List of things to do when moving house

Moving houses is one of the most challenging and nerve-racking tasks a family can experience. When you do not plan right, you might get stuck in a variety of legal and contractual issues that are going to stress you out. Here is a practical list of things to do when moving house that you can follow as a guide if you are planning to shift houses.

Moving House list

Things you need to do when moving house

Intimate (Tell) your lessor or homeowner

Do you live in a rented or a leased house? The first thing to do (several weeks early, in fact), is to intimate the house owner or the lessor that you are planning to move. Your rental or lease agreement will mention how early the intimation has to go to the person in charge.

Some owners or lessors come for a home visit to know if there are damages that you need to compensate for before you leave. Not giving the needed time between intimating and moving can put you in a legal hassle.

Make an inventory list

Once you have decided to move houses, the most important thing to do is to start making an inventory of all your belongings. This is the right stage to sell, throw, or rehome things that you may not be using in your new house. It makes packing and moving easier. Get a floor plan of your new house and have a rough idea on what will go where. This also helps settle into your new house easily.

Think about removal services/ movers and packers

Did you assume that all you need are packaging boxes, and you can easily move your stuff from the old to the new house? This may not be the case unless you are a minimalist and don’t own much!

There are families that faint at the sight of just how much they have managed to collect over the years. Different items need to be packed differently too. You don’t want your expensive vases or glass décor to get shattered to pieces while they are being moved just because you forgot to add enough protective layers inside the packaging box.

For families that are full-sized, opting for removal services is a smarter move. These professionals come with their own packaging material and some offer insurance against damage too. They unpack at the new house and arrange stuff before they leave. They are definite lifesavers.

Do a deep clean

Some homeowners and lessors require their tenants to do a deep cleaning of the house before they move. This could be in the legal contract that you made when you shifted in. Check this out. Even if a deep clean requirement is not mentioned, you will be able to get back most of your security deposit if you clean the house and give it back the same way you got it.

For homeowners who are moving to another property, deep cleaning helps increase the rental/sale value of the house.

It makes sense to hire professionals to do the cleaning service. Its easier and more effective this way.

Research on the new locality

Have you researched on the new locality that you will be staying in? Are there good schools, markets, and hospitals around? Knowing the basics of your new locality before you move in can help you get more prepared for the change.

Check all your outstanding bills

This is also one of the most important points in the list of things to do when moving house. Make a list of all the bills that you pay every month. They could be:

  • Rent
  • Maintenance
  • Water and sewer bills
  • Trash and recycling bills
  • Cleaning and maintenance bills
  • Internet
  • Cable
  • Natural gas

You have to make sure you clear these outstanding bills before you move. This is required even if you move in between the payment cycle and don’t use these utilities for the whole month.

Sometimes, homeowners miss paying such bills and shift somewhere else, leaving behind issues like late fees, disconnection of services, and legal complications.

These could be big problems to the lessor or even to you if you own the house.

Check all your existing utilities and transfer or disconnect them

This is an extension of the previous point. You not only have to pay your existing utility bills, you should also decide if you want to transfer them to the new house or disconnect them.

If you are going to move somewhere far away, it makes sense to disconnect local utility services like trash and recycling, and cable connections.

You can talk to other service providers who provide internet, electricity, and water and update your new address here.

Doing these at least 2-3 weeks before you move will leave them with enough time to make the changes and serve you as soon as you shift.

Notify relevant people

Now, this is a very important point in the list of things to do when moving house. When you start making a list, you will be awed at how many people and businesses your life is intertwined with. Here are few people who have to notify in advance about your change of address.

  1. Friends and relatives who visit you
  2. The school administration if you have kids
  3. All your utilities providers
  4. Your doctors and dentists
  5. The driving licence organization to change your address in your licence
  6. The post office to redirect any mails you may be getting after you move
  7. Your bank
  8. Your employer (if needed)
  9. The local council (existing and new)

Check if your new house insurance is in place

Staying in a house without house insurance, even for a day, is absolutely risky. Make sure your new house insurance kicks in at least a few days before you move in. Double check on this fact to make sure you don’t end up in financial crunches in case of accidents and damages to the new house.

Pack an overnight bag for everyone in the family

Imagine stepping into the new house with tons of packaged boxes and not knowing where your toothbrush or your child’s pajamas are!

Overnight bags are smaller bags that will carry all the essentials of what you may need for the next few days before you get on with unpacking. This is a must-do point in the list of things to do when moving house. You can pack a few overnight bags to make things easy. Make sure you have the below essentials in these bags.

  • Clothes
  • Medicines if needed
  • Basic toys for the kids
  • Tableware, crockery to eat meals
  • Ready-meals, snacks
  • Toiletries
  • Chargers for your phones, tablets, and laptops

Check the meter readings before you move in

There are two places you should be checking your meter readings from — The old house before you move out and the new house before you move in.

Make a note of the meter readings (take a photo if that helps). This will prevent your utility supplier from over-billing you. This is really important in rented and leased houses. You do not want to pay the bills for what the new renters.

Similarly, when you move to the new house, make a note of the readings to ensure you only pay or what you used.

Double-check the new contract papers

There are different kinds of legal documents you have to own when you move houses.

  • If you are buying a new house, you have to get the real estate purchase agreement made between you and the last owner.
  • If you are renting, rental agreements have to be made.
  • If you are leasing, lease agreements have to be drawn.

It is a smart move to get these agreements checked by a professional before you sign them. This is to ensure there are no unlawful or unfair clauses drawn that will put you at a disadvantage.

Secure the old house well

In a rush to move to their new houses, some homeowners forget to ensure the old house is secure and locked right. Imagine the plight of leaving a window or a balcony open and coming back after a few weeks to find rodents and other pests all through the house. The risk of a break-in is also high with inhabited houses.

Take some time at the end to make sure all the locks work and all windows and entry points are secured. If you have to hand over the keys to someone else, plan that in advance too.

Moving houses is definitely not easy, but you can bring down the stress levels and make it smoother by planning in advance. Make a note of this list of things to do when moving house and make sure you check each one of them.

Get help from every member in the family to help with the moving-out tasks. Doing these as a single person can tire you out. Take photos of the old house, take back all the good memories you had there and enter you new house with positivity and lots of good hopes.

Selling a house after death of parent

Whether it’s for the purposes of moving on, dealing with grief, settling a debt they left behind or any personal reason you have, selling out your parents’ house after their death is a daunting prospect. It’s one of the saddest yet emotional decision you’ll have to make after their death. As if that is not enough, there’s the legal side of things—the paperwork and other financial issues that need your attention.

Selling house after death of parent of p

All these can be stressful to combat at once. And as a result, you might fall victim to preying real estate agents who want to profit from your desperation. Luckily enough, here is a piece on everything you need to know and watch out for when liquidating your parent’s house. Further, this guide also highlights the dos and don’ts of selling your childhood home and why it isn’t easy.

Selling a house after death of parent

The legal side of things

Most individuals expect the house of their parents to be passed down to them as an inheritance. However, only a small percentage of these individuals understand how the property will pass down to them. Selling your parents’ house will need you to understand how the property was passed down to you. Additionally, you’ll need which means used by your parent by them to pass it down to you. This could be one of three things: probate, transfer via living trust, or a death deed.

The Probate process

Most families fall victim to the illusion that transferring property to your name is as simple as your family lawyer reading out a will to you. That might work in the theatres, yes but not in real life. Real estate inheritance made via a will is subject to a long and almost endless probate process. And if there is no written will, and there are numerous claims, a probate procedure is definitely certain.

Having said that, what is probate?

Well, probate is a legal procedure that oversees the dispensation of your parents’ assets. This procedure is done to determine whether the will they left behind is valid or not. The procedure ensures your parent’s debt is settled and something left behind to the heirs.

After a parent’s death, the court appoints an internal agent of theirs or verifies an executor mostly named by the will to oversee the process. He or she administers the probate process. His role is to collect assets left behind by the deceased, settle the deceased’s debt, and finally redistribute what’s left to the beneficiaries.

Is there a will

Most individuals who prepare for their death or play it safe leave behind a written will. They are known as a testator. The will stays in the hands of the executor until they die. Upon death, the executor initiates the probate process. Generally, they are a financial advisor trusted by the deceased to execute their last wishes. A will left behind by the deceased provides the executor and what he should do with the deceased’s assets.

Upon death, the executor starts by applying for probate. In turn, this initiates a series of events such as verifying, authenticating and acknowledging the will as the true last statement.

Also, the court granting the executor legal power to proceed/act on behalf of the deceased. These events might look simple to execute, but they are not. They’ll take time to implement.

 

The role of the executor and how they oversee the probate process.

As stated earlier, a valid will typically name the representative of the deceased. Basically, this representative will get the nod to locate and oversee the assets of the deceased. This explanation might look shallow for most individuals. And as such, here is an in-depth look at his responsibilities.

Once approved by the court, the executor evaluates the estates of the deceased. Afterwards, he subjects them to each asset to the probate court except for real estates. In the case where the deceased had pending debts or taxes, the executor pays them off.

Claims are only considered valid within the first year of the death. Claims made after one year are deemed invalid in some countries, while others can be taken to court. Note: If the deceased debts outweigh their assets, the administrator will not initiate probate.

Once everything is paid off/sorted, the executor will seek authorization to distribute what’s left to the beneficiaries.

What if there’s no will for the probate to work?

Most individuals die without leaving a will behind. As such, the deceased leaves behind property, yet there’s no one to claim or a specific heir to inherit the will. In other cases, the court can deem the will presented to the as invalid. In such a case, the property left behind is classified as an intestate estate. When this happens, the court lacks a blueprint to redistribute the assets of the deceased.

For such scenarios, the court appoints an administrator who’ll serve as executor. He or she will oversee the estates left behind, receive any legal claims against the said property, and pay off any debts. Once the administrator has sorted out such claims, he’ll locate any heirs left behind. Once located, he’ll present them to the court. Afterwards, the court will assess the remaining property and equally distribute it to the children.

