How To Help Yourself Sell Your House Quickly

How To Help Yourself Sell Your House Quickly - James Kristian

At James Kristian we have been helping homeowners sell their homes now for over 10 years, and we have learnt that no two sales are the same, and there is often unexpected twists and turns that occur during the sales process.

There are multiple people involved when you sell your house, and this means not everything is in your control, which can be frustrating. Having the right team in place is essential to making the sale go through smoothly and quickly.

Your Property Team

Having the right team to assist your house sale is very important, your estate agent, solicitor and surveyors all need to work together to ensure completion comes around quickly. But where do you start when it comes to putting your team together?

Word of mouth is often the best way, if you know someone who has recently sold their house quickly, then why not give them a call and ask who they used through the process. How was their experience? And can they make any recommendations, like one of our recent clients did who had houses for sale in Litherland.

Aside from recommendations you can also do your own research on the internet, people leave reviews on sites like Trust Pilot so you can get a gage on how good the services you may want to hire are by reading their reviews.

Take time to do your research before you take action on the sale, good preparation is key to a quick property sale.

Who Is Your Buyer

Once you have selected your property team and the house is on the market, the next stage of the process is to get viewings on your property, and then offers for your asking price, and indeed you may get offers for higher than the valuation.

But is the highest bid the best bid? If your buyer has a house to sell before they can buy yours, this can seriously delay the process, and if you are looking for a quick sale to move on then it may not be the best idea to take the highest bid.

If you have a buyer who offers a lower offer, but can move quickly to buy then this may actually be the best way for you to sell your house quickly and move on.

When the offers come in you need to be speaking with your estate agent to make sure any offers on your house are credible, does the buyer have their team and more importantly their finances in place. And how quickly can they action the sale to completion from their end.

So due diligence is key, when the offers come in make sure you take the time to find the right buyer to complete your house sale quickly.

Is Your Paperwork In Place

When it comes to exchanging contracts the last thing you want to happen is to not have all your paperwork in place to delay the sale. Ensure this doesn’t happen by doing your research beforehand, proof of identity and property title deeds to name a couple.

If you need advice on what you need in place to complete the sale speak to your estate agent and they will be able to advise you on everything you need.

Keep In Contact

Once you have accepted an offer on your property your team will kick into action to make the sale, and this is when keeping in contact becomes essential, if your solicitor is trying to call you and you don’t pick up this will inevitably delay the sale.

Name and store all your important numbers in your phone, often people will ignore strange numbers when they appear on the screen of your phone. If this is your estate agent with important information about the sale you need to make yourself accessible to assist the process.

Check your emails regularly to keep up to date with any developments, and if you receive documents through the post that need signing make sure you sign and return them as quickly as possible and keep the sale moving quickly.

Through To Completion

Whether you are selling or you are buying no one likes delays, and once you have found the right buyer for your house then it pays to make sure you do everything you can to make the process run smooth and quickly through to completion.

Having the right property team in place at the start of the process will go a long way to ensuring your quick property sale.

If you need any help or advice on how to assemble your team then James Kristian are more than happy to help, we have been helping people to sell their homes for over 10 years, and we have the experience and the contacts to help support you in making your sale.

For a no obligation chat just give us a call or call into our office in Waterloo and we can help you on the way to selling your home.

A Landlords Guide For Stress Free Lettings

Landlord services Liverpool - James Kristian

Are you looking for help with finding and screening suitable tenants? Perhaps you want the peace of mind and convenience of a comprehensive round-the-clock letting and property management service that takes care of everything?

Whatever level of support you need James Kristian can provide the landlord service that is right for you.

We have more than 20 years experience in letting properties in the North West. Our clients range from private landlords with one small rental property to buy-to-let investment landlords with a property portfolio.

As standard we have 4 different levels of service:

  • Marketing only service

Perfect for landlords that have their own experienced staff to conduct viewings and manage their investment. The property will be marketed extensively including all the major property portals, our website and 24hr touchscreen window display.

  • Tenant find service

Perfect for landlords who have the time and experience to manage their own investment, but want assistance with finding a suitable tenant and accompanying the viewings.

  • Let only service

Perfect for landlords who want to manage the tenancy themselves but want to ensure all the paperwork (tenancy agreement, inventory and statement of condition) is completed professionally.

  • Fully managed Letting service

Perfect for landlords who have limited time, or are travelling / living overseas, and want to outsource the entire day to day tenancy management and upkeep of their property investment to a professional property management agent.

All our services can be tailored to suit your individual needs and we will provide a written quote with absolutely no obligation.

We understand that becoming a Landlord can be a daunting experience. So we have provided you this step-by-step guide to what’s involved in letting your property.

We have included information on some of your legal obligations and practical matters as well as an overview of all the services we offer.

So whether you are thinking of letting your property for the first time or you’re an experienced landlord looking for a new letting agent service, please get in touch to discuss your requirements.

Getting Started

Our knowledge of the local rental market coupled with a tailored approach to advertising will help you set an achievable rent and find the right tenant.

Property appraisal and valuation

We offer an independent assessment of your property by one of our trained and experienced members of staff.

This is free of charge and with absolutely no obligation.

We will visit your property and advise you of any work required to meet regulatory requirements.

We will also offer advice on any other actions you need to take before you let the property including necessary repairs or refurbishments.

It’s important that you set a rent that is competitively priced, fair and achievable. Using our extensive knowledge of the local rental market, we will assess how much your property could fetch in the current climate.

Our rental valuation will take into consideration the location, size, standard and condition of the property and whether it will be let furnished, part furnished or unfurnished.

During the assessment we will be happy to discuss the lettings process with you and answer your questions.

If you are first time landlord you will have plenty of opportunity to find out more about what is involved in letting a residential property.

