All posts by Rahul Jain

sold sign

Preparing Your Property For Viewings With The Best Estate Agents in Leicester

When it comes to property viewings, first impressions really do count. If you’re selling or letting your house, you’re likely to have two key opportunities to showcase your home: the online advert, and the viewing itself. So how do you compete in the unstoppable housing boom right now? 

Over the past 12 months, the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed not only many aspects of everyday life but also major industries and sectors – including the property market and its processes. While house viewings were previously a relatively simple process, we must now consider the safety aspect of allowing someone to view a property. Social distancing, mask wearing, and hand sanitation have become an absolute necessity for those embarking on physical viewings.

As one of the best estate agents in Leicester, we’ve got a wealth of experience under our belts when it comes to property viewings. We’ve worked throughout the pandemic, adapting our own processes to ensure they remain compliant with government guidelines while making sure that we can still offer the highest standards of property services that you would expect from a leading estate agents in Leicester. With this in mind, we’ve put together a helpful guide for preparing for property viewings during, and after, the pandemic. If you are looking to sell a house in Leicester, these are the best practices that we would recommend following!

Virtual Property Viewings 

Lots of things have become virtual over the past year, from awards nights to team building events, and property viewings are certainly no exception. Earlier this year, a virtual viewing was the only way that you could look at property and some people loved the convenience of it! If you’re someone that would prefer this, the team at Open House can make it work – that’s why we’re the best estate agents in leicester

Clean And Tidy

Even though this is a virtual viewing, and you have a degree of control over what people can see, it is essential that your property is clean and tidy. There should be no clutter or rubbish, so that it’s presented in the best possible light. A virtual viewing may be the only time someone sees your property before purchase, or it may be the thing that pushes them to ask for an in-person viewing; either way, if it isn’t clean and tidy, this will likely put people off from the outset. People want to purchase a place that they can picture themselves living in, and so it needs to meet (and hopefully exceed!) any expectations that they may have. 

High Quality Photos

Having high quality photos of your property is important for your advert, but they become vital if this is the only reference that someone has for your property. Good photos will effectively showcase your property, which means that they should be taken at a google angle and with good lighting. There should also be enough photos to give people a good sense of the property, so make sure that you take pictures of all of the rooms in the building, and any stand-out features (things that make the property worth more!). 

Clear Videos

A video tour is one of the most effective ways of showing your property. It’s difficult to hide things on video, which means that it is a signal of trust and transparency. A great video should be: high definition, in-depth and accessible on all platforms. If it is a live video, using video conferencing software such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, you should be prepared to focus on specific areas of the property and answer any related questions. In our experience, people that want to buy a house in Leicester are keen to get as much information as possible. And on that note: 

Expect Questions

It is highly likely that you will receive more questions at a virtual property viewing. This is because people aren’t able to visit and discover the answers for themselves. They may also be concerned about not seeing the property in person, and asking questions to compensate for this. If you attend the virtual viewing, you will need to be able to answer the questions calmly and confidently to make people feel confident. Your estate agent will be able to help you with this; if you don’t want to attend the viewing, you should make sure that they have all of the information that they need. 

In-Person Property Viewings

While many things have become virtual, in-person property viewings aren’t off the table. In fact, as the best estate agents in Leicester, we can confirm that this style of viewing is going ahead now more than ever. The pandemic just means that it is even more important that your property is ready for viewing – in part, because this will limit the amount of people that you’re in close quarters with.

Deep Clean

A thorough clean is essential when preparing your property for a viewing. This is because some people may want to get up close and personal with every crack and crevice of the building. Some commonly forgotten areas include: the oven, underneath appliances, bath fittings and any sealant / grouting. The cleaner the property, the more appealing it is – trust us, we’d know. 

Clear The Clutter

Having clear floors and surfaces can transform the overall appearance of your property. It also highlights the amount of space and light that potential buyers have to play with. This is actually our top tip for people that are interested in putting their property on the market, because you really don’t realise the amount of clutter you have, and the bad impression that it makes, until you get rid of it. If you’re not in the position to throw out, sell or move these kinds of things, renting a storage unit can be hugely beneficial. 

Keep It Fresh

There’s a reason that estate agents are typically associated with the smell of freshly baked cookies. While we’re the best estate agents in Leicester, we don’t typically go down this route. Instead we suggest opening all of your windows and airing the property out. You should also remove any rubbish, avoid smelly foods and remove any animals if possible. Finally, we would suggest investing in some nice candles or air fresheners – first impressions matter the most, and so your property needs to appeal to all of the senses.

Natural Light

Natural light is something that a lot of people look for in a property. So if you have plenty of windows, make the most of them! Make sure that any curtains and blinds are open, so that people can see the room in the best possible light. After all, daylight can make a room seem bigger and brighter, two things that will lead to instant market success.

Don’t Forget The Outside

When preparing your property for viewings, it’s easy to forget about the exterior. It’s important to make sure that the building, garden and driveway are all in tip-top condition, which means that you may have your work cut out for you. We would even recommend looking at the street outside of your property, and giving it some TLC. After all, if there’s rubbish or debris outside, it gives a pretty poor first impression of the neighbourhood! 

Provide PPE

While we’re no longer in lockdown, the pandemic isn’t over. This means that you should provide hand gel and masks for anyone that comes into the property. Luckily, this is something that your estate agents can likely help you out with.