Key takeaways from a probate

  • It’s a legal way of reviewing the assets left behind by a deceased person to determine the rightful beneficiaries.
  • Probate proceedings use a will as its primary blueprint to determine the right inheritors.
  • Probate proceedings are mostly effective for cases where the deceased has left behind high-value assets.
  • Each country has a way of handling its probate proceedings.

Transfer via the death deed/beneficiary deed.

Another way to transfer property from your parent down to you is through a death deed. A death as simple as the movies, and it lets you inherit the property directly without the hustle of probate. With this transfer, one can easily sell their parents’ home minus having to worry about legal issues. Sadly, this form of transfer is only limited to certain states and countries as well.

Some countries will require a death deed for you to inherit your parent’s home. On the other hand, other countries will demand the death deed and a written will for this form of inheritance to be acknowledged as valid. All in all, this method of inheritance is as simple as the ABC. Though, you’ll still need to sort out the inheritance tax on the house before selling it.

Inheritance via a living trust

Of all the three methods of property transfer, inheritance via a living trust is the easiest. Inheritance via a living trust is a form of passing down assets where the parent entrusts the property to a trusty. Here the deceased signs a legal inheritance document that passes off the assets to the trusty.

If the parent passes on, the assets are transferred to the trusty who passes it down to the children. The document names the trusty and allows them to manage the assets before they are passed down to the kids.

This form of inheritance bypasses everything negative about the first two means of inheritance. For starts, it allows you to inherit property minus probate. Second, this inheritance measure bypasses the taxes impounded by the death deed. As such, it allows you to sell the house immediately.

Inheritance via a living trust is most suitable for parents with multiple heirs. If the deceased set up a trusty, they decide which heirs should decide on the sale of the house.

 

Selling a house with the help of an agent vs selling it on your own.

With the legal issues out of the way, the next step would be selling out the house. For this, you’ll need to hire an agent specialized in such sales. The idea of selling a house on your own minus an agent might sound attractive, but it’s not. If you put two and two together and compare the two, you’ll settle for an agent without question. Selling a house on your own will save you the agent fees and subject you to endless disadvantages.

For starts, you’ll have to deal with inheritance disputes, find a buyer as well as finance papers used in the sale. Additionally, you might end up getting a terrible deal that isn’t worth the house. On top of that, finding a buyer can be a pain in the neck. And if you finally land one, they might not be genuine and, as such, scum you off your property without breaking a sweat.

On the other hand, if you land an experienced agent, you are guaranteed a whole lot more than a good deal. For instance, you are guaranteed safety and less time in court walking with legal papers. Also, you are safe from the hustle of landing a decent client.

Most agents have a wide connection between sellers and buyers. As a result, your property will land the best buyer within a few weeks. As if that is not enough reason to change your mind, agents have good bargaining power. This means that they’ll easily convince your buyer and get you a better evaluation of the property.

The dos and don’ts of selling a house after death of parent

Don’t be rational with the sale or when making the sale. Think twice and counter check everything before selling. You don’t want to deal with endless law suites after transacting.

Be patient. Court proceedings can take months before they are finalised. So with that in mind, be patient with the proceedings, the executor and your sales agent. They are fighting for your right and working on landing you the best deals.

Always ask around from people who’ve had a similar experience. You never know you might land the best advice to help you with your sale. So with that in mind, consult your friends for advice. And look at how they handled the matter and how they’ve handled the matter.

Don’t be ashamed of selling. It’s normal to sell your parents’ house after their death, people do it, and people have done it before. Yes, it’s their life’s investment, but change is good for moving on past your grief.

Always do your research. The best way of getting information is through reading, going through countless journals, articles and even books. Having said that, do some digging into the topic at hand. Go through your agent’s profile as well as the executor’s profile. On the same note, do some reading on the above means of inheritance and your country’s application. You never know what you’ll find. It’s better to be cautious than sorry.

Don’t be too attached. Let go of the property and the memories that connect you to it.

Also see how to sell house quickly for good price 

 

How to sell my house quickly for a good price

An In-depth Review on How to Sell My House Quickly for a Good Price

How to sell your home fast

Selling your home can be an overwhelming process, especially when you need quick money. People sell their homes for different reasons. You may want to sell your house for work-related issues such as a new job, losing a job, travelling for work in a new place, or a new challenge. Others sell the property for family related issues like changes in relationships, death in the family, new family members or the need to downsize. While this varied, one thing is common; everyone wants to sell their houses for a good price and very fast. Let’s explore how you can sell your house fast.

The Best House Selling Strategies

There are so many strategies that one can use to sell the property. However, only a few are most applicable and guarantee you the speed. Once you have decided to sell your home, you must select a selling strategy. Here are the most profitable ones;

  • Get a real estate agent: A real estate agent is a professional who will link you to a potential buyer. Once they connect you, you will pay them a commission for the services.
  • Selling FSBO (For Sale by Owner): As the terms suggest, you will be selling the property yourself. You list the home by yourself and pocket all the money.
  • Sell to a home buying company: Home buying companies, often known as investors, will purchase the home and decide what to do with it later. Usually, they will transform and renovate the home before putting it out for purchase.
  • Exchange with a new home builder: Commonly known as a PX, it enables you to trade in your home as part payment for a new build property purchased from a developer or builder.

Tips to Sell Your House Fast

For whatever reasons you want to sell house fast, these tips will help you sell very quickly.

  1. Closely work with a real estate agent

Hire a real estate agent to help you make the sale. During the hiring process, you will have to assess their experience, knowledge, reputation, and charges. The experience can be assessed by the number of sales they have closed as well as the number of years they have been working in the given capacity. Getting a knowledgeable real estate agent will connect you faster to a buyer. These real estate agents have already established their network and may even have a potential buyer in mind. Talk to one as soon as you decide to sell the home.

  1. Declutter your home

Depersonalising your home is another favourable way to enhance the house sale. You should clean your home from top to bottom and get rid of all the clutter. If any family photos are hanging in the house, you should remove them and rearrange your home to look inviting and beautiful. When potential buyers visit, they should be in a position to imagine themselves in the home. When decluttering, ensure that you put your bulky items in the storage units.

  1. Enhance your home’s curb appeal

When looking to sell your property quickly, you must enhance your home’s general look. Remember that you only have one chance to make a good first impression. If you have it wrong at first, then you lose the buyer. You can first paint your front door, plant some inviting flowers, and remove any cobwebs and debris from windows as well as the porches. If there are any broken light fixtures and mailboxes, you should fix them and have some landscaping done. A tidy and beautiful exterior sends positive vibes to potential buyers.

  1. Work on the simple repairs

Since you want quick money, you may lack adequate time for any main renovations. As such, you should focus on quick and straightforward repairs such as touching up paints, removing carpet stains, tightening doorknobs and handles. Fix all the loose tiles and tighten any leaky faucets in the kitchens, bathrooms, and other water point areas. As a seller, you need to assess the time and money you have as this determines the kind of repairs to perform.

  1. Get the correct price

How do you determine the correct price for your home? Pricing your property doesn’t mean that you reduce your price. You can begin by contacting an appraiser to help you know the actual value of the property. The appraiser comes in and makes a valuation of all the home fixtures and gives you a fair market value to not overpricing or underpricing the property.

  1. Get professional pictures taken for the home

People buy what you see. When putting up the listings online, you should hire a professional photographer and get the best pictures. These photographers will enhance the best parts of the home and hide the flaws. Before the home’s shoot, ensure that the property has enough light by opening the blinds, replacing the old light bulbs and updating the fixtures. This enhances the photographs in the end.

  1. Stage your home

After decluttering and depersonalising your home, your next step should be staging the home. You can start by decorating your home in a way that highlights all its goodness. You can achieve this by rearranging the rooms’ furniture and creating a focal point in every room. Depending on the desired effects, you may have to seek a decor designer’s services, but it is not always necessary.

  1. Think like a buyer

If you were buying property, what would you look for? Selling a property requires that you reason like a buyer. Try and incorporate all the features that a buyer would desire without overdoing it. Go for subtle colours when decorating and set yourself apart from other sellers in the neighbourhood. Would you buy your house if you saw it? If the answer to this question is ‘No’, then you need a lot of work done

  1. Get feedback from potential buyers

Feedback is very important in any business or transaction. After staging a house, you can have a book at the door or entrance to write their feedback. Request them to write what they liked and what they didn’t like in the house. If it was an individual client, you could let them write to you what they loved and what they did not like about the property. You can use this feedback to improve your house.

Why Sell Your House to a Cash Home Buying Company

The process of selling your home can be exhausting and hectic. Well, choosing to sell your house to an investor is one of the most beneficial processes that you can undertake, especially when all you want is speed and quick money. Besides the speed, you get a lot of benefits from selling the home to a cash buying company. Here is what you gain.

  1. You do not need any repairs or renovations

The investors will purchase the property in the exact state and without needing any repairs. They purchase property regardless of the state and location. This is unlike the traditional methods where one must perform a lot of deep cleaning and interior decorations in the home. You do not have to change anything to prepare your home to sell the property. They will only purchase the home and do all the fixing. In most cases, they purchase homes and revamp them in their preferences. They can then sell the property or lease it to interested parties. Following this, you need to save a substantial amount of money that could have been spent on the renovations. Now, renovations are great, but they often take too much time and money. While they may be expensive, the return on investment is not always guaranteed, and this can be a hindrance to getting quick cash. With renovations factored in, it could take you up to six months to close the sale.

  1. The speed is incredible

The largest benefit you get with the sale is speed. The conventional methods could take up o three months to close, which can be inconvenient, especially when you need quick money. The process involves a lot of paperwork and legal terms that must all be fulfilled. In the investor sale, the major thing is that the cash home buying company likes your property. Once they visit your home, they will assess the property for any issues and ascertain the best value. They will then give you an offer, and if you accept, the process begins right away. Here is room for negotiation as these companies are not trying to rob you. They are looking to offer a favourable quotation for both parties. It could take as short as two days or as long as five working days. This is arguably a short while and helpful for a homeowner who requires quick money.

