We have seen increases of new users on our websites of up to 31% comparing Easter Weekend 2020 with Easter Weekend 2019 demonstrating that despite lockdown, there is still activity in the market.
In addition, up to 40% of our viewing requests received post-lockdown have been received in the past week, as firms like ours have adapted quickly to offer virtual viewings to keep buyers engaged with attractive online material and marketing.
Our social media insights also demonstrate considerable activity, with each EPPG firm noting that their weekly posts are reaching tens of thousands of local buyers and sellers.
We continue to be here for clients, despite the challenging times, and we are especially pleased to note praise for the legal sector by John Mulholland, President of the Law Society of Scotland, as Solicitors have been working hard to meet the new needs of their clients, with many playing a key role in providing briefings and ensuring that clients have access to informed legal advice.
We will continue to update you weekly on the Edinburgh and Lothians property market. Remember, we represent 25% of the local Solicitor Estate Agency market collectively and remain operational remotely, so you know you are getting the most up to date and relevant property information straight from four established Solicitor Estate Agent firms collaborating as a collective and reporting on activity.
Our activity demonstrates there are still lots of positives in the market with interested sellers and buyers alike.
We have been getting lots of questions this week from future sellers and buyers, asking what they can do at the current moment in time, to prepare.
To make sure your property is ready to capture the interest of buyers we would recommend getting into touch with our office to discuss your property requirements (CONTACT US).
Our theme this week is GET FIT!
Consider this article your “Joe Wicks for Property” - Get your property FIT to Market For Sale once lockdown restrictions have lifted & get Financially FIT for buying your first time property purchase, your next Buy to Let Investment or that dream Family Home.
There are lots of things that you can do during lockdown safely from home to prepare for selling and buying if this is a future ambition of yours.
Get FIT for Marketing: Let’s look at getting a property ready for sale first…
EPPG firms are offering free no obligation virtual valuations and appraisals. This uniquely includes house presentation tips and advice, based on your own individual property, as standard. We can also assist with a desktop valuation and, of course, are happy to look at any photographs you take of your property which can be emailed to us - CLICK HERE to arrange a Virtual Property Valuation
Right now, we are all spending a lot of time in our homes for the benefit of public health and to necessarily ease strain on the NHS. You can use this time to think about presentation if you are thinking about selling in the future.
Spring clean the property and don’t forget windows, woodwork, cupboards and cabinets – get them gleaming! Maximising space in a property is important too – pack up your winter wardrobe and extra winter throws and de-clutter! Clearly define the function of each room.
Taking care of odd jobs about the house and freshening décor is well worthwhile (if possible, at the moment). Spending a little money to take care of small jobs will not only help with your Home Report, but will create a good impression for interested buyers and will ultimately ensure you are maximising your potential sales price.
Top Tip: Remember the property valuation is what the property is worth, confirmed by the RICS surveyor in the Home Report & the sales price is what price is achieved on the open market. A good Solicitor Estate Agent will negotiate the best price for you using their negotiation skills and expertise. Properties which are well presented for the sale, accurately priced and professionally marketed by an EPPG firm has the potential to achieve a much better sales price. With Solicitors at our firms representing both local sellers and buyers, we fully understand the dynamics of the local residential property market and offer our clients the best advice possible!
There is a theory that potential buyers make up their mind about a property in the first three minutes, so kerb appeal is important - don’t forget to tidy your front and/ or back outdoor space (even if it is a communal area).
It’s also important to replace any defective sealant in your bathroom or kitchen, old or worn sealant can impact negatively on your home report and it can be easily rectified in advance. So be sure to avoid this common pitfall prior to the surveyor’s visit in the future.
Other simple fixes to prepare for your Home Report include ensuring your gutters and drains are clear and that your windows and doors are opening and closing smoothly. Your property does not have to be state of the art to sell well, but it does need to be clean and well-presented to ensure the best possible outcome with the sale.
Thinking of selling?
Speak to us. We are here for you if you need us. Obtain a free no obligation virtual valuation, appraisal and house presentation report from us. We can help prepare a marketing strategy based on your individual circumstances (with the latest in property innovation and marketing tools recommended!). We can also get all your paperwork in order so that you can be included in the first wave of new properties to market when lockdown restrictions can be safely lifted, and you benefit from all the active buyer interest.
Now, let’s turn our attention to your purchase & how to get Financially FIT…
There are a variety of aspects involved in a property purchase transaction that can be safely progressed whilst we are all in lockdown. If you want to be ready to move in the future, or are wondering what pro-active steps you can take during lockdown, we suggest you consider the following:
Speak with a local and experienced Solicitor. A common myth is that you appoint a Solicitor only once you have found the property of your dreams, however we would urge you to speak with a Solicitor at the outset of your property search. Property Solicitors are involved in the whole process from discussing your objectives, budget, viewings, Home Reports, additional specialist reports, negotiations with selling agents, offering and completing the legal steps and much more. Getting an overview of the steps involved and what resources there are to best aid you is essential. Moreover, we can help you understand the bigger financial picture when it comes to your proposed purchase and it is important to do this at the outset. Don’t forget that a good quality Solicitor also has excellent negotiation skills and understands the dynamics of the local market and are best placed to guide you through. Warners offer free no obligation consultations with experienced residential conveyancing Solicitors, so get in touch if you are looking for advice.
Speak to a qualified and regulated Mortgage Advisor. Whilst a good Property Solicitor may be able to save you thousands of pounds on the purchase price through their knowledge and negotiation, excellent mortgage advice can help you in obtaining the right product for you which can provide sizeable savings over the course of your mortgage. The mortgage market can be a maze to navigate perhaps in the current climate more than ever as some lenders have changed their criteria in addition your circumstances may have changed (e.g. you may have been temporarily furloughed from your employment), expert advice is invaluable. Most mortgage advisors are working remotely from home and are still here to help, too.
Please let us know if you would like free mortgage advice and we will put you in touch with a relevant advisor.
Research, think, consider. Take some time to consider what you need from a property. Is location key, is it a specific number of bedrooms, or school catchment area that will drive your search? Would you be looking to carry out some home improvement works with a view to adding value? Do you have an idea what the Council Tax payments would be, or the typical costs of buildings insurance? Virtual viewings teamed with a floor plan can provide a great overview of a property. Review the Home Report and raise any queries you might have, such as is there a Factor, how much does it cost and what service do they provide? Building your knowledge now will make you a more confident buyer. We will of course guide you with our professional advice every step of the way, should you have any queries.
Collate your essential documents. It might sound dull or laborious, but when you find your dream property you will want to hit the ground running - getting your paperwork in order is key. Having spoken with a Solicitor and Mortgage Advisor, you will have built a picture of what paperwork, including identification documentation, payslips, bank statements, proof of deposit and source of funds information may be required during the process. This is a legal requirement and it is essential to the process. Ensuring you are registered on the electoral role if you are not already may be beneficial, or perhaps registering for the First Home Fund if applicable. Checking your credit score could be helpful and many providers facilitate this online. A current Decision in Principle from a lender will add weight to your Offer.
Speak to us. Offers can and are being submitted during the lockdown, closing dates are still taking place and Notes of Interest being registered for properties. Perhaps you viewed a property prior to the social distancing restrictions or would like to progress with a property that you have viewed online.