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How to Sell a Home with a Short Lease

If you need to know how to sell a home with a short lease, we’ve got you covered. The process is fraught with complications and potential for delay.

Mortgage providers are very strict on this issue. After all, they won’t be prepared to loan you a large amount of money to buy a house unless they know it’s definitely going to be yours for a lifetime.

What is a short lease?

A leasehold home is one that sits on land that is owned by someone else. The leasehold permits you to occupy the land for a predetermined period.

The owner of the land is known as the freeholder. And that person or organisation can decide who occupies the land — and for how long. But most leases are long-term, lasting anywhere between 90 and 1,000 years. Once the lease runs out, legal possession of the land returns to the freeholder unless an extension can be agreed.

Find out the length of your lease

Sell a house with a short lease

Access the Land Registry website to obtain a full copy of your title deeds. This document will tell you whether you own a leasehold or freehold property. You should do this before you list your house for sale.

If you have less than 80 years remaining on your lease, the value of your property could be significantly lower than the local average. And buyers will find getting a mortgage on the property very difficult indeed.

Extending your lease

If you can extend your lease, you can make your home a lot more attractive to potential buyers. It’s important to remember that owners of a property aren’t able to apply for an extension until they’ve lived there for two years.

There are two ways to apply for a lease extension when selling a home:

An extension before a sale

The buyer can make the obtaining of a lease extension a condition of sale. The owner then applies to the freeholder for the extension. But this process can take several months. And if a homeowner needs to sell a house fast, this may not be a viable option.

Seller serves a statutory notice

To speed things along, the seller can serve the freeholder with a statutory notice requesting the extension. The notice would then be passed on to the new owner upon completion. However, most sellers would only do this after contracts have been exchanged.

Selling a short lease home fast

Sell a home with a short lease

In most cases, the pool of buyers potentially interested in a short lease home is low. And this means the price can be adversely affected. Traditional estate agents will sell short lease homes, but they’ll highlight the lease issue on all their marketing materials. This will slow the process down and reduce your property’s price potential.

You also have the option of selling at auction. Once the hammer falls, a sale at auction becomes legally binding, so there’s a lower chance of the buyer pulling out because of a short lease.

But you might need to sell your home quickly. You might also want to avoid all the hassle that comes with selling a short lease home. And that’s where Flying Homes can help. We buy homes directly from their owners — in partnership with cash buyers. This means you can avoid marketing, property viewings, negotiations and collapsed property chains.

Call us today for a free, no-obligation quote. We might be able to complete the purchase of your short lease home within a matter of days.

Can I Sell a House with Negative Equity?

Negative equity is the term used to describe a home that is worth less than the mortgage secured on it. If you’re in this position, selling your home at a good price on the open market wouldn’t raise sufficient money to pay off your mortgage.

If you don’t have the means to pay the difference, there’s a good chance you’re stuck in your property indefinitely. That’s why we’ve put together a list of potential options. Yes, you can sell a house with negative equity — but is it the right move?

Speak to your mortgage provider

If you’re happy to remain in your home and can afford the mortgage repayments, negative equity might not be a major short-term concern for you. However, if you want to move, you might need to take a proactive approach.

Reach out to your mortgage advisor and ask about transferring your mortgage to another home. A lot of lenders will transfer the mortgage to a more expensive property if you sign up to a larger balance.

Sell a house with negative equity Sell a house with negative equity

Alternatively, you might be able to make overpayments on your mortgage without incurring penalties. This is usually the quickest way to get yourself back into positive equity. You should be allowed to pay off at least 10% of your balance early without incurring penalties. So if you can unlock savings or investments elsewhere, this is a good option.

Stay at home

The simplest and cheapest option is to ride things out. If you’re in negative equity, it’s probably because of a sudden decline in the local property market. These things tend to right themselves over time.

If you’re happy in your property and have no problem paying your mortgage, wait until the market recovers. If you don’t have to worry about repossession, you can ride out the storm and wait for local house prices to recover.

Negative equity only becomes a significant problem when you can’t afford repayments, or you need to sell your house fast.

Increase the market value of your home

Three things get you out of negative equity: debt reduction, rising house prices and an increase in the market value of the property.

Take a look at the houses for sale in your area. What do they have that your home doesn’t? In many cases, you’ll be able to improve your house without a huge cash outlay. A few enhancements or repairs might add a couple of thousand to your home’s market value.

