• The benefits of an accurate home selling valuation
    Posted on 25 April 2023

    The benefits of an accurate home selling valuation

    Before you sell your home it’s highly important to get an accurate valuation. Getting its true worth allows you to know the amount to expect from it and the asking price you need to come up with. An accurate valuation of your home before you sell has its benefits.

    You’ll know what to expect

    Selling a home without an accurate valuation is like shooting into the dark and expecting to hit the target. You’ll know the net proceeds from the sale once you’ve deducted the selling cost and loan balance from the selling price. If you already have the selling cost of similar properties around the locality and loan balance, all you need is clarity on the selling price. A home valuation allows you to gain this critical insight.  

    Helps you plan for a successful refinancing

    While loans differ, lenders usually offer their customers a chance to use their properties to borrow to a certain threshold, which usually stands between 75 per cent and 96.5 per cent. Other credit demands would have to be met, including the accurate valuation of the home for better equity on the home. An accurate home value also gives you a proper picture of the mortgage you could get, even if you intend to refinance for easier rates, get cash to meet rising demands or access lower payment.  

    Access to another line of credit

    Cash-out on mortgage refinancing might look palatable but not necessarily sound, especially if the interest rate is much lower in contrast with the market. As such, you can use HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) to access much needed cash using your home through a second mortgage. However, a specific level of equity in your home is needed (usually 20 per cent to 25 per cent) just like in refinancing. Knowing the accurate value of your home gives you the insight you need on the line of credit you could access.

    Insight on when to improve the property

    Undoubtedly, you’d like to make a few home improvements to raise the value of your property before putting it up for sale. An accurate home selling valuation will let you know whether it’s worth it.  For instance, if your home is valued at £550,000 and the home prices around the area stand at about £600,000, investing around £40,000-£50,000 in new enhancements and upgrades won’t raise the valuation above £600,000 and might not be necessary but a waste of funds you could direct elsewhere.

    Pay the right premiums and taxes

    Any homeowner wants to have almost total control on due yearly property taxes and insurance premiums. However, without accurate home valuation, which determines what you’ll part with in terms of taxes and premiums due, you might actually end up paying more for these services. Accurate home value can help you prove that the assessment made by the service provider was way above and actually get a lower cost of the service.

    Even if you’ve got no plans to access any of these services or do any of the mentioned things it’s highly important to remain in the know of the value of the property you own. Circumstances change all the time and you might find yourself in need of this information.
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  • Changes to make before renting or selling your property...
    Posted on 25 April 2023

    Changes to make before renting or selling your property...

    Get the low down on the best alterations and improvements to make before you put your property on the market for the greatest chance of success!

    The property market is as competitive as ever, so standing out from the crowd is imperative if you want to be a successful landlord or seller. While there are a number of things you can do to improve your chances of success, learning what to change in a property before you sell or let is one of the easiest to master.

    With the help of this handy list, getting your property ready for selling or letting will be a breeze. Let’s get started.

    Replace your doors and windows

    It’s amazing the difference in the feel for a home a brand-new door can make. But aesthetics aren’t the only thing applicants look for. Whilst your doors and windows may fit the bill in terms of looks, what needs to be reviewed is both the safety and insulation factor.

    If the property is over a decade old, it is likely that the insulation in the windows isn’t top quality, and therefore may bring the appeal of your property down. Consider if investing in new windows will make a difference to the buyer or tenant.

    Change the furniture

    If your furniture’s looking old and worn, it may be time to invest. For tenants, this will be the furniture they live with, so make sure it fits the type of person you want to rent your home, and that the style is up to date with modern trends. For instance, if you are looking to rent to young professionals, try adopting a more modern approach to the furnishings, i.e. luxurious sofas, wooden flooring etc.
    If you’re selling, new furniture can be taken with you to your new home but may make a huge difference in the staging of your home and allow prospective buyers to see what it would be like to live there. It will also look fantastic in the listing photos!

    Consider a driveway

    Understandably, a driveway can be a little bit more of an investment as opposed to changing the windows or replacing furniture. However, driveways are huge selling points for a lot of people. Even if there is on street parking, the ease and added protection of their own driveway is much more likely to appeal, and therefore would add incredible value to the property, even if it means sacrificing some of the front garden.

    Improve the garden

    Whilst front gardens are nice, they serve hardly any purpose to an applicant. The back garden is where the real money is. Especially with family homes, parents love big gardens for their children to play out in on a summer night, and therefore this could easily sway the choice to rent or buy from you.

