Soaring energy bills are something that none of us can ignore at the moment; the cost of living crisis is expect to worsen this winter, with industry experts warning that the typical bill could exceed £3600 this winter, and continuing into 2024. Dr Craig Lowrey, principal consultant at Cornwall Insight, said: “While the rise in forecasts for October and January is a pressing concern, it is not only the level – but the duration – of the rises that makes these new forecasts so devastating.” With this in mind, it is no wonder that many homeowners are looking at ways to make their home greener and more energy efficient.

Lack of understanding

According to a report published by Rightmove at the end of July, one of the biggest reasons homeowners are not making green improvements is because they feel they don’t need too. This could be very much down to a lack of understanding of what improvements to make and also the lack of financial incentives, although making homes green is critical if the UK is to reach Net Zero by 2050. Rightmove found that 33% of homeowners think that making changes to their property would be too expensive, yet will be the cost of living crisis become the biggest motivator?

Buyers attraction

At Deakin-White we have noticed that buyers are more conscious about looking for properties that have green features. Rightmove have seen that there has been a rise in searches for features such as solar panels and heat pumps through their keyword sort tool. Compared to the start of 2020, Rightmove have noted that estate agents are now including 73% more green terms as key selling points. Buyers will no doubt be attracted to homes that are sustainable and whose owners have made changes to make them more energy efficient.

Benefits for sellers

With one of the main concerns for homeowners being the expense of adding such features, are there any financial benefits? Analysis by Rightmove found that sellers who had made improvements to upgrade their energy performance certificate (EPC) rating from an F to a C had on average achieved 16% more on the price of their property. Green features that have increased the EPC rating from E to C achieved an extra 8%, whereas those that moved from D to C resulted in an extra 4% average.

Your EPC is a snapshot in time and an assessment of your building. It also gives you a list of recommendations on the changes you can make to help improve your home’s efficiency and, in turn, your energy bills. Some of the changes you could potentially make include:

  • improving insulation in loft and walls
  • replacing your boiler
  • installing a wood-burning stove
  • adding solar panels.

The experts state

“Improving a property’s green credentials is critically important as the UK strives to hit Net Zero. The immediate challenge is the sheer number of properties that are currently below an EPC rating of C and the costs involved to fix this. There has been much debate about what could happen in the future to homes with poor energy efficiency, and the government has said they will make sure these homes can still get mortgages. But I don’t think it would be a surprise if in ten years’ time we see that people taking out mortgages or remortgaging a home with the lowest EPC ratings find that they miss out on the best mortgage rates.”  Rightmove’s Director of Property Science, Tim Bannister

The long term gain

Not all changes you making to your property will have an instant impact on your finances, features such as solar panels could take between 11 and 27 years to recoup the cost, according to the Energy Saving Trust (EST). Already, in the UK around 1 million properties have installed solar panels, with the number rising rapidly. Depending on how much energy you use, a typical home will save £300 a year, and at the moment any saving, we know, will be warmly appreciated.

Greener future

At Deakin-White we can certainly see a growing need for homes with more energy efficient features, not only with concerns of the cost of living but also climate change. When selling your property, make sure you highlight any green upgrades you have made, as they may help to attract conscious buyers. Give our team a call to discuss the benefits of making your home greener.

School holidays are officially here, which means it is summer – although our weather doesn’t often play along. When you’re selling your home, you need to bring the essence of the season into the presentation of your property. Summer is a time of fun and happiness, a time of parties in the garden with friends and family, light-filled rooms, and relaxing in the sun.  To maximise your home’s selling potential this summer, take tips from the experts and create inviting scenes and vignettes to make buyers swoon this summer.

Create a hot welcome

Vignettes are used by home stagers, where they create curated scenes to highlight your home’s best features to draw buyers in, and the best results are always achieved when you reflect the season in your design.  Don’t wait for buyers to step inside your property to create a hot welcome: you want them to be wowed at first sight by what your house has to offer.

Your home’s kerb appeal should create a story that depicts the lifestyle potential buyers crave. If it is a quiet spot, is there space for a small bench where you could place a throw and a book? Maybe you could put together the perfect morning coffee spot or spruce up your exterior with bright and colourful seasonal flowers, transforming it to the best looking home on the street.

A sunny start

Now you have grabbed a potential buyer’s attention, you need to keep them excited as they enter your home. Your entrance may be a lovely sized hallway, or lead straight into a room, or look onto your staircase. Regardless of the size and shape, you need to make sure that as your buyers enter your home they have a sunny start that makes a statement. It needs to be bright and airy and clutter free; think about the décor and don’t think twice about it having a freshen-up. Less is more when it comes to accessorising, a vase of freshly cut flowers and a soft-scented candle could be enough.

