Doorsteps blog posts

Blog entry by Doorsteps

Doorsteps Announces Crowdcube Investment Opportunity

Akshay Ruparelia and his team have had an extremely busy first year for Doorsteps, growing the brand significantly, with great things on the horizon.

In it’s first year, Doorsteps.co.uk, has grown to the 41st largest estate agent in the UK. It’s goal is to be the biggest estate agent in Britain. By combining real agents, best of digital, competitive prices and awesome customer service. 

Estate agents are the least trusted professionals. They are seen as offering poor service and high prices. Doorsteps.co.uk. seeks to solve this. Doorsteps use a blend of real-life agents and technology to offer fixed, fair pricing. Delivered in an honest, transparent and hassle free way. A London high street agent will typically charge an average fee of £6,500. Doorsteps charges £199 for selling a property from scratch, equating to customers savings this year of over £700k in fees already.

It is predicted 50% of all UK properties will be sold online by 2020, compared to 4% last year. The online agency market door has been opened by Purple Bricks plc (a 3 year old rival with market cap of £1.1bn on the London Stock Exchange) and others. We believe the time is right for large-scale, national branded estate agency business, facilitated by the internet and its viral effects.We are confident that Doorsteps is perfectly placed to play an important role in this revolution.

Doorsteps is already the 41st largest estate agent in Britain, from 17,000+ estate agents. The number of customers joining has tripled each quarter since Q4 2016, and revenues growing more than 10 fold in 5 months.

Over 80% of current customers have come by word of mouth. Doorsteps founders' now wish to build the UK’s most loved estate agency.

The Crowdcube target is set at £400,000 with over £30,000 already raised in the first 24 hours. For full details and to become an investor please visit the funding page here.

 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Is It The Right Time For You to Buy a House?

You’ve been renting for years and while it is nice to be free from the responsibility of maintaining a home and paying for repairs, the idea of paying money every month without any real investment is feeling less and less appealing. Not to mention that some mortgage payments are actually less expensive than a monthly rental. So how do you know when it is time to ditch the rental and invest in your own property? Your agent can help you with any questions you may  have about pre-approval for a mortgage loan, best areas to search for a home, and when to make an offer to buy a house. Take a look at these top considerations when thinking about buying your own home.

  1. Your Total Income. Run the numbers before you consider buying home. Take a look at the amount of money you bring home each month to help you decide what price level of mortgage you can afford. There are multiple free mortgage calculators online that can give you a rough idea of what a monthly mortgage would cost for a variety of loan lengths.
  1. Do you have money put away to use for a down payment? A mortgage lender will want you have to some money to pay down, at 5% of the home value before they will approve you for a loan. Even better would be a larger 20% down payment. If you have nothing saved back consider holding off on the house shopping until you have built up your savings.
  1. Your Occupation. How long have you been at your job? Mortgage lenders may look at you as a risk if you have been working at your present company for less than two years. A lender will average your income of 2 years when calculating the amount of money your are qualified to receive. It’s best to wait until you have a consistent job history before you buy a house.
  1. Your credit history and debt to income ratio will also be deciding factors in your loan eligibility. If you have a credit score below 700 and your debt is more than 43% of your monthly income chances are you won’t qualify for a mortgage loan. Get some of your other debts paid off to decrease your debt to income ratio which will help get you approved for a loan and on the right track to finding your new home.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Should You Turn Down a Low Offer to Buy Your Home?

Selling a house comes with a lot of uncertainty and faith that the housing market will stay strong in favour of buyers. It is easy to panic if your home sits on the market for several months and start to consider jumping on some of the offers you may receive. Should you stand firm on your pricing or accept a low offer to get out from under the pressure of a no longer wanted mortgage? It depends on a variety of factors that are personal to you and your situation. Be sure and consult with your agent from Doorsteps. Your agent can guide you through the process of counter-offering and acceptance of an offer to buy your home. So what are some instances when accepting a low offer is the way to go?

