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First time buyers make an impact…


Published: 02/11/2018   Last Updated: 02/11/2018 12:47:31   Author: Paula Dyer    Tags: For Sale, Sold, Poperty Market, First Time Buyers, Household Income, Hazelwoods, Sutton Coldfield, E

First time buyers make an impact…

DID YOU KNOW.... The average first-time buyer is 30 years of age and has a gross household income of £42,000?

Data provided by UK Finance also shows that the average homemover is aged 39 and has a gross household income of £57,000!

According to the data, during the month of August 2018, there were 35,500 new first-time buyer mortgages completed which is a 2% rise against the same month last year!

38,000 new homemover mortgages were completed in the same month, some 2.3% fewer than those a year earlier showing that it really is the first time buyers driving the market, but if homemovers’ are going down where have you all gone to?

Jackie Bennett, Director of Mortgages at UK Finance, said: “Overall house purchase completions remain stable, driven largely by the number of first-time buyers which reached its highest monthly level since June 2017.Buy to Let remortgaging saw relatively strong growth in August, due in part to the number of two year fixed deals coming to an end. This suggests that while new purchases in the buy-to-let market continue to be impacted by recent tax and regulatory changes, many existing landlords remain committed to the market.
However, the homeowner remortgaging market has softened slightly, reflecting the many borrowers who had already locked into attractive deals in the months preceding the Bank of England’s base rate rise.”

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, says: "First-time buyers really are proving to be the lifeblood of the housing market, responsible for keeping the number of overall house purchase completions at a stable level. Lenders continue to offer competitively-priced high loan-to-value products to attract them and with property prices softening in some areas, there are good opportunities for those trying to get on the ladder for the first time.
Buy-to-let remortgaging remains strong as a core of experienced landlords remain committed to the sector, despite recent tax and regulatory changes. Lenders remain keen to lend and product innovation continues. The Chancellor should leave the sector well alone in the Budget and give it time to recover from the onslaught it has been on the receiving end of in recent times."

Overall, we can see that it is first-time buyers that are boosting the whole sector – the stamp duty freeze and help to buy obviously having an impact.

We await with interest to see what the Government have planned when help to buy comes to an end.

Hopefully a review of Stamp Duty altogether… and an incentive for First Time Buyers to purchase previously owned properties perhaps?

Let us know your thoughts.

Team Hazelwoods x

Five things that can ruin a property transaction


Published: 30/10/2018   Last Updated: 30/10/2018 11:05:04   Tags: Estate Agents, Sutton Coldfield, Hazelwoods, For Sale, Sold, Under Offer, Property Sales, Sutton Col

Five things that can ruin a property transaction

Buying or selling a house is one of the most stressful things you will do in life, with many house hunters arguing that it’s worse than planning a wedding, finding a new job or even being made redundant.

1.Buyer’s remorse

The fatal floor in the way we sell houses throughout England is obvious… Once someone decides to buy a property, there’s nothing stopping them from pulling out further down the line. Scary stuff!

If this happens, everyone in the chain is affected, and the sale could fall through. Although there is nothing to stop this happening, it is worth asking your estate agent for their views on the mindset of the seller, to help you understand the likelihood of them seeing the purchase through but sometimes even with the best will in the world if a buyer pulls out at the bottom of the chain there is nothing that can be done.

How to avoid this:

In reality no matter how much you check, check and check again on the chain, life happens and things change. Your buyer may lose their job or just simply change their mind. However, to try and avoid anything that is in your control, be an accommodating seller. If your buyer wants to come over again to measure up, bring over family and friends or simply just pop over and meet you try and make sure you can do this and keep there excitement going. As a buyer, don’t be too pushy and remember that this could be a big move for them, a divorce, a death or the sale of a much loved family home. Moving is not easy!


Solicitors are integral to any property transaction, and it’s important you instruct someone you can trust – but if any of the solicitors in the chain are slow, the whole sale can be drawn-out. 

How to avoid this:

Listen to your estate agent, they will be recommending a solicitor for a reason. Someone who works well with them, if they are informed then you will feel more informed too.

Ensure you’re being as efficient as possible yourself and aren’t sitting on documents for too long. Although you can’t control how quickly or slowly things are moving up and down the chain, you should make sure things are continuously moving at your end.


This is when a seller finds a buyer willing to pay more money after your offer has been accepted. It can happen at any time before the contracts have been exchanged and leave buyers without a home to purchase. Although this is mostly price-driven, it can sometimes be triggered by other frustrations caused by delays or issues. 