Preparing Your Property For Viewings With The Best Estate Agents In Leicester 

Hopefully our handy guide has made you feel slightly more prepared about selling your house in Leicester. Following these simple tips will help your property to stand out – we’re confident that it will be swept off the market in no time. And if you’re buying a house in Leicester, these are all signs of a well-looked after property from a trustworthy buyer. 

If you need any support in all things property, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Contact us today by phoning 0116 243 7938 or emailing info@openhouseleicester.co.uk.   

If you’re interested in hearing more from the best estate agents in Leicester, be sure to check out our previous blog post, “Renting Through An Estate Agent: The Benefits”. 

private landlords leicester

Renting Through An Estate Agent | The Benefits

If you are looking for a house to rent, you might be faced with a tough but common question: should you rent through private landlords in Leicester or go through a letting agents in Leicester? Although there is not really a right or wrong answer to this question, there are certain advantages and disadvantages that should be taken into consideration when you are looking for houses to rent in Leicester. Here at Open House Estate Agents in Leicester, we are dedicated to helping you find the perfect house to suit your needs. As experts in the local area, we can talk you through all of the best places to live in Leicester, and ensure that you move into a property that is perfect for you and your lifestyle. There are many reasons that people choose to rent properties, with 4.44 million households occupied by private renters last year alone, but why should you choose to rent through an estate agent? 

Guaranteed professionalism

Moving house can be tough – financially, physically, and emotionally. With this in mind, having the compassion, friendliness and professionalism of an estate agent will make sure that you have an experience that is as seamless as possible. Standards across the property market can substantially differ from landlord to landlord, and it is tricky to know in advance what a landlord is going to be like. With no official review sites to help you decide which landlord is ideal for you, it is easy to end up living in a property that is owned by a landlord who doesn’t represent what you are looking for. 

Using an agent such as Open House Estate Agents in Leicester will guarantee you access to a professional that is available at all times. Our team is highly experienced in property lettings and property management services, and they have all of the information you need in order to find the right property to rent. We love what we do, which is why each and every tenant and prospective tenant is treated with the utmost professionalism. We are always on hand to answer questions, provide solutions, and resolve any issues, and we take pride in our honest and transparent approach when it comes to property lettings. 

Communication

Estate agents serve the public, which means they can be contacted almost all of the time. Private landlords may not necessarily be contactable at all times, and if you are unable to contact them, it is likely that there will be a delay in receiving answers or resolutions. Renting through an estate agent means that you will always have access to one of our agents who will be happy to help. Keeping up with regular communications is something that we are very good at here at our letting agents in Leicester. Should anything need fixing, or should you have a general question, you’ll be able to call us up and get things sorted without delay. In the event that we cannot be contacted on the phone ( if we are closed), you will always have the option to email our letting agents too, and, of course, we’ll pick up your query as soon as possible. 

Safety

We take pride in keeping our rental properties in Leicester safe and secure at all times. In order to do this, we conduct maintenance checks and will ensure that any required repairs are always carried out swiftly. Whilst a private landlord may try and charge you for house repairs, renting through a letting agent means you will always be clear on what charges you will and won’t be accountable for. Our landlord maintenance checks mean we’ll conduct checks and services on behalf of the landlord, making sure any problems like leaks or boiler breakdowns are not overlooked, and making sure you are renting and living in a safe property. 

Safe and Seamless Payment Processes 

When working with an estate agent, paying your rent has never been easier and more secure. We will have a designated account for your rent payments to go into monthly and the rest is all taken care of! That means you can rest easy knowing that your job is done once you have paid your rent into the account – no complicated admin required! 

Flexibility 

As one of the best estate agents in Leicester, we are flexible when it comes to our services. We represent both the tenant and the private landlord in Leicester too, so we have an honest and unbiased approach when it comes to property lettings. Whether the contract requires a bit of tweaking, the rent due date needs moving, or something else requires some tailoring to meet your requirements, we’ll do our very best to accommodate and keep both parties happy. Nothing is too much for our lettings team, so you can rest easy knowing we’ll always go the extra mile to keep your renting experience smooth, hassle-free, and enjoyable – as it should be! 

All The Benefits of Private Landlords In Leicester Too

Although opting for renting through a letting agent means you won’t necessarily be communicating directly with the landlord, rest assured that you will still reap all of the benefits that a private landlord in Leicester can offer. We take pride in only working with the best properties and private landlords in Leicester; our landlords care about their properties, which means that any work that is required from them is always completed, without delay. We take pride in establishing good relationships with all of our Leicester landlords so that we can make sure that renting a house in the area is always simple and enjoyable for all parties involved. 

Looking For Letting Agents In Leicester?

If you are looking for houses to rent in Leicester and would like to find out more about our Leicester letting agents, then head to our website today. Alternatively, you can contact us here or call 0116 243 7938 to speak to a member of our helpful and friendly lettings team.

If you have found this blog helpful, then you may wish to read our previous blog on The Leicester Property Market

leicester house prices

High Value Houses | Leicester House Prices

The property market is rapidly gaining traction after being at a virtual standstill for almost 12 months. The past year has been a difficult one for all of us, but now that a clear end is in sight, things are moving forward and there is a renewed interest in property for sale in Leicester. The property market is beginning to move more freely and so there are ongoing changes to Leicester house prices. 