    Making sure the garden is tidy, and more importantly, safe. There is nothing worse for a parent, or future parent (if targeting young couples), then a hazardous back garden. If you can prove that safety is key, from both outside influences as well as inside, then you're already in the good books.

    Look after the little things

    Most houses, no matter how old or new, will have little damages here and there, such as scuffs on the walls, tiny little cracks and maybe even damp. It is essential that these little niggles are taken care of so that they don’t catch up with you later down the line. It doesn’t take a property surveyor to know that the tiniest crack or damp on the wall can have devastating structural effects in the future, so instead of letting a few little things slide, make sure they are all taken care of.

    If you’re thinking of renting or selling your property, get in touch for bespoke advice specific to your property and target market.
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  • Child-proof your home move!
    Posted on 25 April 2023

    Child-proof your home move!

    With second steppers on the rise, it’s feasible you could be attempting a move or the packing/unpacking with small children. Here’s how to keep them safe throughout the process…

    Many recommend that you arrange childcare during your home move, but this isn’t always feasible. You could live far from relatives, have a child who wants to be involved, or have had your moving days extend out further than you thought.
    Even if you have someone to watch them on the day, there’ll be plenty of ‘unpacking’ days ahead, and if you find yourself with little ones while moving home, don’t fret!

    It’s commonly known that the most frequently occurring accidents happen inside the home, and the last thing you want is for them to happen part-way through your move. While you’re busy labelling boxes and meeting the new neighbours, make sure to think about everything your little one could get up to. With a little extra care and attention, your move can be safe and accident-free.

    Install safety gates

    If you have a child under two, it is recommended that you install safety gates on the stairs as soon as you can, even before the child enters the house. This sounds drastic, but they will be very excited and keen to explore and you may be busy with the move and easily distracted from supervising them as closely as you would normally.

    Keep windows and doors secure

    While moving, doors and windows are often open as people come in and out the house with boxes. Make sure that windows and doors are secure while you're busy sorting out the new house and ensure your child can't run or climb out while you're pre-occupied with unboxing.

    Keep furniture at a safe distance

    We all know toddlers love to climb, so when it comes to moving day, although you may not have decided where you want your furniture to be positioned, we recommend that you keep it away from windows until you are sure. Once you do settle on a final position, it is advisable to secure furniture in place, particularly if it's a heavy cabinet or table.

    Explore the garden

    Gardens are a great place for children to play, but it's a good idea to have a walk around your new garden to check whether your children might be able to find their way into neighbouring gardens or out onto the street and secure the area if necessary. As babies and young children can drown in as little as 5cm of water, if your garden has a pond or water butt, it is recommended that you install appropriate safety measures as soon as possible.

    Get used to your surroundings

    If you've moved to a new area or even just a new street, it is likely that the roads, as well as the volume and speed of traffic, will be unfamiliar. We recommend you practice the new school run if you can – even with older children. To help children get used to a new area, research it with them so they can get excited about the new opportunities.

    If you are looking for your dream property or have any questions about getting started with your home move, get in touch today and we will be more than happy to help.
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  • Spring into action and make sure that your garden looks the best for Summer with this to-do list.
    Posted on 25 April 2023

    Spring into action and make sure that your garden looks the best for Summer with this to-do list.

    After a long cold winter, the early spring flowers are finally shooting up from the ground. But as gardens begin to 'spring' back to life, things can start to look a bit untidy.

    Woodland walks are filled with snowdrops and crocuses. The daffodils are beginning to grow, and we can see their bright, shining yellow faces dancing in the spring breeze. The cold frosty mornings of winter will soon be a distant memory.

    But as gardens begin to 'spring' back to life, things can start to look a bit untidy.

    Now is the perfect time to get out into the fresh air. Tackle those jobs in the garden ahead of the warmer weather. Work put in now will pay dividends later in the year as your flowers bloom for you to enjoy on those long summer afternoons in your garden.

       • Prune back roses.
       • Cut back any dead foliage for ferns/firs and other evergreens.
       • Tidy up borders, removing any newly germinating weeds, then mulch generously with compost.
       • Dead-head the spring flowers as the season progresses, but leave any foliage to die off naturally.

    Fruit & Veg:
       • You can sow an early crop of carrots, but keep them under cloches or cover with fleece to keep them warm.
       • Sow tomatoes, chillies, sweet peppers and aubergines in pots and keep them indoors, either on a windowsill or in a greenhouse if you have one.
       • Plant young herbs in containers and keep them near the back door or on the kitchen windowsill for easy picking!
       • Plant early potatoes and parsnips (they are slow to germinate and need a longer growing season)
       • Start hoeing the veg beds as soon as the weather warms up as weeds will germinate quickly.
       • Plant strawberries in a hanging basket to keep the fruits away from slugs.

