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Tips for Making the Best Offer for a Property

Finding the perfect home is only the beginning of the house buying process. You have to compete with other buyers. And you have to be sure that you make the best offer for the property — without paying over the odds.

This process is often fraught with confusion, stress, and the unknown. After all, how do you know your offer is good enough without being excessive?

We know a thing or two about buying houses fast. We’ve put together a few tips for making the best offer for a property.

Speak with the estate agent

The estate agent isn’t just there to show you around the property. They’re there to answer any questions you might have. And you should have lots of questions. Before you view a house, compile a list of pertinent questions.

  • Why are the owners selling?
  • Are there any issues with neighbours?
  • How is the local property market performing?
  • Has the property undergone major repairs recently?
  • Has there been much interest in the property?

Don’t be afraid to make a few notes at the time. The more information you can gather at this stage, the more accurate your own valuation will be.

So, you’ve found the perfect home — the property of your dreams. But don’t go rushing in with an offer. And certainly don’t offer the asking price just because you want the property so badly. Remember: most agents and homeowners will add a little to the asking price to create a little wiggle room for negotiations.

Making the best offer for a house

Ask yourself a few questions before you submit your offer:

  • How long has the house been up for sale?
  • What were the sale prices for similar homes in the area over the last two years?
  • Will you get the finance to cover the price you’re offering?
  • Can you comfortably afford the repayments?
  • Does the owner appear in a hurry to sell? And if so, why?
  • Is there a lot of competition for the property?
  • Do you think the owners would accept less than the asking price?

Making your offer

Start by setting a price ceiling. Work out the maximum you can afford, and stick to it. If you’re confident that the vendors are in a rush to sell, and that there isn’t a lot of interest in the property, offer around £10,000 to £15,000 less than the initial asking price. In most cases, such a low offer will be rejected almost immediately. But you never know. And this initial offer might give you an idea of an offer the owner might find acceptable.

If there’s a lot of competition for the property, you can’t afford to take too many risks. If your initial offer is rejected, ask the estate agent what might be accepted. If it’s beyond your budget, move on. But first, think about how the owners might view you. You might be in a position to move quickly, and that could give you the edge.

Making the best offer for a home

Issues that can tip the balance in your favour include:

  • You’re a first-time buyer
  • You already have a mortgage offer
  • You’re passionate about the property
  • You’re flexible about moving dates
  • You’re a cash buyer

My bid was accepted. What next?

Don’t get too carried away if your bid is accepted. This is just the beginning of the house purchase process. Ask the agent to take the property off the market. But be aware that there’s no legal requirement to do so. To ensure you get the home of your dreams, you need to act quickly.

The seller’s agent will create a document stating the property is sold “subject to survey and contract.” You’ll have a limited amount of time to get your mortgage, house sale (if applicable) and legal arrangements in order.

And don’t forget: in England and Wales, the seller can accept a higher offer without legal impediment. So-called gazumping is still an issue. Plan for this eventuality just in case the worst happens.

Knowing how and when to place a bid is crucial. But if you’re worried that a delay in the sale of your own home might delay things, remember that Flying Homes might be able to purchase it quickly and without any hassle.

Sheffield Property – A Guide to The Local Property Market

Sheffield Property – A Guide to Selling in Steeel City!

The Independent named Sheffield as one of the 12 most ‘liveable’ cities in Britain, despite the fact that the same article reported that house prices in Sheffield showed absolutely no movement in 2013. Things are moving in the right direction now, however, and the next few years could be a great time for houses for sale in Sheffield.

If you’re contemplating a foray into the property market, and you need to sell your house fast in Sheffield, Flying Homes can find a buyer in a fraction of the time it takes on the open market.

Setting a realistic asking price for your Sheffield home

After a turbulent time for homeowners in Sheffield, there are several indicators to suggest that the market is showing signs of sustained growth for the first time since 2008. Indeed, ITV’s Calendar recently reported that house prices throughout the area are on the rise. In February 2014, the average house price in the city was reported to be nearly £117,000 – up three percent on the year before. But despite these promising statistics, approaching a house sale with caution and a realistic pricing strategy is essential if you want to sell your house quick in Sheffield.

