Category Archives: Vendors

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 Residential Sales

Top 5 tips for selling your home

If you’re planning to sell your home in 2017, here are Redstones’ top 5 tips for ensuring your sale plans are a success:

  1. Consider adding value

To achieve a good price for your property, it may be worth investing first. Adding double glazing, an extension, a loft conversion or a new kitchen could be successful tactics to contribute considerable value to your property.

Whether you want to sell now or if it’s more of a long-term plan, such modifications make a real difference to buyers.

  1. Be realistic

The price at which you sell should reflect your plans and reasons for moving home. Some people need to move quickly and others have less pressure and can take their time with a sale. Your circumstances to some extent should reflect your pricing. An expert estate agency such as Redstones can advise on this.

  1. Ensure your home is marketed effectively

First impressions count! Potential buyers will make a judgment on your home very quickly, which is why high quality images are so important. This is an area in which Redstones excel. Our marketing techniques include social media, advertising on all relevant portals, SEO and Pay-Per-Click. Vendors are able to sell their property quickly through 3D floor plans and walk through technology.

  1. Be fully prepared for viewings

Before every viewing, ensure your property is clean, fresh and clutter free to present it at its best for potential buyers. They need to imagine living in your home. Also, feel free to ask your estate agent for feedback after viewings, as often any negative feedback can be easily addressed.

And finally:

  1. Choose your estate agency wisely

This is a very important point because the agent that suggests the highest asking price for your home may not be the one you want to work with. A realistic price tends to work best and it’s also important to work with a trustworthy agent who will be honest with you. Selling your home can present challenges and therefore, picking the agent who you genuinely feel will be the most helpful through your journey is essential.

We believe we’re the agent for that job! Request a valuation with Redstones and find out more about the selling process.

Redstones Residential Sales

Property market buoyant as lending booms

In 2016, mortgage lending hit its highest level in 8 years, which can mainly be attributed to low interest rates.

Proving that the property market remains buoyant, the Council of Mortgage Lenders has confirmed that with a lending total of £246m last year, lending has increased by 12% on the total amount lent in 2015. Mortgage approvals for both purchasing property and re-mortgaging rose in December 2016, showing that this trend is likely to continue into 2017. In fact, since 2008, remortgaging has grown year on year by 30%.

Therefore, despite Brexit and higher stamp duty for buy to let investors, many people have clearly been taking advantage of low interest rates to move up the property ladder. However, despite banks being keen to do business, in some areas, there is an ongoing shortage of properties on the market nationally and house price growth is expected to slow.

Manjit Virdi, Managing Director of Redstones explains, “We’ve got off to a very busy start in 2017 across the board, in terms of both property sales and lettings. We have a very high quality supply of properties right now too.”

He continues, “The positive situation with mortgage lending means that this could be the ideal time to buy your first home, move up the property ladder or continue expanding an existing property portfolio. We’re finding that for many people, it makes sense to start the new year by strengthening property investments.”

We offer innovative services in both sales and lettings such as Switch Agent and Redstones Platinum Total Care, which are very popular with our landlords.

Find out more about the great service Redstones has to offer.

redstones epc

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 Property Management

How to ‘winter-proof’ your property

As a tenant or home owner, it’s worth thinking about how you can ‘winter-proof’ your property, so that you are well-prepared regardless of what the unpredictable British weather decides to throw at us!

Here are 5 easy to do tips:

  • To prepare for the expense of Christmas, why not compare utility providers to see if you can get any better deals? Remember that bills are always higher in Winter and good deals are available.
  • Are any of your rooms prone to damp? Before the cold weather really sets in, move all furniture away from walls to allow air to circulate better.
  • If your garden furniture or any other objects such as potted plants are still in the garden, make sure you keep them covered in a garage or shed to avoid the ravages of winter weather.
  • Cracked and burst pipes can be prevented by ensuring an even temperature in your home. Set your thermostat at a lower temperature when nobody is at home and set it to gradually rise just before the evening.
  • Consider draught excluders to keep the heat in for doors or even a draught-excluding letter box!

Here are some bigger tasks that are worth considering too:

  • Get your boiler serviced, clean the guttering from leaves and bleed your radiators if necessary before it gets too cold.
  • Don’t forget to check your roof! Cracked or broken tiles let water in, leading to damp, so it’s worth getting a professional in to check if you’re concerned.
  • Ensure that your home is as well insulated as it can be to keep the heat in and to save money. Windows and doors should be double-glazed and the walls and loft could benefit from cavity insulation. Keeping damp and mould at bay is the key.
  • To prevent too many leaves from falling or even branches falling onto your home or car as the weather gets very cold, prune back any large trees that reside close to your property or driveway.

Some forward thinking and vigilance is all you need to assure yourself that you’re keeping your home warm and safe.

Alternatively, if you’re considering a new home to buy or for renting this winter or beyond, Redstones has a great selection available.

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.”

Making house moving run smoothly

It is very rare to hear from anyone who didn’t find the process of moving house stressful. However, being prepared and making sure you don’t miss anything will be the key to making the process run as smoothly as possible.

