How To Keep The House Chain Moving

October 12th, 2022

Keeping The Property Market Moving

A property chain is a term used to describe a group of buyers and sellers buying and selling properties from each other. Each party is linked together in a ‘chain’. The chain has a beginning, a first-time buyer for example, and an end, someone who is selling and is not buying on. The rest of the chain is made up of people who need to both buy and sell.

In theory, there could be any number of links in a given property chain, which can make them problematic at the same time. If one person forgets to return a signed document on time, the whole process could be delayed for everyone. Or even worse, if just one person changes their mind about their purchase or has their mortgage application rejected, the chain breaks down completely.

Your chain can only move at the pace of the slowest party. So what can you do to prevent everything from grinding to a complete standstill?

Firstly, if you have a good estate agent, your chain should be progressed efficiently. However, it only takes one party in the chain to not be efficient in responding to their conveyancer’s requests to slow things down. Unfortunately, some of these matters will be out of your control, but there are some things you can do yourself to help progress your part of the chain.

  • Employ a good, experienced estate agent and conveyancer/property solicitor. Ask them how long they have been doing the job for and how busy they are.
  • Speak to your agent and conveyance regularly. Ask if there is anything they or you should be doing. Email is great for this; not so intrusive but reminding them to keep you updated.
  • Get your finances in place early, especially cash for your deposit at the time of exchange.
  • File everything. Keep copies of all correspondence relating to the sale of your property and the purchase of your new property, from all parties.
  • Sign, date any paperwork promptly, including copies of your correspondence and notes of telephone conversations.
  • Sign and return all of your paperwork promptly. Deliver documents by hand, courier or special delivery.
  • Put clauses in your buying and selling contracts stating the dates of exchange, surveys and completion.
  • Make clear your expectations, via your agent and conveyancer, on dates. Once a survey has been signed-off, and your mortgage has been approved, you can begin to talk about dates for exchange and completion. In a long chain, getting everyone to move at the same pace is difficult. Those higher up the chain will have agreed their sale/purchase later than you and will be behind you with mortgage applications, surveys, etc.

If you’re already in the middle of a sale or purchase and looking for guidance on what you can do to help keep your chain moving, the only real option you have, other than those mentioned here, is to chase up those who are falling short. 

There are things you can do to help get it back on track. Communication is key to property chains keeping intact. Communicate, communicate, communicate. If you’ve chosen a good conveyancer, they’ll be happy to talk to you whenever and however it suits you. The key is to stay well informed and keep communicating, and always make sure to do your bit. Make a point of reviewing your tasks daily. If your ‘to do’ list is empty, call your conveyancer and ask if there’s anything else you could be doing.

No-one can predict the future and therefore, although you may come across issues, sometimes it is difficult to foresee them. Just because one of the situations does arise, it doesn’t mean that they can’t be overcome. A lot will come down to making the right choice when selecting your estate agent and conveyancer, but you can also do your bit by being proactive, too.

Make Your Home an Unforgettable Viewing Experience

October 12th, 2022

Tips to Make Your Home an Unforgettable Viewing Experience

When selling a home, property viewing is often the most important stage. The online aspect of property selling is becoming increasingly important in promoting the property and generating interest. Most buyers won’t buy a home until they have viewed the property at least once. This makes property viewing an essential component of selling a home.

Feature the highlights

For most viewings, the living room and kitchen are the main events. As the most used, sociable and visible spaces, it’s where buyers make a large part of their judgement. Whether your main living areas are classic rooms or open-plan, it’s time to showcase all their inherent characters.

Fireplaces are a natural focal point of any room and are high on the list of plus points for buyers. They can also be seductive at any time of year: a rack of chunky logs on the hearth, candlesticks and ceramics on the mantelpiece, and a large mirror or picture on the wall above are timeless ways to make them the centre of attention, whatever your personal style.

Special small spaces

Give your little rooms the big-star treatment. Nobody needs to go roller-skating in your spare bedroom, so concentrate on a fabulous feel and a clearly defined role. Having a dedicated home office, guest room, or nursery gives a small space a larger sense of purpose and value. Nurseries and single bedrooms are easy enough to arrange, but a common mistake with offices at home is using miniature furniture to create an illusion of space. The result is usually a room that’s impractical and unenjoyable to use, and it’s an unnecessary step: even the smallest bedroom will comfortably take an adult-sized desk and chair.

Boutique bedrooms

Bedrooms are our most private and personal spaces, but when looking for a buyer, they need to welcome in the world. Nobody knows more than hotels, so take a leaf out of their book to create a sanctuary of rest and relaxation. Headboards are the foundation of a showstopper, whether crushed velvet or rich walnut.

Modern or traditional, they give a bed an aura of grace and look great with pillows plumped and stacked against them. Paint the wall behind in a deep luxurious tone to complement and contrast with your décor. You’ll achieve peak boutique with a pair of bedside tables dressed with the rule of three used by professional stylists and photographers. Perfect accessories include lamps, clocks, books, vases and photo frames – play around until you find your favourite trio. At the bottom of the bed, a throw or blanket draped casually or carefully adds texture, comfort and warmth while softening the room’s acoustic.