Leicester house prices vary across the 7 council districts. Whether you live in Anstey, Birstall, Knighton or Syston, it is something that you will have definitely noticed. The price of your Leicester property is influenced by any number of factors, which we’ll get to in a minute, but there is also considerable variation on the street level. Something that surprises people is just how much Leicester house prices can vary on the same street!

Last year we sold a stunning, high value property. Equipped with 6 acres of land, stables, a swimming pool and countryside views, it went for £1.3 million and was featured in the Leicester Mercury. We have a wealth of experience in selling high value homes, which are becoming increasingly popular investments across the county as people want to make smart spending decisions and put down some roots. The high value property for sale in Leicester through Open House is the creme de la creme- whether you’re looking to buy or looking to sell, we have the properties and the experience that make it a stress-free, hassle-free experience. 

On that same street, a house sold for £220,000. That just goes to show that if you are looking to buy a house in Leicester, we really are the estate agents that can do it all. 

Leicester House Prices

Leicester house prices can vary dramatically across the city, and even across the same neighbourhood. Some factors which influence property prices include: 

  • Location: Is it close to the city centre? Are there good local schools nearby? Are there lots of employment opportunities? Is it near shopping or entertainment centres? 
  • Size and space: How big is the property? How many bedrooms does it have? How many bathrooms does it have? Does it have a lot of usable living space? Does it have any amenities that stand out, such as a hot tub or a large garden?
  • Age and condition: Is it a new build? Will it need lots of repairs and renovations? 
  • Leicester property market: Are there a lot of homes for sale at the moment? Are you purchasing or selling in a buyers market or a sellers market?
  • Economic considerations: Has COVID-19 affected the local economy? Has Brexit changed what people are buying? 
  • Other influencing factors include: crime, superstition, proximity to wind farms or power lines, high volumes of traffic, reputation for flooding and poor maintenance. 

Not only are these factors which influence Leicester house prices, but they are questions you should be asking yourself, whether you’re buying or selling. This is because these are the factors that determine what you’re looking for, if you’re buying, and how you should advertise, if you’re selling. 

At Open House estate agents, we’ve helped to buy and sell properties which answer all of these questions and more. Our approach to Leicester house prices is the same as any prospective buyers: we look at the features and the influencing factors, and price it accordingly, so that we can help to get it in front of the right people. 

We have a wealth of experience in selling both low and high value homes. Choosing us as your local estate agents means that you can take a weight off your shoulders and rest easy at night, with the knowledge that you are in safe, qualified hands. Our local knowledge is unmatched, and we have an in-depth knowledge of Leicester house prices, which means you’ll be getting the best service in the East Midlands. 

Property Value In Leicester

Leicester house prices are influenced by more than property-specific factors, as they are also affected by recent sales of nearby properties. If the house next door was sold recently, that could help to determine how much your house will sell for. This is why property valuation in Leicester is so important. 

Our property valuation service is in-person, to provide a relevant and realistic estimate price that can help you plan for the future. While some estate agents provide online valuations, it’s something we have to advise against- they’re often inaccurate, leading to false hopes and wasted time. 

A professional property valuation service about getting the best price for your property. This is great for the buyer, because it means that you are getting the price that you deserve, and for the seller, as it means that you’re not overpaying. 

Our in-house valuation service is a streamlined process. An experienced valuer will visit your property at an agreed upon time and date, to take a realistic view of your property. This includes assessing the house and taking into account some of the influencing factors that we’ve already covered. This allows us to provide a guide asking price, which you can use to manage your expectations and calculate your budget for your next Leicester property purchase. 

We strongly recommend a property valuation- for all properties, but especially for high value properties in Leicester. 

Negotiating Leicester House Prices With Open House

If you’re buying a house in Leicester, or selling a house in Leicester, and looking for a reliable, local estate agent with a reputation for excellence and an unmatched understanding of the local area, then you’re in the right place. Open House estate agents have a wealth of experience and expertise in helping people to sell or let their property, quickly and for a good price. With a dedicated personal agent, negotiating Leicester house prices when buying and selling property has never been easier.

If you’re interested in our services, or would like to hear more about exactly what Open House can do for you, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Contact us today by phoning 0116 243 7938 or emailing info@openhouseleicester.co.uk. A member of our friendly, client-first team would be happy to help, advise and guide as needed.  

And if you’ve found this blog interesting, why not look at our previous blog post “Looking For A House Valuation In Leicester? Here’s How You Can Increase House Value”. 

house valuation Leicester

Looking For A House Valuation In Leicester? Here’s How You Can Increase House Value

You might be considering looking to sell your property in Leicester soon, or you could just be exploring the options, but no matter what, it pays to be able to know how to increase your house value. At Open House Estate Agents in Leicester, we offer a specialised house valuation service in Leicester, conducted by local property experts who truly understand the housing market in and around the area. As local estate agents, we can provide you with an accurate understanding of the value of your home, and provide you with all of the knowledge and advice you need when it comes to selling your house in Leicester. With plenty of experience under our belts, we know exactly what it takes to truly make your house shine and stand out from other properties for sale in Leicester.

If you want to work your way up the property ladder, knowing how to add value to your property is crucial. Although large renovation projects might seem like the most obvious choice when it comes to increasing the house value, in fact, there are plenty of basic structural and cosmetic repairs that can also be made. 

Addressing Structural Issues In Your Home

Structural issues will always have a huge impact on the value of your home, so before you arrange an official valuation for your Leicester property, if possible you should address these issues as a priority.

