When Is The Best Time To Sell Your Property?

November 16th, 2022

One of the most common questions I am asked as an estate agent is ‘when is the best time to sell my property?’ This is a particularly popular question in the run up to Christmas, with sellers wondering whether they should list their property before Christmas, or wait until the festive period is over.

So, when should you put your property on the market? That’s exactly what I’m going to tell you!

The Busiest Day On Rightmove

Did you know that the busiest day on Rightmove is Boxing Day?

In fact, on Boxing Day, and in the run up to New Year, traffic on Rightmove soars by 70%.

This is partly due to people being off work for the Christmas period, and partly due to buyers being ready for a fresh start for the New Year.

So, if you’re looking to sell your property, the best time to list it on Rightmove is on Boxing Day – so that it’ll be right at the top of the search listings as the traffic hits Rightmove.

When Should You Put Your House On The Market?

If you’re thinking about putting your property on the market, now is the perfect time. You can have your photos taken before you put your Christmas decorations up, and then enjoy your Christmas period stress-free. I will then launch your property onto the online portals on Boxing Day, so that you can capitalise on that New Year traffic.

We can then book in your viewings from Tuesday 3rd January 2023, giving you time to take down your Christmas decorations and recover from the festive period.

Will House Prices Fall In 2023?

This is a difficult question to answer, as the property market is so dynamic and ever-changing.

As you may know, house prices have been consistently rising for the past two years, ever since Covid hit the world. In a market like this, it’s inevitable that the market will eventually stabilise, and house prices may even fall slightly.

However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t put your property on the market! In fact, if you’re thinking of selling in the next few years, now is the time to do it.

The housing market always picks up again after a small dip – so even if prices do fall slightly in 2023, they will almost certainly start to rise again in 2024.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it! The best time to sell your home is Boxing Day on Rightmove. If you’re thinking of putting your property on the market, now is the perfect time to do it.

If you have any questions about selling your property, or the housing market in general, please do not hesitate to get in touch. I would be more than happy to help!

Best Time To Sell Your Property
OIRO – What Does It Mean?

September 14th, 2022

If you’ve been looking at houses on Rightmove, you might have seen the acronym OIRO used. But what does OIRO mean and what’s it got to do with property?

OIRO stands for “Offers in the Region Of”, and is commonly used by estate agents to give a guide price for properties that are being sold. When a property is advertised as OIRO, it means that the seller is open to offers from buyers who are willing to pay the asking price, or close to it.

In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about OIRO properties, including how you decide what offer to put in, and what to do if your offer is rejected.

Why Is OIRO Used?

OIRO, or ‘offers in the region of’, is becoming more common in the UK property market. So why are estate agents using it?

The main reason is that it protects the seller. By not giving a specific asking price, they can avoid pricing themselves out of the market or selling for less than the property is worth.

It also protects the buyer, as they can be sure that any offer they make will be taken seriously by the seller.

This type of listing can be helpful for buyers who are looking for a property that is negotiable, but it can also be frustrating if you are not sure how much wiggle room the seller has.

Making An Offer On An OIRO Property

If you’re interested in making an offer on an OIRO property, there are a few things you need to take into account.

The first is that you’ll need to be able to prove that you can afford the property. This means having a mortgage in principle or proof of funds from your savings or investments.

The second is to think about what you’re willing to pay for the property. This will be based on a number of factors, including the current market value of similar properties in the area, how much work needs to be done to the property and your personal circumstances.

Once you’ve decided on an offer price, you’ll need to put this in writing to the seller’s estate agent. They will then present your offer to the seller, who will either accept, reject or counter-offer.

If your offer is rejected, don’t be discouraged. The seller might be open to negotiating, so it’s worth trying again with a higher offer.

And if you’re not sure what offer to make, you could always ask the estate agent for their advice. They should be able to give you an idea of how much the seller is likely to accept.

As always though, a house is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay. Whilst some properties may sell for less than their guide price, others may sell for well above the listed price. So, I’d always recommend offering what you think the house is worth. Otherwise, you could risk losing your dream property.

What Happens If My Offer Is Accepted?

If your offer is accepted, the next step is to instruct a solicitor and start the conveyancing process.

The solicitors will carry out all of the legal work involved in buying the property, including checking that there are no outstanding planning permissions or building regulations that need to be met.

They will also deal with the transfer of money and documents, and arrange for a date of completion.

The conveyancing process can take anywhere from 6 weeks to several months, so it’s important to be patient. Once everything is finalised, you’ll be able to move into your new home and start enjoying life in your new property.

OIRO Vs OIEO – What’s The Difference (And Why So Many Acronyms?!)

If you’re confused about the difference between OIRO and OIEO, you’re not alone. Both terms are commonly used by estate agents, but they actually mean different things.

OIRO stands for ‘offers in the region of’, whereas OIEO stands for ‘offers in excess of’.

The main difference is that the sellers of properties listed as OIEO are expecting offers to be made at or above the listed price, whereas sellers of OIRO properties are open to negotiating on the price.

However, this does not mean that you can’t offer less than an OIEO property. You will just need to be prepared for the seller to propose a higher counter-offer, or to reject your offer.

In Summary

Estate agents use a lot of terminology that can feel confusing at times. This includes OIRO – or ‘offers in the region of’. Whilst this may seem complicated, it simply means that the seller is open to negotiation on the price.

