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The process of buying a home can be a long and stressful one so when you do finally decide to put an offer on a house, you need to be certain that it’s the right house. How can you be sure you’ve found the right property? By taking your time when viewing a home and asking the right questions. You’d be surprised at some of the questions people forget to ask and end up regretting it months down the line when they discover something about the home that they don’t like.
To make sure that you find the property most suitable for you, we’ve compiled a list of 10 questions that are definitely worth asking when viewing a property.
How long has the property been on the market?
A great place to start as it can give you a good insight into the property immediately. If a property has been up for sale for nearly a year, you might want to think about why no one has picked it up so far. Houses that have been on the market for a long time aren't always a sign of something sinister, but knowing how long it has been on the market does give you a little more perspective and is a good starting point to any viewing.
How much interest has there been?
This is a good follow up question to the previous. Especially if you think you’ve found your dream home. If there have been a lot of viewings or even a couple of offers then you know straight away that you need to act quickly.
How long have the current owners been here?
When viewing a property, most people are thinking long-term and looking for a home they can see themselves in for years to come, so it’s worth finding out if the previous owners did just that. If there have been multiple owners in and out of the property over the last 5 years, then you need to think, why?
Have there been any recent repairs or renovations?
What you have to keep in mind when viewing a property is that you’re most likely viewing it in its cleanest and brightest state. The current owners are trying to sell this home and to do that they’ll do their best to wow you at every opportunity. Try not to simply glance at the rooms and move on, ask questions about the state of the home, have there been any repairs recently? Will the home need any repairs in the future? If you’re making an investment, you want to know.
What’s included in the sale?
While you wouldn’t expect the seller to leave behind their 60 inch HD TV, some of the items in the home may be left behind. This mainly applies to the kitchen area and items such as cookers, washers, dryers. It’s best to ask what’s included with the home so you know what extra purchases you’ll need to make if you end up buying the home.
Can we test the plumbing and electrics?
Sellers may not make you aware of any electrical or plumbing issues so it would be best to check everything is in working order. Check the water pressure and try turning all of the lights on and off. This doesn’t mean that you should consider any faults with electrics and plumbing as deal breakers, but you need to know exactly what needs fixing.
What’s the neighbourhood like?
You can take a walk around the area yourself and get a feel for things, but a good agent should know the area pretty well and be able to give you more information. Ask about the local schools, shops and if there has been any major changes in the area recently. After all, you’re not just investing in the home, you’re also investing in the neighbourhood itself.
What transportation links do we have easy access to?
If you or members of your family need to use public transport, find out about the transport links. How far away are the train stations and bus stops? How frequently do they run in this area? If you’re going to be using public transport daily, you need to know if the commute from your new home is suitable.
How is traffic during rush hour?
For those of you that get around the city in a car, finding out how easy it would be to get from point A to point B during peak times could be quite important. If you need to drop the kids off at school and try and get to work before 9:00 am, it’s best to find out how much of a challenge that will be on a daily basis.
Can we book another viewing?
If you make it through the viewing and still feel positive, ask if you can come back again at a different time of day to see if you feel the same. Try visiting when it’s less bright when the property looks less like a show home or when the area is less quiet during rush hour and find out whether noise could be an issue.
We are delighted to have presented the latest Royston & Lund Sporting Achievement Award at an emotional leavers assembly at Pierrepont Gamston Primary School. The tears were flowing as the children spoke of how they had enjoyed their time at PGPS and the friends they had made.
Such was the competition this year the award was given to 2 children, Charlie Gill and Anna Leatherbarrow; both showed fantastic sporting ability as well as being great team players. It is a real pleasure to be a part of the leavers assembly and amazing to see the development of the children as they move through the school.
Pictured is Director Gary Lund with the 2 winners.
Are you selling your home? Got a viewing coming up? Make sure you get rid of any clutter as it could be the downfall of a potential sale.
Anglian Home Improvements recently conducted some research using eye tracking technology to discover where buyers' eyes are drawn to when viewing a property. During this study, a variety of homebuyers wore eye-tracking glasses while viewing a home so that it could be determined what aspects of a home captured their focus. According to the findings of the study, the largest concern for buyers and taking up 27% of the buyer's focus, was furnishings and décor, closely followed by clutter and mess, which attracted 24% of their focus during the viewing. Although the clutter and mess were not always mentioned when passing on feedback to the agent, it still caught their eye.
Perhaps the most surprising statistic from this study was that only 4% of the viewing time was spent on the property's layout. The results also showed that personal items of the seller such as family photos often distracted the viewer from other aspects of the room. It was also revealed that there were some differences depending on gender as men were more focused on the exterior of the home (32%) while women were more concerned about the interior (16%). It also seems that clutter and mess is less of an issue for men as they only spent 20% of their time focusing on it, while women averaged 28%.
