, but you can also do your bit by being proactive, too.
Make Your Home an Unforgettable Viewing Experience
October 12th, 2022
Tips to Make Your Home an Unforgettable Viewing Experience
When selling a home, property viewing is often the most important stage. The online aspect of property selling is becoming increasingly important in promoting the property and generating interest. Most buyers won’t buy a home until they have viewed the property at least once. This makes property viewing an essential component of selling a home.
Feature the highlights
For most viewings, the living room and kitchen are the main events. As the most used, sociable and visible spaces, it’s where buyers make a large part of their judgement. Whether your main living areas are classic rooms or open-plan, it’s time to showcase all their inherent characters.
Fireplaces are a natural focal point of any room and are high on the list of plus points for buyers. They can also be seductive at any time of year: a rack of chunky logs on the hearth, candlesticks and ceramics on the mantelpiece, and a large mirror or picture on the wall above are timeless ways to make them the centre of attention, whatever your personal style.
Special small spaces
Give your little rooms the big-star treatment. Nobody needs to go roller-skating in your spare bedroom, so concentrate on a fabulous feel and a clearly defined role. Having a dedicated home office, guest room, or nursery gives a small space a larger sense of purpose and value. Nurseries and single bedrooms are easy enough to arrange, but a common mistake with offices at home is using miniature furniture to create an illusion of space. The result is usually a room that’s impractical and unenjoyable to use, and it’s an unnecessary step: even the smallest bedroom will comfortably take an adult-sized desk and chair.
Bedrooms are our most private and personal spaces, but when looking for a buyer, they need to welcome in the world. Nobody knows more than hotels, so take a leaf out of their book to create a sanctuary of rest and relaxation. Headboards are the foundation of a showstopper, whether crushed velvet or rich walnut.
Modern or traditional, they give a bed an aura of grace and look great with pillows plumped and stacked against them. Paint the wall behind in a deep luxurious tone to complement and contrast with your décor. You’ll achieve peak boutique with a pair of bedside tables dressed with the rule of three used by professional stylists and photographers. Perfect accessories include lamps, clocks, books, vases and photo frames – play around until you find your favourite trio. At the bottom of the bed, a throw or blanket draped casually or carefully adds texture, comfort and warmth while softening the room’s acoustic.
By night and day, gardens and balconies are the icing on the cake at viewings. Whether it’s playtime, sunbathing, dining or thinking, having somewhere outside to unwind, relax and socialise is a valuable commodity in any home. Whatever space you have outdoors, look for opportunities to enchant. A table and chairs prove you have the room for dining under the sky, but it’s the styling that sends an irresistible invitation to sit down and stay. Small potted succulents or cactuses on the table are an instant and low-maintenance dash of green that’s not only hardy and handsome, it doesn’t need moving whenever you sit down to eat. Lightbulb chains strung overhead also look magical at night, with yellow-toned bulbs emitting a warm and cosy radiance without attracting insects.
Even if your garden or balcony is free of foliage, placing a few ready-planted seasonal pots around the dining area will elevate the appearance of your photos and your viewers’ experience.
Mirrors are perfect for a shot of glamour, extra light or filling a bare wall. Whether you’re going for classic gold, bold upcycling or a sleek modern frame, they give you the freedom for some playful garnish. Seasonal fruit and veg look fantastic on a kitchen countertop, and if you’re feeling particularly arty, try displaying them directly on the surface.
Otherwise, a bowl brimming with colourful fresh produce is a universally tasty sight and talking point. Fluffy towels and robes add a spa-like quality to bathrooms, so treat yourself now to the ones you’ve been eyeing up for your new home and keep them just for viewings. Timber or bamboo accessories like bath shelves, caddies and dispensers add richness and warmth that goes with anything. For anywhere else you feel could use an extra something, Pinterest is your friend! Type in “how to style a…” followed by your room or furnishing of choice, and a world of inspiration will open up before you.
Also, during the property viewing itself, there should be opportunities to find out more about the buyer, and focusing on the following information can help create a picture of who is looking to buy the property:
- Where is the person moving from?
- What is important to them in finding a new home?
- What other properties have they recently viewed?
- What do they like/dislike about the current property?
- What is their buying position?
This information can help the seller provide the potential buyer with the information they want. It can also help to develop a profile of the person or people looking to buy property, which can help to shape the way viewings are conducted in the future.
Be ready to provide information about the property
It is also likely that the potential buyer will have questions, so it is important to be as prepared as possible. The seller should be able to answer questions like:
- How long the property has been on the market?
- Why is the property up for sale?
- The sales history of the property?
- Pertinent information regarding the property and surroundings.
There is also a need to create a positive impression, and this doesn’t just relate to the home, it relates to the person carrying out the viewing. You should make sure your estate agent is as presentable as possible. They should be present at the property before any viewer arrives and you should have all of the information.
