Tag Archives: #goldersgreen

New Year, New Opportunities: Preparing your home for a New Year sale

Preparing your home for sale is vitally important – it can help to sell your property more quickly, and more importantly, can add extra value to the sale price.

You don’t have to invest a ton of money to make your home more appealing to potential buyers – a few tips and tricks might just do the trick.

#Step 1 – Clear the clutter

It’s very important that people are able to visualise what the property would look like if they were going to live there.

So get rid of all excess items that have accumulated around the place – people like space. If you have large pieces of furniture, consider moving them out or re-arranging to make rooms look larger.

Put DVD’s/CD’s away, make sure the washing up is done, clear work surfaces, put laundry away, clear away toys and move pet beds away from living rooms.

#Step 2 – Clean like you’ve never cleaned before

Cleanliness is so important. It makes buyers feel that the home is well cared for. By cleanliness we mean, spotless and shiny, from the top of doorways to the corners of the floors and all the areas in between. There should not be a surface of the home that hasn’t been touched when the house goes on the market.

Pay particular attention to the kitchen and bathroom. The kitchen is the most important room in the house and can really make the difference when a buyer has doubts or is choosing between your property and another. Make sure that work surfaces are clean and tidy – clear surfaces to make the kitchen look bigger. Clean the appliances and remove any grease.

If your kitchen really has seen better days, you might consider changing the doors on the kitchen cabinets, which can be done relatively inexpensively and will make a significant difference to how the kitchen looks. Get rid of any limescale stains and clean or replace mouldy grouting in both the kitchen and bathroom.

Make sure the toilet is clean and fresh, the seat is down and the mirrors are gleaming. Put out new towels as they always look nice.

#Step 3 – Fix everything no matter how insignificant it may appear

Do any minor repairs, fill and repaint cracks and replace items that are broken or damaged. Make sure hinges are adjusted, taps don’t drip and any other minor issues are fixed. Even the smallest repairs can make a big difference when it comes to selling your home. You want your house to be in the best shape possible.

# Step 4 – A new lick of paint makes all the difference

A bright and airy home will give a feeling of space. Keep everything as neutral as possible by sticking to a cream or off white to maximise light reflection.

# Step 5 – The sweet smell of success

Bad smells are a real turn off! Make sure your property is well aired and smells good. Don’t just cover the smell – remove the source if you can.

Make sure waste bins are emptied, sheets & towels are fresh and pet bedding is clean. Open windows and clean surfaces with a fresh scented cleaner to remove cooking and smoking odours. Leaving a bowl of vinegar for a few days will help absorb the smell of smoke which will disappear once you have opened the windows for a while.

Try not to use air-freshener – it smells synthetic and many people are allergic to it.

On the other hand, good smells can make a property really welcoming – a pot of coffee brewing can really do the trick and fresh cut flowers look good and smell nice.

# Step 6 – You only get one chance to make a first impression

It is quite common for people to drive by your house before they decide to view, so when your visitor sees the property they will immediately make a judgement about it.

Make sure that the front of the property is clean and tidy. Move bins out of site. If you have one, tidy the garden, cut back the shrubs, clean and tidy patios, pathways and driveway.

Give the front door a fresh coat of paint, or at least a good clean and make sure that the door furniture is shiny and the bell works! Windows and net curtains should be cleaned.

And finally…choose the right agent

With the help of Ellis and Co Golders Green your home can be beautifully presented and marketed to appeal to the widest selection of buyers, giving you the best opportunity to sell for the highest price.

We are property specialists and our expertise and knowledge is often underestimated and underused. We’d be happy to give you a constructive critique and point out any weak points about your property. It’s all part of the service we offer our sellers to help them achieve a quick and successful sale.

5 Reasons you should sell in early 2015

The festive season is upon us and the last thing you may be thinking of is selling your home. There have been many changes within the property industry this year including the mortgage approval system and more recently the stamp duty reform. With a General Election fast approaching, why should you consider selling in early 2015?

  1. Stamp Duty

As you may have read, George Osborne’s reform on the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) at the beginning of the month saw changes to the system overnight. This meant that the previous “slab” system has been replaced by the preferred sliding system.

