The Property Redress Scheme is authorised by the Department for Communities and Local Government to offer redress to Lettings and Property Management Agents and the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team (formally the OFT) to offer redress to Estate Agents.
The Property Redress Scheme is a new, straightforward and easy to use consumer redress (ombudsman) scheme for Property Agents and Professionals.
The main purposes of the Property Redress Scheme are to allow Agents to comply with their legal requirement to be a member of a government authorised consumer redress scheme and to settle or resolve complaints made by consumers against our Members.
Continue reading The Property Redress Scheme
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: WE CAN AGREE A SALE FOR YOUR PROPERTY DURING LOCKDOWN AND PROVIDE AN IMMEDIATE CASH ADVANCE THAT YOU REPAY AS SOON AS THE SALE COMPLETES WHEN THE LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS ARE REMOVED. SEE: SELLING PROPERTY DURING LOCKDOWN FOR MORE DETAILS
From wanting to subsidize pensions to maintain a comfortable standard of living, to taking dream holidays, and/or raising cash to help family members in times of crisis; more and more people over the age of 55 are using wealth tied into the property they own to finance their life choices.
Most lenders now offer options such as Retirement Mortgages, Lifetime Mortgages, Drawdown Lifetime Mortgages, Pensioner Mortgages and Home Reversion Plans. They are aimed at people who want to raise cash from the equity in property without moving home but as people are living longer and/or taking retirement younger, they can all be very expensive options.
An alternative option that can be far cheaper and one that uses the wealth tied in a property rather than borrowing against it (as the options above do) is to downsize.
Here we look at the advantages and disadvantages of equity release compared to downsizing.
Continue reading Thinking Of A Retirement Mortgage or Other Form Of Equity Release? Read This First…
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: VIEWINGS ARE NOT PERMITTED DURING THE CORONA VIRUS LOCKDOWN, HOWEVER IF YOU NEED TO SELL YOUR PROPERTY ASAP, WE BUY PROPERTY AND WE CAN SELL PROPERTY WITH ZERO VIEWINGS. YOU WILL NEED TO SEND US PHOTOGRAPHS OF YOUR PROPERTY (FOLLOW THE TIPS BELOW TO PRESENT YOUR PROPERTY IN ITS BEST CONDITION). YOU CAN RECEIVE A CASH ADVANCE DURING LOCKDOWN WHILE YOU PREPARE TO MOVE OUT WHEN THE SALE COMPLETES AFTER LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS ARE LIFTED. FOR MORE INFORMATION SEE: SELLING PROPERTY DURING LOCKDOWN FOR MORE DETAILS
Waiting for viewings can be a stressful, and despairing time. Buyers are expected to present their properties to get the most from viewings and are often encouraged to declutter and/or to depersonalise and/or to keep properties clinically clean for viewings. While all those suggestions are excellent (see below for more of the same), keeping a home in pristine condition can be expensive, time consuming and stressful. It’s no wonder most people would prefer lots of viewings in a short time frame than maintaining often impractical and inconvenient standards over prolonged periods because of a lack of viewings.
On average, it takes 15-20 viewings to sell a property if it is priced appropriately for the market*. Properties that are suitable for large numbers of people, priced correctly and advertised widely should attract 1 or 2 viewings per week most weeks of the year to achieve the UK average of 3 – 4 months to sell.
* If a property is priced too high, sellers may find they attract lots of viewings but do not receive any offers.
Continue reading Get More Viewings To Sell Your House Faster
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: WE CAN AGREE A SALE FOR YOUR PROPERTY DURING LOCKDOWN AND PROVIDE AN IMMEDIATE CASH ADVANCE THAT YOU REPAY AS SOON AS THE SALE COMPLETES WHEN THE LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS ARE REMOVED. SEE: SELLING PROPERTY DURING LOCKDOWN FOR MORE DETAILS
Selling an inherited house with or without a will can be a long, expensive process – especially if the property is empty while the will is being settled or the legal processes are being completed. Even simple wills can takes 9 – 12 months to settle. More complicated wills with money to collect from investments, savings and pensions or wills with money to pay in inheritance tax or debt can take considerably longer to be read.
Whether a person has written a will or not; before a beneficiary can sell an inherited property, they or an executor acting on their behalf must obtain legal confirmation of their authority to sell the property or transfer ownership of the inherited property. If a will has been written, the authority is called a Grant of Probate. If the deceased did not leave a will, the authority is called a Grant of Letters of Administration. Both documents grant the beneficiaries or executors legal authority to close bank accounts, sell shares and investments and sell or transfer property.