If you have any more questions, or if you’re thinking about selling your house in Sheffield, Rotherham or Worksop, I’m here to help. Give me a call on 07920 097 175 or fill out the contact form below.

what does oiro mean
5 Questions To Ask Before Choosing An Estate Agent

August 1st, 2022

Before choosing an estate agent, it’s important to know exactly what you’re signing up to. Moving house is a daunting experience and you want to be certain you’re in the right hands to keep your stress levels to a minimum and ensure that you get the best possible value for your property.

Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions before choosing your estate agent. A good estate agent will be happy to answer your questions and take the time to make sure you fully understand and are happy with happy with the process.

How much is my house worth?

A great estate agent should have heaps of knowledge about your local area and the average prices similar houses sell for in your neighbourhood. This should be one of the first questions you ask when starting the process of selecting an estate agent, to allow you to have a better insight into the properties you’re likely to be able to afford to purchase.

The value you decide on should reflect the property itself, the area, the current market along with any personal reasons you might want to go slightly lower or higher than the local average. You might be in a hurry to sell and wish to price your property slightly lower or contrastingly have a tight budget and need to push the value slightly up. Either way, a decent estate agent should be prepared to work with you on an individual basis to ensure your experience is personalised to your circumstances.

What are your fees and are there any hidden costs?

The majority of estate agents base their prices on a percentage of the sale price of your house. This percentage can range from between 0.75% and 3.5% depending on the estate agent you choose.

It’s also a good idea to check whether the fees include VAT, or whether this is added onto the fee. This will help you to avoid any surprises later down the line.

Whilst many estate agents quote their fees as an all-inclusive cost, others may add on extra charges for things like photography, marketing or even a ‘for sale’ sign. It’s important that you check with your chosen estate agent about any hidden costs and read your contract carefully before signing to avoid any unexpected costs adding up along the way.

Is there a tie-in period within the contract?

Should you not get along with your estate agent, you might want to cancel the contract. But it’s important to understand that some estate agents have a minimum tie in period, which means that you can’t market your property with any other estate agent for the minimum term set out in the contract.

To allow you complete freedom when selling your property you may want to seek a contract with no minimum term, allowing you to take your house off the market or list it with another estate agency if you find that the agent you’ve chosen isn’t right for you. If your estate agent has a strong track record with sales, they should have confidence in their ability to please their customers, meaning that they don’t need to tie their customers into a contract. After all, happy customers should have no reason to want to find a new estate agent!

How long does it usually take to sell a property similar to mine?

There are two main questions to consider when trying to gauge how successful an estate agent is: how long does it take them on average to sell a property and how often do they achieve the asking price.

Make sure you ask your potential estate agent these questions so you can compare their track record to other local agents. After all, it’s vital you get the best price for your property in as little time as possible!

Is there anything I should do to my property to increase its selling potential?

Sometimes small tweaks can make all the difference when it comes to selling your property quickly and achieving the best possible sale price. A good estate agent will be happy to make suggestions on how you could make your house more sell-able. These could include:

  • Reducing clutter by putting some of your belongings into storage (or even hiding them in your car during viewings!)
  • Touching up paintwork
  • Tidying up your garden
  • Turning lights on before a viewing

In summary

It’s important that you are informed when it comes to choosing an estate agent. After all, this is the person that you are trusting to sell your property, so you need to be sure that you’re making the right decision.

When you meet a potential estate agent, don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions. Not only will this ensure that you’ve got all the information you need to make an informed choice, but it will also help you to get to know the estate agent and get a feel for whether they’re the right estate agent for you.

If you’re thinking about selling your house in Sheffield, I’m here to help. There’s no such thing as a daft question, so give me a call and ask away!

questions to ask estate agent
Linda Stringer Achieves Property Qualification Of Excellence

May 23rd, 2022

Linda Stringer, an estate agent at Linda Stringer Individual Estate Agency Ltd in Sheffield & Rotherham, has achieved the Propertymark Qualifications Level 3 Award in The Sale of Residential Property.

The Award, which is a nationally recognised industry qualification, meets the National Association of Estate Agents’ (NAEA) Propertymark membership requirements for those looking to join the Association as a member agent.  NAEA Propertymark is the UK’s foremost professional body for estate agents. It aims to promote better regulation and higher practice standards in the UK private rented sector.

Linda Stringer has been working as an estate agent for 12 years.

Linda Stringer comments: “It was important for me to secure this recognised qualification as an estate agent. It is not only a personal achievement but also a mark of professionalism and trust; it provides reassurance to consumers that Linda Stringer Individual Estate Agency Ltd adheres to the highest professional standards, and that employees are qualified and knowledgeable estate agents.”

Linda Stringer is among a growing number of agents across the UK working with NAEA Propertymark and Propertymark Qualifications to become qualified and raise standards within the industry.

Tim Green, Chair of the Governing Body, adds: “The Propertymark Qualifications Level 3 Award is a regulated qualification ideal for candidates wanting to improve existing knowledge in the key areas related to residential property sales.  Propertymark Qualifications is committed to raising standards within the residential property sales sector through the provision of accredited, nationally recognised qualifications, such as the Award Linda Stringer has achieved.”

Nathan Emerson, Propertymark Interim Chief Executive Officer, concludes: “I congratulate Linda Stringer on her achievement of the Level 3 qualification and am pleased to welcome her to NAEA Propertymark membership.

“NAEA Propertymark strives for better regulation in the private rented sector; with the support of estate agents across the UK recognising the need for higher standards and integrity in the sector, gaining a qualification with Propertymark Qualifications counts as a real stamp of professionalism and supports the drive for better practice within the industry.”

