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Stamp duty transactions 48% higher than in Q1 2020: HMRC

stamp duty

“With the June deadline creeping closer, both lenders and brokers need to work collaboratively to ensure transactions are processed in time.”

The latest SDLT statistics from HMRC show that total stamp duty transactions were 48% higher than in Q1 2020.

Total transactions in Q1 2021 were similar to those in Q4 2020 but 48% higher than in Q1 2020.

Overall, residential property transactions in Q1 2021 were 2% higher than in Q4 2020 and 53% higher than in Q1 2020.

Cloe Atkinson, managing director of Mortgage Engine, commented: “Today’s figures show once again just how frenzied activity in the housing market is. The release of pent-up demand for property has been super-charged by the stamp duty holiday extension. The tax holiday has certainly been a success by any metric and current activity levels are further proof of the resilience of brokers, lenders and borrowers alike. Over the last year, the virus has forced the industry to re-shape the way consumers buy property and led to a great deal of adaption and innovation to overcome the difficult conditions caused by the pandemic. 

“Technology has been important for all parties in transitioning to this new way of completing purchases and the industry has seen a large increase in the use of tech solutions, such as remote viewings and automated valuation models. As the UK looks forward to the return of some pre-pandemic normality, tech-driven solutions will continue to be a vital part of the success of the mortgage market. A lot of progress has been achieved in the last year when it comes to tech adoption, but the industry needs to be ambitious and continue to build upon this momentum to provide better outcomes for its consumers.”

Lisa Martin, development director at TMA, said: “The first quarter of 2021 signalled a busy start to the year for the mortgage market – a fact which is reflected in today’s Stamp Duty Land Tax transactions statistics. We saw many more homebuyers and movers making their purchases and subsequently benefitting from the Chancellor’s stamp duty holiday than during the previous quarter, which led to a further uptick in transaction figures compared to the end of 2020. 

“While this demand is likely to continue over the coming months, it will also be interesting to see whether there is greater appetite from buyers to make the most of the stamp duty cut in certain regions, ahead of the initial deadline in June. For example, we may see a greater number of borrowers making house purchases in specific areas of the country where there’s the potential for better house price growth, while they can continue to save on stamp duty costs. 

“Over the coming weeks and months, it will be vital for lenders and brokers to work collaboratively in order to ensure that all transactions are processed on time. However, while some buyers rush to take advantage of the reduction in stamp duty, many borrowers will be unsure about what mortgage options are available to them, and which would best suit their particular circumstances. For this reason, professional advice will be crucial. Advisers are well placed to discuss the various options available for borrowers, and therefore have a key role to play in supporting clients’ decision making.”

Rob Barnard, director of intermediaries at Masthaven Bank, added: “It’s clear the stamp duty holiday has successfully injected energy into the market, but with the June deadline creeping closer, both lenders and brokers need to work collaboratively to ensure transactions are processed in time. For borrowers who want to prioritise speed, working with a broker and a specialist lender can give them access to a range of bespoke options. For some of these borrowers, short-term lending, such as bridging loans, could be an appropriate and often overlooked option. 

“While the tax holiday has been beneficial for many buyers, it’s also important to remember there are many would-be borrowers who have been unable to take advantage of the tax break, because of the impact of the pandemic on their finances. Specialist lenders and mortgage brokers need to work closely to ensure these individuals have alternative financial solutions at their disposal. It’s vital that the end of various government support programmes doesn’t leave those who have been financially affected by the pandemic high and dry.”

Original Article from Financial Reporter 30/04/2021

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7 Tips to Help You Find Your Perfect Rural Property


The Coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on property trends, with rural areas seeing a huge surge in interest.

This is no doubt due to people spending more time working from home and looking for a property with some outdoor space to enjoy.

If you’re thinking about getting away from the city and escaping to the countryside, here are 7 tips to help you find your perfect rural property.