  1. You retain all the money

When you sell to cash home buying company, you get to keep all the money. You realise that we compare it to other property selling strategies, especially in terms of speed, monetary value, as well as benefits. With the cash home buying company, you will get the money in a lump sum and do not need to pay any agency costs or commissions for selling the house. Real estate agents charge you a percentage of the total transactional cost. It can be anything between 3% to 10% of the total cost, depending on what you agree on with the real estate agent. After the sale, you will not share the money with anyone.

  1. Sell property acquired from inheritance

People acquire property in different ways. You can get home through purchasing, building, or even inheritance. You may have inherited the property while you still own your home; following this, you may want to sell the inherited house and retain your own home. In this case, involving the cash home buying company would be your best shot. Depending on the company you engage for the transaction, they could offer you a chance to pick what you want from the premise, as they dispose of what you do not need. Isn’t this a great thing? These companies also come in handy when you are facing foreclosure.

  1. Quick and convenient process

There is no convenient and quick process like selling your home to a cash buying company. The procedure is straightforward and takes very little time. It begins with a phone call. Once you call the home buying company, they will request some basic information about your home and its offers. They will then schedule a meeting to take a look at the background and determine the value of the property. Once they are satisfied, they will then get you an offer on the spot or call you within the first 24hours and give you an estimate of what they can get you. If you are happy with the offer, you can proceed with the sale. You can then close the sale within a few days or a week at the lawyer’s office. It is as easy as that.

Find a reputable company for purchase

Your best shot will be getting the right company like 30-Day house sale specialists after understanding these benefits. As a home seller, it is crucial to understand that these companies are common, and you cannot lack a company operating in your neighbourhood. These companies take the home selling responsibilities off your shoulders and make it all easier for you. Since different companies have specific ways of running their business, you must find one that fulfils all the required legalities and conditions.

How Part Exchange with New Home Builder Works

Part exchange schemes are common in the property world and have existed for a couple of years. In a part exchange homes scheme, you will trade the value of your current house against a new build property. Usually, the property you own will act as part payment for a new build house. Unlike the other methods, the property developer will work in the place of a real estate agent. As you start the process, you will be talking with the development company to make your sale. The best thing about the process is that the property sale is guaranteed. It is usually a great escape when caught in a slow-moving chain or fall prey to a chain collapse.

Benefits of House Part Exchange Schemes

  • It helps you sell your home in one easy transaction
  • It helps you avoid the costly real estate agency costs
  • You will get a fair value for your home
  • You close the sale quicker and using far less hassle

Who is eligible for the part exchange scheme?

For one to be eligible for the scheme, you must fulfil the required conditions;

  • You must fully own the home they wish to sell. You must show all the required documents to prove ownership of the property.
  • The existing property should be worth over 60% to 80% of the asking price of the new home you desire.
  • The home you desire to sell should be well structured and in perfect condition.
  • The house should be on the fixed term if it is on leasehold; it should be more than 80 years remaining.
  • The location of the house should be convenient and appropriate.
  • The property should be of standard building design. If the plan is uncommon or odd, you do not qualify for the plan.

Selling Your Home by Auction

Auctioning your house is also a great idea, especially since it is a hands-off method. Once you put your house on the auctioning process, the buying community knows that you are committed to making an urgent sale. While undergoing the process, there will be negotiations within the allocated time limits for the transaction. The time limit shows that the sale is high in demand and needs to be disposed of. This often results in a high price. The auctioneer keeps asking for the last quotation until there are no other people (with a higher bid) interested in the property. Nevertheless, if few people want the house, it may result in a lower selling price as the take off cannot be initiated. It is important to note that this only happens under very specific conditions. Here are some of the benefits you get from selling the house through this method.

  1. The process creates competition

Selling a property in auctions ensures that you get competitive pricing offers. The negotiations at the auctioning centre are very specific as people compete to get the largest bid. When the auctioneer opens the sale, the bids keep coming until the house is sold to the highest bidder. Since the markets are competitive, you will get a bigger buyer bidding pool and enhance the chances of paying more than they previously desired. If your house was valued at £100,000, it might even go for £150,000 depending on the allotted time and the bids coming in.

  1. It saves time and money in a slow market

Besides being competitive, the auctioning process also offers a quick solution for urgent monetary needs. It eliminates all the time required for consultations, house staging, and closing the sale. The process is time sensitive and only lasts a few minutes. If you talk to the auctioneers today, and the sale is set for three days from now, the sale will happen on that day. It will close when the hammer goes down, and the auctioneer says it is sold.

  1. You get serious buyers

It is very unlikely for uninterested persons to go to an auctioning process. Even when they go, they will only watch but not bid. Auctions attract investors with lots of capital. They will be looking for a house they can purchase and move in within a short while or one that they can renovate and sell later. Additionally, before these investors can bid or attend an auctioning session, they are verified to eliminate illegitimate persons’ chances. Be sure that you will get serious buyers at the sale.

  1. You know the exact date when your house will sell

After contacting the auctioning company, they will give you solid details on when your house sale will take off. The process shortens the selling time and gives you the correct details on the house sale. It is far much better than the traditional listings.

  1. Legal and binding

Once the hammer is down, the house is considered sold. You will then exchange the contracts with the buyer. This is a legal and binding commitment.

  1. Zero marketing required

As a seller, you will no longer have to market your home as the auctioning company takes charge. They will reach out to the local, regional, and national buyers so that your home is out there to the general public. Additionally, your property will feature in high-end online property portals, and this brings in more prospective buyers. You do not have to perform any marketing or advertisements to auction on your social medial handles and platforms.

  1. Best price

There is no brainer; putting your house through the auctioning process allows you to get the best price. According to research, it has been discovered that most properties at the auctioning ground go for higher than the originally set price.

Auctions signify a stress-free transition process when you sell the property to your prospective buyers. Once the auctioneers take charge of the process, you will only wait until you are connected to the buyer. You can then close the process as you exchange the house ownership documents and money. It is as simple as it sounds.

Mistakes to Avoid when Selling Your Home

Whether it is your first or fourth home, you will always feel that attachment at the time of sale. The house sale can be both time-consuming and emotionally challenging for most people. It is even worse when you urgently need the money to solve some financial constraints. You must be ready when the potential buyers come for the house showing as some of them may not be so kind. Others will offer ridiculously low prices, and it could anger you. Following all these, it is easy to make mistakes during the house sale. Nevertheless, with the correct information, you stand better chances at avoiding these mistakes. Let’s explore the common mistakes that you should avoid when selling your home.

  1. Avoid getting too emotional

Having lived in the particular house for a long time, it is very easy to get emotional and attached to the premise. The attachment will even be more if it is your first home and you struggled to find it. To avoid all this, you need to have a whole mindset about the process; think of yourself as a business person and not a homeowner.

  1. Be careful on who you let assist you

As we began the article, we made you know the common home selling strategies. You will choose and require help from people, such as a real estate agent. You must find a reputable real estate agent. It can be your biggest advantage or disadvantage depending on who you involve.

  1. Avoid setting unrealistic prices

Not knowing how to price your home can be a huge mistake. Regardless of whether you are working with an agent or selling the property alone, you must set the correct asking price. If you have trouble doing this, you can get in touch with a property valuator and help you get the correct value.

  1. Do not sell your house during the winter months (unless it is so necessary)

While most people believe in selling the house, it is important to know that some seasons are slower than others. If you choose to sell your home during the warmer seasons, you have a better shot at getting the best price and speed than when you sell it in winter. During winter, people are usually busy with social engagements, and the cold weather makes it more convenient for people to stay indoors. Additionally, research has it that very few people are looking to buy property. Choosing winter for sale is a bad idea.

  1. Do not hire a substandard photographer

Prospective clients away from you will rely on the photographs to see the inside and outside of the premises. As a home seller, you must understand that other sellers post very professionals photos of their premises. As such, you will be doing yourself an injustice if you have no good photos for your home. Additionally, most buyers today look for homes online before deciding to get on the ground for physical assessments.

  1. Inadequate preparation for the sale

Lack of preparation for the sale is also a huge drawback to the house sale’s success. To avoid this, you can start with minor home improvements and getting all the documents ready. It makes the work easier for the parties, you and the buyers.

As you can see, most of these are avoidable mistakes. Ensure that you are mentally and financially prepared for the sale so that you do not fall into the pitfalls discussed above. Believe in yourself to sell house fast and do it!

What does a conveyancer do?

  • Buying or selling a house involves lots of paperwork covering legal agreements and ownership rights. When you go through the stages of buying or selling a property, you will need a conveyancer, also known as a conveyancing solicitor, to help smoothly carry out each stage. Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring home ownership from one person to another.
  • While challenging, it is possible to fulfil the conveyancing process yourself. However, if you are taking out a mortgage, a lender will require a professional legal firm to oversee the process, so you won’t be able to do your own conveyancing.
  • The majority of people decide to have a conveyancer guide them through the conveyancing process, as they are experts and know exactly what they are doing in complex situations, so the chances of a mistake being made are minimised.

What does a conveyancer do

Where to look for a conveyancing solicitor

Take the time to properly research your options before deciding on a conveyancer. It’s simple to search around online, but also consider asking friends, family and people who work in the property industry, as they will have insights and contacts.

Collect several quotes for comparison and try to avoid using a conveyancer provided by your developers or estate agents, as this could cost significantly more and you want to guarantee that the conveyancer is working solely in your interests.

