Offers Over – How to spot a lazy Estate Agent

I am currently looking to buy my first property around the Chorlton, Didsbury or Withington area of South Manchester and I keep coming across the same problem.

When looking at properties estate agents are not putting the price of the houses at a set figure ie £250,000 but state the price is ‘offers over £250,000 ‘

How does this work – and what is the real selling price of the house – do you offer £250,500 or £255,000, even higher say £ 260,000 plus or beyond.

I was interested in a property advertised by the estate agent at offers over £250,000 and put in an offer of £251,000 only to be advised by the estate agent this would not be accepted as a higher offer had already been put forward.

The estate agent would not tell me what the higher offer was so I offered £255,000 only to be told again this was not acceptable.

Didsbury village, Manchester

Eventually after a bit of cat and mouse with the estate agents I increased my offer to £ 265,000 which was accepted. “Is this how the game works in Didsbury and Chorlton?” I asked myself.

This left me in the position of not knowing if I had offered too much for the property and if any higher offers were received from other interested buyers my offer would then be overtaken and I would then lose the property.

My view on this form of advertising by estate agents as ‘ offers over ‘ is LAZY ESTATE AGENCY – the agents are really saying we do not really know what the price of the property is and this leads to potential purchasers offering more than they wished or being outbid by ‘other potential purchasers’ who may or may not exist – a least if you were at a property auction you have the opportunity to see who is bidding against you.

I spoke to my independent mortgage broker in Wythenshawe who made the point that just because I had offered £265,000 for the property my chosen mortgage lender would send a valuer to value the property and if the valuer did not value the property at £265,000 the lender only lends on the purchase price or valuation WHICHEVER IS LOWER meaning I may have to pay more as a deposit.

As it turned out I never got to valuation as I received a phone call from the estate agent to advise me that a higher offer had been received and accepted – at this point I told the estate agent I was not prepared to play the game anymore and looked for other properties for sale through different estate agents who clearly advertised what the price of the property was.

I avoided any property being sold by local Chorlton, Didsbury and Withington estate agents such as Julian Wadden (https://www.julianwadden.co.uk/), Jordan Fishwick (https://jordanfishwick.co.uk/), Philip James, Gascoigne Halman which were advertised as ‘ offers over ‘ or ‘ offers in excess of ’ – sellers beware of how estate agents advise you to market your sale as it may cause potential purchasers like me to avoid viewing your property.

In my simple view all houses should be advertised at a set price – then at least you know what the price is.

Independent Mortgage Advice in Manchester

Manchester, the capital of the North West of England has a population of approximately 550,000 people, with the larger area of Greater Manchester having over 3 million people living inside it’s boundaries.

Popular areas where house buyers want to live include Wythenshawe, Didsbury, Monton, Swinton and Stockport. In my time, I have lived just outside Monton and Bury. In my experience, finding a decent mortgage broker to suit my needs was essential.

Ramsbottom, Bury during festival weekI found my house in Ramsbottom, Bury from an estate agents called Weale and Hitchen. Most estate agents will have a tie-in to a mortgage advisor that they use, but really if you’re smart, you’ll appreciate that this is often a “I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine” situation and you’ll often pay over the market rate for the service.

The best advice I can offer for personal experience is to use an independent mortgage broker who (because they are independent) will give you objective advice rather that some subjectively questionable advice.

The advice of an independent broker will usually be charged for, but I found the fee (of approx £395) was absorbed within the first 6 months of mortgage payment as they found me a good mortgage deal that was £70 per month cheaper than the one I’d been advised to take by another advisor !!

How do Estate agents get away with it ?

My wife and myself have been looking to buy our first home after renting for the past 7 years.

We have viewed countless properties but have never been successful when submitting an offer.

We have centred our property search around the Prestwich and Whitefield areas as this would give us good transport links around Greater Manchester.

Greater Manchester

We decided to up our budget as we would be getting help from our parents in respect of the deposit we would have available.

We had got a mortgage in principle from our Mortgage broker with a high street lender and have been ready to go.

Out of the blue we got a phone call from an estate agent Jennie Platt in Prestwich about a property that we had viewed in June but were not successful at the time.

We were told that the couple who had been successful in June out bidding us had changed their mind and would we be interested.

We were very keen on the property and went ahead with our initial offer.

The Estate Agent accepted the offer on behalf of the seller and we submitted our Mortgage application to the lender.

We instructed our own home buyers report independent to the Mortgage company who were providing a free valuation.

When we got the homebuyers report back we were horrified to see the amount of work and potentially expensive repairs that needed to be done.

After consultation with our mortgage adviser we decided to not to proceed with the purchase as there was to much work that needed to be done.