1. Dip Your Toe in The Water Before Committing

While the relative tranquility and more laidback lifestyle in the countryside can seem very appealing, if you’ve only lived in major cities then it can come as a huge shock to the system.

As a minimum you’re likely to have to travel further for most things, and it’s unlikely you’ll have 24-hour access to groceries for example.

Therefore, if you’re able to do so, consider renting for at least 6 months before you buy a property. That way you’ll get a much better feel for what you like and dislike about a rural location, and it will be much easier to move back to the city if you find the change of lifestyle to be too much.

2. Do Your Research

It pays to be prepared, so find out as much as you can about the area you’re looking to move to before you commit. As your local property experts for the Chelmsford area we can help you familiarise yourself with different areas of interest.

One thing that can catch people out is the boundaries and shared access that comes with living in a rural area. You may be seeking peace and privacy, only to find that there’s a public footpath crossing through your land, or a shared driveway that’s regularly used by farm vehicles.

Just make sure you do your homework on any potential property before you go all in.

3. Get to Know The Locals

Living in the country can be very isolating if you don’t know anyone, so it makes sense to have a few connections before you move if you can.

Just popping into the local shop or pub and chatting to some of the staff can go a long way to helping you settle in and you’ll be contributing towards the local community too.

Having some connections will also be invaluable if you ever need some help in future, such as finding a reliable tradesperson or getting a stray sheep out of the garden!

4. Contact your Local Estate Agent

This might seem simple, but it’s definitely a good idea to reach out and let us know what you’re looking for so that we can keep you up to date.

As your local agent, we have excellent knowledge of the local areas and can offer invaluable advice with regards to local facilities, schools and amenities.

There’s nothing wrong with finding a property through an online website and putting an offer in, but speaking directly to your local estate agent will help you to be better prepared for the reality of moving to a new area.

5. Embrace the Lifestyle

One of the main reasons why a lot of people’s rural move goes wrong is because they’re too set in their ways and they fail to adapt.

If you are going to move to the country then you’ll need to be prepared for potential issues that you don’t have in major towns and cities, such as fewer convenience shops and takeaways on your doorstep and reduced public transport services.

Embracing these lifestyle changes will go a long way towards settling and staying somewhere in the long-term.

6. Be Aware of Potential Extra Costs

You will often find that rural properties aren’t connected to mains water and drainage. Instead, you may have a shared septic tank and a private water supply, which may be your sole responsibility, or shared with neighbours.

Other utilities such as broadband can be unreliable in extremely rural areas, so if it’s essential to have superfast internet then you may have to pay extra for this too.

As with everything, do your research and look into the potential additional costs you may have to face before putting in an offer.

7. Be Flexible

If you’re buying in a large town or city then you’ll often be spoilt for choice, so you can find exactly what you want if you look hard enough.

When it comes to rural areas though, because there are fewer properties to choose from you may find that some of your ‘must haves’ just aren’t going to be possible.

Therefore, you’ll need to either consider a wider area to find your perfect property or come to a compromise on the property itself to ensure you get to live in your perfect area.

We are your local property experts for the Chelmsford area. Call us on 01245398466 or email to chat with a member of our friendly and experienced team.

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7 Essential Packing Tips for Your House Move in Chelmsford

packing tips

Moving house in Chelmsford soon? First and foremost, congratulations are in order!

Now that you’ve found a new home, it’s time to start thinking about the actual moving process itself. And a major part of that is the dreaded ‘p’ word…. Yes, packing!

Start by taking a few deep breaths. We don’t want you roaming from room to room with no idea where to get started, so our essential packing tips will help make the process a lot easier and a lot less overwhelming for you. 

1. Prepare a bag of essentials for the first week

Although some people do this just for their first night in their new house, we recommend packing a bag with all the essentials you’ll need for the first week. Trust us, the unpacking process can be even slower than the packing process because you have to decide where everything will go!

