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How To Sell A Shared Ownership Property UK

How to sell a shared ownership property UK

Selling a shared ownership property explained

Tom Condon
Tom Condon ★ Digital Content Writer

Table of Contents

If you’re a shared owner looking to sell shared ownership home and wondering ‘how to sell shared ownership’ then you’re in the right place! Selling a shared ownership home involves several steps, from deciding to sell your home to completing the sale with your buyer.

 

As a shared owner, when you want to sell your home, it’s important to effectively market your home to attract the right potential buyers. The beauty of shared ownership is that it provides an affordable home option, helping many people get onto the property ladder. 

 

If you’re considering selling shared ownership property, it’s important to understand the layers of the process. This guide will walk you through each step, from how to sell your shared ownership property, the costs associated with the process and the most common questions.

What is a shared ownership property?

Shared ownership is a government-backed scheme aimed at assisting first-time buyers in climbing the property ladder. It enables you to purchase a portion of a home, usually between 10% and 75% of its full market value, while paying rent on the remaining share to a housing association or local authority.

 

One of the important features of shared ownership is the ability to increase your ownership stake over time through a process known as staircasing. Most shared ownership agreements allow you to staircase up to 100%, thereby achieving full ownership. However, some leases have a cap at 80%, maintaining the affordability and availability of these homes for other potential buyers in need.

Sell shared ownership house without all the hassle

Can you sell a shared ownership property?

You are entitled to sell shared ownership property at any point but the process differs slightly depending on how much of the property you own.

 

If you’ve staircased to 100%, the sale process is similar to that of any other property. However, it’s always wise to review your contract for any specific terms or conditions. 

 

If you own less than 100%, the housing association or local authority that owns the remaining share has a right known as first refusal. This means they have the initial opportunity to buy back your share or find an eligible buyer.

 

The duration of their right to find a buyer is set during the agreed nomination period, which will usually last four, eight or twelve weeks, depending on your property’s specific agreement. If they are unable to find a buyer within this period, you are then free to market and sell your share on the open market.

How do you buy out of a shared ownership property?

Staircasing while owning shares in a shared ownership property refers to the process by which a homeowner can gradually increase their share of the property over time. Here is how staircasing works:

When you first buy a shared ownership property, you purchase a specific share of it. This is often a more affordable option for many people as it requires a smaller mortgage and deposit compared to buying a home outright.

Over time, you have the option to buy more shares in your property. This process is called staircasing. The cost of the additional shares is based on the market value of the property at the time of the purchase, not the value when you first bought it.

As you buy more shares, the proportion of rent you pay on the remaining share decreases. For instance, if you initially owned 50% of your home and then staircase to own 75%, you would only pay rent on the remaining 25%.

In many cases, you can staircase up to owning 100% of your home, at which point you become the outright owner and no longer have to pay rent on the property. However, some shared ownership properties have restrictions that cap staircasing at a certain percentage, such as 80%.

Each time you staircase, you will likely incur costs such as valuation fees (to determine the current market value of the property), legal fees, and potentially additional mortgage arrangement fees.

Increasing your share of the property can also affect your rights and responsibilities, such as being able to make certain decisions about the property without the housing association’s consent.

How to sell shared ownership property UK

If you are wanting to sell shared ownership property in the UK, the process is fairly similar to selling a normal house, except you may have the assistance of the Housing Association or Local Authority. 

 

Here is our step by step guide to selling shared ownership property:

 

Understanding your lease

 

  • Begin by thoroughly reviewing your lease. Each housing association or local authority has specific rules for selling shared ownership properties. Ensure you understand all the processes, financial responsibilities and any potential restrictions.

 

Notify your Housing Association or Local Authority

 

  • You will need to inform your local authority or housing association of your decision to sell. This is also the perfect time to clarify the nomination period – which is the duration you must wait before you can independently market your property if they haven’t found a buyer.

 

Valuation and Energy Performance Assessment

 

  • Arrange for a RICS qualified surveyor to value your property. You can choose a surveyor from the housing association’s recommendations or find one independently.
  • Remember, the valuation report is valid for three months, and a revaluation is necessary if the property doesn’t sell within this timeframe. Also, check if you need a new Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your property.

 

Completing the necessary paperwork

 

  • Once satisfied with the valuation, complete and return the ‘intention to sell’ form to your housing association or local authority. Prepare to provide details of your conveyancer or solicitor, experienced in Shared Ownership sales, along with your lease, FENSA Certificates and other documents. Be prepared for a marketing fee to cover the cost of advertising your property.

 

Marketing your property

 

  • The housing association will exclusively market your property during the agreed nomination period, using their platforms and reaching out to potential buyers. If they are unable to find a suitable buyer within this period, you can then market the property independently or through an estate agent, keeping in mind the specific criteria for Shared Ownership buyers.

 

Formally instructing a solicitor

 

  • Once a buyer is found, either through the housing association, local authority or the open market, instruct your conveyancer or solicitor to manage the sale. Maintain regular communication to ensure a smooth process.

 

The exchange and completion process

 

  • The buyer will undergo a similar approval process as you did when purchasing the property. Once approved, their solicitor will coordinate with yours to exchange contracts. A completion date will be set, marking when you will hand over the keys and settle any outstanding legal fees. 

Is it difficult to sell shared ownership property?

Selling a shared ownership property is often more streamlined compared to traditional homeownership sales. The ease largely comes from the support provided by Housing Associations. These organisations play a role in simplifying the process, offering assistance in finding potential buyers. 

 

Additionally, they often take on the responsibility of marketing your property, which can help speed up the process. This collaborative approach between the homeowner and the Housing Association can lead to a quicker and more efficient sale, making the experience less daunting. 

 

However, if the housing association cannot find a buyer for the share ownership property within the specified nomination period, the owner is granted the freedom to market the property independently. This is unfortunately where some of the difficulty of selling can arise. 

 

Saying this, the owner will usually have more control over the sale process, including setting the price, marketing strategies and arranging viewings. The issues that arise are due to the fact that the potential buyers must meet certain income thresholds and other criteria set by the housing association or local authority. 

 

These thresholds or criteria could include:

 

  • Income thresholds: Buyers usually need to have a household income below a certain level, for example, in the North East of England, the income threshold might be £80,000 or less. 
  • First time buyers: Priority is often given to first-time buyers or individuals who currently don’t own a property. Additionally, those in housing need, such as living in overcrowded or unsuitable housing conditions.
  • Local connections: Some schemes require buyers to have a connection to the local area, such as living, working or having family there. This criteria helps support local communities and ensures that those who contribute to the area have housing opportunities. 
  • Mortgage eligibility: Buyers must demonstrate that they are eligible for a mortgage for the share of the property they intend to buy. This assessment ensures that buyers can sustainably afford the property. 
  • No outstanding credit issues: Potential buyers should not have significant outstanding debts or credit issues that could impact their ability to maintain mortgage payments.
  • Sufficient deposit: While the deposit required for shared ownership can be lower than for buying a property outright, buyers still need to have enough savings for a deposit on their share of the home.
  • Ability to sustain ownership: Prospective buyers are assessed for their ability to sustain homeownership, including meeting ongoing costs like mortgage payments, rent on the remaining share, maintenance and service charges. 

What steps can you take if dissatisfied with a Housing Association’s handling of your property sale?

If you find yourself dissatisfied with the way your housing association is managing the sale of your shared ownership property, there are a number of steps you can take. 

 

Firstly, begin by raising your concerns with the housing association directly. It’s often helpful to do this in writing, providing a clear and detailed account of your issues, which can lead to a direct resolution or clarification of the processes involved.