How to avoid this:

To try and avoid being gazumped, ensure you have a mortgage in principle agreed before you make your offer, a solicitor ready to go, and all the relevant documentation in place so that you are demonstrating your commitment to the transaction. 

Make sure you are also clear with the estate agent dealing with the transaction that all viewings have been stopped and that the property has been taken off the market!

4.Delays in the chain

Unless you’re a first-time buyer, it’s unlikely your property is chain-free, and with so many parties involved, it’s important you’re doing what you can to keep the transaction moving. 

How to avoid delays:

Simple things like missing a call from your solicitor, or not sending back paperwork in a timely manner can hold up the chain and frustrate your buyer and seller. Accept that normal life may need to take a back seat until you have exchanged contracts, and make sure you’re fully contactable – even if you’re on holiday!

5.Small disputes

Emotions run high when you’re buying or selling a home, and those involved in transactions often find themselves squabbling over small issues. It is important to instruct a good survey and take the findings of that seriously; for example, if there’s a damp problem in the roof, it’ll cost you money to fix in the future, so you may want to negotiate money off your offer. However, there are some issues which don’t require such negotiations such as white goods, fixtures and fittings. In the grand scheme of things, you may not want them to leave their washing machine behind, but you can take it to the dump yourself, and engaging in a dispute could cost you the property.

How to avoid unnecessary tension and disputes:

No matter how tempting it is, do NOT swap telephone numbers! What can start off a nice rosy relationship can quickly turn sour when the pressure naturally increases throughout the transaction.

How can I make my offer stand out?


Published: 10/07/2018   Last Updated: 10/07/2018 14:35:21   Author: Harriet Butler    Tags: Hazelwoods, Sutton Coldfield, For Sale, Sold, Buying, Estate Agents, Offers, Buyers,

How can I make my offer stand out?

Buying a property is exciting but many find that putting an offer in is truly nerve racking.

  • Where should I pitch my first offer?
  • Other people have offered too, so how can I make my offer stand out from the crowd?
  • How can I convey my commitment to a vendor when I know my offer is low?
This is just some of questions that are regularly circling a buyers mind before making the call to the agent, so here are some TOP TIPS that might help…

1. Get your finances in order
There is nothing worse than a buyer who is half way round your house before admitting that they haven’t actually got a mortgage agreed in principle. Many banks have a waiting list for appointments taking around 10 days and believe it or not a vendor will not wait for you!
Most agents won’t even take a property off the market if this was the case.
Listen to the estate agents you are booking viewings with, it’s not always a big sales push to get you into their office, most of the time they are genuinely just trying to help. At Hazelwoods, we recommend two independent advisors so you have the freedom and flexibility to talk to them at your own convenience and without the pressure of being sat in the agents office, plus they may even find you a better rate than your bank saving you money long term.
What have you got to loose?

2. Make sure you are proceedable
Again, it can be frustrating when a vendor or agent will not let you view a property until you are sold but this is for your own good. The vendors will have spent time cleaning and tidying their house and have probably nipped out to give you space to look around their home. (The least you can do is be in a position to make an offer that they can act on)
Put the shoe on the other foot, someone views your property and needs to sell versus someone else who is ready to go? Who would you listen to?Don’t forget you can sometimes be cheekier with an offer if you are a first-time buyer or renting as you have no chain.

3. Be flexible
We all have very busy lives these days but only being able to view properties after 8:30pm in the evening is VERY unrealistic!
Not only will you be unlikely to find an agent or vendor to accommodate this but you will also struggle to find a house as most properties will sell to other more flexible buyers who have taken time out of their busy schedule to find their next home.

4. Be open
If you like a house then we beg you not to wonder around the property silently. The agent will be confused and pass this onto the vendor and if it is the vendor showing you around they may find this rude. Imagine that the next people to view the property take 5 minutes at the end of the viewing to explain what they like and thank the agent/vendor for their time. Trust us this will go down so much better.
P.S. A handshake goes a long way too!

5. Try and get the seller to like you
Buying a property isn’t about who the vendors like the most but when there are multiple offers on the table unfortunately this issue does raise it’s head.
Most people will not want to sell their property to the silent couple, the family who’s children ran around screaming and jumping on the furniture or even the people who brought their dog along to walk around the house too. (We have seen it all)
On the same note we also don’t recommend arriving with flowers and a home baked cake…
Be honest with your vendors, say hello and treat the house with respect. If you think there are multiple offers why not try writing a cover letter to go with your offer explaining who you are, why you love their property and how you can see your life there.

6. Show commitment
This is probably the biggest one after an offer has been accepted. Book a final viewing so you can measure up, instruct your solicitors and get those searches ordered quickly.

