£3.7 million confirmed to fund five new garden towns across England

New garden towns will provide up to 64,000 much needed homes in five locations across England from Hertfordshire to Gloucestershire, it has been confirmed.

The locally led new communities will receive a share of £3.7 million of funding to fast track specialist survey work and planning works necessary for each new town’s development.

The funds will be available to councils to help to deliver the homes and infrastructure needed for both neighbouring communities and future residents who will call the new town home. This includes specialist survey work and planning applications.

They are 15,000 homes in Grazeley Garden Settlement, 11,000 for the Hemel Garden Communities, 18,500 in the Easton Park Garden Community, North Uttlesford Garden Community and West of Braintree Garden Community, as well as 10,195 in Tewkesbury Ashchurch Garden Community, and 10,000 in Meecebrook, Stafford.

The five are the successful recipients after councils and groups from around the country submitted more than 100 ambitious proposals. Those taken forward receive an initial £750,000 to help develop plans for vibrant, thriving settlements where people can live, work and raise families.

‘These new towns will not only provide homes for families, but will be vibrant communities where everyone, including neighbouring communities can benefit from new infrastructure, leaving a legacy for future generations to be proud of,’ said Housing Minister Kit Malthouse.

‘I congratulate these councils who have put forward ambitious proposals, which will build many thousands of high quality homes, and am pleased to support them as they work to make these plans a reality,’ he added.

Garden communities can take the form of new villages, towns or cities and have the potential to deliver well-designed homes at an increased scale, boosting the local economy and creating new jobs.

The five new schemes will join the 23 existing garden communities the Government is currently supporting. A garden town is defined as a development of more than 10,000 homes.

Including a project in the garden communities programme does not prejudice or presuppose the planning system as the appropriate planning processes will still need to be followed.

In addition to the five new garden town schemes, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will also shortly announce further successful bids, including garden villages submitted prior to the November 2018 deadline.

Home lending rules look set to change to help mortgage prisoners

Mortgage customers who have previously been unable to switch to a better deal despite being up to date with their payments, commonly known as mortgage prisoners, could soon be able to do so.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has proposed changes to how lenders assess whether or not a customer can afford the loan in a report into its Mortgages Market Study which have been widely welcomed by the home lending industry.

It says that while the mortgage market is working well in many respects, it falls short of the FCA’s vision in some specific ways and it has set out how new lending rules can be designed to help the market work better.

It is seeking to speed up more widespread participation by lenders in innovative tools to help customers more easily identify what mortgages they qualify for and is proposing that the Single Financial Guidance Body (SFGB) extends its existing retirement adviser directory, currently under the Money Advice Service brand, to include mortgage intermediaries to help customers make a more informed choice of broker.

A consultation will be launched in the spring on proposals to change mortgage advice rules and guidance to help remove potential barriers to innovation and there will be further, in-depth analysis to understand more about those customers that do not switch mortgage to inform any necessary intervention.

‘The market is working well for many with high levels of customer engagement and competition. The package of remedies we are taking forward will benefit consumers by encouraging innovation and making it easier for them to find the right mortgage,’ said Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA.

‘We are particularly concerned about consumers who are commonly referred to as mortgage prisoners who are currently unable to switch. That is why we are acting now to help remove potential barriers in our rules. These changes should make it easier for consumers to get a more affordable mortgage,’ he added.

The FCA has proposed that, for those customers who are up to date with their mortgage payments, and seeking to move to a more affordable deal without borrowing more, active lenders will be able to undertake a more proportionate assessment of whether they can afford the new loan.

The FCA is particularly concerned about customers of inactive lenders and entities not authorised for mortgage lending as they are unable to move to a new deal with their existing lender. To ensure these customers are made aware of this change, inactive lenders and administrators of entities not authorised for mortgage lending will be required to review their customer books to identify and contact eligible customers.