Effective advertising and marketing

At James Kristian we use the very latest technology and proven marketing techniques to advertise our rental properties.

We use all the major property websites including RightMove, Zoopla and Prime Location.

Our own website www.james-kristian.co.uk is responsive, which means it automatically optimises the display to work and look good on smartphones and tablets.

This gives your rental property the highest possible online exposure, whichever device your potential tenant uses.

Our online marketing activity includes social media through our Facebook pages and Twitter account. We supplement this with press advertising, email marketing campaigns and our distinctive ‘To Let’ boards.

We tailor our marketing approach to the type of tenant you are looking for to attract genuine interest.

Once instructed, one of the first things we do is to match a property with our list of waiting tenants and send them your property particulars by email with alerts via SMS text message.

High quality photography and floor plans are fundamental to presenting your rental property in the best possible way.

James Kristian takes the time to capture the best picture of each room and show off its best features, ensuring every picture looks professional.

Location is a primary factor for people when choosing somewhere to rent and our online property particulars include information on transport links, schools, shopping and leisure facilities and other local amenities with useful maps of the area

Securing the most suitable tenant

As a landlord, you need peace of mind that the right tenants will be living in your property. All potential tenants on our rental database are pre-qualified by us before we carry out viewings to ensure they are suitable.

All property viewings are accompanied and conducted by a fully trained member of our team and we provide prompt and honest feedback.

We will keep you up-to-date on progress and will let you know as soon as someone applies to rent your property.

We take up tenant references and credit checks on your behalf using a specialist referencing agency.

This vetting process is a critical step in securing a reliable tenant for you.

Preparing you property to let – the legal essentials

Our experienced lettings team will provide the latest information and guidance to ensure you meet all your legal obligations as a Landlord.

Energy Performance Certificate

All properties for rent must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before any marketing or viewings can take place. An EPC rates energy efficiency and its environmental impact and is valid for ten years for rental properties.

A copy of the EPC must be made available to tenants before entering into a tenancy agreement. If you do not have an EPC for your property, James Kristian can arrange an inspection for you.

Gas Safety

Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, landlords have a legal obligation to make sure all gas pipework, appliances, fittings and flues are safe to use and maintained in a safe condition.

Every gas appliance and flue must be tested for gas safety every 12 months.

A Gas Safety record must be provided to existing tenants within 28 days of the annual safety check, or to new tenants before they move in, and you must keep copies yourself for two years.

All installation, maintenance and safety checks must be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. We can arrange this for you.

Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety Amendment) Regulations 2010

Upholstered furniture and soft furnishings supplied in a rented property must comply with current regulations.

This includes, but is not limited to, bed frames, mattresses, headboards, sofa beds, pillows, cushions, seat pads and any garden furniture that may be used indoors.

Items, which comply, will have a suitable permanent label attached. All non-compliant items must be removed before a tenant moves in.

Bedding, carpets, curtains and any furniture made before 1950 are exempt.

Electrical Safety

Landlords are required to ensure that the electrical installation in a rented property is safe when tenants move in and maintained in a safe condition.

Although not a legal requirement, it is strongly recommended that you have the property inspected and tested by a registered electrician every five years and arrange Portable Appliance Testing (PAT test) once a year, to ensure electrical appliances are safe and fit for purpose.

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

New regulations introduced in October 2015 require landlords to install smoke alarms on every floor of their rental property and test them at the start of every tenancy, and to install carbon monoxide alarms in high risk rooms such as those where a solid fuel heating system is installed.

Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)

If you own a property and rent it our, your local council may decide to do an HHSRS inspection. Inspectors look at 29 health and safety areas.

Consent to Let

If your property is mortgaged, you must obtain written consent to let from your mortgage lender. If it is leasehold, your lease may require written consent from your landlord before you can sub-let.

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

If your property is let to at least three tenants who share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities but are not from one household or family – sometimes called a ‘house share’ – it is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).

Depending on the size of the property, the number of tenants and the area, you are likely to need an HMO licence from your local council plus an HHSRS inspection. We can advise you on this.

Buildings Insurance

Landlords are required by law to take out buildings insurance for rental properties. We advise our clients to also consider contents insurance and policies to cover rent guarantee and legal expenses.

Letting your property – moving your tenant in

Our experienced lettings service ensures everything is in place for a smooth and trouble-free start to renting out your property.

Tenancy Agreement

This is a legally binding agreement, setting out the rights and obligations of both Landlord and Tenant.

Most residential properties are let on an Assured Shorthold tenancy (AST) for an initial fixed term of 6 or 12 months. We will prepare all the paperwork and draw up a comprehensive legal document for signing.

If we are fully managing your tenancy and rental property for you, then the tenancy agreement will include those activities we will be responsible for on your behalf.

Inventory / Schedule of Condition

All of the inventories produced for James Kristian clients contain a full written description of the property, it’s contents and schedule of condition inside and out, including the walls, flooring and all fixtures, fittings and furnishings.

We also offer market leading 360° photographs to protect our landlords, this provides a crucial legal reference in case of any discrepancy or claim against a tenant’s deposit at the end of a tenancy.

Utilities & Council Tax

Usually, it is the tenants’ responsibility to pay utility bills and council tax. We can organise all meter readings and arrange the transfer of water rates, gas, electricity and Council Tax accounts to the tenant.

Deposit Schemes

A deposit is paid by the tenant at the start of a tenancy to safeguard against damage.

Since April 2007, all new Assured Shorthold Tenancies must be registered with a government-backed tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme within 30 days of receipt of the deposit.

If we were not providing our Fully Managed Letting Service to you, then you would need to register the deposit with a TDP scheme yourself.