Even a straightforward estate with named beneficiaries and no legal challenges or debts to pay from the estate with the application submitted by a solicitor, can take two to three months to obtain authority to sell an inherited property while various legal and taxation checks are made. It can take even longer if the application is made by the beneficiary rather than through a solicitor, if inheritance tax is due or there are any other complications affecting the inheritance.
An inherited property cannot be sold until the authority has been granted or the property has been transferred to the name(s) of the person or people who intend to sell the property.
Keeping an empty inherited property secure (paying for empty property insurance, the cost of regular visits to the property as required by most empty property insurances) while paying liabilities (council tax, mortgage repayments etc) and keeping basic amenities such as electricity and water connected (to prevent weather related damage and to conduct viewings in an uncompromising environment) while ownership is transferred to beneficiaries then while a sale is found, agreed and completed can be expensive, time consuming and emotionally draining process that can easily take 12 – 18 months to complete.
In A Nutshell
We save our clients time and money by working with will executors and/or the beneficiaries’ solicitors to apply for a Grant Of Probate so that the ownership can be passed directly from the deceased to the new buyers when the authority is issued rather than transferred to from the deceased to the beneficiaries then to buyers. Upon completion, the proceeds from the sale can be distributed to the executor or directly to the beneficiaries.
The process saves our sellers money spent maintaining an empty property, land registry fees and duplicate solicitor costs (performing the same actions twice to transfer ownership to the beneficiaries than the new buyers).
Continue reading Selling Inherited Property Faster
The single most important thing to get right to sell your house fast is the asking price. Almost every property will attract attention from buyers if the price is right so if you aren’t even getting many viewings, it could be a sign that buyers think your asking price is too high for the size and type of property compared to others in your area.
Continue reading Setting A House Price
Are you looking for joint venture funding for your next property development?
Look no further… we want to talk to you!
We have vast experience in buying and selling and developing property projects. We also have funds available to help experienced investors fund their projects. So long as you have a project with equity and value in it we can fund up to 100% of the costs to build or develop in return for an agreed share of the eventual profits.
Unlike banks and other lenders, we are not giving you a loan we will not carry out credit checks. So long as the project stacks up we will fund 100% of the costs in return for a share of the profits and take our security on the property.
If you can demonstrate you have experience and a sound asset/project we’ll fund up to 100% of the development costs and in return, we’ll agree a share of the profits on completion. It’s that simple
Continue reading Joint Venture Property Investing
Landlords face many problems, most relate to property and/or tenants however ongoing economic and legislative changes have added a lot more things for landlords to worry about. Shrinking returns, increased costs, more rules, more penalties and the prospect of fewer options to end tenancies have resulted in more and more landlords selling some or all of their rental properties.
New Rightmove research indicates 24% of landlords are planning to sell at least one property from their current portfolio, 13% will be selling more than one and 11% report they wish to sell their entire portfolio. This is despite rents being at record levels having increased by 2% in the last year.
We take a look at some of the common problems forcing landlords to sell and how we can help landlords wanting to sell up because of them.
Continue reading Helping Landlords Solve Problems No Other Estate Agents Can Manage
Are All Property Auctions The Same?
ABSOLUTELY NOT – also, worthy of note: not all bidders are the same either – our auctions recognise that.
With the threat of a recession looming as a result of earlier lockdown restrictions and/or the threat of a second wave bringing with it renewed restrictions before the existing backlogs and problems from the first wave have been cleared; it is particularly important for people who want or need to sell property fast – that they know an agreed sale is secured, whatever happens next.
How Can National Residential Help Homeowners Who Want Or Need To Sell Fast To Raise Money During The Lockdown?
- Massive database of 30K investors as well as Hong Kong & Chinese cash buyers who purchase properties without the need for viewings and who will also keep tenants thus avoiding the need for lengthy and costly evictions or landlords having to wait for cooperative tenants to be able to move.
- All our properties sold with video tours maximising the prices achieved through exceptional marketing and at the same time minimising the need for viewings.
- Sellers and tenants can email us their own photographs and videos and our specialist editing team create a professional listing minimising the need for any visitors to your home.
- We also pay tenants to send us photos and videos and subsequently to carry out viewings where necessary to speed up marketing and sales. This keeps tenants happy and engaged in the sales process to assist us in the sale.