Jackie Bennett, director of mortgages at industry body UK Finance, said that lenders have been working closely with the regulator, responding to the challenge of mortgage prisoners with a voluntary industry-wide agreement which has already seen firms contact over 26,000 customers.

‘The regulator’s offer of more flexibility around affordability testing is encouraging. This will help those customers who are up to date with payments or who are not looking to borrow more. Requiring inactive lenders and administrators of entities not authorised for mortgage lending to review their existing customer books to identify and contact eligible customers is a positive step,’ she explained.

‘However, even under these proposals, there are thousands more customers with inactive lenders or unregulated owners that the regulated industry would be unable to help. We therefore call on the Government to work with the FCA to ensure that all customers, regardless of owner, have full regulatory protections to ensure they are treated fairly,’ she added.

Kate Davies, executive director of Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), also welcomed the report and said the industry is encouraged by the FCA’s view that a market solution is the best way of helping consumers to find the right mortgage.

‘There is currently considerable activity in the market to develop new ways of delivering this, and whilst some of these have yet to prove their effectiveness, we believe that competition and innovation is best driven proactively by the market, rather than reactively in response to regulatory intervention,’ she pointed out.

‘Whilst there is scope for giving consumers more information on which to base their choices, a balance must be struck between what it is possible to provide and what is likely to be helpful to consumers,’ she added.

Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, which has been calling for change for over four years, said he is pleased that there is recognition that while there needs to be affordability tests, reform is needed.

‘In a nutshell the FCA is supporting our proposals. It is suggesting that the affordability test be changed so that as long as you’ve been meeting your mortgage repayments for a year, then provided the new deal you’re applying for is cheaper, in other words, it has lower interest, and the repayments are lower, then you will be deemed to have passed the affordability test,’ he explained.

‘We hope this proposal is enacted. It will still need lenders to play ball, but I’m hopeful that will happen, because they’ve often told us they find the current rules frustrating too. We need to make sure those with existing debts can engage with a competitive market, releasing the pressure valve on their finances. If we get this right it’s a triple win: it’s better for the individual, the economy and lenders,’ he added.

Original Source: Property Wire https://www.propertywire.com/news/uk/home-lending-rules-look-set-to-change-to-help-mortgage-prisoners/

Most landlords and investors plan to buy more in 2019

London, Manchester and Liverpool are the most popular cities for buy to let investment in the UK going into 2019 and most landlords are planning to increase their portfolio, new research has found.

London is the top city for buy to let with a survey of buy to let landlords and property investors showing that 35% are considering the capital, while 33% will look to Manchester and 25% to Liverpool.

They survey commissioned by Experience Invest also found that 15% would look to Nottingham 13% to Leeds, 12% to Birmingham and Newcastle, 11% to Luton and 8% to Brighton, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Sheffield.

On a regional basis Greater London is the most popular, cited by 37%, while 30% said the North West, 23% the Midlands, 22% the South East, 21% Yorkshire, 18% the North East, 17% the South West, 8% Scotland, 5% Wales and 4% East Anglia.

When looking at the types of property that investors were considering investing in this year, houses were top at 67%, followed by flats at 54%, new build residential for 39% and 24% student accommodation.

Overall, just 11% of those surveyed said that they plan to reduce their portfolios in 2019. Some 39% are planning on increasing the size of their portfolio over the coming 12 months, while 35% have no intention of buying or selling any property in 2019 and 15% will be selling some assets to then reinvest in new properties.

‘In light of tighter tax regulations on landlords and on-going Brexit uncertainty, there have been some doom and gloom predictions about the future of the UK property market,’ said Jerald Solis, Business Development and Acquisitions Director at Experience Invest,.

‘But the research shows that, as an investment asset, real estate is still hugely popular, with a significant number of property investors looking to grow their portfolio further in 2019,’ he pointed out.