Give yourself a little time to settle in and save the hassle of having to wade through all your cardboard boxes for your toiletries. Pack a separate bag for everything you’ll need for the first week in your new home.

2. Move chests of drawers as they are by wrapping them with cling film

Yes, you did read that right. This is a top tip! You can easily save yourself the trouble of removing and packing away every small item from your drawers, only to have to put it right back once you’re in your new place. Simply wrap cling film tightly around any chests of drawers so that your removal company can shift them as is.

Unwrap at the other end, and you have all your items exactly where you want them. Easy!

3. Create makeshift handles in cardboard boxes

Want to make moving day itself a little easier? Then it’s time to get creative. Whether you’re using a professional removal firm or not, those heavy cardboard boxes will be a lot easier to move with handles. It’s easily done; just cut small triangles into the side panels and lift your boxes with a lot more ease.

4. Use wheeled suitcases to transport heavier items

If you’ve got a suitcase or two with wheels stashed away in storage, now’s the time to make use of them. Simply pack away any heavier items such as books and bulky sports equipment into your wheeled suitcases, and you can easily transport them to your new place. It saves you having to lug them over in weighty boxes that might even break from the weight!

5. Pack jewellery and smaller items in egg cartons

When it comes to packing for your house move, you may eventually find that your smaller items are more of a hassle to pack than bulkier pieces. For instance, jewellery. Luckily, there’s a tried-and-tested packing trick that works well for the smaller stuff, and that comes in the form of egg cartons!

Start to save egg cartons in the weeks leading up to your move and use the compartments within to store any small items such as necklaces and earrings. It keeps them safe and separate rather than all jumbled up in one big bag.

Secure the egg cartons with your trusty old cling film.

6. Use colour-coded labels for your cardboard boxes

While most people label their boxes for a house move, your process could be helped by taking your label game up a notch. Simply colour code your labels by room (the room you want your box moved into) so that you and your moving team can easily spot these on the big day. It’s a visual trick that makes it easy to avoid confusion or boxes ending up in the wrong room.

Oh, and make sure to pop those labels onto each side of the box. It’ll be worth the effort when everything ends up in the right place.

7. Cover any hanging clothes with bin bags to move as they are

Let’s face it, folding everything in our wardrobe can be a bit of pain. If, like us, you don’t have perfect Marie Kondofolding skills, then consider this simple packing idea. Take any hanging clothes to your new place on their hangers. Simply cover them with bin bags while they’re still on the hangers and move them to your new home without any dirt or dust getting on them.

Remove the bags at the other end to hang, and you’ve got your new wardrobe in a good place before you know it!

Let us help you find your next home in Chelmsford

Now that you’re well-equipped with all the essential packing tips and tricks you need for a move let us help you find somewhere special to move into. At Essex Homes And Lettings we have years of property experience in Chelmsford. Give us a call on 01245398466 to chat through what you’re looking for and we’ll be delighted to help.

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Sales surge after stamp duty holiday extension: Rics

for sale

There was a sharp increase in sales agreed during March, following the chancellor’s extension to the stamp duty holiday, according to the latest index from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

A net balance of +50 per cent of the surveyors questioned reported an increase in sales, which is the strongest reading since August last year. 

Respondents are anticipating sales activity will continue to rise over the coming three months, with a net balance of +35 per cent forecasting increases, the most upbeat reading since January 2020.

New buyer enquiries also surged, with a balance of +42 per cent of respondents recording an increase compared to 0 per cent the previous month.

This was the strongest figure since September 2020. 

But the pace of new instructions did not match the jump in interest from buyers, leading to a gap between supply and demand and rising prices.

A net balance of +29 per cent of surveyors reported that appraisals were up on the same period last year, suggesting more new instructions should come onto the market in the coming months.

Meanwhile, +59 per cent of respondents reported a rise in prices over the past month.

Surveyors responses suggest rising prices across all parts of the UK, with the strongest momentum in the North West, Yorkshire & the Humber and Northern Ireland.

