Tuesday, 11 December 2018

SPENCER CHRISTMAS OPENING TIMES #SHEFFIELD


SPENCER CHRISTMAS OPENING TIMES


Christmas Eve – 8:45am until 1pm
Christmas Day – CLOSED
Boxing Day – CLOSED
27th December- 10.30am – 2.30pm
28th December - 10.30am – 2.30pm
29th December – 8.45am – 1pm
31st December – 8.45am – 1pm
1st January 2019 – CLOSED
2nd January 2019 – Business as usual

Merry Christmas to Everyone and Happy New Year! x

Monday, 3 December 2018

The ‘right and wrongs’ of selling your house by our Philippa Peasegood - #Spencer #Sheffield


The ‘right and wrongs’ of selling your house

It has the potential of being the most stressful thing you’ll ever do, so to alleviate the pain here are a few useful tips of what to do, but more importantly what not to do when selling your home.

Choose your agent wisely
Many people consider online agents cheaper, but when you’ve weighed up all the hidden costs you may find they could cost you more. Ensure your chosen agent as an excellent reputation and are proactive. Virtual agents aren’t ‘real’ estate agents.

Marketing
A great way to accentuate your sale is social media and property forums. Most people rely on this, rather than traipsing through agents’ websites. Also ensure you have a board outside. Unless people know your house is for sale, they can’t buy it!!

Overpricing your property
You may have an figure in your head, but let the agent advise you as they will be able to use their experience and knowledge of the market to assist you. Going with a valuation which is too high can actually backfire and be reduce the amount of interested buyers.

Get ready!
Most buyers will know in the first 60 seconds of walking through the door of your home if they can see themselves living there, so be prepared. Declutter and tidy your home are the key to selling.

Be prepared!
Along with tidying and decluttering, get those little maintenance jobs done. Most buyers don’t want to renovate, simply move in, so holes in the walls, peeling wallpaper or damp patches will put potential buyers off. If you need to paint a wall - do it.

Flexibility
Be prepared to be flexible. This may involve doing viewings at times when you simply want to sit down with your feet up. Some viewers work long hours, so if you can go the extra mile it may just work in your favour.

Use your agent
Let your agent guide you. They’re used to every question, stumbling block and eventuality. If you’re not sure - ask! It’s what we’re good at, but also what you’re paying for.

Keeping these common mistakes in the back of your mind will help you avoid them during the selling process.


Monday, 19 November 2018

Avoiding Common Mistakes as a #Property Landlord - #Spencer. #Sheffield


Property Management Avoiding Common Mistakes.

Owning a property and renting it out is a challenge in itself, with the amount of time and effort that needs to go into advertising, viewings and then there’s the management side once a tenant moves in, not to mention all of the additional legal and regulatory processes that need to be followed.  Landlords have a lot to think about.

A good Managing Agent should take care of all of the legal obligations on the landlord’s behalf.  However, landlords should also make sure that they maintain a good relationship with their tenants, as happy tenants will generally pay their rent on time and look after the property.

A few common mistakes that landlords make which can upset their tenants, leading to future unnecessary problems are,

Ignoring property maintenance issues, as a landlord, it is your responsibility to ensure that the fundamental utilities of the property are maintained to a good standard. For example faulty heating or water leaks etc. are up to a landlord to repair and it can be annoying for tenants if landlords take too long to fix these problems.  Not only can this cause friction in the  relationship with the tenant, it can also cause the property to deteriorate, by not repairing the leak can cause bigger problems in the long run, leading to greater costs and at worst can even make the property uninhabitable for a period of time, potentially resulting in a loss of rental income.   If the property management issue is an emergency i.e. it relates to heating, plumbing, gas or electric it is useful to have some type of Home Emergency Cover in place to help with the cost of repairs. 

Not allowing tenants a bit of flexibility, whilst landlords should ensure that the relationship with their tenant remains professional at all times, it is also good to remember that they are also people who are using your property as their home.  As such, offering a bit of flexibility when it comes to decorating etc. This can go a long way in making tenants happy.  It can also add value to your property by increasing the rents if it is modern/desirable for future tenants.

Having the wrong insurance, Standard home insurance is not designed for landlords or rental properties, landlords will need to take out specific landlord insurances that cover their needs.  Specialist buy-to-let insurances can cover buildings and contents policies, as well as public liability insurance is needed as well, which allows a landlord to be covered against all possibilities of claims.  Landlords can also take out rent guarantee insurance, which can cover unpaid rent if a tenant fails to make their rent payments and remains in the property, along with the cost of issuing notices and court costs etc.