‘It’s interesting to see that, while London remains the most popular location for property investment, other regions across the UK are very close behind. In particular, the North West has established itself as something of a hotspot for buy to let investors, with cities like Liverpool and Manchester providing strong rental yields and healthy capital growth,’ he added.

Original source: Propertywire https://www.propertywire.com/news/uk/most-landlords-and-investors-plan-to-buy-more-in-2019-with-london-set-to-be-top-location/

Top tips to improve your EPC rating

A new study from Everest has revealed the best and worst areas across the country for energy efficiency in the home.

Everest analysed 15,623,536 home Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) across the country and found that despite being the most expensive place to live for property prices – London homes are the most energy efficient and paying the least on bills.

Tower Hamlets, Greenwich and City of London top the chart as the three most energy efficient areas in England and Wales with the MOST A- & B-rated EPCs with energy bills costing just £1,650 on average (in 3 years).

Despite being one of the most economically disadvantaged areas of the UK, Tower Hamlets has been part of The London Plan and London Climate Change Action Plan striving to ensure that the area has the highest standards of energy efficiency for new build development of any city in the UK. Because of this, Tower Hamlets and areas surrounding the capital have the highest EPC ratings.

When looking outside of London, Dartford (Kent), Uttlesford (Essex), and Basingstoke and Deane (Hampshire) are amongst the top 10 best areas with the most top rated EPCs. Homes with an A- or B-rated EPC spend on average £1,104 on their energy bills over 3 years. And those that are benefiting from cheaper bills, are situated within or near the capital. However, the data shows that just 19,832 dwellings benefit from an A- or B-rated EPC.

Most dwellings have a D rating that has energy costs, on average, of £3,228 across 3 years. There are 6,136,001 dwellings in England Wales with an average D-rated EPC. However, the problem lies amongst the lowest rated homes.

The worst rated areas for energy efficient properties:

1,042,075 dwellings across the country received an F- or G-rated EPC making them the least energy efficient houses in England and Wales. Those living within these homes are paying on average £5,743.50 for their energy bills across 3 years – 3.5 times more than those with an A- or B-rated EPC.

Isles of Scilly, Gwynedd, and Ceredigion are the three worst areas. A huge 35% of properties within the Isles of Scilly received an F- or G-rated EPC – the worst grade possible. Most properties across the west fringes of the country are not suitable for cavity wall insulation due to the fact they are highly exposed to wind and driven rain. This can cause problems with damp and mould in the walls and affecting the health of homeowners living in the dwelling.

Everest gathered 7 example EPCs across the performance ratings to see the estimated energy costs of a dwelling for 3 years. The analysis shows there’s a drastic cost difference, between those with a C- and D-rated EPC (52%), and those rated F or G (35%).

Top tips on how to improve your EPC rating

A quarter of household heat is lost through the roof. Loft insulation is easy to install and a relatively inexpensive place to start when improving the energy efficiency of your home. The recommendation of rock wool is 270mm minimum depth. If your house is suitable (seek professional advice) for cavity wall insulation you can expect a considerable retention of the third of heat lost through uninsulated walls.

2. Replace your windows for double glazing

Older windows can be responsible for 40% of the heat loss in your house. Installing high performance glazing will make a significant difference to the energy efficiency of a home. To understand what the independent ratings for different windows and glazing mean, this page explains what to look for in an energy-efficient window.

3. Replace your halogen spotlights with LED bulbs

Since 2018, halogen bulbs are being phased out and removed from sale across Europe. An LED spotlight can last for 20-30 years in comparison to a halogen bulb that has a working life of only two years. By swapping ten halogen bulbs for LED bulbs, savings of £112 a year can be made over a long-term period. Installing LED bulbs in all lamps and lighting fixtures is a cheap and easy way to improve your EPC rating (although marginally).

4. Replace an old boiler for an energy efficient version

An EPC rating is calculated on the cost of energy that supplies your heating system. As heating is a considerable chunk of your energy costs at 55% this is where significant saving and improvements to your bills and your EPC ratings can be made. By replacing an old boiler that has an appliance rating of ‘G’ with a new A-rated boiler that includes a programmer and thermostat, an annual saving of £305 can be made (based on a detached house).