Eliminate The Stress When Selling Your Home
October 12th, 2022
How to Reduce Stress When Selling Your Property
One of the most stressful events that we go through in our lifetime is selling a house. Whatever your reason for selling, you’ll likely have some stressful times throughout the process, so knowing what the most stressful aspects are can help you keep calm and collected.
Why is selling a house so stressful?
One of the most stressful aspects of selling a house is the length of time it takes to actually achieve your sale. Generally, your house is the most expensive asset that you have, so there’s also an element of fear of something happening to that and leaving you in a difficult position. The selling process, on average, takes 6 months. In those 6 months, you’re likely to have concerns of a sale falling through, or if your property hasn’t generated much interest, you might worry that you won’t achieve a sale at all. This can cause huge amounts of stress, especially as it’s likely that you’re relying on the sale of your house to buy elsewhere. If you’re in a chain, stress levels can also increase, as you’re at risk of not only your sale having issues, but if someone else in the chain has a problem, it can break the chain for you all. Selling without a chain is less stressful, but much rarer, and still comes with its own set of risks too.
Leave plenty of time for the sale process
Far and away, the biggest source of anxiety when selling your home is feeling that your move may not happen when you need it to.
The speed of buying and selling is far from an exact science, so allow yourself enough time and flexibility to meet your ideal dates. Having plenty of breathing space will make it easier to make decisions calmly and to carry on with your work and home life as usual.
Take it step by step
Just like a house, moves are built from the bottom up. Nothing can happen without the foundations in place, and buyers are the building blocks of your plans.
So, if there’s only one piece of advice you follow, make it this: find a buyer for your current home before committing to your next one.
It’s completely understandable to feel so confident when estate agents are telling you they can sell your home quickly, and with all those beautiful listings staring out seductively from the portals, the temptation to view can be hard to resist.
But you’ll face stiff competition from buyers in stronger positions, and the fear of losing the home you’ve set your heart on can leave you desperate to sell, even in a fast market. Feeling compelled to accept the first offer you get is not only stressful; it could also mean taking thousands less than your home is truly worth.
Pick an estate agent with a plan
Imagine your sale as a series of time bubbles. With each subsequent one becoming less effective, your agent needs a plan to maximise response early on and then maintain momentum.
Your first two weeks on the market are usually the most active. Your home appears online, portals give you a shiny ‘New Listing’ label and send out alerts, your agent calls their registered buyers, and new enquiries come in. You’ve also decluttered to perfection, and you tidy up enthusiastically to prepare for a flurry of viewings.
The following two weeks are also busy. Responses are still coming in from the people who couldn’t get around before – maybe they were away, or tied up with life, or holding off till they got a buyer of their own – and anyone who liked your home on their first viewing has arranged to come back for a second look.
At this point, after about a month on the market, you’ll have hopefully found a buyer or have offers coming in. If not, you’ll at least have enough feedback to know whether a sale is likely, or if you need to change tack.
Here’s where a plan becomes really important. Before choosing who to entrust with the sale of your home, ask each agent what they’ll do after those first four weeks if you haven’t got a buyer. How will they keep you on track to sell?
Accepting the right offer
Getting an offer is exciting, and you might even be lucky enough to have multiple buyers competing against each other, so let’s explore what makes a good one.
There’s much more to an offer than money, and your buyer’s position is every bit as important as the price they put forward.
- Everyone who makes an offer on your home should be able to confirm:
- whether they need to sell another property;
- if they have a buyer yet;
- full details of any chain involved;
- proof of funds (mortgage, cash or both);
- that their deposit is readily available;
- if any money is coming from somebody else who also needs to see your home;
- when they want to move.
Getting these questions answered will help you identify a strong and secure offer with a timescale that fits your own. Just like a jigsaw – all the pieces need to be in place for the puzzle to be complete.
Expect the unexpected
Bumps in the road can come from survey results, mortgage valuations and the conveyancing process. They can happen to any home in a chain, but they don’t automatically mean the end of your move.
You can’t plan for everything, but instructing a solicitor as soon as your home goes on the market can reveal and resolve any potential legal issues, giving you a draft contract ready to go the moment you accept an offer.
And getting timeframes confirmed for every link in the chain when your sale is agreed, along with any booked holidays that might affect your moving date, can avoid fraught conversations as you approach exchanging contracts.
It’s also worth remembering that, despite the ups and downs, things generally work out.
Do your research
Often, the most stressful part of selling a house is not knowing what the process is and if things are moving as they should. Before you sell your house, do some research, and look into how long it takes and what each step is, from finding your buyer to exchanging keys. An aspect that lots of homeowners forget about that is incredibly important and often time-consuming is the conveyancing process, so understanding what delays are normal here can give you some peace of mind. Selling a house is rarely a quick process, so knowing this from the start can save unnecessary stress further into the process.
It’s hard to altogether avoid the stress of selling, but these tips can help you reduce your stress levels and make your selling experience the best it can be. Some things you have no control over, and sometimes just accepting that can help you reduce your stress levels, but that isn’t so easy for most homeowners.