One of the biggest obstacles to the speedy conclusion of a property sale in Sheffield is an unrealistic asking price. Regardless of what you originally paid for your home, or what it was worth a few years ago, it is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it. Set your price expectations too high, and you may struggle to create a demand for your property. But set your initial asking price to low, and there is a chance that you’ll struggle to achieve what your house is really worth.

If you need to sell your house quickly in Sheffield, then there is no substitute for researching the local property market. You need to be sure what is achievable in your specific area of the city – something you can ascertain by referring to sites such as Rightmove and The Land Registry. You can check recent house sold prices in your neighbourhood, and compare various transaction statistics. You will also find up-to-date information on Sheffield house prices by using Zoopla’s house price analysis tools.

Marketing a house for sale in Sheffield

After a turbulent few years in the Sheffield property market, homeowners now have genuine reason to be optimistic. House prices are showing signs of modest growth – albeit it belatedly. According to a recent article on the MailOnline website, prices throughout the UK are expected to soar as the economy gets back on track, and Sheffield – which according to the same article enjoyed a ten percent rise in house prices in 2013 – is expected to benefit more than most northern towns and cities.

It is important not to get carried away with headline statistics, however. Sheffield is a city that is heavily reliant on low-paid, manual labour and the services, so there are certain areas of the city that are faring better than others. In order to find a buyer for your house, and secure a decent price, you will need to make sure it is marketed by the right person.

Of course, you can tackle the market yourself, but you’ll need to be ready for a great deal of stress. You will also need to research how the market works, the nuances of the Sheffield property market and what constitutes a fair price for your home. A far easier, quicker and more profitable way to sell your house is to hire the services of an estate agent. This is because they can tap into a pool of potential buyers who have a specific need for properties like yours. They will have a network of marketing contacts and an intrinsic knowledge of the local market, which allows them to hit the ground running when it’s time to put your property up for sale. You will find a list of Sheffield estate agents on the Rightmove website.

However, it is worth remembering that, should you need to secure a quick property sale in Sheffield, a range of issues can delay or ruin your plans. Property chains, rejected mortgage applications or a buyer’s change of mind are just some of the factors that can delay a property sale. So, if you want to avoid the pitfalls of selling on the open market, Flying Homes can buy your house without delay. We are expert property buyers who allow you to bypass the volatile property market in Sheffield.

Choosing the best time of year to sell a house in Sheffield

Many house buying companies and estate agents are wary about pointing to a particular time of year that is best suited to selling a home. Sheffield is a major English city, which means its property market follows the same patterns as other urban areas in the country. There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that more buyers are on the market for property during the latter part of winter and the early part of autumn. However, statistics released on the Home website seem to contradict that school of thought. Indeed, December was the busiest month for house sales in 2013, which is highly unusual given the distractions and expense of Christmas. This statistic may point to the fact that the property market started out weak in 2013, before recovering strongly towards the end of the year.

The various property markets within Sheffield

The industrialised nature of Sheffield, and its reliance on unskilled labour, means it is always one of the last urban centres in England to recover after a recession. Whilst there are some areas of the city enjoying strong house price growth, other parts of Sheffield are actually still in decline. And though it may seem that this is an ideal time to sell a house in the area, there are areas that seem to be destined for several more years of stagnating property values. According to a recent article on, certain areas of Sheffield have struggled to cope with high rates of immigration. However, other areas (mostly in the south east of the city) have already recovered, and they now have average house prices that are close to 2008 levels.

It seems quite astonishing that a UK city can have so many different ‘mini markets’ working in tandem at the same time, but that is exactly what is happening. A recent article on The Star website quoted a local property specialist as saying that the Sheffield housing market ‘is on fire’. He reserved a special mention for the likes of Fulwood, Dore, Millhouses, Norton and Lodge Moor as areas that are in high demand amongst buyers. If you are about to sell your house in Sheffield, you should pay particular attention to house prices in your street, as The Star’s article also suggests that there are significant price differentials between areas within the same postcode.

What factors influence house prices in Sheffield?

Parts of Sheffield and Humberside suffered some of the highest rates of unemployment in the UK during the last recession, and things have been relatively slow to improve. However, rising house prices in the south east and north west have finally trickled down to South Yorkshire, and Sheffield house prices are experiencing annual house price rises of around ten percent in certain areas.