- Our 28 day auctions are online so the lockdown restrictions do not stop buyers bidding. We list quickly and sell your property for the best price quickly.
- Or our company can buy your property direct and agree a sale in 7-14 days if you want a really quick sale.
- Sellers can choose to list their properties without viewings. This works where tenants and owners are shielding or where there are local lockdowns.
- We have established a network of experts including solicitors and mortgage brokers who are all fully working during the Covid-19 pandemic and provide the quickest and highest quality service. This ensures the fastest completion possible.
- We can agree a sale during lockdown and provide an immediate cash advance* when the buyer secures the sale which allows owners to pay bills, such as house removals, debts and mortgage payments. This cash advance is interest free if the amount is under £2K and must be repaid when the sale completes.
- Sellers can specify what lockdown conditions need to be lifted before the sale can complete (and they must move out).
*When agreed in advance as part of the sale condition. Please inquire for more details about terms and conditions associated to the sale.
The method we use to sell property is often referred to as a ‘Modern‘ Property Auction’ (also known as conditional auctions). It is different to many other types of auction (offline and online) because of what happens when the bidding ends. In a Modern Property Auction when bidding ends the winning bidder pays a non refundable deposit to secure the property but the crucial difference is the winning bidders are given time to secure lending.
Because our auctions are open to private buyers with mortgage funding (not just cash buyers who are often developers looking to buy a property at rock bottom prices so they can make a profit when reselling), our properties typically sell for 10 – 15% more than similar properties sold at auction houses.
Our fees are lower too, (see next section)!
Similar to the ‘sealed bids’ process, in our auctions a winning bid is the BEST offer the seller chooses to accept which is usually but not always the highest bid. Like traditional auctions, all bids are legally binding and the bidding process is transparent so all bidders are kept informed of other bids throughout the process.
Continue reading Property Auctions
What Will Happen To House Prices After Brexit?
A lot of people have speculated about what will happen to house prices after Brexit. The uncertainty has had a dire affect on the housing market with fewer buyers, fewer sellers and sales taking longer to complete. Despite the smaller volumes of trade and slowed growth rate, house prices have largely remained the same with only Scotland showing a small fall in house prices in the months immediately running up to the first withdrawl deadline in March , so why is the market so affected by the uncertainty over Brexit?
Stark Warnings About House Prices After Brexit Have Excited Buyers
There have been stark warnings from the Bank of England’s governor Mark Carney that house prices could fall by up to 30% from their pre Brexit level if there is no deal. He also said that is his job to plan for the worst case scenario suggesting that the pessimism is based on possibility rather than probability. While most industry experts do predict some sort of drop in price following a no deal Brexit, although there are also those who predict no change and those who predict slight increases .
Gauged by the reduced activity in the housing market it seems as though a significant number of buyers are delaying their plans to buy property until after Brexit due to the fear of negative equity if the property values drop significantly.
The buyers most tempted by the prospect of a drop in property costs are those who are not also selling during the same period – i.e. first time buyers, second home owners and buy to let landlords. They represent a significant percentage of the housing market buyers.
Will House Prices Drop After Brexit?
The simple answer is that nobody can know until a plan has been agreed and even then the extent of any affect on house prices after Brexit will also depend on a range of other economic factors including Secton 24, aka The Landlord’s Tax.
The following information gathers together some relevant factors and attempts a logical understanding of the situation. It is NOT intended as any sort of advice.
Continue reading House Prices After Brexit
The problem: Broken House Chains
With over 10 years of specialising in selling property quickly, we do of course know the pitfalls that can derail any house sale – i.e. issues that cause chains to break resulting in everyone involved wasting time and money.
We also know that the average percentage of agreed sales that fall through is currently stands at almost 40% and unfortunately, the number is on the rise*.
* According to recent figures released by Quick Move Now, the number of house sales falling through before completion has risen to 38.8% in Q1 2018 – nearly four percentage points higher than a year earlier and 18 percentage points higher than five years ago.
Of course, any experienced estate agent also knows this but unlike most, we at National Residential do not accept that it is an ‘acceptable risk’ and/or unavoidable.
That is why we have tailored our sales process to minimise risk and maximise success. Our stats speak for them selves – due to our rigorous buyer approval procedures 95% of our agreed sales complete.