Many people make the mistake of glazing over the issues with some cosmetic improvements or internal work such as fitting a new bathroom or kitchen. However, structural issues will always end up causing further problems down the line, so although they are likely to be one of the most costly fixes, they are essential to fix. 

Examples of structural problems in your home could be: 

  • Leaking or sagging roof 
  • Damp
  • Collapsed floor slabs
  • Broken or missing roof tiles 
  • Bowing walls 
  • Structural wall cracks 

Calling in a builder, structural engineer, or a surveyor is advisable if you would like to determine any major structural issues that should be fixed.

Installing A New Heating System

If someone is looking for houses for sale in Leicester or indeed anywhere else, they are going to be looking for unique selling points that make a particular house stand out from the rest. With this in mind, updating the central heating system is a great way to increase property value and give your property a unique selling point (USP). Often older houses either have no central heating system at all, or they have an old-fashioned one. By updating the system to a modern one, you can help to improve the general efficiency of the property. 

Whilst installing a new heating system, you should ensure the boiler and radiators are in good working order. If you are looking to add some further USPs to your property, looking at underfloor heating systems and heated towel rails may also be something to consider. 

Rewiring Your Property

Before you complete any cosmetic improvements, updating aspects such as the wiring and plumbing of your property beforehand is essential. 

Updating the electrics is even more important if the house has not been rewired for a long time. You should be able to determine whether this is the case by looking at the meter. If the electrical meter has an old fuse box, it is likely the house requires rewiring and is in need of a modern consumer unit with a Residual Circuit Device (RSD) for safety reasons. You should also look at adding extra sockets in rooms that are scarce with them. A room with plenty of sockets means that the furnished layout is flexible, making the house much more appealing to prospective buyers. During the rewiring stage, you could also update any lighting and extractor fans for bathrooms. 

Plumbing systems should also be looked at too, as old pipework can become corroded, and as a result, impact the hot and cold water flow, and lead to burst pipes. Pressurised plumbing systems are often favoured over gravity-fed ones as they eliminate the need for header tanks. As a result, freeing up much more space and promising good pressure for both hot and cold water supply. 

Loft Conversions 

Loft conversions typically cost around £500-600 per m2, and usually make fantastic investments due to adding at least one more room to the property. Although you will also need to consider making room for a staircase, a loft conversion certainly adds more space than it takes away. To truly enhance the space, you can add in roof lights and dormer windows. Loft conversions add an element of authenticity to a property and are a great way to work with the space you have already got.

Decorating 

Decorating your home is certainly going to be one of the most obvious routes you can take when it comes to adding value to your property. However, it should all be done in due course, and only considered once the above aspects have been addressed first. 

Typical defects that can and should be resolved include: 

  • Peeling paint
  • Broken door latches
  • Lifting flooring 
  • Creaky stairs 
  • Mouldy sealants
  • Sticking doors and windows
  • Dripping taps 

Alongside resolving any of these issues, you could also look at ways to freshen up the bathrooms and kitchens – this could be through the fitting of new tiles, flooring, shower screens, and blinds. 

Small defects won’t necessarily affect your property valuation, however they can let your property down in the eyes of your potential buyers – especially if your property is up against a property that doesn’t have these superficial defects. Defects can also be a reason to ask for a lower buying price. As part of our Leicester property valuation service, we will make any recommendations that we think will add value to your home. 

Showcasing Original Features 

Take a look at your building’s origins and its construction to determine the original features that the house already holds. 

Some features worth considering include:

  • Original fireplaces
  • Stair banisters and handrails
  • Period-style windows
  • Panelled doors 
  • Timber beams 

Many houses lose potential by not exhibiting these original features in the right way. However with a bit of restoration or replacement work, you can increase your property’s value significantly.

Leicester House Valuation Services

If you are looking for a house valuation in Leicester, then look no further than your local estate agents, Open House. We offer a free house valuation for all Leicester properties, so you can determine the value of your property and how you can improve it. 

If you would like to find out more about our property valuation services, or our landlord services, then head to our website today. Alternatively, you can call 0116 243 7938 to speak to a member of our helpful and friendly team.

If you have found this blog helpful, then you may wish to read our previous blog on Landlord Services: Keeping Your Maintenance Costs Down Low.

landlord services

Landlord Services | Keeping Your Maintenance Costs Low

When it comes to letting a property, it can sometimes be tricky for you as a landlord to find the perfect balance between minimising your maintenance costs, and keeping your property in the best condition. Neglecting property maintenance will never pay off in the long-run, so you should try and establish ways to save money on the upkeep of your property. 

Here at Open House, as one of the leading letting agents in Leicester, we can help. With our landlord services in Leicester, we can support you with property management and make property investment as easy as possible. We are experts when it comes to rental property management, which is why we have compiled a list of key aspects to consider when providing landlord services in Leicester.  

Property Surveying 

As tempting as it may be to skip the surveying part once an attractive buy-to-let property has caught your eye, it is essential to get your property professionally surveyed before you purchase it. It is also worth taking some time to choose the right surveyor for your property. 

To begin with, they need to be accredited by RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors), but you should also be able to view their portfolio in order to get a good understanding of their experience. Your property could be a listed building, or have some unique features that can make surveying that little bit more complex. With this in mind, it could be beneficial to find a surveyor who specialises in specific areas that are relevant to the property you are looking to buy. As a result, giving you peace of mind that your property survey is being completed to the highest of standards by someone with a wealth of knowledge and experience. 