  • You’ve listed your home above appraisal estimates. Chances are if a buyer did offer close to your asking price their mortgage lender would never have approved the loan. Realistically, banks won’t lend for much over the appraisal so starting your house at a price far above that level will require you to accept a low offer for actual sale of your home.
  • You are selling “as-is”. Generally, this means there will be a lot of remodelling and updating. There is damage that will be costly to fix and quite honestly, they are doing you a favour making an offer at all. If this is the case and the repairs are something you are not willing to finance to make more on your home then take the lower offer and close the deal.
  • Multiple counter-offers have been rejected. Has your home been on the market for close to a year? Have you had low offers with counter-offers that are continuously rejected. It may be time to have a talk with your agent and ask for brutal honesty. Are you asking too much for your home? Has the housing market declined? What is causing these low offers? Perhaps it is time to be realistic about what your property is truly worth and accept that next low offer.
  • You have to sell fast. It’s hard to accept a low offer knowing if you had more time you may get more for your home. Sometimes life just doesn’t deal us that perfect hand. If you are locating or have other reasons for needing to sell your home quickly then you may need to grab that low offer, cut your losses, and run with it.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Clean Out the Pet Smell Before Your Sell Your Home

Surveys show that over half of all homeowners are also pet owners. Dogs, cats, and many other domestic animals are beloved members of the family who share the living space of a home. You wouldn’t think of having them stay outside in the cold and rain defenceless to the elements. While you may not notice the scent as your nose has become accustomed to it, your animals do have a very distinct odour. Once you get ready to sell your home, you may have to take some extra measures to remove the smell of your animals from the interior of your home. Follow some of these steps to rid your home of the odour and keep buyers from turning up their noses.

  • Clean the floors. If you have carpets get them professionally cleaned to have any odours and pet dander removed. Hardwood floors can also trap odours but are relatively easy to clean with vinegar which is an excellent odour remover. For concrete surfaces bleach is a safe and effective alternative.
  • Walls and windows. Take any fabric curtains or drapes down and wash them well to remove lingering pet odours. Repainting the walls will also help lessen the smell of your four legged friends. If you have panelling or wallpaper consider cleaning the surface with vinegar or bleach water before you sell your home.
  • Relocate pets. If you have not moved from your home it may be a good idea to have them stay with a friend or relative while you are showing your house. Going the extra mile to clean curtains and carpet won’t make much difference if the animals are still residents of the now odour free home. Remove puppy pads and litter boxes especially. These can be a deal breaker if a buyer sees them.
  • Open up the house. Opening up the windows and letting the house air out after all of this cleaning can help to get rid of the last lingering effects of pet odours. Fresh air can do wonders for eliminating pet smells and just the overall stale smell that shut up homes can get.
  • Light some scents. Burning scented candles or setting out other nicely scented accents like potpourri or wall plug-ins will make your home smell lovely on the day of a showing or open house. Be sure to choose a mild scent that won’t overpower. For some strong flowery scents are just as much a turn off as that pet odour.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Advice for Selling Your Home in the Summer

Spring is traditionally the busy season for selling homes. Many families are looking to purchase homes during this season so that moving and renovations can be finished in the summer before the school term begins again. So what can you do if your job relocates you or other life situations force you to list your home for sale in the summer months? As with any season, there are tips to help you ready your home for showing and get it sold during the off selling season of the summer. No matter what the time of year, Doorsteps is here to help you get the most for your home and get it sold faster and cheaper than any other listing agency. Here are a few tips that may help you get your home ready.

  • Keep your lawn maintained for curb appeal. Even if you have already packed up and moved out it is important to stay on top of cutting the grass and keeping the landscaping looking nice. It may be tempting to relax on yard duty but be sure your lawn stays trim and green for maximum interest when listing your home.
  • Show off your garden with lawn furniture. Some buyers like to see a home staged and set up as though someone is living there. Arrange your outdoor furniture in a stylish and attractive manner. Create an inviting look with tiki torches and potted plants. If you have a pool or hot tub, keep it cleaned out and ready to use. Many buyers are far more interested in homes with private pools during the summer months.
  • Keep your home cool. Many potential buyers are coming in from the summer heat and your home listing should be a cool, inviting space for them. If you have an air con, you might want to leave it on during the warmer months.
  • Have cold drinks ready. Have cold drinks such as bottled water or lemonade on hand for your agent to offer during a showing. A gesture of a cold refreshment is a great way to respond to an interested buyer who has been in the heat checking out the exterior of your home.
  • Take advantage of the natural light. Use the sunlight and longer hours of day to showcase the rooms in your home. Opening blinds and pulling back curtains can give your home a larger appearance.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Steps To Take When A Home Inspection Goes Wrong

It is always in the best interest of the buyer to have an inspection completed of the property being purchased. The inspection is the best way to protect yourself from unwanted problems once the house closing has been completed. But what if you are the seller and a home inspection has turned up some potentially serious problems? What are the next steps to take and will that inspection delay or end your sale? We have some helpful steps to take when the inspection doesn’t go as planned.

