Category Archives: Property

Redstones Houses

Top 10 tips on how viewings can sell homes fast

To sell your home fast, making a good impression during viewings is key. Good presentation and making a real effort to showcase your home at its best is therefore essential.

Here are our top 10 tips on how you can really impress during a viewing:

  1. Many buyers will drive outside a home during a viewing, so keep the garden tidy outside, paint the front door or add some plants or baskets to the front of the property to make it inviting
  2. Toilets and bathrooms are important so clear away all those toiletries and medication, as well as children’s toys and put out some clean, folded towels. Ensure bath and shower fittings are clean too with no unsightly mould.
  3. Declutter living areas and let the light in, whilst showcasing your best features such as a fireplace
  4. Keep the house warm in winter during a viewing but let the fresh air and natural light in
  5. Always turn off the TV or distracting music during a viewing, so your home can be fully appreciated
  6. Keep the kitchen clean and completely clear from any clutter, including dishes to showcase it at its best. Any inviting aromas such as freshly brewed coffee is welcome though!
  7. Remember that buyers may look in cupboards and lofts, so keep those spaces in order
  8. Bedrooms should also be cleared, boxing away all toys and shoes
  9. Gardens can be huge selling points, so keep yours clear and tidy, get rid of the weeds and introduce some welcoming potted plants
  10. If you love pets, remember that your potential buyers may not, so perhaps a friend or neighbour could take care of them during a viewing

Following these simple tips can make a big difference and help your home sell much quicker!

Redstones Hayes Office Image

Say “hi” to the new Redstones Hayes Office

As a rapidly expanding estate and letting agency, Redstones has recently experienced huge growth through developing their franchise network, particularly in London.

The most recent franchise due to launch is the Hayes office in West London. Operated by new franchisee, Pasoon Ebrahim, potential new franchisees, landlords, buyers, property development professionals and all those interested in the local Hayes property market are warmly invited to an open day at the new High Street office, a prime location in Hayes on Saturday 12th August – 10am – 3pm. Address: 03 Coldhrbour lane , Hayes , UB3 3EA

Managing Director of Redstones, Manjit Virdi says, “Come and visit our new Hayes office, it’s an excellent opportunity to see the exceptional service we have on offer and how we plan to excel in the challenging property market in Hayes. Of particular interest to many will be our launch offer to sell your property from £666 including VAT. This exciting new launch offer is sure to interest the local property market.”

Franchise security

A beginner’s guide to property yields

You may have heard people talk about property yield but what does this mean?

It is a way of measuring the rental potential of a property and is the amount of rent that can be earned in a year for the landlord. This amount is expressed as a percentage of the price of the house.

So, if a rental income of £10,000 was earned from a house costing £200,000, the yield would be 5%. It’s helpful to use a percentage because it better enables comparison between different properties, so that landlords can assess which would earn them the most. For example, a £10,000 income on a £160,000 house represents a rental yield of 6.25%, demonstrating greater value than the previous property.

Many factors impact upon property yield and the larger or more expensive houses don’t necessarily offer higher returns. Landlords can achieve a high yield in areas where there is a shortage of properties, a strong demand due to special amenities, such as a university nearby, close proximity to good schools, a strong local economy, good road or rail infrastructure or even a young population who aren’t yet ready to buy property.

Managing Director of Redstones, Manjit Virdi says, “Not every property will get you a great yield. For our various regions, our staff are equipped with excellent local knowledge and can advise landlords or potential landlords on which properties will generate them the best yield for their budget.”

He continues, “However, to make the right property investments, it’s important to look at potential capital growth as well as property yields to ensure you benefit from any future increases in both rents and property values.”

A professional lettings agent such as Redstones will advise you on how to succeed as a landlord, offering valuable local knowledge on targeted areas. Due diligence is the key and we can help you assess rental amounts in advance, so that you can calculate your all-important return on investment.

Here are some of the many reasons landlords choose to rely on Redstones.