Not familiar with property management & legal requirements, Many landlords choose not to use a managing agent, which can save money in the short term, but often leads to greater costs in the long run, in terms of time and resources as well as financial. By having a good managing agent dealing with the administration and legal obligations the landlord can take a back seat focusing on enjoying the monthly rent coming in.

To speak to Spencer about renting your property, please call us on 0114 268 3682 or have a look through our website: Spencer

Monday, 15 October 2018

Love thy Neighbour #Blog #Sheffield #EstateAgent


Love Thy Neighbour

Whether you are a home owner, renting or living in a block of apartments most of us have neighbours and if you have them here’s my top tips to being a good neighbour in Sheffield.

Introduction
Neighbours can be a source of useful information when you are settling into your new home. So it’s well worth a friendly hello when you meet them for the first time. They can after all fill you in on the everyday stuff like where’s the nearest shop, bin collections and the do and don’t of street parking, if you don’t have sufficient driveway to house you and any visitors.
You don’t have to become best of friends, but neighbours on your side can be a valuable asset, they can look out for your property when you are away from it, offer you use of some extra parking if you have a party, be understanding if you are having some property maintenance carried out. So it’s worth keeping them in the loop and returning the favour when they are in need of a little help from you!

Be Considerate
With Bonfire night round the corner, you might want to pre-warn neighbours if you are planning a fire, so they are sure not to have washing out or windows open. If they have small children with a set bedtime, you could agree a time when the fireworks will be done or ask them round to join in with the fun, then you’ll be sure to have them on-side, or at least you’ve given them the opportunity and pre warned them of the event.
If you are planning a special occasion with a D J or band in the garden, it’s worth being clear about your intentions giving neighbours the date and time when there will be noise disruption and keep to the timescale, if you’ve said quiet by 10-30pm, everyone knows where they stand and there’s less chance of you getting reported to the local council/ police. 
Also if you’re coming and going unsocial hours for your work or just coming in late from a night out show them consideration and keep the noise down. No-one likes to be woken in the night by car doors slamming and shouting, it’s sure to be annoying for them to hear.

Disputes
We are all different people with varying standards and without realising it disputes can come around and that’s just life. If you need to approach a neighbour with an issue, try and keep your cool, explain what the cause of the problem is and listen respectfully to what they have to say . There could be a reason you were unaware of, sure as there garden being untidy due to illness, or bereavement in the family. Give them a chance to respond to you, try and understand from their perspective and hopefully you can work towards a suitable solution for all, even if it means you rolling up your sleeves and offering to lend a hand. Before you go down the path of reporting them to the authorities, it’s worth giving them a chance to redress the issue.
If someone comes to you with a concern, even if you think it’s petty, for them to seek you out, it is something that they are finding an issue. Be respectful and give then a timescale of when you look to have the problem dealt with, if it’s down to lack of money be honest and tell them to  bear with you until you have the funds to resolve this.

Peaceful Times Ahead
If you follow my top tips I am sure in the majority of cases you will be able to hold your head up high on seeing your neighbours, give them a friendly greeting and get on with your day. They may  be of help to you one day, taking in a parcel while you are out or pushing through some important post delivered to them in error.

After all “ Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours”  and  “ That’s when good neighbours become good friends”


www.spencersestateagents.co.uk 

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Thank you! Spencers Agents #Sheffield - #spencer #wearespencer #estateagentblog


THANK YOU!

Estate agents get a bad reputation. We know that we are not a loved profession but at Spencer, we work hard as a team to change that perception and give people the experience that they deserve from day one to completion and beyond. Be that as a seller, buyer, landlord, tenant, contractor or solicitor, we want you to want to speak to us and to work with us again!
As an established, focused, family run business we pride ourselves on our personal service and that’s reflected by the number of thank you cards & presents that we receive and the reviews that are posted on Facebook and Google.
So many clients come back to us again & again or recommend us to their friends and family, and for that we THANK YOU for supporting us.
#wearespencer  

Monday, 4 June 2018

Does your #investment comply with #EPC changes in time for your next void period? Ask #Spencer #Sheffield


