We may be in Lockdown 2 but the property market is still open and so are CB Estates. Since last Thursday until at least Wednesday 2 December, England is now under stricter new coronavirus restrictions. It has been called Lockdown 2 and will last for four weeks.
Lockdown 1 in March had a major impact on the housing market and property activity all but stopped overnight. However, the Government has stressed that the property market this time can continue to operate during Lockdown 2, provided Covid safety precautions are taken.
The Government has confirmed that you are allowed to do the following:
Visit estate or letting agents, developer sales offices or show homes
View homes to buy or rent
Prepare a home to move into
Visit a home to prepare it for sale or rent.
Can I move home?
Yes, this is allowed provided everybody follows social distancing procedures and takes precautions, such as using masks and gloves. Removal firms have been allowed to stay open to enable moves to take place
Can I still view properties in person?
Yes, however there will be extra restrictions and you may be asked to view a video of the property first. You must wear a face covering and there will be a restriction on the number of people allowed in the property at any one time. You must not view properties if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or are self isolating. You should take care to avoid touching surfaces and the time spent in the property should be kept to a minimum.
Can I put my house on the market?
Yes you can. Agents are allowed to visit properties to carry out a valuation, take photographs and prepare floorplans.
Are Estate Agents allowed to open?
Yes Agents can open, however many are only allowing visitors by appointment and with suitable face coverings.
CB Estates is open for business during Lockdown 2 and we are following COVID-19 safety guidelines to ensure the safety of all our customers. All our available properties have a detailed video walkthrough available so that you are able to 'virtually view' the property. Viewings can take place following social distancing guidelines and taking relevant precautions. We are also available to carry out valuations either virtually or in person.
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A second ‘lockdown’ with national restrictions for England comes into force this Thursday 5 November. However, unlike the first national lockdown the Government has confirmed that the housing market in England will stay open.
The Government has confirmed that
- Renters & homeowners will be able to move
- Removal firms and estate and lettings agents can operate
- Viewings and valuations of residential properties to buy and rent can continue through the national lockdown period
- Tradespeople will be able to enter homes
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Covid-19 rules and social distancing has made moving home a completely different experience.
Reviews tell us that a lot of people are now happy to receive a virtual viewing and feel they get everything they need from this and would be happy to let and even buy this way. It is extremely important to give a great first impression from a virtual viewing.
The hardest thing to show from a virtual viewing is the vibe of the house but you can show off the property’s key features such as large bedrooms and great storage space. Here are a few tips –
- Start the virtual tour from outside of the property so it feels as if the person viewing is walking up the path and into the front door. Also make sure the entrance is de cluttered and all the room doors are open to let in more light.
- Do not hide anything – make sure the full room is captured on video. Every corner needs to be shown and every space explained so viewers know you are not hiding anything.
- Tidy up the obvious parts of the house first, make sure it is cleared of any mess, beds are made, cushions are plumped, and curtains are pulled back.
- Maintenance is always good prior to selling or letting a house – any painting touched up or any odd jobs that seem small are taken care of.
- Make sure the windows are clean. This will let in more light and give a great clean feel to the property.
- Put out flowers to give brightness and keep some of your personal items out for viewings to pass on a positive, happy living environment vibe.
- Make sure kitchen work tops are decluttered and cupboards are cleared and organised. That way you can open a cupboard door on the virtual viewing.
- Be sure to show off any good appliances. Do you have a built-in dishwasher? Or an integrated washing machine? Be sure to show these items in the viewing.
- If you have a utility room always show this, people are keen to see where they can their washing appliances and ironing board.
- Make sure the bathroom is super clean. Any stained grout go over this with a grout pen to make it look nice, hide extra toilet rolls, fold towels and maybe light a candle to give a warm feeling.
We are able to offer both virtual tours and video viewings. If you are interested in selling or letting your property with CB Estates, please call us on 01752 917458
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Selling a house can be extremely stressful and overwhelming but it is also an exciting time too. CB Estates are here to make everything a little bit easier for you, take the stress away and save you money whilst providing a great service.
- Making the decision
There are lots of different reasons for moving to a new house – relocating to a different area, upsizing due to expanding your family or wanting to cash in on your properties value, whatever the reason CB Estates are here to help.
First do the maths. See what you will need to budget for. How much is your home worth? How much is left on the mortgage? How much is the new property that suits your needs? And how much are removal and any hidden costs?