    In the greenhouse:
       • Start off your fruit and veg crops indoors before they are transplanted to the garden later when the weather is warmer.

    Garden maintenance:
    There can be lots of tidying up needed after the heavy rain and winter winds.
       • Prune any wind-damaged branches on trees and shrubs.
       • Mow lawns as soon as the grass grows again and re-cut the edges.
       • Start to collect your kitchen scraps for compost again.
       • Replant pots of bulbs that were taken indoors for the winter.

    To make the most of your garden this summer, the hard work happens in the spring. Spending a few hours on these tasks early in the year will help things grow strong and look beautiful through those lovely warm summer months.

    You might like to grow your own veg - the smell of tomatoes in a greenhouse gently warmed and sweetened by the sun is so inviting.

    Or perhaps you prefer to grow flowers and just love a garden filled with bright colours and insects buzzing in the sun.

    You might never have tried gardening before, and your 'jobs' list is simply to tidy up the debris left over from winter.

    Why not get a few small pots and give it a go? You never know. You might just awaken your green thumb and be watching Gardeners' World before you know it!

    Time spent out in your garden is also excellent for your mental health and wellbeing. And if you are planning to sell your home this year, a lovely outside space will certainly bring those buyers in.

    If you are thinking about selling your home, why not call one of our property experts today to discuss your options?
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  • How to choose the right buyer for your home
    Posted on 24 April 2023

    How to choose the right buyer for your home

    Before you even think of choosing the right buyer for your home you should have prepared well for viewers and ‘staged’ accordingly. Staging and preparation for such an undertaking doesn’t have to be complicated. Once that’s done you need to choose the right buyer who matches what you’re looking for. Here are a few ideas on how to pick the most ideal purchaser of your home.

    One with fewer contingencies if any

    If you didn’t know, a good number of buyers will require a number of contingencies (things that need to take place within a certain period before the process of purchase is over) before they buy your home. Such include appraisals, financing and inspections. Choosing one with fewer contingencies makes the process less complicated and fast.

    Inspection contingency means the buyer won’t go ahead if an inspection unearths lots of problems with your property. Financial one might stop the buyer from taking the property if they’re unable to access a mortgage while appraisals might end up evaluating the home for a lower amount than what you’ve offered.

    Deal with better profit

    Of course selling your home for a lower amount and paying so much later during closing while paying the mortgage off isn’t wise at all. You don’t want to sell your home for the lowest offer. Even so, avoid accepting prices just the way they are without doing due diligence.

    Know what each offer will make you in terms of profit, by taking the prices buyers are willing to pay and subtracting all the necessary items, such as home enhancement expenses, closing costs to be paid on behalf of the buyer, loan interest on mortgage, fees and taxes as well as real estate agent commission.

    All-cash deal is often the first offer to think about

    Cash offers are often the most appealing, as you don’t really have to worry about loan approvals and what will happen if they don’t. An all-cash buyer is usually a fast buyer as well and works well if you’re in a hurry to close the sale.

    Mind the financing

    All the buyers might be great with solid financing for the offer. Even so, you need to go with the buyer who has an ideal mortgage lender considering lenders aren’t usually the same. For instance, make up your mind about a buyer if a reliable lender has preapproved their mortgage without overlooking others with unusual loans. Simply ensure that the process of closing the deal isn’t complicated and worsened by loan terms and processes.

    Buyers unafraid to commit their money

    The home you’re offering for sale might require some repairs but you might not have the funds to carry them out. Choose a lender who has no problem committing their money or even time to do the repairs, including those fixings and repairs an inspection report could have unearthed yet you hadn’t prepared for.

    It’s never easy to select the right buyer for your home. So many factors could be at play. Always pick the best-interested buyer who meets your bare minimums and offers something close to what you’re asking.
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  • Jenny Crushes Manchester Marathon Goal with Sub-4 Hour Finish and Inspires with Fundraising for Motor Neurone Disease Association
    Posted on 19 April 2023

    Jenny Crushes Manchester Marathon Goal with Sub-4 Hour Finish and Inspires with Fundraising for Motor Neurone Disease Association

    We are absolutely thrilled to announce that our very own Jenny completed the Manchester Marathon on April 16th, 2023, with an incredible time of under four hours! Her hard work, dedication, and training have paid off, and we couldn't be prouder of her achievement.