When we advised the estate agent the said they were not surprised because the original purchasers had withdrawn for the exact same reason.

If estate agents know that there is a lot of work to be done and that the property is not structurally sound why do they allow young first time buyers to view and make an offer on something which they are not in a true position to buy.

Who regulates Estate Agents ? Our experience of Estate Agents so far is that they don’t care about their sellers or the buyers. They are just interested in getting their commission.

The industry should definitely have some form of regulation to bring them upto the standards of other people involved in the house buying process.

Getting a mortgage in Didsbury, Manchester

We recently helped a couple obtain a mortgage for a house they wanted to buy in Didsbury, Greater Manchester. He’s some feedback they provided about their story:

Didsbury“I didn’t realise how difficult it would be to get a mortgage appointment even though I live in Didsbury village surrounded by banks and Estate agents.

My partner and myself work in the centre of Manchester Monday to Friday and the earliest appointment we could get was in four weeks time with the Halifax. We couldn’t even get passed the door at the Nationwide, Cheadle branch.

We are both currently renting and have saved a deposit for a house and were being given money from my partners family towards the purchase.

But how would we find out what we could afford without knowing what we could lend ?

My partner stumbled across Manchester Mortgages when looking on the internet.

We were able to speak to an adviser that day and an appointment was made for 2 days time.

We were advised how much money we could borrow and how much it would cost so we now have a better idea of what we are now able to look for.

The mortgage adviser also explained what other costs were involved like solicitor costs and survey.

The meeting was informative and gave us a lot of food for thought and we now have a much better understanding of the house buying process.”

Data Recovery

In this post we’d like to extend our huge thanks to hard drive experts Data Clinic Ltd for their excellent services in recovering the files and data from our server in double quick time.

Data Clinic LtdBusinesses like ours are reliant on the technology we use so when our computer server crashed on Thursday afternoon we were in a mild panic to say the least. Unable to open any of our files we were imagining the worst – that we’d lose the files for good.

Unable to access our data or get the computer working again we identified the problem to be with the hard disk drives that were in the machine and not working properly. Some colleagues of ours who have more to do with computers and IT than we do suggested we contact Data Clinic’s data recovery service.

We took our server to their local data recovery centre where they identified the cause of the problem being a crashed hard drive. Fortunately they were able to work some magic on the hard drive and rescue our files and our business was back online by Friday afternoon – less than 24 hours after the hard drive problem occurred.

So Data Clinic, this post is for you. Thank you so much for helping us in our hour of need – your services are life saving.

New Homes For Sale in Ramsbottom, Bury, Greater Manchester

Chatterton Place is a select development of new build homes currently being built by Eccleston Homes in the up market of Ramsbottom, Bury in Greater Manchester.

Ramsbottom viewThe reason this news has found it’s way onto the Yaxley site is that this new housing development will be of interest to a great number of people as Ramsbottom was recently voted one of the top places to live in the UK by The Times newspaper.

One of the reasons is the beautiful surrounding greenbelt countryside and the excellent local schools. There are 3 that are OFSTED rated as ‘Outstanding’ – St Joseph’s RC, Hazelhurst Community and Ramsbottom Stubbins which is about 100 yards away from the Chatterton development.

Having lived in Stubbins, Ramsbottom for 2 year myself I can attest to it’s beauty. In fact all my children went to Stubbins primary school and I too would recommend it.

So what is it about living in Ramsbottom? For me it’s the country feel. When I was younger I lived in Eccles and became fed up of the inner city lifestyle. Living in Ramsbottom gives you and your family space to breathe. You can get out an walk in nature, see wild animals and flowers and stroll through many of the local woods. The town is not very big so there aren’t many people, just lots of open green space where you can feel blessed to be living.

Recommended Mortgage Brokers – Ramsbottom and Bury
Here at the Yaxley blog we’re always on the look out for the latest reviews and information about mortgage brokers and advisors in Manchester. To see the mortgage brokers we recommend throughout Bury and Ramsbottom please see our home page

Buying a house without a large deposit

The financial crisis of 2008 hit almost everyone, especially home owners and house buyers. For those people wanting to buy a house suddenly a figure of 30% was conjured up out of nowhere to be a suitable deposit when buying a house.

Suddenly, my clients around Manchester, Liverpool and Chester were being asked to find £60,000 as a deposit for a modest £200,000 property. The effect his had was to kill the housing market as no one could afford to buy a house anymore unless they had a substantial amount of money behind them.

With house prices currently falling (see this Telegraph article), the number of people who have bought houses with only a 5% deposit has hit it’s height.

To clarify, a 5% deposit means that instead of a £60,000 (20% deposit) on a £200,000 house, buyers would only need to raise a far more modest £10,000 deposit. This is obviously great for home buyers, but when house prices start to fall, so does the equity of your house.