Landlords should be aware that there are significant penalties for failing to comply with deposit protection requirements.

Right to rent check

Landlords of properties throughout England must check that the prospective tenant has the right to rent before letting them a property.

Strict government legislation was introduced, if not completed correctly large fines can be imposed for none compliance.

Council Selective Licensing

Selective licensing requires landlords who privately rent out properties in the designated area to obtain a licence from the Council.

Liverpool & Sefton councils have already introduced this and Landlords are required to meet a range of licence conditions, and show that they have appropriate management arrangements in place.

Day to Day Management

Once you tenant has moved in we can take care of your property, tenancy arrangements and your landlord duties throughout the tenancy and beyond

Keys

You should provide at least one set of keys for each tenant. Where we will be managing the property for you, we will also require a full set, which will be coded for security purposes. We can arrange to have duplicates cut.

Collecting rent

James Kristian offers a rent collection service as part of its Fully Managed Letting Service for busy landlords. We collect rent monthly unless the Tenancy Agreement specifies otherwise.

Occasionally, tenants may experience financial difficulties and our rent collection service includes chasing any late payments.

We will notify you at the earliest opportunity of any rent arrears. You can protect against loss of rental income with an insurance policy; we can suggest one if you wish.

We pay the rent to landlords monthly by BACS (net of our fees and any disbursements, bills and income tax if appropriate) and provide monthly income and expenditure records.

Rental income and Taxation

As a landlord, you are responsible for assess your own tax for rent received. Below is some basic guidance on taxation matters relevant to landlords; however we would always recommend you seek independent financial advice from an accountant on tax matters.

Income Tax

Rental income is liable to tax, although a number of expenditure items can be offset against rental profit. You also need to pay Class 2 National Insurance if the work you do counts as running a property business.

Overseas Landlords

Under the Non-Resident Landlord (NRL) Scheme, your lettings agent will need to deduct tax from the rental income and pay the tax directly to HM Revenue & Customs.

If you choose not to use a lettings agent to collect rent, then your tenant will be legally responsible for collecting and paying the tax to HMRC.

Alternatively, landlords living overseas can apply for approval to receive rental income with no tax deducted. Full details of NRL Scheme are available from HMRC.

Inspections, maintenance and repairs

The practicalities of being a landlord can be very time-consuming. With our Fully Managed Letting Service we take care of all the day-to-day management and upkeep of your rental property so you don’t need to worry about it.

We will carry out regular routine inspections – usually quarterly – at a mutually convenient time agreed with the tenant.

This will involve visual inspections, assessing any wear and tear, and organising maintenance and compliance checks.

If we identify any problems we will advise you and, depending on our agreement with you, we can arrange for repairs and any work to be done on the property and pay for this out of the rent received.

We have an in house team of trades people as well as a network of reliable and trustworthy contractors we can call on to deal with routine repairs or emergencies at very competitive rates.

Tenancy Renewals, reviews and notices

We will handle all tenancy renewals, including rental reviews, for you. If you decide to increase the rent we will issue the relevant notice informing your tenants.

If you wish to end a tenancy, we will serve notice to your tenants in line with all legal process and timing requirements and manage all the end of tenancy administration.

End of tenancy checks and deposit returns

At the end of a tenancy the landlord should ensure the property is in a good, clean condition before the tenant checks out, take back the keys and formerly take possession of the property.

Assuming there are no issues and all paperwork is completed, utility companies notified and you have a forwarding address for the tenant, the landlord should return the tenant’s deposit.

This is all included as part of our Fully managed Letting Service.

Remarketing

No landlord wants a vacant property. If a tenancy is not renewed, we offer landlords who take our Fully Managed Letting Service an automatic property appraisal, rental valuation and remarketing service until we find a new tenant.

Piece of mind for busy landlords

Choose our Fully Managed Letting Service and all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the rent. Your dedicated Property Manager will take care of everything and keep you informed.

Once your property is let the work doesn’t stop there. Today’s tenants can be quite demanding, expecting maximum value for their rental.

Whether it is fridge failure or a leaking shower, you can be sure any tenant will want a swift repair, however inconvenient the timing may be for you.

This is why our clients value our full property management service where we look after any repairs and tenancy issues for you.

And, for your peace of mind, we also visit the property regularly and organise any maintenance and safety compliance checks, assuring you that your property remains in sound condition and your legal obligations are met.

Personal service

You will have your own Property Manager who will look after every aspect of the let and your property throughout the life of the tenancy. Our landlord clients tell us they appreciate the continuity and accountability of a single point of contact.

Pop in for a chat

If you are looking to rent out a property or you already do and may be looking for management, then why not pop into our office in Waterloo for a chat to see how James Kristian can help you.

One of our friendly staff is on hand to give you the best advice on how to let out your property with minimal fuss.

Top Tips For First Time House Buyers

One of the biggest challenges in adulthood is making the move to get on the property ladder and buying your first home.

You may have been renting a house in Bootle for a time, or living at home with your parents, but at some point you start to think about owning your own place.

If you are paying rent, then why not pay a mortgage on a house that one day will add in value and become and asset.

Getting started is the hardest part, so here are some tips to help you on the way.

Start Saving Early

Get a head start - James Kristian

The early bird catches the worm they say, and this is especially true when it comes to saving, the earlier the better.

Budgeting is key when it comes to saving, and if you are serious about getting a deposit together then it pays to have a plan.

Whether you get paid weekly or monthly you have to have a saving plan in place, so you have to know ‘your number’ i.e. the minimum amount of money you need to cover the essentials.

Factor travel money for work, rent, utility bills and any other essentials, then what you have left work out the maximum you can afford to save towards your deposit.

