• Property price prefixes - so many variations but what do they even mean??
    Posted on 23 June 2023

    Property price prefixes - so many variations but what do they even mean??

    Is it guide price, or offers around?

    What do they even mean?

    And how do these different phrases affect you when you're making offers?

    Deciding on the price to market your home for is super important. Go too high, and you risk putting viewers off. But you also don't want to go too low and sell your home for less than it's worth, do you?

    And if you're looking to buy a property, what offer should you make?

    How do you know what price to put forward?

    If you offer too low, the sellers may be offended and refuse to negotiate with you. Similarly, you don't want to go in too high and spend more of your hard-earned money than necessary.

    Negotiating to buy a property can be tricky, especially in a busy market where sellers have multiple offers to choose from. If you get the offer stage wrong, you'll probably miss out on that property altogether.

    Whatever terminology is used, it almost always means that the advertised price for a property is simply a guide. It's an invitation for you, the offeror, to make an offer, somewhere in this price range.

    However, the prefix can sometimes tell you additional information about the seller and their expectations.

    • Offers around
    • Offers invited
    • Guide price
    • Offers in the region of

    The above options are all an invitation to make an offer in this general area. So, if a property is on the market for £200,000, the seller is likely to be looking for offers in the range of £190-210k. The ultimate selling price is not capped at this figure, though. It may go higher depending on the interest levels and other offers. If the seller has tons of viewing appointments booked in or has already had offers, they'll probably be less inclined to negotiate much on their price. However, if the interest in the property is low, there could be an opportunity to negotiate down.  

    In contrast, the following prefixes tell you that the sellers are looking for something different.

    Offers over. This literally means that the sellers are looking for offers that are higher than their advertised price. There's no indication of how much higher they're looking for, so it's down to you to make an offer and find out. Usually, buyers will start at the advertised price and see where it goes and once a bid is on the table, the sellers may give an indication of what they're willing to accept.
    POA. This means Price on Application, meaning that you have to contact the agent to find out what price they are advertising the property for. This is often used if a property is exclusive or if there are particular reasons not to publicly disclose the marketing price.
    Asking price. This is the sellers' way of showing that they are not looking to negotiate. They're advertising at the lowest price they'd consider for the property.
    From. Not as commonly used, this option shows that the advertised price is the starting point and offers should be higher than this figure.
    Prices between x and y. Giving a price range can be used if selling a substantial property, such as a farm, that is also available in separate lots. Although some single dwellings also use this wording to show the range they will negotiate within.
    Offers in excess of. Similar to Offers over or From, the advertised price is the lowest price that the sellers will consider. It's important to note that this doesn't mean that it will be accepted if you offer this price; your offer must be MORE THAN.

    There are many ways to present the price when selling a property and you want to make it as appealing to buyers as possible.

    And as a buyer, you need to take notice of the terminology used so you can be sure your offers are within the range the sellers are looking for.

    If you're looking to buy a property, make sure that you are registered with our Heads Up property alert to keep you informed of all new properties that we put on the market BEFORE they go onto the property portals!

    And if you are thinking of selling, either give the office a call to arrange an appointment or, if you are not quite ready for that just yet, why not try our instant valuation option?

    Just get in touch to register!
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  • 8 tips for creating the perfect ‘home bar’ setup
    Posted on 23 June 2023

    8 tips for creating the perfect ‘home bar’ setup

    1. Turn wasted space into functional space
    The empty wall you’ve been trying to find a use for, the little closet you don’t need or even use, or the nook you’re not sure what to do with, all can easily be transformed into a little home bar. Adding some shelves or cabinets allows for creative displays and small countertops, a console table, or bar cabinets will also give you a nice working space for a home bar setup. Use that wasted space in your home by creating a simple yet functional home bar.

    2. Show off your wine collection
    Fantastic wine displays are growing in popularity, with the wine cellar coming to the forefront. Glass fronted wine coolers are a nice choice because they keep the wine storage space refrigerated and allow your wine to be admired by others. You can also invest in shelves and storage for wine that does not need to be refrigerated. This option shows off your wine collection in another tasteful and beautiful way.