Best And Final Offers Explained

April 11th, 2022

Over the last year, house sales have reached record highs in both number of sales and property prices, which has certainly kept both vendors and buyers on their toes! With offers flying left, right and centre, it has never been more crucial to be able to decipher between offers and select a buyer fairly, when there are multiple to choose from. This is where you might be asked to put forward your ‘best and final offer’.

With the property market currently sellers paradise, we’re finding that many sales are resorting to this tactic to ensure the sellers receive the best price for their property and to speed along sales. However, contrary to many people’s beliefs, ‘best and final offer’ doesn’t purely benefit the seller. In fact, it can work in everyone’s best interest and I’m here to help explain why.

Does It Work Like An Auction?

Although some like to compare ‘best and final offers’ to an auction, there are a few ways in which it differs, which are quite significant logistically and make a huge difference.

Firstly, when asked to put forward your offer, there is only one round of bids, so you really need to put forward your best offer at the first instance. This means that you won’t get a second chance if someone else offers more than you.

Also, each of the bids put forward is done in secret. So, unlike in an auction where you can alter your offer depending on the budgets of others interested, in a best and final offers situation, you’ll find you don’t have this opportunity. It can be quite a daunting experience where you feel you’re making a blind decision, which is why many people dislike best and final offers.

How Does Best And Finals Work?

Best and final offers really is what it says on the tin and can help to ensure all parties have an equal chance to secure their dream home, whilst allowing the seller to achieve the best possible price for their property.

With complete transparency, the agent will disclose the highest current offer to everyone interested, helping them to gain a better idea of where their budget stands amongst the other buyers. This gives everyone a chance to reevaluate the purchase and decide how much they’d be willing to put forward to win the sale.

Don’t forget the importance of the word final, meaning once you’ve put forwards your offer, there is no going back! It is therefore essential you put forward your very best offer, so you don’t later regret losing the sale to another buyer that just pipped you to the post. Best and final offers is a process which is usually brought into play for properties with a particularly high level of interest, so keep your mind open and don’t let yourself become too invested in the house in question.

Each buyer is asked to put forwards their highest offer which can no longer be changed. You may also choose to put forward a statement regarding their circumstances for the purchase, helping the seller gain a clearer understanding of the buyer’s position.

The agent will then feedback the offers and statements to the buyer who will ultimately make the decision of who to accept the offer from, based on the information they have received.

Will The Best Offer Always Win?

Don’t be fooled into assuming that the best offer always wins as this very often isn’t the case at all. As sellers are usually very keen to grasp a smooth sale when given the chance, I often find that a lower offer will be accepted for convenience and security over a higher offer.

Their decision which will be guided partially by their agent, and will be balanced based on the offers they have received, along with the positions each buying party is in. First time or cash buyers often have the edge here as they can propose an easy sale which can speed up the entire situation, making their offers extremely tempting. Sellers are eager to avoid a long chain and want to avoid any sales which look like they could easily fall through and land them back on the market, so beware of this when you’re viewing properties and making your statement. Whilst it’s important to be truthful and honest, you don’t want to plant any unnecessary doubt in the sellers mind regarding your situation.

Is It As Stressful As It Sounds?

Best and final offers can be extremely stressful. After all, you don’t know what offer other interested parties may have put forward, so you’re forced to put forward your very best offer or risk losing the property of your dreams. This means that you may end up paying far more than you otherwise would have in order to secure your next home.

How Much To Offer For Best And Finals

I’m often asked how much you should offer for your best and final offer. This completely depends on your individual situation and how much you want the property in question. The most important thing to consider is how much the property is worth to you.

If you offer too little, you may be left feeling disappointed when another buyer offers more and secures the property. However, it’s also important not to let yourself get carried away in the moment and offer more than you think the property is worth.

Ultimately, you need to carefully consider the maximum price that you are willing to pay for the property and make this your offer. This way, you won’t be left feeling disappointed if another buyer pips you to the post.

In Summary

You might be left thinking the process of best and final offers seems brutal, and in honesty, I agree with you! But whilst it can seem like a stressful and harsh situation to be in, it is the fairest, fastest and easiest way for a seller to seal a deal, meaning you can continue your journey of purchasing a home. Whether that means you win the bid or you’re back to browsing the market in search of your dream home, you have to keep your mind positive and remember that everything happens for a reason! If it’s meant to be, it will be and if not, your perfect property is still out there waiting to be found.

By choosing the right estate agent, you can ease the stress of this situation when it comes round by knowing a professional is there to guide you every step of the way. Resting assured that an experienced agent has your best interest at the forefront of their mind, you can sit back and relax whilst the pressure is taken out of your hands and handled by someone who has observed this process a million times over. If you’re still unsure of how best and final offers works or for more queries about your house move, give me a call on 07920 097175 or fill out the contact form below and I’ll be happy to help. 

How Long Does It Take To Sell A House?

March 18th, 2022

If you’re considering moving house, you might be wondering how long does it take to sell a house. Unfortunately the answer isn’t as simple as it might seem, as it depends on factors such as the type of house you’re selling, its location, the length of the property chain and the estate agent you choose to market your property. However, most property sales complete in between six weeks and six months.

From the moment you actually put your house on the market, we understand that you’re looking for a smooth and streamlined journey to your property being sold and independent estate agent Linda Stringer can help make this a reality. Whether you’re in a rush so you can purchase another property, you’re expecting a baby or you’re looking to relocate due to work or school, there are a whole host of reasons you might be feeling pushed for time.

A Two Part Process

Although it’s difficult to give an exact estimate on how long it would take to sell your property, we can give you a few averages and indications which will give you more of a clear idea of the timeline you could be faced with.