 

If the initial communication doesn’t resolve the issue, follow the housing association’s formal complaint procedure. This process is outlined in your lease agreement or is available upon request. Following the procedures means that your concerns ensure your complaint is logged and handled systematically.

 

Should the response from the housing association be unsatisfactory, or the issue remains unresolved, you can escalate the matter to the Housing Ombudsman. The Ombudsman offers a free, impartial service to resolve disputes between tenants and housing associations. They can investigate the issue and provide a resolution, which may include compensation or specific actions from the housing association.

Association not found a buyer? We will!

How much does it cost to sell Shared Ownership property?

The cost of selling a shared ownership property will most likely need you to budget to ensure a smooth transaction. While some costs will be fixed according to your lease agreement, there will be other costs that vary depending on competitive pricing.

 

Your property must be valued by a RICS surveyor, the cost for this service will vary but it’s a necessary expense to ensure an accurate market value. The average RICS valuation will cost you £320, but this can increase up to £800 if you require a Level 3 survey. 

 

You will be responsible for your own solicitor’s fees, which on average will cost around 1% to 3% of your total selling price. It may also be important to note that the conveyancing process for shared ownership properties can be slightly longer than standard house selling. 

 

Furthermore, if in your lease agreement it states that you need to cover your housing associations’ legal fees, then you will also be liable to pay for these.

 

You will also need to obtain your Leasehold Information Form, which will incur a £100 to £300 cost from your housing association. If your housing association assists in marketing your property, they will charge you for this as well – but this cost will depend on the terms of your lease. 

 

If your current EPC is older than 10 years, you’ll need to obtain a new one, and these can cost between £60 and £120. 

 

Should you choose to market your property via an estate agent, you will then also face estate agent fees from then which could be 1% to 3%+VAT of your house selling price. However, if you sell your property with us, you won’t incur any fees at all, ever. 

 

We will cover all the fees associated with selling shared ownership house, including solicitor fees, estate agent fees and we will handle everything for you. Not only that, but we can also help you sell within 28 days, although most people decide to take slightly longer.

Can you transfer ownership of a shared ownership house?

It is possible to transfer ownership of a shared ownership property. This most commonly occurs during the sale of the property, as outlined in the steps above. However, there are some other circumstances where you might wish to transfer your lease or your share of the lease.

 

In such situations, you will need to seek permission from your housing association or local authority. Each organisation will have its own set of rules and procedures for transferring ownership and you will need to have a firm understanding of these before starting the transfer of ownership.

 

Once permission has been granted, you will need to appoint a solicitor to handle the legal aspects of the transfer. This could include drafting and signing new lease agreements, ensuring compliance with housing association regulations and possibly dealing with financial adjustments related to the ownership share.

Can you sell one Shared Ownership property and buy another?

You can sell your current shared ownership property and purchase another, provided you still meet the criteria for a government’s shared ownership scheme.

 

The scheme is designed to assist individuals who may not be able to afford a property on the open market, so your continued eligibility will depend on factors like income level and housing needs. 

 

If you’ve increased your equity in your current property through a process known as staircasing (where you gradually buy a larger share of your home), you might find that you have built up enough financial leverage to transition out of shared ownership altogether. 

 

This could open the door to buying a non-shared ownership home, giving you more options in the housing market.

We’ll sell shared ownership home for free

What is the bad side of selling shared ownership property?

Before you decide to sell shared ownership property, it is also important to understand the downside to selling. 

 

If you own a smaller share of the property, your financial gain from any increase in its value is proportionally smaller. This means that the benefits of capital appreciation, a key advantage of property ownership, are significantly reduced. The smaller your share, the less you benefit from the property’s growth in market value over time. 

 

Selling a shared ownership property can be far more complicated than selling a standard property. If you don’t own the property outright, you must first offer it back to the housing association, known as the right of first refusal. 

 

This can increase the selling process timeline, as you have to wait for a fixed period to see if the housing association can find a buyer before you can market it yourself.

Even if you own 100% of the property, selling on the open market might come with its own challenges, especially if you don’t own the freehold as it will limit your pool of potential buyers. 

 

And then when you do find a potential buyer, they will need to meet the specific criteria set by the housing association, which will limit your pool of buyers even further. 

 

Finally, if you have increased your share through staircasing, the cost of these additional shares is based on the property’s value at the time of each purchase. As property values increase, so does the cost of acquiring additional shares which will impact the eventual selling price of the property.

What’s the catch with shared ownership?

Shared ownership schemes offer an accessible path to homeownership but as always, there’s a catch! 

 

Shared ownership properties are leasehold, meaning you’re responsible for ground rent and service charges irrespective of the size of your share. These costs are ongoing and can add to your annual expenses. 

 

The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022 has brought changes for newly builds, abolishing ground rent. However, for existing leasehold properties, the ground rent factor may deter some buyers, and potentially affect the resale value. 

 

Finding lenders that offer mortgages for shared ownership properties can be challenging, though more mortgage lenders are embracing this market. This limitation might affect your mortgage options, possibly influencing the terms and interest rates available to you.

 

Shared ownership properties often have restrictions on alterations or improvements. This limitation can impact your ability to personalise or enhance your home, possibly affecting its future value and your enjoyment of the property.

 

Staircasing, or increasing your share in the property, incurs additional costs each time it’s done. These include survey, legal, and mortgage fees, unlike a traditional property purchase where such costs are usually one time expenses.

Can you make a profit on shared ownership?

When selling a shared ownership property, there is potential for making profit. But the potential will hinge on the appreciation of the property’s value over time. If the market value of the home increases from the time you purchased your share to when you sell it, you stand to make a profit. 

 

The extent of your profit is directly proportional to the size of the share you own in the property. For instance, if you own 50% of the property and its value has increased, you will profit from that 50% share of the increased value. Conversely, if you own a smaller share, such as 25%, your share of the profit will be correspondingly smaller.

Do shared ownerships go up in value?

The value of shared ownership properties is subject to the same market conditions as other properties. If the housing market in the area is strong and property values are rising, it’s likely that the value of shared ownership homes will also increase. 

 

The location of the property plays a massive role in the increase of value it may be subject to. Properties in desirable locations like Liverpool, Newcastle, Leeds, Sheffield or Bristol with good transport links, schools and amenities are far more likely to see an appreciation in value. 

 

Furthermore, shared ownership properties are leasehold and the length of the lease will impact the property’s value. Properties with longer leases are more valuable. If the lease is nearing its end, the property value might decrease unless steps are taken to extend the lease.

Looking to sell shared ownership property? We can help!

If you’re considering selling shared ownership property, The property Selling Company is here to guide you every step of the way. As a leading UK online estate agency, we specialise in streamlining the selling process for traditional and share ownership homes, because we believe selling a house should be fast, effortless and free.

 

Our team of experienced property professionals understand the unique aspects of selling shared ownership properties. We offer expert advice tailored to your situation and help ensure that you navigate through the process with ease. 

 

From valuation to listing, and through to completion, we handle all aspects of the selling process. Our service is designed to take the stress out of selling, allowing you to focus on your next move.

 

We are able to leverage our vast network and our large online presence to ensure that your property reaches a wide audience of potential buyers that fit your housing associations criteria. Our targeted marketing campaigns are tailored to highlight the features of your property and attract the right buyers.

 

Arguably the most important benefit of using our service is our commitment to covering all fees associated with selling your shared ownership property. This includes valuation fees, legal fees, and estate agency fees to ensure a completely hassle-free selling experience not seen anywhere else on the market.

Sell shared ownership property without all the hassle

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What is a house guide price & should it be trusted 2024 UK

What is a house guide price & should it be trusted 2024 UK

A house guide price is used as a marketing tool for sellers and estate agents.