5. Installing renewable energy sources

If your home has implemented all other energy efficiency measures then installing solar panels, biomass boilers and ground-source heat pumps will dramatically increase an EPC rating. To achieve the highest EPC ratings a property would require some form of renewable energy. By installing solar panels a G-rated, semi-detached house could make a saving of £311 per year.

Original Source: Property Reporter https://www.propertyreporter.co.uk/property/top-tips-to-improve-your-epc-rating.html

Buy to let in the UK is still a good investment compared to other assets

Buy to let is still a good investment option in the UK, beating investing in gold, cash and fine art in the last decade in terms of returns, new research has found.

Investing in the FTSE 100 would have brought the biggest return when considering the annual capital gain and the percentage yield with an increase of 119%, whilst the value of classic cars is up 94% during the same time period.

However, for those that aren’t professional investors a buy to let property is a very good option, according to the research from lettings inventory and property compliance specialists VeriSmart. It looked at the return on each investment and how each market has performed over the last 10.

The report says that when considering the annual gain in house prices along with the increase in rental yields, an investment in the sector a decade ago would have brought a 92% return today.

This is much higher than the 60% return that investing in gold would have brought and a world away from the 16% increase in cash or the 4% drop in fine art.

It also says that the growth in the property market has been by far the most reliable option with the FTSE 100, gold or cash providing a far more volatile option that is also open to a larger degree of impact from political and economic factors as well as influence from other foreign countries.

While classic car investment sits ahead of property, that too is made or broken on the car itself rather than the overall market and while a nice art collection may brighten your walls, it is also harder to find a buyer for, even when compared to the current Brexit property market slowdown.

All things considered and despite successive Chancellors hitting the buy to let sector with numerous legislative penalties including an increase in stamp duty, a reduction in high rate tax relief for landlords and a higher rate of capital gains tax on residential property profits, the conclusion is that bricks and mortar remains one of the best and most stable investments available.

‘Last week’s spring statement was a missed opportunity for the Government to backtrack on their previous attacks on the buy to let sector, attacks that have done little to solve the UK housing crisis and if anything, have caused further restrictions in the level of suitable stock while keeping rental prices buoyant as a result,’ said founder of VeriSmart, Jonathan Senior.

‘However, the buy to let sector remains the backbone of the UK property market, helping to support aspirational homeowners as they work to overcome the sometimes impossible financial barriers of home ownership. The need for this support is clearly evident as it remains one of the most lucrative investments one can make,’ he pointed out.

‘With little being done to address property supply or affordability on a meaningful scale, this is likely to continue going forward and despite the Government’s best efforts there will always be demand for a good, honest landlord providing above the board accommodation to those that need it,’ he added.

Original Source: Property Wire https://www.propertywire.com/news/uk/buy-to-let-in-the-uk-is-still-a-good-investment-compared-to-gold-and-other-asset/

Rents in Britain increased by 1.1% in February

Rental growth in Britain nearly doubled to 1.1% in February 2019, driven by a 2.4% year on year rise in Greater London rents, according to the latest lettings index.

This took the average rent to £965 per month. But when London is excluded the annual growth fall to 0.4% with a rent of £769, the data from the Hamptons International index shows.

But there are considerable variations in growth both nationwide and in London. In Outer London rents increased year on year by 3.1%, the strongest growth overall, to £2,625. But in Inner London they only increased by 0.3% to £2,625. While the average rent overall in Greater London is £1,727.

Both the South West and the South East of England saw rents fall year on year, down by 0.4% to £782 and down 0.6% to £1,033 respectively. Rents also fell in Wales and Scotland, down 0.2% to £650 and down 1.2% to £623 respectively.