Zesty kitchen

When you think of summer, you picture bright colours; therefore, this is the ideal season, so add some of these colours subtly into your home – the kitchen is the ideal place. Oranges, limes and lemons can add some zest to your kitchen when place in a large fruit bowl or vase. A summer vignette for the kitchen could be some strawberries and scones placed on a cake stand, or is there space for a little scene in your dining area? Open a few windows to freshen up your home before showing your buyers around for their viewing.

Garden haven

One of the most important ‘rooms’ in your house to focus on is your garden and it’s the perfect setting to play with vignette staging.  If you have the space, you can add a couple of small scenes, such as a place to entertain: don’t clutter, and try to keep the colours you use to a minimum. If your garden is small, a table and chairs, a bottle of wine in an ice bucket and a couple of glasses will be perfect. We would always recommend that you add a place for someone to relax, whether that’s a sun lounger or a chair with some large cushions and a carefully placed magazine.

That warm feeling

The home staging experts know how important it is for a home to project a lifestyle as it helps to generate that warm feeling that all estate agents love to see in potential buyers. Use the summer to add some shine to your home and get your home sold. For more ideas to attract potential buyers this summer, contact our team at Deakin-White.

It has been a method of selling a home that has been around for a long time, yet it is not widely spoken of and has been kind of a secret, but there has been a rise on off-market sales in recent years. The widely known way of selling your home has been to instruct an estate agent who will then market your property, which will include producing photographs, floor plans and possibly videos, all of which will be available online to attract potential buyers. If you strip all of this away from the public eye, and there is no for sale board or any evidence that the house is on the market, this is what is known as off-market sales.

 

Why sell off-market

There are many reasons you may wish to sell in a more discreet way: one of the main reasons we find is that the seller wishes to avoid all the hassle usually involved in selling a home. Busy lives could mean they don’t want a large number of viewings, while others may be concerned for their health post pandemic. They want to ensure that any buyer that comes through their door is serious and in a position to proceed. Privacy is another concern for some sellers – they don’t wish for people to know they are wanting or, maybe, needing to move home, therefore the idea of selling in this way is more appealing.

Does it work?

Off-market sales have been popular in the high-end market for many years, but now this type of sale accounts for one in ten sales overall.  Firstly, you need an agent who is experienced in this field, who understands the market, and has strong relationships with buyers like Deakin-White. To achieve off-market sales, you need to have waiting list of strong buyers, but also know exactly what each of those buyers is looking for in a property and what kind of home will suit their needs. The more the agent understands their buyers the easier it is to ensure that the property will sell discreetly, because they are, in essence, able to bring the property and the buyer together without any publicity.

 

With demand for properties high, it is the buyers, too, who are keen to put in the work to build these relationships with the agents that do end up benefitting from being informed of off-market properties. Many buyers have missed out on properties due to not being one of the first to view, and by the time they do, an offer has been accepted and their viewing has been cancelled. This is why the off-market approach for buyers is one that has also been successful in securing a new home. According to recent research “Buyers have been willing to pay a premium to secure their home off-market, and prevent sellers from marketing the property openly.”

Let’s look at the stats

Research has found that:

 

  • In the first quarter of this year, over 37,000 homes were sold off-market, up from almost 21,000 over the same period in 2019.
  • As of May 2022, more than one in ten homes has sold off-market.
  • The average off-market home sold achieved 99.5% of its asking price in 2022, this surpassed the 98% record set in 2014 in a strong prime central London market.
  • Properties that were marketed online and to a wider audience achieved 99.1% of their initial asking price so far this year, also a record.

 

Finding the dream

Not all off-market sales are as a result of a seller approaching an estate agent to sell their home – sometimes the buyer is the focus. Occasionally, we will be approached by a buyer looking for a particular kind of home; we may know of such a property, but we also know that there isn’t one on the market. As agents, we have two choices: we can do nothing and let the buyers wait until a property does become available, or we can get to work and see if we can make something happen.

By approaching homeowners who have not expressed a desire to sell, demonstrating the strong desire for their or a similar property, we can often turn a waiting game into a sale. There may sometimes be a reluctance to sell due to the stress of finding a buyer. Having this ‘stress’ taken away from them and an eager buyer handed to them can be just what a seller needs to make the decision to move. And even more of a pull is that all this can happen behind closed doors.

 

It's not for everyone

Off-market sales do come with their own challenges, which is why this method is not suitable for everyone. It is always advisable to chat through all options with your estate agent before you make a decision, and do your research: does your agent have success in selling discreetly? If you are thinking about selling your home and would like to understand the market and the options open to you and your property, contact our team.