Let’s say you bought a £200,000 house when you moved from Manchester to Chester and you paid a 5% deposit of £10,000. Now imagine you’ve lived in that house for 2 years but it’s now worth only £150,000. In two years, you’ve probably paid off somewhere in the region of £8,000 from your mortgage of £190,000, but your house is now only worth £150,000, so in real terms you’ve lost almost £40,000.

House prices and equity values are just one of the things home buyers need to consider when spending large amounts of money on a house. The lesson: Be diligent and research well !

Recommended Mortgage Broker in Didsbury

A quick look at the Reeds Rains houses for sale in Didsbury web site lists many houses available to buy in what is a very desirable place to live in Manchester.

Didbury, Manchester

Didsbury is an excellent place to live in Manchester

But why is Didsbury so popular? There are many reason, a big one is being in very close proximity to Manchester city centre, but still having the feeling that you are separate from it. Another is the lifestyle, Didsbury is quite well off, many families with a yearly income of at least £60k live in Didsbury. This money makes it a pleasant community to live in. Third is the schools, there are many decent schools, for example the Didbsury CofE Primary has an “outstanding” OFSTED rating.

So how do you actually get a mortgage and buy a house in Didsbury? One of the best known recommended mortgage brokers in Didsbury is Alan Dee of Manchester Mortgages. His mortgage advice is highly regarded and he brokers many mortgages for people moving to Didsbury each year. Covering the surrounding areas for Withington, Fallowfield and Chorlton, Andy says “There are some excellent mortgages that are available to people wanting to move into the villages of Didsbury and Chorlton at the moment. Getting a fixed rate deal for 2 or 5 years will ensure you beat the rise in inflation too.”

It’s always a good idea to get advice from a mortgage broker when you are buying a property, even if you don’t end up using their services. With over 30 years experience in getting mortgages for people wanting to move to Didsbury, Alan’s knowledge of the local area is much sort after and a valuable commodity in this day and age.

House Mortgages in Warrington

Warrington is an interesting place to live, in between Manchester and Liverpool and well connected by both the M62 and M6 it has great access to all 4 compass points of England. With areas like St Helens and Culcheth nearby, there’s a great choice of different areas to buy houses in too (see this conversation on Mumsnet for more).

Warrington

Browsing Rightmove for houses for sale in Warrington produces a typical mixed bag of results, and there’s plenty of different houses available to suit different tastes and affordability.

Popular mortgage brokers are currently offering great mortgages on houses in Warrington for all types of buyer – ie. first time buyers, people who want to remortgage, those who wish to move into the area and those wanting to upsize into a bigger property. Indeed a popular mortgage broker from Manchester is currently offering a fixed term 5 year deal at a very attractive interest rate. It’s a mortgage deal that’s proving very popular with the inhabitants of Warrington, many of whom are from St Helens and are moving to Culcheth.

For those of you who don’t know, St Helens is a town – known for it’s rugby league team and has more of a city feel, Culcheth is out in the countryside and is known for its beautiful green parks and steam rallies during the summer months.

If you’re wanting to find a mortgage lender who can advise you on properties in the Warrington area then browse the pages of this blog to find some recommendations.

Remortgaging in Manchester

A popular way of raising extra cash for home improvements or to fund a large expense is to remortgage your house. Remortgaging has become very popular in the last few years and is especially attractive to people whose houses have increased significantly in value from when they first got their mortgage.

remortgage your Manchester home

For example if you first took your mortgage out 10 years ago, your house may have cost you £180,000. Now, 10 years later it may well be worth £250,000, so it’s increased in value by £70,000. You can’t spend this £70,000 however unless you sell your house. By remortgaging you get access to this £70,000.

Remortgaging works by switching your mortgage deal to a new one that releases equity and is more suitable for you. Remortgaging can extend the term of your mortgage and reduce the monthly repayments or you can keep your existing mortgage repayment schedule, often at a cheaper cost.

Remortgage Example
Using the above example, let’s say you’ve a house in Manchester that you bought 10 years ago for £180,000. It’s now worth £250,000, and you’ve got £130,000 left to pay on your mortgage, with monthly repayments of £900. Let’s also say that you want to raise £20,000 for some home improvements. Here’s how it works:

You remortgage your house, stopping your old mortgage arrangement and setting up a new one but instead of borrowing the outstanding £130,000 you borrow £150,000. You can set the term to 25 years or keep your existing one. With interest rates considerably lower now than they were 10 years ago when you bought your house you’ll find that you have been able to borrow more money but are paying back less because of the lower interest rate!

Remortgaging your house makes great sense for many people.

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