There are two parts to consider when it comes to selling a house. Firstly, you’ve got the time it takes to find a buyer. This is where you begin the process of selling your house and there are many stages that make up this part of the process. From initially getting your house valued, deciding on an asking price, putting your house on the market, arranging viewings and receiving offers, there are many areas which must be covered.

This is where choosing a knowledgeable estate agent really comes in. A good estate agent will ensure that your asking price is realistic, finding the perfect balance between getting you the best possible price for your house and ensuring that your property sells quickly. They’ll also know exactly how to market your house to attract a high number of viewings, so that buyers are bidding against each other for your property.

Once you’ve accepted an offer, you then begin the conveyancing process. Unfortunately, this is often the lengthiest part of the process, where you might feel like you’re waiting around a lot. How long the conveyancing process takes will depend on how many properties are in the chain, the complexity of the sales and the solicitors that you choose. This can be a particularly stressful time for many sellers, but with the right estate agent, the stress can be taken out of your hands, leaving you with the knowledge everything is being dealt with as efficiently as possible.

Average Time To Move House

So, how long should you expect to wait from putting your house on the market to moving day? Whilst there is a lot of variation depending on your unique circumstances, there are average timeframes for each stage of the process. In the table below, I’ve listed the average duration of each stage, giving you an idea of how long you should expect your house sale to take. However, it’s important to note that these are averages, and every case is different.

StageAverage Time
From listing your property to an offer being accepted2 – 12 weeks
Conveyancing6 – 12 weeks
From exchange to completion1 day – 4 weeks

So, it’s easy to see that there is a lot of variation when it comes to how long it takes to move house. Whilst some property sales may go through in as little as 6 weeks, others can take 6 months or even longer to complete.

What Time Of Year Do Houses Sell Fastest?

Typically, a higher number of properties are added to the market during spring and early summer. This means that the property market is at its most active between March and June. In contrast, the market tends to be quieter during August, when people are on holiday, and over the Christmas period.

However, it’s all about finding the right buyer for your property, and they can come along at any time. So whether you choose to put your property on the market in March, August or December, it only takes one serious buyer to get your house sale moving.

What Can Delay A House Sale?

There are many situations which could unfortunately delay the sale of your house but by being aware of these, you can make sure you avoid them where possible. Right from the get go, an overpriced property is likely to linger on the market and be slow to receive viewings/offers. Buyers are keen to compare similar properties on the market to ensure they get the best property for the price they’re willing to pay, making it essential your guide price is fair if you’re hoping for a quick sale.

Selecting a committed estate agent and solicitor is also vital to help keep the sale moving as quickly as possible. Estate agents and solicitors who are over worked may not be as on the ball as you would hope, causing unwanted delays when you’re eager to push through a sale. To get the best results, be sure to keep in close contact with those involved in your house sale, allowing you to keep track of the progress.

Another factor which could impact the duration of your house sale is buyers pulling out which can be particularly disappointing. Although this situation is ultimately out of your hands, it’s useful to get to know your buyers as well as possible so you have a better indication of the situation. By being aware of a buyer’s individual circumstances, it may be possible to accept a similar offer from a buyer who is in a less complicated situation than another buyer, which can drastically alter a selling timeframe. Remember, the shorter the chain of the sale, the quicker you could be selling your property.

In terms of what you can do to help speed along the process, be prepared with all legal paperwork, guarantees and certificates and be sure to sign everything you receive immediately. As selling a house has so many components, each part must be completed without delay to allow the overall process to run like clockwork.

Selling A House With No Chain

If you’re fortunate enough to be in the position where your buyer isn’t selling a property and you’re not purchasing a property, it’s likely your sale will move much faster. For example, many vendors find that their chain-free house sale completes in as little as 6 – 8 weeks.

To Sum Up

Selling a house is a complex process that depends on many different factors. For this reason, it’s difficult to put an exact time on how long it takes to sell a house. If the sale is chain free, you could expect the sale to complete in as little as 6 – 8 weeks. However, for more complex cases, or for longer chains, the process of selling a house could take several months.

If you’re looking for a quick sale, the best thing you can do is choose an estate agent that is committed to driving your property sale forward to avoid any unnecessary delays. When you choose me to sell your property, I work closely with all estate agents and solicitors in the chain to push the sale forwards. I speak to solicitors on a weekly basis so that I can give you continuous updates on the progress of your sale and ensure that the ball is kept rolling. This can help to minimise the time that you’re left waiting.

If you’d like a no-obligation valuation on your property, or if you want to discuss ‘how long does it take to sell a house’ in more detail, give me a call on 07920 097175. I’m always happy to help!

Moving To Sheffield – Everything You Need To Know

February 18th, 2022

Sheffield is a popular city with both families and professionals alike. This leads many people to consider moving to Sheffield each year. But how do you know whether Sheffield is really right for you, and what steps should you be taking if you’re thinking about moving to this vibrant city?

In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about Sheffield, including the history of the city, some of the best places to live and the cost of living in this area.

Introducing Sheffield

Sheffield is a thriving city located in the county of South Yorkshire and is a great choice for those looking to relocate. With its interesting history, you’ll often hear the city referred to as Steel City, due to its reputation for steel production during the 1800’s. Although the industry has since declined, Sheffield played a major part throughout the industrial revolution during which its many factories quickly grew the population of the city. It was a fantastic time to live in Sheffield where stainless and crucible steel were being produced for the very first time as the economy of the area was increasing exponentially. Today, the city continues to benefit from its industrial past with its boosted healthcare, education and financial sectors still booming from the growth of the economy.