This upward trajectory is expected to continue with +42 per cent of surveyors predicting prices will increase over the next three months and +60 per cent saying they will rise over the next year.

In the rental market, +36 per cent of respondents recorded increased tenant demand, up from +26 per cent in February. 

New landlord instructions were down according to a net balance of -25 per cent, resulting in upward pressure on rents. 

A net balance of surveyors +47 per cent expect rents to rise. 

The only part of the UK where rents are expected to remain flat or fall was London.

Rics chief economist Simon Rubinsohn says: “The results show that the decision of the chancellor to extend the stamp duty break and then taper its expiry has had an immediate impact on the housing market with all the key activity indictors rebounding in March. 

“However the headline numbers as well as the anecdotal remarks from respondents clearly demonstrate that across much of the market, demand is outstripping supply and that as a result, prices continue to move upwards.

“More worryingly, this is also being reflected in the price expectations data both at the twelve months horizon and beyond.

“Meanwhile the lettings market is displaying a broadly similar characteristic in terms of the relationship between demand and supply according to theRics data with the notable exception of the numbers for London. 

“Significantly despite rents moving higher, contributors continue to point to the less favourable environment for investors in the market as playing a key role in fuelling this imbalance.”

Wayhome chief executive Nigel Purves says: “While we are seeing a new-found confidence among many buyers and sellers, sadly this just isn’t the case for a large proportion of aspiring homeowners across the UK.

“Even with the stamp duty extension for an extra three months spurring on hopeful home buyers, there are many who find themselves overlooked and ignored due to their household income not meeting a mortgage lender’s criteria. 

“This is despite them already having a deposit saved and being able to afford the equivalent of mortgage repayments in rent each month. More needs to be done to level the playing field and provide people with alternative routes into home ownership.”

Metlife head of individual protection Rich Horner says: “Thanks to the chancellor’s extension of the stamp duty holiday, and the introduction of the 95 per cent mortgage scheme, it’s been another positive month for the housing sector – one that could have suffered severely had the stamp duty holiday ended abruptly.

“In the months ahead, we should continue to see a surge in homeownership, particularly as the new 95 per cent mortgage scheme will make buying a home a reality for more first-time buyers. 

“We’re also seeing more lenders offering their own competitive mortgage deals. “Despite the success of the measures, potential buyers need to be wary of their affordability and ensure they’re not living above their means, particularly as homes up to the value of £600,000 are eligible under the scheme.”

Original Article from Mortgage Strategy 08/04/2021

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Many transactions ‘taking four months from offer to exchange’

NAEA Propertymark says a record number of transactions are taking four months to move from offer to exchange.

The organisation says this was one of the key reasons why it campaigned for the extension of the stamp duty holiday which was – until recently – scheduled to end tomorrow.

In February, the latest data available, the number of property transactions taking over 17 weeks from the offer being accepted to exchanging contracts, increased again to 27 per cent from 26 per cent the previous month – the highest figure on record.

Mark Hayward, chief policy adviser at Propertymark, says: “It’s interesting to see that one in nine properties sold for more than the original asking price in February. Over the past few months, we’ve witnessed a boom in the number of prospective buyers and the number of sales taking place following the government’s announcement of a stamp duty holiday, and so it seems many buyers are willing to pay over the asking price in order to secure their dream home.

“We are also seeing a record high for the number of transactions taking more than 17 weeks from the offer being accepted to exchanging contracts due to this unusually high demand for property. This is one of the reasons we campaigned for an extension to the stamp duty holiday; to prevent sales falling through due to delays in the chain.”

Data from Propertymark also suggests that in February one in nine properties sold for more than the original asking price. This is the highest figure recorded since August last year and the highest figure on record for the month of February since 2016. Some 57 per cent of properties sold for less than the original asking price.

The number of sales made to first time buyers rose to 25 per cent in February, from 23 per cent in January; this was the highest figure recorded since July 2020 and year-on-year is an increase from 22 per cent in February 2020.