    Jenny's journey to the marathon started in January, where she began following a personalised training plan tailored by Jacqui Maxwell of Cadence Coaching. The program consisted of four weekly runs, including a tempo run, a long run, and two easy/steady runs. Additionally, Jenny worked on her strength and injury prevention with Matty Tunnah of Matty Tunnah Coaching, which involved two to three gym sessions per week.

    Despite challenges, Jenny remained focused on her goal and continued to push herself in her training. On the day of the marathon, she showed her determination, resilience, and grit as she powered through the 26.2-mile course in under four hours, a remarkable achievement.

    We would also like to take this opportunity to remind everyone of the cause Jenny was running for, the Motor Neurone Disease Association. MND is a devastating disease that affects thousands of people every year, and the charity works tirelessly to support those affected by the disease and fund research that will lead to better treatments and ultimately, a cure.

    Jenny's efforts in raising funds and awareness for this important cause are truly inspiring, and we are so grateful to have such a caring and dedicated individual on our team.

    Once again, congratulations to Jenny on her incredible achievement, and we are looking forward to seeing what amazing things she will achieve next.
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  • Strikes, Spares, and Team Spirit: Pinkertons Annual Bowling Showdown is Back and Better Than Ever!
    Posted on 19 April 2023

    Strikes, Spares, and Team Spirit: Pinkertons Annual Bowling Showdown is Back and Better Than Ever!

    At Pinkertons we take team building seriously, and nothing brings us together quite like our annual bowling competition.

    For nine years, the sales and letting departments have been battling it out for the coveted Pinkertons Bowling Pin, a prize that holds a special place in our team's hearts.

    This year's competition is even more meaningful as we missed out on the last two due to the pandemic. Our teams are more eager than ever to compete and take home the Pinkertons Bowling Pin for their respective department.

    The competition is more than just a fun event; it represents our company's strong team culture. Our sales and letting teams work tirelessly throughout the year to provide our clients with the best possible service, but events like this remind us that we are more than just co-workers. We are a team, and we support and encourage each other in every aspect of our work and personal lives.

    We pride ourselves on building strong relationships with our clients, and we know that our strong team culture is a crucial part of achieving this. Our clients see that we work together seamlessly as a team, and this reflects on the level of service we provide.

    We are excited to see what this year's competition brings and who will take home the Pinkertons Bowling Pin trophy. But more than that, we are looking forward to another opportunity to come together as a team, celebrate our successes, and build on our strong team culture.

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  • What to do if you’re not happy with your agent
    Posted on 17 April 2023

    What to do if you’re not happy with your agent

    No one likes to get stuck in a situation they do not like and we certainly hate the feeling that something isn’t right with a decision we have made. Sometimes, it is not the fact that they are inefficient, it may be because you would rather use another method of sale.

    The process of selling your property is in itself a daunting task and you want to make sure you have efficient hands that would make the process a lot easier for you. You want results and you deserve to get results. Here are things to do when you are unhappy with your agent…

    Talk to them
    Half of the time, we have issues with others due to lack of communication. You would need to explain what is making you unhappy and what aspect of their services you would like them to improve on.

    Make suggestions
    Having identified the aspects of your agent's services you are not happy with, you can go ahead to pitch your suggestions to them and how best they can incorporate it into their policies to help create the right results you need. Most real estate agents are professionals who may have practiced for years, you do not want to come off as imposing with your ideas, pitch them with the need to make headway in mind.

    Escalate your complaints
    Property agents in the UK are mandated to be members of these compulsory schemes: the property ombudsman and property redress scheme. Should you have a hard time dealing with your management agent, explore the option of filing a formal complaint with an appropriate scheme to which they belong.

    Check your contract
    If you have tried all means to get your agent to see things your way and it’s not working, it may be time to check the details of your contract on how you can terminate without incurring costs or legal liabilities. Most contracts have mutual obligations for parties where termination is concerned though it has to be done within the stated timeframe unless there is an express breach of a provision to perform an act. If you have 30 days termination notice in your contract, you will need to remember that you cannot make an on the spot decision terminating such a contract as you may be subjected to legal action.

    Get another agent
    If you are satisfied that you have fulfilled the conditions for the termination of your prior contract then you may need to get another agent. This time, you would want to be specific with your instructions and make sure that their profile fits the bill of the person you are looking for.

    As stated above, we certainly do not fancy getting stuck with professionals whose methods or performance do not align with our expectations. We hope these tips help with getting you the agent you want and need.
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  • Tenants - what maintenance issues are your responsibility?
    Posted on 17 April 2023

    Tenants - what maintenance issues are your responsibility?