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Landlords – be aware of energy efficiency changes

The Energy Efficiency of Private Rented Property in England and Wales Regulations 2015 has introduced several measures that have started to take effect.

In the UK, there are still plenty of naturally inefficient properties. An estimated 343,000 private rented properties have an EPC rating of F or G and there will be a ban on granting new tenancies for any properties with these ratings. This takes effect from April 2018.

This measure will apply to all existing or new tenancies by April 2020 and failure to comply could lead to a fixed penalty of up to £5000.

Manjit Virdi, Redstones’ Managing Director advises, “If you have an F or G rated property, start assessing any potential improvement plans as soon as possible and get that rating increased before April 2018. There are funding initiatives available that could help. We are happy to advise landlords on a personal basis.”

In addition, since April 2016, tenants have the right to request energy improvements to any property they let. Landlords cannot reasonably refuse requests, however, they are not required to contribute funding. If a tenant makes a request, they must identify the source of funding for any proposed works and identify proposed improvements from a government approved list.

If a valid request is received, landlords must respond in writing within 1 month, either consenting to the improvement or refusing consent. This must be backed up with valid reasons and there are only certain grounds on which consent can be refused. Exemptions include if an expert advises that improvement may damage the fabric or structure of the property or if the improvements will result in a reduction in the market value of the property of more than 5%.

Redstones are always on hand to advise landlords on changes in legislation and offer a diverse range of services that reduce the time and stress of being a pro-active landlord. Find out more about our lettings and property management services.

Redstones illuminated sign

How to choose the best estate and lettings agency

Estate and lettings agents don’t always have the best reputation but with our focus on customer service, Redstones is the brand that goes against those pre-conceptions.

For those seeking a home for sale or rent, in addition to landlords, here’s what we always advise:

Complete your research

Choose an estate agent that is selling or renting properties similar to yours or those you are interested in and an agent that is prominent in your local area. Ask about their track record in your area.

Assess estate and letting agents

Why not pop into the office and meet them? Are they professional, friendly and enthusiastic? It’s essential to find out about their marketing methods too. Are they utilising SEO, 3D floor plans and advertising on all of the best websites?

It’s so important to build up a good rapport with your agent from the start too. You need to find them to be honest and trusting, as well as flexible.

Ask about the level of service you can expect. Ensure they have good local knowledge and the right level of experience. Be honest about expressing your own concerns too. Perhaps you want ensure they will be flexible in terms of showing buyers around your home or if you’re a landlord, you will want to know the level of support the agency will offer.

Redstones offer many unique services that are highly attractive to landlords such as Switch Agent and Redstones Platinum Total Care.

If you want a valuation for your home, don’t always go for the agency that states the highest price. Ask them how they intend to achieve the best possible price, as there’s much more to selling a home than just price.

Many people also ask family and friends for recommendations and some canny individuals even pose as buyers so see how effective a certain estate agent is!

Check testimonials and accreditations

Recommendation websites and independent testimonials are useful too, as you can find out more about the experiences of previous customers.

Always make sure the estate and letting agency you choose is accredited as well. At Redstones, we are members of NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents) and ARLA (Association Residential Letting Agents).

Redstones Houses

The impact of school performance on property prices

Nationally, figures have been released that reveal that house buyers are prepared to pay more to live near high performing schools. This could also offer landlords great opportunities, if they take this into consideration.

Research from Lloyds Bank has revealed that parents pay an average of £53,000 extra to live in such areas. This figure has increased by 31% or £13,000 on 2015. Where pupils are achieving the strongest GCSE results, average property prices have soared to £366,744.

The research demonstrates that average house prices in areas with a state school in the top 30 of exam results have soared by £76,000 since 2011 and seven of the areas covered in the survey have seen house prices rise by over £100,000 since 2011.

Parents who manage to secured a place for their child at a leading school have seen prices rise from an average of £290,683 to £366,744 over the last five years. This represents a significant increase of 26%. This is in contrast to average house price increases in England, which have increased by £42,145 over the past 5 years from £240,208 to £282,353. This is an increase of 18%.