With a population of around 735,000, Sheffield is currently the 5th largest city in the UK, but manages to maintain a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. When strolling through the streets of the city centre and its many surrounding areas, expect to greet passerby and enjoy meeting a large array of people. The city’s name was originally derived from the River Sheaf which is found running through the city. This is just one of the many green touches which help to make the city so interesting, with its unique blend of country and city life.

Residential Areas Of Sheffield

There are a large variety of areas to choose from when it comes to selecting the perfect place to move in Sheffield and each brings its own perks. Here are just a few examples of neighbourhoods, to kickstart your location search and to give you an insight into life in Sheffield.

City centre – If you’re looking to be right in the middle of the action with everything on your doorstep, why not start your search in the centre itself. With fantastic local amenities including shops, restaurants, cinemas, entertainment venues, museums and cafés, there’s no risk of running out of things to do. Job opportunities are also abundant in the centre with plenty of variety to ensure there’s something available to suit you without the hassle of a lengthy commute.

Attercliffe – A popular choice, particularly amongst students. Attercliffe has a fantastic range of shops and restaurants making it ideal for those with a busy lifestyle. However living costs tend to trend slightly higher in this area of the city due to its growing demand and popularity.

Darnall – For those looking to purchase a property for slightly less but still in close proximity to the city, Darnall is a great option. It has easy access via public transport to the centre and isn’t far from all essential amenities to allow for daily convenience.

Beighton – Just slightly further out of the city, Beighton boasts a range of more spacious properties whilst still being convenient for daily commuters. Public transport is less frequent from this area, making it more suited for drivers but offers a quieter lifestyle for those seeking a base just outside of the centre. Many families opt for Beighton with its more laid back atmosphere providing a more relaxed style of living.

Areas of Sheffield

Things To Do In Sheffield

With its fantastic location and rich history, days out in and around Sheffield are endless, with options to suit all.

For those looking for a day out exploring nature, you’ll be spoilt for choice whether you choose to stay in the centre and visit the cities famous botanical gardens or opt to venture out into the peak district national park where you can explore to your heart’s content. There are many parks throughout the city with facilities to please the whole family with Graves Park being extremely popular amongst families with young children. Expect to spend a whole day exploring the vast playgrounds, visiting the café and meeting the farm animals, as well as exploring the many streams and woodland areas.

If a day of retail therapy is more your cup of tea, you won’t be disappointed by the excellent range of shops found at Meadowhall shopping centre and retail park, which is just outside of the city centre and easily accessible via public transport. Boasting 290 shops, an 11 screen cinema, 50 places to eat and 12,000 free parking space, you’re sure to find everything you need within the centre.

Sheffield is home to a variety of entertainment venues for days and evenings out, providing plenty of opportunities to get together with friends and family. The Lyceum and Crucible theatres host show stopping productions and events which prove extremely popular, along with Sheffield City Hall which provides constant events throughout the year to be enjoyed by all.  If you like to be kept busy and to have plenty of variety to keep you entertained throughout the year, Sheffield is the perfect city for you.

Transport And Commuting In Sheffield

The good news is that Sheffield has a fantastic transport system with affordable and accessible options, providing excellent links. This is to areas within the city itself and around to other cities around the UK. Due to its tight knit layout, most areas of the centre can be accessed by foot or bike however for longer distances or those with limited mobility, buses and trams run frequently, right through the centre and to surrounding neighbourhoods. Sheffield’s impressive train station is fully accessible and provides links to all major UK cities, making daily commuting easy. In 2020-2021, Sheffield was the 14th busiest station in the UK (outside of London) allowing quick and easy travel for millions of individuals.

Living in Sheffield

Education In Sheffield

Sheffield is very fortunate with its educational sectors, regardless of the age/ level of study of the student. From nurseries right up to universities, inhabitants can access the very best tuition from a variety of institutions. Sheffield is home to both the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallamshire University, both of which have a fantastic range of courses offering qualifications up to masters level. With state of the art facilities and top lecturers from around the world, the education offered is first class and ranked very highly with a global reputation for excellence.

For younger students, there are many infant, junior and secondary schools to choose from around the city, alongside 3 independent day schools, two schools for those with special needs and seven private schools for international students.

Working In Sheffield

Whilst the steel industry is no longer prominent in the city, Sheffield has a wide variety of jobs available. Sectors which are currently booming include but are not limited to finance, IT, health, conservation and science with many new jobs popping up daily. If you’re considering moving to Sheffield, why not have a browse through a few job sites to see what’s out there for you. Sites such as Reed, Indeed and Gumtree are great places to start, regardless of whether you’re interested in continuing with a job post similar to your current occupation or whether you’re looking for a fresh start on a new career ladder.

Although salaries are not as high as those in London, the cost of living is significantly lower, allowing you and your family to live comfortably and at a great standard for much less. To get a better idea of what you could earn if you transferred to Sheffield, take a look on sites such a Payscale and Glassdoor which are handy for gaining an insight into what could be out there for you.

Cost Of Living In Sheffield

Generally speaking, living expenses in Sheffield are very reasonable and likely to be lower than what you’re used to. Compared to other major cities, the prices are significantly lower allowing for a relaxed style of care free living. The price of houses is also staggeringly lower with a wide range of properties available to suit all requirements and budgets. These properties range from student flats and accommodation to detached homes.

Pubs, cafés and restaurants are reasonably priced with many local attractions and days out free or available for a small ticket cost. This means that in your spare time, limitless days out can be enjoyed even on a small budget.

Finding An Estate Agent In Sheffield

Moving to a new area is an exciting experience, especially when the neighbourhood has as much to offer as Sheffield. With a friendly feel, you’ll be sure to feel part of the furniture quickly and enjoy settling into the day to day life of the city.

