Book a Property Valuation
15Feb

    Online Agent Fee

Anywhere between £200 - £1000 – however, this is more often than not payable upfront, therefore meaning that you’ll lose the money whether the property sells or not!

 

2.       Amount of houses that complete

Between 48% and 58% of houses on the market with an online agent make it to completion. This is in comparison with the 80% of listings making it through to completion with a traditional high street agent. A drastic difference.

 

3.       Change in Asking Price

65% of properties listed with online agents change their asking price. Whether this be a reduction or a rise, 65% of online agent’s listings were put on the market at the wrong price.

 

4.       Instructing another agent

17% of properties end up going on the market with another agent. This figure would potentially be higher if it wasn’t for the fee with online agents often being payable whether they sell it or not. 44% of these vendors that instruct alternative agents end up selling within 2 months.

 

“I was really unhappy with Purplebricks. I received very few updates. It felt like they put more effort into getting me on board to get their up front fee than selling my property. I have now listed the property with a local estate agent” - Purplebricks customer – Switched to a traditional estate agent

 

 

It’s understandable that homeowners are attracted to online estate agents - who doesn’t like the idea of saving money!

However, research clearly shows that you won’t necessarily be saving money by appointing an online agent, and 40% said they spent more time managing the sales process than they thought they would. Time can often be worth money! This is why we recommend vendors do their research, why not invite us out for a free no obligation valuation on your property where our listers can discuss what you want from your sale, what packages we have as a high street agent, and how we can provide the best service possible.

 

 

All data and quotes acquired from https://www.getagent.co.uk/labs/online-agents

12Feb

*COMPETITION TIME*

In celebration of our Bury St Edmunds branch being open 2 years we're hosting a competition!

Win yourself a £100 VOUCHER for our neighbours, Bourgee Restaurants - the fabulous steak and lobster restaurant by following some steps!

Simply like our Facebook page Bychoice Estate Agents and like this post.

Comment who you'd want to take with you and don’t forget to share the post with your friends!


Competition closes on the 19th February at 9pm.


Terms and conditions apply. The competition will close at 9pm on Monday 19th February, any entries made after this time will not be counted. All steps must be carried out in order to be entered into the draw (liking the page and post) though sharing the post and tagging is not a necessary step. The winner will be randomly selected using a random number selector and announced on the Bychoice Estate Agents Facebook page on Tuesday 20th February. The voucher can be collected from our Bury St Edmunds office or can be posted to the winner after the competition has completed. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

09Feb

On average, most people make their decision about whether or not to purchase a property within 8 minutes of viewing the house, sometimes 4 and a half minutes outside can be enough for people to decide for or against a property! Remember, there are some important questions to ask both the seller and yourself when you’re viewing a property. Whilst you might fall in love in the first 8 minutes, if you find out the answers to the following questions sooner rather than later you could save yourself some time, money and heartache, or maybe even save yourself a few pounds!

 

1.       Is the property structurally sound?

Have a nose around outside the building as well as the inside, are there any cracks, broken guttering, missing or loose roof tiles? If there is, ask the vendor what the cause was and if it will be fixed. Anything you miss would most likely be picked up by your surveyor but if you can find out yourself firs before deciding to proceed with an offer you could save yourself a lot of cash!

2.       Is there any damp?

Damp can potentially aggravate breathing problems such as asthma, and can eventually cause mould and mites (ew!) So during your viewing keep an eye out for unusual smells, flaking plaster, watermarks on ceilings and walls. It can also be a good idea to ask the seller if they’ve ever had problems with damp in the past, and make sure that it isn’t likely to happen again.

3.       How long has the property been on the market?

If the property has been on for a while, months or even years, the vendor may be willing to accept a lower offer. Be wary though, make sure you follow our other questions as this may bring up why the property has been on the market so long. Also if you think the property had sold already, ask why it fell through, the reasoning could make you reconsider.



4.       Have any major works been carried out?

This could be an incentive to buy if the property has been improved in one way or another. Make sure however, that the vendor has all of the relevant guarantees, certificates and that relevant planning permission was granted.

5.       Can you afford it?

When viewing a property it can be easy to get swept up in the excitement. Yes it ticks all the boxes, yes you can see yourself living there, but can you afford to pay for it. Make sure you’re considering your finances when viewing so that you don’t end up disappointed, or worse, having to pull out of a sale when you realise you can’t really afford it.



