Selling Property? Read This First

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Selling a property isn’t quite as simple as a lot of people make out. It can be a complex and daunting task. After all, there’s a good reason why so many people hire outside help during the process!

If you’ve decided to sell a property, be it the home you’re living in currently or another property, then guides like this are pretty essential. Read on to make sure the process is smooth and gives you the best return. These are the things you must take into consideration.

The reason

Why are you selling the home? This may dictate how you’re going to sell it. You need to consider how fast you need to sell it and how much you need to sell it for. Let’s say you’re an investor. If you have the time on your side, then you can afford to wait to ensure you get the best price possible.

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Now let’s say you’re a family who are looking to move home. This, of course, is very different and even more sensitive. You’ll want to sell the place fairly quickly. But you need the best price you can get so you can afford the best house possible for your move! All this is to highlight that the reason for selling a property will determine how you go about the sale – and what results you should expect.

Getting the word out

Most people will choose to work with real estate agents in order to get the marketing done correctly for their house sale. But it’s not a process you should be completely divorced from. There are several steps you can take in order to be more proactive.

For example, writing up an in-depth introduction and description of the property will be appreciated by many customers. Using floor plans software to provide detailed floor plans along with the listing will help give people a clearer vision of the house. And you can even use social media to help advertise the property you’re trying to sell. The more proactive you get during this process, the more you may end up getting out of it!

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This can be the most sensitive part of this process. Some would say it’s the simplest; it can’t be that hard to find out the home’s monetary value, right? Well, don’t jump to any conclusions. Do your best to get to a close estimate. You should do this from a few angles. Getting a valuation by a professional home value assessor is the obvious and best step, but you can also judge the value by other means. If possible, find out the values of some of the other homes in your neighborhood. Check out crime rates and the proximity from valuable amenities, too.

Let’s say you want a good mix of a fast sale and a good price. Try this popular (but slightly risky!) tactic: find out the value, then take 15% or so off that price. It should be a tasty-looking price that brings all the potential buyers to the yard, much like the famed milkshake of Kelis. The desired outcome? These people bidding against each other. This results in the value increasing to the original value, and perhaps even further.

4 Ways To Own Real Estate

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Getting on the property ladder is becoming increasingly more difficult. Before taking the dive into real estate, it’s important to consider all your options. Here are the four major ways that you can own property.

Traditional Buying

Traditional buying is still the main route into property. This is where you buy both the building and the land. Many choose to go through real estate brokers to find property. Finding a seller direct can sometimes be cheaper, but limits options. Some agents may charge buying fees, but this is generally reserved only for sellers. In either case, negotiating the price is recommended – you should aim to haggle of 5% of the value if you can.

You can also buy property off of an auction. Auctions are also a great opportunity for flipping property – discussed later on.


In most cases, leasing property involved renting for a fixed term. This could be anything from a year or more. Some lease opportunities are more flexible than other – you may own the property, just not the land. In this instance, you may be able to make minor adjustments to the house as if it were you own. When it comes to traditional renting, hammering a nail in the wall might need permission from your landlord. Leasing is only half owning property, but is a cheaper alternative to buying and a more fixed alternative to renting. In many major cities around the world, the bulk of property is leased.


Can’t find a property that meets your criteria? You can always build your own. It can cost up to a third of the price of buying (building and buying the land included), with the option of a self-build mortgage preventing you from having to pay outright. However, it can be a lengthier and more complex procedure. Whilst hiring architects, solicitors and builders isn’t too difficult a task, buying the land is a complex procedure. Land may be environmentally protected, may have limiting restrictions set by a local planning committee or may be physically unbuildable due to the ground. Before buying always check with the current landowner as to what the current restrictions are. In most cases you may negotiate prices.


Flipping involves swapping one property directly for another, and so requires you to already own some form of property. By doing it effectively, you can earn a lot of money. Fail to flip correctly and you’ll lose a lot of money, making it a risky venture. Many who get involved in flipping property will buy property off an auction, possibly renovate it and then sell it for a profit. You can flip property without being worried about the profits however – if you want to directly swap with someone to a property that is less value but may be in a better location, you can do this.

