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As house prices rise again this year, we're encouraging YOU to think about how you can make your property more attractive to buyers.  The tricks of brewing coffee, setting out fresh flowers and baking bread before a viewing are well known, but our director, Andrew Thomas, is urging sellers to think outside of the box when it comes to home staging.

Andrew Thomas said, “Get rid of the clutter. It’s the oldest trick in the book, but it still holds true today, yet many people don’t pay any attention to it. Be ruthless. Buyers need to see clear-cut, well-presented spaces and each room must have a purpose. Hide, store or otherwise destroy all of the redundant oddities that you’ve grown attached to.  It’s also important to pitch your home to your audience - talk to your agent about the different people who intend to view your home. Get the best possible understanding of them, and alter the interior to suit.  For example, if you know a family is coming to view your house make it as child-friendly as possible. For a young couple, minimal and modern decoration is the best choice.”

Thomas continues, “While you don’t need to do a major, expensive renovation project before you sell, you can make minor repairs and improvements that will make your home look fresher to buyers. Try things such as replacing the caulk and grout in your bathroom, replace light blubs that no longer work and clean your windows and frames for a clean and neat appearance. Don’t forget to open the curtains too – The amount of natural light that flows into a home is important for buyers!”

“As well as considering a neutral look for the interior of your home, think about the exterior of your property. Check and repair any garden gates or fences, clear paths of weeds and make the entrance to your home inviting with some freshly planted pot plants.  Giving your home kerb appeal is the first step to engaging with a buyer.”

Thomas concludes, “A good estate agent will play a very important part in managing the sales process.  We pride ourselves on our ability to give the best advice to our sellers when it comes to showing off their homes in the best possible light.”

We anticipate that sellers will be able to achieve a higher asking price if they take the correct steps to presenting their home this spring. Our Midlands based agency’s expert team are aiming high in order to achieve results for our clients and make a difference in the property market. We are hoping that 2017 will prove to be a profitable year for sellers, landlords and our business.

How Can You Avoid Over Valuations?

Like 'Down Valuations', Over-Valuations can pose an obstacle to buying and selling property. As a seller, a high-valuation on your property can seem amazing, especially when the Estate Agent convinces you they can sell it for the top end valuation. But sellers should beware of this as overly high-valuations can backfire – here, we discuss how to avoid over-valuations;


Do Your Research
Make sure that you research similar homes that have currently sold in the area. You should be looking for properties in comparable condition to yours, and those that have sold in the current climate. A property's For Sale price, and what buyers are actually paying, are two very different things, so be sure to see what people are currently paying for similar properties to yours. Doing your research before-hand can arm you with the knowledge to know whether you are being given an over-valuation or not.


Get More Than One Valuation
The majority of Estate Agents will come out to value your property for free. Bear in mind that this is because their aim is to get you to list your property with them. Why not take advantage of this however and get more than one valuation done on your home if you think your initial valuation may have over-valued your property.


Be Transparent
Don't try to hide anything that you think might devalue your home. In terms of structural problems, or repairs that have been carried out, covering these up can come back to haunt you even after the sale has gone through. Do not aim for the highest-valuation possible by not being honest about aspects of the property, always be transparent when getting a property valuation done.


Choose A Reputable Estate Agent
As Estate Agents, we have no qualms in telling you that there are Estate Agents out there who's aim is to not only sell your house, but list new ones. The problem with this, is that they can use over-valuations in order to give the appearance of a large portfolio of high priced housing, to lure in new sellers. As long as you are committed to them, they see that they can then have you lower the price when you see your house isn't selling. Some agents are paid commission on simply getting a listing, rather than a sale, and their best way to do this is to give an over ambitious valuation, convincing the seller that this is achievable if you sign up with them. Beware of the new breed of Estate Agents who don't charge commission on sales too, their interest can lie more in having your property listed than selling it.


Choose a reputable and transparent Estate Agent to avoid problems with over-valuation. At iLove homes, we are only too aware of the problems that can arise from over-valuating a property, and that is why we like to make sellers aware of the traps they can fall into, as well as give information on how to avoid them. Having an accurate and realistic valuation on your property will result in more interest from buyers, and a quicker sale.

How we motivate your applicants

As Estate Agents, our aim is to work for you in the smartest way possible, to achieve you a smooth selling process, and a lucrative house sale. At  iLove homes, we like to keep our business practice as transparent as possible to you, the client, and ultimately achieve a satisfactory sale in a good time frame. In order to establish trust on the part of you, the seller, we want to tell you here how we motivate your applicants;

We pay attention to buyer profiles
With years of experience in buying and selling property, we have come to know the various types of buyer profiles out there, and the types of homes that are most suitable for them. We always suggest the homes most suitable to the buyer for them to consider and view, therefore you can guarantee (as a seller) that we will put your property in front of the exact type of people likely to purchase it.