Sheffield City Council publishes a housing report on a regular basis, which details how the market is performing in the city during each quarter of the year.

Indeed, the local authority and various business forums in the area have been proactive in getting the economy moving in recent years, and a number of business and retail developments are expected to create thousands of jobs over the course of the next decade. For some years now, Sheffield has been aspiring to become a major retail and business centre in the north to rival Leeds and Sheffield, and news of a new shopping quarter for the city will increase confidence amongst property buyers and investors. The £300 million development is expected to create 2,500 long-term jobs, and that probably means good news for house prices in the region.

Interesting facts about Sheffield

Sheffield – or the Steel City as it is sometimes affectionately known – is located in South Yorkshire. It has a population of just over 550,000 according to the 2011 census, which makes it the sixth largest metropolitan area in the UK. Few cities are steeped in a history of manufacturing and industry in the way Sheffield is, and its affinity with the steel industry is still very much in evidence to this day. Unfortunately, Sheffield was hit hard during the recent recession, and according to several experts, its recovery is slow and uncertain.

Sheffield grew quickly during the 17th and 18th centuries on the back of a burgeoning international demand for steel. Indeed, the city was once the world’s most prolific manufacturer of steel at one point, and its most famous export was used to build many of America’s railways and buildings. Sheffield is now a modern, growing metropolitan area, but its economy still relies on countless visitor attractions, examples of stunning architecture and world-class leisure facilities. Whether you are moving to Sheffield or simply visiting for a while, there is a great deal to do and see.

The arts are a very important part of Sheffield’s identity, which is why the city is home to so many world-class galleries and theatres. The Graves Art Gallery, the Millennium Gallery and the Yorkshire Artspace are just three of Sheffield’s prestigious visitor attractions. The internationally renowned Crucible Theatre and Lyceum Theatre host a range of stage productions and concerts, while the O2 Academy plays host to some of the biggest pop and rock artists in the world.

Of course, Sheffield has a rich and prestigious history, which is steeped in industry and innovation. Among the vast array of visitor attractions dedicated to the city’s history are the Shepherd Wheel, the Heritage Boat Trail, The Portland Works and the Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet. And if you want to delve back a little further into Sheffield’s past, Sheffield Manor Lodge and Beauchief Abbey are well worth a visit.

Sport is also a major part of Sheffield’s identity. Not only is the city home to two major professional football clubs (Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United), it is where you’ll find the Motorpoint Arena, which plays host to basketball and ice hockey – as well as regular pop concerts.

The property market in Sheffield is finally showing signs of life, and the next few years could represent a great time to sell your property. But make no mistake; getting the right price and achieving a speedy sale of your house in Sheffield is still a relatively challenging task.

You can bypass all of this uncertainty and stress by allowing us to find a buyer for your house today. We have access to investors and property buyers who are willing to pay up to 100 percent of your home’s current value, and many of them can get the ball rolling on a purchase today. We hope you have enjoyed our local Sheffield property guide, call Flying Homes ‘Property Buyers’ today on 0800 669 6784 for more information on buying or selling a home.

Good Schools Can Mean Higher House Prices

Living in the catchment area of good schools can affect house prices
Living in the catchment area of good schools can affect house prices

The relationship between ‘high-performing’ good schools and home prices

Good schools and the British education system are always making the headlines these days. The struggle to improve education standards means every school is striving to make improvements, and that is having a direct impact on local house prices. Parents are now more aware than ever before of the various merits of different state schools, and they are prepared to pay a premium to get their children into the best performing schools in the area.

In many cases, the decision on a child’s school place comes down to which side of a street people live. And according to the property website, the properties located within the catchment area of the country’s top 100 schools are worth up to 25 percent more than average house values in their respective sectors. Indeed, Zoopla report that living in the south east of England, near to a top school, can double the price of property.

Are house prices near good schools recession-proof?

It also seems that homes close to high-performing schools are recession proof and benefit from higher property prices. According to, the desire to have their children attend the best schools is often a factor that overrides parents’ other concerns. Unfortunately, this has led to a situation where the poorest children left with no other choice than to attend the worst schools. And because school performances link to budgets, the problem may become worse.