In terms of demand, in February the average number of prospective buyers registered per estate agent branch stood at 388, a 20 per cent decrease from 487 in January. However, this is the highest figure recorded for the month of February since 2017, when the figure stood at 425.

On sales, the average number of sales agreed per estate agent branch stood at 11 in February, an increase from 10 in January.

Year-on-year, this figure is up from nine sales agreed per estate agent branch in February 2020 and seven sales agreed per estate agent branch in February 2019.

The average number of properties available per member branch stood at 34 in February, falling from 38 in January.

Original Article from Estate Agent Today 30/03/2021

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Government set to announce 95% LTV mortgage guarantee scheme


The government is set to announce a new mortgage guarantee scheme during Wednesday’s Budget.

The scheme will offer incentives to lenders which have “virtually disappeared” during the pandemic, the Treasury said.

The scheme is set to launch to lenders from April and will allow both first-time buyers and current homeowners to purchase properties up to £600,000 with a 5% deposit.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Owning a home is a dream for millions across the UK and we want to help as many people as possible. Saving up for a big deposit can often be difficult, and the pandemic has meant there are fewer low deposit mortgages available.”

The government first announced plans for a new scheme to increase the number of 95% LTV mortgages last October. Boris Johnson reportedly asked ministers to design the plan, which he said would involve removing stress tests for mortgage applicants, instead extending “a form of state guarantee” to lenders to de-risk the loans.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, commented:“Turning ‘generation rent’ into ‘generation buy’ has been a focus for Boris Johnson for a while so the return of 95% LTV mortgages for first-time buyers doesn’t come as a complete surprise. This, coupled with the extension of the stamp duty holiday, will result in a Budget which is a real boost for buyers.

“It is positive news for first-time buyers, particularly as it is not restricted to new homes, although critics may argue that it will only aid house price inflation. But without such a scheme would developers be so keen to put spades in the ground? The supply of new housing is nowhere near where it needs to be to satisfy demand.

‘”For those with little in the way of deposit, finding a 95% LTV mortgage has been pretty much impossible in recent months. The odd building society here and there has offered them, with Saffron building society launching at 95% in June but it only lasted a matter of days. Furness BS also has a selection of 95% products but these are restricted to certain postcodes.

“The only other current option to obtain a mortgage at this level is to call upon a third party, typically a parent, to provide extra security in the way of deposits or equity within the ‘guarantor’ property. Not everyone is in a fortunate position to do so.

“The last time there was a mortgage guarantee treasury scheme was via Help to Buy. The mortgage guarantee offering closed to new loans on 31st December 2016 (the equity loan continues, albeit in a revised form today) but by then, many of the high-street names had removed themselves from the scheme and ‘self-insuring’ their 95% offerings.”

Mark Hayward, chief policy adviser at NAEA Propertymark, added: “A government backed mortgage guarantee scheme will help first -ime buyers get on the housing ladder at a time when for many owning a home seems an impossible dream. Alongside the potential extension of the stamp duty holiday that we have been calling for, this new scheme will go some way in giving some hope to first-time buyers at a time when the size of deposits required means they fall at the first hurdle.”

Original Article from Financial Reporter 01/03/2021

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Post Lockdown House Move in Chelmsford? Here’s What to Expect

Post lockdown

In May, the UK government started the process of easing lockdown restrictions. Along with allowing people to exercise outdoors for longer and sunbathe in parks, they also reopened the housing market, which is excellent news for those who have been waiting to move home, and especially those who are keen to sell their property.

If you’re planning on selling your home in Chelmsford, with property market guidance from the Government constantly changing, you may have no idea what to expect. The good news? Essex Homes And Lettings can help guide you through the process to ensure everything is done safely. While the process will be slightly different, there’s no reason why your property sale should be held up if you follow government advice. Here’s what to expect:

You can officially put your house in Chelmsford on the market

It’s now possible to put your Chelmsford property on the market. This means that we can also visit your home (with social distancing rules and PPE in place) to take any photos and videos of the property. However, if you or any member of your household are displaying any Covid-19 symptoms or are self-isolating, please let us know as we will not be visiting the property until everyone is symptom-free.