After London, the only region to see strong annual growth was the East of England with a rise of 2.4% to £948. Rents in the North of England increased by 0.4% to £626 and in the Midlands by 0.6% to £673.

The index report also show that the proportion of landlords purchasing buy to let homes in London with cash rose from 33% in 2017 to 48% in 2018, a 15% increase and now the highest level in seven years.

London saw the biggest year on year rise in the proportion of cash landlord purchases, but the report points out that this comes against a backdrop of fewer homes being bought by investors in the capital last year.

Meanwhile across Britain, the proportion of cash landlord purchases fell from 55% in 2017 to 54% in 2018. Wales and London were the only regions recording a rise. Scotland saw the biggest fall in cash sales, down by 7% to 47% in 2018.

The report suggests that harsher stress testing on buy to let mortgages, combined with the tapering of mortgage interest tax relief, has made it more difficult and less appealing for some landlords to get a mortgage.

It adds that this is particularly true in lower yielding areas such as London where landlords tend to have bigger mortgages. As a result in 2018 a higher proportion of landlords in the capital purchased with cash, often raising the money by re-mortgaging other assets.

Historically, landlords in London were most likely to use a mortgage to purchase their buy to lets, but this changed in 2018. Last year landlords in the East became the most likely region to use a mortgage.

However, landlords in Northern England however were most likely to buy with cash. In 2018 some 63% of landlords purchasing properties in the North did so using cash rather than a mortgage.

‘London saw a big rise in the proportion of landlords buying homes with cash in 2018. This comes against a backdrop of fewer homes purchased by investors in the capital last year. Meanwhile across Britain there was a slight fall in the proportion of homes bought by cash landlords,’ said Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons International.

‘Much of this cash has come from landlords re-mortgaging to take equity out of homes they already own. By purchasing with cash, these landlords are avoiding the tax burden associated with the tapering of mortgage interest tax relief,’ she explained.

‘Rental growth accelerated in Britain in February, spurred on by a 2.4% annual rise in London rents. Rental growth in London reached the highest level in the last 12 months, meanwhile three other regions recorded rent falls,’ she added.

Original Source: Property Wire https://www.propertywire.com/news/uk/rents-in-britain-increased-by-1-1-in-february-led-by-2-4-rise-in-london/

Brokers report record numbers of first-time buyers getting a mortgage

The number of first-time buyers purchasing mortgages through broker channels increased at the end of 2018.

The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) said 89% of offers in the fourth quarter of 2018 ended up completing.

This was up from 81% in the third quarter of 2018 and the highest rate for three years.

As well as strong first-time buyer figures, mortgage intermediaries reported stronger completion rates across the board in the final quarter of 2018.

Overall completions were up by five percentage points on the previous quarter to 87% and the highest overall reported completion rate recorded by IMLA.

The trade body predicted mortgage lending via intermediaries will rise to £169bn this year but warned that broker confidence has ebbed, with the percentage of brokers who professed to be “very confident” about their own business falling from 60% to 54% at the end of 2018.

Kate Davies, executive director of IMLA, said: “It is encouraging to see that when an intermediary does apply for a loan on their client’s behalf, they are being accepted and completed at growing rates.

“Mortgages going from offers to completions are at more than three-year highs as intermediaries and lenders continue to find solutions for clients.

“It’s significant that intermediaries are able to demonstrate such a high success rate, especially when helping first-time buyers to navigate the complexities of an increasingly competitive and complex mortgage market. This is particularly true for those taking out Help to Buy equity loans, who may need even more expert guidance.

“IMLA predicts that mortgage intermediaries will account for a growing share of the mortgage market this year and into 2020.

“These figures underline our firm belief that, during times of uncertainty, people still seek out a seasoned expert to help guide them through complex financial decisions.

“That said, even in the face of such strong evidence about brokers’ effectiveness, it’s not surprising that brokers themselves share the current general uncertainty about the future.