Rent out your property

So, you can’t afford to move home, but you need to leave as soon as possible. Perhaps you’re struggling to keep up with mortgage repayments. Or maybe you need to relocate for a new job. In either case, negative equity could be holding you back.

In these circumstances, the most logical decision is to rent out your home. You can use the income to pay off your mortgage or any debts secured on your home. You might even be able to turn a profit. Renting gives you breathing space. House prices always recover eventually; you just need to be patient.

Take out a loan

Sell a house with negative equity

If the negative equity in your home is relatively modest, an unsecured loan might be enough to make up the difference. Make sure you get a good rate of interest, and that you can comfortably afford the repayments. But beware: this type of borrowing is always more expensive than securing a loan against your property.

Sell as quickly as possible

Check with your mortgage provider about the best way forward. But if you’re in serious financial difficulties, you might need to ask about selling your home as quickly as possible. Some lenders will accept repayment programmes after the property is sold.

If you need to sell a home quickly to alleviate financial problems, Flying Homes can help. We buy homes directly from owners for up to 100% of their market value. If the circumstances are right, you could have the proceeds of the sale within just a few days.

How Do I Value My Home?

Not even an experienced estate agent can value a UK property with total accuracy. This isn’t an exact science — it’s educated guesswork.

Estate agents buy and sell homes every week, so they’re often best placed to estimate local property values. But this doesn’t mean you stop doing the guesswork yourself. Search the Internet for ways to “value my home,” and you’ll find plenty of resources.

Knowing the potential value of your home is essential. After all, if you don’t know how much your property will fetch on the open market, how can you decide whether listing it for sale is the best course of action?

Five ways to value my home

1. Research trends in the area

Take a look at recent house sales data on the Land Registry web portal. Look for details of houses similar to yours in design, age and size. Is there a trend in your neighbourhood? Does your house possess advantages others in the area don’t?

Once you have the sale price data you need, work out an average range.

2. Look for market forecasts

Property experts continually monitor the housing market for signs of upturns and downturns. Using current and historical data, these experts can make some pretty accurate predictions about where house prices are headed. The Financial Times, Hometrack and the Land Registry are great places to start your forecast research.

3. Assess local factors

Value my home

The housing market is volatile and reactive. And it can differ from street to street in certain regions. In many cases, external issues beyond your control are responsible for these differences.

A new school, for example, could dramatically push up house prices in the catchment area. The addition of a new train station or a new road could also have a positive effect on house prices.

When valuing your home, think about what is happening in the area — and what is expected to happen in the future. If you can demonstrate to buyers that your area is going to benefit from new amenities and infrastructure in the future, you might be able to extract a premium for your property.
The most common issues that affect UK house prices include:

  • Crime levels
  • Environmental issues such as flood risk
  • Transport links
  • Local schools
  • Local amenities
  • Localised subsidence issues
  • The neighbours

4. Get a free valuation on the Internet

There are several online resources that offer free, no-obligation house valuations. And in many cases, all you need to do is enter your postcode and the number of bedrooms your home has. This isn’t very accurate, but it’s a good way of starting the valuation process.

5. Ask an estate agent

Value my home

Estate agents want your business. If they think you’re serious about selling your home, they’ll give up their time to value it. And their experience and knowledge are irreplaceable in this regard.

Only by using all of these five steps together can you hope to value your home accurately. And once you know what your home is capable of achieving, you can start to formulate a personalised house selling strategy.

But what do you do if you need to sell a house fast? What if quick cash is your priority? This is where Flying Homes can help. We buy houses directly from their owners for up to 100% of their market value. And because we allow you to bypass the traditional housing market, you may get the proceeds of your house sale within just two weeks.

Do I Need Indemnity Insurance When Selling a House?

Imagine you sold a house six months ago. Now imagine you received a legal letter this morning about possible defects with the property. The buyer is claiming thousands to cover repair costs. What do you do?

If you didn’t inform the buyer about the defects before contracts were exchanged, you might be liable for their costs. Indemnity insurance covers you against this type of scenario.

Indemnity insurance usually involves a single payment. And cover lasts forever. This type of insurance is also a viable alternative to fixing a major defect with your property before it’s sold.

What does indemnity insurance cover me for?

Indemnity insurance covers you against a range of potential issues, including:

Restrictive covenant

A restrictive covenant forbids certain alterations to a property — such as an extension. Indemnity insurance covers and legal costs you might incur as a result of a covenant breach.