Continue reading Stop An Agreed Property Sale Collapsing
Section 24 Means Buy To Let Landlords Can No Longer Offset 100% of Mortgage Interest Against Rental Income.
Section 24 is a HMRC taxation change affecting what costs can be deducted from rental income to calculate ‘Net Profit’ – i.e. the figure counted as income and the figure that you will pay taxed against.
As tax relief drops and tax bills rise, in some cases* the annual sum of mortgage repayments and taxes will be more than rental income minus costs. Some landlords will need to sell at least part of their portfolio to avoid making SIGNIFICANT annual losses.
Chris Cooper of Axe The Tenant Tax said,
“A perfect storm is brewing in the rental market, landlords will either have to raise rents or sell because of the tax rises. Landlords are sleepwalking into disaster”.
According to Landlord Referencing UK, circa. 1.4 million landlords are unaware of the drastic effect it is going to have on their rental income and their tenancies over the next 4 years while RightMove research indicates 24% of landlords are already planning to sell at least one or more properties from their current portfolio in response to the new regulations and tax changes.
* See below for examples.
Continue reading Section 24 – HMRC UK Tax Changes
Buy To Let Section 24 Finance Expenses, Tax Changes
NB. All figures are intended as a guide only. The calculations have not been confirmed by the HMRC however they are based on the formula given on the HRMC guidance – please see HMRC Case Studies re Section 24 Tax Changes
Anyone considering selling their property based on these figures should seek confirmation from their accountants. National Residential cannot be held accountable for any inaccuracies in the information given.
All case studies are based on before 2017 (i.e. before the tax changes come in force) or after 2021 (i.e. after the gradual changes have been phased in).
The 4 phases are:
- 17/18: 75% of finance costs deductible from rental income, 25% basic rate tax reduction for finance costs.
- 18/19: 50% of finance costs deductible from rental income, 50% basic rate tax reduction for finance costs.
- 19/20: 25% of finance costs deductible from rental income, 75% basic rate tax reduction for finance costs.
- 20/21: 0% of finance costs deductible from rental income, 100% basic rate tax reduction for finance costs.
As summarised on Section 24 – HMRC UK Tax Changes, the biggest affect to tax bills will be to people whose income is taken into the higher tax brackets however people whose tax remains the same could find that they lose some benefits as the amount classed as income will change.
As a general rule of thumb, the bigger the finance costs are, the bigger the effect of Section 24.
Continue reading Case Studies of Section 24 Buy To Let Tax Changes
National Residential have been at the forefront in setting standards for selling property quickly and fairly since we began in 2007. We were a select group of industry representatives selected to define a Code of Practice For Quick House Sales Companies to The Property Ombudsman (TPO) and in 2013 we helped set up the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB) to inform the public of companies that agree to the principles and abide by the practices listed in the code.
At the heart of the code is transparency – see Code of Practice for Residential Property Buying Companies
We believe that selling property using our ‘Modern Auctions’ method adds convenience and transparency to our property sales:
- by accepting a combination of online and telephone bids ensures no-one is prevented from making an offer due to other commitments, inexperience of internet bidding or financial arrangements that prevent us ring fencing funds for the holding deposit until the auction ends.
- all offers (including telephone bids) are added to the auction and our consultants keep all participating parties informed.
Although the process that follows online bidding to secure a purchasers agreement usually takes just 24 hours to conclude it can sometimes take longer and the bidding process is only formally ended once we are sure we have the highest bid, the seller has accepted this bid, and the winning buyer has paid their deposit and has passed the financial qualification process with our sales team.
To complement our existing sales options by providing sellers a faster qualification period and more certainty to the highest bidder at the end of an auction, we are pleased to introduce ‘Registered Auctions’ which will run alongside our existing auctions.
The platform is provided by the ‘Essential Information Group’ (EIG), a secure, independent online auction service provider since 1991.
Continue reading Introducing ‘Registered Auctions’.
How Long Does it Take To Sell London Property?
On average, London property takes longer to sell than any other area of the UK.
According to RightMove’s October House Price Index, top London property takes an average of 86 days to sell and the average for all London property types is 65 days.
National Residential sell all types of London property from 1 bedroom flats to 5 bedroom semi-detached housing. Our top property (with a sale price of £780,000) took only 29 days to sell – that is over 50 days below the average for the same type of property.
During the year Nov 2016 to Oct 2017, the average selling time National Residential took to sell all types of London property was just 26 days compared to the average time other estate agents take of 61 days.