    3. Make cabinetry beautiful
    There are so many different cabinet options available for storing drinks, bar glasses, and any other bartending tools. You might want to opt for cabinets with glass doors, floating shelves, or a fun and interesting cabinet design. These cabinet options will allow you to show off your collection of wine and spirits or unique cocktail glasses while also being very practical. Choose a cabinet design that flows with the existing design of your home. You can also add a pop of colour to make your area stand out.

    4. Be thoughtful about lighting
    Putting a little extra thought and time into designing the perfect home bar setup goes a long way. The lighting can be just as important as the overall design. You can choose to install under cabinet lighting, unique pendants, rope lights tucked under shelves, or LEDs that change colour. Any of these lighting options will certainly add some pop to your home bar.

    5. Head to the cellar
    It’s so handy to have a home bar in a finished cellar, whether it’s used for keeping juice, sodas, waters, and popcorn for family movie nights, or for creating new cocktails while hosting your family and friends. Start by building a countertop and installing some cabinets. Luxurious extras include a sink, dishwasher, and refrigerator so you don’t have to carry all your supplies up and down the stairs.

    6. Stock up on bar essentials
    If you are planning on creating your own home bar setup you will want to make sure you stock it with the essentials. You can choose to go the traditional route and mimic a professional bar by buying all the liqueurs and tools, or you can customise your bar for what you like to drink most. Grab your favourite drinks and mixers and stock up on them.

    You’ll also want to think about the essential bar tools you will need to help you create and mix your drinks. The most common tools you should stock your bar with include; a cocktail shaker, jiggers, mixing spoon, mixing cups, a muddler, beer and wine opener, and a variety of different drink glasses. If you are lucky enough to have a refrigerator and freezer in your bar, then buying some unique ice cube trays can definitely add extra flair to your drinks.

    7. Accent with reclaimed wood
    People wanting to add an accent wall in reclaimed wood are finding a home bar is the perfect place to do it. Adding a reclaimed wood accent wall to your home bar setup is a quick and easy way to introduce an organic element into your home. Adding this accent wall is an inexpensive investment that can transform even the smallest spaces.

    8. Decorate with purpose
    A home bar is a perfect place to get creative with your design. You can add a pop of colour to draw attention, or you can match the colours with the rest of your home. You can enhance the space with fun signs or unique art as well as trendy bar stools, a custom sofa, or fun backsplashes. Have a favourite sports team? Add some fan gear and maybe even a small TV to watch your favourite games. The options are endless.

    Make your home bar setup a place that makes you happy and somewhere you look forward to hanging out!
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  • Why you still need staging in a seller’s market
    Posted on 23 June 2023

    Why you still need staging in a seller’s market

    No matter if you live in a large home or an apartment, staging your home will make your listing stand out among the other homes listed for sale in your area, and increase interest from more potential buyers. Continue reading to learn more about why it is important to stage your home, even in a seller’s market.

    What is a seller’s market?
    A seller’s market is when there are more homebuyers looking to purchase a home than actual houses listed for sale. A seller’s market usually results in rising home prices, stiffer competition, and increased bidding wars among homebuyers. During these times, home sellers will have the upper hand when it comes time to negotiate.

    Do I still need professional staging?
    The short answer is: yes. Although it may be a seller’s market and homes are selling extremely quickly, staging your home is still important. Staging is visual merchandising for your home so that you can sell it quickly and for more money. Another way to look at it is, if you were heading to a job interview or a first date, you’d still make sure you dress to impress, wouldn’t you? The same logic can apply when selling your home.

    A staged home results in better photos
    Listing photos are what makes your home shine online, and the more appealing they are, the more views your listing will receive. A new listing gets three times more views in its first week on the market than at any time after that and many buyers say photos are the most important factor in picking the homes they view.

    Engaging listing photos make potential homebuyers want to view your home rather than skipping past your listing. This is why we recommend you stage your home before you list, rather than investing in staging later if your home doesn’t see enough traffic or sell quickly.

    Home staging can increase your sale price
    Having your listing staged will make your home more appealing and could influence a buyer’s offer.