Most of all – HAVE FUN!
In recent surveys it was found that the majority of us move home every 7 years so enjoy it while you can!

- Hazelwoods x

First impressions: Make them count!


Published: 28/03/2018   Last Updated: 28/03/2018 10:57:02   Author: Michelle Roberts    Tags: First Impressions, For Sale, Estate Agents, Property, Sutton Coldfield, Viewings, Sold, Personal Tou

First impressions: Make them count!

Everyone knows that you don’t get a second chance at a first impression! The first impression that your house makes could be the For Sale board outside your house or your first image on Rightove but both are as important as the other! Your first impression is vital to secure viewings in the first week or your property will start to fall down the pile of options available to buyers.

  • Make sure your agents ‘For Sale’ board is tidy, clean and upright.
  • Make sure your photographs show your property off to it’s full potential. Instruct an estate agent that uses professional photography (like we do at Hazelwoods!
  • Take the estate agents advice – Our director Harriet is always on hand to give our clients tips and advice on how to use your furniture and space to impress your viewers! #toptips
Okay, so now you’ve got some viewings booked, make sure your home lives up to expectations and doesn’t disappoint! Buyers are normally just as excited to view your house as your are to let them in, so make sure you don’t let them down…

  • When they arrive at your house…
  • Make sure it looks loved and tidy. Prune the garden, touch up the paintwork, move the dustbins and sweep up the leaves.
  • When they walk through the door…
  • They want to be able to visualize their life there. Move any personal clutter like abandoned shoes and coats, personal photographs and general bits and bobs. #smellytrainers
  • When they are busy walking around…
  • Make sure your house is welcoming, well-lit and warm. You want viewers to imagine it as home so create an inviting and cosy environment.
  • The Big Impression…
  • The biggest impressions are made in the kitchen and bathrooms. An untidy or unclean kitchen/bathroom can be detrimental and leave a very negative lasting memory. A lick of fresh paint may only cost £50 but could cost you £5,000 off your asking price for a “Kitchen that needs replacing” as it looks a little tired. #thatonewiththedirtykitchen
Keep it fresh this spring!! - Fresh flowers never go amiss and keep your home looking fresh and looked after
Make the most of your homes curves and edges. Make your first impression a lasting and positive one! #offeraccepted #sold
Good Luck! – Team Hazelwoods x

Have you considered an ‘Open House’ to sell your property?


Published: 24/05/2017   Last Updated: 24/05/2017 12:24:13   Author: Harriet Butler    Tags: Open House, Open Day, For Sale, Sold, Sutton Coldfield, Asking Price, Hazelwoods, Estate Agents,

Have you considered an ‘Open House’ to sell your property?

Amongst estate agents and specifically in Sutton Coldfield there is much controversy around an ’Open House’. I have even heard some estate agents in Sutton say that they simply do not work..

I beg to differ…
At Hazelwoods we have had huge success hosting many ‘Open House’ events with houses selling for the asking price if not more. On average our vendors can expect to achieve 104% of their asking price!!

What is an ‘Open House’?
It is a form of mass marketing to create as much interest in your property as we can. The point is simple, the more buyers we can get through the door the more likely you are to get an offer.
As humans it is in our natural instinct to always want what we can’t have… the grass is always greener on the other side theory. Ideally you want 2-3 people walking around your house all at the same time, they can hear and see each other… this house must be great, why would everyone be hear otherwise.

The advantages of an ‘Open House’
• It is proven that you are more likely to get an offer from an ‘Open House’
• You are more likely to get a higher offer as people are taking the viewing seriously, the competition is obvious
• Visitors feel less pressure so will stay longer and look property as they are not alone
• Viewers will just turn up and give a property a chance that they may have originally discounted online

How to host a successful ‘Open House’
• Make sure that you agent is on board with the idea – The success of your ‘Open House’ hangs on the attitude of your agent, if they are positive you are half way there!
• Make sure that your agent will host your ‘Open House’ they are the experts!
• Pick a convenient time – At Hazelwoods we always go for a weekend, usually a Saturday
• Publicise the event – Think of it as a marketing campaign, make sure your agent does more than just stick it on Rightmove!
• Shoe Covers – We bring these with us at Hazelwoods. There is nothing worse than dirty shoes on cream carpets and they are so easy to slip on and off.
• Hide precious items and personal effects
• No refreshments – We always have a bowl of sweets to hand but drinks are no supplied. You do not want people lingering for the food and drink and what if they spill some… no, no, no! Keep it simple!

If you would like to know more about how to host a successful ‘Open House’ call me on 0121 294 6735 or email me;

Harriet Butler – Director.
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