The first steps you and your conveyancer will take

When you have decided on which conveyancer to use, they will begin the process with a number of tasks:

  • Opening a purchase file and creating a draft contract or terms of engagement for working with you. This will establish what charges and deposits they will require from you.
  • You will need to provide details about your estate agents and whether or not you will require a mortgage, and if you do, information about the lender and a copy of the mortgage offer so your conveyancer can look at the terms. You will also need to provide photo ID, such as your passport.
  • If you are selling a property, your conveyancer will ask the estate agents for a memorandum of sale, also known as a notification of sale. This provides the conveyancing details for everyone involved in the buying and selling chain.
  • You will have to answer some legal questions regarding your property and what will be included in the sale, for example fitted blinds and carpets.
  • Your conveyancer will contact the solicitors from each party involved to let them know they are working as your representative for the purchase and/or sale of the property you own or are buying.

Conducting property searches and surveys

Even after you’ve been to viewings and had a survey carried out, it is hard to know absolutely everything about the property you are going to purchase. So as an important part of the conveyancing process, your conveyancer will collect information known as local searches. The local search will contain information such as details of the surrounding area, whether your property is a listed building, located in a conservation area, or has other types of planning restrictions and conditions.

Your conveyancer will analyse the results of local searches and let you know about any details that could be important to consider, such as upcoming building works that would see a new road or housing development built close to your new property.

It is vitally important to get a survey done to assess the condition of your property. Once this has been carried out, your conveyancer will look at the results and offer advice on any necessary steps to take.

Dealing with the deeds and tenure

Your conveyancer will receive from the seller’s conveyancer a draft contract and a copy of the Title, also known as the Deeds, for the property.

If you are purchasing a property with leasehold, expect advice from your conveyancer on the following details:

  • The length of the leasehold
  • Maintenance fees and ground rent you will have to pay
  • Restrictions that might be in place
  • Any other information you will require about the property and terms

Something to be cautious about is the length of the lease.  Try to carry out your own checks alongside those made by the conveyancer. If the lease is below 80 years then that can cause problems; they are often expensive to extend and you must have owned the property for at least 2 years before you are able to apply for an extension. Have a look through the lease yourself, and consider avoiding leases that are less than 60 years.

Checking paperwork and asking questions

Your conveyancer takes on the burden of going through all the paperwork and agreements in minute detail to ensure everything is accurate. If they identify any problems, they will raise queries with the seller’s conveyancer.

Some examples of queries your conveyancer might raise are:

  • Ensuring that any required electricity and gas safety checks and boiler maintenance have been carried out.
  • Checking if previous owners have ever been denied buildings insurance and if this is the case, why?
  • Confirm that the property is connected to the local water system.
  • Asking if any of the trees around the property may pose a risk of structural damage, and if so, whether a tree preservation order might be required.

Once these queries have been answered satisfactorily, your conveyancer will send you the final documents to sign and return.

Agreeing dates for exchange and completion

Once these steps have been completed, your conveyancer will arrange the date of exchange, which will be the day you become the legal owner of your property, or have sold your current property. After this, they will also set up the date of completion, which is the day you will receive the keys to your new home.

Final steps after completion

There are some final jobs for your conveyancer to finish up after your completion day.

If you have just bought a property, they will:

  • Send you a bill for how much to pay them for their conveyancing services
  • Arrange for payment of the Stamp Duty Land Tax that you owe the government
  • Inform the freeholder if your new property is a leasehold
  • Provide a copy of the title deeds to your mortgage lender, who will keep them until your loan is paid off

If you have just sold a property, you will also be required to pay your estate agent for their services.

Your conveyancer will send all the required documents to the Land Registry so everything is official. You should receive all the relevant legal documents regarding your new property around 20 days after your completion date.

Make sure you keep all the paperwork for your property together and somewhere safe, including any details from your estate agent such as a brochure, as you will need this if you move from the property in the future.

Overall, what a conveyancer does is smooth out what can be a difficult, stressful process. They will fight for your interests and make sure you don’t suffer any negative consequences from an unfair contract or being misled over the details about a property hidden deep in the paperwork.

Moving House Checklist UK

Like many big life events, moving house is both incredibly exciting and, if not planned correctly, very stressful. Getting the go ahead to move somewhere new is the start of an enjoyable adventure, but it can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, help is at hand. We’ve created this checklist for you to follow to make sure you don’t miss any important steps in the process of moving house.

Moving House checklist

The Moving House checklist UK

Two months prior to your move

Two months, or 8 weeks, might seem like a long time away, but the gap closes fast and there are some essential things for you to do now before you will be ready for the later tasks such as packing and actually moving.

  • If you currently live in a rented property you will need to give your landlord notice that you are leaving. Follow the process outlined in your contract, as it will tell you how long your notice period is and any steps you must take.
  • Inform your internet, landline, water, electricity and gas providers that you will no longer be responsible for the property, and provide them with your new address if necessary.
  • Begin the pre-packing, de-cluttering phase, where you get rid of excess possessions you haven’t used in a long time or things that really need throwing away. Try to strike a balance between being overly sentimental and ruthlessly minimalist about which items you keep.
  • Have a look at more specific places and areas of interest around your address. Hopefully you will have already researched the street and surrounding area, but now is the time to really get to know your new home territory. Look for supermarkets, convenience stores, pubs, schools, parks and sports facilities.
  • Start hoarding boxes, bags and other containers that will be essential when you start packing. Friends, family, colleagues, supermarkets and other stores are often willing to give away packing boxes.

One month prior to your move

You now have one month, or approximately 30 days left until the big moving day. Feeling stressed yet? Don’t worry, if you follow our next steps you will have a smooth transition from one location to another with everything handled in plenty of time.

  • Arrange a moving company to transport your stuff – it may be tempting to wait until after you’ve done some packing to know how much transport space you will need, but it never hurts to be informed of the options available.
  • Ensure your moving van will be able to access both your current address and your new home – if there are parking restrictions, try and arrange for a time where parking is free, or purchase a permit or ticket to allow you to park legally.
  • Get in touch with HMRC and inform them of your change in address. You may be able to do this through your employer, so do ask them first.
  • Arrange to have your post redirected with the Royal Mail. You don’t want any important letters or parcels turning up at your old address.
  • Update the electoral roll so you will be registered to vote at your new address, (democracy is important!) and inform the council you will now be responsible for the new property.
  • Check with the movers you hire as to whether they provide insurance for your property during the move. If not make enquiries for getting appropriate insurance cover for you specific needs.
  • If you currently have home insurers, enquire as to whether you can transfer property and contents insurance over to your new property. If you would like to take out a new buildings or contents insurance policy, have a look at our advice on these types of coverage here (link to the home insurance page here).
  • Take a proper inventory – make a list (with pictures) of all your furniture and other items so you can prove what condition it was in prior to your move, just in case anything gets damaged or lost in transit.
  • Clean and sort out any outside areas you have such as the garden, garden shed, greenhouse or summerhouse. Ask yourself if you are really going to need that rusty old BBQ at the new house?

Two weeks prior to your move

There are now two weeks remaining until you’ve successfully relocated to your new life. The following steps will make sure everything is in order when you get there.

  • The real packing begins now. Pack up and store anything that you won’t need to use in the next two weeks, for example spare items (clothing, linen, towels) or seasonal items such as the Christmas decorations. It can be confusing remembering what went where, so try and start with an organised systems of packing up specific rooms into their own boxes and bags, then labelling them clearly.
  • Carefully plan your food for the coming days, as you won’t want to be left with lots of wasted food. Frozen and perishable items won’t travel well, so only buy what you will definitely use in the next two weeks.
  • Ensure your car is in good shape, check it over yourself or get it serviced at the garage. You don’t want to add stress and frustration to an already busy moving day by breaking down halfway to your new place.
  • If necessary, arrange to have your children or pets looked after by friends, family or professionals. You might love them dearly, but you also don’t want to trip over the dog when it’s excited about all the new sights and smells.
  • Get in touch with the DVLA to update the address on your driver’s licence and your Vehicle Registration Form.
  • Book some time off work as it will create an easier time slot for your move to take place.
  • If you have concerns about immediately fitting all your worldly possessions into your house, consider booking a storage unit to hold them for a while until you get settled. This will give you time to organise your new space without it being crammed full of things.

One week prior to your move

With only one week to go, there are still a number of important tasks to complete, so make sure you factor enough time into your schedule.

  • Get in touch with your moving company to confirm the exact date, time and location that your move will take place. You might also need to provide them with directions to either or both properties.
  • Complete the packing process; it probably feels like it’s been going on forever, but it’ll be over soon. All items should be packed and ready to go by the end of the week. Keep a separate bag or box for essential items you can’t risk losing and will need on the day of the move. There is a packing list for moving day essentials provided later on in this article, so don’t fret about making one immediately.
  • Take apart any furniture that will be moving with you, as it’ll be much easier to fit into the moving van in pieces. Similarly, take down shelving, pictures and any other fitted items that are yours and you want to take to the new property.
  • Carry out any small maintenance tasks and repairs, such as fixing scrapes, scratches, marks and holes in the walls.
  • Set up a final leaving inspection with your landlord if you are renting your current property.
  • If you have one, redirect your TV licence to your new property as it will not automatically update.
  • Consider arranging for a locksmith to change the locks at your new house, depending on how you feel about the area.

Three days prior to your move

You might be starting to panic now, and its okay to feel a little nervous as anything truly worth doing will cause some concern. However, stick to the plan and all will be fine. These are the last things to do before you leave.

  • Find out when you will be receiving the keys for your new home, then remove your old house keys from your key ring and label any spare keys so you don’t get confused.
  • Make sure you know exactly where important documents and valuables are packed so you can find them easily and they won’t get lost.
  • You may have done this already, but if not, get in touch with your utility companies (electric, gas and water) to inform them of when you will be moving and your new address. You must give them at least 48 hours notice.
  • Write a list of people and organisations that you will need to contact in the first few days of living in your new home.
  • Disconnect any larger appliances that will be coming with you, such as the washing machine, dish washer, cooker or similar. Take pictures to help with reinstalling them.
  • Clear out your cupboards, drawers, fridge and freezer of food. Throw out anything that’s expiring and carefully pack any long-lasting goods such as tins of beans. Ensure that you defrost your freezer.
  • Finish washing and drying any laundry that needs doing so that you don’t have to arrive at your new home and immediately deal with chores.

