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Do your homework before school starts!

Monday, August 16, 2021

Do your homework before school starts!

If you are thinking of selling or letting your property when the schools go back, why not get a head start on the rest of the market and do your homework now? Demand for property in the south east outweighs supply at the moment, and there’s a long list of motivated buyers and tenants eager to move in September. This quick and simple summary shows you how to make the process less stressful and how to get ahead of the game.

Firstly, whether you are selling or letting, you’ll need an accurate market appraisal of your property to give you an idea of where you stand financially. Either way, your appraisal should consider current local market conditions, key local factors such as parking, amenities and transport links and any future changes to these. Seek advice about the competition and which sector of the market you’ll be targeting, whether it’s young professionals, growing families or downsizers. In short, you need a genuine local expert with experience of the current local property market.

Invite an agent you can really trust to provide you with your appraisal and advise you on marketing your property. An NAEA or ARLA Propertymark agent will prepare property particulars with professional photographs and floorplans. Consider what fixtures and fittings you want to include in the sale and, if you are letting, weigh up the pros and cons of furnished vs unfurnished. Assemble any useful information you can give your agent about your property such as gas and electrical certificate checks, building regulations certificates, council tax, utility, buildings and contents insurance bills and service charges and ground rent bills for flats.

Deciding to sell or let your home may be the biggest one you will ever make. By using the services of professionals with expert knowledge and legal protection, you minimise the risks involved, potentially saving a great deal of time and money. Consult our Selling and Letting guides for step by step information on what’s involved.

Be one step ahead with legal matters. If you are selling, you’ll need to instruct a solicitor to act on your behalf throughout the conveyancing procedure and guide you through the process of exchanging contracts and completion when the time comes. Once you have appointed a conveyancer, you will need to provide some basic information such as your mortgage roll number, and proof that you own the property. You may have to answer detailed questions about your property, its boundaries and any outstanding issues.

It is now a legal requirement for vendors to provide a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for their property before it can be sold. The EPC is made available free of charge to any prospective buyer. Your appointed agent should be able to arrange this for you as an integral part of marketing your property.

Increasingly, residential landlords are faced with a mountain of legal, health and safety obligations which can be overwhelming but if you appoint a licensed ARLA letting agent you will have trained staff to keep you informed of your legal obligations. It’s vital to comply with health and safety legislation such as the need to install working smoke and CO alarms in all rental properties although it will be the tenant’s responsibility to test the alarm regularly. The detailed Lettings guide on our website provides valuable information on everything from EPCs to landlords' responsibilities and how we can make the whole letting process easier.

Assess your finances! Once you know the current market value of your home you can assess your monthly finances and work out what you can afford. If you require finance to be put in place, seek independent mortgage advice for suitable financial products that are currently available and also an idea of what the implications would be of any interest rate rises. It's also a good idea to calculate all of the costs involved in buying, selling and moving house and to factor these into your financial equations. These range from mortgage arrangement fees to stamp duty and furniture removal costs. If you’re letting for the first time there will be tax implications to consider so seek professional advice.

There’s a lot to consider and arrange so if you’re looking to market your property in September it’s a good idea to do your homework now. We can put you in contact with trusted financial advisers and solicitors and offer detailed advice whenever you need it.

For a FREE, no obligation market appraisal and advice on where to start just call your local Frost office.


Please note you should seek appropriate independent mortgage advice from a qualified professional before making an offer to purchase a property. Interest rates may change over time and even if you select a fixed rate, the rate may be fixed only for a limited period. Many lenders charge fees in connection with arranging a mortgage which may be added to the loan increasing the amount you owe and must pay interest upon. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up mortgage repayments.

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