“But, whatever the outcome of the current Brexit negotiations, we are confident that brokers will continue to play an essential part in guiding borrowers through the market.”

Original Source: Property Industry Eye https://www.propertyindustryeye.com/brokers-report-record-numbers-of-first-time-buyers-getting-a-mortgage/

Average rents in UK up in all regions in year to February 2019

The average rent in the UK’s private rented sector increased by 3.8% in the 12 months to February 2019 to £940, according to the latest lettings index to be published.

However, when London is excluded, the average rent increased by slightly less, up 3.2% to £782, while the average in London was up by 4% to £1,599, the date from tenant referencing firm HomeLet shows.

All 12 of the regions monitored by HomeLet showed an increase in rental values between January 2018 and January 2019 with the largest a rise of 7.7% in the South West to an average of £868.

There was also strong annual rent growth in the South East, up 5.1% to £1,046, followed by Wales with rents up by 3.9% year on year to £616 and growth of 3.3% in Scotland to £653.

At the other end of the scale, annual rents increased by just 0.8% in the North East to £524, by 0.9% in the East of England to £915, while in the East Midlands they were up by 1% to £625 and up by 1.1% in Northern Ireland to £638.

Rents increased by 1.6% in Yorkshire and Humberside to £635, by 2.8% in the North West to £707, and by 2.7% in the West Midland to £694.

Month on month growth on a national basis was 0.9%, led by a rise of 4.1% in Scotland, followed by a rise of 2.3% in the South East and a rise of 1.7% in Wales.

But rents fell on a monthly basis by 1.9% in the North East, were down by 0.9% in Northern Ireland, and fell by 0.2% in Yorkshire and Humberside.

In the West Midlands rents crept up month on month by 0.1% and by 0.2% in the East Midlands, by 0.6% in the North West and by 0.7% in the East of England and in London.

The data also shows how the rental market in London varies considerably. The highest annual rise was in Wandsworth at 10.1%, followed by a rise of 9.6% in Haringey and Islington, a rise of 9.1% in Ealing, 7.8% in Bexley and Greenwich and a rise of 7.2% in Hackney and Newham.

In contrast, average rents fell by 3.7% in Croydon and were down by 3.2% in Hounslow and Richmond upon Thames. They increased by just 0/4% in Lewisham and Southwark, by 1% in Camden and the City of London, and by 1.3% in Bromley.

The highest rent in February in London was £2,281 in Westminster, followed by £2,059 in Lambeth, £2,054 in Camden and the City of London, £1,197 in Chelsea, Fulham, Hammersmith and Kensington and £1,789 in Tower Hamlets.

Original Source: Property Wire https://www.propertywire.com/news/uk/average-rents-in-uk-up-in-all-regions-in-year-to-february-2019/

Being near a supermarket and a park is important for tenants in Britain

Supermarkets, being near a green space and public transport links are the most important issues for people looking to rent a home in Britain, according to new research.

But high crime rate, noisy neighbours and nearby sewage works are the most off-putting nearby amenities, the survey from tenant referencing and insurance firm HomeLet has found.

Some 50.9% of respondents said that being near a supermarket was important, 46.4% said a park or green space, 44% said good transport links and 29.3% want shops that stay open late.

Indeed, some 27.7% said that they would pay a higher monthly cost if they were able to be closer to parks and green spaces, while men were more likely to pay more to live near desirable amenities such as supermarkets and public transport link.

The vast majority, some 70.5%, said they would be put off an area if it has a high crime rate, while 64.2% did not want to live near noisy neighbours, 58.9% not near a sewage works, 45.8% not under an airport flight path and 42.7% not near a prison.

Being a former crime scene would put off 37.6% and a death in the property would put off 23.7% while overall, women more likely to be turned off by negative factors than men.

However, people were willing to compromise if it meant a saving on their rent. For example 41.1% would live in a home with the number 13 in the address if the rent was lowed, 40.8% would put up with a graveyard nearby, 27.8% a motorway and 26.3% a telephone mast.

