Buying and selling a home can be a stressful process, so it's important you are aware of the pitfalls that can cause a sale (or rental) to fall though. If you address these early in the process your chances of the deal going through is much greater.


According to the NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents) Propertymark, these are the factors that most commonly cause issues:


1.      Nuisance neighbours. If you've had an issue with a neighbour eg over boundaries, shared access or anti-social noise you're better off being honest early in the process rather than risk it affecting things later down the line.

2.      Structural problems. If you know of any structural problems with your property, you should fix them straightaway. Or, as a minimum, get a contractor to provide an estimate for the work, so this can be included as part of the negotiation. 

3.      Japanese knotweed. This invasive plant has deep roots that can damage the foundations of properties. If you think you have any, call a professional to get rid of it. Not only can it significantly devalue your property, it puts it at risk of subsidence and could affect the ability to get a mortgage on the property.

4.      Rail timetable changes. If you're within a commuter belt. Changes to timetables can affect the saleability (or rental) of your property.

5.      Planning permission. Have you had any work carried out on your property whilst you've been living there? Such as extensions or conversions? If you have, make sure you have all the documents you need to prove they have been completed in accordance with local planning regulations.

6.      Remaining lease length. If your property has a short lease time remaining, you should provide this information as early as possible.

7.      Flight paths. Noise form airports is cited as one of the common reasons why a purchase fails to go through. Be honest with prospective purchasers (or tenants) about how much you can hear and at what time of day you're disrupted.

8.      Parking disputes. If you have a dispute with a neighbour over street parking or shared driveways, try to resolve them with your neighbour first. If necessary, check the deeds of your property to see where boundaries lie.

9.      School catchment areas. This is one of the most important factors for parents of school age children. Make sure you are up-to-date with the local schools, so you can advise if your property falls within the catchment areas.

10.  Damp.  Not only can damp cause damage to a property it can also be a health risk. Most cases of damp are simple and inexpensive to fix. If you're concerned get a specialist company in who can advise what works need carrying out and the potential costs. You may need to factor this into the sale price of your home.

Historically, the Christmas and New Year holidays see record visits to sites such as Rightmove and Zoopla, with over 1.6m properties viewed online as people escape the Christmas turkey to think about their next move.

Understandably, many people are reluctant to sell or let their property until after the New Year. But, if you are thinking of moving, selling or letting a property in January, can you afford not to put your property in front of potential buyers at this important time of year?

Even if your property is listed with an agent, you don't have to conduct viewings, if you don't want to. The likelihood is that potential buyers or tenants would prefer to wait until the New Year anyway. Instead, get your property listed, so you're ready to take action as soon as the holiday season is over.

Here's what we recommend:

  1. Book your market appraisal now. We can discuss with you a strategy to get your property in front of buyers or tenants by the 21st December, so that your listing is available for all those buyers researching over Christmas.
  2. Get your home ready for selling. Use your preparations for Christmas as a time to de-clutter and to fix those DIY jobs.
  3. Get your paperwork in order. Get your payslips, bank statements, tax returns and employment contracts together, so you are ready to apply for your next mortgage, demonstrate that you have the funds in place for your next property or be able to quickly complete the tenant application process.
  4. Get a surveyor lined up to complete a survey on your property. Unless you are buying a new property, which will come with all or some of  a 10 year NHBC guarantee, chances are that you will need some form of survey completing on your next property. Use the run-up to Christmas to decide who you are going to use and what type of survey you are going to undertake.

If you are thinking of selling or letting before or just after Christmas, planning ahead will ensure you get a head start in the New Year, will ensure your property is in front of potential buyers over the Christmas break and still enables you to enjoy family time without disruption. Voila!

Get in touch today, if you'd like to arrange a free market appraisal of your property.

Elevating the Elmbridge property market

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East Molesey
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