The Law Society has issued advice to anyone either buying a property or who has exchanged contracts on a sale or purchase. Solicitors have raised questions which include; requests for properties being decontaminated refusal to vacate on completion because seller in isolation failure or disruption to parts of the banking system (such as CHAPS) inability to obtain search results if people are not available to carry out the searches reluctance on the part of removal company employees to enter properties difficulties in obtaining witnesses issues in mortgage lending surveys physical valuations Common sense and ‘good will’ seem to be whatContinue Reading

Despite the advice not to gather together or of a health minister testing positive for Coronavirus this morning 600+ MP’s met to listen to the new Chancellor deliver his first Budget following the Conservatives Election victory last December. The headline will be “They’ve found the Magic Money Tree!”. How they will keep to their spending pledges is anyones guess. Borrowing will rocket from £47bn to £67bn according to The Red Book so we seem to have ripped up the fiscal rules and found a pot of money – and lots of it! I don’t imagine that you will be interestedContinue Reading

Property often makes the news be it the latest house price index, the impact of a Budget or a global health emergency, or the seemingly endless debate of how many homes need to be built, for whom and where. Newspapers and broadcasters need commentators, experts and practitioners who can explain what is going on, what the outcome might be and what it might mean for the man or woman on the Clapham Omnibus! I’m often asked by newspapers to provide a comment and the BBC is always looking for a balanced perspective to explain to their audience what is goingContinue Reading

Two sales agreed on one day – a first for me and three agreed in total this week! One was for clients who had been searching unsuccessfully for a year and who needed some confidence and focus. Another was for a property that had started off asking £1.65m last September and that we have secured for 20% less and the last was a competition with 21 other buyers. We won the Best & Final offers by less than £10k! In each case the selling agent remarked that the presentation of the offer, the fact that the buyer was properly preparedContinue Reading

Last year, according to Zoopla, the average UK home buyer paid £8.5k or 4% less than the asking price. Over the past decade my clients paid £120k or is 6% less. As you can see some years it seems to be more than others. I need to try and work out why this might be. Whilst some of my clients opt for my 3% fee more and more now go for the fixed £12k up front and most seem delighted judging by the feedback I get. Every deal is different. Sometimes we pay over the asking price, sometimes, less. TheContinue Reading

Reports in the Telegraph this weekend suggested that the Chancellor was flirting with the idea of a Mansion Tax. You may recall that such a tax was first floated by Vince Cable and subsequently by Ed Miliband to which the response from the Conservatives was unequivocal. Already wealthy home owners and estate agents are circling their SUV’s to defend the value of the more expensive homes hoping the this is just the latest example of a policy being flight tested before it is actually announced. Whilst there is an argument for updating Council Tax (no revaluation has taken place sinceContinue Reading

When you buy a property you will have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax, a ‘purchase tax’ payable within 30 days of completing on the purchase. It varies depending on the price you pay and whether you are a first time buyer, an overseas resident, a company, if you are buying a second home and what kind of property you are buying. Different formula apply to single dwellings or ‘multiple dwellings’ like houses with a flat or granny annex. The tax is self-assessed i.e. it is declared by the taxpayer and open to challenge by the Revenue. It is aContinue Reading

It’s the end of the first full week back at work and I’ve bid of four properties. Two went to best and final offers and my clients came second on both. Frustrating but both were sanguine. We lost one by £5,000 on a £1.35m offer. The second was agreed to someone who was prepared to pay six figures more than we were. Two offers were accepted on two different properties. Neither were over-generous but they were credible and we were able to prove that we could deliver both. The sellers had been trying to find a buyer for months havingContinue Reading

So, the country said “no” to a return to the ‘old’ Labour era of forty years ago and the Corbyn experiment has, let’s hope, been canned! The UK has presumably held it’s collective nose and voted for Boris Johnson and we now have five years of a Conservative Government. Stability for the housing market and some optimism as shares in estate agents and builders bounced in the hours following the result. London based estate agents have been quick to predict a return to the good old days with some of the more PR savvy immediately announcing some big deals. I’mContinue Reading

People are often surprised when I tell them that only half of the properties that go onto the market actually sells but according to the National Association of Estate Agents, the estate agents union of those that do 87% sells for less than the asking price. In a new report this week Hometrack (owned by website Zoopla) have analysed the gap between the asking price of new listings coming on to the market over time, and the price of listings that are being marked as sold. [These are not the same properties remember]. In London, this has recorded a significantContinue Reading

Despite a rule that we would only have to vote every five years Boris Johnson has decided to call a General Election on December 12th – to unblock Parliament and to ‘Get Brexit Done’. The fact that this refers just to our notice to leave and that we will then have at least a year trying to renegotiate all the agreements we have just ripped up seems to be considered a walk in the park but I fear that the ‘implementation phase’ will be even harder than drafting the divorce agreement has been! So, whilst the housing market hates uncertaintyContinue Reading