• Cedar House, Caen St, Braunton EX33 1AH

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Select one of the frequently asked questions below to learn more about buying, selling, and renting real estate. Also, begin to think about important things to consider when diving into your property search.

Question about selling

Can a home depreciate in value?

Over the last 40 years or so there has been an almost non-stop rise in property values reflected in part to a wish to own one’s home and a reasonably safe haven for your investment.

The market does go through good and bad periods but on balance it has proved to be a sound investment.

However keeping your home in good condition is always advisable and will ultimately ensure its saleability.

What is the best way to sell a house?

A majority of properties are marketed for sale by Private Treaty. In this format a price is put onto the sales particulars and the agent then seeks a buyer; this is probably the way you last bought and sold your home.

An alternative is for sale by Public Auction. Properties in need of improvement or building plots are the often sold this way. The agent gives a guide price on the particulars and unless it is sold prior to the auction date the property is sold with the hammer going down to the highest bidder in the auction room.

Or….and not very often a property is sold by formal tender. Here there is no guide price and it’s up to the buyer to make an offer to the agent in writing. On the appointed day the agent, seller and the seller’s solicitor will open up sealed envelopes which contain the offer, a signed contract and a cheque to the value of 10% of the offer price. Normally the highest bid secures the property and the exchange can take place immediately.

At James Benning we have sold properties in all these formats and can give advice as to the best way to market your property.

How much does it cost to sell my home?

Unfortunately there are a number of costs that have to be considered before deciding to move; some costs may not be due until completion itself. Normally this would include the estate agents commission and the solicitors’ fees.

We, at James Benning Estate Agents, generally charge a flat percentage rate + VAT of the selling price and is only paid on a successful sale at completion.

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a legal requirement. At James Benning we are able to do this for you.

Solicitors/conveyancer.By far and away most sellers and buyers will use a solicitor to carry out the conveyance or sale. It is best to get a quote before going ahead. At James Benning we are able to recommend a solicitor if need be.

As a seller you will need to pay for a local search, water and environmental search for the buyer. Your solicitor will advise the costs of this.

You may want to instruct a surveyor on the house you wish to buy. Again a ring around for quotes or we can give recommend local names that are RICS.

Moving costs must never be left out of the equation and can be a significant amount if the move is to the other side of the country or indeed abroad.

How long does it take to sell my home?

Every sale is different and depends to some extent on the number of people in the chain and how many people are requiring mortgages.

The house selling process hasn’t changed much in 40 years and on average it still takes between 8- 12 weeks before completion or the moving day. But maybe those weeks can be put to good use when clearing 10 years worth of build up in the attic!

Do I need an EPC?

Yes! It’s a legal requirement whether it’s for selling or renting; residential or commercial.

But there are exceptions. Listed properties and Park Homes do not require an EPC.

An EPC shows the energy efficiency of a property and where efficiencies can be made. An A rated property is the most efficient, G the least efficient. For more on EPCs click here.

What are searches?

Searches are requested from the Local Authority by your solicitor and show any planning matters, road developments etc that may affect the sale or purchase of property. Similarly with a water and environmental search it will show nearby water courses, contaminated land, risk of flooding etc.

When do I get a completion date?

Always at exchange of contracts. There is normally 2 weeks between an exchange of contracts and completion. Sometimes the exchange and completion occur the same day which is a little nerve racking and sometimes there might be a month or two delay but will never be open ended.

Other Terms

Easements: usually a right to enter someone else’s property/land/garden for the purpose of maintaining one’s own property, septic tank, accessing utility pipes and so on.

Restrictive covenants: usually limits or prohibits the use of a property. So for example no caravans may be parked on the drive or chickens permitted in the garden.

Will I need a survey?

In England you do not need to arrange a survey, but it is likely that the buyer will, and so a surveyor will arrange an appointment to visit you home. The five key things a surveyor will be looking for are problems with utilities, damp, cracking, problems with roofs, and timber defects. In addition, your buyer’s mortgage lender will organise a mortgage valuation to confirm that the property is worth the money being leant.

Questions about renting

We offer full management and introductory services. For a brochure please email or contact our office.

All tenants are referenced and deposits taken and held by the Deposit Protection Service (DPS).

We operate a Client Money Protection scheme: an insurance scheme that protects your deposit. And we are bound by the Property Ombudsman’s Code of Conduct.

Landlord and Tenant is an extremely complex part of the property market but if handled professionally and with care should not cause concern. We have been managing property in Braunton and the surrounding area for over 10 years and in that time have built up a well respected rapport between landlords and tenants.

Most questions revolve around… “what happens if……..”. So FAQs about renting would run to hundreds of pages and even then may not answer the question you asked.

We can call out and give you an assessment of your property, with no obligation, what it is likely to achieve and talk through the renting process.