6.       Does this home tick all the boxes?

There is a lot more to a home than bricks and mortar! Does it meet your needs in other ways? The journey to work, the size of the garden for the kids, the school catchment area? Will your furniture from your current home fit? As much as you may fall in love with a property, make sure it meets all your needs before considering an offer!

 


In general, there’s a lot to think about when you’re looking to purchase a property, but keeping these things in mind can help a great deal! If you’re trying to find your dream home, let us help! A lot of our properties sell before they even hit rightmove, purely from call outs to our mailing list, so join our list by giving your local branch a call and who knows, you could be in your new place sooner than you’d think! 

23Jan

During the announcement of a new UK Government budget in November 2017, it was announced that they would be making it easier for first time buyers to be able to afford a property. By introducing a plan to build 300,000 new homes a year, and changing the rules for stamp duty land tax, the government hoped to boost demand from first time buyers. The new rules for stamp duty that were effective from the 22nd November 2017, allow first time buyers to be exempt from stamp duty charges when buying a property up to £300,000. Not only this, but if you were to purchase a property between £300,000 and £500,000 this would be at a discounted rate of stamp duty.




In order to be classed as a first-time buyer, typically, you have to be purchasing your only or main residence and have never owned a freehold or have a leasehold interest in a residential property in the UK or abroad. It was estimated that 80% of people buying their first home would pay no stamp duty under the new rule and 95% of first time buyers would benefit. The expectation of the change was that we would see an increase in the demand for property from first time buyers.




In the monthly market snapshot from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors in December 2017, demand from buyers continued to fall. Respondents to a survey by RICs were also asked to consider the likely impact on the market for the coming months. 66% said that they expected the change to have no or little impact on the demand, whilst 12% said they experienced higher activity in the market.

Whilst this doesn’t paint a great picture for the future impact of this new rule, the figures and suggestions were taken from December. This is usually the quietest time of year for the housing market, and so this could be the reason for the decline. This may mean that the market for first time buyers may pick up now that we’re into the new year!




If you are a first-time buyer looking for properties, don’t hesitate to give your local Bychoice office a call and join our mailing list! Or check out our website www.bychoice.co.uk for all the properties we have available! 



18Jan

Preparation

The best way to start saving is to plan. Have a think about what it is you need to do before you start looking at properties, for example, saving a deposit. In general, people save anywhere between 5% and 20% of the value of the property, the average for first time buyers is 16% 


Saving your deposit

The next thing to think about is how much you’re going to need to save for your deposit. There are many ways to raise a deposit, from the Bank of Mum and Dad to Help to Buy schemes.

As mentioned, you could use the Bank of Mum and Dad. In this scenario it’s important to discuss how its going to work. Is it going to be a cash gift, or will they want to set up either an informal or formal loan? Another way for Mum and Dad to help could be to act as a guarantor for your mortgage.


Perhaps you could buy with friends or family. Club your savings together and produce a higher deposit, and share the mortgage repayments, everyone’s a winner. Again, this is something that you should think about carefully before committing to anything. As a first-time buyer, you would not have to pay stamp duty if the property was under £300,000. Should you choose to purchase a property with a friend or family member, if they are not first-time buyers you will not get this relief. Another thing to consider would be if one of you wanted to sell the house, and the other(s) you’re sharing with doesn’t, this may cause problems.

Another option is to purchase a shared ownership property. This is where you buy a percentage of the property, and rent the rest. By doing this, you can reduce the size of the deposit you need, and pay less mortgage repayments, however, you’ll also be paying monthly rent too.

Shared Ownership properties are part of the Help to Buy Government scheme. There are also other schemes under Help to Buy.

There is a shared equity scheme where you can get help purchasing a new build home. Typically, you only need a 5% deposit, and the government will lend you up to a further 20%. The loan is free for the first 5 years, and then a yearly fee is added. 




Help to Buy ISA can also be a great way to save, with the first deposit into the account at £1,200, and then a further maximum of £200 each month after this. The government will then award you 25% of the amount you have saved. The maximum bonus is £3,000, so available once you have saved £12,000 yourself, and a minimum bonus of £400, once you’ve saved £1,600. Once you find and purchase a property, your solicitor will apply for a 25% bonus on top of your savings to go towards your completion deposit! Hey presto, free money!