Garden delight

By night and day, gardens and balconies are the icing on the cake at viewings. Whether it’s playtime, sunbathing, dining or thinking, having somewhere outside to unwind, relax and socialise is a valuable commodity in any home. Whatever space you have outdoors, look for opportunities to enchant. A table and chairs prove you have the room for dining under the sky, but it’s the styling that sends an irresistible invitation to sit down and stay. Small potted succulents or cactuses on the table are an instant and low-maintenance dash of green that’s not only hardy and handsome, it doesn’t need moving whenever you sit down to eat. Lightbulb chains strung overhead also look magical at night, with yellow-toned bulbs emitting a warm and cosy radiance without attracting insects. 

Even if your garden or balcony is free of foliage, placing a few ready-planted seasonal pots around the dining area will elevate the appearance of your photos and your viewers’ experience.

Artful accessorising 

Mirrors are perfect for a shot of glamour, extra light or filling a bare wall. Whether you’re going for classic gold, bold upcycling or a sleek modern frame, they give you the freedom for some playful garnish. Seasonal fruit and veg look fantastic on a kitchen countertop, and if you’re feeling particularly arty, try displaying them directly on the surface.

Otherwise, a bowl brimming with colourful fresh produce is a universally tasty sight and talking point. Fluffy towels and robes add a spa-like quality to bathrooms, so treat yourself now to the ones you’ve been eyeing up for your new home and keep them just for viewings. Timber or bamboo accessories like bath shelves, caddies and dispensers add richness and warmth that goes with anything. For anywhere else you feel could use an extra something, Pinterest is your friend! Type in “how to style a…” followed by your room or furnishing of choice, and a world of inspiration will open up before you.

Also, during the property viewing itself, there should be opportunities to find out more about the buyer, and focusing on the following information can help create a picture of who is looking to buy the property:

  • Where is the person moving from?
  • What is important to them in finding a new home?
  • What other properties have they recently viewed?
  • What do they like/dislike about the current property?
  • What is their buying position?

This information can help the seller provide the potential buyer with the information they want. It can also help to develop a profile of the person or people looking to buy property, which can help to shape the way viewings are conducted in the future.

Be ready to provide information about the property

It is also likely that the potential buyer will have questions, so it is important to be as prepared as possible. The seller should be able to answer questions like:

  • How long the property has been on the market?
  • Why is the property up for sale?
  • The sales history of the property?
  • Pertinent information regarding the property and surroundings.

There is also a need to create a positive impression, and this doesn’t just relate to the home, it relates to the person carrying out the viewing. You should make sure your estate agent is as presentable as possible. They should be present at the property before any viewer arrives and you should have all of the information.

Eliminate The Stress When Selling Your Home

October 12th, 2022

How to Reduce Stress When Selling Your Property

One of the most stressful events that we go through in our lifetime is selling a house. Whatever your reason for selling, you’ll likely have some stressful times throughout the process, so knowing what the most stressful aspects are can help you keep calm and collected. 

Why is selling a house so stressful?

One of the most stressful aspects of selling a house is the length of time it takes to actually achieve your sale. Generally, your house is the most expensive asset that you have, so there’s also an element of fear of something happening to that and leaving you in a difficult position. The selling process, on average, takes 6 months. In those 6 months, you’re likely to have concerns of a sale falling through, or if your property hasn’t generated much interest, you might worry that you won’t achieve a sale at all. This can cause huge amounts of stress, especially as it’s likely that you’re relying on the sale of your house to buy elsewhere. If you’re in a chain, stress levels can also increase, as you’re at risk of not only your sale having issues, but if someone else in the chain has a problem, it can break the chain for you all. Selling without a chain is less stressful, but much rarer, and still comes with its own set of risks too.

Leave plenty of time for the sale process 

Far and away, the biggest source of anxiety when selling your home is feeling that your move may not happen when you need it to.

The speed of buying and selling is far from an exact science, so allow yourself enough time and flexibility to meet your ideal dates. Having plenty of breathing space will make it easier to make decisions calmly and to carry on with your work and home life as usual. 

Take it step by step

Just like a house, moves are built from the bottom up. Nothing can happen without the foundations in place, and buyers are the building blocks of your plans.

So, if there’s only one piece of advice you follow, make it this: find a buyer for your current home before committing to your next one.

It’s completely understandable to feel so confident when estate agents are telling you they can sell your home quickly, and with all those beautiful listings staring out seductively from the portals, the temptation to view can be hard to resist.

But you’ll face stiff competition from buyers in stronger positions, and the fear of losing the home you’ve set your heart on can leave you desperate to sell, even in a fast market. Feeling compelled to accept the first offer you get is not only stressful; it could also mean taking thousands less than your home is truly worth.

Pick an estate agent with a plan

Imagine your sale as a series of time bubbles. With each subsequent one becoming less effective, your agent needs a plan to maximise response early on and then maintain momentum.

Your first two weeks on the market are usually the most active. Your home appears online, portals give you a shiny ‘New Listing’ label and send out alerts, your agent calls their registered buyers, and new enquiries come in. You’ve also decluttered to perfection, and you tidy up enthusiastically to prepare for a flurry of viewings.

The following two weeks are also busy. Responses are still coming in from the people who couldn’t get around before – maybe they were away, or tied up with life, or holding off till they got a buyer of their own – and anyone who liked your home on their first viewing has arranged to come back for a second look.