Open up a Help to Buy ISA and set up a direct debit so you automate your savings process, and as an added bonus the government will add a 25% bonus to your savings.

If you haven’t already then start today, the earlier you get going the quicker you will have your deposit.

Workout Your Price Range

Property Values - James Kristian

One of the best things to do when you are starting out your search is to find out how much you can borrow for your mortgage.

The best way to do this is to speak to an independent mortgage advisor, they will take all your details, how much you earn etc, and then they can look at a range of mortgage products, and DIP you.

Which means a ‘decision in principle’ by a mortgage provider; this will also tell you how much you can borrow for your mortgage.

Its important to speak to a mortgage advisor at the start of your process, as this will give you a realistic figure for you to work with, then you can start looking for properties that fall within your budget.

Time To Do Your Research

Explore your options - James Kristian

Now you have a figure in place, and a mortgage in principle its time to research properties in your price range.

Do you want to buy a house or an apartment? Do you have a specific area in mind?

You may want to stay close to work, or have good transport links, these are all important things to consider when looking for place to buy.

So thorough research is a vital part of the process as you consider what you can afford, what type of property you want, and where you want to live.

Get Your Ducks In A Row

Get your ducks in a row - James Kristian

Now you are actively looking for your first home its important to make sure you have all the correct items for the purchase.

To be considered for a mortgage you will have to provide proof of income, utility bills and bank statements.

So make sure you can have easy access to all the essential paperwork, it is best to plan in advance and know where they are.

If you start the process and the provider asks you for your financial details, you can delay the process for yourself if you don’t have everything to hand.

So plan ahead and get your paperwork in order before you start making offers.

Start Your Search

Start your search - James Kristian

Now you have everything in place its time to start looking for your new home. You can search online at your local estate agents, or use Right Move to look for properties.

You can use filters to set your location and price range, and this will return a range of properties that fit your requirements.

This is an excellent way to start the viewing process, once you have a list of properties you’re interested in, you can then contact the estate agent to arrange viewings.

Its best to view during daylight hours as this will help give you the full perspective on the property and the surrounding area.

If you plan on doing multiple viewings in a day, then allow enough time to make the journey between viewings.

Its unlikely you will find your dream home on your first viewing so be patient in the process and you will find success, it’s important not to rush.

Make Your Offer

Make your offer - James Kristian

Once you have found a property you would like to buy, its time to make your offer. Working with your estate agent to liaise between you and the seller to make the deal.

It’s tempting to want to under offer on the price and make a bit of a saving, but its important to not offend the seller and scupper the deal.

Talk with your estate agent before you make your offer and see if there is any wiggle room on price, then once you have established what a sensible offer is, your estate agent can make the offer to the seller.

Then once you have your offer accepted you are well on the way to owning your first home.

Take Care Of The Paperwork

Take care of the paperwork - James Kristian

Now you are good to go its time to get the ball rolling with the legal side of the buying process, you can instruct your solicitor to take care of the conveyance for the property.

This is another area where patience is required as depending on the speed of both solicitors for seller and buyer, it can sometimes be a drawn out process.

It pays to keep in touch with your estate agent as they can help liaise with both parties to help the process move quickly to completion.

Collect Your Keys

Collect your keys - James Kristian

Once everything has moved along and contracts have been exchanged, its time to pick up the keys. You are at the end of the process and the owner of your first home.

Your estate agent will have the keys waiting for you to collect and you are on your way.

At James Kristian we have helped many first time buyers to find and move in to their first home.

If you are thinking about your first property and a bit unsure of the best way to move forward, then why not call in for a coffee, or give us a call to discuss your situation.

One of our friendly staff will be on hand to give you advice and help you on the way to becoming a first time homeowner.

Thinking of Buying a Home? Then You Must Follow The Golden Rules

Thinking of Buying a Home? Then You Must Follow The Golden Rules

If you’re in the market for buying a new home, maybe you are a first time buyer, or you are looking to move on from your current house.

There are many things to consider when you are buying houses for sale in Liverpool; do you have the deposit in place? Do you have the solicitors etc?

If you don’t have everything in place, but just want to test the market, and do some viewings, then you need you to take some points into consideration before you start making appointments.

Time is Money

It’s easy to get excited about the prospect of buying a new home, especially if you have been window shopping estate agents websites for inspiration.

And its very tempting to call up and book viewings for properties, its great fun to have a mooch around someone’s home and pretend its yours.

Window shopping online and a test visit may be fine, but if you’re not really ready to buy, and you are taking viewings regularly, then you can quickly sour your relationship with estate agents.

If you book a viewing but have no intention of buying, this means a representative from the estate agent will have to book time to leave the office to show you around the house.

And secondly the homeowner would have spent time and effort preparing the house to have it in its best appearance for you.

As Estate Agents James Kristian takes pride in the relationships we build with our buyers to find them their next home, and likewise we take great pride in the relationships we build with our sellers.

So if you are in the mode of ‘just looking’ then that’s no problem, we are more than happy to assist you with advice, and to stay in touch for when you are ready to buy.

But we do please ask to take into consideration that booking viewings when not ready to buy takes the time of the business, and alerts seller’s emotional expectations.

So please inform your estate agent exactly where you are in the process and they will be more than happy to help you.

Put yourself in the best position to proceed

As obvious as it may sound you cannot buy a home till you have been approved for a mortgage.

You may have a deposit saved and in the bank ready to go, but do you have the mortgage offer in place?

Before you even start looking at properties you should seek advice from an independent mortgage broker.  They will be able to look at your details and run the best deals for you from a range of mortgage providers.

If everything checks out they will be able to get you a mortgage offer in principle.

Then you will know how much you can lend, and start your search for a house.