Once you have made your mind up its time to contact an estate agent. CB Estates will appoint a dedicated property manager to give a free valuation and discuss the best ways to sell your home.
- How will I sell my property?
You will need an agent who knows the area, will give you an honest, realistic valuation and provide a strategy of how to sell your home.
Setting the price to high could risk there being no offers and too low could lose you money. The price you put your property on the market for depends on the local market conditions and how quickly you want to sell.
Choosing an agent is your next important step, and why not support a local agent with great knowledge of the area with a person at the end of the phone.
If you choose CB Estates we will arrange professional photography, floorplans, your property being advertised on Zoopla which gets millions of hits a day and that is all alongside a great customer service and a friendly face.
- Energy Performance Certificate
An EPC provides information on your home’s energy use and grades how efficient your home is. This also contains any recommendations or improvements that could be made to reduce your energy consumption.
This is a legal requirement for all homes before they are marketed.
The certificate is valid for 10 years and CB Estates can point you in the right direction to get this done.
- Prepare the home for viewings
De clutter the house and get any outstanding maintenance jobs resolved. Make sure the front of the property looks good as first impressions are everything.
If you have pets make sure you get rid of any odours or pet hairs before any viewings take place.
It is recommended to make the property feel homely by baking bread, putting a fire on or lighting candles. It may also be a good idea to not be at the property so the viewers can have a good look around at everything.
With CB Estates we will ask the potential buyers for feedback so you will be aware of any minor changes to make.
- Received an offer, what next?
Congratulations, this is great news. But first is this the offer you wanted? Are you willing to accept the offer? If it is less than what you wanted are you willing to hold out or do you think this is the best you will get?
Our dedicated Property Manager can help you negotiate with the buyer and once you are happy you will need to formally accept, and your property will be removed from the market.
- Appointing a solicitor
A solicitor is required to deal with the legal side of the sale and transfer everything from you to the buyer.
You may already have a solicitor but if not, CB Estates can pass you a recommendation.
Solicitor fees can vary, some can be fixed, and some can vary with the price of the property. Make sure you are clear on all prices before you go ahead.
- Filling out the forms
Once you have instructed your solicitor you will be given a big pile of forms and questionnaires to fill out. This provides your buyer with all the information needed.
There is a general questionnaire which includes information about sewage, boundaries, neighbour disputes, utilities, and council tax.
Another form includes fixtures and fittings where you list everything that will be staying in the property. It might be worth digging out all the warranties you have for these items.
A final form sets out arrangements for handing over the property.
- Drawing up the contracts
It is important to keep in the back of your head that until your property has exchanged, nothing is guaranteed.
The time between accepting an offer to exchange and completion can be around 6-8 weeks, sometimes longer. Some properties go through faster if you have a keen buyer and an efficient solicitor.
Your solicitor should always keep you informed and if you choose CB Estates, we also chase this process and keep you updated.
- Exchange and completion
Once all the paperwork is done it is time to exchange. The buyer and seller are now legally committed to going ahead with the deal and could lose money by pulling out.
If you are part of a chain the solicitors will make sure everyone is happy and willing to proceed before exchanging contracts.
Once exchanged a date of completion is agreed.
Completion is when the property changes ownership and the keys are handed over.
- Moving out
The day has finally come and ideally you have booked a couple of days off to move.
The longer notice you give a removal company the more you can negotiate the price as costs depend on how much you must move and where you are moving.
Do all the household admin, notify anyone who needs to know the change of address, give final readings to the utility companies, and cancel any policies.
Label all boxes and get rid of anything you don’t need.
If you are interested in selling your property with CB Estates, please call us on 01752 917458.
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It is looking increasingly likely that Property logbooks will be introduced for every home in the UK. The introduction of these logbooks was discussed at the first meeting of the Residential Logbook Association (RLBA). The aim is that every residential property transaction will be supported by one whether sales or lettings, with a trial scheduled for Spring next year. it is hoped that these logbooks will help to simplify and speed up the house moving process.
The digital logbooks will also transfer from owner to owner and will include the following information:
- Unique Property Reference Number
- Title number
- History of transactions including sales and rentals
- A lettings MOT certificate (if relevant)
- Ground rent info (if leasehold)
- Up-to-date search and other local authority information.
- Land Registry information
- Utility company data.
- Government information such as flooding risk.
- Handover packs.
- Building or retrofit works completed.
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