A Foolproof Guide To Finding Your Perfect Property

Property buying can seem incredibly difficult as there are loads of steps to take. Before you do anything else, you should settle on what your perfect property is. Today’s guide will talk about the three main property types available on the market. Each one is different and ideal for different types of people.

Make sure you read this guide carefully as it will tell you more about each property. Then, by taking the information onboard, you can judge which one is best for you. So, check out everything you need to know in the guide below:

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Houses are probably the most popular property option out there. In truth, most people will tell you they aim to own a house during their lifetime. There are many benefits of a house, and it can be the perfect property for lots of different people.

The thing with houses is that they come in all shapes and sizes. You can get ones with only one floor, or some with multiple floors. The number of bedrooms also varies, as does the garden/garage size. However, the fact is that houses have the potential to offer you things like a garden, garage, basement, attic. They’re the most spacious property type out there and are perfect for families. This is why they’re very popular, a house will give you a ‘complete’ property. Houses are also great property investments as you can do so much to increase their value. People have bought small homes and extended them to become much bigger and hold more rooms. They’ve then sold that home for double what they paid for it. So, if you’re looking for a property to invest in, houses are probably your best bet. The other reason they’re so popular is because of the choice you have. Essentially, there’s a house out there for almost everyone.


Living in a house can provide many pros that might make it perfect for you:

  • Great for families
  • Potential for lots of extras – garage, garden, etc.
  • Fantastic investment opportunity
  • Loads of different types to choose from
  • Can make improvements


As for the cons, there are a couple of things that might put some people off:

  • Tend to be very expensive to buy meaning you’ll need a mortgage that takes ages to pay off
  • Can often be situated outside of main city areas and away from public transport

Houses are the best property type for families to purchase. They’re also exceptional if you want to invest in something that can easily grow in value.

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Apartments are a very popular property type that many people look to buy or rent these days. Essentially, they’re aimed at people that don’t need as much space as a house will provide. While you can get apartments with two, three, maybe even four bedrooms, you do miss out on many things a house has. An apartment won’t have a basement or an attic, you won’t have a personal garden. There are also restrictions on the work you can do to an apartment, even if you own it. For example, it’s pretty impossible to extend an apartment as it’s part of a building with other apartments that you probably won’t own.

So, if an apartment doesn’t offer as much as a house does, why are they so popular? When you look at them, it’s probably down to a few main things. For starters, apartments tend to be in very good locations, particularly for people working within cities. You’ll struggle to see housing blocks built right in the middle of a busy city, but you can bet there’s be an apartment for sale that’s right in the middle of all the action. In a sense, that’s one of the main aims of an apartment, to provide properties for people in busy city areas. Secondly, it goes back to that point about apartments not really providing as much as a house goes. While this may be a negative for some, it’s a huge positive for others. There are single people out there, living alone, who want somewhere to live. It’s impractical for them to fork out hundreds of thousands of dollars on a house that they won’t use to its full potential. It makes far more sense to look for something smaller that suits their situation better. Finally, apartments can be much cheaper than other properties – in both rental and outright purchasing prices. It can often be much cheaper to live in a two bedroom apartment than a two bedroom house. Especially when you take into account the location of an apartment. There’s no comparison between the cost of a house near the city and an apartment in the city, the house will be way more expensive.


There’s a lot to love about apartments, and they have a few big positive points that people may enjoy:

  • Often in good locations near busy cities making them perfect for working individuals
  • You get as much space as you need and don’t waste money on things you won’t use
  • Cheaper than houses in the same area
  • So many on the market up for rent/sale at all times


With that being said, there are some negative points that might put certain people off too:

  • Not ideal for large families as there’s restricted space
  • No personal garden
  • No personal garage
  • May have to pay ground rent even if you own the apartment itself

Is an apartment the perfect property for you? If you’re living alone or with one or two other adults, then it might well be. If you’re living with a family, then an apartment should never be more than a temporary place of residence.

