Ready for your next installment of property news, views, tips and gossip?

Strap yourself in and prepare for one heck of an exciting ride…

Here’s what’s coming up in this month’s newsletter:

  • Don’t make these mistakes when selling your property…
  • Landlords: feel the freeedoooommmmmm! (If you’re of a certain age)
  • The latest property news on your doorstep in your inbox. You’re welcome.
  • Decluttify your web browser. (There’s a chance we just invented a new word.)

Sellers: here are three mistakes you don’t want to be making

Gosh… there are so many things to think about when it comes to selling your property. And while we don’t want to add to your information-saturated mind during such a stressful period (we know what it’s like), this little list of common mistakes could save you an awful lot of time, energy and money…

Mistake #1: not being realistic about the price

“Ownership bias” may cause you to place a higher value on your property than it’s actually worth, which is perfectly understandable: years of happy memories, interior decoration and getting the place “just so” lead you to slightly distorted view of what your property will actually go for.

What to do: Before you even speak to an estate agent, compare your property to similar ones that have recently sold in the area – you need to be realistic with yourself before getting agents involved. When you’re comparing properties, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that yours will sell for thousands and thousands more because it looks prettier and you’ve spent a lot of money on it over the years!

Mistake #2: spending too much time and money preparing for the sale

Your property just needs to look clean, tidy and not too cluttered – so that potential buyers can imagine themselves putting their own possessions inside.

What to do: Clear out the clutter, first and foremost! Next: give the place a lick of paint if it really needs one. Otherwise focus on making the entrance presentable and inviting (perhaps paint the front door and put some flowers in the front windowsill), and making sure it’s spick and span.

Mistake #3: not paying attention to the “tie-in” length

How long are you “tied in” for before you can terminate the contract and approach another estate agent to sell your property?

Sneaky agents may try to sign you into lengthy contracts (16 weeks or more) because they’ve given you an unrealistic sale value and they need time to see if the market picks up or convince you into lowering the price.

As far as we see it, when the contract term is short and easy to terminate, your estate agent will work harder for you.

What to do: Read the fine print! If the tie-in feels too long, bring it up with the agent and see if you can reach a compromise.

Landlords: Pension Freedom Day is coming up! How will you celebrate?

Will you throw a caviar-themed party? Go skydiving? Eat a mince pie at the wrong time of year just because? Or perhaps do something marginally more sensible? If you’re considering the latter option, here’s some information that could come in handy…

If you’re aged 55 and over and you have a defined contribution pension plan, you’ll be given full freedom to access your pension from 6 April this year. Yep, it’s all yours! Rather than buy an annuity, you can withdraw your entire pension pot as cash if you want to.

You can choose to take out the whole lot in one go or smaller amounts at a time – and every time you do so, 25% of it will be tax free and the rest will be treated as income.

What you could do is withdraw a big chunk of your pension and invest it straight into a buy-to-let – potentially giving you an income, growing in value and providing you with something you can pass on in the future.

Remember that you’ll still have to pay tax on 75% of whatever you withdraw though, and factor that into your calculations.

Investing in London property can be extremely profitable, but this isn’t something to rush into without doing your research. Want to discuss your investment options with us? Give us a call on 020 3199 3439.

Property news

Your dinner conversation prep starts here.

London flat the size of a bathroom let in 40 minutes. And you’re sitting there worried that the loft conversion won’t fit a king-size bed…

London property prices fall for sixth month running. Housing stock is still low, but demand has also fallen – and many are blaming political uncertainty for people’s reluctance to buy in the city at the moment. Once the General Election is out the way, watch this space for better news.

Budget 2015: Help To Buy ISAs to launch. If you want to get a foot on the London property ladder but can’t quite figure out how on earth you’ll manage to save up for it… George Osborne to the rescue (sort of)! Find out more in this useful Q&A from MoneySavingExpert.

Our useful tool of the month

Do you ever have so many Rightmove tabs open that you need the dexterity of a surgeon to accurately click on one? And even though your computer has ground to a halt under all the pressure, you can’t bring yourself to close any of them because you just know you’ll need to refer back to them soon?

Well let us introduce you to your new hero. It’s called OneTab, and it’s a nifty little extension for Chrome and Firefox. OneTab saves all your open tabs with a single click, and allows you to restore them all later with another teensy click.

When you see all your tabs get “swept” away into a neat little corner of your screen, your head will immediately feel cleared, and your computer will suddenly leap back into action!

The end! (Until next month)

We’ll be back with more top-quality cuts next month. If you have any concerns or questions in the meantime just give us call or drop us an email

Until next month!