Head of PR at Anglian Home Improvements, Melanie McDonald, said: “It was very interesting to learn that so little of the participant's behaviour was focused on the building and structural features, apart from the things that needed to be fixed.” McDonald went on to say that “Although it is easy to forget to mend that broken light switch or socket, the fact that all the participants lingered on the badly installed light switch in the study just goes to show these little things are noticed during house viewings and will make the idea of them living in the property seem much further away. “With nearly a fifth of the house hunters’ time spent looking out the window, one of the top tips from this experiment is to make sure the view from your windows is up to scratch.”
Five staff members are celebrating having achieved recognised industry qualifications. Gaynor Haywood, Emma Waring and Lauren Andrews of the lettings department have all successfully passed Propertymark Qualifications NFoPP QCF Level 3 Technical Award in Residential Letting and Property Management.
Samantha Simkins and Liz Owen have both achieved the Propertymark Qualifications NFoPP QCF Level 3 Technical Award in The Sale of Residential Property.
The Technical Award, which is a nationally recognised industry qualification, meets both NAEA and ARLA Propertymark membership requirements for those looking to join the Association as a member agent. Propertymark are the UK's foremost professional body for Sales and Letting agents. It aims to promote better regulation and higher practice standards within the industry.
Royston and Lund are among a growing number of agents across the UK working with Propertymark and Propertymark Qualifications to become qualified and raise standards within the industry.
Gary Lund, Director, said “I am thrilled for all 5 members of the team, who through hard work and determination have all passed their exams with flying colours. Not only is this a great personal achievement for all the staff members involved, but also a mark of professionalism and trust; it provides reassurance to consumers that Royston and Lund adheres to the highest professional standards, and that employees are qualified and knowledgeable estate agents. We are proud that our number of qualified staff members is increasing, with the lettings department having 6 members and sales now having 7. ”
We are proud to announce that Lauren Andrews, Lettings Negotiator has passed her NFOPP Technical Award with flying colours and is now a qualified member of A.R.L.A (Association of Residential Letting Agents).
Stephanie Caine, Lettings Director says “I am delighted for Lauren, all her hard work has paid which has shown in her exam results. This is also great recognition for the team and confirms our extensive knowledge of the industry as Lauren is now our sixth member of staff to become ARLA qualified.”
During the month of April 2017 the UK saw a total of 99,910 residential transactions resulting in a huge 20.3% rise in transactions when compared to the same time last year. In addition to residential transactions almost breaking the 100,000 mark, the month of April also saw 9,980 non-residential sales according to recent data released by HMRC. It was also revealed in the latest information published by HMRC, that overall transactions are down 3.2% in comparison to the previous month, however, the current number of transactions are still seen as strong progress for the UK property market.
This large leap in transactions could be attributed to the introduction of extra stamp duty land tax in April 2016, which certainly had a dampening effect on the market at the time. While some may have anticipated a further slowdown in transactions in April of this year due to the tax changes for landlords, recent statistics show the resilience of the market.
We were honoured to have recently presented the latest R & L Sporting Achievement Award to Louie Gordon at Abbey Road Primary. As usual it was fantastic to be involved with the school and Louie was clearly a popular winner with his peers; when his name was announced as the winner, the roof nearly came off! Louie is a talented sportsman and excels in many sports but perhaps his greatest talent is in offering his team mates support and encouragement. A cheque for £200 was presented to Louie for him to spend on sporting equipment for the school and he was also given a trophy. We have been making this award for 7 years now and it is great that we can help the locals schools in this way. Pictured is Director Gary Lund with Louie.
Figures just released for May 2017 show leading local agent, Royston and Lund are still at the top of their game and are continuing to lead the way in property sales.
Listing more properties in May than any other month since 2011 confirms that the property market is extremely buoyant. Graham Sheardown, Senior Valuer comments: “We are delighted with how strong the market is, although we are busy across the whole spectrum, there seems to be certain pockets within the market which are performing extremely well. Traditional semis in central West Bridgford and Lady Bay are an example of this with young couples and families who are keen on moving to or within the area, as well as 2 and 3 bed semi’s in Compton Acres and Gamston which are proving to be popular with first time buyers and buy-to-let investors alike.”
Steven Gray, Senior Valuer, also comments: “The top end of the market is moving extremely well, particularly in sought after addresses such as Dovedale Road and Selby Road. We are experiencing more sealed bids than ever before and exceeding asking prices by large amounts, in some instances by over £100,000.”
Val Shakespeare, Director, concludes: “Having seen the highest level of viewings in the last 5 years, we are not surprised that this has resulted in the huge amount of sales which have been agreed for the month of May; according to Rightmove, this figure is three times higher than any other local agent proving our expertise and service standards are still ensuring that we sell the lion’s share of the local housing stock.”