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The Chancellor announced today that stamp duty would be abolished for all first time purchasers of property up to £300,000. This would mean that the vast majority of first time buyers would save up to £5000 on the purchase of their new home.

The measure is an attempt by the Government to make property ownership more affordable for young people and especially first time buyers.

The Government has announced that it is looking at ways of improving the house buying process and it is fair to say that, everyone agrees the house buying process in the UK is far from perfect. The tactic known as Gazumping will be very familiar to any buyers who have been unfortunate enough to have been involved in it.

Gazumping describes the process where a seller accepts an offer from a buyer but then accepts a higher offer from another buyer at the last minute, meaning that the first buyer loses out on the property. Any money and time invested in the purchase by the first buyer will be lost. At the moment this is permitted and not illegal. The government is looking at a range of options to tackle a number of undesirable practices which will speed up the home buying process and make it less stressful for both buyers and sellers.

New rules to stop buyers from withdrawing their offer at an advanced stage in the sale and 'time wasting' by buyers with no real chance of ever completing the purchase of the property will also be examined. Ministers are considering various options, such as moving the point at which a sale becomes legally binding and also new 'lock in agreements' to tie in sellers and buyers at an earlier stage in the sale process. Sales falling through is a very real problem with the current system and it is estimated that over a quarter of all sales fall through after an offer has been accepted.


A Government Working party is considering extending the existing requirement to fit carbon monoxide alarms in rented properties. Currently, there is no requirement to fit a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm in a rented property unless it has a solid fuel appliance. This means that at the moment landlords with gas boilers do not have to fit a CO alarm in their property. Many landlords do, but it is not compulsory. The report is being backed by Alok Sharma MP, Minister of State for Housing and Planning. Under the new proposals landlords would have to fit a CO detector in all properties which contain any fuel burning appliance, including gas boilers.


CB Estates are excited to announce that they will now be offering a full residential sales service from only £1200 incl VAT. This is the same service that you would expect to receive from a traditional high street Estate Agent but at a much lower price. There are no upfront fees to pay and we do not charge you anything unless we sell your property. Kelly Sowden, who is a very experienced Sales Negotiator in Plymouth has joined the team to develop our sales services. Kelly believes that a detailed knowledge of the local property market and a high level of communication are vital to ensuring that you obtain the best possible price for your property. CB Estates are providing accompanied viewings, offer negotiation, comprehensive advertising and full sales progression up until completion as standard with the sales package. Contact Kelly today on 01752 875120 for your free valuation.

Everybody wants to achieve the best possible price for their property but how do you do it? Here are some of our top tips for making sure that you get the top price for your property.

First impressions count - Most buyers will drive by your property first to check out the surrounding area. Make sure that lawns are cut, rubbish is put away, weeds are removed and hedges are trimmed. Carry out any redecoration or repairs that are needed such as painting the front door or fence. 

Bathrooms and kitchens should be spotlessly clean - Clean off any mould and replace any stained sealant. Adding new white silicone sealant will transform your bath and shower cubicle.

Declutter - All buyers place a high value on space. Whilst actual measurements are important, and all buyers will expect to see a floorplan, it is the sense of space that can make a property much more attractive to a buyer. Some ideas for creating space include clearing the kitchen of kettles and toasters, developing an open place living area and strategically placing some mirrors to create the illusion of space. It is worth taking down some ornaments and adopting a minimalist approach to furnishings.

Tidy up - It may be difficult to keep your home looking like a show home whilst you are living in it, but a tidy home is much more attractive to a potential buyer than an untidy one. Clear up the kids toys and put as much unused junk in the attic as you can fit. Try and keep the garage as empty as possible and remove any rubbish.

Remove any unpleasant or strong odours - Smells from pets and smoking can put off potential buyers. Even strong cooking smells should be avoided as much as possible. Open windows before the viewing to let in some fresh air.

Make your property as light as possible - Make sure all the lights work and have bright bulbs in them, to avoid rooms appearing darker, especially in the winter months. Open curtains and blinds and internal doors to let the light flow through the property. Clean the windows to allow maximum light in.

Carry out any repairs before the viewings take place - Don't wait until a buyer makes an offer before carrying out minor repairs. Replace damaged carpets, touch up any paintwork and scuffs on the walls before you place the property on the market. Buyers will assume that these repairs will not be done and will try to negotiate a reduced price.

We hope that these tips have proved useful and good luck with your property sale!



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