The big day is here! – Moving day tasks

The countdown is finally over and it is time to move on to pastures new. Say goodbye to your home. Try not to be too weepy and sentimental, but have a quiet moment to reflect on the good, the bad, and the mundane but memorable events that occurred while this was your residence – such as when your washing machine broke and you had to wash your clothes by hand for over a month.

  • Make one last thorough circuit of you home to check you have packed absolutely everything. Look in all the storage areas throughout your house just in case something is hiding.
  • Whilst going around your house, take photos of the empty rooms to use as proof of the condition you left it in. You may also want to do any last minute cleaning jobs.
  • Lock and secure all the windows and doors.
  • Grab your bag of essentials to keep with you throughout the day.
  • Return the keys to old property.
  • Help your movers pack the van effectively using the labels on boxes and bags to arrange everything in sections or rooms, to make unpacking easier.

The final thing to do is a pleasant one. Just look around, enjoy the moment and marvel at how new everything is, as in time you’ll get used to your surroundings and some of the magic of a new location will dissipate. But for now, just enjoy the moment, let all the stress of the past months of planning, preparing and packing leave you.

Packing list for moving day essentials

With so many items to pack, tasks and times to keep straight in your head, it can be easy to leave behind some very obvious but important things. Keep these items easily accessible on the day and separate from the main bulk of your packed possessions. Moving home is an exhausting process and you don’t want to be hunting through your entire worldly possessions for the toilet roll after celebrating your move in with an extra spicy takeaway curry.

  • Important documents – passports, bank details, house documentation, and marriage license, birth certificates, anything else not easily replaceable.
  • Credit and debit cards
  • Cash
  • Medication and first aid box
  • Vital technology – phone, laptop and chargers
  • Water and snacks – bring extra if you have children and pets
  • Toilet paper
  • Kitchen towel
  • A spare set of clothes – bring a set for each person who will be moving with you
  • Torch
  • Tape measure
  • Toolbox – a hammer, spanner, Allen keys and other tools may come in handy immediately
  • Rubbish bags
  • Jewellery or any other family heirlooms or very valuable and irreplaceable items

Having all these items readily at hand will reduce your stress when you are worn out and just want to sit down and relax without freaking out that your passport or Grandma’s necklace is lost forever.

People and organisations to inform that your address has changed

Moving house can result in a lot of paperwork as you will need to inform a number of different people and organisations that your address has changed. Here is a list of essential people to notify:

  • Your bank(s)
  • Your employer and National Insurance, which can usually be done through your employer
  • The electoral roll
  • The local council
  • Your utility providers, regardless of if you are staying with the same company
  • Your doctor and dentist
  • Any memberships, subscriptions or regular post you have for gyms, sports clubs, magazines, and newspapers

First tasks once you have moved into your new house

Now that you’re safely inside your new property, there are some final tasks to get yourself set up.

  • Before you unpack the van, do a quick tour of the property and take pictures of every room and any maintenance concerns. This is essential if you are renting, but even if you have bought the house it’s good to have a record and the pictures can help planning new room layouts.
  • Make sure your gas, electric and water supplies are working and take a meter reading as your utility providers will need to know this regardless of if they supplied your old house or new.
  • Set up the internet connection.
  • Locate the stopcock in case you need to shut off the water in an emergency.
  • One last check in the moving van to ensure everything has been unpacked.
  • Start unpacking, maybe take a break to have a drink and some snacks you packed in your essentials bag.

Now you’ve reached the end of the moving process. Over the days, weeks, months and years that follow, this property will gradually be shaped by your views and tastes. Enjoy it.

Buying a house with cash

Buying a house is one of the biggest goals in today’s world. Buying a house with cash means to afford and purchase a new house without depending on the money from selling the old one. Furthermore, acquiring a house with cash does not need the help of a loan or mortgage. Purchasing a house with cash can be the most preferred choice as it is good for your financial health. Moreover, you are not obliged to paying interest or carrying debts around as it drags your progress a lot. Purchasing a home with cash requires you to be financially set and ready to buy it when the agreement is made.

Cash buyer

What does cash buyers only mean

Cash buyers are when you can exclusively be the potential buyer ready with all the money. It means you cannot be allowed to acquire the house if you are using other means such as a mortgage, loan, or obtain any kind of funding. This happens when they just want the sale to be closed quickly if the buyers might have found their dream home and might not want to lose it or may want to swiftly release the equity tied up to the property. Moreover, it may be that the house is unmortgageable for whatever reasons thus availing it to only cash buyers. You should always consider checking why the property is unmortgageable before buying it with cash. There are so many reasons as to why the seller may decide not to mortgage the house and are asking for cash only. Some are the property is having structural problems, the property is on non-standard construction or built on high flood risk area. This is so essential to check as it is part of your safety. Also, it is good to know about what you are buying to have an idea of what you are dealing with. If the problem can be fixed or changed with a reasonable amount. The thing is that you are aware.

Benefits of buying a house with cash

Securing a house with cash comes with its advantages which are:

  • Improved financial health. You will be free of debts as you will have no reason of asking for any funding. Moreover, you will not be required to pay interest as it requires you to immediately pay for the house without long-term payments. Being debt-free means you will not be paying rent and all sorts of house expenses.
  • Cash buyers discount. When you buy the property with cash, the sellers may take lower offers as they are easily attracted by buyers who do not mortgage or ask for loans. They can give discounts as they may urgently need the money.
  • No complicated chain. Being a cash buyer makes it easier for the buying and selling process. This simplifies the chain process which at times is very stressful. Moreover, transactions run smoothly and your property is fully secured. Purchasing with cash puts a stop to the chain as it may result in an unsuccessful mission due to a change of mind or someone is in a situation.
  • No risk of mortgage issues. The sale is more guaranteed if the buyer is not looking to arrange mortgages. This is so as with mortgages if the buyer does not secure a loan or a mortgage, the deal can fail to go through even if an agreement was made.
  • Faster purchasing process. If the buyer has immediate access to the money, the process moves swiftly in which the waiting period will be removed. This happens as so as the buyer releases the fund to the seller and it can take a couple of weeks to be done with the matter. Unlike mortgages whereby it can take even a month before the process starts.
  • Security is more assured. The cash buyer does not need to worry about the house being repossessed as they will be owners of the property outright. This means you will own the property from the start and in case of financial difficulty, you will always have a roof over your head until you decide to sell it.
  • Less likely to fail. When the cash buyer can afford the house, the deal is made and payment is immediately done. This means that there are no chances of going back unlike mortgages where a deal can be cancelled to changes.
  • Your money is saved. As you will not be paying interest on loans, debts, or mortgages, you will end up saving more than spending. You will have eliminated all the fees to be incurred.
  • A cash buyer is more appealing to buyers. This is because most of the sellers do not want to wait. Moreover, it puts you in a great negotiating position and more likely to get a lower offer than the asked price. Also, you have a great chance of getting the property you wanted.

Disadvantages of buying a house with cash

Though it may seem to have no downside, no loans, no mortgage issues, no interest to pay and a fast approach. There are always limitations to what is good.

  • No exception of taxes. Even if you have purchased your house with cash there are tax bills to be paid which are in property taxes. You will have to pay the taxes on your own as they will not be included in your transactions with the seller.
  • Loss of liquidity. For you to raise all that money it’s going to cost a lot of liquid assets. This means you will have to sacrifice a lot for you to get that money. This requires you to only buy your home when you will have some amount to spare for emergencies. This is because once you have bought the house it will not be easy to access the cash unless you sell it.
  • Some costs of improvements and repairs will be on you. Because you want your house to be of your standards, you will make effort to see it is enhanced. Besides, the seller might easily assume you have the resources to reform the house.
  • Varying price of the house. During negotiations, the seller might decide either to raise or reduce the price according to your capabilities.
  • Rush decisions. Being able to afford a house may put you under pressure hence not taking enough time to decide if that’s the house you want hence purchasing it because you can afford it. This leads to poor decisions and unnecessary risk. Also, it is not wise to put all your cash on one thing as it will limit your future options.
  • Lack of checks. It is always safe to have them done as ignorance will lead to future damage. You need to be aware of what you are purchasing to make corrections and not risk your safety. It may seem to be time-consuming but it’s worth the wait.

The safest way of purchasing a house with cash

Having piled up a big amount of cash, you now want to secure a house and want to do it in the safest way possible. Knowing what to consider before the purchase is wise of you. These are the factors to be considered:

  • Be well-informed of property searches. Before you purchase a house make sure your conveyancing solicitor has checked that it does not interfere with restricted properties. Such properties are highway, drainage and main water supply.
  • Get to know when the house was last sold. Being aware of the frequency of its sale to know its worth.
  • For any new buildings check on issued warranties. It is worth knowing what is covered by the warranty. What damages are covered, natural damages, weather and problems. Also, get to know what is exempted to deal with them differently.
  • Confirm if the property is concrete built. The house should be fully surveyed to check if the building is made of concrete. If so its conditions and type should be determined. This is to check on the defects as concrete houses are usually considered non-standard.
  • Acquire a homeowner’s insurance. As you will be putting a lot of money into your house investment, taking insurance is a wise decision in case of unexpected circumstances.

Why Get a Survey?

A survey is a general view by collecting data with intention of coming up with results. The survey serves you as the safest way to inspect a house before you buy. It ensures you are aware of all the possible risks that come with the house. As you are a cash buyer you may skip the survey part but you will end up missing out on many things thus spending too much to fix what you ignored. Having a survey done on the house makes you responsible that in case of any issue you may choose to fix or look for a better option. If you are so serious about getting a peaceful house the survey should not be a doubt.

Final thought

Being one of today’s trend, paying cash for a house have great benefits as mentioned above. Purchasing a house with cash might be your greatest move and you do not want to miss out on all the activities that come with it. Always make sure you are ready to set with the choice of your house and all the funds to buy it. With all your plans and budgets, do not forget to survey the house before purchase as it will give you all the hints about the house. All in all, securing a home with cash may suits you well if you are all in. Besides, you have got all the reasons to be a cash buyer.