If you’re looking for an estate agent to help you take the first steps in moving to Sheffield or to simply test the water by making an enquiry, I’d be delighted to help. As an independent estate agent in Sheffield with many years of expertise in the industry, I’m ideally placed to assist you in your property move.

I pride myself on bringing the personal touch to helping you find your next property, taking the stress and pressure away from you. I’m always happy to help with no obligations, so don’t hesitate! Give me a call on 07920 097 175 or fill out the contact form below to get the ball rolling and begin the process of moving to Sheffield.

Estate Agent Terminology – What Do They Really Mean?

January 20th, 2022

When you’re buying or selling a house, there are lots of different phrases that you’ll come across that are used by estate agents, but not always explained to you fully. Often, the estate agent will use this terminology without even noticing, but it can feel frustrating if you’re left wondering what they mean – or even having to Google the terms!

I’ve put together this guide to some of the most commonly used terminology that you’ll hear when you’re buying or selling property, helping you to understand exactly what’s going on.

estate agent terminology

Are You In A Proceedable Position?

This is a phrase that is used a lot by estate agents, but what does ‘proceedable’ really mean, and how do you know whether you’re in a proceedable position?

Being in a proceedable position means that you’re ready to buy. This could mean that you’re a first time buyer, you’ve already sold your house or you don’t have a house to sell.

If your house is on the market and hasn’t yet sold, or if you’re yet to put it on the market, you aren’t in a proceedable position, as you can’t proceed with buying the next property until your own is under offer.

Have You Got An AIP? Or A MIP?

If you’re planning to get a mortgage to cover some of the costs of purchasing your new property, you’ll need an Agreement In Principle (AIP). This is sometimes referred to as a Mortgage In Principle (MIP). These are different ways of saying the same thing – there is no difference between the two.

Essentially, an agreement in principle is an agreement from a lender that they are willing to lend you the money you need to purchase a property. You can get one of these in place before you start looking at properties, so that you’re ready to go straight away if you find something you love. You’ll usually need to show your agreement in principle to the estate agent when you put an offer in on a property, as evidence that you can afford it.

To get an agreement in principle, it’s best to speak to an independent mortgage broker. Whilst you can go directly to your bank, a broker will have access to more lenders and can help you to secure the best possible deal on your mortgage – saving you valuable cash.

What Is A Cash Buyer?

You might sometimes hear estate agents talking about cash buyers. These are buyers who do not require a mortgage to purchase a property. The money is in the bank ready to go, and is not reliant on a house sale to access the funds.

For those selling a property, a cash buyer is the holy grail of buyers – they don’t need to sell a property or get a mortgage, they’re ready to go from the off. While this doesn’t guarantee a quick sale, it does often mean that there are less complications and hold ups in the process.

What Does No Chain Mean?

In property, a chain is formed when buyers become linked by house sales. This means that the chain is dependent on the sale of multiple properties.

If a buyer has no chain, this means that they do not have a property to sell. So, they might be a first time buyer, a cash buyer or a property investor.

If a house is advertised as having no onward chain, this means that the vendor is not relying on the sale to purchase another property.

What Is Best And Final Offers?

This seems to be the phrase most agents like to use when they have multiple offers on a home. In order to try and make it fair, they’ll say “we’re taking it to best and final offers”. Essentially this means you’ll be putting your absolute best bid forward and hoping for the best as you won’t know what anyone else has offered, apart from the last highest offer before they send it to best and finals.

Personally I hate best & final offers as it’s not a great experience for a buyer at all. Negotiations and finding the ‘right’ buyer seem to work better for me and my clients.

What Is A Guide Price?

More and more agents, including myself, are using guide prices. For example, you might see a property listed as having a guide price of £180,000 – £190,000.

Using a guide price rather than a set price gives the property better coverage on website portals such as Rightmove, which is why it’s so commonly used.

So, what should you offer when you want to buy a house listed as a guide price? The seller is looking for anywhere in between those figures, so you should offer what you are happy to pay. A property is only worth what you want to pay for it, so when it comes to offers you should still just bid the price that you feel comfortable with.

SSTC Meaning

SSTC is a common abbreviation in the world of property, and one that you’ll see often on sites such as Rightmove. But what does SSTC mean?

SSTC stands for Sold Subject To Contract. In real terms, this means that the seller has accepted an offer on their property and it is currently going through the conveyancing process. As with any property transaction, it doesn’t become legally binding until contracts are signed, so there is always still a chance that the property could come back onto the market.

What Does Under Offer Mean?

Similarly to SSTC, under offer means that the vendor has received an offer on the property. Whilst most estate agents will not add ‘under offer’ to a listing unless the offer has actually been accepted by the vendors, there are some estate agents who will list this even if the offer hasn’t been accepted.

So, if you see a property listed as under off and you’re interested in viewing it, it’s best to contact the estate agent and check whether the offer has been accepted.

Still Confused?

The world of property can feel confusing, especially with so many acronyms and jargon around. I’m here to make the process of buying and selling property easy and stress free for you. If you have any questions about the process of buying or selling your home, I’m always happy to talk you through it and give you all the help you need.

Whether you need help understanding the lingo, or you’re thinking of putting your property on the market, I’m here for you.

Fill out my contact form below or give me a call on 07920 097 175 and I’ll be happy to help.

