22Feb

Q. I’ve received an offer after only a few days of marketing. What should I do?

A. It’s one of those ‘nice problems to have’: you’ve received an offer after only a few days of going on the market. Do you accept and be happy that you’ve got an offer so quickly, or do you hope for more.

This really comes down to several things.

First, how close the offer is to the amount you expected. If it’s far off, it’s probably worth keeping it on the market to see if other offers develop.

If it’s close to your expected price, it’s a brave person who turns that down in the hope of finding something quickly. A bird in the hand, after all…

This must of course be balanced with the second question; how urgently you need to move. If you’re in no hurry but want to get the best price, then it might be worth staying on the market to see what else develops. If you’re keen to move soon (perhaps before a certain date, or you’ve fallen in love with another property) then accepting might feel like the safest thing to do.

Dare I say, but it also comes down to how much you trust your agent, and the advice they would give you in this instance! 

If you chose them because they were the cheapest or they flattered you with an over-blown valuation, then you may might feel doubtful about the quality of their advice. Agents who routinely overvalue are not being strictly honest with their clients at the very outset and when it comes to lower fees, well you generally get what you pay for! 

If, on the other hand, you chose your agent on the basis of their professional reputation or through personal recommendation – then you might feel more inclined to accept their advice. 

Of course, you can always try hedging your bets by accepting this first offer while keeping your home on the market. After all, under the English system nothing is legally binding on either party until exchange of contracts. But I would be very cautious about doing so, not least because your agent would be obliged to inform your buyers of the fact, in writing – and you could end up losing them.

It’s also wise, in somewhat turbulent times, to remember that we never know what’s around the corner – personally, locally, nationally and globally. Sadly, history is littered with people waiting for a better offer, only to see that turn to tears when the unexpected happens.

It’s common in a ‘quick offer’ situation like this to think both you’re your agent has done nothing for their fee and/or that it’s priced too low and raising the price would deliver a higher offer.

But take a step back and think about your objective: probably to get your house sold for as little hassle as possible. If you get a good offer without having to endure endless viewings, and this enables you to start looking for your next property with a firm offer under the belt and a clear budget, it’s a brave person who turns their nose up at that!

22Feb

A new survey suggests that many people are struggling to get mortgages due to poor credit scores, and that many only realising they had a poor credit rating at the point their application was rejected.

The research, commissioned by specialist credit card provider Vanquis, reveals that a fifth of people in the UK have been declined credit, with one in ten of this group being denied a mortgage. In the 24-35 year old age group, this rises to 1 in 4 people.

Nearly half (43%) confessed that they have never checked their credit score, rising to 53% of 25 to 34 year olds.

One in ten of respondents said they only realised they had bad credit when they got turned down for a mortgage.

One in ten people believe that regularly checking your credit score will affect your rating and a further 10% believe that your credit score would be better if you you don't borrow money, both of which are incorrect, says Vanquis.

Sion O’Connor, Marketing Director at Vanquis, said: “The results of our research are really interesting. It’s so surprising that 43% of adults confessed to having never checked their credit score, despite the fact that a credit rating ... is important to be able to borrow money for the important things we want in life, like a mortgage to buy a property of our own. It’s concerning that so many people get to the point of applying for a mortgage before they even know there is a problem.

We would advise people who have issues with their credit score not to apply for credit until they have improved their credit score, to get on the electoral register, make sure they pay your bills on time and, in the long term, consider using a credit builder card.

A credit builder card helps improve your creditworthiness by demonstrating that you can borrow money and meet the minimum payment each month.”


22Feb

Cheap mortgage deals for house buyers are unlikely to end soon, according to a new report from NatWest Bank.

Fears that rates are likely to rise follows the withdrawal of a number of high profile mortgage products in recent weeks.

NatWest says that while rising inflation has caused an increase in the longer-term rates used by lenders, it is unlikely to hit domestic home-buyers in the short term.

The report says that “while data from the Bank of England do show that the average quoted rate for some fixed-terms crept up in December [to 2017%] they are still significantly lower than they were just 12 months ago [at 2.68%]. 

“Most existing borrowers will therefore still be able to remortgage at a lower rate. Indeed, those coming off two year fixes in the next few months are likely to find deals a whole per cent lower than their existing rate” says the bank.

However, the bank reminds us that the Prudential Regulation Authority’s new rules require buy-to-let borrowers to pass “stress tests” for the interest rate theoretically rising to 5.5%, and that many BTL applications are likely to be rejected on this basis.



16Dec

Well, it’s been a funny old year hasn’t it? Funny-weird, more than funny-haha, perhaps…

But there are several pieces of data which show how things have stayed positive for home-owners in our fair city.

First, our own data, showing the number of instructions we took on over the last three completed months – September to November – was 19.7% higher than the same months last year (see graph below).




The second is how the latest data from Land Registry shows that house prices in Reigate & Banstead have increased by an average of 9.4% (see graph below).


The rise has been steady across all property types, with semi-detached houses rising by 10.2%, on average across the county.

More interesting is how the gentle rise in prices didn’t’ stutter after the Brexit vote, as some had predicted.

Land Registry data is the most reliable of the data sets as it reflects ‘prices actually paid’ rather than asking prices – although it does lag three months behind, meaning September is the latest available data.


The third interesting data shows that the number of transactions rose in the months following the EU-vote (see graph below).


March saw a huge up-surge in transactions with people rushing to buy second-homes and investment-homes before the hike in stamp duty for these types of property in April. April and May then saw the predictable slump to offset March’s surge, but since then transaction numbers have started to rise.

It will be interesting to see if this trend continues beyond July, which is the latest available data as we write this.

Of course making predictions for 2017 is extremely hard – wouldn’t it be interesting to see what people were saying this time last year?! 

However, whatever next year throws at us, if we’re still able to report positive figures after this year’s tumult, next year should be a breeze. Shouldn’t it…?


Have a great Christmas and new year.






06Dec

Well, it’s been a funny old year hasn’t it? Funny-weird, more than funny-haha, perhaps…

But there are several pieces of data which show how things have stayed positive for home-owners in our fair city.

First, our own data, showing the number of instructions we took on over the last three completed months – September to November – was 19.7% higher than the same months last year (see graph below).


The second is how the latest data from Land Registry shows that house prices in Brighton & Hove have increased by an average of 10.2% (see graph below).


The rise has been steady across all property types, with detached and semi-detached houses have risen even more; by 11.2 and 11.5% respectively, on average across the county.

More interesting is how the gentle rise in prices didn’t’ stutter after the Brexit vote, as some had predicted.

Land Registry data is the most reliable of the data sets as it reflects ‘prices actually paid’ rather than asking prices – although it does lag three months behind, meaning September is the latest available data.

The third interesting data shows that the number of transactions rose in the months following the EU-vote (see graph below).


March saw a huge up-surge in transactions with people rushing to buy second-homes and investment-homes before the hike in stamp duty for these types of property in April. April and May then saw the predictable slump to offset March’s surge, but since then transaction numbers have started to rise.

It will be interesting to see if this trend continues beyond July, which is the latest available data as we write this.

Of course making predictions for 2017 is extremely hard – wouldn’t it be interesting to see what people were saying this time last year?! 

However, whatever next year throws at us, if we’re still able to report positive figures after this year’s tumult, next year should be a breeze. Shouldn’t it…?

Have a great Christmas and new year.




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