What is a Transfer of Equity?

Transfer of Equity Definition

Unlike sale and purchase, the transfer-of-equity involves one of the existing legal owners who will remain on the title while the other party is added or removed from the title. The transfer-of-equity is the legal process if you require changing the legal ownership of a property.

Transfer of Equity

Not all transfer of ownership is simple as they may sound. It is a process needed when one of the original owners remains on the deed. It means that in some cases, more than two parties might be involved in the process. Remember, the property can’t have more than four owners, but several parties may get involved in the process.

When doing the transfer, all parties must agree on the outcome. The fact that no property search is involved, each party must look at the transaction carefully. Failure to that complications might occur in cases of conflicts and mortgages.

What is Equity?

On the other hand, equity means the value of your property less the outstanding sum of the mortgage. In other terms, it is the percentage of your property that you own. When one owner is giving up on their share, the other party receives the total percentage.

If there is no equity or a situation of limited equity, one can re-mortgage with an existing lender or a new party. The funds provided by the new member may act as compensation to the person leaving the contract.

What Are The Main Reasons For The Transfer Of Equity?

Divorce

Divorce, through the legal way, comes in with the division of property between you and your spouse. The home is the most critical asset that cannot be divided into two physically. It will call for the need to apply for a transfer-of-equity.

One of the partners will have to remove the ex-partner from the deed if you have divorced. The remaining partner can agree to pay half the property’s value to the spouse as compensation for removal from the deed.

A current market price may need to be established to compensate the partner leaving the deed for this situation. The shares of each partner can also change depending on the situation.

Getting Married To A New Partner

Most people marry new partners after acquiring a property. Some may marry again after a divorce and may need to add their new partner on the deed. A transfer-of-equity must be done to incorporate the new partner.

In case the property was still under mortgage, the parties will have to seek the consent of the mortgage lender to go ahead with the transfer process.

Buying The Property As a Joint

Currently, most people are buying properties together with family members or friends. The application of a transfer-of-equity will be essential to incorporate the two owners into the deed.

Ease Tax Services

Most spouses transfer ownership to their children for tax efficiency. It may be seen as a gift, but it is essential to seek legal consent before doing it. In such a case, no money exchanges hands.

Processes Involved in the Transfer of Equity

The services of a lawyer are essential when planning a transfer-of-equity. But the lawyer is not involved in any of the processes. You’ll need a Conveyancing Solicitor to complete the legal requirements in a transfer of equity. You may have more than one legal advisor in your team, especially if it involves a divorce case.

Here are the main stages involved in the transfer:

1. Review the Ownership Documents

The ownership document may be in the form of a title deed or a lease agreement. The documents must contain the names of the two owners in case of a divorce or separation. In a scenario where a new member is added to the deed, the original owner’s name must be present on the deed.

The persons responsible for actualising the transfer will also confirm the co-ownership status of a property with the relevant department. In cases where there is a conflict, or the owner is dead, the death certificate is attached to show proof of ownership.

2. Prepare the Transfer Deeds Documents

There are several documents required for the transfer process to take place. The most important document required is a form of identification to prove that the parties involved are the property’s real owners.

If a parent is transferring equity to the children, one needs to provide evidence to show that they are the legal guardians. For adoption scenarios, the adoption permit will act as the birth certificate to show proof. In some cases, one may need to swear an affidavit if any conflicts may arise.

A marriage certificate is equally essential when adding or removing a spouse. It is the only legal evidence to prove the two parties are married. Divorce documents are also important when you want to remove your ex-partner from the deed if you have divorced.

3. Organise a Meeting with the Involved Parties

After preparing all the transfer deed documents, it is essential to meet all the necessary people involved. The people who should be present include the original owner(s) of the property, the persons being removed or added, a witness, and the legal advisor. The task of the legal advisor is to sign the transfer document in front of the witness.

4. Take Notice To The Mortgage Lender

If the property is still under mortgage, the mortgage lender’s consent is required to go ahead with the transfer . Failure to do that will bring complications during the transfer process.

5. Do the Final Registration of the Deed at the Relevant Department

When the above process is successful, the final part to actualise the transfer is done. The documents are submitted to the relevant authorities, which, most times, is the land registry department. The department verifies the authenticity of all the documents before approving the request. The department will provide the new parties with a new deed with the actual owner’s names (s).

What Happens in the Case of a Mortgage on the Property?

People buy properties under mortgages. Sometimes one party may leave, and the need to remove the person from the terms and conditions is required. One should seek the mortgage lender’s consent to go ahead with the transfer. One cannot leave the deeds without sorting the debts used to purchase them.

There are several ways to do it. The method you choose to apply depends entirely on the circumstance of the transfer. Below are some of the ways to apply;

  • Clear the mortgage with other resources. You can pay it off using other resources you own. This process only applies if one files for bankruptcy or when you refinance.
  • Seek approval from the lender. It happens in case the co-owner of the property purchases the share of the other party.
  • Re-mortgage the property to acquire enough funds to clear the existing loan and get surplus to clear the buyout. It is vital, especially when separating from your partner.
Cost of Transfer of Equity

The cost of a transfer-of-equity will highly depend on the circumstance of the occurrence. There are no fixed charges, and the fees are calculated according to the transfer type. The following are the charges that you will likely incur during the transfer:

Conveyancing Fees

The calculation of these fees is based on different factors. The main factors that affect the amount include; the property value or whether you need to re-mortgage the property.

Legal Fees

These fees depend on the solicitor. Some may include it in the general charges, while others will not. Some of these charges include; ID verification, a copy of the property’s register of title, and ownership change registration.

Mortgage Fees

Some of the banks will charge you their fees. These include service fees that cater to administrative costs involved in the process.

The Stamp Duty Land Tax

It is the heaviest cost incurred in the whole process. There is a limit where the need to pay the land tax depends on the authority rates. The amount is calculated using bands. In scenarios where one party is leaving due to separation stamp duty, land tax is unnecessary.

The stamp duty tax necessarily happens when the property is under a mortgage. When adding a partner into the title, a deed of trust must be in place to set out the property’s ownership. It is in a case where the shares to the property are unequal.

Final Words

It is advisable always to seek advice from a solicitor to help you through the process. Ensure that you find the right expert to guide you through the whole process. Some people get a fast experience, while some get obstacles due to missing documents.

Ensure that you verify everything before the beginning of the process. Contact your lawyer at the earliest stages to receive proper guidance. Ensure that the said professional is competent and aware of making it simple and straightforward without any complications.

Freehold vs Leasehold

If you are looking forward to acquiring a property, you need to be acquainted with the common ownership structures. Luckily, this article will give you the much-needed info regarding the differences between these structures as well as how they will affect you.

Before buying a property in any region, you have to identify whether its freehold or leasehold. Both commercial and residential properties can be leasehold or freehold in most countries. After understanding the type of property you are getting, you will have an easy time recognising your responsibilities and rights about property ownership.

Now, read on to find out much more about the differences between leasehold and freehold properties and the things you need to consider when buying a property on either.

What is Freehold?

When you purchase a freehold property, it basically means you wholly own the property as well as the land it sits on. However, the mortgage company may repossess it if you fail to make their payments. This type of ownership is also known as ‘fee simple’ and, in some cases, the ‘title absolute.’

In this type of ownership, you have to cater for all fees linked to the property, from building insurance to repairs. Typically, you do not have to pay for the maintenance expenses unless you share some basic services with your neighbours, such as communal gardens.

While most homes are freehold, it is always advisable to check this before buying. When it comes to some flats, the management company may require you to share the freehold with some of your neighbours.

The Benefits of Freehold

There are several benefits linked to being a freehold owner. Below are the pros:

  • The owners are the landlords themselves, so they do not have to deal with any landlord.
  • A freehold is free from ground rent, service charge and other landlord fees.
  • There are no lease fees and deadlines to worry about.
  • You have flexibility in selling the property, making it easy even to rent it out.
  • Property owners don’t have to worry about any property expiration.
  • Getting a mortgage loan is easier than a leasehold.

What is Leasehold?

When you acquire a property on leasehold, it means you will own it for a specific period of time, which is usually the specified lease term. After the expiration of the lease period, the property’s ownership will return to the owner. While the leasehold is extendable, it’s worth noting it always follows some specific terms and conditions.

Keep in mind that regardless of the money used to buy and maintain the property, you will still lose it at the end of the lease period. Currently, most of the flats and apartments in the country are acquired via leasehold. With this type of ownership, you have the right to own the building, but you don’t have the ownership of the land on which the property sits.

What are the Perks of Leasehold Properties?

There are several perks of a property being a leasehold, particularly when it’s on a shared block of flats. Below are the pros:

  • Due to the risks involved, a leasehold property is often cheap.
  • The owner is responsible for the maintenances of the communal areas.
  • The owner will cater to property insurance.
  • The owner takes care of the building’s repairs and maintenances.

Top Things to Consider When Buying Leasehold Property

Here are the essential things to consider when buying a leasehold:

  • You have to assess the number of years remaining on the lease.
  • It is recommended to check how the length of the lease affects the property’s resale value.
  • You have to invent an efficient budgeting method for service expenses and other charges.
  • Assess whether the length of the lease has got any effects on your chances of acquiring a mortgage.

How Essential is the Length of a Lease?

Whenever a lease is set at less than 70 years, getting a mortgage becomes an uphill task. Usually, lenders require 25 to 30 years for a mortgage to be fully paid. Therefore, if you want to acquire a 30-year mortgage, the lease must be between 55 to 60 years before its expiration.

On the other hand, selling a property that contains a lease of fewer than 80 years is tricky. So, if you ultimately want to sell a leasehold building you are acquiring, you need to think of the number of years left on the lease.

If Buying Leasehold How Long Should Lease Be?