Such is the growing importance of school performance on local house prices; estate agents have up-to-date information on catchment areas and OFSTED reports. The awareness of just how important local schools are to buyers with families is continuing to drive house prices upwards, and that is leading to mini property bubbles in some regions of the UK. Parents who can’t afford the luxury of a private education are looking for houses near good schools as a cost-effective way of ensuring their children get the best education possible.

Property values may change if a school’s circumstances change

It is important for homeowners to remember, however, that events beyond their control can very quickly change the status quo. Changes to admission rules, school closures and falls in standards can have a direct and immediate impact on local property prices. It is, therefore, important for homeowners to monitor the performance of local schools – whether those people are parents or not. It is also the case that school catchment areas are always changing to account for demographic changes and the emergence of new residential developments. A property that may have once been in the catchment area of a top school could, overnight, be in the catchment area of one of the worst.

Despite the obvious advantages of living next to a high-performing school, some mitigating factors can temper property valuations somewhat. People without children may not want to live in areas that suffer from parking problems, and heavy traffic during the school runs. There is a very real possibility that the extra noise and disruption from schools can scare some buyers off. It is also important for purchasers to remember that a good school is only one factor of several to consider when buying property. Homeowners near good schools can usually sell their homes fast as demand is invariably high. Many buyers will place offers on houses in areas of high demand without performing a complete survey first, and that can lead to future costs that far outstrip the benefit of being close to a good school.

Regardless of the underlying market conditions, it seems that there will always be a demand for homes in areas with good schools. As long as the catchment system adopted for school admissions, parents will be prepared to pay over the odds for homes in certain neighbourhoods. However, when buying or selling a property, it is important to remember all of the determining factors relating to property prices before making such an important decision.

Poor Property Maintenance and Disrepair Adversely Affects House Prices

House Prices and House Values Are Affected by Poor Property Maintenance
House Prices and House Values Are Affected by Poor Property Maintenance

Property values and house prices can be adversely affected by exteriors in disrepair

Many factors contribute to average UK house prices, and some of them are within the control of home owners. Anyone who has ever viewed a property as a potential buyer will know that first impressions mean an awful lot. Arriving outside the property for the first time is often a pivotal moment in a buyer’s selection process. If your home requires decoration, repair and replacement fixtures, you could be creating a poor first impression, and that could significantly reduce the potential sale value of your property.

Wear and tear can gradually affect your home’s property valuation reducing house prices

A lot of homeowners tend to give the interior of their property priority over the exterior. Over the course of several years, this can lead to a gradual deterioration in the overall look of your house. Maintaining the exterior of a property is often regarding as uninspiring and unnecessary, but a little tender loving care throughout the years can reap dividends when it comes to selling the property. As well as the aesthetic benefits of a well maintained exterior, regular maintenance will protect the structural integrity of your building, and that is a determining factor of UK house prices.

Regular care of your roof can prevent nasty surprises during your next house valuation

One of the biggest structural jobs anyone can undertake in their home is the repair or replacement of a roof. Unfortunately, many problems with a roof can be identified at first glance, and that can put buyers off before they even enter your property. Regular inspections and a programme of preventative maintenance can keep your roof in a good state of repair, as well as allowing you to identify problems before they become costly repair jobs.

The quality of drains, brickwork and guttering should not be overlooked. Gutters can be maintained very easily and cheaply if they are checked on a regular basis. However, allowing them to deteriorate will not only make replacing them more expensive, it will probably have an effect on any future house valuation. Something as simple as regularly clearing gutters of leaves can protect house values up and down the country, as gutters protect the very fabric of your home from the damage caused by water.

While fitting windows and doors yourself might seem like a good way of saving some money, a substandard job can significantly affect a future property valuation. Ill-fitting windows and doors are incredibly costly to put right, and they will often lead to other problems. Investing in a professional and safe job now can lead to quicker and more profitable house sales in the future.

In most cases, increasing the demand for homes has a direct effect on sold house prices. The more people who fall in love with a house, the better chance there is that a bidding war will ensue. Buying a home is often an emotional experience, so creating the most idyllic package possible will improve your chances of securing a sale. A cheap and relatively simple way of doing this is to tidy up your home’s gardens. A nicely mowed lawn, a painted fence and a splash of colour in the flower beds cost very little, yet they can go a long way to inspiring buyers to make bids.