Residential properties

Purchase price of property Rate of SDLT (percentage of portion of purchase price)
£0 – £125,000 0%
£125,001 – £250,000 2%
£250,001 – £925,000 5%
£925,001 – £1.5 million 10%
Over £1.5 million 12%

How does this work in practice?

If you were purchasing an apartment for £300,000:

  • You would pay no tax on the first £125,000
  • 2% on the next £125,000 (£2500)
  • 5% on the last £50,000 (£2500)

That’s a total of £5000 compared with £9000 under the previous system.

Many are stating that this change to the upper brackets is a political move, and if the there was to be a change in government that the revered Mansion Tax may now not be imposed. But as history dictates, you cannot predict what each political party may change or introduce once they are in power. Homes up to £937,500 will now certainly benefit from the change in Stamp Duty payable.

  1. Interest Rates

We have been blessed for some years now with low interest rates. It has been hinted for some time that these are expected to rise during 2015. Although we believe that for many homeowners it will not have a huge impact. We do predict however, that many will want to move in the early part of 2015 to tap into a lower interest rate mortgage before the rise.

  1. Mortgages

Although the nicknamed mortgage “stress test” has slowed the market in some sectors, the number of mortgage products available is on the rise. With preferred rates and deals being pushed by major lenders it has certainly been an attractive time for buyers over the later few weeks of this year. We envisage the growth of potential buyers to continue to rise in the early part of 2015. What a better time to sell your home than when buyers are a plenty and mortgages more attractive.

  1. House Prices

 The Centre for Economics and Business Research predict that house prices will dip by 0.8% by the end of 2015. They have confirmed that this is only due to a ‘levelling off’ from the rises during 2014. We predict that the early part of the year will remain strong with prices starting to slow after April and continuing for the rest of the year.

  1. Time of the Year

Although Easter to summer tends to see the most movement in the property market we believe that there will be a strong start to 2015. Homeowners have already started to approach us with the intent of listing their property at the beginning of next year. Their reasons? They too anticipate a rush of buyers seeking to move before the election. Moving before Easter will allow you to enjoy the summer months in the comfort of your new home.

Whatever 2015 may bring we look forward to helping you move.

To find out why you should use Ellis and Co Golders Green, read next: 5 Reasons why you shouldn’t list your home with Ellis and Co Golders Green

 

 

What is happening in the London property market?

The clocks have gone back, Halloween has been and gone and the firework displays have taken place. The world famous Christmas lights are twinkling in Oxford Street and the mince pies are in the supermarkets which can only mean one thing; the festive season is fast approaching.

What the media had to report about the London property market during November

The recent strong performance of the housing market is beginning to steady and level out. The Nationwide House Price Index saw considerably weaker growth in Q3 compared to the previous quarter. Greater London continues to perform well on all measures as average prices reach £548,040, 10.7% higher than last year.

Recent interventions aimed at curbing the housing market appear to have had little impact so far as initial statistics on lending rates, transaction levels and prices do not suggest a significant slowdown.

The shortage of housing is now emerging as one of the single biggest issues facing London and how we tackle that will define the future success of the Capital.   Complex questions of where, what, how and who all have to be addressed and resolved.

When will interest rates increase?

Due to recent poor economic data and the unexpected fall in inflation; interest rates are now not expected to rise until mid-2015 at the earliest, after the General Election.

Once they begin to rise this may have a dampening effect, most specifically in the mainstream markets where the majority of purchases are dependent upon mortgages.

More supply and political uncertainty create better buying conditions

Uncertainty of any kind tends to deter buyers and make sellers, who don’t need to sell, hold off until activity picks up in the weeks and months following the UK vote.

This has traditionally been the way and it looks like history will likely repeat itself this time around. It also means that anyone holding off until May will almost certainly end up paying more for the property they end up purchasing. There will be far more buyers post-election and sellers will have the run of things in a way that they don’t have right now.

If the Conservatives stay in power there will be no threat of a Mansion tax, therefore we believe the market will very quickly return to normal.

Buyers can use the slower market and a general feeling of caution to their advantage by driving a harder bargain.