Tom Condon
Tom Condon ★ Digital Content Writer

Table of Contents

As we start in 2024, the UK housing market remains a labyrinth filled with evolving terms and trends, among which the ‘house guide price’ emerges as an important instrument for both buyers and sellers.

 

This article aims to delve deep into the concept of house guide prices, examining their role and impact from the perspective of both sellers and buyers. We will explore how these property guide prices are determined, the factors influencing them and the strategic considerations behind their use.

 

Additionally, the article will offer valuable insights into the current trends of the housing market, providing readers with a well-rounded understanding of how guide prices fit into the broader landscape of property buying and selling in 2024.

 

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor or a seller looking to maximise your property’s value, this discussion will equip you with the knowledge and tools to navigate the UK housing market with confidence.

What does house guide price mean?

A house guide price, fundamentally, represents an estimated value set by the seller, vendor or their estate agent. This estimation indicates the minimum price that the seller is willing to accept for their property.

 

The property guide price serves as a starting point for potential buyers to make offers. The guide price can be presented either as a specific amount or a price range, offering an initial idea of what the seller expects.

What is guide price?

A guide price, often encountered in house markets, serves as an estimated selling price for a property. While it offers a useful starting point, it’s important to recognise that properties seldom sell for their exact guide price. 

 

The final sale price is influenced by various factors, primarily the offers received by the seller. These offers can vary, falling either above or below the guided price, also known as the asking price. 

 

The guide price acts as a benchmark for initiating negotiations with the seller. Buyers usually have the liberty to propose offers lower than the guide price. However, it’s important to balance this approach; excessively low offers may be outright rejected by the seller. 

 

Market conditions and competition from other potential buyers significantly impact the success of any offer. While there is no one-size-fits-all rile, many property experts recommend starting with an offer that is 5% to 10% lower than the guide price. 

 

In some cases, sellers might entertain offers up to 15% lower, but such proposals can be perceived as overly bold or even disrespectful, risking a negative impression.

 

A key factor to consider before making a lower offer is the duration for which the property has been on the market. Properties listed for sale beyond 90 days may indicate a higher openness from agents and sellers to consider lower offers. This can be due to various reasons, such as a pressing need to sell or fewer inquiries than expected.

What is a house guide price at auction?

When it comes to properties being sold at auction, the price guide for houses takes on a slightly different role. It is closely linked to the reserve price, which is the minimum price agreed upon between the auctioneer and the vendor.

 

The house guide price at an auction is either the amount at which the seller’s reserve price is set or the starting point for bidding. Importantly, the reserve price is usually undisclosed, but the guide price can provide a reasonable indication of where the reserve is likely set.

How accurate are guide prices at property auctions?

The accuracy of a guide price can be influenced by the current state of the property market. In a strong market, properties might sell for significantly higher than the guide price, whereas in a slower market, the final sale price might be closer to or even below the guide price.

 

The precision of a property price guide also hinges on the expertise of the valuer. A well-experienced valuer or auctioneer with a deep understanding of the local market can set a more accurate price guide. 

 

Guide prices are often set with the intention of attracting interest and encouraging bidding. Therefore, they might be set at a lower range to create competitive bidding, which can lead to a final sale price that is much higher. 

 

Unique or unusual properties might have less predictable guide prices due to the difficulty in comparing them with other sales in the area. If the seller is looking for a quick sale, the guide price might be set lower to attract more interest. Conversely, if there is no urgency to sell the guide price might be closer to the seller’s ideal sale price.

How is a price guide for houses set?

The method of setting a price guide for houses varies depending on the selling method. For sales through a high street estate agent, it is determined based on the minimum price the seller hopes to achieve, combined with the agent’s knowledge and research of current property values in the area. 

 

The price guide for houses is a tool used by sellers and estate agents to initiate negotiations and attract potential buyers. It reflects a combination of the seller’s expectations and market realities, though it is not a definitive predictor of the final selling price. 

 

In contrast, auctioned properties have their guide price determined post the setting of a reserve price by the seller, influenced by factors like the seller’s urgency to sell and their financial needs.

How is an estate agent guide price set on the open market?

When setting a price guide for houses for a property being sold on the open market, there are several factors which are considered. The primary determinant is the minimum price the seller hopes to achieve from the sale.

 

This figure is not randomly chosen; instead it’s carefully calculated based on the agent’s knowledge and research of the current property values in the area. 

 

The agent assesses comparable properties, current market trends and the unique attributes of the property to arrive at a realistic yet attractive house guide price. This guide price aims to generate interest among potential buyers while still aligning with the seller’s financial expectations.

How is a house guide price set at an auction house?

In the context of auctioned properties, the process of setting an auction guide price involves a different approach. First, the auctioneer conducts a valuation of the property to determine its market value. 

 

Based on this valuation, the seller then sets a reserve price – the lowest price they are willing to accept. This reserve price is influenced by factors such as the seller’s urgency to sell, their financial needs and the property’s valuation.

 

The house guide price is then determined with respect to the reserve price. It usually falls within a specific range, often within 10% of the reserve price. This is to ensure a fair and realistic starting point for the auction while maintaining the seller’s interests. 

 

The guide, therefore, acts as an indicator of where bidding might start and gives potential buyers a ballpark figure to consider before participating in the auction.

Are there any guidelines for guide prices?

In 2014, the Advertising Standards Authority established guidelines to regulate how guide prices are set. These guidelines stipulate that the guide price must either indicate a range or single price figure within 10% of the reserve price. 

 

Additionally the guide price cannot be more than 10% lower than the seller’s reserve price. These rules help ensure transparency and fairness in auctions, providing potential buyers with a more accurate expectation of the reserve price.

What’s the difference between house guide price and asking price?

The guide price, as an estimated value range, is used to indicate the minimum the seller is willing to accept and is often flexible. In contrast, the asking price is a more definitive figure representing what the seller specifically wants for their property.

 

The asking price is less about initiating interest and more about stating the seller’s firm valuation often set after considering the property’s condition, market conditions and comparable sales.

 

Both guide prices and asking prices are essential in the house selling process. House guide prices are instrumental in generating interest and fostering competitive bidding, while asking prices provide clear and specific valuations from the sellers to the buyers.

How much do houses sell for compared to asking price?

Based on data provided by Hometrack, Zoopla’s data business, there’s a notable trend of houses selling for less than the original asking price in the current market. On average, sellers are accepting offers that are approximately 3.8% below their initial asking price.

 

Furthermore there’s been an increase in the number of sellers agreeing to even larger discounts. Over two-fifths (42%) of sellers are accepting offers more than 5% below the asking price, a figure that represents the highest level of such discounts since 2018, a period when annual UK house price growth was just 1%. 

 

Additionally, over one in six sellers are accepting discounts of more than 10% below the asking price. This trend suggests that buyers are negotiating harder, and sellers are increasingly willing to lower their expectations to close deals, reflecting a shift in the market dynamics towards buyers.

Should you follow the guide price on property or decide the price for yourself?

Sellers need to balance their own financial expectations with the realities of the market. While it’s natural to aim for the highest possible return on investment, being realistic about the property’s market value is essential. 

Overpricing can lead to a stale property listing, whereas a competitive house guide price can create more interest and potentially lead to better offers, especially if it triggers a bidding war in a seller’s market. 

 

Sellers and vendors should be prepared for negotiations. The guide price is a starting point and buyers may offer less than this amount. It’s important to understand the range of acceptable offers before listing the property. 

Being too rigid can result in missed opportunities, but understanding the lowest acceptable offer helps in making informed decisions during negotiations. 