By arranging a survey before you buy any houses for sale in Leicester, you can ensure you won’t be faced with any surprise costly maintenance issues in the future once you have committed to the sale. 

For existing landlords, a house survey from time-to-time would also be beneficial. With a professional house survey, you can make sure you are keeping on top of any issues that could become costly further down the line. 

Choosing The Right Tenants 

Choosing the best tenants for your Leicester lettings can be the difference between having lots or little property maintenance costs. Looking for tenants can sometimes be a tricky and lengthy process, especially when you have other aspects of your buy-to-let business to focus on too. Instead of focusing on choosing the right tenant, why not look for the best letting agents in Leicester to work with? 

At Open House Leicester, we are proud to go the extra mile when it comes to our landlord services. When you work with us, as part of our landlord support services, we make sure to vet all prospective renters in a fair-for-all manner. You and your property are our priority, so we will make sure that any one who is looking at your property to rent in Leicester ticks all the right boxes. 

We want your tenants to be happy in their property and at the same time, we want you to be happy with your tenants. In order to achieve this, we’ll make sure to carry out all of the checks needed, alongside asking and answering any questions to determine whether or not your rental property and the prospective tenant are a good match. 

Full Property Inventories

Whether you decide to offer a furnished or unfurnished property, it makes sense to ensure you know exactly what state your property is in before your tenants move in. As part of our rental property management services, we arrange professional property inventories through an independent inventory company. The inventory will establish in detail the exact condition of the property when first let, which will then be signed by both the landlord and the tenant. 

Property inventories are an important part of our landlord property management services as they future-proof any disputes that could take place over potential damage at the end of the tenancy. With a signed inventory agreement to refer back to, tenants will always be much more careful in regards to looking after the property.

Throughout the tenancy, we will use the same inventory expert to carry out interim inspections that will be compared to the original inventory. They will also complete the same checks at the very end of the tenancy too. As a result, you can stay on top of any damage or issues and resolve them early on. This can help to reduce the financial costs to you. 

Making Maintenance Easy

As leading experts in property management, Open House estate agents in Leicester want to ensure that both the landlord and the tenant contribute to keeping the property in good shape, which should be the responsibility of everyone involved.

In order for tenants to keep your property well looked after, why not make it as easy as possible for them? For example, keeping the gardens as low-maintenance as possible means that you are less likely to have to pay for a huge clean-up job at the end of the tenancy. By planting shrubs or other easy-to-care-for plants, and minimising the amount of lawn, you can keep garden maintenance as simple as possible and avoid any costly garden maintenance fees once the tenancy has ended. 

Acting Quickly

Putting off inevitable repairs can be tempting when the tenant first raises the issue. However, not acting quickly can often lead to a bigger problem than what it originally was, which can be more expensive to fix too. With a quick-fix attitude, you can address every issue in a fast, efficient, and proactive manner, saving you money in the long-run and keeping your tenants happy. 

Landlord Services

When you let a property, there are lots of different aspects that need to be covered. Our property management services are perfect for landlords who would like to have the rental income, but do not have the time to deal with the administrative and tenant sides of letting a property. 

With our landlord services in Leicester, we’ll take care of all of the financial matters such as deposit handling, rent collection, chasing arrears, issuing notices, dealing with evictions, addressing maintenance issues, emergency problems, and even lost keys. We’ll also be in charge of arranging tenant house inspections too. Landlord services truly take the stress out of letting a property so you can save time and energy and get back to what’s really important to you and your family. 

Contact Us Today

If you would like to find out more about our landlord services then get in touch today. Alternatively, you can call 0116 243 7938 to speak to a member of our helpful and friendly team. If you have found this blog helpful, then you may wish to read our previous blog on House Auctions in Leicester

2020 Roundup Of The Property Market

As we begin to approach the end of a tumultuous 2020, there is plenty to look back on when it comes to this year’s property market. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has driven plenty of changes across all sectors and the UK housing market is no exception. National and local lockdowns are continuing to induce many lifestyle adjustments and this has certainly had an impact on the performance of the current property sector in the country.

Stamp Duty Holiday: What Does It Mean For The Property Market?

The housing market has certainly demonstrated some strength this year, and the stamp duty relief is undoubtedly part of the driving force behind this. The Government announced a nine-month stamp duty holiday in July, with the threshold in England being raised to £500,000. 

This creates average savings of £4,500, providing promising opportunities for both first-time buyers and established buyers. Payable tax on homes of £500,000 or more has also been slashed by £15,000. 

As a result of this determination to reignite the UK property market, there has actually been a nationwide increase in the number of people buying a property. In fact, since July, there has been an increase in the number of buyers in every region in the UK, with London and the South East of England having particularly large increases. This is likely to be down to commuters willing to travel longer distances to work in return for large private gardens and more space to work from home. The number of first-time buyers is more than 40% higher year-on-year.

Higher Deposits For First-time Buyers 

The stamp duty holiday is mainly having a positive impact on the housing market. However, something to bear in mind if you are looking to buy a house is the amount that some lenders are willing to lend.

Before the pandemic, most first-time buyers could secure a 90%-95% mortgage, but many lenders are now reducing these figures to 85%. As a result, house buyers are needing to find a 15% deposit, which actually can equate to much more than the savings they would be making on stamp duty relief. With this in mind, it’s important now more than ever to take your time when looking for a mortgage lender. 