At this point, after about a month on the market, you’ll have hopefully found a buyer or have offers coming in. If not, you’ll at least have enough feedback to know whether a sale is likely, or if you need to change tack.

Here’s where a plan becomes really important. Before choosing who to entrust with the sale of your home, ask each agent what they’ll do after those first four weeks if you haven’t got a buyer. How will they keep you on track to sell?

Accepting the right offer

Getting an offer is exciting, and you might even be lucky enough to have multiple buyers competing against each other, so let’s explore what makes a good one.

There’s much more to an offer than money, and your buyer’s position is every bit as important as the price they put forward.

  • Everyone who makes an offer on your home should be able to confirm:
  • whether they need to sell another property;
  • if they have a buyer yet;
  • full details of any chain involved;
  • proof of funds (mortgage, cash or both);
  • that their deposit is readily available;
  • if any money is coming from somebody else who also needs to see your home;
  • when they want to move.

Getting these questions answered will help you identify a strong and secure offer with a timescale that fits your own. Just like a jigsaw – all the pieces need to be in place for the puzzle to be complete.

Expect the unexpected

Bumps in the road can come from survey results, mortgage valuations and the conveyancing process. They can happen to any home in a chain, but they don’t automatically mean the end of your move.

You can’t plan for everything, but instructing a solicitor as soon as your home goes on the market can reveal and resolve any potential legal issues, giving you a draft contract ready to go the moment you accept an offer.

And getting timeframes confirmed for every link in the chain when your sale is agreed, along with any booked holidays that might affect your moving date, can avoid fraught conversations as you approach exchanging contracts.

It’s also worth remembering that, despite the ups and downs, things generally work out.

Do your research

Often, the most stressful part of selling a house is not knowing what the process is and if things are moving as they should. Before you sell your house, do some research, and look into how long it takes and what each step is, from finding your buyer to exchanging keys. An aspect that lots of homeowners forget about that is incredibly important and often time-consuming is the conveyancing process, so understanding what delays are normal here can give you some peace of mind. Selling a house is rarely a quick process, so knowing this from the start can save unnecessary stress further into the process.

It’s hard to altogether avoid the stress of selling, but these tips can help you reduce your stress levels and make your selling experience the best it can be. Some things you have no control over, and sometimes just accepting that can help you reduce your stress levels, but that isn’t so easy for most homeowners.

Things to do in and Around Chelmsford Over The May Bank Holiday Weekend

April 29th, 2022

Are you looking for something to do over the May Bank Holiday weekend?

The celebration of May Day dates back to ancient times, but it still takes place in the UK every year on May 1 or the first Monday of the month.

May Day is traditionally the fourth UK wide bank holiday, following on from New Year’s Day, Good Friday and Easter Monday.

The celebration of May Day dates back to ancient times, when Romans celebrated the festival of Flora, the goddess of flowers and spring. In Britain, people celebrated the festival of Beltane on 1 May to mark the halfway point between spring and summer.

Nowadays, people are generally given a day off work to organise and attend events to celebrate the approaching summer season.

This brings me nicely to the point of this article in the first place. 

What to do in and around Chelmsford this May Bank Holiday? 

May Day Fair 2022

“Join us to celebrate the beginning of summer at our traditional May Day Fair. Hedingham Castle will be bursting with life at this fantastic family event, with engaging arena displays including Maypole dancing, Birds of Prey, and an exclusive performance by The Pantaloons of ‘The Earls of Oxford’ – a brand new theatre comedy about the history of Hedingham Castle’s ancestors, the de Veres. There will also be ‘Barbaric Battle’ re-enactments, archery, axe throwing, medieval music, storytelling, street theatre and a medieval village to explore!

Hedingham Castle, Bayley Street, Castle Hedingham, Halstead CO9 3DJ.

Sunday 1st May 2022, BH Monday 2nd May 2022

Brightlingsea boat trips and foot ferry

Take a boat or foot ferry to explore Brightlingsea, Mersea and Point Clear, or potter around the Brightlingsea Harbour with. Sites included Cudmore Grove in East Mersea and the east Essex Aviation Society in Point Clear. Dogs are welcome and you can bring your bike on a boat as well. Boats have universal access too. 

Address: 4 Copperas Road, Brightlingsea CO7 0AP


Bits and Pieces exhibition, Maldon

Painter and artist Sylvia Paul features her textile art at the Maeldune Heritage Centre in this exhibition, which ends soon. She works with silk remnants to make works on all scales, and the exhibition features a huge wall hanging (more than two-metres high) of a phoenix which was created during lockdown. 

Bank Holiday Times: Saturday 11am-4pm

Address: Maeldune Centre, 2 Market Hill, Maldon CM9 4PZ

The Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey

Discover Essex’s fascinating military history at The Royal Gunpowder Mills, a former gunpowder manufacturer site and now an area of special scientific interest. Currently on, you’ve got a photography exhibition looking at the women who worked during WWI, the Armoury which boasts more than 300 historic firearms and The Rocket Vault, which takes visitors through the history of of rocket motors and propellants. 