    Staging allows buyers to picture themselves in the home
    Having your home fully staged allows buyers to understand how they would live in your home and allows them to picture their family in each space. The average person shopping for a home isn’t a professional designer and probably won’t naturally envision how an empty space could function, so having it staged could help paint the picture of what living in the home could look like.

    Home staging communicates proper use of a space
    When walking into an empty home it’s often hard to imagine how you would design or decorate the space. Empty rooms can appear smaller when they’re not staged, and this can deter buyers from making an offer. Staging your home will allow buyers to envision how each space should function and give buyers inspiration for how their belongings could fit into each room. Staging can also help buyers overcome challenges, such as how creating “zones” within a small space can make a room more functional than it may appear when vacant.

    Home staging makes the property more move-in ready
    Many modern buyers have to spend their maximum budget leaving very little to no budget for home improvements or renovations. So, if the walls are painted different colours or a bathroom isn’t finished, buyers see an immediate to-do list and it can feel daunting. Staging helps the home feel as new as possible so there are fewer objections.

    By thinking about how a property looks before it goes to market and by following a few of our stellar tips, you can create a move-in-ready experience that could inspire more buyers to make an offer.

    Get in touch today for more advice on staging your home.
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  • 15 crucial tips every tenant needs to know
    Posted on 23 June 2023

    15 crucial tips every tenant needs to know

    Following these golden rules will ensure a happier process for all:

    1.     Create a monthly budget.
    As well as rent, you also need to consider bills, fees, travel and food.

    2.     Make a good impression.
    The property isn’t the only thing being looked at – a landlord wants a tenant who appears professional, polite and prompt.

    3.     Get your references lined up as rentals often move fast.
    Once you've decided, move quickly with your offer. Make sure you have enough cash set aside for the first month's rent and deposit.

    4.     Before you sign any contracts, you need to complete an inspection of the property with either the agent or landlord.
    Whilst the landlord is not required to fix anything, they cannot hold the tenant liable for the damages at the end. An outgoing inspection is also a necessity.

    5.     As a tenant, you should thoroughly read through the lease agreement.
    Take notes and write down any questions that you have. This agreement is also the perfect place to note down any maintenance issues that the landlord has agreed to fix.

    6.     Follow the lease agreement.
    If it says no pets or that you can’t hang pictures up, then don’t.

    7.     Ensure you have contents cover and that your deposit is covered in The Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme.

    8.     Shop around for energy suppliers.
    Just because it isn’t your property doesn’t mean that you can’t change. You could even save hundreds by switching. It is also important to take a meter reading when you move in.

    9.     Communication with your landlord is key.
    Don’t go overboard but keep them in the loop about the property and should there be a problem regarding rent payment, tenants must notify the landlord in advance.

    10.  Make sure you know where the stopcock is.
    This is the off-switch for all water in your home. Hopefully you'll never need it but it’s a necessity to know if a pipe bursts.

    11.  Be nice to the neighbours and respect them.

    12.  Be aware that your landlord should ask before entering.
    They should get in touch in advance to arrange a time that is suitable for you and if they do enter without your permission, you can contact Citizens Advice.

    13.  Give the full notice.
    Landlords want a tenant who is reliable and if you leave on good terms, you are more than likely to get a good reference.

    14.  When your contract nears the end, take pictures of the property as evidence that you have left it in a good condition.

    15.  Redirect your post and update all addresses.

    Finally treat the property as if it was your own and remember that a happy landlord makes for a happy renting process!
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  • 8 top preparation tips for landlords
    Posted on 15 June 2023

    8 top preparation tips for landlords

    Renting out a property isn’t as easy as most people think. However, if the correct preparation is done, letting a property can bring you many benefits. We’ve come up with 8 simple tips to help you get prepared to let your property – you can thank us later!

    Do some maths
    Before you decide to rent out a property, you need to work out whether it is financially viable. Create a budget and consider the cost of renting including any renovations that will need to be made to the property. You also need to ensure you have enough savings to cover any possible void periods.