Viewings are carried out by trained staff
Each viewing will be lead by a fully trained member of iLove homes staff. The staff member conducting the viewing will be experienced, and informed in your property logistics and features. Our friendly staff all have excellent knowledge of the local area, and are motivated in engaging with the potential buyers and meeting their needs as regards information and second viewings. We encourage those who are interested to come back for second viewings, and are keen to hear any feedback they may have.

Attractive For Sale and To Let signs
iLove homes provide attractive For Sale and To Let signs, to encourage footfall and passing traffic to get in touch with us as regards viewing your property. This can be the motivation that people need to make an appointment, where they might not have been actively looking in a certain area or at a certain time, but they are called to action through our signage.

No-pressure follow up calls
Where appropriate we follow up viewings, engaging with interested parties and seeing what more we can do to help them make up their minds. For those applicants who are interested in buying or renting the property, we then initiate the process as regards paperwork, and keep on top of the process the whole way to ensure a contract goes through. By providing a friendly and informative service, with no pressured sales techniques, we find that we can get the process moving and the deal closed in good time.

We keep check of the process
Whether the applicant be an experienced home buyer, or a first time buyer, we are here to oversee the entire buying process. We request the paperwork required to proceed, and chase up anything outstanding. We like to provide as much support as possible for buyers in order to ensure that the seller has a good selling experience with us. We are there for both buyer and seller until the completion, and try to avoid any dragging out of time.

House prices Midlands

House prices in the Midlands have soared by £3,877 since February 2017, as the housing market bursts back into life. 


Only once before, in 2007, has a monthly rise of this size, at this time of year, been recorded. The 1.3% jump in the past four weeks is confirmation that Britain is enjoying a housing boom.


The house sale uplift puts the price of a typical three-bedroom semi in the Midlands at £206,709, according to ­analysts at Rightmove. In fact, the only region that have experienced a drop in house prices was Wales, with a monthly drop of -2.5%. The average house price in the area now stands at £173,073.


Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst commented, “Since the start of the decade, the average March price rise has been 0.9%, so this month’s 1.3% uplift is an indicator of a shortage of suitable property for sale in many parts of the country, with strong demand for the right property at the right price. Since 2007 we’ve only once seen a larger rise than this in March, and we are also keeping pace with last year’s rise, which had the added momentum of investors looking to beat the Stamp Duty tax deadline of April 1st.”


Rightmove’s research certainly indicates that the UK’s housing market is changing.  Contrary to past booms, it is the Midlands region that is driving the market, rather than the southern or northern half of the UK in both monthly and annual house pricing metrics.


If you’re looking to sell your property and take advantage of the surge in house prices, get in touch today.



house surveys

If you buy a property and then discover that it has serious structural problems or major building defects, you could find that you’re landed with significant, unexpected expenses; not to mention the hassle of having building works carried out straight after you move in to your nice new home!

Instructing a building survey will help you to assess the condition of the property you’re thinking about purchasing BEFORE you discover any nasty problems. If your building survey does highlight any problems, you will then have the option to re-negotiate the purchase price, and ensure that you have enough money to tackle any issues. Contrary to wide-ranging consensus, this applies to both old and new properties.


Will my lender undertake a Building Survey?

As a buyer purchasing a property via a mortgage, you will pay for a mortgage valuation report in order to secure a mortgage offer. This report should never be confused with a building survey. The mortgage valuation report merely assesses whether the property you’re considering is worth what they are loaning to you. It is not their responsibility to point out any defects or repairs.


Types of Building Survey

A building survey typically involves a visit to the property by a Chartered Building Surveyor who will look at the property inside and out, making visual checks and observations. Inspections usually take half a day to a day to complete. The report will be detailed and will list everything the surveyor thinks you should be aware of about the property.


There are 3 main types of Building Survey, which can be undertaken by both buyers and sellers:

  1. Full Building Survey - This survey is the most comprehensive, and is usually carried out on older properties. This type of survey gives a detailed elemental report on the condition of the property, and assesses the cost of repairing any problems discovered.
  2. Homebuyers Survey - This survey has less detail, and is usually only undertaken on modern properties. Some Surveyors choose to prepare a short form Full Building Survey Report rather than a Homebuyers Survey as the content of a Home Buyers Survey is limited in its content, allowing the Surveyor to tailor the report to the individual.
  3. Snagging Survey - This sort of survey relates to the inspecting and reporting of any outstanding snagging works to new building projects, which have reached completion. This report can then be presented to the contractor for rectification to ensure no defects are present when the property is ready for occupation. Typically new build projects can develop circa 50-60 snagging defects.


How much do they cost?

The price of a Building Survey is usually correlated to the size and purchase price of the property and also the type of report carried out. Whilst the cost of a Building Survey may seem like another expense, it could save you in the long run!


Still need more help? Give our team a call!

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