Bank Holiday Times: 11am-4.30pm

Tickets: £10/£8 adult/concession

Address: The Royal Gunpowder Mills, Beaulieu Drive, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1JY


Adventure Island, Southend-on-Sea

Seaside fun park Adventure Island is filled with the thrills and spills of much loved fairground rides. You’ve got the gut churning skydrop, the discombobulating Dragon’s Claw as well as waterslides to get you screaming. There’s also gentler rides for the litter ones, such as viking boats and the jumping jolly rogers. Once you’re done with the rides, explore the onsite aquarium. 

Bank Holiday Times: 11am -8pm

Tickets: Entry is free, £5 per ride, or £22.50 for the day

Address: Western Esplanade, Southend-on-Sea SS1 1EE


5 Things You Need to Consider When Buying a New-Build

March 31st, 2022

Regrets Home Buyers Have Had When Buying a New-Build

As demand increases for new-builds, new research reveals that there is more to consider than money when buying a new home.

Over 7000 buyers who bought a new build in the last 3 years recently revealed their regrets. Property management, parking and gardens top the list of things they wish they had thought about before buying their home. 

According to the findings, the top 10 developers for first-time buyers are Berkeley Homes, Countryside, Davidson Homes, Barratt London, Bellway Homes, Fairview New Homes, St George, Avant Homes, Lovell Homes, and Crest Nicholson.

Also included in the survey was a number of regrets that buyers for new builds had and wish they had asked the question prior to investing. Here are my top five regrets from the survey.

Known about the parking arrangements, such as the on-street parking situation (35%)

This is something to think carefully about upfront to ensure you have the space you need. Don’t assume you’ll be allocated space or that there is nearby parking. There may also be an added annual fee. And if you’re thinking of getting an electric vehicle, find out how charging points will be accommodated.

Looked at the garden – in particular, flooding, drainage and topsoil (19%)

These are both common complaints on new build developments. Before buying, ask your conveyancing solicitor to check your property has Building Regulations sign-off for the drainage system. The ground in the garden of new builds is often compacted by machinery and inevitably has some rubble buried beneath the turf. This does impact quality initially but can be improved by adding nutrients and organic matter.

Checked the terms & conditions more carefully (10%)

If you’re buying a leasehold flat then you should ask your conveyancing solicitor to go through your financial obligations set out in the property’s lease. There are three main types of charges: ground rent, service charges and administration charges.

Reviewed local development plans (6%)

It’s common to buy on a partially completed development, so you’ll want to ask the developer for their programme of works. But there is no guarantee there won’t be delays. You can also check local area plans and planning applications for your area via the local authority website.

Reached out to groups before moving in (2%)

These are extremely helpful and may be on WhatsApp, Facebook, on a resident app, or in-person. You can use these to talk with other residents who’ve moved in before you and find out what to expect.

World Pancake Day – Flippin’ Delicious!

February 28th, 2022

Pancakes in Chelmsford

Pancake Day falls on what we call Shrove Tuesday. This year it lands on Tuesday, 1 March. Pancake Day always lands 47 days prior to Easter, meaning the dates vary year on year.

Shrove Tuesday is meant to be used as the last chance to use up any eggs and fats before embarking on Lent. Clearing the kitchen cupboards of things like eggs, milk and sugar to alleviate any temptations during the fasting period. In turn, people make pancakes!

Tuck into a Pancake Day feast at one of Chelmsford’s pancake restaurants or creperies, and look out for Pancake menus in restaurants and cafes across the area.

Queenie’s Coffee Shop

A quirky unique Coffee Shop out of the ordinary. Offering a fantastic service and experience. Offering what your local high street doesn’t. Queenie’s is ready for a Pancake Day so make sure to pay them a visit. Also, after five Years, The Pancake Freakshake is back at Queenie’s.

Where is it? 7 Cornhill, Chelmsford, CM1 1XE.

For all the news and updates follow them on Facebook


At Bill’s Restaurant you can enjoy pancake breakfast every day, and they also have a Pancake Day menu – eat all you can all day!

Where is it? 119 Bond St, Chelmsford, CM1 1GD and Charter Way, Braintree CM77 8YH.

Browse their menu and book a table at

Jamaica Blue

At Jamaica Blue, contemporary menus feature an exciting array of classic dishes with a twist. You can enjoy homemade banana pancakes with your choice of banana & maple syrup or bacon & maple syrup.

Where is it? Unit E, Block 4, Bond Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1GH.

Check the menu at

Plough Chelmsford

If you’d like to treat yourself (and you should!), step over to the sweeter side by waking up to a Breakfast Waffle or Mega 5 stack Buttermilk Pancakes. They even come with your choice of topping, like bacon & maple-flavour syrup, berry & banana, and banana & chocolate.

Where is it? 306 Springfield Road, Chelmsford, CM2 6BA.

More at

Sweat Pea

Family run Cafe & Tearoom in the heart of Chelmsford. Traditional table service with a smile & delicious homemade food will make you feel right at home.

Their fluffy American-Style Pancakes are lovingly crafted by their fantastic team. You can also enjoy gluten free pancakes!

Where is it? 74 Springfield Road, Chelmsford, CM2 6JE.

Check the menu at


If you are looking for a great brunch, Acanteen is your place. You can choose between buttermilk and vegan pancakes in stack of three, five and tenm with toppings of your choice.