    You also need to work out the tax implications and it is a good idea to contact several different estate agents in order to obtain a realistic estimate of the rental income. Going too high or too low could hurt you, especially in a competitive market like we’re currently experiencing.

    Get creative
    Think about who your property may appeal to – for example, if it is a family home, spend some time in the garden making it appealing to both parents and children. It is also a good idea to be flexible with your requirements and consider restrictions on guests, pets and decoration on an individual case basis. It is worth spending a few weekends touching up décor, giving each room a thorough clean and completing general odd jobs around the home. Remember your property must also be safe to rent so get the boiler checked, a gas safety certificate and install fire/smoke alarms.

    Finalise your proper tenancy agreement
    Even if you decide to rent your property out to friends, you should always have a legal and formal tenancy agreement. It is also a good idea to customise the agreement to your individual needs. If your property has a large garden and you want this to be well maintained then include this in the contract.

    Agent or no agent?
    The decision of whether to use an agent to let your property is a very important one. If you do decide to use an agent, then remember that they could keep part of the rental income. However, many people appreciate an agent’s expertise, knowledge and help in finding and keeping a tenant. There’s also the consideration of the many laws and regulations surrounding lettings, so if you don’t use an agent, ensure you get compliant with all of them AND stay up to date with the changes which happen often! The alternative could find you with huge fines, or even criminally prosecuted.

    Take a look at yourself
    When showing a potential tenant around the property, not only is the building on show but you are too. If you are frosty, rude and unapproachable then this will rub off onto the property. Dress smart, be prompt and remember a business transaction can be friendly.

    Get checking
    Get references for all tenants and check that they are who they say they are. If you are letting your property through an agency, they will do this for you but if not, it doesn’t take long to contact a previous landlord and you could later regret not doing it.

    Ensure your deposit is protected
    All tenants’ deposits must be protected in a Deposit Protection Scheme. If you do not abide by this rule, then you risk being fined and you may find it difficult to get future tenants.

    Be understanding
    Landlord and tenant relationships can be tough but try and be considerate. If your tenant has paid their rent on time every month and informs you they will be late with a payment, try and be realistic. In addition to this, you should reply to messages promptly and professionally and if you promised to fix something, stick by your word.

    Ultimately, if you are a good landlord, your tenants will usually reward you with respect. If you are a landlord or are looking to let your property, then get in touch today for a chat about how we can help!
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  • What to do if your home isn’t generating any interest
    Posted on 15 June 2023

    What to do if your home isn’t generating any interest

    According to reports concluded in the past year, it takes an average of about 100 days to sell a property in the UK. What could be the cause? Several factors may contribute to the slow movement of your property off the market and it may be any of the following issues: super high pricing, an inefficient agent, not enough advantageous pictures or even the area.

    We all dream of having the most stress-free and fast sale but what then do you do if your home is not generating interest at all or you only have a trickle of people who seem luke warm about your home? We have some answers…

    List on the right platforms - not listing on the right platforms feels like going to shop for shoes in a store that exclusively sells clothes. You won’t receive any interest if no one can find your property. Make sure that your property is listed online – whether that’s on portals such as Rightmove, the estate agent’s website, or social media sites.

    Change your marketing strategy - if your property isn’t generating interest then your agent could be marketing it incorrectly. While traditional marketing is great, sometimes you have to look outside the box for some creative ideas for certain properties. Video tours, 3D rendering, great descriptions and more can help sell your home to the right people.  

    Change your photos - People are often moved to act by what they see. It isn't rocket science, sometimes you are swayed to go for the better-looking option and this is purely psychological. Imagine walking into a dessert shop to buy a specific cake but you had no design in mind; the most appealing design is probably what you will be leaving the store with. Your house is the cake and if you are not generating interest, it might be because your pictures aren’t showing it in the best light. Engage the services of a professional and watch interest soar.

    Work your property into search tags - there is specific tags buyers use when searching for a property to buy and you will be doing yourself a world of good if you utilise these tags when you post your property. Hashtags on social media, keywords on portals, and tags on YouTube videos can all help people find your home.