 

Summer is here and you may be enjoying the warmer weather, festivals and even travelling to exotic shores, so the last thing you may be considering is moving home. Summer has notably not been the favoured season for buying or selling property: sales would often pause until normality returned, but these days technology means everything can keep following along quite nicely. No matter when you decide to sell, it is also good to understand what is happening in the property market and how that affects the value of your home.  You can find out what the market is like for your home today by clicking this link: https://dwrealestate.research.homesearch.co.uk/property-results

Higher, Higher

When Covid hit and the country headed into lockdown, instead of the market stalling there was a frenzy as people reassessed their home and lifestyle, and priorities changed.  House prices have continued to rise with the property market seeing its fifth price record this year, according to Rightmove’s June House Price Index.  Demand for each available property still remains very strong at the moment, in fact it is more than double the pre-pandemic May average; this is despite the challenges we all face with the increasing cost of living.

More choice

One thing all buyers want when looking for a new home is to have a wealth of options. There is nothing more frustrating than to search for months and months and not find exactly what you are looking for. Buyers at the moment can rejoice that the number of properties coming onto the market was up by 7% in May compared to the same time last year. Even though there is more choice, buyers are still having to move quickly and with conviction to secure their ideal home.

The backlog means you need to act

One thing the lockdown did cause was a backlog when it came to the conveyancing part of the process. Instead of the 100 days it took on average to complete a purchase after agreeing a sale in 2019, it is currently taking 150 days. According to Rightmove there are ‘more than 500,000 homes that are currently sold subject to contract, a massive figure which is 44% higher than it was at this time in 2019, and 39% higher than the pre-pandemic five-year average.’

There are obviously variations on this, but it does stress the importance of finding the right conveyancer for your sale and your purchase, to ensure excessive delays will not impact on your sale. Delays in the sales process can make both sellers and buyers anxious, and even have doubts, and when doubts start to set in, that’s when we start to see sales falling through.

Summer selling

How the property market is performing may influence your decision on whether to move home or not, but if you would like an honest discussion about when is the right time for you and your family then please give our Deakin-White team a call or you can find out what the market is like for your home today by clicking this link: https://dwrealestate.research.homesearch.co.uk/property-results

 

On average, we stay in our homes for around 12 years yet Covid saw a surge in people wishing to make that change sooner, although this is slowing a little today. The decision to sell your home can be for a variety of reasons: it could be something that you have been considering for some time, a snap decision or one you have come to due to a change in circumstances. Often there can be financial and emotional factors behind such a move yet you may still be unsure whether to take the leap. How do you know if the time is right? Here are five common signs that it’s time to sell your home.

1. The current market

Before you make the decision on whether it is time to say goodbye to the home you love, it is  always good to understand the current market, especially if you’re thinking of a move due to finances.  According to the latest House Price Index from Rightmove, the average price of a property coming onto the market has risen by 0.3%, reaching another new record high for a fifth consecutive month.

2. Local influence

Locally buyers’ demand still remains high and the quality of those buyers is strong. Today’s buyers know they will need to make quick decisions should they find their ideal home and, therefore, they have to be in a robust position to proceed.

If you’re thinking of selling, you may have been following what is happening in the local market, which of your neighbours’ properties have sold, and, of course, making note of their asking prices.  This is always a good starting point, but if you truly wish to understand how your property will perform, you should always request an appraisal from an estate agent.

3. Feeling the pinch

There is no doubt that we are all feeling the pinch right now as the cost of living crisis continues to affect our household finances. Hopefully you are still able to make ends meet, but we have started to see several buyers who have made the decision to move to ease the burden. We know this will not be a decision you make lightly, but it is worth investigating if you want to reduce your mortgage and any other associated costs. Deciding to sell for this reason, we know, will be an extremely difficult one filled with a wealth of emotions, but we can reassure you at Deakin-White we will support you each and every step of the way.

4. The size isn’t right

As we move through life our family can grow, spread their wings, and come back together. Your needs for your home change as your home and work life continue to evolve. There may be times in your life when your home feels too big and others where you are crying out for more space. One of the main deciding factors for many homeowners looking to sell their home is when they know the size isn’t right. Therefore if you are looking to upsize, downsize or, what has now become increasingly popular, find a home that can bring generations together, if there is a lack or an overabundance of space, it may be time to find a better fit.

5. Too much work

Every home has its needs; you may have fallen in love with a property due to its extensive garden, been swept away by its period features, or been excited by the potential that is hidden within its walls. You may or may not have been aware of how much work you were taking on, but what once was a dream is slowing turning into a nightmare, as the reality of living in and maintaining or renovating such a home hits you.  Keeping hold of a property you have fallen out of love with can be a drain, emotionally as well as financially, as decisions can be rushed rather than thought through properly. Should your feelings start to change about your property, it may be wise to move before how you feel starts to show in the presentation of your home.

What does your gut say
There are never any guarantees when selling your home, but whatever the reason for your move you should always consider all aspects rather than making a hasty decision. If you would like an honest appraisal of your home and the opportunity to discuss the reality of selling in today’s {, give our team a call.

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