Where is it? 35 New London Road, Chelmsford, CM2 0ND

More at


The Hive offers an extensive menu with a home-made feel and prides itself on serving fresh, tasty and locally sourced food. Whether you are looking for a breakfast or something sweet at Hive you’ll find pancakes for both.

Where is it? Chelmsford Museum, Oaklands Park, Moulsham Street, CM2 9AQ.

Browse the menu at

Whammy Chew

At Whammy Chew’s handcrafted desserts don’t go straight the belly, but straight to your heart! Chelmsford takeaway and Chelmsford Restaurant is one of the best restaurants for desserts in Chelmsford. Extensive menu is there to keep your belly satisfied, with mouthwatering range of sweet treats and delicious desserts.

Where is it? 181 Moulsham Street, Chelmsford, CM2 0LG.

Check the menu or order online at

Back In Time

Back-Inn Time’s relaxed atmosphere and mouth watering array of all-American favourites makes this a great place to bring the family or meet with friends. Desserts just can’t be ignored at Back-Inn Time where they include American pancakes.

Where is it? Victoria Road, Chelmsford, CM1 1NY.

Find out more at

Cosy Club

At Cosy Club you can enjoy pancakes for breakfast every day. Also, every year on Pancake Day you can build your own sweet stack of American-style pancakes and add unlimited tasty toppings!

Where is it? 24 Springfield Rd, Chelmsford, CM2 6JX.

You can pop over any time or book a table at

Gazumping – How to Avoid it

February 1st, 2022

<!– wp:acf/content-area { "id": "block_61f9784fce793", "name": "acf\/content-area", "data": { "content_area_label": "", "_content_area_label": "field_5eb2cd6b95a42", "content_area_title": "", "_content_area_title": "field_5e725e7a479fc", "content_area": "

What is Gazumping?\r\n


According to new research from Comparethemarket, the leading reason for property sales falling through is gazumping.\r\nOver the past year, nearly two-fifths of buyers admitted they had successfully secured their home by outbidding another offer. Of those that tried to buy in the last year but had their purchase fall through, gazumping is the reason for 38% of failed transactions. Three-quarters of prospective house-buyers would consider gazumping if their dream home was already under offer with another buyer. \r\n\r\nOver the past year, 38% of house-buyers paid above the property’s asking price to secure the deal, paying more than £16,000 on average.\r\n\r\nGazumping is currently legal in the UK as the ‘agreement of purchase’ only becomes legally binding once contracts have been exchanged. \r\n\r\nThe survey shows that 68% of people would support a law that made gazumping illegal or ensured better protections are in place to prevent this from happening.\r\n

What is gazumping?\r\nGazumping occurs when a seller accepts a verbal offer on the property from one potential buyer but then accepts a higher offer from someone else. It can also refer to the seller raising the asking price or asking for more money at the last minute after previously verbally agreeing to a lower one. In either case, the original buyer is left in a bad situation and offers a higher price or loses the purchase. \r\n\r\nWhen the owner accepts the offer on a property, the buyer will usually not yet have commissioned a building survey, nor will the buyer have yet had the opportunity to perform recommended legal checks. The offer to purchase is made “subject to contract”, and thus until written contracts are exchanged, either party can pull out at any time. It can take as long as 10–12 weeks for formalities to be completed, and if a higher offer tempts the seller during this period, it leaves the buyer disappointed and out-of-pocket. Asking price has no impact on whether a property will be “gazumped”, but location does; it is more common in London and the North East. Accepting any offer over a previous offer is known as gazumping.\r\n

Is Gazumping Legal?\r\nShortly – yes. As unfair as it might feel, the truth is that gazumping is a perfectly legal aspect of the property-buying process in England and Wales. The reason for this is that an agreement to buy or sell a property doesn’t become legally binding until written contracts are exchanged, and until then, neither party can be held to a prior verbal agreement.\r\n

How To Avoid Gazumping?\r\nGet insured. You can insure yourself by taking out home buyer protection insurance. If the sale falls through because the seller changes his mind or accepts another offer, you’ll be able to claim back some of your conveyancing fees, survey fees and any other costs you may have had to payout.\r\n\r\nHave your finance lined up, such as a mortgage in principle, in advance, a solicitor lined up, and all of the necessary documentation to hand. \r\n\r\nAsk for the property to be taken off the market as soon as your offer is accepted. Try and make it a condition of your offer. The seller or agent doesn’t have to agree to this, but you are unlikely to be gazumped if they do.\r\n\r\nThe quicker contracts are exchanged, the less chance there is you will be gazumped. Once contracts are exchanged, the agreement is legally binding, so you want to get to that point as quickly as possible. Ensure that your case doesn’t fall by the wayside, and respond promptly to requests for information.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nAsk that the property be taken off the market as part of making your offer. If the property is no longer being advertised, there’s much less chance of a higher offer being made and you being gazumped. \r\n\r\nKeep the seller informed with where you’re up to in the process so they can see that you’re actively trying to move things along. If you get along and see you’re a severe buyer, there’s less chance of them ditching you for a better offer. \r\n\r\nAsk the seller to enter into a lock-in agreement or exclusivity agreement under which they agree not to negotiate with another potential buyer. A lockout agreement is a contract between the seller and the buyer stating that the buyer has the exclusive right to buy the property within a certain period.”, “_content_area”: “field_5e725ef86b9c3”, “content_area_call_to_action_text”: “”, “_content_area_call_to_action_text”: “field_5eb2d79c7babc”, “content_area_call_to_action_link_type”: “”, “_content_area_call_to_action_link_type”: “field_5eb2d7a37babd”, “content_area_call_to_action”: “”, “_content_area_call_to_action”: “field_5eb2d7907babb”, “content_area_center_content”: “0”, “_content_area_center_content”: “field_5e78e9263c629”, “add_valuation_form”: “0”, “_add_valuation_form”: “field_5ec96c71fa54e”, “background_colour”: “theme-light”, “_background_colour”: “field_5ec50a7ea8ba5”, “add_top_spacing”: “0”, “_add_top_spacing”: “field_5eb94ffbe5568”, “add_bottom_spacing”: “1”, “_add_bottom_spacing”: “field_5eb950231ca34”, “bottom_spacing_size”: “section-padding-bottom”, “_bottom_spacing_size”: “field_5eb9502e1ca35” }, “align”: “”, “mode”: “edit” } /–>