Here are some of our top, tried and tested tips!:

  • Ensure that you have cancelled all bills and let all banks, insurance companies, the DVLA etc. know of your house move a few weeks in advance. Redirect post in advance too, in order to protect yourself from identity theft.
  • Research the best value utility contracts for your new property well in advance and remember to read the meters in both properties on your moving day
  • Use a good removal firm. Seek recommendations from friends or members of the British Association of Removers. Confirm the time and date of your move with the company in advance too.
  • Save time and cost by doing as much of the packing as you can yourself, clearing your diary to ensure you leave enough time to pack your belongings
  • Make sure that everyone who is helping you move is aware of the journey between your old and new property
  • Mark all boxes that you pack with the content and the name of the room in which they belong
  • Make arrangements for food and refreshments on moving day, keeping tea, coffee, milk and the kettle to one side!
  • Try to avoid Mondays and Fridays for your moving days, which are the busiest days on the roads
  • Be considerate to the new owners and explain how crucial items work (perhaps leave out instructions) such as your burglar alarm, boiler switches or a built-in oven. Also, provide details of who currently provides utilities at your property
  • Check all windows and door are locked and that utilities are turned off before you leave

These are some essential tips but as you get ready for the big move, it’s worth keeping a notebook close by and making any notes to remember that you feel will make the move more effective. Being as organised as possible is sure to miminise your stress on moving day!

Redstones Houses

Important considerations for choosing your next home

Determining what you want and need when choosing your next home is vital. Buying a new home is an expensive and long-term decision, so it’s worth thinking through all of the considerations.

The first set of considerations is what you may want from the property itself, in terms of number of bedrooms and bathrooms, parking provisions, a private garden or conservatory. Consider the amount of time or money you are willing to invest in refurbishment or redecoration too. If you speak to an estate agent such as Redstones, let them know what elements you would be willing to compromise on and what you don’t want.

A major decision will be whether or not you wish to consider a new build property. Some buyers want the challenges of refurbishing an existing property if it offers them other attractive features they desire, such as ample space or a conservatory. However, new builds are growing in popularity because they require less money and time to redecorate or repair. They are often more energy efficient than traditional properties and mean that they will be no upward chains upon purchase, making the process of exchange quicker and less stressful. New homes also come with a National House Building Council (NHBC) 10 year warranty.

Another big consideration is the area you will be moving into. Research is crucial to see whether the area suits your lifestyle. Information to gather includes house prices, school performance in the local area, public transport links and other amenities. Use Government websites to check council tax bandings in the area and information on population, crime, health and housing. The Highways Agency website provides information on road transport links and plans for future development that may impact house prices. In addition, the Environment Agency offers data on pollution or flooding, if this is a concern.

Managing Director of Redstones, Manjit Virdi says, “The bottom line is that if you’re looking for your next home, thorough research really pays off and will ensure that you make the right decision. Redstones are always on hand to advise home buyers as we know our local areas extremely well, so we always welcome questions from potential new home buyers who are trying to make the best possible decision they can.”

Redstones

Spring cleaning before your big move

Many people sell up and move home in the spring and summer, which makes right now a perfect time for a spring clean before the ‘big moving day’ to save you both time and money before a house move.

Remember that reducing clutter can help you focus on your plans to move, reducing the stress involved. Here are Redstones tips for making your spring cleaning much simpler:

1. Be prepared
Start cleaning a few weeks before you plan to move and ensure that the right tools are in place, including the correct amount of dusters, bins bags and cleaning products! Start looking into finding a professional removals company too.

2. Declutter effectively
Go through your house and work out what you do and don’t want to take with you to your new home. Don’t waste time and money on packing, moving and storing any furniture and items you no longer need.

3. Start cleaning
Clean your own house as thoroughly as possible for the new occupiers and think about arranging for your new property to be cleaned. It’s always better to clean carpets and windows without having to empty rooms again. You could tackle this yourself or there are plenty of cleaning companies that charge reasonably for this service.

4. Some useful cleaning tips
You don’t necessarily have to throw everything away. Save old towels and bed linen for the move. They can be used as dust sheets, for wrapping furniture or for covering carpets if any painting is taking place. Remember that some of your old belongings can still be valuable, so consider eBay or a garage or car boot sale. Finally, ensure you wear comfortable and protective clothes when moving and keep rooms well ventilated if working with chemical cleaning products.

Cleaning your current home and ensuring your new home is clean and comfortable too takes some organised effort but will help you settle in faster in the long-run.

Redstones Houses

Speeding up the home selling process

When you’re selling your home, often the last thing you want is for the process to take a long time. So, what is the best way to improve your home’s ability to sell? Redstones recommend that you try these top tips:

Understand the market
One of the main reasons for a house not selling is because it’s priced too high. Despite the money you may have spent on the property, you need to go with what the housing market in your area dictates. Look at the prices of comparable homes and ensure your home is priced competitively.

‘Fixer upper’ homes can be difficult to sell
Nowadays, more people are looking for homes they can move into quickly, without conducting significant repairs. Avoid making your home look like a ‘fixer upper’ by fixing any damage, painting the home to freshen it up or tending to the garden to make your home an inviting prospect.

Location, location, location
The location of your home is vitally important to a buyer. Emphasise the good points about your location to buyers, including access to amenities, schools or even strong broadband access!

First impressions count
Keep your home neutral, simple and uncluttered. When buyers come around for viewings, it’s important that they can imagine it as their home, with their belongings.

Always be flexible
Just like you, remember that buyers are busy people. Always be flexible about when you can show them around your home. Also, to compete with other homes in the area, make sure you are prepared for viewings by keeping your home clean and orderly to make the best possible impression.

If your home isn’t selling as quickly as you would ideally want, why not give some of these tips a try? Alternatively, Redstones offer tailored advice to help. Discover even more about the home selling process with Redstones.