Have you sold your house? If any of the parties involved in the transaction start to show any symptoms of coronavirus, the safest and smartest thing to do would be to delay the move. Speak to your legal adviser if needed to ensure that your contract is flexible and accommodates for this risk.

Prepare for virtual viewings

Virtual viewings will maximise the number of people you can show your property to without risking anyone’s health. Don’t worry if you have no idea where to get started or are worried you don’t have the right equipment to make this happen! We can help you organise this. 

You can hire removal firms to help you move house

Once your house is sold and you’re ready to move, seek out a good removal company to help. Removal firms are in operation and they can help ensure that your move is carried out as safely as possible following Government guidelines.

Before you vacate your property, clean it all thoroughly. This includes all your belongings that will be handled by movers as well as all surfaces within your home.

Property surveys can be done via appointment

If you didn’t get a chance to get your property surveyed pre-lockdown, it’s now possible to get this done. Arrange an inspection with a surveyor so you can ensure only one person is visiting at a time. All surveyors will be following government guidance and social distancing from all those living in your home. Again, inspections will not be possible in households where someone is showing coronavirus symptoms.

Not quite sure where to find a surveyor? Get in touch with us and we will be able to help you arrange an inspection.

Spruce up your online listing

Although we’re currently in a time of economic uncertainty, demand for housing will slowly but surely increase as things get back to normal. If you’re worried about your property staying on the market for too long, consult us to see what can be done to promote your listing. You may need to do a little home staging to make your listing stand out. 

Take the necessary safety measures to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus

All house moves and property sales must follow the necessary social distancing and safety rules. From viewings to removals, you can find official government guidance for every step of the process. This includes the following advice:

  • First viewings should be conducted virtually where possible. We can help you arrange this
  • Don’t hold any open house viewings – limit real-life viewings to members of the same household
  • Sanitise all surfaces before any physical viewings. Open all internal doors so door handles don’t need to be touched
  • Provide access to hand sanitiser that viewers can use before they go around the house
  • Vacate your property when viewings are taking place to minimise contact with members of another household

If you’re worried about spreading the virus during the process of your house sale, speak to our expert and friendly team at Essex Homes And Lettings to discuss what extra measures you can put in place. We can be contacted on 01245398466 or

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5 Reasons Why Autumn is the Best Time to Sell Your House


5 Reasons why Autumn is the best time to sell your house

If you’re in Chelmsford and are looking to sell your property, then autumn could well be the perfect time for you to sell up and move on.

Yes, spring is often seen as the best time to sell, and that’s undoubtedly true, but we at Essex Homes And Lettings also find that autumn proves to be a buoyant time in the property market.

If you were thinking of writing autumn off, stop. Think about it. Autumn could absolutely be the season for you to show your house off to a potential buyer.

Here, we look at some of the reasons why. When you’ve had a read, give us a call on 01245398466 and we’ll be pleased to help you sell your property in Chelmsford this autumn .

1. Summer’s out, and Christmas is around the corner

During August, many people’s thoughts are preoccupied with lazing in the summer sunshine, or going away on holiday than they are about selling their home. But once holidays and school breaks are over, and people take a good look around where they are living, they often think about it being the time to move.

When people think about a move, they then look at timescales and realise that they could just about be in their new home by Christmas, giving them time to settle in and get the new place ready for the festivities.

So, it makes perfect sense that autumn is the ideal time to put your house on the market.

2. Seasonal scents

Setting the stage for a potential house buyer is crucial in making the right impressions. Remember, you’re not just selling a house, you’re selling a dream or a lifestyle.

That’s why autumn represents an excellent time to sell your house.