Things You Can Do To Your Home With No Permission

January 22nd, 2022

<!– wp:acf/content-area {
"id": "block_61ec441356847",
"name": "acf\/content-area",
"data": {
"content_area_label": "",
"_content_area_label": "field_5eb2cd6b95a42",
"content_area_title": "",
"_content_area_title": "field_5e725e7a479fc",
"content_area": "

What Can You do to Your Property With No Permission Needed?\r\n


When you decide to start making changes to your home, the first thing that comes to mind is ‘Do I need permission for this?’\r\nFortunately, there are many things you can do without any planning permission at all. After all, you did buy your property, so it does belong to you. \r\n\r\nThere are many reasons you might want to make changes to your home. You may want more space for a growing family, you may have run out of storage, or you might need office space for a new small business venture. \r\n\r\nOf course, there are restrictions on the right to a PD, especially if you live in the Conservation Area or if you have already made numerous changes to your home. Larger and more significant projects or adding large extensions will require planning approval. Always check everything before you start working to avoid inconvenience.\r\n\r\nWhatever your reason, here are some developments you can do without having any permission from the powers that be.\r\n

Internal remodelling\r\nIf you wish to develop the inside of your home, you can do so long as the development doesn’t involve the expansion of space. However, you will need Building Regulations approval for structural elements and electrical work.\r\n

Windows and doors\r\nYou do not need permission to move, replace or add new windows to the original walls of your home. So long as you don’t live in a listed building same goes for double-glazing. Bay windows, however, will require permission, as they are considered an extension. You may need planning permission to add or replace windows if the conditions were attached to the original permission, in which case it is a good idea to check with local authorities what the conditions are. \r\n

Loft conversion\r\nYou won’t need planning permission to get extra space by converting a loft. Loft conversions are a great way to create more space in your home for a bedroom or lounge area. A dormer window also does not require permission. But they must not sit more than the highest part of the existing roof or extend towards the plane of the roof at the main elevation. \r\n

Adding a shed or a summer house\r\nIf you have a larger garden and wish to build an outhouse or buy a shed\/summerhouse then you may be able to do it without permission, provided that the total area covered by such buildings does not exceed 50% of the curtilage. This 50% should take into account any extensions, but not the area covered by the main house. Exterior buildings can only be a single story with a maximum height of 2.5m. Your outbuilding cannot be for residential use if you want to build it without planning permission. It needs to be for an office, gym, storage, garden workshop and so on.\r\n

Porches\r\nFor the most part, extensions to the front of your home are not allowed without permission. However, you are permitted to build a porch if your new porch meets these requirements: no part is higher than 3m, is no more than 2m from any highway border, and the ground area does not exceed 3m².\r\n


Garden decking\r\nIf you would like to add garden decking to your garden without planning permission, all garden decking and other similar structures can be built as long as their height is no more than 30mm. A raised platform does require planning permission. \r\n

Swimming pool\r\nThis might come as a surprise, but no one will ask you for planning permission to build a pool in your yard if it does not occupy more than 50% of the area of your garden. \r\n

Solar panels\r\nWithout permission, you can add solar panels, so long as they do not stretch beyond 200mm of the wall or roof and that the highest part of the solar panel doesn’t go higher than the highest part of your roof (without a chimney). Restrictions will apply in protected areas.\r\n

Basements\r\nA basement conversion can be a great way to create more space in your home for storage, a bedroom, or living space. Basement development is available as a permitted development however, this doesn’t include engineering if your basement needs extra engineering work.\r\n

Gates, walls and fences\r\nYou do not need a permit to erect, construct, maintain, upgrade or remodel a gate, fence, wall or other enclosure. Provided that the height would not exceed 1m when close to the highway and that the height would not exceed 2m for any other gate or fence.\r\n

Parking spaces\r\nThe creation of a parking space is permitted under PD provided that any hard surface located between the main elevation and the highway or any surface greater than 5m² made of porous materials, and that it is intended to direct water runoff from the surface into the leakage area within the property curtilage, and not on the highway.\r\n