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Finally, the third most popular property type is a condo. What is a condo? Well, it’s similar to an apartment but not the exact same. The size of each property is very similar, and they’re both situated in buildings with other condos/apartments in the same building. The difference is that apartments are in buildings that are owned by someone. Whereas, in a condo complex, everyone owns their individual condo, and no one owns the building itself.


Condos are popular for people that have accrued a decent amount of wealth and want to invest in a small property. Owning a condo is great as you can then rent it out to someone else in bring in a lot of money. They also tend to be in excellent locations with the complexes featuring things like swimming pools and other social areas. Many people in the real estate industry see condos as a luxury property, they’re more for people that want a relaxing environment to live in.


The pros of a condo can be seen down below:

  • Great buy-to-let investment
  • Luxury living in popular locations
  • Cheaper than buying a house
  • Complexes have lots of extras and friendlier environments than apartment buildings


As with every other property, the pros come with some cons:

  • Not great for family living
  • Can’t make improvements to increase its value
  • Rental costs can be quite high

A condo is great if you’re looking for a change in your life and want to step away from a big city and live somewhere more peaceful. It’s a luxury purchase, and also a brilliant one if you want to get involved in the buy-to-let game.

In summary, you should be able to figure out which property is perfect for you by reading this guide. Once you’ve figured this out, you can get started hunting for your ideal place to live.

3 Brilliant Tips For Becoming A Landlord

The property development industry is highly appealing to any prospective entrepreneur or investor, so it’s no wonder that you want a slice of the pie too. Of course, it’s not quite as simple as diving in head first. As with any investment, you need a plan of action if you want to ensure that you’ll be getting the returns you need for the whole venture to even be profitable.

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Investing in the buy-to-let industry is not a decision you should take lightly; especially not on the basis of the success enjoyed by other property developers. In this current economic climate, judging real estate value and the returns on any investment, no matter how good the property, is a difficult task. It’s worth it when the investment turns out to be a wise one, but you’ve got to enter into this with a clear head.

  1. Don’t be tempted by low rates without thinking it through.

Eventually, all rates must rise again. If you purchase a property on the merits of it simply boasting a low rate. It might seem good for you on the investment side, but sometimes spending less today doesn’t necessarily mean more tomorrow. There were so many investors who bought during the growth period before the recession and were left in an awful situation by 2008 when mortgage rates skyrocketed and the property they thought they could afford a few years ago was now eating away at their investment, leaving them very little wiggle room and very little hope of a sizeable return any time in the future.

  1. A credit tenant lease is a fair way of borrowing money.

As with any investment, you get out what you put into it. That, for the majority of new property developers in the buy-to-let trade, involves borrowing money. Of course, the best method of financing real estate can seem impossible to figure out, because you don’t want to take risks and you don’t want a lender to turn you away if they think you’re ‘high risk’.

If you’ve got a plan, however, and you know how to turn your property into a lucrative development business opportunity, then borrowing might not be as hard as it seems on the surface. There are credit tenants who help new landlords to finance their properties on the condition that the rent is used as a form of security payment. This lease is one of the best ways to finance the real estate development on which you’ve had your eye for a long time, so it’s a great place to start if you’ve been wondering how to fund this venture.

  1. Marketing is key, because you’re letting and not selling the property permanently.

Once you have the ideal property and the funding to get it going, it seems like you’ve got everything figured out. Right? Well, not quite. Renting a property to a tenant is not a permanent deal. Once one or a group of tenants leaves, you have to be ready to fill the property with the next viable candidates; especially if you’ve got a lease which depends on the rent from tenants acting as a form of security payment.