  1. Be prepared for the buyer to demand repairs. If a buyer has paid for the inspection in the process of buying your home they are in all rights to ask you to repair what has been found, renegotiate the contract, or back out all together. If you want to keep your sale, the best bet is to make the requested repairs.
  1. You don’t have to make the repairs. The seller is not under any obligation to make the repairs needed. However, if you decide not to make the repairs the seller can back out of the sale. Deciding whether or not to fix any problems will depend on how many offers you have on your house. If you are having trouble selling your home then you may want to compromise with buyer and make the repairs.
  1. Create an agreement with the buyer. Some buyers are will to pay for half of the repairs or take a credit for their expenses when problems are found during a home inspection. With your agent discuss options that will work for both you and the buyer for repairing any problems.
  1. Make the repairs. If the repairs are minor and not going to cost a lot it may be in your best interest to just make the repairs, finish the sale, and move on. In the times that it is a buyer’s market your only chance at keeping the sale could be meeting their demands and closing the deal.
  1. Hindsight is 20/20. You can’t turn back the clock but if you haven’t yet had on offer on your home it may pay off to have your own home inspection completed to be made aware of problems. You can either pay to have them fixed or disclose issues upfront to buyers.

To learn more about home inspections and your rights and responsibilities as a seller, contact Doorsteps today.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Worst Advice for Selling a Home

It seems like more and more people think they are experts in areas where they don’t have any real experience. The internet is full of misinformation that they read allowing them to assume they know best about a topic including selling a home. Some of the worst ideas and suggestions can be absolutely detrimental to you when preparing your home for an open house or to list on the market. To get the most out of your home and to follow the best advice sign up with Doorsteps. We are a knowledgeable and licensed estate team helping homeowners across the UK sell their homes. Our fees are minimal and our success right is high. Don’t listen to the following bad advice. Contact us for the best advice!

Worst Advice

  1. Save money and sell your home yourself. This is a terrible idea. Trying to go it alone can be one of the most stressful and trying times of your life. Listing with an agent allows you maximum exposure and gives you the peace of mind to know that all of the paperwork and “must-do’s” during the selling process are being handled expertly. If you don’t want to pay the high commissions to an agent, we have the perfect option for you.
  1. List it “as is”. You should want the most you can get for your home when putting it up for sale. Yes, you may have to put some money into a few repairs and updates but those will pay off in the end. Little updates like paint and fixing leaky faucets can keep you from losing thousands on the price of your home. It doesn’t take much in the way of updating, staging and cleaning to improve the appeal of your home leading to higher buyer offers.
  1. You should be present at all showings. Many will say it’s better for you to be there to answer questions and follow along as buyers tour your home. On the contrary having the current owners present during a viewing can be uncomfortable and limit the amount of questions being asked. Potential buyers may be afraid to offend you if they ask questions and realistically, as the owner, you may not answer as truthfully as you should. Give buyers some space and find somewhere to go during a showing.

For the best advice and great agents, contact us today.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Is Owner Financing a Good Idea?

There many prospective buyers who soon realize that their credit is so poor they will not qualify for a loan or if they do it will be very high interest. It isn’t unusual for them to ask if the owner is interested in offering owner financing for the purchase of a home. Obviously, if you have had multiple offers on your home this won’t even be an option you are considering but what if your home has been sitting and the market is stagnant? Should you agree to finance the buyers to move your home off of the market? Consider some of the following before making your decision.