In simple terms, a lease is a legal document that tells you the number of years you are eligible to stay in a property and what you need to cater for regarding maintenance and insurance. Although the residential leases often last for 125 years, it is possible to get a lease that lasts for 999 years.

Generally, having a long lease is much better as it makes it easier to sell the property. It is worth noting that your property’s value declines when you include a lease of fewer than 80 years. Yes, a lease comprising of less than 80 years can substantially affect your property’s value as well as the amount you will have to pay to prolong the lease.

A large percentage of mortgage providers will not give out loans on properties with less than 80 years left. So, you should always check on the number of years presently left on the lease when acquiring a leasehold property. Additionally, check the number of years that will likely remain by the time you decide to sell the property.

Extending and Renewing a Lease

If you have owned a property for more than two years and the number of years left on the lease is less than 80, you have got the option to prolong it. As a general rule, it is advisable to extend on the early years because prolonging it in the later years may be pretty expensive. The best and effective way of extending a lease is to inquire the seller to prolong it even before the property acquisition.

In most cases, extending a lease requires you to extend it by at least 90 years. For instance, if you have got 60 years left on the lease and decide to extend it, the new lease term will read 150 years. Prolonging a lease is common. Thus, a property lawyer can handle the entire process on your behalf. The fees for extending the lease may depend on the following factors:

  • The enhancements done on the property
  • The property’s worth
  • The amount of money paid for the ground rent
  • Legal expenses
  • Stamp duty
  • Land registry update fees

Service Charges and Sinking Funds

 

As said earlier, being a leaseholder only lets you own the property and not the land the property sits on. This means you will not have the mandate of maintaining the property structure as well as the communal regions shared between the flats in the property. In its place, the landlords will have to pay for the maintenance expenses of the shared regions. Ideally, the landlords hire realtor agents to run and manage the property on their behalf.

Now, when buying a leasehold property, it is worth noting that the monthly mortgage payments will not be the only ongoing fees you will have to pay. Yes, you have to pay for the service fees, and this may increase your monthly expenses. When you get a leasehold building, be ready to pay a service fee to the managing company or the landlord to maintain the property’s common areas.

The charged amount will cater for the cost of supplying the essential services to the property. Also, landlords may use it to hire a managing agent to do so on their behalf. The older leases used to contain fixed service fees that needed to be paid yearly. Still, the current ones incorporate ‘variable service fees’ that lets the management estimate the yearly costs. With this, the management can raise the charges to finance a substantial one-off expense, such as upgrading a fire alarm system or renovating a lift.

What is the Price of Service Charges?

Well, you must determine the price of the service charge before purchasing a leasehold property. The reason for this is that the lender will consider this when applying for a mortgage. The lease will give full details on the amount to pay as well as what you are paying for. The charges vary significantly from one lease to the other.

What are Sinking Funds?

Also known as a reserve fund, it covers any substantial or costly works needed in the building. Although not all buildings comprise this funding, those that do requires the leaseholders to contribute to the huge structural repairs and maintenances.

Overview of Ground Rent

In the United Kingdom, ground rent is historically an amount paid to the landlord as a part of leasing the land the property rests on. When it comes to the old properties, the ground rent is typically paid yearly and is regularly a fairly low amount. Keep in mind that this charge can either be fixed or increase over the long run.

Fortunately, after extending your lease, the ground rent reduces to zero. Previously, it was impossible to enforce the lease terms of service if there was no ground rent specified on the lease. For most leaseholders, ground rent is not a major worry.

What are Your Rights as a Leaseholder?

 

If you recognise your rights as a leaseholder, you will have an easy time identifying any financial fraud that may come your way. Below are some of the rights you have as a leaseholder:

 

  • It would help if you asked the landlord for the service expenses for your peace of mind.
  • You can ask the landlord to give you the invoices or receipts of the repair works done on the property.
  • Inquire from the landlord about the approximation method of the service fees.
Making the Right Decision

When all is said and done, determining between a freehold and leasehold property does not necessarily depend on the property’s price. Instead, the buyer’s spending power must be at the top of the list. While not all leasehold buildings are affordable, buying a freehold building, especially in a prime area, may need a significantly high amount of money.

Although the properties in the prime regions may seem costly due to their location, the ease of accessibility is something that all buyers need to consider when purchasing a property. A building in one area may be affordable, but you may incur extra expense in general car maintenance and gas if you travel to another city for work daily.

As a buyer, it is worth noting that there are insufficient freehold properties in the prime areas. Therefore, if the factors between a freehold property and a leasehold property are equal, you should opt for the former. All in all, the property’s land tenure does not have to be the only deciding factor when buying a property.

If you plan to purchase your first property, one of the best things to consider is house affordability and your objective. Some of the considerations may entail the available cash at hand, monthly income and the amount of money you can borrow at the given time.

Who Organises a Survey when Buying a House?

Whether you are buying a house for the first or a previous homeowner, this is a huge change, so you must do everything right. It’s a crucial investment, so it is essential that you find the best property in your budget. It is advisable to conduct an independent evaluation to determine if a building is worth your money. If it’s your first time buying a house, you may wonder who actually organises an evaluation to start with.

Who orginises Survey

This useful guide will explain who organises a review to help you in your house buying journey and clear out any related confusion. It will also touch on the types of surveys and other details on property evaluation to make the process easy for you.

Who organises a property review?

A property review is a crucial part of the home buying process. The review will help you determine if the house is worth the stated price and understand if you will need repairs and other maintenances. Normally, whoever requests a property evaluation is the one who arranges it. In most purchases, the buyer organises an inspection once their price offer is accepted. It is an essential way of determining whether the house is worth the price. Besides, it also helps when budgeting and preparing a list of costs when buying a property.

If you are buying the house with a mortgage, then a valuation report is required to confirm the value and confirm that the house is worth the price. However, mortgage valuation is not a full survey. A mortgage valuation is mainly concerned with determining the property value and the overall condition and potential risks or repairs.

This type of review only looks at if the property’s value will cover the mortgage. It aims to satisfy the mortgage lender that the house can be sold in case of defaults in repayments and not identify building problems that may reflect the asking price. Your mortgage lender should arrange a surveyor to value the property and the valuation must be conducted by a registered RICS valuer. The valuer may not be an expert building surveyor hence lack the experience in diagnosing defects.

A seller may organise a vendor’s evaluation and share it with buyers. This is beneficial where you will sell a house at auction as the evaluation report is shared with bidders before the auction. In case you engage in a sealed bid to acquire a house, a vendor review will come in handy in such an auction. It is still advised that the buyer organises an independent report since findings may affect their decision and the amount they wish to pay. Negative results from an evaluation may be used in renegotiating the price or convincing the buyer to drop the sale saving you a great deal.

What is a survey and where to get one

A property review is simply a health check on the entire property you intend to buy. If it shows issues with the property, it allows you to request the seller to fix those issues or reduce the stated price so you can cover the cost of repairs. If the damage is too much, you may choose to walk away and look for another better option.

To get an evaluation, find a registered surveyor in a recognised body like the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Many surveyors in the market compete for business, so make sure you research and compare prices before settling with one. even as you compare prices, make sure you don’t compromise on expertise as you also need to go for a professional surveyor. You don’t want to pick a surveyor who is not qualified as you will not get the best results. Be careful about who you pick. That’s why you should check that a surveyor is registered in a governing body as they cannot register if they are not qualified.

What a property evaluation does

A property evaluation analyses the whole building from different angles to check its condition. In case there are other buildings on the property, it also checks their basic condition such as electricity, drains, water supply and gas. It utilises a traffic light system that flags any issues with buildings like the garage and the house, so necessary action s taken.

A property inspection summarises problems and major risks for your property lawyer or solicitor to investigate further. It reveals ownership of boundaries, planning permission on building extensions and bad electricity, among others. These are crucial matters which need to be addressed before you confirm a purchase.

Types of property surveys

To find the right surveyor, you need to understand different types of surveys and when to use them. You must know the most appropriate evaluation after understanding who organises one. Below are the types of surveys available.

1. Condition report

 

A property condition report shows an overview of major risks as well as the overall condition of the property. It is affordable and utilises a standardised format to keep costs down. It is suitable both for modern and conventional houses that are averagely in good condition. A condition report does not include valuation though sometimes it is added as an extra service. It is meant for newer properties and provides a clear and concise house condition plus information of faults and advice from legal advisors.

You shouldn’t worry that a condition report does not provide a property valuation, as if your lender will carry out one if you are funding your purchase with a mortgage. Only go for a condition report if you are confident about the building’s condition, as you may overlook urgent issues considering the simplicity of the evaluation.

2. Homebuyer surveys

This is most likely the most common intended for conventional and fairly modern properties that are in reasonable repair. It highlights major risks and damages in case future repairs will be required. It also uses a standard format and mainly focuses on major concerns. A homebuyer report typically includes a market and insurance valuation but may be given without them if you prefer. Though it is slightly expensive, a home buyer report gives you peace of mind. It is a good option if you have concerns about the condition of a property.

3. Structural surveys

If you have concerns or reasons to worry about the property structure or the duration of the building, then it’s best you opt for a structural evaluation. It includes details on maintenances, repairs and other defects. It is important, especially if you are purchasing a large property or planning major works. The cost of this review varies depending on how large the property is and where it is situated. It may cost more than other surveys, but it is totally worth it, considering it may reveal issues that may cost a fortune in the future. A full structural evaluation should give all the details you need to determine whether you will push forward with the purchase or you will drop it.

4. Valuation surveys

As the name suggests, a valuation review determines if the house you intend to purchase is worth the price you settled for. This is mainly for mortgage lenders, so a lender will know if they can recover the loan if the property is repossessed and has to be sold. Some valuation reviews are based on the sale prices of other similar properties. Others require the surveyor to look at the property from an outside angle, and in some instances, the surveyor enters inside to analyse the property in detail. However, this review does not highlight structural problems in case there are any. You should, therefore consider a more comprehensive review.