Changing Estate Agents – What You Should Know

December 26th, 2021

Changing Estate Agents – What You Should Know

A proactive estate agent can be the difference between a house sale that drags on and successfully securing your dream house. You need an estate agent that not only knows how best to market your property, but is also a driving force when it comes to keeping the chain moving and pushing the sale through the conveyancing process.

If your current estate agent is underperforming, you might be thinking about changing estate agents. But how do you know when it’s time to look at changing estate agents, and could there be anything in your existing contract that prohibits you from doing so?

In this article, I’ll talk you through the process of changing estate agents, from identifying that a change is needed, through to actually making the move.

Changing estate agents

Can you change estate agents?

It’s likely that you did a lot of research before instructing your estate agent. Maybe you had a few different companies come to value your property, choosing the company that gave the best pitch. They probably lured you in with the promise of quick sales and above asking price offers, leaving you with high hopes for your property sale. There’s no wonder that you will be left feeling disappointed when your house is still on the market several months later, or when your sales keep falling through.

If this is the case, you might be wondering whether you can change estate agents. Whilst it is perfectly possible to do so, you will need to check your original contract first. This is because many estate agents add clauses to their contracts which state that you cannot market your property with any other estate agent until after a minimum time period has passed. This is often around three months, so it’s worth checking what you signed up to.

Providing you aren’t within this minimum period and there are no other limitations listed in the contract that you signed, you are free to change estate agents.

When should I change estate agents?

If your property has been on the market for a while and you haven’t had much interest, or you’ve had several sales fall through, you might be thinking about changing your estate agent. Let’s take a look at some of the most common signs that switching estate agent could be the right decision for you.

1. You haven’t had much interest in your property

If you’ve had your property listed for a while and there’s little interest coming in, you might need to take drastic action. This could be because your property isn’t attracting as much attention as other similar properties – either because it’s overpriced or the marketing simply isn’t up to scratch.

Seeking advice from another estate agent can be a great option here. They will be able to review your current marketing, as well as the listed price of your property to identify where improvements could be made to increase the level of interest you’re getting.

2. You’ve had lots of viewings but no offers

If you’re getting lots of traffic through your property, but no one is making an offer, this could indicate the presence of a flaw that’s deterring buyers. It might be something fairly minor – maybe your flooring requires changing or some remodelling work needs doing.

Alternatively, it might be that you’ve priced your property too high – this is a more serious issue, as it means that your property isn’t competitive with similar properties in the local area.

In either of these cases, you’ll want to get the advice of another estate agent who will be able to conduct a review of your property and provide some expert feedback on how best to go forward.

3. You feel out of the loop

If you feel like your estate agent isn’t keeping you updated on the progress of your sale, this could be a sign that they aren’t proactive enough for you. When selling a property, it’s vital to have clear lines of communication between you and the estate agent at all times. You should never feel out of the loop or that there are things happening with your property without you knowing about them.

Having open and honest conversations at the very start of your relationship with an estate agent is key here, as it ensures that both parties are clear on what they can expect from each other. You should always feel like your estate agent has your best interests at heart, and that you’re included in every part of the process.

4. Your sales keep falling through

A common problem for property sellers is that their chain keeps falling apart. If you’re in a chain when you sell your property, there are lots of moving parts that need to keep working in order for the sale to go ahead – and if any one of them breaks down, it can cause huge problems.

Whilst a chain collapsing is, unfortunately, a relatively common occurrence, if this happens multiple times it could be that your estate agent is contributing to the issue.

A good estate agent should start by ensuring that you’ve found the right buyer for your property – someone that is committed to their purchase and has no intentions of pulling out of the sale. They should then work to keep the chain moving and ensure that all parties are up to date with the conveyancing process, so that no one gets itchy feet and decides to pull out of the transaction.

when should i change estate agents

What happens if I decide to switch estate agents?

If you decide that you want to change estate agents, the first thing you’ll need to do is take a look at your contract to see what it says about changing estate agents. You’ll find that most contracts will have a minimum time period that you must wait after instruction before you can switch estate agents. This is called the exclusivity period, during which time you agree to allow the estate agent to be the only company marketing your property.

Some contracts may also state that you have to compensate the agency if you decide to go elsewhere. If so, this could limit your options – but it’s a good idea to explore all avenues and speak with other estate agents before making a final decision on who you want to instruct.

If your contract doesn’t include a clause about compensation, or if it has passed its deadline date for changing estate agents, then the only thing stopping you from going elsewhere is the process of transferring the instructions. This simply involves choosing your new estate agent and then letting your current agency know that you have decided to instruct another estate agent.

Will I have to pay double commission if I change estate agents?

Many home movers are concerned that they may need to pay twice the commission if they decide to switch estate agents during the process of selling their property. However, in the majority of cases, you will not be financially penalised for changing estate agents.

Providing your property is still on the market and is not currently going through the conveyancing process with a potential buyer, you will not typically owe the current estate agent any commission. This is because commission is usually paid to an estate agent upon completion of the sale.

The only complicating factor comes if you are still within your contracted ‘exclusive marketing’ timeframe. You’ll need to check the original contract that you signed to find out whether you agreed to allow the estate agent to market your property exclusively. If so, you could still be liable for commission for any buyer found for your property within this time frame.

switch estate agents double commission

Instructing a new estate agent

If you feel that you’ve come to the end of the road with your current estate agent, it might be time to start looking at alternative options. As an independent estate agent, I’m here to guide you through the process of changing estate agents. From taking a look at your existing marketing and list price to offering suggestions as to how your offering could be improved to appeal to potential buyers, I’m always happy to help.