Rooflights\r\nThe introduction of roof lights can be accomplished without permission until they are more than 15cm from the slope of the roof. If the roof lights in the plane are positioned at an altitude in front of the highway, then they are not allowed. Also, they are not allowed in an apartment located in a protected area or an area of outstanding natural beauty.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nIn addition to the above, you can build single and even double-storey extensions without permission, but there are restrictions. \r\n\r\nAdding one floor will not require planning permission if the extension does not go forward of the principal elevation. If within 2m of any boundary, the eaves may not exceed 3m, and the height may not exceed 4m. The depth of the rear extensions should not exceed 4m for a detached house or 3m for a semi-finished or terrace. The width of the extension of the side accessories should not exceed half of the original dwelling.  The materials should be similar.\r\n\r\nWhen it comes to two-storey extensions, without planning permission you can add it to your home, provided it is located in the back of your apartment. Also, it shall not exceed 3 m or be within 7 m of the rear boundary.\r\n\r\nLike one-floor extensions, conservatories and orangeries do not need planning permission.”,
“_content_area”: “field_5e725ef86b9c3”,
“content_area_call_to_action_text”: “”,
“_content_area_call_to_action_text”: “field_5eb2d79c7babc”,
“content_area_call_to_action_link_type”: “”,
“_content_area_call_to_action_link_type”: “field_5eb2d7a37babd”,
“content_area_call_to_action”: “”,
“_content_area_call_to_action”: “field_5eb2d7907babb”,
“content_area_center_content”: “0”,
“_content_area_center_content”: “field_5e78e9263c629”,
“add_valuation_form”: “0”,
“_add_valuation_form”: “field_5ec96c71fa54e”,
“background_colour”: “theme-light”,
“_background_colour”: “field_5ec50a7ea8ba5”,
“add_top_spacing”: “1”,
“_add_top_spacing”: “field_5eb94ffbe5568”,
“top_spacing_size”: “section-padding-top”,
“_top_spacing_size”: “field_5eb95004e5569”,
“add_bottom_spacing”: “1”,
“_add_bottom_spacing”: “field_5eb950231ca34”,
“bottom_spacing_size”: “section-padding-bottom”,
“_bottom_spacing_size”: “field_5eb9502e1ca35”
“align”: “”,
“mode”: “edit”
} /–>

How to Pick the Ideal Estate Agent For Your Chelmsford Home?

January 1st, 2022

<!– wp:acf/content-area {
"id": "block_61d08746b0080",
"name": "acf\/content-area",
"data": {
"content_area_label": "",
"_content_area_label": "field_5eb2cd6b95a42",
"content_area_title": "",
"_content_area_title": "field_5e725e7a479fc",
"content_area": "

Are You Looking For an Estate Agent in the Chelmsford Area?\r\n

Here are my tips for finding the ideal agent. \r\n

 \r\nIf you are looking to put your (location) home on the market this year you’re probably going to need the help of a local estate agent. However, before you go for any old estate agent, here are some tips to help you choose the right estate agent for you and your property. \r\n

Are they local?\r\nEvery market is different. Whether you’re buying in a city, the suburbs, or the country, you’ll want an estate agent who knows local market trends and patterns like the back of their hand. But not only do you want them to be knowledgeable of your local property market, but you also want them to know the community too. After all, they aren’t just selling your home, they are selling the lifestyle of living on the street and in that part of the community.\r\n\r\nA good way to gauge local knowledge is simply to ask. Inquire about the basics, like average time on the market for newly listed homes and average sale prices, but also ask about their knowledge of the local schools, shops, parks, markets. And so on.\r\n

Do they have reliable experience?\r\nIt’s important to ask a potential agent how long they’ve been buying and selling homes, but don’t forget to dig a little bit deeper into their experience. Ask about their average list-price-to-sale-price ratio, as well as the amount of time it typically takes their clients to find and close on their new home. You’ll want to choose an estate agent who has a proven track record of getting buyers into homes fast (and getting them a great deal, too).\r\n

Choose the person, not the experience.\r\nI am a firm believer in choosing an agent who works for you and with you. Don’t choose an agent based solely on experience. Although it’s good to have, it’s not everything. You will be spending a lot of time with that agent and you need to gel. Choose someone relatable and real. Choose for you, not for the house. Choose someone good at talking and negotiating.\r\n

Seek referrals from other homeowners.\r\nDespite the technology that seems to take over much of the searching for a home, the right estate agent is still a human-to-human choice. A referral is best. There’s no bigger compliment to an agent than a referral from a past client. Ask homeowners who they would recommend. If you know the area you want to purchase in or sell your home in, there will be an expert in that area.\r\n


Find an agent you can trust.\r\nAs the client, you begin the dialogue — but pay close attention to the agent and how he\/she listens and asks YOU questions. Most successful agents have access to the technology it takes to make your property seen or to find options for purchase, but it takes a human being to understand and work to achieve your specific goals. Take time to find a human you respect and trust.\r\n

Look for passion, conviction and honesty.\r\nLook at the agent’s work. The easiest and most valuable way is to review how they’re marketing other properties. Look at their listing materials, website, brochures and signage. Pay attention to their personal appearance. Look for passion, conviction and honesty. You want your agent to tell you what it’s going to take to get your home to sell faster and for the best price.\r\n