    You have a lackadaisical agent - no one would show interest in your property if your agent isn’t putting the work in. Before picking an agent, you want to be sure that the individual and the agency have a proven track record of success. Do periodic checks, you can ask a friend to pretend to be an interested buyer so you can properly evaluate how your agent treats practical situations. If you are not satisfied, chances are that many others won’t be either!

    The market – if the current housing market isn’t buoyant, you need a fantastic agent to make up for it. A great agent can generate interest when there’s not much about, by using the correct marketing and working hard. Ask your agent about the current market and what can be done to get around a slow one.

    Other factors that you may need to work on to help heighten interest in your property includes: decluttering before taking pictures, presenting your property in the best light using staging techniques and possibly redecorating.
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  • Landlord’s rights to access a let property
    Posted on 15 June 2023

    Landlord’s rights to access a let property

    24 hour notice
    According to the Housing Act 1988, it is required that the letting agent or landlord notifies the tenant in writing at least 24 hours before he wants to access the property. The notice time is to ensure that the tenant has sufficient time to tidy the property and make it presentable. If you do not provide 24 hours notice, the tenant can legally refuse to give you entry to the property. Notice needs to be in the form of an email or letter; it cannot be in the form of a text or SMS.

    Reasonable hours for visitation
    In a tenancy agreement, it is required to mention the conditions like, what is a reasonable time of the day to visit and more. So, even if you have given 24 hours notice, you cannot go around whenever you want. The definition of reasonable hours for visit will depend on the type of tenants. For example, if your tenant works a night shift, an inspection at 8am is not “reasonable”. Along with reasonable timing, the time of the visit will also depend on the circumstances under which you are visiting.

    If, as a landlord, you have poor relations with your tenant, it is advisable to arrange the presence of a witness while you are accessing your home.
    Covenant to quiet enjoyment
    In the tenancy agreement, you may come across the term ‘covenant to quiet enjoyment’, it means that, as a landlord you will allow the tenant to have uninterrupted, quiet occupation and use of the property. This term is usually under the section of Landlord Obligations.

    Right to inspect
    Regarding the right to inspect the property, the permission to inspect property or not depends on what is the reason for inspection. The law states that you need to have a genuine reason why you want to inspect the property. You cannot simply demand an inspection just because you want to. Even routine property checks need to be informed and given within 24 hours notice.

    If you want to access the property for viewings at the end of tenancy, it can only be conducted after notice has been served by either party. In this case, inspection and viewings can only be done in the last 28 days of the agreement.

    Third party access
    In case you want to bring someone else along with you or give them access to the property on their own, you can do so. In this case too, you need to give notice to tenants and inform them about the person you are giving access to.

    Maintaining a peaceful relationship with your tenant is the only way to avoid legal complications and resolve things easily.
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  • Top Tips for Choosing an Estate Agent
    Posted on 15 June 2023

    Top Tips for Choosing an Estate Agent

    When it comes to selling a property, it pays to do your research before choosing an agent to manage the sale.

    Now you might think that all agents are much of a muchness (they all flog homes, don’t they?), but you’d be wrong!

    A great agent won’t just sell your property; they’ll sell it for the highest possible price (which is the whole point, obviously).

    A mediocre agent will go through the motions and probably secure a sale – it is a seller’s market after all – but won’t go the extra mile to get the absolute best deal.

    Given that you’ll most likely only sell a property once or twice in your life, why wouldn’t you go with someone who will secure the best transaction for you?

    Here are six things to look for in a good estate agent.

    Track record
    Go with an agent who has a good local reputation and experience selling properties like yours. And don’t just take the agent’s word for it; a good agent will have client testimonials.

    Fees and costs
    It may be tempting to go with the agent with the lowest fee – but be wary. Low-fee agents skimp on marketing and photography (it’s the only way they can do the job for such a low price and stay afloat). That might be good for their business model, but it’s terrible for your bank balance.

    Professional marketing
    Buyers do so much of their research online that an agent must have a professional digital presence. Compare how local agents present properties for sale. Look for good quality photography and well-written property descriptions.

    Read the fine print
    Be wary of agents who want to tie you in for an excessive period. It suggests they don’t have confidence in their own abilities.