Regardless of how well presented your home’s interior is, if the exterior and the structure aren’t taken care of, you could find that a buyer’s house valuation gives you a nasty shock. Instead of waiting for major problems to occur, protect house prices, a schedule of preventative maintenance could save you money on repairs in the long term – as well as protecting the sale value of your home.

When your home is well maintained there is a much better chance of finding a quick house buyer who will pay the best price. This is certainly true of Flying Homes property buyers, we will buy any house in the UK, so if you are ready to sell a house or property then check your property’s value by looking at local house prices in Rightmove or Zoopla, get an idea of your home’s worth and call us on 0800 669 6784 or complete our instant online form!

Is there a correlation between local crime rates and house prices?

Do local crime rates affect demand for property and average house prices?

Local crime rates affect demand for property and dictate average property prices in a neighbourhood, some are within the control of homeowners, but most are ultimately out of any individual’s control. Not surprisingly, no one would choose to buy a home in a crime-ridden area even considering the impact on house values. Until recently, it was relatively difficult to assess crime figures in a particular area; however, it is now merely a matter of logging on to the local police force’s crime map. Homebuyers now have detailed crime statistics at their fingertips, and they are using them to make purchasing judgements on specific neighbourhoods. The unfortunate result is falling average property prices in severely affected areas.

What the experts say about local crime rates and average home prices

While there is already a lot of anecdotal evidence suggesting that local crime rates intrinsically link to average house prices in the UK, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is worried that publishing figures in this way could have an unnecessarily detrimental effect on property prices. RICS are concerned that this freely available information will have a similar impact that hospital and school league tables have had on local house sale prices.

The Home Office has committed to making public statistics relating to burglary, street robbery, vehicle crime and anti-social behaviour – in particular neighbourhoods. Contrary to RICS, the Home Office claims that there is no proven link between published crime figures and house prices. However, high levels of recorded crime will affect demand for private housing in affected areas, and that will inevitably lead to lower property prices.

What can be done to counteract the effect crime has on house prices?

Unfortunately, there are little existing homeowners can do to negate the effect that local crime rates have on the value of a property. However, The Home Office recommends vigilance and the setting up of neighbourhood watch schemes as ways of bringing down local crime rates. Unfortunately, though, areas that develop reputations for crime can remain tarnished long after they have been made safer.

Buying a home is a considerable investment for most people, and particularly in the current economic climate, buyers will usually go to enormous lengths to ensure the home they choose is perfect. That can mean investigating local facilities, transport links, school performance and crime rates. The ability to check Zoopla home prices also empowers buyers in their search for property, and the results are reduced demand in areas with high crime and lower-than-average sold prices.

For homeowners who need to sell their property quickly, living in an area synonymous with a crime can force them to accept offers way below what the property should be worth. Installing security features and making life as difficult as possible for criminals may help homeowners to find buyers more quickly, but such improvements are unlikely to affect sold prices significantly.

Is there evidence to prove a link between crime and average property values?

Local crime rates

Finding definitive proof of the link between local crime rates and property values is difficult, as deprived neighbourhoods often already suffer from lower-than-average house prices. However, a study commissioned by the Royal Economic Society in 2004 found that crimes such as graffiti and vandalism had a direct effect on property prices, but areas suffering from a significant number of burglaries were mostly unaffected. It seems that visible crimes that blight a neighbourhood harm house prices – an unfortunate conclusion from the study, given that such crimes leave an undeniable sign for potential buyers.

While there is no such law in the UK currently, Megan’s Law in the USA has had an enormous impact on local property prices. The sex offender register was drawn up as part of Megan’s Law names convicted sex criminals and identifies where they live. According to the White Paper ‘There Goes the Neighborhood’ houses next to those of sex offenders achieve sold prices 12 per cent lower than comparable homes in their respective towns and cities. It is likely that a similar scheme in the UK will result in the same downward spiral in property prices. There are UK websites which show crime rates by postcode, so if looking to buy a house, at least you have the opportunity to make an informed decision in buying in an area with high levels of crime.