Part of being accepted for a mortgage is credit checks, so its vital you speak to a broker to get you a mortgage, if your credit history isn’t great, then this will be highlighted as part of the checks.

This can be a real blow if you are expecting to move forward seamlessly, so take the time to put your ducks in a row, and if you haven’t yet spoken with a broker and are wondering about your credit status, you can use this free credit checker to make your own investigations.

Then once you have your mortgage in place you are ready to start viewings.

Appointments are made to be met

When you book an appointment to view a property you put the owner on alert to make the house look great prior to your arrival.

They may have spent a considerable amount of time getting the place ready the day before, and went to some expense buying cleaning materials.

What also happens is in the back of their mind they are thinking is your visit may lead to a sale for them, so they start getting their hopes up in anticipation.

So once you have made a booking to view a property, make it a priority to attend, and at the arranged time.

If for some reason you are going to be late, then call ahead and let the estate agent know, and they will inform the seller.

If for some reason you can’t make the viewing, again inform your estate agent at the earliest convenience so they can rearrange for you.

You can imagine yourself if you were the seller and the viewer didn’t show without any warning, I’m sure you would be disappointed after making the effort to get the place ready for you.

So all we ask is for as estate agents is a little consideration if you can’t make a viewing, and we can rearrange another time that suits you best.

Not every home is suitable for you

One of the things estate agents rely on is feedback from viewings, and quite often if a viewing doesn’t go as planned for the viewer; they can be a bit coy on the reasons that put them off making an offer.

Some people just feel uneasy about giving negative feedback, but its ok because it helps the estate agent to speak to the seller and relay the issues that prevented an offer.

The estate agent can then feed back to the seller and hopefully improve issues that may be preventing the sale.

So feedback is great, even if its negative as this help us make improvements for the next viewing and help the seller to gain the sale.

Is your offer credible

Everyone likes a bargain, and if you want to be taken seriously as a buyer then your offer must be based on facts.

It never ceases to amaze agents how low people can go from the asking price and expect a sale.

There may well be room for some negotiation on price depending on the sellers position, however you can quickly sour that position and offend the seller if your offer is ridiculously low.

So be realistic when you bid, take some time to look at the prices of houses in the same street, or nearby.

This will give you an idea of what you can offer realistically, especially if you have viewed a house and really liked it, if you offend the seller with your offer it may be something you regret in the long term.

If you are in the market for buying a house, or even if you are just thinking about it, then feel free to give James Kristian a call and we will be more than happy to help you out.

One of our friendly team is on hand to give you the best advice and help you find a house, or advise you on the best way to move forward in the house buying process.

Selling Your Home is An Emotional Roller Coaster: And How To Cope

They say that buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your lifetime, all the time spent saving up the deposit, scrimping away and saving every last penny to be able to afford it.

Then when you move in and make the place your own, you redesign the house, redecorate every room, put in a new kitchen and make the place yours.

The next thing you know the years have gone by, you have raised your children and the house has your stamp all over it.

The house you bought is now your home, complete with years of memories and emotions tied into it.

And for whatever the reason may be, downsizing, upsizing or relocating. If you come to the decision to sell your home in Liverpool, then all the emotions you never realised where there will kick in, and you may find it hard to keep your feelings in check.

Selling the house you have made a home can be a tremendously emotional experience, and you may find it harder than you thought to let go.

If you are thinking of selling your home then there are steps you can take to help you overcome the emotional rollercoaster you may be facing.

Be Prepared

Humans are emotional creatures, it’s in the make up of our DNA, and quite often we make judgements we go on to regret.

So when you have the idea to sell your home, the first thing to do is to take some time to think about it.

Do you really want or need to sell your home?

It may sound obvious, but it’s well worth considering, what may seem like a good idea at the time may not actually work out to be the best decision for the long term.

A good idea is to write down the pros and cons for selling or staying, if its more room you need, can you convert the loft?

You may think the house is too big now the kids have moved on, but can you be guaranteed if you move the new neighbours will be nice enough to live next door to?

Whatever the reason that’s brought you to the decision to move, make sure you take serious consideration before putting your home up for sale, as the grass may not always be greener.

Only Sell If You Are Ready

Once you have weighed up the pros and cons and you feel you really want to move, that’s when its time to put the house on the market, and not before.

One of the common things people do is still be in two minds, and put the house up with an estate agent to ‘test the water’.

This is not a good idea, if you are unsure in anyway about selling, then don’t put your home on the market, this can cause so much emotional conflict.

The minute you see strangers walking around your house viewing will cause you distress. Have I made am mistake? Do I really want to sell? Etc etc.

And if an offer comes in you may find every reason to not accept, and this is not good for you or the people viewing.

This is when the emotions really kick in.

So only put the house up for sale when you are sure you are ready, and not a moment sooner.

Price the House To Sell

Another thing that people do who are unsure if they really want to is to price the value of the house too high.

Subliminally you are saying I don’t really want to move, so I am either going to price myself out of the market, or I will accept an offer if I get a really high price.

Both of these tactics are not going to bode well for you, if you are pricing yourself out the market then do you really want to move in the first place?

And how much stress will it cause if the house sits in the market for a long time without selling?

And if you are willing to accept a high price, but don’t really want to, the motivations say you really don’t want to move, and should reconsider.

There is no use having money in your pocket and be missing the home you loved.

So if you are ready to sell, price your house accordingly and it will sell quicker for you to move on to pastures new.

Stage the House to Sell

It’s your home, the one you have built over years of hard work, but if you want to help sell it, then you have to de-personalise.

This is something people find really hard to do, take down the school photographs, remove the coats and shoes from the hall.

Take down the kid’s drawings off the fridge and basically remove all the memories you hold dear.

It may sound simple, but it’s harder than you think, and can stir strong emotions as you strip away the memories.