Continue reading London Property Market
We sell property in our 28 day auctions for 100% of their market value – but what is ‘market value’?
Market value is the top price that buyers from a mix of the private and investment sectors will pay for a property. It isn’t always the price sellers think their property is worth and it isn’t anything we can control – quite simply, it is what people want to pay.
There is, of course, more than one way to find the market value – one way is to start high and end low, reducing the price every 3 months or so until eventually it is what someone is willing to pay. On the plus side, sellers can dream big but the negative side of being ‘ambitious’ is potentially long and costly delay in selling your property.
The time it takes to sell a property fluctuates with season, the market, the asking price and regional influences but most people are aware of property that has been on the market for months and months and months…
Some estate agents recommend asking prices that, at best can be described as ‘ambitious’ (and at worst misleading) purely to secure representation.
Continue reading Performance Report for July, Aug, Sept & Oct
NB. National Residential are pleased to announce our new Joint Venture funding opportunities for anyone planning to re-invest their capital in property development. Please see Property Development Funding
As we previously documented in Complications & Problems Selling Rental Property, there are A LOT of decisions to be made and a lot of laws to be considered when landlords decide they want or need to sell their rental property and a lot of it depends on factors that are usually unknown at the start of the process – such as, whether the buyer you haven’t met yet is looking for a private residence or a rental property and whether they would prefer a sale with sitting tenants or vacant possession.
If landlords selling tenanted property choose to leave tenants in situ during the sale it could cause problems showing the property but if they vacate the property too soon, it could cost them thousands in lost rent.
The best option, of course, is to leave sitting tenants in situ as long as possible but not so long that it causes problems. Timing, speed and legal advice are all crucial to getting the best results for landlords selling tenanted property.
National Residential specialise in selling tenanted (& sub-tenanted) property, often with additional complications like short leaseholds or absentee freeholders.
Continue reading Selling Tenanted Property
Problems Selling a Rental Property With Tenants In Situ During The Sale
Selling a rental property with tenants in situ can be difficult in any circumstance because it can add cost (sometimes in the form of losses), risk and complication throughout the process to both the buyer and the seller.
For home owners selling property while tenants are in situ, the potential for problems range from showing interested parties around the property without infringing a helpful tenant’s legal right to ‘quiet enjoyment of the property’; to trying to arrange access to the property with ‘unhelpful‘ tenants; to ‘bad’ tenants putting buyers off through sabotage, unkempt surroundings and resentment; to collapsed sales through problems with mortgage conditions; to the compliance of any tenant to fulfil any state of occupancy at completion agreed between the buyer and seller.
In other words, some buyers might want the tenants to stay while other buyers want them to leave. They can refuse to do either. It’s a risky business.
Added to all that, with the legal implication tenancy types have on eviction options and thereby sales options it’s easy to understand why more sales can fall through selling a property with a sitting tenant and why property with tenants in situ can be difficult to sell.
Continue reading Complications & Problems Selling Rental Property
Waiting to sell your house is undoubtedly one of the most traumatic experiences you can have. Thousands of Homeowners and Landlords throughout the UK have taken the option to sell their house through National Residential rather than wait for possibly months with their local estate agent.
“Success has been built on providing the very best service for people selling their properties. We not only ensure the vendor gets the very best deal possible but we also ensure that all of our business practices are completely transparent. When you concentrate on being a loyal, friendly and courteous service, it’s natural for more people to come to us for help.”
David Coughlin, Managing Director of National Residential
Continue reading David Coughlin, Managing Director of National Residential shares the secrets of his success.
The National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB) was founded in 2013 in response to to the growth in popularity of Quick House Sales companies.
Quick house sales companies differ from estate agencies because they enable members of the public to sell their properties fast by buying them directly or brokering a deal with a property developer – i.e. without promoting them to the public or having to wait for someone to make an offer. Quick house sales companies that buy property directly must have significant funds available to make an instant purchase.
Continue reading National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB)
The Office Of Fair Trading reported “Quick house sales can be beneficial to home sellers who want a quick, guaranteed and hassle-free sale. Our study has shown this to be a dynamic and innovative sector where some businesses have modified their business models to try to offer a better service to home sellers.“
The Office Of Fair Trading, Quick House Sales Market Study, 2013, http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20140402173245/http://oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/market-studies/oft1499.pdf
Continue reading Quick House Sales – Good Practice Regulations