Building regulations

If a home you sold is found not to have the necessary building regs documentation, indemnity insurance covers the costs of altering the property for compliance. The insurance also covers the administrative costs of putting things right.

Absence of easement

If a neighbour prevents you from accessing drains that serve your home, indemnity insurance covers the costs of legal action.

Planning permission

Indemnity insurance for planning permission isssues

Building without planning permission can lead to legal action. In certain circumstances, this action might culminate in the demolition of a building or extension. Indemnity insurance covers all the costs associated with a non-compliant property.

Missing particulars

Indemnity insurance covers the seller for the costs of updating title deeds with missing or incorrect information.

No build-over agreement

If you decide to build an extension within three metres of a sewer, you might need to acquire a build-over agreement from the local water authority. Homes without such an agreement might be forced to remove all or part of the offending structure.

Adverse possession

If you can’t prove you, as the homeowner, own all of the land on which your property sits, you might need to take steps to prove legal ownership. Insurance covers you against the costs associated with someone else claiming ownership of the land.

Is indemnity insurance expensive?

In most cases, indemnity insurance is well worth the expense. The cost of dealing with the issues raised above can be astronomical. Yet the cost of a good indemnity insurance policy can be as little as £20.

If you want cover for the costs of dealing with a lack of planning or building regulations, however, the policy will cost a lot more. Don’t be surprised to find quotes of between £300 and £600.

Is indemnity insurance for property sellers necessary?

Indemnity insurance

The chances of running into legal issues after you’ve sold a property are low. Most indemnity policies never pay out — as problems are rare. But for your peace of mind, parting with £20 or £30 for a basic policy makes sense.

If you suspect there may be problems with building regulations, planning permission or land ownership, get indemnity insurance. But be prepared to pay a hefty premium.

Taking out indemnity insurance is a good way to sell a house fast. This covers you for a range of legal issues, so you don’t have to waste too much time searching for missing paperwork, certificates and permissions. Indeed, a lot of conveyancers and mortgage providers insist the seller takes out indemnity insurance at the earliest opportunity.

Having indemnity insurance can help you to sell a home quickly — but not that quickly. If you need to raise cash in a hurry, it might be best to avoid the market altogether. And that’s where Flying Homes comes in. We buy houses fast. In some cases, we’re able to complete a purchase within a matter of days.

Can I Value My Home Accurately?

You don’t have to hire an estate agent to sell a house in the UK. But remember: a local agent brings an array of skills to the table — including experience in valuing homes.

Are you asking yourself “can I value my home accurately”? You can certainly value your property with a degree of accuracy, but you’ll need to know what you’re doing.

We’ve broken down the steps to valuing homes in the UK. But bear in mind this isn’t an exact science. And even the most talented and experienced estate agents get it wrong from time to time.

Is the house in a good state of repair?

Most homes can be valued according to their location, size, facilities, number of rooms, floor space and nearby amenities. But all of this data could mean very little if the property in question is suffering from serious structural issues. Before you do anything else, establish if any of the following issues are present:

  • The quality of construction is low
  • There’s damage due to subsidence
  • There’s damage or warping on the roof
  • There’s visible structural degradation
  • The windows are in a state of disrepair

Value a home that needs repairs

Are the house’s facilities fit for purpose

Every home relies on power and water. And when these essentials are interrupted or disrupted in any way, the consequences on the property’s market value can be devastating. Among the most common issues to look for include:

  • Unusually high water and energy bills
  • A malfunctioning boiler or central heating system
  • Restricted access to cut-offs and stopcocks
  • Outdated wiring and gas piping
  • Badly heated rooms

Your property might be in a fantastic area in high demand among buyers. But if it’s afflicted by some of these issues, you’ll need to address them if you hope to maximise your home’s price potential.

Of course, you may not have the time, money, or inclination to update your property. You might simply want to find a willing buyer as quickly as possible. And that’s where Flying Homes can help.

We buy houses directly from buyers without fuss or delay. There are no negotiating on price, marketing, property viewings or protracted conveyancing issues to deal with. If you accept our offer, we take care of everything. And in many cases, we’re able to release funds within just four or five weeks of making an initial offer.