To sell the home you have to present a blank canvass to potential buyers, so they can imagine the house being their place to make new memories.

Let The Estate Agent Do The Viewings

If you have a strong emotional attachment to your home, when it comes to viewings, let the local estate agent take care of business.

Or you may find yourself talking potential buyers out of making an offer, even if its not intentional, you can emote strong feelings that may put a buyer off.

And you may take offence to comments viewers make about your home, as they are making a critical judgement based on their needs, not your memories unfortunately.

So leave it to your estate agent to do the viewings, they are trained to do so, and will make the sale happen quicker, relieving you from the discomfort of showing people around.

So maybe selling your home is a bigger decision than buying one, considering the emotional equity you have built, never mind the financial equity.

If you need any advice or help on how to best approach selling your home, then the staff at James Kristian have years of experience in handling property sales.

Especially when there is an emotional aspect of the sale that needs handling with care.

So please don’t hesitate to contact us today and we can help you on your way with an understanding team to guide you through the whole process.

Springtime Is The Best Time To Rent Out Your Property

Spring is here at last, and finally the days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer.

And when you have been bunkered in for the winter, spring offers the ideal chance to get outside and see how your property has faired through the winter.

Spring is traditionally the busiest time for property rentals, so if you already have houses to rent in Bootle, then it’s a good time to go and do some essential checks to make sure everything is ok for your tenants.

The obvious things to check are the guttering, door seals and anywhere that may have been affected by high winds and rain such as roof flashings and chimney breasts.

If you do find any water damage, then make sure you get it repaired immediately, water can cause a lot of expensive damage if not fixed quickly, so make sure you fix a small leak before you have to deal with something bigger.

Spring is also a great time to put your property out to rent, and if you are looking to rent out this spring then there are a few things you can do to give it the best appeal to renters.

Declutter 

5 Tips to De-Clutter Your Home for A Quick Sale

Nobody wants to rent a messy home, and first impressions count. So before anyone comes to view your make sure you have removed all of the clutter from all the rooms.

Don’t leave shoes lying round, pick up any coats and clothes up and put them in wardrobes out of sight.

Remember that people coming to view the property are going to imagine themselves living in it, so create space by clearing clutter and removing any personal items such as posters, bikes and excessive furniture, this will go a long way in staging your property to rent out quickly.

Give the place a lick of paint

Newly painted room

Now the light is coming back its an ideal time to give your place a spruce up to rent out, when you have viewings it makes a massive difference if your property is bright and airy.

If you have taken the time to declutter then the next step of the process is to bring light into the place. And fresh, bright colours really open a room up and allow the light to give the illusion of greater space than the room may actually have.

Remember you are not decorating for yourself, you are doing it to appeal to potential renters, and so bright neutral colours are the best way forward to make your property appeal to viewers.

Give it a good spring clean

The next item on the list is to give the place a good clean, the two most common areas that both appeal to a viewer, and put off a viewer are the kitchen and bathrooms.

No one wants to walk into a kitchen and see a greasy cooker, or a dirty extractor fan. If there is a fridge in the kitchen, make sure any out of date food is removed and give it a good clean, to get rid of any lingering smells.

In the bathroom make sure the seals round the bath and shower is clean of any mould, same goes for the tiles, for a small expense it is probably worth renewing any silicone seals and touching up the grout to the tiles.

This will make a big difference in how your home is viewed by potential renters.

Give the place a good hoover through, and try to get any rogue stains from the carpets if needed.

If that all seems to daunting, then it may be worth hiring a professional cleaner who specialise in pre tenant cleans, to get the placed spruced up and ready to rent.

Tidy up the outside

If someone is thinking of renting out your property, the first thing they will do is take a drive or a walk past to see what its like, and this is where kerb appeal comes in.

If your place looks unkempt from the outside, they may not even follow through with the appointment to look at all the work you have done to make the inside look great.

Is the garden tidy? Sweep up any leaves from the garden and front step, could the front door do with a lick of paint?

Have the bins been emptied, and now spring is here maybe think about adding a couple of colourful plants via a hanging basket to the front door.

This attention to detail could be the difference between renting out your property quickly, or it sitting on the market for months.

If you need any advice on how to dress your property to make it appealing to viewers, then please don’t hesitate to contact any of our friendly staff at James Kristian, we are on hand to help you get your property rented out quickly.

D

Property Refurbishment And Becoming A Landlord

If you are thinking of becoming a landlord, or maybe you have a portfolio already and you are looking at adding more properties, then one of the best strategies for entering the market is to find a house in a state of disrepair and fix it up.

This involves buying a run down house, carrying out the repairs quickly, increasing the value of the property and then renting it out.

It’s becoming more popular to totally refurbish a property, extend the loft, build an extension and add extra bedrooms to increase rental income.

Planning is key

Before you undertake any refurbishment work, you have to make sure you plan ahead, you need a project plan in place to make sure you are working to a timeline and a budget.

Your project plan needs to include all of the tasks you have organised for each room, what order you are going to carry them out, and how much you plan on spending for each room

Budgeting is extremely important, especially on room-to-room basis, you would be amazed at the amount of people who don’t do this correctly, and end up over extending themselves financially.

If you budget by room, then once you have completed one, then you know how much you have spent and you can control your budget more rigidly.

The typical scenario for bad planning involves starting with a budget in mind, then going to B&Q and getting excited when you see the additional fittings you can have, so you choose the most expensive taps, and worktops etc.

The next thing you know you are 5 grand over budget, and you have eaten into your potential profit from the refurb.

Worst case scenario, you run out of money and can’t complete the project, leaving the property standing empty with no rental income.

This is why good planning is key, and sticking to your budget even more so.