House Prices Continuing To Surge 

Although we are now officially in a recession, house prices are continuing to rise and in fact have hit a new record high, rising at the fastest rate in four years. Believed to be a knock-on effect of the stamp duty changes, house buying activity has spiked, leading to a boom in house prices in the UK. 

This month, the average asking price for a house is £324,000, up 5.5% from a year ago. However, it’s not just first-time buyers who are contributing to this surge. In fact, existing home-owners are more likely to be the reasoning behind this as they are able to invest in larger homes, with the help of the equity from their existing properties and of course the stamp duty holiday. 

2021 Property Market Predictions

It’s safe to say that so far, the UK property market is booming. However, unfortunately, that’s not related to the current economic situation. The UK officially entered a recession in August 2020, which means there has not been enough time for the full effects of this to manifest themselves. The current stamp duty holiday will end in five months’ time, and it’s this that is currently propping up the surge in house sales and prices. 
With a looming rise in unemployment as a result of the pandemic, paired with first-time buyers finding it increasingly difficult to source low-deposit mortgages, a downfall in the UK property market next year does seem inevitable.

It will come as no surprise to us next year when this year’s economic climate begins to take its toll on the property sector. The factors mentioned above will contribute towards a slowing down of the 2021’s housing market and although the pandemic will not completely alter the rules of the cycle, they will certainly influence the direction it takes over the next 12 months at least. For now, providing the buyer demand continues to outrun supply, house prices will remain strong. 

Open House Leicester

If you are in a position to sell, buy, or let your property, we would recommend getting the ball rolling this year or early next year – before any dips in the market begin to take place.


Are you looking to let or buy property in Leicester? Open House Leicester can help you take advantage of the currently thriving property market. From free house valuations through to property consultancy services, we can help. As leading letting agents in Leicester, we’ll be sure to utilise our knowledge and years of experience to support you. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help.

house auction

A Guide To House Auctions Leicester

In recent news, the government gave estate agents the green light to re-open offices and commence property viewings, following strict social distancing rules to keep the property market moving. 

With this in mind, investors or people in the market for a new home may be wondering what has happened or will happen to popular property auctions.

Whether it’s your very first time using an auction service due to lockdown or you’re a bit of a pro at spotting a property investment, our team at Open House Leicester is up to date with everything you need to know about house auctions in Leicester. 

How Does It All Work?

Have a look at the leading Leicester auctions. They have transformed this typically ‘in person’ event to an online one where bids can be easily submitted by a range of options including telephone, by proxy or over the internet. These routes are entirely secure and confidential so you don’t need to worry about your personal information as it’s hidden away behind closed doors. 

If you’re not quite ready to invest yet, but want to keep an eye on the property market in Leicester, there is also an option to simply browse properties that are currently available. Most online property auctions should show previous auctions that have taken place in recent weeks so you can see how they work.

Buying Or Selling 

This may be your first time attending an auction and even if you had thought about it before, you probably didn’t expect to do it online. The good news is that our team at Open House Leicester can advise you on what to look out for and how to approach auctions if this is something you’re considering. 

There’s no reason why you can’t simply watch as a bystander for the first time or even a few times to get a feel of how it all works as this kind of thing would usually happen at a physical event anyway. 

Alternatively, you may be wishing to list your own property via an online auction and the advice we’ve given above applies just as much here too. Take your time and see how it all works but if there’s anything you’re unsure of, we can help. You may have questions about putting your property up at the right price and what the pros and cons are of auctions. 

Using an online auction can provide security for sellers to help keep the property market moving in Leicester as investors or buyers will always be in attendance ready to seal a deal.

How Can Open House Leicester Help You?

Selling your property or buying a new one can be an overwhelming process but we’re here to ease some of that pressure. We’re also fully up to date with government guidelines on Coronavirus and what this means for the property market so we will advise you in the best way possible, whatever your property situation.

If you have any questions as to how we’re operating during Coronavirus or to find out more about how Open House Leicester can help you with your property needs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by either emailing info@openhouseleicester.co.uk or calling 0116 243 7938.

housing market

COVID-19: Housing Market Given The Key To Open

Following a significant update from the Government in recent days, the housing market has been given the go-ahead to reopen, but resuming business is by no means normal. Technically, estate agents are still seen as a non-essential business so we wanted to let our customers, landlords and tenants know about the measures we have put in place if there is a property you are keen to progress with. 

Our organisation of Coronavirus-friendly agents at Open House Leicester are following strict guidelines when it comes to property valuations, viewings and maintaining social distancing. We are enforcing these effective immediately and to provide clarity on any uncertainties, we’ve created this simple guide to explain it in detail, giving you peace of mind before you either list a property or see one. 

It’s not the traditional way of showing a property, whether it’s an office space or a house, but virtual viewings are taking precedence and understandably so. Despite this, face-to-face viewings can also still take place and there are some different rules we can apply depending on the circumstances of the property.

Vacant Property Viewings

If the property is completely vacant, then we will carry out single-person viewings to avoid multiple people in one space regardless of how big it is. We want to enforce this upfront so even if that means we carry out a few more viewings at different times or days, we feel more comfortable taking these steps to ensure everyone’s safety. 