Research recent house sales

The internet has made valuing UK homes easier than ever. Using the Land Registry website, Zoopla and Rightmove, you can search for recent house sales in your area. You can even search for homes that are similar in size and style to your own. This gives you a clear idea of what people are prepared to pay.

Recent house sale prices affect the value of your home

But there are many variables at play, and it’s impossible to be wholly accurate with your valuations. For example, a similar home that sold recently may have had a slightly larger garden. Or it might have newly-fitted windows. Any information you glean from these sites will only ever give you a rough valuation.

Can I get a more accurate valuation?

The tips listed above are used by the vast majority of estate agents in the UK. The current condition of a property together with recent sales data (and maybe a little intuition) are the key components of any valuation process.

If you need something more accurate, however, there is an alternative. Approach a surveyor and ask for a “standard valuation”. They’ll use all the data available to you online, but they’ll cast an expert eye on structural issues, too.

Valuing a home isn’t rocket science, but doing it with a high degree of accuracy is very difficult. If you’d rather skip the traditional house selling process altogether, get in touch. At Flying Homes, we buy houses fast, directly from their buyers. We’ll make you a fair offer based on market conditions. And if you accept it, we’ll take care of the entire transaction.

Can I Sell a House with Asbestos?

While asbestos is widely regarded as a construction evil of the 20th century, it’s been around far longer than most people realise. Asbestos was, in fact, used by both the Roman and Persian Empires. The substance is a great insulator and fire-resistant. It also conducts electricity well.

This cost-effective material was used to provide safe and relatively cheap insulation in buildings for several decades. But when the link between asbestos and a degenerative respiratory condition was established, the substance became synonymous with ill health and life-threatening conditions.

Asbestos creates dust — both during the manufacturing process and when it’s disturbed. In this dust are tiny and very sharp shards. Then they get into the lungs these shards can cut and scar tissue relatively easily. And when that happens, diseases such as tuberculosis and fibrosis become more likely.

Following hundreds of thousands of asbestos-related deaths around the world, the substance was banned from construction during the 1970s and 1980s. But the sale of buildings containing asbestos remained legal. And to this day, you can still sell a house with asbestos. But whether you inherited the property or bought it several years ago, there are a few things you need to know.

Do I have to disclose the presence of asbestos when selling a house?

Asbestos in a roof

You must inform potential house buyers that your property contains asbestos. Of course, you may not know that the substance is present. But even the most basic of surveys will detect it.

If your home was built before 1978, there’s an excellent chance that it contains asbestos. Any surveyor or mortgage provider knows this, and they will look for the material before a house sale goes through.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that failing to detect the presence of asbestos could result in criminal proceedings against the surveyor. If there’s even the slightest possibility your home contains the material, expect surveyors to move heaven and earth to find it.

But a surveyor is only expected to detect asbestos by reasonable means. Asbestos used as insulation in a loft is easy to identify, for example. But authorities wouldn’t necessarily expect surveyors to find asbestos inside solid walls or in hidden areas.

Can I sell a house with asbestos?

Surveyors are rarely experts in asbestos. They know what to look for, but they aren’t usually qualified to assess the risk and manage the removal process. If asbestos is found in your home, you’ll have to enlist the services of a qualified professional.

One of the issues an asbestos expert will look for is the state of the asbestos. If it’s in a bad way, it poses a serious health risk. But if it’s intact, it won’t be regarded as a threat. Even if the asbestos is in good condition, you must still disclose its presence to anyone who wants to buy your home.

Selling houses with asbestos

Sell the house fast or deal with the issue first?

The decision on whether to purchase a home with undamaged asbestos is fully down to the buyer. If they want to proceed, that’s up to them — although they may expect a reduction in the sale price. If your home contains damaged asbestos, you’ll probably need to address the problem yourself. If you want to sell your house fast, however, you can. But you’ll be forced to accept a substantially reduced final sale price.

The removal of asbestos is a highly skilled and painstaking process. It requires special equipment, sophisticated precautionary measures and specialist knowledge. Expect to pay between £50 and £100 a square metre for removal of the substance. Even in an average-sized home, the final bill could be well in excess of £2,000.

Or maybe you just want to cut your losses and sell a house with asbestos as fast as possible. Flying Homes can buy your property as it is right now. This means that you can leave the problem of asbestos to someone else. We buy UK homes for up to 100 per cent of their market value. And in the right circumstances, you could have the proceeds of the sale in your bank account within just a month or so.

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