New pension rules

The pension world is about to change radically in April 2015; and a huge wall of money is predicted to hit the property market, whether owner-occupied or rental property. Already one in three people is opting for a property nest egg as opposed to a conventional pension, and the new changes mean that the property pension pot is likely to soar in popularity. Many landlords will then be able to use their pension to repay their mortgages, refurbish their properties, and buy more property. Or, this may well mean the entire property market is under-pinned by a new injection of investment that means property makes even more sense as an investment.

Interesting times are ahead for property investors who are able to spot a game-changing opportunity!

The London property market

The future remains very positive for the London property market with strong key growth drivers and the confidence of both domestic homebuyers and overseas investors.

One thing that is clear in a market that is in a period of adjustment, is the need for home sellers to use the services of a good quality, full service estate agency who combines both online and offline marketing with the knowledge and experience of an established professional team, who understand the local market and what is happening in the market place.

Here at Ellis & Co we pride ourselves on the personal and knowledgeable service we deliver to our clients. If you are considering buying a home or investment in or around Golders Green, please do get in touch.

 

How to maximise your selling potential during winter

Many people believe it’s harder to sell your home in winter than summer. But there are a number of real advantages to selling during the colder months.

For one thing, removed from the sometimes frenzied action of the spring market, sellers can take a little more time to consider offers, and with fewer homes on the market, there’s less competition. And don’t worry; the things that lead people to make new home purchases i.e. a new job, a growing family, up or downsizing ; happen all year round, and there are still plenty of buyers out there. In fact, winter is a great time for accentuating your home’s cosy, family-friendly charm.

Here are a few tips you can follow to make your home more appealing to buyers:

Clear all exterior pathways of snow and ice

Nothing will turn away potential buyers faster than a treacherously icy path. Open-house guests should be able to easily walk all the way around the house and access outbuildings. Provide as much off-street (snow-cleared) parking as you can to make things easy for visitors.

Preparation is key

Be sure to prepare for those wet and snowy shoes and boots. No one likes having snow and dirt tracked around their home by shoes or wet socks, just as no one enjoys having wet socks and dodging puddles in the doorway.  Be sure to implement a strict “shoes off” policy.

Place an absorbent mat protecting the flooring. Be sure to have a shoe rack or appropriate storage area for shoes, not only to avoid the puddles but to show off the organization of your home.  Apply this also to winter jackets, hats and scarves. Show functioning and organization by thoughtfully arranged set ups, don’t just have outerwear exploding out of closets or haphazardly hanging on hooks or coat rack.

Fix anything that is noticeable

Winter time is when a lot of the problems in a house can become more noticeable. Cracks or gaps in the walls next to doors and windows can allow the wind to whistle in, for example. Fixing any visible problems is an important part of staging at any time of year but it is something we need to take extra care over in the coldest months of the year.

Consider your home’s temperature

Homeowners often turn the heat down in the winter months to save money, but home sellers should turn up the heat to make it more comfortable for buyers. It doesn’t have to be tropical in the home, as buyers will probably have their coats on during the viewing, but you want your home to be warm and inviting. If it’s too cold buyers won’t want to stay and look at all your home has to offer.

Turn on all the lights.

It gets dark very early in the winter, so lights are extremely important. Whenever possible, show your home during daylight hours. Open all the windows so the buyer can see where the natural light comes in. Turn on all the lights, so the buyer feels welcome to look anywhere and doesn’t feel like you’re hiding anything. If you have to show the house at night, make sure all of the outside lights are on and open the windows so people can see the inside lit up as well. Consider bringing in some extra lamps so your house is bright and welcoming.

Give each room a warm touch

A folded throw draped over the back of an armchair, a plump quilt at the foot of the bed or an area rug in warm hues are a few small additions that will make a big difference to the way a room feels to prospective buyers.

Keep decorations simple

Preparing your home for sale includes depersonalizing the home, so keep the Xmas decorations simple. Don’t overdo lighting or ornaments. You want the home to be festive, but not distracting. And after the festive season is over, make sure you’ve taken the decorations down.

Pet-friendly and groomed

If you do own pets, be sure to have the appearance of clean pets…especially dogs. We love our furry friends, but it’s best not to leave those dirty, wet towels and doggy outfits laying around. The last thing you want is the smell of wet dog greeting your buyers at the front door; this can be a real turn off!