Of course, the popularity of areas close to high performing schools means that some buyers will be ‘priced out’. However, for landlords or buy to let investors, it could represent a great opportunity.

Director of Redstones, Manjit Virdi says, “This research shows the importance that parents place on living near top performing schools. For any landlords with properties in such areas, this should be reflected in their rents and for landlords looking to expand their property portfolios, checking academic league tables as part of their research would be a wise move.”

Redstones join leading UK auctioneers Network Auctions

Redstones Auctions

Redstones Auctions

Leading Walsall based sales and letting agents, Redstones, have joined forces with UK auctioneers and NAVA auction house of the year, Network Auctions, to offer regular auction sales under the branding Redstones Network Auctions.

Redstones offer a comprehensive range of sales and letting agency services across their multi office network and by joining forces with Network Auctions are now able to offer clients a market leading auctioneering service with the benefits of local expertise and national coverage.

Redstones Network Auctions will be holding regular auction sales from their Central London auction to room at the Grosvenor House Hotel which, in conjunction with local marketing, provides sellers with access the largest market possible.

Network Auctions enjoyed a superb year at the rostrum in 2015 with sales in excess of £30 million going under auctioneer Guy Charrison’s gavel at their six London auctions.

2016 has also been very positive with four record breaking auction sales so far completed. The next auction is scheduled for 19th October.

Manjit Virdi, Director of Redstones said: “We are delighted to be joining forces with Network Auctions and look forward to providing a comprehensive auction service to clients in the Walsall and surrounding area and subsequently extending our auction service to our other network branches.

With a national network of like-minded partner agents and a London auction room, clients can be assured of maximum exposure and the best opportunities for a sale on any lot they enter into our auctions.
The experience and local knowledge of Redstones combined with the wide coverage and auctioneering expertise of Network Auctions is undoubtedly a winning combination.”

Network Auctions auctioneers Guy Charrison and Richard Worrall are highly respected practitioners and the huge databases of investors and other buyers that Network Auctions have at their disposal greatly increases the chances of a successful sale.
Toby Limbrick, Managing Director of Network Auctions added: “Redstones are a fantastic addition to our network and their expertise and knowledge of the Walsall and surrounding marketplace is a great asset to our ever growing rank of partner agents.

We very much look forward to including more lots from the Walsall area in our forthcoming auctions.”

The next auction is on 19th October at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane.

If you are thinking of disposing of a property by auction, can be contacted by email at info@redstones.co.uk or by phone at 01922 235 350

Redstones Lettings

Buy to let market to remain strong

Despite recent reports to the contrary, the buy to let market in the UK remains bouyant, with a growing private rented sector set to continue into the future.

In fact, the latest research shows that over the past 15 years, the sector has more than doubled. There are now 4.3 million households living in privately rented accommodation, demonstrating strong rental demand.

So, what has caused the private rented sector to grow? Firstly, more people are now living for longer and an increasing number of people live on their own. Furthermore, some people delay a choice to settle down with a family or they are staying in higher education for longer periods of time.

In addition, there is also a growth in population, which includes more migrants arriving in Britain. This is also combined with less available social housing and difficulties for first-time buyers in terms of affording properties.

Affordability is a key issue as house prices have been growing at a rate that has outpaced earnings, meaning that first-time buyers stay in rented accommodation for longer as they save for a deposit.

Whilst the Government states that it wants to get more people on the property ladder, the private rented sector is still likely to flourish.

There will be changes, however, as the new higher stamp duty for second properties could lead to higher rents and fewer properties available for rent. There is also tax and regulatory changes planned, which means that the buy-to-let market could grow at a slower rate but it will still continue to grow, nevertheless.

At Redstones, we regularly work with new and experienced landlords with property portfolios of all sizes and proactively advise them on market shifts. Here’s what makes us one of the leading lettings agents and property management experts in the West Midlands.

Redstones Marketing Ready

Features that make a Redstones franchise a fantastic option

If you’re considering starting your own business next year with a new franchise, you may be familiar with the term ‘due diligence’. Basically, this means that before you decide which type of franchise to become a part of, a crucial part of the process is research.