 

Sellers should also consider the buyers’ perspective. Buyers are likely to conduct their own research and valuations. Therefore, a guide price that closely aligns with market valuations is more likely to be taken seriously by prospective buyers. Unrealistic  property guide prices might be dismissed by savvy buyers, reducing the pool of potential buyers.

Can buyers offer lower than the guide price?

Yes, buyers can offer lower than the guide price, although the success of such offers depends on various factors, including market conditions and the seller’s circumstances.

 

The house guide price is essentially an invitation to begin negotiations, representing the seller’s initial expectation but not a fixed bottom line.

 

In a buyer’s market, where supply exceeds demand, sellers might be more included to consider offers below the guide price. Additionally, if a property has been on the market for an extended period, or if the seller is motivated to sell quickly due to personal circumstances, they may be more open to accepting lower offers.

 

However buyers should approach this thoughtfully, as excessively low offers might be dismissed outright or negatively impact the negotiation process.

What is the difference between guide price and ‘offers in excess of’?

The difference between a guide price and ‘offers in excess of’ lies primarily in the expectations they set for potential buyers. A guide price suggests an estimated range for starting point for negotiations, indicating the minimum amount the seller hopes to receive.

 

It’s often used to initiate interest and encourage offers, with room for negotiation up or down. On the other hand, ‘offers in excess of’ explicitly states that the seller expects offers to be higher than the specified amount. 

 

This approach is usually employed when a seller anticipates strong interest in their property or believes market conditions favour a higher selling price. It sets a clear baseline above which all offers must fall, reducing the likelihood of lower bids and steering negotiations towards a higher price range.

Should you trust an estate agent guide price?

When considering whether to trust an estate agent guide price, it’s important to assess the credibility and reputation of the agent. Experienced and reputable estate agents usually have a good understanding of the local property market and can set guide prices that accurately reflect current market conditions. 

They typically use their knowledge of recent sales, market demand, and specific property features to arrive at a guide price that’s realistic and competitive. However, it’s worth noting that estate agents might sometimes set guide prices to attract interest, possibly listing a slightly lower price to encourage more viewings and potential offers. 

 

Despite the expertise of estate agents, it’s advisable for buyers and sellers to conduct their own independent research. This includes looking at comparable properties in the area, understanding current market trends, and assessing the specific attributes and condition of the property in question. 

 

Independent research helps in forming a more indepth view of a property’s value, which can either corroborate or challenge the house guide price set by the agent.

 

It’s important to understand the motivations behind an estate agent guide price. Agents are usually motivated by the desire to make a sale, which can sometimes lead to setting more attractive (often lower) property guide prices to stimulate interest and competition among buyers. 

Conversely, if representing a seller, an agent might set a higher guide price if they believe the market conditions or the property’s unique features justify it. 

Can you trust an online estate agent?

When deciding whether to trust an estate agent guide price, considering the use of an online estate agent can offer a different perspective. Online estate agents have gained popularity due to several advantages they offer which can positively impact the reliability and approach towards house guide prices.

 

Here at The Property Selling Company, we are an online estate agents with a difference, we are completely honest and transparent in our process and will always try and get you the best price possible for your home.

 

You will benefit from using our service as we have access to extensive, data-driven market analysis tools, enabling us to set guide prices based on a wider range of data than a traditional estate agent. 

This can include seeing national and local market trends, a broader spectrum of property comparisons and real time data analytics, leading to potentially more accurate and objective guide prices. 

 

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Who pays for the probate valuation & who organises it?

woman having probate valuation

Who pays for the probate valuation & who organises it?

This is an example summary of an example page with a bunch of different test titles and segments.

Tom Condon
Tom Condon ★ Digital Content Writer

Table of Contents

When someone passes away, the estate must be probate valued, calculated and reported to HMRC. Then the probate process should begin so the estate can be split amongst all beneficiaries. 

 

The cost of probate valuations vary depending on the type of service and method chosen, but as an average, you can expect a probate valuation to cost you between 1% and 5% of the estate’s full value.

 

Most estate agencies will cover the probate valuation cost as part of their service and will agree upon the cost from the onstart. 

 

Many people during the house valuation process for probate, wonder “can I sell a property before probate?”, as the probate and selling property process can be extremely time-consuming. In this article we will cover all this and more!

What is a probate valuation?

The legal process of dealing with the value of the estate when a person passes away is called probate. Typically, the valuation for probate is executed by the deceased person’s executors via the Grant of Representation. 

 

The Grant of Representation allows executors to access all information – including bank accounts, stocks, shares, and the deceased person’s property – to determine the open market value of the assets.

 

A probate valuation will cover all items of value, minus any outstanding debts, with the remaining amount being liable for inheritance tax. If the probate valuation reveals the assets are £325,000 or less, then you are not required to pay inheritance tax – anything above this and you will be liable to 40% tax.

 

If someone passes away without leaving a will, then a professional valuation must be done on their estate according to the Rules of Intestacy.

How is the value of a property defined?

The value of a property is defined through a probate valuation, with the valuer taking note of the size of property, amount of bedrooms, amount of storage, the age of the property, any wear and tear, and room layout.

 

All of this information is paired with local market trends, similar and neighbouring properties and what amenities are available in the local area, in order to come up with a house valuation for probate.

How is a property valued for probate?

The property probate valuation will be carried out from the day of death, which is known as a date of death valuation. This is where the values are generated from selling prices on the open market. 

 

If a person dies on the 12th December, but the house valuation for probate takes place on the 4th January, then the selling prices would be based on the 12th December valuations.

Why should you value an estate for probate?

Probate valuations are different from normal valuations, as probate valuations are conducted in such a way that HMRC will accept it. You cannot use a market valuation to determine the probate value of a property or you will face penalties from HMRC.

 

By carrying out a probate valuation, you are ensuring that you are providing the correct amount of assets to be taxed with inheritance tax.

What are the different types of probate valuations?

There are two different variations of probate valuations which can be carried out; formal and informal valuations.  

 

Formal probate valuations are needed on properties that are subject to inheritance tax or have gains of £10,000 or more, or are considered as a “larger” property. The formal probate valuation report is far more in depth than an informal valuation and will cover any commercial properties or land with development potential.  

 

Informal probate valuations will usually be part of an estate agent’s service and are low on cost, or cost-free.

Who pays for probate valuations?

The person who pays for probate valuations, largely depends on what type of probate valuation you are getting and the value of the property itself.  

 

If you are using an estate agent (like us), then an informal probate valuation will be covered within the agency service or fee. But, if you are using a professional probate RICS surveyor or solicitor who carries out a formal valuation, then you will need to cover the fee.

Who needs to organise the valuation?

The personal representatives of the deceased person are responsible for arranging probate, and the probate valuation. If they decided to sell the property through an estate agent, the estate agent should organise the valuation on their behalf. But if they go through a probate valuations company then they will need to liaise with the valuers themselves.

How much do probate valuations cost?

Probate valuations through an estate agent won’t charge the property probate valuation fee as part of their service, but some agencies may charge a low fee (below 1% of the property’s value).  

 

Specialist probate solicitors will usually charge between 2% and 5% of the estate’s total value (+VAT), with the more experienced solicitor charging a higher rate. 

 

RICS Chartered surveyors will charge between £150 and £800 per valuation and are the most recommended type of probate valuation as they are HMRC approved.

Who owns a property during probate?

During probate, the ownership of a deceased person’s estate is in a transitional state as it is in the process of being transferred to the beneficiaries as determined by the will, or by the rules of intestacy.

How long after probate can a property be sold?

You will be able to sell a property as soon as probate has been granted, but you will be able to put the house on the market before this has been reached. With the average UK probate process can take between 9 and 12 months, you could put the house on the market and find a potential buyer.

Can I sell a property before probate?