Look for strong core values.\r\nWhether it’s business or pleasure, finding a good person all comes down to core values. Core values are important because you want to work with someone that plays by the same rules you do. For example, if you are an honest person who tells the truth, would you not want someone to tell the truth to you?\r\n

Seek clear lines of communication.\r\nFirst and foremost, you need to feel completely comfortable talking and communicating with the estate agent. If it feels awkward or if there is undue pressure placed on you by the estate agent, this is not the right fit.”,
“_content_area”: “field_5e725ef86b9c3”,
“content_area_call_to_action_text”: “”,
“_content_area_call_to_action_text”: “field_5eb2d79c7babc”,
“content_area_call_to_action_link_type”: “”,
“_content_area_call_to_action_link_type”: “field_5eb2d7a37babd”,
“content_area_call_to_action”: “”,
“_content_area_call_to_action”: “field_5eb2d7907babb”,
“content_area_center_content”: “0”,
“_content_area_center_content”: “field_5e78e9263c629”,
“add_valuation_form”: “0”,
“_add_valuation_form”: “field_5ec96c71fa54e”,
“background_colour”: “theme-light”,
“_background_colour”: “field_5ec50a7ea8ba5”,
“add_top_spacing”: “1”,
“_add_top_spacing”: “field_5eb94ffbe5568”,
“top_spacing_size”: “section-padding-top”,
“_top_spacing_size”: “field_5eb95004e5569”,
“add_bottom_spacing”: “1”,
“_add_bottom_spacing”: “field_5eb950231ca34”,
“bottom_spacing_size”: “section-padding-bottom”,
“_bottom_spacing_size”: “field_5eb9502e1ca35”
“align”: “”,
“mode”: “edit”
} /–>

How to Sell Your Chelmsford Home Yourself

December 24th, 2021

<!– wp:acf/content-area {
"id": "block_61c5e2b876728",
"name": "acf\/content-area",
"data": {
"content_area_label": "",
"_content_area_label": "field_5eb2cd6b95a42",
"content_area_title": "",
"_content_area_title": "field_5e725e7a479fc",
"content_area": "

Are You Looking to Sell Your Chelmsford Home Yourself?\r\n

 \r\nIf you want to sell your Chelmsford home without an agent, you’ll need to know exactly what you’re doing in order to get the money you deserve. \r\n\r\nBefore we go any further, let’s be honest. Selling your home yourself is far more complicated than using an estate agent. But if you can make it happen, you can save money. You just need to ask yourself, is it worth it.  \r\n\r\nIf you are not going to use an estate agent, there are a number of responsibilities of an estate agent that you will need to take on yourself. Also, some buyers might be hesitant to work with an owner selling their home because they assume the process will be slowed down by inexperience. \r\n\r\nNonetheless, let’s take a look at what these responsibilities are.\r\n

Answer calls, no matter the time\r\nGood agents work in the evenings and on weekends, because that’s when buyers are shopping.\r\n

Be flexible with showings\r\nBuyers may request showings without much prior notice. Try to be as accommodating as possible — the more people that tour your home, the more likely you are to get a buyer. \r\n

Don’t let your house sit on the market\r\nIf your home has been listed for a few weeks and you don’t get an offer, consider lowering the price or taking another action that will attract buyers.\r\n

Determine a fair market value of your home\r\nFirst thing first, you must get this step right. Price the house too low, and you’ll walk away with less cash on the sale than you should. But price it too high, and the house can sit for months without selling. Your only strategy at that point will be to cut the price down to where it should’ve been in the first place.\r\n

Prepare the home for sale\r\nThis step starts with slowly walking through your house, and viewing it through the eyes of a buyer. Ask yourself, If I were buying this house, what about it won’t I like?\r\n\r\nYou’re starting with a negative, but that’s the point. When the buyer looks at your home, they’re keenly aware that every flaw in the property will become their problem after closing. They’re also looking at the general appearance. Does it have good curb appeal? Is there a good flow? Does it feel right?\r\n\r\nThis is hard to do, since you own the home. But you must be objective. If you can’t, it would be best to get an outsider’s opinion. If you do, you can’t be offended at what that person will reveal. Their observations will be absolutely critical in the successful sale of your home.\r\n

Market the home for sale\r\n

Invest in home marketing and advertising\r\nAn experienced agent has the resources, tools and network to put your home in front of a wide range of buyers. For you to sell your house properly, you’ll have to work hard to gain the attention of qualified buyers and attract competitive offers. This could be through the use of Facebook Ads, Facebook Groups, Local magazines, Fliers & Posters, and virtual walkthroughs.\r\n

Hire a professional photographer\r\nIn today’s market, the vast majority of buyers are searching for homes online, so professional photos are an absolute must. In fact, 76 per cent of buyers say that viewing professional pictures was extremely, very or somewhat important to their home-buying decision. Professional photos can cost a few hundred pounds, which is money well-spent to entice potential buyers to come for a tour.\r\n


Craft an engaging listing description\r\nThe listing description is the next thing buyers look at after photos, so an enticing, comprehensive listing description is vital. Plus, buyers can search by keywords if they’re looking for specific features, so calling out your home’s best attributes with strategic keywords can ensure it ends up in front of the right buyers.\r\n

Here are the things you always want to include in your listing description:\r\n