Energy Efficiency Regulation Changes
The government has decided that tenants in low energy-rated rental properties spend significantly more on energy bills than those in high energy-rated properties. According to figures, over 33% of tenants are reportedly unable to afford their fuel costs, this rises to 45% for tenants in F/G rated properties. 
If your rental property already has an energy efficiency rating of E or above, then you are already compliant and can relax FOR NOW.   If not then you need to start to think about what changes you need to make to improve your properties energy efficiency rating.
From 1st April this year ALL rental properties with new tenancy agreements signed MUST have an EPC rating of at least an E, if you already have a tenant living in your property before this time who is happy to continue without signing a new tenancy agreement then you are safe FOR NOW.    These regulations will be extended to landlords of existing tenancies whether a new tenancy agreement is signed or not by 2020.
Image result for epc

Things to do if you have a low rated EPC

1.       Check the recommendation section on your current EPC, this will advise you on what changes can be made to increase the rating. Some may be small others may be more expensive.  

2.       Speak to the assessor who did your original EPC as they may have more in depth advice without spending too much money.

3.       Make the changes in plenty of time of your next void time and have a new EPC generated

4.       BE COMPLIANT to avoid fines of up to £5,000 PER property.


If you need help or advice please contact our team at Spencer so that we can help you make sure you comply before the next void period so that we help to mitigate any losses. 

Call Lynn, Emily, or Ash now on 0114 2683682 

www.spencersestateagents.co.uk 




Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Minimise Void Periods in #Rental #Property - #Blog by Emily from #Spencer #Sheffield


Tips to minimise void periods in rental properties


Usually when a tenant moves out of a rental property there is a short period of time when a property remains empty before the new tenant moves in, at Spencer we encourage this and usually suggest a week between tenancies. It can be a beneficial time to ensure the property is ready to be re-let by having any maintenance work and cleaning carried out so it’s in tip-top condition for new tenants.
However, this is not always the case and unfortunately some properties remain empty for a period of time. Every landlord should be trying to minimise the void periods where possible, because at the end of the day empty properties cost money. Whether it be through the mortgage, council tax, utility bills or service charge there is always some cost the landlord has to pay. 
There are a number of things that landlords and agents can do to ensure void periods (AND COSTS!) are kept to a minimum.
1)      Start marketing early
At Spencer we always contact our tenants at least 2 months before their move out date to find out their intentions at the end of the tenancy, we aim to advertise properties 6-8 weeks before the available date. This means that any prospective tenants looking for a new home have plenty of time to give notice on their current property.
2)      Renew contracts without delay – avoid periodic where possible
As mentioned above we always contact tenants 2 months before their vacating date to find out their intentions, this gives plenty of time to arrange any contract renewals. Where possible we advise landlords against periodic contracts as it means that tenants can give their one month notice at any time, if a tenant was to give notice in the winter months then it can be more difficult to re-let the property.
3)      Keep an eye on the property during tenancies
We recommend carrying out regular inspections on rental properties to ensure that they are being looked after by the tenants and that any maintenance issues are noticed and dealt with quickly & efficiently. At Spencer we carry out regular property inspections and provide our landlord with a full report and photos on the condition of the property.
4)      Keep the property in good condition
Once you have a good tenant in your property it’s important to keep it in good condition for them to want to stay, maintenance issues should be dealt with quickly & efficiently and we recommend being open and accommodating to reasonable tenant’s requests. Ongoing investment in the property especially in bathrooms and kitchens can also help secure tenants and always helps when re letting the property.
5)      Utilities – take meter readings!
As soon as a tenant vacates meter readings should be taken of all the utilities, this ensures that landlords aren’t paying for the previous tenant’s usage, it ensures the void period costs are kept to a minimum.  As part of the check-out process we take all meter readings to provide to landlords along with a detailed check out report.
6)      Expect a void period
The average void period in the UK per year is between 2 and 4 weeks, it is recommended to budget for one month per year to avoid any unexpected costs.
7)      Find good tenants – and keep them!!
The best way to minimise void periods is to avoid them completely!! Once you have the right tenant in your property, at Spencer we fully reference and credit check all our tenants and always ensure they are the best fit for your property. We then work constantly to ensure tenants are happy and keep them in your property! If you don’t believe us just check our 5* Facebook and Google reviews!
Whether you are a landlord letting your property for the first time or a landlord stuck with a vacant property, our focus and attention at Spencer will always be to provide you with practical and honest advice. If you need help re-letting your property please get in touch with our rental team. 

www.spencersestateagents.co.uk