    Renting a home might have always been seen as a lesser to buying one, but what you may not realise is that there are plenty of benefits to renting a home rather than owning one. One of the biggest benefits is that when things go wrong within the house, 9 times out of 10 it is not going to be something that you need to pay out (or organise) to be fixed. So, when is a maintenance repair job something to do with you and when do you need to leave it up to your landlord?

    What repairs does a tenant need to fix?
    The good news for tenants is that the vast majority of repairs within a house are down to the landlord and not the tenant. However, anything that is within the property that is owned by you (including furniture and appliances) that gets broken, well that is down to you to make sure it is fixed.

    As a tenant you are also likely to be responsible for fixing things within the property that you have caused the damage to. It doesn’t matter if it would normally be something that the landlord would arrange to be repaired or replaced (such as carpets or doors). As you caused the problem, then it is down to you to make sure that it is repaired; however your landlord might be happy to organise the repairs on your behalf, passing the cost onto you.

    When it comes to repairs, you may also find that within your tenancy agreement your landlord outlines particular repair costs that you might not realise are down to you. This often comes in the form of repair costs that relate to blocked drains, pipes or toilets. The reason for this is because issues within these parts of your home are usually caused by blockages, which in turn are caused by the tenant not taking reasonable care of the property.

    What about the landlord?
    As we have already covered, when it comes to renting a home, the majority of repairs and maintenance need to be covered by the landlord. This includes normal wear and tear. Over time, a home can start to show signs of being used and being lived in and the landlord should always take this into account within their rental property.

    This means, if the tenant requires repairs or replacements to be made that are down to normal wear and tear, then the landlord needs to give this proper consideration. The landlord also cannot take out money that relates to normal wear and tear from the deposit when the tenant leaves the property.

    Examples of normal wear and tear within a property includes a brand new carpet that has signs of use after some time, a threadbare carpet that has worn patches, window frames that have peeling paint due to both wind and rain.

    Despite the landlord being responsible for much of the repair and maintenance work within a rental property, a tenant should always take care of the property too and make sure that there is minimal chance of damage occurring whilst they are living there.
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  • Tips on moving home for first time parents
    Posted on 17 April 2023

    Tips on moving home for first time parents

    Moving home is a stressful activity at the best of times, but for first-time parents, the process seems daunting. Caring for a young child is often more than enough to keep parents busy, but when you are moving to a new home, and unsettling their routine, you will face plenty of obstacles.

    Help is at hand. We are pleased to say we have helped many first-time parents move home and we have picked up some tips along the way. Here are tips on moving home for first-time parents…

    Discuss the house move
    How much you can discuss the move may depend on the age of the child or children in your household, but it is essential parents talk about the house move with their children. Going through what is likely to happen will put the child at ease, and it will make them feel at ease.

    There are books available which may help a child comprehend the situation better, and parents should discuss the matter in a positive term. It is crucial parents remain calm around their children, even though the moving process is quite stressful.

    Prioritise your children’s needs
    While there is a lot to consider and take care of during the moving process, the process becomes a lot more challenging if your children are upset. Therefore, try to ensure essential items are kept close at hand and can be accessed quickly.

    If you have a baby, you will need a lot of essential items at hand. You should also try to ensure there is a space where you can change and feed them. Ideally, some form of childcare should be arranged to make the moving process more manageable, but of course, this isn’t always possible.

    Items you need to consider having close at hand for your youngsters include food, drink, a change of clothes, something to keep them entertained, and anything they require at short notice. Every child is unique, and some will have more pressing needs than others. As a parent, you know best what your child needs, so make sure that you can take care of them, even on a day that is far from normal.

    If your child is old enough to assist with the moving process, get them involved. You may be surprised at how a little bit of responsibility keeps them occupied, and it means the child has a role to play, which is great for them.

    Be mindful of safety concerns
    As a parent, you have your child’s safety as a top concern at all times. However, given the moving process is an uncommon event for many people, you may not as focused as you usually are. There will also be risks and issues that don’t usually arise in your daily activities.

    Therefore, you need to make sure the moving process is safe, and that risks are minimised around your child. Also, if you are hiring a van to move your belongings, make sure you have a suitable child’s car seat, or that someone will be able to care for the child when moving from your old home to the new house.

    You should also prioritise child-proofing the new home. Once you know the new home is suitable for your child or children, it becomes easier to arrange it to suit your own needs and circumstances.

    All households face challenges when moving home, but first-time parents have a lot to contend with. If you are looking for assistance with all aspects of a property move, rely on us - we look forward to helping you get to your dream home!
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