Make a plan!

Once you’ve worked out how much you need to save for your deposit, you need to make a plan to get there. Regular saving tends to be better than the occasional lump sum, but make sure that you’re realistic in your monthly payments or you run the risk of giving up all together! Also, don’t forget that the little savings can help a lot! Don’t have that coffee from Starbucks on the way to work every morning, give up the gym membership and go for a run in the countryside! As they say, every little helps!




Get started on your savings!

Getting started with your savings can be tricky, and even though it can be a hassle, try not to put it off! The earlier you start, the more you can save. The first thing to think about is where you’re going to save. An instant access savings account will have a lower interest rate, but it allows you to access your money whenever you want it. However, choosing an alternative where your money is tied up for a longer period of time can produce better interest rates, boosting your savings. Try to set up a direct debit, so the same amount of money goes into an account each month. Check out the comparison sites to see the best deals!

 

Make sure to review your savings each year, checking if you’re on the best rate of interest, and keep in mind other costs for buying a property; things like surveys, solicitor fees, stamp duty (where applicable) and removal vans!




And then watch your savings grow!

08Jan

Sometimes there may be a room in your new home which is a little on the small side, not to worry, there are some little tips and tricks that can help a room feel much larger than it actually is!

 

1. Paint or Wallpaper the Ceiling.

A great way to make a room seem bigger is to draw the eye upwards. Using wallpaper or a coloured paint on the ceiling will automatically cause people to look up, giving the illusion of a taller room. Another way to draw the eye upward could be to put shelves nearer the ceiling.


2. Paint the walls and floors in light colours


Light colours reflect the light, making a room seem more spacious, whereas darker colours will absorb light, making the room seem smaller!


3. Position furniture away from the wall


Putting furniture up against walls can make an area seem cramped. Keeping furniture away from the walls and making the area more open can often give the illusion of spaciousness.


4. Make use of hidden storage


Tables often come with storage underneath, as well as storage headboards, under bed storage, sliding shelves, staircase storage and sliding wardrobes. These are all fantastic ways to keep things out of the way, whilst not taking up room with storage.


5. Statement furniture


One large sofa can make the room feel less cluttered than multiple small sofas or chairs. Although the opposite can also be argued, that a large sofa taking up the majority of the room can make it seem smaller, this will depend on the size and shape of your room!


6. Use stripes


Thin stripes can give the illusion of stretching, in a vertical direction they can make the room seem taller, whilst a horizontal direction can create the feel of a wider room. By using stripes on a feature wall for example, this can help give the illusion of more space.


7. Hang items higher

By hanging items a couple of cm higher than you’d usually expect, this can not only draw the eye upward again but create the feeling of a taller room.


8. Use mirrors and glass items


A large mirror is an easy (and often cheap!) way to create the illusion of a large room. A reflection can make a room feel larger, whilst a tall piece of furniture like a mirror can create a larger feel whilst not taking up too much space.


9. Rugs


A rug can be a great way to create separate areas in a room. By doing this you can create the appearance of having more than one space in a large one. This can be especially good for studio apartments for example.


10. Don’t listen to all the rules!



The best part about having your own property is making it your own! Unexpected furniture and layout can make a room feel more open and fun!

 

 

Most importantly, enjoy your new home!

If you ever need to sell it, give us over at Bychoice a call!

 

 

Lavenham Office
22 High Street,
Lavenham, Suffolk
CO10 9PT


Tel: 01787 249583
Haverhill Office
27b High Street,
Haverhill, Suffolk
CB9 8AD


Tel: 01440 768919

 

Sudbury Office
6 King Street,
Sudbury, Suffolk
CO10 2EB


Tel: 01787 468400
Clare Office
17 Market Hill,
Clare, Suffolk
CO10 8NN


Tel: 01787 278890

 

Hadleigh Office
43a High Street,
Hadleigh, Suffolk
IP7 5AB 


Tel: 01473 828280
Bury St Edmunds Office
6 The Traverse,
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
IP33 1BJ


Tel: 01284 769598

 

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Registered Name: Bychoice Estate Agents Limited | Place of Registration: Sudbury | Registered Number: 5186429 | Registered Office: 61 Station Road, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 2SP