Many of my clients have been let down by high street estate agents previously. A large proportion find me after being told by a friend that the service they’re receiving simply isn’t good enough. After handed the marketing of their property over to me, they’re delighted by the personlised service that they receive, with weekly progress updates and all of their viewings handled by me.

I offer a completely bespoke service that is unique to you and your property. Every property is different, so a one-size-fits-all approach will simply not be good enough for the majority of properties. I will look at your home as a completely unique property, finding the perfect angle to attract the right buyer for your home.

If you’re thinking about changing estate agents, I’d love to help you. Simply give me a call or fill in the form below today. I can take a look at your existing marketing and let you know where it’s going wrong and how we could improve on it to attract your dream buyer. I look forward to hearing from you!

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Is Sheffield A Good Place To Live?

November 27th, 2021

‘Is Sheffield a good place to live?’ is one of the most common questions I get asked. So, in this blog post, I’m going to take a look at what it’s really like to live in Sheffield, answering some of the most popular questions about life in Sheffield.

Is Sheffield A Good Place To Live

Here’s what you should know about Sheffield

Located in the beautiful county of South Yorkshire, Sheffield gives the perfect balance of city and countryside. This bustling city is situated on the edge of the Peak District, meaning that you’re only a stone’s throw away from countryside walks and breathtaking views, whilst still enjoying the benefits that a lively city brings.

Often referred to as the steel city, Sheffield earned its fame thanks to its high quality steel. This city hasn’t lost touch with its roots and there are many reminders around the city of its colourful history.

Sheffield city centre provides everything you need, from shops and restaurants to theatres and bars – there really is something for everyone in Sheffield.

Sheffield transport links

One of the best things about living in Sheffield is its fantastic transport links. Not only is there a plentiful offering when it comes to buses and trains in Sheffield, but you’ll also benefit from access to the efficient tram network. This connects locations such as Crystal Peaks and Meadowhall shopping centres with towns such as Malin Bridge, Hillsborough and Rotherham.

Whilst Sheffield is made up of many small villages, each offering its own community, you’re never far from the hustle and bustle of city life thanks to these excellent transport links.

House prices in Sheffield

Whilst house prices in Sheffield vary considerably depending on your chosen area, you’ll find that they are still far lower than the South of England, in cities such as London. This makes Sheffield an affordable place to live, ideal for first time buyers, families and commuters alike.

Over the past 12 months, the average price of property in Sheffield sat at around £230,000. This represents a rise of 11% when compared to the previous year, slightly lower than the UK average increase.

Whilst the average price of a terraced house in Sheffield sits at £182,000, you can expect to pick up a two-bedroom terraced property in areas such as Handsworth, Halfway or Chapeltown for around £150,000.

Alternatively, you could bag yourself a four bedroom detached property in areas such as TreetonAston or Woodhouse for around £300,000.

This represents excellent value for money, especially given the standard of life that you can expect when you’re living in Sheffield.

Moving to sheffield with kids

Moving to Sheffield with a family

Sheffield is situated at the edge of the Peak District, giving families plenty of opportunities to get outdoors in the fresh air and spend time as a family. Some of the best walking spots for families around Sheffield include the Longshaw estate, Damflask Reservoir, Ecclesall Woods, the Monsal Trail and Rivelin Valley.

With over 250 parks, woodlands and green spaces, you’ll find that Sheffield is one of the greenest cities in the country. This makes Sheffield the ideal place to raise a family, as there is always something for the kids to do. Some of the most popular parks in and around Sheffield include Graves Park, Norfolk Park, Rother Valley Country Park, Clifton Park and Sheffield Botanical Gardens.

Another reason why Sheffield is so popular with families is the fantastic range of days out that are available to families. This includes farms such as Heeley City Farm, Aston Springs Farm and Cannon Hall Farm, as well as theme parks such as Gulliver’s Valley and Wheelgate Park.

Best places to live in Sheffield

Sheffield is a beautiful city with no end of things to do. But where are the best places to live in Sheffield, and how do you know which area is right for you? I’ve put together a list of the best places to live in Sheffield, according to your individual needs.

Best for transport links

If you’re looking for great public transport links, you’ll love Sheffield. Wherever you are in the city, you’re never too far from a bus stop, tram stop or train station which will take you into the city centre, out into the Peak District or across to Meadowhall Shopping Centre.

For ultimate convenience, I’d suggest looking for an area that is near a tram stop if you love using public transport. Some of the best areas for transport links in Sheffield include:

Best for schools

For families moving to Sheffield, you’ll want to make sure that you’re nearby to excellent schools, ensuring that your children get the best possible education. If you’re looking for a location that is great for families whilst being in a prime location to get your children into a good school, here are some of my favourite areas:

Best blend of countryside and city life

One of my favourite things about Sheffield is how it combines city living with countryside life. Wherever you are in Sheffield, you’re never far from the breathtaking views of the Peak District, along with endless walking routes to get some much-needed fresh air.

If you’re looking for a location that is on the edge of the countryside, without losing the convenience of the city, here are some of my favourite areas of Sheffield:

  • Fulwood
  • Whirlow
  • Netheredge
  • Dronfield

In summary

Sheffield is a gorgeous place to live – I can’t recommend it highly enough. Not only does it offer all of the amenities of the city, but you’ve also got easy access to the stunning Peak District. Sheffield is one of the greenest cities in the UK, without compromising on all of the facilities that you’d expect from the 9th biggest city in the UK.

If you’re still wondering ‘is Sheffield a good place to live?’, or if you need any more advice about moving to Sheffield, don’t hesitate to give me a call. I’m always happy to talk about my home city, and can give you all of the advice that you need when it comes to moving to Sheffield!

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