Selling a home requires knowledge of the local market, experience in negotiations and the know-how that only an estate agent can bring. As always, correct pricing coupled with great marketing are keys to a successful transaction and our experienced team will be pleased to advise you on maximising the result and helping you to achieve a great sale price at this time of the year.

How to choose the right estate agent for you

The biggest posters or the loudest ads don’t always translate to the best person for the job. Agents are a critical part of the selling process, and can offer unique insights and experience. They also help shoulder some of the stress; helping you to focus on what matters most.

Rapport is all important when it comes to your estate agent, so here are some tips about finding the best agent match for you.

When you select an estate agent, you’re performing a job interview for a prized position. You’re choosing a stranger for an incredibly important task; one that requires trust, expertise, and adaptability. Your expectations should be demanding when it comes to selling one of your biggest assets!

Agents should have a high degree of professionalism and dedication to their work. They should have a good reputation, and still be committed to impressing you and working hard.

Does the agent you’re investigating appear interested in your property – or is it just another one in a line of many that they’re hoping to sign as a listing?

When researching, get a sense of how you fit into the agent’s ‘map of the world’ and whether you’re likely to fade into the background once you sign on the dotted line.

What should you look for in an agent?

  • Ability to meet your actual requirements (not impose their own)
  • Clear interest in meeting your needs
  • Professional accreditation
  • Positive word or mouth and testimonials from previous clients
  • Knowledge of the area in which you’re selling your property
  • Knowledge of the price bracket you’re likely to sell in
  • Commitment to frank, realistic dialogue about the market and your situation

How do you research?

The portals let you know which agents are working in your area, and you can start your search there.

Combine this with an extensive online search to explore their website, blog and any reviews or recommendations from clients.

Make a shortlist and meet with them personally and put together a list of the questions you’d like them to answer.

Here are some suggestions:

  • What is your experience as an estate agent?
  • How long have you worked in this particular location?
  • How many property sales were you involved with last year?
  • Do you normally represent buyers or sellers?
  • How many properties do you currently have listed?
  • How many prospective buyers approach you?
  • What do you perceive your personal strengths are as an estate agent?
  • What do you think our property is worth in the current market and how did you arrive at that figure?
  • Which marketing strategy do you suggest is the best one to pursue for our property?

Your agent should provide

  •  Access to recent market sales and appraisal data in your area
  • Contact with a large number of buyers
  • Screening of those buyers to identify qualified leads
  • Advice on how best to market and present your home
  • Negotiation services between you and buyers
  • Ongoing access to a range of advertising and marketing options
  • Honest and continual discussion about how well your property is performing, and whether changes are required
  • Effective administration of all legal and financial requirements

Why do our clients choose Ellis and Co Golders Green rather than another Estate Agent?

Our people: Rapport, good communication skills, understanding and a deep-rooted care and interest to succeed for our customers, are the factors that really make us stand out from the crowd.

We look forward to helping you with your move.

 

Buyers – Now is the Time to Buy in Golders Green

Despite data suggesting the demand for homes may be easing; 40% of Brits would choose bricks-and-mortar over other investments

For a long time now house prices in the capital have, in the eyes of many, been going crazy, outstripping house price growth in the rest of the UK by some way. Whether you pinpoint the cause of the rise on foreign investment, Help to Buy or genuine demand, there haven’t been many signs of a slowdown for some time now. No signs until recently anyway.

In the last week of August 2014 Rightmove released figures showing that asking prices for new properties being introduced to the market were down by 5.9% in the capital and this is not an isolated event; it was actually the third month running that asking prices had fallen and it was also the biggest drop recorded in the property portal’s history and is certainly worthy of note, so why the drop?

Expectations of an interest rate rise

As much as the Bank of England have been trying to delay it, it is inevitable that a small interest rate rise will be on the way sometime early next year and most industry experts are predicting this. The possibility of a rise might not just be affecting the decision making of buyers who may be wary of overcommitting themselves or of finding that they have overpaid for a property if values were to fall after the rise. It may also be affecting the expectations of sellers as they perhaps start to worry that their chances of selling their property quickly after a rate rise may begin to diminish and the value of their property may also start to erode too.