In doing so, we will ensure that the agent is not in the same room as those viewing at any one time and as much of the conversation as possible will take place outside of the house or followed up with over the phone. By limiting this physical contact, but still being able to maintain a conversation with the interested parties means we are able to carry out our service as best as we can. It also gives a chance to keep the lines of communication going through follow up calls or emails.

Should an occasion arise where we need to carry out multiple viewings in one block, we only do this if there is definitely no other solution and viewings will be limited to 10 minutes per person. A representative will still accompany each viewing and maintain the social distancing measures we have in place. 

If a person shows up early for their viewing, we will politely ask them to wait outside for their turn. Obviously this is less than ideal for all involved, but we would like to emphasise that everyone’s health and safety is our top priority during this time. 

Finally, we will carry out any viewings at times of the day that avoid commuter times to help others perhaps travelling by public transport to ease their journey to the viewing. 

Occupied Property Viewings

However, if you would like to list your property on the housing market and make it available for viewings, we can assist you in carrying out a virtual viewing, which will be done by a representative of our team. We understand that you may be working from home during this time and/or not be able to vacate your property in order for us to carry out a viewing, which is why we’re fully equipped to help you set up a video tour of your property and provide guidance on how we can capture enough detail for a virtual viewing that will accompany your listing. 

In order to obtain the footage, one agent will come to your property and film the key areas while all members of the household wait in the garden space if this is possible. Another way we can do this if there is no garden space is to have members of the household either upstairs while filming takes place downstairs and vice versa. We’ll use this opportunity to collect video footage and photographs so we have everything we need in one go. 

For any communication about the property that needs to be discussed while the agent and occupiers are present, this can, of course, be done at a 2m distance. As mentioned above, any filming or photography that needs to be done will be captured outside of busy rush hours to help with social distancing in the city. 

Finally, when it comes to the actual property viewing, tenants will obviously be made of aware of this well in advance and will be kindly asked to leave all doors open and lights on so the need to touch anything within the property will be removed. We will also ask that all viewers come equipped with a mask, gloves and hand sanitiser for their own protection as well as the occupants’ protection.

Property Valuations

Our very own qualified Managing Director, Rahul Jain, will personally carry out all property valuations single-handedly to avoid any need for personal contact. Getting your property listed may be something that’s been on your mind for some time and we can help you with this. 

Rahul will take the time to get a great feel for your needs and can provide an honest and reflective price of your property. He can also answer any questions you may have about the property market and what this means post-COVID-19.

How Can Open House Leicester Help You?

We think we can all agree that every day brings new updates when it comes to Coronavirus, so it’s hard to keep up with all the changes, especially when it comes to the property and housing market. 

It may not be realised by everyone that the property industry and estate agents such as ourselves are still able to operate as normally as possible, given that we abide by the Government’s guidelines, implement social distancing rules and keep as many aspects of our roles online as possible. 

Even our photographers, EPC assessors and other third parties are still able to carry out their work so there really isn’t anything stopping us from keeping the housing market flowing.

If you have any questions as to how we’re operating during Coronavrisu or to find out more about how Open House Leicester can help you with your property needs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by either emailing info@openhouseleicester.co.uk or calling 0116 243 7938.

leicester property market

How Has Coronavirus Affected The Leicester Property Market?

How has Coronavirus affected the Leicester property market? This is probably just one of many questions landlords, investors, homeowners and home sellers might have. What we know so far is that the Leicester property market has come to a bit of a standstill since the lockdown unless the move is a truly necessary one for people. 

But what this doesn’t mean is that any ambitions in Leicester have to move, buy or sell should be put to one side. All we have to do is adapt. We consider ourselves as an insightful and the best property portal, so we’ve broken down this blog into the core concerns that people in Leicester are likely to be facing, depending on their current property situation.

Landlords

There’s been a lot of talk about ‘renter’s rights’ vs. ‘landlord’s rights’ and the truth is that both of these very much still apply. Landlords, whether you’re an avid investor or this is your first rental property, you may be faced with tenants who are struggling to pay rent due to financial constraints or existing tenants are moving back in with family members in their home to continue to self-isolate. It may even be as simple as they are relocating. But what does this mean for you as a landlord? 

Continue to consult your letting agent so they can advise and act on your behalf. If you act independently or privately to manage the property then see what kind of agreement you can come to with the tenants for a fair termination to any tenancy agreements. 

If you have a house to let, getting your property sites back on the market for other renters to accommodate is still very much possible with properties being added to the Leicester property market and filled with new tenants. This may also be a good time to review the property, tidy up any DIY tasks or snags that need fixing so that it’s ready to be put back on the market. It’s also worth getting a guide on whether the value of your rental property is getting the maximum benefit. 

Homebuyers

Are you part of a chain, a first-time buyer, looking to downsize or trying to find that perfect family home? You may feel put off buying a property and this is completely normal under the circumstances. These are some of the most common situations we come across when speaking to home buyers but they still apply now. 

While the Government has strongly advised that moving house should be put on hold until COVID-19 lockdown restrictions can be lifted, there will be houses for sale in Leicester or homes that need to complete in weeks and months to come so hang on in there. Your move will still take place, it’s just a bit delayed. 

Use this time to get everything in order so you’re ready to exchange when the big day comes. Make sure all surveys and reports are booked in if they haven’t taken place already and your solicitors have been instructed. If there are any changes to your financial circumstances, be sure to notify your agreed mortgage provider and check whether they have any of their own updates that you need to be aware of. We have plenty of local network links that we can call on to give you some advice.