For people unfortunate enough to live in areas with rising crime levels, there is often little that can be done to halt the gradual decline in the value of their home. However, by enlisting the help of a property expert like Flying Homes, a property buyer can be found quickly and with the minimum of fuss.

If you would like more information on the services that Flying Homes can provide then call 0800 669 6784 or fill in the online instant quote form.

School League Tables Affects House Prices

Poor performance in school league tables may adversely affect local house prices

School league tables can have an enormous impact on property prices. The length parents will go to get their children into the best schools is simply astonishing. And they are equally vociferous in their bid to avoid badly performing schools. Whether it’s a matter of reputation or a bad OFSTED report, there is some reliable evidence to suggest that house prices in the UK are negatively affected by poor quality of schools in the local area.

According to a survey commissioned by the Nationwide Building Society, homes in the catchment areas of the best performing state schools can cost nearly £20,000 more than comparable properties in other areas. According to the same research, it is in the interest of local home owners to have well-performing schools on their doorstep. According to Nationwide, a modest 10 percent increase in the pass rate for the SATS exams can translate to a near £6,000 premium on house sale prices in the surrounding areas. There is undoubtedly a correlation between school performance and property prices.

The stats surrounding UK property prices and local schools

According to official OFSTED figures in 2009, 70 percent of English primary schools achieve level four or above at Key Stage 2, but just 2.4 percent of those schools achieved a 100 percent pass rate. It is those few schools top of the school league tables that have the biggest impact on local property values and therefore the value of your house. Boosting local house prices by up to 11 percent, high-performing schools are to the benefit of all local home owners – whether they are parents or not. Unfortunately, the opposite is true for poor schools. Although poor school performance is often related to deprivation in the catchment area, it does appear that poor results can adversely affect average sold house prices locally.

How does your local area fare in the school league tables?

There are huge variations in school performance across the country, Locrating is a useful resource to identify OFSTED performance and school league tables in your local area. Land registry house prices is a useful resource to identify trends in sold house prices historically; Zoopla house prices shows more current trends.

SATS results and house prices

A mere 10 percent improvement on SATS results can boost house prices by over 3 percent, according to the Nationwide. During the 2009 study, Yorkshire and Humberside came out on top in terms of rises in house sold prices according to school performance – with average rises of a quite amazing £5,173 recorded.

Property values can be affected when school performances deteriorate

Schools that have received less than favourable OFSTED reports or those struggling to achieve average pass rates will be avoided by parents, and that will have a knock-on effect on local property prices. Not only will demand for homes in the affected areas drop dramatically, many parents already living in the catchment areas of poorly performing schools will seek to move elsewhere. This rise in the supply of homes and decrease in demand can have profound effects on house sale prices.

Unfortunately, highly performing schools are in great demand, and parents will often go to incredible lengths to get their children into the best ones. While some areas are suffering significant falls in average property prices, others are enjoying steady rises. In some instances, parents are prepared to upgrade their property simply to guarantee a place in their chosen school. In the most extreme cases, parents have been known to buy homes and allow them to stand empty – simply to secure a school place. This drastic action is, however, usually cheaper than paying for 13 years of private education, and it is becoming an increasingly popular tactic.

Does a bad OFSTED report mean home valuations will start to fall?

Despite the apparent link between property values and the quality of nearby schools, any school is susceptible to an unusual, one-off downturn in performance. While such an occurrence may have a small effect on house prices, it shouldn’t be the deciding factor in a person’s decision to sell. School performances are often cyclical, and what could be an under-performing school one term could be at the top of the school league tables the next.

So, according to the Nationwide Building Society and various other property analysts, poorly performing schools CAN have a detrimental effect on surrounding house prices. However, with so many government targets, the impending performance-related pay structure for teachers and the budget incentives for better performance, many schools have an opportunity to turn themselves around – lifting house prices in the area back up with them.

Do you need help in relocating nearer to a preferred school?

Relocating to follow the best performing educational establishments in the OFSTED school league tables is a big step, so you need to get the best and highest price paid when you sell your home. Using an estate agent can usually get you a sale in 6 months or so, but if you need to sell quicker than this then Flying Homes can help. We are quick sale specialists, and hopefully we can pay more than any other quick sale company, so give us a call on 0800 669 6784 or fill in our online quote form!

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