New rules on mortgage lending

While the new rules introduced earlier this year to tighten up criteria on mortgage lending may not have had the drastic dampening effect on the market that some may have thought it would, it has certainly had some effect as borrowers are grilled more intently about their ability to repay and find that they now fall outside of the affordability criteria.

Supply is starting to catch up with demand

Supply constraints, which have contributed to rising sales prices in recent years, have eased throughout 2014. Some owners and investors have chosen to capitalise on property gains and sell, while increased choice has motivated other vendors to move. This resulted in a 26% rise in the number of properties marketed in Q2 2014 compared with Q2 2013.

Despite the above and all the alarming media hype; let’s take a deep breath and remember…

#Rule 1: Never underestimate the London property market

If there is one thing that we’ve learned over recent years regarding the London housing market, it is never to underestimate it. This is not a ‘cooling’, more of a natural correction after a period of insatiable demand.

In reality, this is good news for anyone who was worried about being able to get on (or move up) the housing ladder. House price growth is slowing, a trend which will hopefully continue and will ultimately lead to a more stable market, and on a really positive note, it means first-time buyers won’t need to constantly worry about increasing their deposit requirements.

The drop in house purchase approvals shouldn’t give too much cause for concern. Yes, the stricter regulations following the MMR could be having an impact, but it shouldn’t stop those who can comfortably afford a home from being able to buy one. The process may take slightly longer, but it’s all for a good cause; the whole point of these new rules is to ensure that the market doesn’t return to pre-crisis approaches, which saw affordability become a serious issue and many people lose their homes.

It’s anticipated that, while the overall pace of lending activity could remain more subdued than previously, approval volumes are likely to recover once the market fully adjusts and processing times quicken. The likelihood is that it will end up being a more sedate market than we’ve previously experienced, but that equates to stability, and is therefore good for all concerned.

London has always been attractive to investors for many reasons and is still considered one of the leading international cities and many investors view London property as a ‘must-have’ trophy asset.

With supply on the increase and heightened concerns about interest rate rises and the potential impact of any annual tax on higher value property, buyers are now in a much stronger position to negotiate. For opportunistic buyers, this is a potentially attractive market, particularly as vendors look to complete before the end of the year.

Current activity levels and our own day-to-day conversations suggest strongly to us that neither international nor domestic interest in property is waning significantly. This is certainly the case in Golders Green where we continue to seen buyers from any nationalities.

There may be growing pressure on income levels and on seeing interest rates rise in the coming months but overall the prognosis for the property market remains positive and now will, we are sure, be looked back on in the future as having been a good time to move.

Register with Ellis and Co Golders Green today and we will find you your perfect home tomorrow.

 

Introducing our Community Champion for 2014 Ronnie Vaughan

Golders Green is not only where our office is based but it is our home. What make this area so special is the people that we meet every day, the real sense of community and its village feel. All of us know some real characters who always have a story to tell and are forever eager to help others before themselves.

We wanted to say thank you to these people and so we launched ‘Community Champion’. We are proud to announce that our Community Champion for 2014 is Ronnie Vaughan. Ronnie was born in Holloway in 1930 and has lived in the area ever since. We sat down with Ronnie recently to find out more about him and why he couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

 We asked Ronnie why he loved living in Golders Green?

The diversity of people, its very cosmopolitan, also peaceful and safe. I love the parks and Heath. It is heaven on earth for me.

How many times have you moved home?

6 times in and around the local area.

What is your earliest memory?

Walking behind the 1966 World Cup winning Football Team as they walked into the old Ionic cinema in Golders Green!

Where is your favourite spot?

Imperial Cafe on Golders Green Road which is great for fresh coffee.

We can certainly second this!

Ellis and Co Golders Green are offering each Community Champion £200 to donate to their nominated charity.

We know your charity has a special place in your heart Ronnie, which charity would you like to nominate?

I would like you to donate to Barnet Independent Living Service.

Barnet Independent Living Service offers specialist support to adults with a range of physical and sensory impairments.

Congratulations Ronnie on being our Community Champion for 2014