Clearly, research is vital to ensure that the franchise will be a viable business option. Once you become a franchisee, you must demonstrate the drive and ambition to make the business work and ensure it’s profitable. If the business model that the franchisor has developed is proven to be effective, this will be a huge advantage in the franchisees favour.

At Redstones, we’re constantly innovating and doing everything we can to ensure that our franchisees are successful. Compared to similar property franchises, we know that we have a superior offer. This includes:

Unique and highly innovative practicesRedstones Platinum Total Care is a scheme that ensures the landlord’s rent is paid on the date it is due, regardless of whether the tenant has paid on time. It’s a great incentive for landlords and an ideal business generation tool.

We also have the ‘Switch Agents’ programme, which ensures that new business is gained based on the service delivered. The programme makes it simple for landlords to switch their property or property portfolio to you, as a franchisee, if they’re dissatisfied with their current agent.

Modern marketing All franchisees can take advantage of the modern marketing techniques we offer, which have been proven to generate great results. Our extensive on-line and off-line marketing techniques include social media, advertising on all relevant portals and a focus on SEO and Pay-Per-Click. Vendors are able to sell their property quickly through 3D floor plans and walk through technology. We’ve even introduced an additional sales channel; online property auctions, which have driven more business through the door.

We actively help franchisees with their marketing because we are committed to helping them succeed in business. Therefore, we are providing new franchisees that join our network in 2016 with the Redstones Marketing Ready Package, worth over £7,000.  For further details click here.

Large territories – In contrast to many other property franchises, Redstones offers large territories of at least 100,000 households, low set up costs and opportunities to expand throughout the UK. When a Redstones franchise is in a position to grow, we have business acquisition experts on hand to help advise franchisees on how to effectively build their business portfolio.

Finally, to equip themselves with the knowledge, skills and confidence to succeed, every new franchisee undertakes a comprehensive new property franchisee training course.

Take the first step to controlling your financial future and find out more about becoming a Redstones franchisee. For further information, visit our Franchise website, call 01922 235 350 or email franchise@redstones.co.uk

Stressed Landlords

Top tips for first time buyers

Redstones recognises that moving into your first home will be a major milestone in your life. If you’re currently working towards this goal, how can you achieve it successfully? Here are our tops tips:

Be financially savvy
This means having a clear picture of how much money you actually need to buy your first home. Typically, you will need a deposit of at least 5% of the property’s value. In addition, don’t forget that you will require further funds for mortgage and solicitor fees, survey costs and stamp duty if the property is above £125,000. This can amount to several thousands of pounds, which needs to be added to the initial cost of buying a home. Furniture, carpets, decor and household supplies also need consideration.

Think about your household budget once you’ve moved in too. The budget will need to cover the mortgage, bills and other outgoings on a monthly basis, as well as a contingency for maintenance and any emergencies that could occur. Understanding your costs and being able to stick to a budget ensures you’re making the right decision and will be happy once you move in.

Get Help to Buy
If you’re struggling to save a deposit, consider taking advantage of the Help to Buy government scheme.

Their equity loan scheme offers an interest-free loan of up to 20% of the value of a new build property, whilst the mortgage guarantee scheme has increased the number of mortgages only requiring a deposit of 5%, which makes mortgage interest rates more affordable.

Research different mortgages

There are so many mortgages on the market that it is worth speaking to a mortgage broker, bank or building society early on. You can start researching the many mortgages available through a price comparison site too, which often include Mortgage Calculators that help you work out monthly payments based on the interest rates available and repayment terms.

A fixed rate mortgage is often useful for first time buyers, as it means that your monthly payments will remain the same for a number of years. However, variable rate mortgages reflect the Bank of England base rate, which is historically low at the moment.

It may feel daunting to make a big commitment such as buying your first home, but by following these tips you can be assured that you’re making the right decisions.

Ready to buy your first home? Let Redstones help you take that important step.