Dealing with probate and selling property is a complicated process, often involving layers of conveyancing and considerations for the wishes of the deceased. 

 

Unfortunately, you cannot sell a property before probate, you will need to wait until probate has been granted in order to sell a property. You can however put a property on the market during the probate process in order to generate interest and attract more buyers.

What is the probate selling a property process?

If you are looking at the probate selling a property process, it can be very complicated, but below is our quick guide on how to achieve it:

 

  1. Carry out a house valuation for probate.
  2. Pay any inheritance tax due.
  3. Obtain the grant of probate.
  4. Prepare for private and selling property.
  5. List the property for sale.
  6. Accept an offer, exchange and complete as usual.

Is selling property after probate taxable?

When selling property after probate, the executors of the estate will need to raise enough funds to cover the Inheritance Tax and any other costs which have arisen over the probate period. 

 

HMRC will request that Inheritance tax is due on the estate within 6 months of the date of death, and Capital Gains Tax will be due within 60 days of completion. 

 

Luckily, as a beneficiary you will not need to pay Capital Gains Tax when the property is transferred to you.

What happens if you sell a property for less than the probate value?

If you decide to sell the probate property within four years of the deceased passing then you may be due a Inheritance Tax overpayment refund from HMRC. Furthermore you will not need to pay Capital Gains Tax on the sale of your property as it does not make any profit.

Are probate properties cheaper?

Probate properties are often sought after from first time buyers, property investors or people looking to renovate a house. This is simply because most probate properties were owned by older generations and will need updating.

 

Because of the cost of property taxes, like Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax, and the cost of maintenance, the executor of the estate may wish to sell the property as soon as they can.

 

Luckily, executors of an estate may be more willing to accept a below market value cash offer as this speeds up the selling process after a long and drawn out probate process. The probate process is often so long that many property investors avoid it entirely, which means that there is less demand for probate properties.

How The Property Selling Company can help you with probate properties

Here at The Property Selling Company, we pride ourselves on offering a different way of selling and buying probate properties. We are part of a leading UK property selling solution, and have many different ways to sell.

 

Using our service, however, you will benefit from a sale in at least 28 days, for free, with no hidden fees. We believe that selling a house shouldn’t be complicated or costly and will do everything in our power to ensure you have a smooth service.

 

If you are looking for a property after probate service or even during service, well we can do this too! All of our agents are trained in dealing with probate houses and can even help you with valuing property for probate. 

 

We will even cover all the legal and marketing fees usually associated with selling a probate property. Want to find out more about our service? Contact one of our team today!

Probate valuation FAQs

While estate agents will be able to give you an informal house valuation for probate and this allows you to have a rough understanding of the estates value, you will need to get a formal RICS house valuation for HMRC purposes.

 

It is generally easy to organise as there are many Chartered Surveyor firms out there that specialise in probate properties and Red Book valuations. If you want to know more about this, please feel free to contact one of our team and we can direct you in the right direction.

Because the probate and selling process can be quite drawn out, it is your duty to do everything you can to increase the speed and efficiency of the process. This can be achieved by:

 

  • Understanding your duty as the executor of estate or personal representative.
  • Starting probate as soon as you possibly can.
  • Obtain death certificates as soon as possible.
  • Collect as many details about the deceased person’s estate as possible, in the early stages of probate. 

 

These will help speed up the process by ensuring you aren’t sorting these at the last minute, and make the transfer of property far more efficient.

No you cannot sell a house in probate as before you can sell the probate property, you will need to apply for a grant of probate which can take 12 weeks or more to get. But, you will be able to list the home for sale before you get the probate granted.

While you cannot complete on a house during probate, you will be able to market it and gather interest from potential buyers.

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Are eco friendly houses hard to sell: Sustainable property

Are eco friendly houses hard to sell: Sustainable property

Learning what an eco friendly house is and how hard they are to sell…

Tom Condon
Tom Condon ★ Digital Content Writer

Table of Contents

In the UK, most new build homes are far more eco friendly than their older counterparts with 63% of new builds being cheaper to run. This is one of the reasons why new build homes are a target for first time buyers looking to cut down on their energy bills. 

 

But, what happens if you opt for a completely eco friendly house? Well, they can be slightly more expensive to buy, come with more maintenance, but can be cheaper to run. You may find that the market for a fully eco-friendly home is smaller, but that doesn’t mean it’s harder!

 

In this article we will cover how hard it is to sell an eco-friendly house, and the best routes to do it.

What is an eco friendly house?

Eco friendly houses, green homes or Passivhaus properties are homes that are built with sustainability at the heart of the project. The sustainability ethos could come from the sustainable materials used to build the house, the properties energy efficiency, how it reduces the inhabitants carbon footprint and much more.

 

There are plenty of different types of eco-friendly houses, with some being entirely off grid countryside cottages, and others being state of the art modern houses – the type you’d see on Grand Designs.

What is a Passivhaus property?

A Passivhaus property creates a comfortable and energy efficient living space with minimal reliance on conventional heating and cooling systems.

 

The term originated in Germany in the 1990s and has since gained international recognition as a leading approach to sustainable building design. Passivhaus properties can be 25% more expensive to build than traditional properties, but save 90% more on energy bills.

 

Homes that meet the Passivhaus standard are certified through a rigorous verification process and must have:


  • Superior Insulation: Passivhaus properties have high levels of insulation in the walls, roof and floor to minimise heat loss and gain.
  • Airtight construction: They are built to be extremely airtight to prevent uncontrolled air leakage, ensuring that the ventilation is carefully controlled.
  • High performance windows and doors: They use high-quality windows and doors with advanced glazing to minimise heat loss.
  • Ventilation with heat recovery: Mechanical ventilation systems with heat recovery are a core component of Passivhaus designs. These systems exchange stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air while recovering the heat from the outgoing air.
  • Thermal bridge-free construction: Passivhaus design minimises thermal bridges, areas where heat can easily transfer between the interior and exterior of a building.
  • Solar gain: Passive solar design principles are often incorporated to optimise the use of solar energy for heating. 
  • Performance standards: Passivhaus properties must meet specific energy performance criteria, including a maximum annual heating demand, primary energy consumption and airtightness level.

What should be included in an eco friendly house?

Most buyers looking for an eco-friendly house will be looking for a property that aligns with four pillars of sustainability; natural building materials, thermal mass heating, green energy source or supplier and temperature controlled architecture.

The use of natural building materials instead of plastic sources contributes to the eco-friendliness of the house. 

 

Buyers value this feature because it not only promotes sustainable construction practices but also ensures that the home has a reduced environmental impact. Natural materials are often renewable, biodegradable, and have a lower carbon footprint compared to synthetic alternatives.

The focus on thermal mass heating is vital for energy efficiency. Home buyers are attracted to this feature because it helps regulate indoor temperatures more effectively. Thermal mass retains and releases heat slowly, contributing to a more comfortable living environment.

 

This not only reduces the reliance on artificial heating and cooling systems but also lowers energy consumption, resulting in cost savings for the homeowners.

The use of electricity from a green energy source or supplier is a very important factor for eco-conscious buyers. Green energy demonstrates a commitment to reducing the carbon footprint associated with the home’s energy consumption. 

 

It aligns with the growing awareness of the environmental impact of traditional energy sources and reflects the homeowner’s dedication to using clean and renewable energy.

The architectural design of a building plays a very important role in controlling temperature. Eco home buyers appreciate features that contribute to natural temperature regulation, such as strategically placed sky lights, shading and doors, all of which maximise on potential natural light. 

 

In some properties, the architecture of a property can aid in the heating system and heat recovery. Temperature controlled architecture not only enhances comfort but also reduces the ends for excessive energy consumption in maintaining a suitable indoor climate.