Its very important to organise tasks in order, and prioritise key elements such as structural defects to make sure you get the big jobs out the way first, as they tend to be the most time consuming and costly.

Now for the décor

Once all the big messy jobs are out of the way its time to add a bit of sparkle to the property.

Making the house look nice on the inside will not only add value to the property, but it increases the chances of renting out the property quicker for a higher rental value.

Fittings and furniture should be seen as an investment, as these are the eye catching elements of your property that make the house more appealing to tenants.

The thing to keep in mind here is that you are not decorating the house for you, so you have to be more neutral in your choice of colours and fittings.

What appeals to you may not necessarily appeal to your prospective tenants, so if you have a particular favourite colour, you best think twice about doing the whole house just to satisfy your own tastes.

Fixtures and fittings is the most common area for people to go over budget. This is when people get over excited as the walk around B&Q, and pay over budget for swan neck taps, and expensive light fittings.

You have to keep in mind that you will have to replace these if a tenant damages them, so find the middle ground where you can get nice looking fittings that don’t break the bank, and stay within your budget.

Finding the right tradesman

To carry out a refurbishment to a high standard means you will have to find good tradesman, electrics and gas in particular require certified professionals to sign off any work, and you will need a gas safety certificate before you can rent out a property.

Finding good reliable tradesman can be a skill in itself, so make sure you take advice from friends and family, ask around to see if you know anyone who has had work carried out recently, who where their contractor? How much did they cost?

Asking these questions and doing your homework before you undertake any work can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Ideally it would be best to use a good refurbishment company from Liverpool to carry out the work, a good team can take care of everything for you and complete the work quickly, and to a high standard.

So your newly refurbished property can be let out to the right tenant.

If you are thinking about doing a renovation, or becoming a landlord and need advice, then the staff at James Kristian are on hand to discuss the process with you, and we can even recommend some good reliable tradesman to help you on your way.

Important Landlord Information for Selective Licensing

Dear Landlord

As you may be aware on the 21st September 2017, Sefton Council approved the designation of a selective licensing scheme for all privately rented properties within parts of Sefton (please see the attached for the list of areas included).

This came into effect on the 1st March 2018 and will last for a period of 5 years up until 28th February 2023. If your property falls within the Selective Licensing area you will need to apply for a Housing License before the 1st September 2018.

Selective Licensing requires landlords who privately rent out properties in the designated area to obtain a license from the Council. Landlords will be required to meet a range of licence conditions and show that they have appropriate management arrangements in place.

You can contact us for a list of the roads which are included in the licensing.

What is the licensing process?

This is the process that your application will then follow as it moves towards the grant of a Housing licence.  Please note that your application will only become valid when steps 1 to 5 have been completed.

  1. You compete and submit your online application form with the first payment, a copy of your application will be held within your account area and you will receive an email acknowledging your submission and receipt of payment.
  2. The Council then process your form, you may be asked for further information if not included with your application.
  3. A Notice of Intention to Grant a Licence will be issued to you and to any other interested parties. The notice will invite you to make any representations you wish to make on the conditions included in the draft licence. If you decide to make representations you must do this within 14 days from the date on the notice.
  4. The balance of licence fee will be requested within 14 days if full payment is not received your property will remain unlicensed.
  5. Final licence will be issued after representations (if any), have been considered and resolved.
  6. We will contact you to arrange an appointment with you to inspect the property. The inspection may be arranged sooner in respect of ‘higher risk’ premises such as HMO than in the case of some single-family properties, however we fully intend to inspect all licensed premises within the course of the licence.
  7. Where an inspection of the property has taken place, you will be informed of the outcome.
  8. If an inspection identifies licensing issues or housing related hazards that need to be addressed, the licence may be varied by including additional conditions and/or may require other action to remove any serious hazards under the ‘Housing Health & Safety Rating System’ (HHSRS).

The cost of the License Application is £695.00.

We have now been Accredited by Sefton Council, which entitles ourselves to a discounted rate of £495.00.We are proud to be one of only four agents in the borough to pass this accreditation and it has been a lengthy process, so we apologise for not writing sooner.

We have a good relationship with the Selective Licensing Team so if you would like us to submit the application on your behalf then this would involve us putting the License in our name, which then prompt any correspondence being sent to ourselves, which allows us to act quickly on any requests or conditions from Sefton Council, and completing the above steps 1-8 on your behalf. The cost for us to submit the license to all landlords is £100.00 per property.

 

For further information regarding licensing your property, please don’t hesitate to contact James Kristian today.

Tel: 0151 928 8822

How To Sell A Probate Property

Probate Property

Losing a loved one is never easy, and when it comes tied in to a being left a property in someone’s will, then it can make the situation more complicated.

If the property is not going to remain in the family, then on the whole most people want to sell the property quickly; this can be for a number of reasons, but mainly for emotional or financial reasons.

Selling a house in probate is different to selling via a regular sale, so there are guidelines that need to be adhered to make sure the sale goes through.

So Just What Is Probate

Probate is the where the courts have been given permission to deal with the estate of the deceased person.

This can also include all of their assets, and usually includes paying off any debts before the proceeds of any sale can be distributed to beneficiaries.

Do Probate Properties Sell Quickly

The condition of the property at the point of sale is obviously going to be a factor when it comes to selling. Around 1 in 10 properties for sale in the UK market are probate properties, which can be attractive to buyers, as they tend to sell for lower prices for a quick sale.

Areas To Be Cautious Of

When selling a probate property, there are areas you need to check before a sale goes through, namely third party interests in the property, such as amount outstanding on the mortgage, or equity release charges.

Is there anyone else named on the title of the property, this can cause issues if you are the intended benefactor of the property, but if someone else is named in the deeds, then they may be entitled to the property, no matter what the will says.