Home Sellers

If you have a property for sale, you might be concerned that people are not looking for houses at the moment, but research might suggest the opposite so keep your home listed online. As we’re spending more time at home or on the computer, searches are expected to increase because people are thinking ahead if a move is still in mind. 

If for any reason, a sale has fallen through that was originally agreed prior to COVID-19’s lockdown, then remain positive that your house has shown interest. Circumstances may change in the coming weeks or months and there will be other homebuyers out there.

Why not also use this downtime to make sure all of your admin is in order? It’s important that any photography you have is up to date or better yet, include a virtual tour of your property to really stand out. This gives the prospective buyer a brilliant idea of the house and it’s the closest they will get at the moment to seeing the property so make sure every room is covered internally but also driveways, garages and gardens externally to give a full picture. 

There are only things such as having an idea of which solicitors you want in place, getting an updated energy performance certificate (EPC) or booking in gas safety checks – we can still help with all of these things. As soon as things pick up again, everyone will be busy so try and get ahead if you can!

What Does The Future Of The Leicester Property Market Look Like?

It’s simply too early to tell whether the property market will slump or rise and every region or circumstance will be different. Official statistics on the impact pre-COVID-19 lockdown have yet to be released so don’t take every headline in the news as a cause for concern as these are forecasts and predictions only.

As the situation progresses, we’ll be updating our website and blog with the latest information on how Coronavirus impacts the Leicester property market as well as the relevant advice you need to make informed decisions. 

As one of the best property websites, Open House Leicester operates in and around the city centre and is still fully contactable. We’re committed to you and your property whether you’re a landlord, tenant, homeowner or buyer so if you need any advice, please feel free to get in touch.

renting in leicester

Renting in Leicester: Answers To Your Lockdown Questions

Fed up not being able to find the right information for your current rental situation? Our team at Open House Leicester has put together a list of answers to your COVID-19 lockdown questions about renting in Leicester. We have also provided everything you need to know and where else to look for accurate and up to date information. More importantly, we’ve made it specific to the current situation here in Leicester because we understand your concerns.

In recent weeks, we’ve had enquiries from our customers seeking relevant and honest information about how the Coronavirus lockdown affects their current rental scenario. In response, we’ve rounded these up to share with you just in case there’s something you haven’t thought of or your circumstances have changed.

Renting In Leicester: Commonly Asked Questions 

We’ve listed a few commonly asked questions and answers when it comes to rental agreements, payments, landlords and sources of information.

Rental Agreements

I’m in a rental property and my tenancy agreement is coming to an end during the lockdown. What should I do?

Ask your landlord or your estate agents whether a month-by-month agreement or a short-term let, such as a 3-month agreement, is possible if you don’t want to commit to a new long-term tenancy agreement on your home. 

As you’re already a resident in that property, the landlord should trust you and it’s in their interest to keep the property occupied too. This is especially if the landlord is aware that no one else will be looking to move during the Coronavirus lockdown period.  

I need to move house soon. Will this be possible?

Renters should, as far as possible, delay moving to a new home while emergency measures are in place to fight the spread of Coronavirus. 

If you do need to move, adhere to the general rules of Coronavirus’ guidelines, such as enforcing social distancing and only going out for essential grocery shopping and medication, working and exercise.

Rental Payments

What should I do if I’m struggling to pay my rent?

Unfortunately, there are no exclusions here as you’ve signed a legally binding contract. Therefore, tenants are still required to pay their rent as normal. However, support has been made available through the Government’s Emergency Coronavirus Bill, which was announced in March. 

Approximately, £1billion has been made available to support renters by increasing the generosity of housing benefit and Universal Credit. This means that the Local Housing Allowance will cover at least 30% of market rents in your area. 

What’s more, Statutory Sick Pay has also been made more accessible with claimants able to receive sick pay from day one of being off work due to Coronavirus symptoms or if you are isolating due to a family member having symptoms. These extra sources of funding or support can help contribute to your rent. 

If you are still struggling despite these efforts or for any reason you are unable to access these sources of funding, it’s advised that you speak to your landlord or letting agent as soon as possible. After all, we’re in this together so hopefully, something can be sorted. 

Landlords

 My landlord wants the property back. What are my options?

Of course, it is their right to have their property back but there are two significant changes that have been implemented by the Government in relation to evictions. 

The first applies to any eviction notices that were put forward to the tenant prior to 26th March. These have now been extended for a further 90 days so this buys you a bit more time. 

The second applies to any landlords who attempt to evict tenants after the 26th March. These cannot be processed for three months (with courts) with an increase on the standard two months. 

Trusted Sources 

Where shall I look online for trustworthy information?

We urge you only to follow guidelines released by the Government, which clearly state the rules and regulations around renting during lockdown. As your letting agent, we also refer to this and break down some of the information to give you exactly what you need to know. 

For more information, visit the dedicated Government’s COVID-19 renters guidelines.

How Can Open House Leicester Help You?

There is no doubt a lot of people who are feeling anxious about the current Coronavirus situation and confused with regards to what it means for their rental agreements. The team at Open House Leicester hope that we have answered your questions about renting in Leicester during Coronavirus.

However, if you still need further information or advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us today by calling 0116 243 7938 or emailing info@openhouseleicester.co.uk.