How can architects utilise natural light in eco-friendly buildings?

Although you are probably reading this article because you want to sell your house, it can never hurt to know different ways architects create properties so you can recognise the features in your existing property.

 

One hack architects use is orienting the home to maximise any natural light and heat gain in order to reduce the need for artificial lighting and heating. This is also used alongside incorporating natural ventilation like operable windows and vents to encourage natural airflow, and limit the reliance on mechanical ventilation systems.

What features do eco friendly houses have?

Eco friendly houses with these features are attractive to potential buyers because they offer long-term cost savings, reduced environmental impact and a healthier living environment:

Good insulation helps maintain a consistent indoor temperature, it helps by reducing the reliance on heating and cooling systems, leading to lower energy consumption. Which in turn reduces utility bills and the overall carbon footprint of the house.

 

You should always remember to insulate your roof as well as your walls and floors, as most of the heat will escape through your roof.

 

According to the UK Government website, good insulation could increase your home value by up to 9%.

Using renewable energy sources such as wind, solar or geothermal power helps to reduce dependence on non-renewable energy like fossil fuels and contributes to a lower environmental impact. 

 

Heat pumps, whether they are ground source  heat pumps or air source heat pumps, are highly efficient in converting energy from the air, ground, or water into heat for indoor spaces. This is because they achieve high levels of efficiency, especially in moderate climates like the UK.

Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity, providing a clean and sustainable energy source. Solar panelling reduces reliance on traditional energy grids and fossil fuels, leading to cost savings and environmental benefits. 

 

Solar panels can add between 4% and 14% to a house’s value, with some rare cases seeing house valuations increasing by 25%.

Water conservation systems such as rainwater harvesting and efficient plumbing fixtures, help reduce water consumption. In areas facing water scarcity water conservation systems can be great as it collects rainwater to use within the property. 

 

Water conservation systems can save homeowners between 40% and 50% of their water bills, all while adding up to 8% to a house’s value.

Incorporating reclaimed or recycled materials into construction reduces the demand for new resources, minimises waste and promotes a circular economy by preventing valuable materials ending up in landfills. 

 

While using reclaimed materials can be a great way to save costs when building, you will need to be careful that the property does not become classified as ‘non-standard construction’ as this could affect the likelihood of potential buyers getting mortgage approval on your property.

Double or triple glazed windows enhance insulation by providing an extra layer of thermal resistance. Glazed windows help in maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature, reducing the need for heating or cooling, and contributing to noise reduction and energy efficiency. 

 

It is estimated that double glazing windows can increase the property value by up to 10%, while triple glazing can improve the house value by up to 20%.

Smart technologies, such as energy efficient appliances, programmable thermostats and home automation systems enable homeowners to monitor and control energy usage, leading to optimised energy consumption, increased efficiency and cost savings. 

 

Making smart technology additions to a property may add on average, £16,000 to a house’s value. But, this will depend on the type of smart tech added and whether you have taken steps to increase your EPC.

Does interior design matter when it comes to eco housing?

Interior design matters to a degree when dealing with eco housing, as sustainable home design practices can complement the overall environmentally conscious ethos of a property. 

 

Sustainable interior design can be achieved via the use of eco-friendly materials like recycled or reclaimed wood, low volatile organic compound paints, and energy efficient appliances.

Why would potential buyers be put off by an eco friendly house?

As we have previously mentioned, one of the drawbacks of eco friendly housing is the steep learning curve attached to their home systems, especially if they are off grid or are completely self-sustainable ecologically, 

 

Away from this, another issue some potential buyers may have with your eco-friendly home is the fact that its airtight insulation traps sound indoors which can be annoying if the potential buyer is part of a large family – as noise is trapped within.

 

Another issue that arises is eco homes need some or a lot of maintenance in order to maintain their eco status, and potential buyers will need to be proactive when keeping up with energy consumption requirements.

What is the most eco-friendly town in the UK?

In May, Oxford in Oxfordshire, was crowned the greenest and most eco friendly town in the UK, under the ENDS Report Green Cities Index 2023. The index evaluated England’s 55 largest urban cities on more than 30 environmental factors grouped into five categories: public realm, green behaviour, air quality, climate and water quality.

 

Oxford scored highly in the public realm and green behaviour categories. The city’s residents were recognised as among the greenest in England. In addition to this, Oxford has the fourth highest recycling rate in the country, which represents a commitment to sustainable waste management. 

 

In terms of sustainable infrastructure, the city boasts the fifth highest number of electric vehicle charging stations per 100,000 people in England. Oxford also performed well in terms of green commuting behaviour, with a high proportion of residents travelling to work by bicycle or on foot.

 

The city has a history of leading the way on environmental measures for the South of England, with initiatives such as the UK’s first Zero Emission Zone pilot, Europe’s most powerful EV charging hub and the UK’s first citizen’s assembly on climate change.

 

Oxford has demonstrated commitment to zero carbon efforts including the establishment of a Zero Emissions Zone in the city centre and plans for an all electric bus fleet. 

 

Despite some controversies over recent green initiatives like low-traffic neighbourhoods and the decision to serve 100% plant-based meals at internal events, Oxford has been proactive in implementing measures to enhance its environmental sustainability.

What town in the UK has the most eco-friendly houses?

Norwich has the most eco-friendly homes in the UK, according to research provided by Rated People. The research calculated eco-home scores based on a set of 20 ‘eco-home criteria’, considering environmentally friendly features such as extra insulation, smart metres, electric car charging points and heat pumps, biomass boilers and electric cars.

Is it harder to sell an eco-friendly house?

Selling an eco-friendly house can be interesting to sell on the open market because although it has some very good positives, it may be seen as a learning curve by inexperienced eco home buyers which narrows the pool of potential buyers.

 

One of the positives of eco homes is that they are more energy-efficient and appeal to environmentally conscious buyers as they offer reduced monthly energy bills. 

 

But, this energy efficiency will probably come with a steep learning curve as eco-friendly houses tend to have their own insulation systems, window shutters and water conservation systems.

 

It gets even more complicated if your house has Passivhaus recognition as this will need to be maintained in order to retain its value and quality.

What are the main differences between eco housing and normal housing?

The main difference between eco housing and normal housing is that eco friendly housing and their sustainable features are 25% or more expensive than traditional homes, but buyers will take into account the fact they are making an investment into the future and environment. 

 

Eco housing tends to be more energy efficient, resulting in lower utility bills which is a significant selling point for cost-conscious potential buyers, especially as normal housing may lack the energy efficiency features of an eco home and will result in higher long-term utility costs for buyers. 

 

Sustainable properties appeal to people looking to prioritise sustainable living and reducing their ecological footprint, which unsurprisingly, has become a top demand amongst buyers on the open market within the last decade. 

 

Most new build properties are built with some form of eco friendliness to them, offering double or triple glazing, underfloor heating and thorough insulation throughout the properties. Although these are not considered completely sustainable properties, they are a good starting point for eco friendly housing. 

 

In most cities in the UK, especially in the Government’s Investment Zones like Cambridge and Leeds, there are incentives and tax exemptions for eco-friendly features which can be additional selling points. It’s always good to find out if your property falls within this as it will make your house more attractive to people on limited budgets. 

 

Finally, buyers are far more likely to buy traditional properties with period features, as this is what they have become accustomed to. Although demand for eco friendly housing has risen, there is still quite a narrow pool of buyers that are interested in one specific area.

Where can I sell my sustainable property?

The best way to sell your sustainable property or eco friendly house is through us! We are a leading UK estate agency with over 50 years of combined experience in selling and buying houses. 