The changing colours of the leaves, light drizzle and cooling air make it a perfect time to prepare your home. Imagine someone coming in out of the crisp coldness into a cosy house, with autumn fragrances in the air and a display of cherry and brown leaves, fir cones and berries beautifully arranged on a table. Imagine the warm thoughts they will have if you set your fire on low, with perhaps a couple of table lamps casting shadows in a living room.

You should see autumn as a season of opportunity, knowing that someone will fall in love with your property.

3. Remove the stresses, lower the costs

It’s a fact that spring going into summer is traditionally the busiest period for the property sector. This means that all the professional help you need, including conveyancers and removal companies, will be exceptionally busy.

In summer, the market drops off, only to rise again in autumn, but not to the levels seen earlier in the year. This means that you are more likely to get the removal company of your choice and on a date of your choice.

There is some talk that removal businesses lower their prices in autumn to attract customers. This may well be true, so it seems you could reduce your moving costs too – and isn’t that a good thing when you have so much to think about and pay for.

4. Attract serious buyers

As we mentioned earlier, it is after the summer lull that people think about moving, and they consider being in their new home before Christmas.

We at Essex Homes And Lettings see autumn as the time we see the more serious potential buyers getting in touch. These are the ones who will want to see properties to actually move to – they won’t be the tyre-kickers, just having a nose round to see what’s happening, with no real intention to buy.

After all, you don’t want to waste your time, you want to get moving. When we speak with potential buyers, we always ascertain how serious they are. We can’t always promise, but we do have many years of experience and knowledge so we can get a good feeling for people.

5. Stand out

If your property goes on the market in the autumn, it’s more likely to get noticed, compared to the traditional spring influx of properties to the market. This is particularly true when you see how our exceptional photography will show off your home to its best advantage.

We think it’s best to stand out from the crowd, and autumn is the ideal time to do that.

Our team at Essex Homes And Lettings are always available to offer advice so, please don’t hesitate to call us on 01245398466 or email us at We will be delighted to offer our words of wisdom on all things property.

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Let Essex Homes And Lettings Negotiate the Best Deal on Your Next Property in Chelmsford

When you find your dream property in Chelmsford you don’t want anyone else to have it, so it’s quite normal to want to jump straight in with an offer, but here at Essex Homes And Lettings naturally we want all our clients to be happy and so that involves always negotiating the best price whether we are involved in the sale or purchase of a property. It’s always worth taking your time to negotiate the best deal – and here’s how we do it.

We know the local property market

Simply jumping in with a random offer, because you think that’s what the house is worth, can mean that you won’t get the best deal. We research the market thoroughly and keep a close eye on property prices. We make it our business to find out what other properties in Chelmsford were listed for versus the price that was eventually paid. And we note how long homes stay on the market.

We work for you!

We are always working for you and it’s in our interest to achieve the best price for your property if you’re selling and negotiate the deal you are happy with if you are buying.

We can advise you regarding your ‘buying position’

We’ve been in business a long time and can sniff out certain types of sellers who are on the lookout for buyers in strong positions, such as:

  • Cash buyers
  • Buyers with no chain
  • Clients who are keen to buy quickly with their own property sold
  • First time buyers who have their mortgage funding secured
  • Buyers who are renting or have some sort of flexibility in their move

If you can show that you’re in a good position to move and can complete the process quickly, then in our experience, sellers will offer a little more flexibility. Nobody wants to be stuck in a chain or waiting for someone else’s house to sell for the sake of a few thousand pounds, so this can invariably make an offer attractive.

We are professional and friendly at all times

We know that selling your family home can be an emotional experience, and some sellers will feel highly attached to their properties. After all, you may have spent years living there there and have lots of memories. Negotiations are always easier when empathy is shown and we pride ourselves on always being willing to work with our clients to reach an agreement whatever the situation.