Should You Offer Owner Financing? Answer These Questions First

  • Why can’t the buyer get a loan? The fact that someone looking at homes to buy can’t get the proper financing should throw up some large red flags. Why can’t they get a traditional mortgage loan on their own? Something has to have occurred in their credit past like a foreclosure or repossessed vehicle or multiple misuses of credit cards for financing to be unavailable to them. If they have not been responsible with their credit in the past they will more than likely not be responsible with you.
  • Do you want to continue paying on two mortgages? The home you are selling is more than likely still part of its own mortgage agreement. The payments your buyers are making to you will be making that payment but it is still in your name. Will having an extra mortgage loan prevent you from gaining another to purchase your new home? What if the buyer’s don’t make a payment? Can you afford to make both mortgage payments in the event that they back out of your financing agreement?
  • What happens if they stop making payments? This is where it will get messy for you. If they stop making payments you will still have to make them on your mortgage. If you have an owner financing contract and have turned over the deed you will need to get legal help to solve the problem.

In this day and age, it is not a great choice to offer owner financing. If you have paid off the home you are selling and are comfortable with financing for buyers then by all means give it a try. Just be sure to have the contracts and legalities worked out by professionals. For more help selling your home and the best options for you, contact Doorsteps today.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

3 Things You Should Love About a House Before Committing to Buy

You’ve decided you are ready to buy a home for the first time, or maybe a job relocation has made it necessary to start home shopping. Whatever the reason for looking at homes, it is important to take some time and really check out a house before choosing the one for you. In fact, you really need to fall in love with certain aspects of a house and then make the move to buy. Some people just get a “feeling” about homes when they are looking to buy and while the vibe of a house may feel right, there are specific things you need to be sure you love before making an offer. We have some suggestions as to what you should be completely happy with about a house when you are looking.

1 – The design and size. Certain cosmetic changes that are easy and inexpensive should never be a deal breaker when deciding to buy. Paint, landscaping, carpet, and the like are normal personal touches that most people change when moving into a new home. What you need to be in love with, or at least seriously like, is the layout of the rooms and the square footage. If you aren’t completely happy with these, changing them would be a major remodel and very costly. Don’t settle for a house that doesn’t meet your expectations for size and design.

2 – The neighbourhood. If you are looking for a quiet neighbourhood to raise kids, making an offer on a home in a busy downtown area doesn’t make sense. Think about what kind of neighbourhood you are looking to settle in, and don’t compromise just because the price might be right. In the end, if the area isn’t what you were looking for, you won’t be happy and will suffer from buyer’s remorse.

3 – The price. Getting yourself in too deep with the price can lead to financial problems later. Don’t pay too much for a home even if everything else is perfect. The key to being in love with your home is finding a house with a price tag you can live with. Set a budget before you begin looking for a new home to purchase.

Contact Doorsteps when you are ready to start looking for a new home. We can guide you through the entire process from looking, bidding, and finalising the sale. Sign on with Doorsteps to make this an easy and effortless experience.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Make Moving Day Smooth and Easy

Once you have sold your home, the next phase begins with packing up and moving out. Moving day can be chaotic and stressful if you haven’t planned and organised beforehand. We have all experienced or heard of less than happy moving days when people showed up to help and nothing was packed in boxes or furniture was too big to move. It is best to start planning your move at least two months in advance if at all possible. Doorsteps have a few easy and helpful tips to make sure moving day goes quickly and according to plan.

Start packing early. As soon as you decide to list your home and know there is a possibility you will be moving, start packing up non-essentials and items you don’t have to have in everyday life. Start with seasonal items or other belongings that are usually stored away. If you have a junk or throw room start throwing things away and packing up what you know for sure you would like to move.

Throw away what you don’t use. Packing and unpacking necessities is a difficult task without adding items that you probably won’t use once you have moved to a new home. A good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t seen it or used it in years then donate it or throw it away completely.

Get Organised. Label boxes for appropriate rooms such as “kitchen” or “office” to make unpacking easier once you have reached your destination. If you have asked friends or family to help you move out and load a moving vehicle make sure you are packed up and ready to go. If you want help packing as well be specific and say so.

Set a date to move. If you need to enlist the aid of a moving truck/service or your close friends and family to help you move it is absolutely necessary to set a date and do your best to stick to it. Planning ahead gives those close to you the chance to keep the date clear for helping load up your moving truck and getting you on the way to your new home. To reserve a moving vehicle or schedule a service to move you call in advance to make sure you get them on the day you need them.

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