 

We can help sell your property in as little as 28 days, all while handling and covering the costs of all your marketing, photography, listing, visiting and more. All the costs usually associated with selling your house, we will cover — even your solicitors!

 

We have an ethos here at The Property Selling Company, that selling your house should be fast, effortless and free. And, we have made it our mission to do just that! We will work alongside you with every step of the house-selling process, ensuring that you are satisfied around every corner.

 

We will market your property on property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla, organise viewings and much more. If you are looking to buy or sell a property, get in touch today and fill in one of our free, no-obligation forms!

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What are cash buyers only and why do sellers prefer them?

What are cash buyers only and why do sellers prefer them?

This is an example summary of an example page with a bunch of different test titles and segments.

Tom Condon
Tom Condon ★ Digital Content Writer

Table of Contents

What does cash buyers only mean?

Cash buyers only means that sellers and vendors will only entertain house offers from potential buyers who have the cash funds readily available without relying on financing or mortgages. 

 

The term cash buyers only is often used interchangeably with cash purchases only and cash buyers only property. 

 

Buyers who are relying on mortgages, funds from other sources (like inheritance) or loans, or the buyers are awaiting a property to sell, they may have their offers rejected. They will need to provide proof of funds – which could be done using a recent bank statement.

 

Can cash buyers offer less on your property?

Yes, this is known as buying below market value and is a completely normal industry practice. But, this is the question you will need to ask yourself – would you rather your home sell faster for a lower price? Or sell slower for a higher price?

 

Selling to cash buyers only isn’t like selling normally on the open market where you will get offers below and above your asking price. In most cases, the buyer may put in offers below market value because they need to renovate or fix their property.

Do cash buyers pull out?

Until contacts are exchanged, all buyers can pull out of a property transaction – this includes cash buyers. Although cash buyers do say selling with them ‘guarantees’ a sale, this isn’t necessarily completely true.

Why would a house be cash buyers only?

A house would be cash buyers only, if the seller is looking for a fast sale, there are issues within the property or it needs some renovation works.

 

Most people selling with cash buyers only will expect to sell their home below market value as they are accepting the speed of sale in return for a lower selling price (usually 80% to 75%).

Why are cash buyers only good for fast sales?

Cash buyers only means that the seller is not waiting on the buyer to be accepted for a mortgage – which can often be one of the most time consuming parts of selling a house. 

 

In a normal house sale, not waiting on mortgage approval means that they are in a stronger negotiating position but, if a house is only accepting cash offers the margin for profit will decrease as everyone is in the same boat. 

 

If you are looking to sell your house and you want to do it quickly, finding a cash buyer could be a good idea, alternatively you could sell your house to us! We can help you sell your house in as little as 28 days but also find you a price you’ll be more than happy with.

Why are cash buyers only good for properties needing renovation?

Cash buyers only are great for sellers with issues within their property, especially ones that need renovation. This is because most cash buyers will be looking for damaged or derelict properties in order to renovate them and either let them out or sell onwards. 

 

This means that they can buy below market, add value to the house, and then sell for maximum profit. 

 

As long as you announce any issues within your property when they initially look around, then selling below market value for cash can be a very viable option. If you hide any structural issues within the property, then the buyer could pull out.

Why do sellers prefer cash buyers only?

Most people sell to a cash buyer because they are after a quick sale, with some cash buying companies being able to buy in as little as seven days. 

 

But, as you probably know, the property market isn’t that simple and there are plenty of different reasons people decide to sell a property to cash buyers only. 

 

Some other reasons sellers prefer cash buyers only is because they are:

 

  • A Landlord trying to sell tenanted properties and avoid busy waiting on buy to let mortgage applications.
  • A divorced couple selling after separation.
  • Someone trying to stop repossession. 
  • Someone who has inherited a property that needs a lot of work.
  • A seller or vendor that has been gazumped and needs to sell fast.

Why are cash buyers only good for properties with structural issues?

Properties that have structural issues like subsidence, heavy roof damage, bowed walls or dampness caused by leaks are often put on the market as cash buy only. This is because they require a certain amount of investment which is accounted for in the buyer’s asking price. 

 

If the property has been victim to serious damage and is in a state of repair from fire or flooding then, again, cash buyers only can often be the best way to sell. 

 

If the property suffers from Japanese Knotweed, then it may be sold to cash buyers only. Getting rid of Japanese Knotweed can be expensive, and annoying, but it must be announced to any potential buyers.

 

If your property has been damaged by damp due to condensation, a leaky roof or flooding then you may find that it will cost you a large investment to fix yourself. Potential cash buyers will be able to invest into the property with their own cash reserves. 

 

Furthermore, many experienced property renovators and developers are often cash buyers, which is why if you know neighbouring damaged properties have been sold to a developer it could be lucrative for you to follow this route too. Developers will often look to purchase multiple properties in a small vicinity in order to create a larger development plot. 

 

Some other reasons to sell your house to cash buyers only are:

 

  • The property is old and/or does not have an Energy Performance Rating of C or above. 
  • The property has been built with non-standard construction materials. 
  • The property is considered smaller than usual, and may in fact be too small to get mortgaged. 
  • The location of the property makes it problematic for mortgages, for example it’s in an undesirable or hazardous area. 
  • The property has a short or defective lease; if a leasehold property has less than 80 years remaining it can be difficult to sell on the open market.
  • The property is plagued with legal issues due to negative easements, unfulfilled overage clause obligations, planning or building control limitations and restrictive covenants.
  • The property is mixed use, meaning it is split between residential and commercial units.

Are property cash buyers any good?

One of the main benefits to selling your house to a cash buyer is that you avoid property chains, as the cash buyer is not waiting to sell a house before buying yours. Not only does removing the property chain mean the process is faster, it also decreases the chance of the sale falling through. 

 

One of the biggest reasons house sales fall through is because the house sale slows down, or halts due to issues with mortgage applications, conveyancing or issues within the property.

 

Most of which can be avoided by cash buyers as they have their own funds, use their own streamlined solicitors and will get independent RICS valuations before they put in an offer. 

 

But, there are better ways to sell your house in a short period of time, for more profit. For one, you could sell your house fast to us! 

 

We are an online estate agency who can help you sell your house in as little as 28 days, all while covering all the marketing and legal costs associated with the house sale. 

 

Want to get started?

Cash buyers only FAQs

Cash purchasers only refers to where the seller says that they will only accept payment in cash for the property, and they will not consider mortgage or other financing options. 

 

Some sellers may prefer cash purchasers only because they can be faster and involve fewer complications as the buyers do not need to wait on mortgage approval. 

 

However, limiting a house sale to cash purchasers only can restrict the pool of potential buyers, as not everyone has the financial means to make cash purchases.

 

If you come across a property listing on Rightmove or Zoopla, labelled as cash purchasers only, and you’re still interested in the property, it’s advisable that you consult with an estate agent (like us) to explore your options.

When a home is a cash buyers only property, similarly to cash purchasers only, it means that the property will only welcome cash offers. 

 

If you find a cash buyers only property and you do not have enough cash to purchase the property, then in most cases your offer will be rejected. 

 

However, you may get lucky if the cash buyers only property hasn’t got the interest needed and the vendor may entertain a mortgage offer – but you will need to have already attained approval and be ready to move on a fast timeline.

When it comes to selling a house, most articles will tell you, you will need to work out which is most important – time or money, but, this isn’t the case!

 

It is completely possible to sell your house for cash and get market value, as here at The Property Selling Company, we believe that selling a house should be three things: fast, effortless and free. 

 

We offer a fantastic full online estate agent service, without all the fees – because it’s our mission to change the way people sell their houses. 

 

If you want to sell your house for cash, and for full market value then we will find the right buyer for you! We pride ourselves on our exceptional service, and we hope we will see you soon.

