Redstones Residential Sales

Is August A Good Time To Sell Your Property?

Traditionally, August has always been seen as a slow month for house sales but at Redstones, we beg to differ. Although house sales slowed slightly in the last month, prices are continuing to rise for the foreseeable future, influenced by the fact that Britain is expected to be one million homes short to meet its housing needs by 2025.

One of the reasons for the slower movement in the sales market is the fact that once property owners have sold their home, they often face a challenge to find somewhere suitable to move on to due to the shortage of properties on the market.

In answer to the question, is August a good time to sell, our answer is yes.

In fact, at Redstones, we believe there is no such thing as a ‘bad’ time to sell your property.

While Spring and Autumn are traditionally believed to be optimum sales periods, our experience tells us otherwise. 80% of property searches now being carried out online, which probably influences the soaring levels of online searches at the end of the year.

Here’s our all year round advice on selling your home.

Check out your local area : Are any long-term building or road works scheduled to be carried out close to your property? If so, our advice is to wait until the works have been completed. Trying to sell while they are underway may reduce the value of your house and deter potential buyers from arranging viewings.

Get your timing right : While the housing market is generally buoyant, certain areas may buck the trend for economic or geographical reasons. Talk to your local Redstones estate agent for insight into your area and to confirm whether now is the right time for you to sell. Our aim is to sell your property in the fastest possible time at an optimum price. Buyers can be wary of houses that are on the market for a long time.

Think it through : If you want to move home, whether to downsize or to accommodate an expanding family for example, it’s essential to select a time that’s right for your personal and financial situation. Consider your options carefully and work out how much you can realistically afford, particularly if you are intending to move to a bigger property. Once you’ve found a buyer it’s important to be able to move quickly and maintain momentum in the sales process.

Fix it up : Your home should look its pristine best before putting it on the market to encourage viewings – and an early sale. That doesn’t mean spending money you don’t have on big renovation projects but carrying out minor repairs to improve the aesthetics will reap rewards. You’ll find more information in our previous article 6 Tips For Presenting Your Property For Sale.

Explore your options : If your personal circumstances mean you have to move as soon as possible, you have a number of options available.

  • Lower your price for a quick sale to attract potential buyers.
  • Consider renting your property as a short-term solution.
  • Sell your property at auction. Should You Sell Your Property At Auction? will answer some of your questions.

Contact Redstones : Considering a move but not sure of your options? With our expertise and in-depth knowledge of your local market, Redstones offers realistic advice on what to expect. Contact us today to find out more about our services.

Landlords – Are You Ready For The New Immigration Bill?

The recent situation in Calais has prompted a further change in the legal responsibilities facing landlords in the UK. In a forthcoming amendment to the Immigration Bill, landlords who fail to confirm the immigration status of their tenants may face a hefty fine or imprisonment for up to five years.

The government’s Communities Secretary, Greg Clark, also announced his intention to create a ‘blacklist’ of landlords who are persistent offenders.

As an additional move, new measures to prevent landlords from renting out sub-standard properties will also be announced.

This is a step beyond the requirements of the Immigration Act of 2014 and the ‘Right To Rent’ legislation introduced last year which required landlords to vet the rights of their new tenants to live in the UK.

As a landlord, here’s the information you will need to obtain from your tenants to comply with the new rules:-

  • Request proof of the tenant’s right to live in the UK, for example, a copy of their UK or EU passport or visa where relevant. Take a photocopy of all information and retain it for your records for at least a year after the tenancy agreement has ended.
  • If the tenant is unable to provide a valid passport or visa, you are required to complete an online form on the Home Office website to ascertain whether the applicant has the right to live and work in the UK.

Once you have ascertained that information, we recommend the following additional reference checks to confirm the suitability of your tenant:-

  • Confirm the tenant’s current and previous address via the electoral role.
  • Obtain information on the tenant’s credit history, such as County Court Judgements, bankruptcy and so on.
  • Request copies of the tenant’s recent bank statements to ensure they are in employment and can afford to pay the rent. At Redstones, we recommend requesting at least six months of bank statements. To put this issue in perspective, almost a third of landlords experienced problems with rent arrears in 2014 according to the National Landlords Association.
  • Request a reference from their current employer to confirm their employment status and level of earnings.

As an additional safeguard we recommend that you obtain a reference from your prospective tenant’s previous or current landlord. The questions below will help to assess the suitability of your tenant:-

  • How long has the tenant occupied their current rental property?
  • Has the rent been paid on time consistently during the tenancy agreement?
  • Is the tenant currently in arrears or have they been in arrears previously?
  • Has the property been looked after during the tenancy agreement?
  • Would the current landlord be happy to rent a property to the tenant again?

If your prospective tenant is a former home owner who has recently sold their property and wishes to rent in the short term, standard credit and reference checks should confirm their suitability.

Don’t get caught out by changes to your legal obligations, now or in the future.

At Redstones, we understand that the growing number of legal obligations can prove to be a burden for landlords. For your peace of mind we offer a range of lettings services to suit your needs, including our Platinum Total Care Service which guarantees that your rent is always paid on time, regardless of whether the tenant has paid.

Contact us today to find out more.

Further reading

8 Landlord Obligations You Need To Know

6 Common Mistakes Made By New Landlords