We will work to secure the best deal

In many cases, negotiations initially start with a firm no on first offer! However, this is perfectly normal. If your first offer is rejected, we will work with you on a second offer and advise you if any counteroffer is forthcoming, liaising with the seller throughout.

We understand that buying a house can be a stressful process, and sometimes when you find the right property, it’s easy to get carried away. However, it’s advisable to speak with us regarding your budget before commencing negotiations so that we can handle this for you, allowing you to get the best deal on your dream home.

Call the team at Essex Homes And Lettings today on 01245398466 and let us negotiate the best deal on your next home.

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7 Tips to Increase the Value of Your Home in Chelmsford

Increasing the value of your home in Chelmsford is a smart way to go further with your investment. Even if housing prices naturally increase in the area as it develops, renovating and improving your Chelmsford home will boost its value even further. Between improving its aesthetics for yourself, and increasing the financial value for when you sell, here at Essex Homes And Lettings we want to share with you our top seven tips to get you there!

  1. Keep your property in good repair

Regularly deep clean your property, stay on top of any mould and damp, and generally aim to fix any issues as they arise. This will keep your home in great condition and help you spread out the cost of maintenance. In return, you won’t have to heavily negotiate on the price of your home when the time comes to sell, or risk it being actually unsellable because a small issue became a big issue simply because it wasn’t handled at the time.

  1. Install and nurture front and rear gardens

Front and rear gardens are a great way to improve the overall look of your property, and almost 1 in 5 buyers want these features. As a bonus, you’ll have a project that will keep you fit, out amongst the nature, have a beautiful home, and a lovely place to sit!

Tip: Many people today are looking to live more sustainably. Having beautiful gardens is a great way to start, as it offers a breath of fresh air even in the density of a city. To really appeal to these buyers, however, consider investing in a kitchen garden. Something that can be easily maintained, such as a wall of herbs, for example as this can really help sell your home.

  1. Add character features to your property

Far too often, beautiful character features get removed, so consider adding them in! Change lighting fixtures and fittings to options you find characterful or quirky, replace flooring to incorporate hardwood, add mouldings, beams and even an open fire or log burner. These character features add to the beauty of your home and can become a true selling point later on. At the very least, these character features will help your property stand out against the others in your area and make it easier to sell your property quickly.

  1. Improve your home energy efficiency

In terms of adding value to both the sale price and your wallet now, improving your property’s energy efficiency is key. This means replacing windows if they are not double glazed – or if they are very old, as double glazing loses its efficiency over time – it means insulating your home and changing the main doors so that they are better sealed. It could also mean investing in a new heating system. Central heating is a popular option, but there are many alternative means to heat a home that are even more efficient. If you get these changes done early, you can lower the cost of your utilities, and boost the value of your home.

  1. Add a bedroom

Adding a bedroom will instantly put your property into the next price bracket. A two-bedroom home will never sell for as much as a three-bedroom home, and if you have a sizeable loft you have the perfect opportunity to convert it. For even better results, add an ensuite!

Tip: Adding a home office or a playroom can be just as lucrative as adding a bedroom and can be done at a much lower cost. Add a rear extension to your property and use that extra space to make room for a downstairs office or child-friendly zone. With the rise of remote working, both of these options will appeal to working professionals and parents.

  1. Renovate the bathrooms

Modern bathrooms can look fantastic and help you feel like you have a spa in your own home! They can also increase the value of your property. Bathroom remodels are one of the top renovations that buyers and homeowners want done for their property, and new technology and materials are better than ever at keeping the room sealed and your home free of damp.

  1. Renovate the kitchen

Kitchen styles come and go, and chances are the kitchen you inherited when you bought the house is not to your standards or tastes. Renovate with timelessness in mind and remember to ensure your kitchen’s value is in line with your property’s value. A successful kitchen renovation can boost the value of your home significantly, but make sure you stay within your budget so that you see the value back.

For expert advice on increasing the value of your home in Chelmsford, contact the team at Essex Homes And Lettings on 01245398466 today.