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Can I sell my house with mortgage arrears & what is it?

People organising Mortgage arrears

Can I sell my house with mortgage arrears & what is it?

Wondering if you ‘can sell your house with mortgage arrears’? Well you’re in the right place!

Tom Condon
Tom Condon ★ Digital Content Writer

Table of Contents

If you are wondering if you ‘can sell my house with mortgage arrears’, well the short answer is yes. Selling your house with mortgage arrears can be a complicated process, particularly when considering factors such as support for mortgage interest, the remaining mortgage term, and the need for debt advice.

In such a situation, it’s vital that you seek guidance from a reliable mortgage or debt advice service. In 2023, various support schemes exist to help homeowners reduce their monthly payments and manage missed payments effectively.

Exploring options to reduce financial strain and seeking debt advice can be instrumental in devising a feasible plan to pay back any arrears before proceeding with the sale.

What is mortgage arrears?

Mortgage arrears refers to the situation where a borrower falls behind on their scheduled mortgage payments. This could be due to various hardships such as job loss, reduced income or unforeseen expenses. 

 

When a borrower falls into mortgage arrears, the mortgage lender might apply additional charges to cover the costs associated with managing the account during this period. If the arrears are not repaid within a specific timeframe, the homeowner is at risk of having their property repossessed by the lender.

How easy is it to fall into mortgage arrears?

Annually, there are a staggering number of approximately 80,000 mortgage homeowners in the United Kingdom grappling with the challenging reality of falling into arrears. 

 

Given the severity of the consequences, it’s vital to understand the potential ease with which mortgage arrears can occur. Sudden financial setbacks or unexpected life events can make it challenging for individuals to keep up with their mortgage obligations. 

 

Borrowers should be aware of the legal rights of mortgage lenders, which allow them to repossess the property within 90 to 180 days of the borrower falling into arrears.

Can mortgage arrears be written off?

While some borrowers may consider seeking complete debt forgiveness, mortgage lenders are generally reluctant to write off debts entirely. They are more inclined to accept a repayment plan that involves either a lump sum or regular instalments.

 

Communication with the mortgage lender is key and it is advisable to seek professional advice and guidance from debt counsellors to understand the available options and create a realistic plan for repayment.

Will my property be repossessed if I miss a mortgage repayment?

If you miss a mortgage repayment, you should not have to worry about repossessed property. Repossession should always be the last resort that your lender takes when it comes to dealing with mortgage arrears. 

 

The majority of lenders will not start the repossession process until you have missed at least 3 repayments. Even then, many will delay if you agree to a mortgage repayment plan.

How does the house repossession process occur?

You may be wondering how the process of repossessing property works. Below we take a quick look at a breakdown of the process and what you can expect if you are going through the house repossession process: 

 

  1. You will first go into arrears with your lender. This means you have missed a mortgage payment and are now behind on your loan. 
  2. If you continue to fall behind on your mortgage repayments, you will continue to be in arrears. At this point, your lender may take court action to try and resolve the matter. 
  3. A court hearing will take place where a judge will hear the reasons why your house should or should not be repossessed. 
  4. If you fail to show up for this hearing, then the judge will more than likely rule for outright repossession. If you attend the hearing, then the judge will hear your case and a decision will be reached. 
  5. Once the court has deliberated your case, they will potentially issue a possession order. It may be a suspended order, which means that an agreement will be made to make up these mortgage arrears. 
  6. If you breach this suspended order, then bailiffs will be sent to your home. 
  7. Once this has occurred, repossession will happen, and your lender will sell your property. 

What do you do if you are in mortgage arrears?

In the event of mortgage arrears, proactive measures should be taken to help resolve the situation as soon as possible. This could include:

Communicating promptly with the mortgage lender, as they may be willing to negotiate payment terms or alter the payment schedule. Most mortgage lenders will give you a grace period of 5 to fifteen days after your last mortgage payment was due if you are struggling.  

 

Even if you cannot meet the payment deadlines, you may be able to pay it late but still be charged a late fee. The late charging fee is usually between 5% and 10% of your monthly mortgage payment amount, which stacks up over time if you continue to miss payments.

Exploring insurance coverage, such as a mortgage payment protection insurance, can also provide relief in cases of unexpected income loss due to illness, injury or redundancy.

Reassessing your expenditure and adopting cost-cutting measures can help alleviate financial strain. This could involve evaluating and potentially eliminating non-essential expenses, renegotiating service contracts or seeking better deals for energy and food.

Can you reduce your monthly payments?

Yes, you can reduce your monthly mortgage payments, all you need to do is contact your current mortgage lender. They can refuse your offer for a lower interest rate, but this won’t harm your credit score. We would recommend that you seek the help of a mortgage advisor or broker who can offer more information tailored to your specific situation.

Can you sell your house if the mortgage is in arrears?

For people considering selling their homes to settle mortgage arrears, it is strongly recommended to initiate this process before the property falls into the risk of repossession. 

 

Taking proactive steps to sell the property before it reaches the point of repossession can help prevent potential financial shortfalls and alleviate the burden of solicitor costs. 

 

By proactively managing the sale, homeowners can secure a more favourable sale price, and allow them to clear their outstanding mortgage balance and any associated arrears.

What happens if you sell a house with an outstanding mortgage?

When selling a property with an outstanding mortgage, there’s several options available depending on the terms and conditions of your mortgage agreement. These options may include paying off the remaining mortgage balance, porting the mortgage to a new property, or entirely remortgaging. 

 

Seeking guidance from a mortgage broker can provide clarity on the most suitable course of action based on circumstances. In cases where the proceeds from the property sale are insufficient to cover the remaining mortgage, it may be necessary to negotiate a short sale with the mortgage company to settle the debt.

Is selling your home to avoid house repossession a last resort?

If you are facing house repossession, then there are steps that you can take to try and stop the process. Selling your home should not be your first port of call, however, if you are going to do so, it is best to sell as soon as you can. 

 

Before you decide to sell your home to stop repossessed property, you should consider some of the following steps: 

 

  • Speak to your lender about your situation 
  • Seek out support from external sources such as Citizens Advice, Shelter, National Debtline or your local council 
  • Pay what you can for the overdue payments 
  • Turn to family and friends for support 
  • Apply for universal credit 

Can I have my property repossessed voluntarily?

You do have the option to have your property voluntarily possessed. This means handing back the keys to your lender and moving out. Once you have handed in your keys, you will still be responsible for mortgage interest, building insurance, and maintenance costs until it is sold. 

 

However, it is worth bearing in mind that if you decide to go down this route, it can affect your: 

 

  • Benefits 
  • Credit rating 
  • Options if you need housing help from your council

How can you avoid repossession of your home?

To prevent the distressing possibility of home repossession due to missed mortgage payments and mortgage arrears, there are several proactive measures that can be taken, including exploring the option of selling your property. 

 

Our dedicated service offers a streamlined house selling solution that ensures a swift sale process, with the flexibility of selling in as little as 28 days. By using our service, you can rest assured that we prioritise securing the highest possible price for your home, providing you with a reliable avenue to settle your mortgage arrears and regain financial stability.

 

One of the key advantages of our service is the coverage of all costs associated with the sale of a property. From solicitor fees to marketing expenses, we cover everything, enabling you to navigate the process without any additional financial strain.

 

Whether you prefer a traditional open market sale or a discrete off-market transaction, we accommodate your timeline and objectives, ensuring a tailored approach that aligns with your preferences and needs. 

 

Our commitment to providing a seamless and cost-free experience aims to alleviate the pressure of potential repossession, offering you a viable and stress-free solution to protect your financial well-being.