    If an agent vows to sell your property for a sum that is jaw-droppingly higher than market value, be suspicious. Most likely, they’re over-promising to lure you in and will have to drop the price later when savvy buyers don’t fall for it. This tactic just wastes time. Go with an agent who is optimistic but realistic.

    Gut instinct
    Do you trust the agent or feel like they’re pulling a fast one on you? Follow your instincts.

    For a free property valuation or to find out more about our selling track record, contact us here at Pinkertons.
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  • Why Renting is Better than Buying for Some People
    Posted on 15 June 2023

    Why Renting is Better than Buying for Some People

    The Expenses
    Owning a home is expensive. If something goes wrong in your home, it can cost you a fortune to get it fixed. Whether it is repairing a leaking roof or replacing the boiler these can be huge expenses for a homeowner. Even if nothing is going wrong at the moment, you know that you need to keep saving just in case it does. All these problems go away when you rent because they become the responsibility of the landlord. This means that anytime there is a problem you can just pick up the phone and let someone else deal with it.

    You Don’t Need a Huge Amount of Capital
    Buying a home is expensive, particularly when it comes to the deposit. You need to have a large lump sum to be able to put into your home when you purchase, at least 5% of the total value. Whilst you need a deposit to rent, it is normally only one- or two month's rent. So, if you don’t have the backing of a lot of savings then renting might well be the only option that is open to you. Whilst there are schemes that help people get deposits covered, these can result in you having to pay higher mortgage prices and so you need to consider them carefully.

    You Have More Leverage in the Job Market
    If you are renting a property, then this can make it easier for you to move around and look for a job in other places. This can mean it is easier for you to move up the corporate ladder and take advantage of your skills and experience in getting a good salary. Some companies will offer help with relocation expenses and this can make it really cheap for you to find the right job, rather than feeling stuck within a job because you can’t sell your home.

    It Gives You More Flexibility in Life
    Alongside being able to move for a job, there are other reasons that might want to cause you to move homes rapidly. If you meet your perfect partner and they are in a different city then, if you rent this makes it easier to move closer together rather than if you own your own home. It can also be useful if you are away from your family and you want to move back closer, maybe to take care of an elderly relative. Finally, you might just fancy a fresh start and be able to go anywhwere you want!  
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  • The pros and cons of house sharing
    Posted on 15 June 2023

    The pros and cons of house sharing

    Costs are shared
    One huge reason that many people decide to live in a house share property is because they need to try and save themselves some money whilst still be able to move out of their parent’s home. When you live in a shared property you are going to be sharing many of the bills; this isn’t just the rent (although this is a huge help of course) but this is also bills such as gas, electricity, water and even your TV and internet costs.

    You might not always get on
    Of course there is a good chance that living in a shared home means that you are going to find new friends (or even move in with your existing friends). But there is also a chance that you might not get along with the people that you are living with. What could be worse than finding that you don’t like the people that you have to share your living space with? It isn’t exactly the ideal situation which is why they say ‘you never know someone properly until you live with them’.

    You will always have people around
    When you live with your family you are always going to have someone around to spend time with, to talk to and simply to have in the same space as you. When you move out, one main concern is that you are going to be alone and be lonely too. Living in a shared home means that you will always have someone around, just like you would if you lived with your family. Best of all, if you want to have some time to yourself, you always have your own room to retreat to.

    You might not feel that you have any space
    Whilst it is great to have people around and as we have said you can always retreat to your room if you need to be alone, living in a shared house may feel a little cramped. If you are not someone who likes to spend lots of time in the company of others, then you may find that a shared home isn’t the ideal option.

    Chores are going to be for everyone to do
    Chores are not the most interesting or exciting thing to do, so, if you have other people in your home to do them, then you are likely to find it much easier to keep your home nice and clean. Not only this, but if you are finding it hard to keep on top of cleaning, then you can also share the costs of hiring a cleaner.

    A house share has loads of plus points to consider as well as some negatives too. So, before you take the plunge, it is a good idea to weigh them up against each other and see whether or not it is going to be a worthwhile option for you.
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