Marketing your property properly will ensure that you’ve always got potential tenants interested in renting, should a tenant ever decide to move out. The key is to ensure that you have enough time during your notice period to find the next tenant; or, if it’s a new property, to find your very FIRST tenant. Whether you use a site like Rightmove or a letting agent, ensure that your property is getting viewed in some way or another.

Brave Enough To Buy-To-Let

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Buy-to-let has seen a resurgence in recent times.

As an income investment for those with enough money to raise a big deposit buy-to-let looks attractive, especially compared to low savings rates and stock market swings.

Meanwhile, the property market bouncing back has encouraged more investors to snap up property in the hope of its value rising.

Mortgage rates at record lows are helping buy-to-let investors make deals stack up.

But beware low rates. One day they must rise and you need to know your investment can stand that test.

There is also a tax rise coming, as buy-to-let mortgage interest relief is axed and replaced with a 20 per cent tax credit.  Additionally, from April 2016 landlords now have to pay an extra 3% stamp duty on property purchases.

Recent history provides an important lesson in how returns can be hit. Many investors who bought in the boom years before 2007 struggled as mortgage rates rose. A sizeable number were thrown a lifeline when the base rate was slashed to 0.5 per cent. Rates have stuck there since 2008, but remember they will rise again.

Yet despite the tax changes and potential for mortgage costs to rise, greater demand from tenants, rents that should rise with inflation and the long horizon for interest rate rises, mean many investors are still tempted by buy-to-let.

If you are planning on investing, or just want to know more, there are essential things to consider for a successful buy-to-let investment.

Like any investment, buy-to-let comes with no guarantees, but for those who have more faith in bricks and mortar than stocks and shares there are many things you need to know. On a positive note, good advice is plentiful and nationwide and whether you are looking for conveyancing solicitors  or the perfect insurance company, there is no shortage of resource available. Some of the finer details are included in this helpful list.

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Essential house purchase documents

Buying a house is a long, complicated process and it’s all too easy to forget the finer details. We take a look at the essential documents you should have with you once you complete your house purchase.

 Essential house purchase documents your solicitor / conveyancer should provide

  • Title Deeds: Normally you won’t have title deeds – this is because the Land Registry records are now all digital.
  • You may have title deeds if your property hasn’t been registered before, but this is becoming quite rare. You should still get confirmation from your solicitor that s/he has registered you as owner of the property– your solicitor should provide you with a copy of the registered title showing you as “registered proprietor” within a month or two of completion.
  • If your property is leasehold, your solicitor should give you a copy of the lease (with lease plan of your property) and any service charge accounts or forecasts.
  • Your solicitor’s report on title is a useful document to keep handy. As well as including a summary of the legal title and property search results, it should also have attached the seller’s property information form which contains lots of useful practical information like the location of the water stop cock, electricity and gas meters and confirmation of who is responsible for which boundary fences.
  • For new builds (or properties under 10 years old) – you should have a copy of your Buildmark (NHBC) or other new home policy/warranty documents.
  • Confirmation from your solicitor that stamp duty has been paid (within 30 days of the completion date).
  • As appropriate, you should have a copy of any restrictive covenant indemnity insurance policy, chancel repair indemnity insurance or any other legal cover if required by your solicitor (if it is required, the reasons for this will be explained in the solicitor’s report on title).

Essential house purchase documents from your seller (if not already provided by your solicitor / conveyancer)

  • Guarantees – e.g. any recent damp-proofing, new appliances (oven, boiler, etc), FENSA (double-glazing) certificates. FENSA certificates last 10 years; damp proofing guarantee should also be about 10 years. New appliances can have a warranty period of anything from 12 months to perhaps five years for a boiler.
  • Records of servicing of boiler.
  • Electrical certificates for any electrical works/rewiring.
  • Building control certificates for any extensions or conversion works that may have been done to the property.

Essential house purchase documents as a buyer

  • Buildings insurance policy details and contents insurance policy details (if you decide to have contents insurance).
  • Survey – if you have had a survey, it is useful to keep a copy of this to remind you what issues were raised/might need attention soon