‘Everyone has their own needs and personal tastes when it comes to choosing where to live. Whether it’s having green open space or being in the hustle and bustle of a city centre, choosing where we call home can be a huge decision,’ said Rob Wishart, group data manager at HomeLet.

‘It’s worth keeping the things that are important to you in mind when searching for a property to rent. Our research suggests that supermarkets, green space and public transport links are the most desired nearby amenities, whereas high crime rate, noisy neighbours and nearby sewage works are the most off-putting,’ he added.

Original source: Property Wire https://www.propertywire.com/news/uk/being-near-a-supermarket-and-a-park-is-important-for-tenants-in-britain/

10 things you can do to guarantee a quick house sale

Getting your home sale ready requires planning, preparation and more than a lick of paint

And with recent analysis from UK real estate investment firm London Central Portfolio revealing that property sales in England and Wales – excluding London – were down by 3.7 per cent year-on-year, it’s more important than ever to take steps to entice potential buyers.

Luckily a new survey from Terry’s Fabrics has revealed the top 10 things to guarantee a quick house sale. With these tips, sellers can help their home become the hottest thing on the property market.

1. Give your exterior extra attention

The outside of your home is the first thing that buyers will see, so ensure your front and back gardens feature some pretty planting and hide those bins in a dedicated storage box. A front door in a bright shade will also attract buyers’ attention. Research has revealed that taking measures to boost your property’s kerb appeal could help to increase its overall value by as much as £55,000.

2. Get a pre-sale survey

Unearth any hidden issues your property may have before you put the for sale sign up on your home by getting a pre-sale survey. Even if you aren’t able to address any bigger repair issues, you can at least be aware that the cost this work requires will need to be factored into your final sale price.

3. Refresh your paintwork

This is one of the most inexpensive changes you can make to your home, provided you’re willing to wield a paintbrush yourself. Opt for neutral shades that will appeal to a range of buyers.

4. Make your home bright and airy

No one likes walking into a drab and dreary home, so ensure that each space is flooded with light by adding well placed mirrors and opting for lighter voile curtains where appropriate.

5. Fix any existing damage and clean everything

Banish any cracks with filler, replace broken tiles and give everything a good once over with a feather duster to have your home looking at its best.

6. Keep pets out of view

We know what a struggle it is to be parted from your furry friends but with pets named as the fourth biggest reason why potential buyers are put off purchasing a property in the above research, finding a temporary home for your cats and dogs on viewing days could prove to be a smart move.

7. Make the kitchen the heart of your home

A poll conducted by Terry’s Fabrics revealed that the kitchen is the most important room in the home (51 per cent) for potential buyers. Ensure your kitchen gets the seal of approval from buyers by refreshing cabinet doors with a lick of paint and new doors handles and getting some new, inexpensive kitchen accessories from kettles to crockery. You can even give your countertops a new look and feel with some decorative film.

8. Leave your home smelling sweet

Few things are more off putting than dodgy odours. If you’ve given your home a good clean as per point 7, this should help to leave it smelling sweeter and lighting a few scented candles will help too. You may also want to consider getting your carpets professionally cleaned.

9. Leave viewings to the property professionals

While it can be tempting to conduct a property viewing yourself as you know your home best, estate agents will be able to highlight your property’s most saleable features. They’ll also be able to talk up any features of your home that may be less appealing – think bijou living room, rather than a small living room.

10. Declutter but don’t depersonalise

Although you won’t need to give to give your home the full Marie Kondo treatment, it’s important to ensure that you declutter each space. Bundle up anything you don’t need and drop off at your nearest charity shop and use clever storage solutions to organise the rest.

Original source: Ideal Home https://www.idealhome.co.uk/news/10-things-to-guarantee-a-quick-house-sale-222152#iJJ1FbGqPubd349b.99