It’s important to have all of these legal points covered before any intended sale goes through. Make sure you check the deeds to the property and any charges against the mortgage, as this will save you a lot of heartache in the long term, if not approached correctly.

When it comes to clearing the property, be careful what you throw out unwillingly. Before anything goes to the tip, make sure all-important documents are accounted for.

Its not uncommon for property deeds to be thrown out with the rubbish, so you may have to find copies, also in the case of probate, family members or friends can lay claim to property that may be theirs.

As trivial as it sounds, if your recently deceased relative has borrowed the neighbour’s lawnmower, this can become a protracted area of dispute when it comes to ownership of possessions in the property.

Before any items are given away or more so sold make sure an inventory of the property is carried out and all items listed thoroughly, this can then be used as a reference for family members when the time comes to move on.

What Is The Cost Of Selling A Probate Property

The cost of selling a property via probate should not really differ from a regular sale, however there may some additional expenses to consider.

If the property has been vacant for more than 30 days then you will need ‘vacant property insurance’ to cover any potential damages while the property is empty.

There may be an expense for clearing the property, and it is to be empty during the winter months, there may be some maintenance costs to make sure the property doesn’t incur any damp or burst pipes.

What Documents Do I Need For Probate

For a sale to be completed documents that would be required are.

  • Copy of the probate or letters of administration
  • Original Will
  • Death Certificate
  • NI number
  • Property deeds
  • Mortgage information
  • Bank Statements

You are under no obligation to use the same solicitor for probate, for the sale of your property.

Find the Right Estate Agent

Once all of the legalities are in place then its time to put the house on the market. For the purposes of Probate the property’s value is based upon the open market value of the property, in a sale by a willing seller to a willing buyer.

This will be guided by previous valuations on the property to evaluate an average price for sale.

At James Kristian we have the experience to help sell your probate property quickly, we understand the sensitivities that come along with probate sales.

Our team is on hand to advise you all the way to point of sale, we can help appoint you the best solicitor for the sale, and make sure the property is in the best condition to appeal to the market.

Our estate agents in Waterloo are happy to advise you on all points needed to ensure the sale completes quickly with minimum stress or fuss to you and your family.

We have dealt with many probate sales over the years, and have the experience to help you today.

If you would like some advice on the best way to move forward then please don’t hesitate to contact us in our Waterloo offices.

Feel free to drop in at anytime or give us a call on 0151 928 8822.

And one of our friendly staff will be on hand to help you through what can be a difficult time, to make sure you achieve the sale you require quickly.

10 Years of James Kristian

As the New Year arrives, 2018 takes on a bit of extra significance for James Kristian, as it means this year we celebrate our 10 year anniversary in property sales & lettings.

James Kristian started back in 2008, and in the 10 years that’s passed we are proud to say we have worked hard to help all of our clients, find a great place to rent, buy a house, or sell a property quickly.

Our values haven’t changed in a decade, from day one we set out to be friendly and professional, with our client’s best interests at the forefront of everything we do as a business.

In that time our knowledge of the local markets and the experience we have gained,helps us to understand your unique needs, and tailor an individual approach so you achieve your aim quickly.

Whether that’s buying, selling or letting, all for the best price quickly.

We have recently moved to our new home on Cremona Corner on South Road, Waterloo, which is a great location.

In line with the growth of the business, our new office gives us further potential to offer great properties for our clients.

Initially lettings was the main core of the business, and from our start in the Knowsley road office in Bootle, we have built steadily on the foundations of customer care.

We have always worked around our clients needs, if its late night or weekend viewings, then we are more than happy to accommodate this, to make sure you find the best place to live.

Over the years the James Kristian team has grown with the business, and this has allowed us to expand the services we can offer you within property.

The other side of lettings aside from finding you a home to suit your needs, is helping landlords to let out their properties to the right tenant.

So we now have great systems in place to offer full property management services for landlords.

As a landlord you want to know your house is in safe hands, with the experience James Kristian has built in letting out properties for the last 10 years, you can be assured we take the greatest care to only let your property after being thoroughly checked and referenced.

We want to make sure you get your properties rented out quickly to maximise your rental income.

We can also offer a property refresh service for in between tenancies, to make sure any property is brought back onto the market quickly, and to a high standard of décor.

We understand your property is an asset, and take great care to look after it.

Adhering to the highest standards has been the cornerstone of offering our services to you, and helping us to grow over the last decade.

The other aspect of our business is property sales, we want to make sure you sell your house quickly, whilst achieving you the best price.

The decision to sell a house is not one that’s taken lightly, and the team here at James Kristian understand that.

That’s why our property sales side of the business has grown, because clients have come to trust the way we work for you.

Our team are on hand to take the stress away for you and find a buyer for your home.

We strive to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to marketing your property, using professional photos of your house, as well as marketing online across Right Move and Zoopla.

We also use social media to promote and sell for you quickly.

Equally if you are looking to buy a home, we have an excellent range for you to browse online, our local market knowledge is second to none, and we can find you the right house for your budget.

In no time at all.

At James Kristian we have always taken a family run approach to growing the business, and communication has always been at the heart of that.

We believe in building relationships, and this is reflected in some of the long standing partnerships we’ve built over the years.

From landlords, tenants, sellers, buyers & contractors, the longevity of the business, is totally dependent on the relationships we have built with our core clients.

So now its time to look forward to the next 10 years and beyond, you can be assured we’ll continue to treat every day like it was the first, and continue to improve what we do as a business.

And keep providing you the customer with the best customer service available.

So come and call in for a chat and a coffee at any time, we are just on the corner of South Road and Crosby Road.

We look forward to seeing you.