Who pays for surveys when purchasing a house?

A person who arranges the review incurs the total cost. Always check around and ask for prices to compare and go with the most affordable. Comparing prices may reduce the surveying costs and help puck a surveyor you are happy to work with. You can ask friends and relatives and get referrals or search on the internet for the available options.

If you are funding the purchase with a mortgage, the lender may ask for a mortgage valuation before confirming the mortgage contract. Though it’s the lender who commissions the valuation, you are the one to incur the cost. The lender will receive a report from the hired valuer and use it to confirm the property’s value.

Since, as the buyer, you benefit more from a property review, you should make sure you go for the best experts in the market to get value for your money. You might feel like the burden is too much but think about the costs you may incur in the future due to repairs and damages. Always include the cost of surveying in your budget when you plan to buy a house.

Do I really need a property evaluation when buying a house?

A property review is not compulsory neither is it a legal requirement when you are buying a home. When you are operating on a budget, it may feel like a huge burden and an unnecessary expense. However, conducting one saves you a lot of money, gives you peace of mind and reduces unnecessary stress.

It does this by saving you the trouble of future structural issues and damage issues that will need repair, thereby ripping you off. Imagine ignoring an evaluation on a building that was constructed a hundred years ago. You realise it has serious problems and damages when you don’t have money to fix the problems. That alone is stressful, especially if you are living in the house with your family.

If you want to avoid a property evaluation when buying a new build home, you should ask for at least a ten-year warranty from the builder. This negates the need for a review. However, this may just help you buy time and save enough for a future evaluation if you are on a budget. Surveys have proved to be highly valuable, especially when purchasing an old building. You might be able to renegotiate the offered price incase the review reveals issues with a property.

Final thought

The whole house buying process is technical and needs to be approached carefully, so you don’t miss anything. Some costs like paying for a property evaluation may seem irrelevant at the moment, especially if you are working on a budget. However, such reviews may save you more than you can imagine after they receive major issues with the property you intend to buy. As you make a financial plan, include an evaluation cost in your list, so you don’t feel overwhelmed when you realise how important a property review is.

Questions to Ask When Buying a House

It is every person’s dream to have a place to call home, a place they will be comfortable, happy and assured of their safety. The process of buying a home is never a walk in the park. It is advisable to do proper scouting. As buying a home is a long-term commitment, it is a decision one should not rush into making. One should carefully explore the options at hand before making a choice. Below are some of the questions you should ask when purchasing a house.

Questions when buying a house

Why is the owner selling the house?

A person can decide to sell their house for several reasons .it could be selling because they want to relocate to another place, selling because they have gone broke and want to relocate to a smaller apartment, or generally selling for profit. When buying a house, it is prudent to know why the owner wants to let that property go. Why does the owner not want the property anymore?

This enables you to know where your bargaining power stands. For instance, if the owner is selling the house because they went bankrupt, it gives you stronger bargaining power because they are desperate for money. This important question can help a buyer save money by utilizing the advantage they have over the seller.

Is there something I should know?

This is an important question to ask in an attempt to discover some issues that you naturally would not be told unless you asked. You can inquire from the real estate agent or even the immediate neighbours. As a home buyer, you do not want to be caught unaware after investing in the property. Maybe major infrastructural changes are taking place like the closure of the local shops, or other social facilities like hospitals, schools and train terminals. Or maybe, the house has been linked to criminal activities previously. It is vital information you should have before the purchasing decision.

How long has the property been on the market?

It may seem an unimportant question, yet it is an essential one. This question enhances your perspective of the house. If the property has been listed for long, it raises questions like, is it overpriced? Are there things that other potential buyers noticed and decided not to buy the house that you have overlooked or not noticed? If the property has been listed for a long time, it means the seller has become desperate and is more likely to accept a lower amount for the property.

Are there any current plans underway in the area that might have impacts on homeowners?

These plans could include both short term or long-term plans for the area. It is important to know whether there are plans for the development of the area in the near future before you become a resident in the neighbourhood as any undertakings will, in one way or another, affect you. Is there a new housing project underway that will lead to cutting down of the surrounding vegetation, yet you bought the house because the area looked natural? It is essential to have this information to avoid being disappointed later on. It also ensures you get the absolute value for money and no regrets.

What is included in the sale?

This is an important question to ascertain what is included in the sale. You would assume the house comes together with the greenhouse or the garden and later on be surprised to learn these additional features are not part of the deal. If the house is already furnished, do not assume the furniture is automatically part of the sale; ask first. It would be best if you asked to know the exact amount you will pay for the entities. You get to know your property’s exact dimensions and what extra pay you will need to make. This question helps clear out any confusion by letting you know what to expect from the start.

By how much has the property value depreciated in the last few years?

This question might be unpopular with most real estate agents, but it is vital to understand if there has been a drop in value and why. The information can also be found on the Land Registry website in case the agent is not willing to honestly answer your question.

What is the least price the agents are willing to sell the house for?

It is a crucial question to ask since it might save you thousands. Agents are looking to make a sale to get a commission, even if they have to sell the house at a lower price. They will often suggest the price. The assumption is that they know the seller’s minimum price expectations.

How long have the owners occupied the house?

If they have lived in the house for a short period, it is relevant to ask why they are moving out. Is it something that will affect you too? Is it not related to the condition and surroundings of the house?

Has the house recurrently had different owners?

Be watchful of potentially serious problems if the house has repeatedly changed owners. Find out why the previous owners moved out and contact them if possible to get the clarity you are seeking.

How did the realtor come up with the selling price?

A competent estate agent will vindicate the asking price by providing relevant information on how they decided upon the price. You can then evaluate the quoted price against the claims of the agent. Visit and check out other properties for sale nearby so that you can get a good indication of what the houses sell for in the area. There are, however, some estate agents who might tell you if they think a seller has overestimated the house.

What offers have they had so far?

There is a high chance an agent will let you know if there have been other offers on the property. They most probably won’t tell you the exact amount of the offers but they might hint at the estimate. Finding out about the other offers will make it easier for you to haggle over the price and decide on an offer to make.

When are the sellers planning to vacate the house?

Find out if the sellers have somewhere else to settle. If they have, they will try to sell the property as soon as possible. If they are stuck in a chain, you will have to wait until they find a home, adding to the uncertainty and peril of being part of a chain. This question will let you make an informed decision based on whether the seller is serious about moving out.

Is it possible to have a one-on-one with the sellers?

It is a realtor’s work to negotiate the price and terms of the sale and they don’t like it when a client wants to talk to the seller directly. Most sellers are not professionals in the industry and they will most likely give you honest opinions and answers concerning the property. They will give better sentiments on the experience of the house and point out the pros and cons of that property.

Which direction does the house face?

Do you prefer your bedroom to face the rising sun? Do you also prefer watching the sunset on your terrace while enjoying the tranquil surroundings of your property? Which rooms in the house will you be using the most and where do they face? The view from different areas in the property is crucial to you having a pleasant experience.

Have there been any major constructions on the house?

If there have been works conducted on the house, ask for the relevant documents of approval, planning and building authorization. Most local and government planning agencies allow you to search for planning applications on their website. Unapproved construction works may later be costly because you may have to demolish a part of the property later.

How much are the utility bills in the area and how much is the council tax?

They may seem like small fees compared to the actual cost you will spend on buying the house but the fact that they are recurrent expenses will add to the costs of owning a home. Talk to the seller if possible and let them give you the exact amounts to help you make an informed decision.

Is there a listing of the property?

Listed properties often have heavy restrictions on things you can do outside and sometimes inside the property. For an aspiring homeowner, it is advisable to seek clarifications on the types of restrictions put in place before buying the property. Some properties are built on conservation areas and some restrictions apply in such areas. Research on them and make a decision based on the information at hand.

What information is available about the neighbourhood?

How much is the council tax? What is the crime rate? How good are the schools? What is the condition of transport facilities? Are there lots of playing space? Real estate agents will most likely provide you with this kind of information but they are inaccurate sometimes. Do your research and consider all pros and cons of owning a house in that neighbourhood to avoid being unhappy with where you live.

Can you move things around to get a clear look at different sections of the house?

It is common for agents to hide cracks in the wall with furniture or use rugs and carpets to hide flaws on the floor. Make sure you do a thorough check-up and once your offer has been accepted, hire an independent and skilful building surveyor. They will perform all the necessary checks available and spot any defects that you may not know.

Are the taps working effectively and efficiently?

Are the taps working? How long does it take for the water to come through? Do they have any leaks?

What is the property’s age?

It is good to know how old your house is to make a positive decision. Old houses usually have high maintenance costs. Evaluating these costs will help you see the upkeep you need and the expenses you will incur to maintain the property.

What is the explanation of the Energy Performance Certificate?

The Energy Performance Certificate rates the property’s energy efficiency by looking at several factors such as wall cavity insulation, loft insulation, the number of exterior walls, and ad if the boiler is insulated as well as when these features were installed.

Have there been recent decorations?

Redecorations can transform the house, making it look different from its initial description. Some homeowners can use redecoration as a way to conceal cracks or damps in the house. It is therefore advisable that the seller informs you of any renovations that have been made to the house. This information is essential in gauging the condition of the house against the seller’s asking price.

What is the size and condition of the boiler?

It is best to ensure that the boiler in the house is big enough to serve your family’s hot water needs. Also, enquire about the boiler’s condition and if any repairs have ever been done on it.

What is the state of the guttering and drainage System?

A well-functioning drainage and guttering system is a vital element of any house. It is one of the elements you should check before purchasing a house to avoid extra costs on repairs later on.

What are the Neighbours like?

Knowing the type of neighbours you will have before deciding to purchase the house is important. The seller legally bound to inform you if he or she has ever filed complaints against the neighbours. You need to understand if the neighbours are quiet or rowdy, friendly or not, are they homeowners or tenants? Alternatively, you can drive around and have a look at the state of their property and determine by yourself the kind of neighbours they are.