Doorsteps blog posts

Blog entry by Doorsteps

Building a Colour Palette That Will Sell

You know that making a few changes to your home may be a must when you get ready to sell your home. Buyers may find certain things more appealing than others, and among the simplest and cheapest renovations you can make is paint. Unfortunately, simply selecting a colour you love isn't going to solve the problem. Instead, you'll need to go with more traditional options. According to the experts, these are the colours to consider as you get ready to paint your home before you sell it.

In the Kitchen: The default for many selling their home is to paint everything white. After all, it's a solid neutral colour that will allow buyers to imagine themselves in your space, right? Actually, that's not quite true in this room. Here, buyers are looking for warmer neutral colours. One study went so far as to find that they liked yellow best. Stick with warmer yellows that aren't saturated with colour, though.

In the Bedroom: Cooler colours reign supreme here, but not an absence of colour. You want it to look just a shade personal, so stick with a khaki or a light green to help increase your overall selling price. Going with something too bright, like red, may mean losing the sale.
In the Living Room: If you want to make one space in your home completely neutral, this is absolutely the one. Stay with an off-white or light grey paint in here. Avoid colours if at all possible, and if you must include an accent wall or something similar, stay away from anything too bright.

In the Bathroom: This room, too, can benefit from a bit of neutrality. Stick with beige here. The key is to make certain that you don't choose dark colours, as they not only make the space seem smaller, but they also tend to turn buyers away.

Need a bit more help selling your home? Contact us today.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Want to Buy that House? These Tips Can Help

Searching for the perfect home? Don't worry - you'll eventually find it. When you do, though, you may find yourself in a bit of a bidding war against another potential buyer. What can you do to make sure you get the house? Take a look at these tips.

  • Secure your financing. The single best thing you can do is get preapproved for a mortgage. You'll know what you can spend, and you'll show the seller that you're serious about purchasing the home.
  • Don't aim too low. You want to put in an offer on that great house, and naturally you want to get it for the lowest possible price. When you do put in the offer, though, make sure you're not going too low. In some cases, to get the house you actually want, you may need to pay the price it's listed for. If you put in an offer that's too low, you could be quickly outbid, so rely on Doorsteps to help guide your offer.
  • Reconsider contingencies. As a buyer, you have the right to add a few contingencies like the cost of paint or new carpet. You'll want to be careful with those, though, because it means the "what if" factor plays a role in the deal. It's one factor that sellers will take into account as they decide on an offer.
  • Make the offer now. You don't have time to debate the offer for very long. In most cases, sellers are motivated to move very quickly, so you may just have a day between the showing and your offer. If you really want the home, you need to move on it as quickly as possible.

Let us help you find the perfect home. Our property search will give you a good idea of what's in your area, and we'll be happy to set up the perfect showing for each of those properties! Contact us today to learn more.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

The Benefits of Mortgage Preapproval

Think you're ready to buy a home? Have you worked with a lender to get preapproved for a mortgage yet? If you haven't, it's certainly time to do so. Even before you visit our property search page to get the information you want on properties in the perfect neighbourhood, you'll want to chat with a lender. Wondering why? Take a look at the advantages of preapproval.  

You Know Your Price Range: This is perhaps the biggest benefit of mortgage preapproval. You know exactly what you can spend on a home. You'll know what your upper limit is, and that means you have a great way to narrow your property search. It would be a shame to find the perfect home, head for a mortgage lender, then realise you can't actually afford it.

They Know You're Serious: It's a buyers' market these days, and that means lots of competing offers on homes. If you have already obtained preapproval, you have an advantage over other buyers, and it's possible that motivated sellers will be more likely to accept your bid over those of others because they know you're a safe bet.

The Closing Process is Faster: As soon as you sign a contract, you can contact your mortgage lender and begin the process. You've already submitted much of the information necessary to your lender, so the wheels of lending can move quite a bit faster.

Stop dreaming about buying a new home, and get a preapproval on file. It will mean a far easier time buying a home, and once you know what you can spend, you can find the right property on our site to meet your needs. Learn more now.

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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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