With over 25 years’ experience in property, Phil Spencer has released a new mini-series – dedicated to answering your questions!
So, what questions were featured on our YouTube channel? What were the responses? Here’s a round-up of the best of Ask Phil.
We’ll be posting more episodes regularly! Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next one.
Ask Phil episode 1 – slow markets, responsibilities & property details
The very first of our YouTube mini-series featured a range of questions, from both buyers and sellers.
So, what did Phil respond? Let’s dig a little deeper…
‘Is now the right time to sell?’
Reports of a slow market leaves many sellers wondering if now is the time.
This was exactly the case with the asker of our first question. She wondered whether she should pull their property off the market until a later date, when the market picks up.
However, Phil advised not to read too much into the National House Price indexes. Many parts of the UK are polarised when it comes to property, so no two will sell the same way in different areas.
It might be a tough time due to slow market growth rates – but if you need to sell, you need to sell. There might not be any benefit to taking it off the market!
‘Which fence are you responsible for?’
Phil was asked about the details of being responsible for the fence ‘on the left of your property’. What exactly does this mean?
Phil’s understanding is that your responsible for the left-hand side of the fence, as viewed from the front.
However, this isn’t necessarily a universal rule. So, for anyone unsure, it’s best to speak to the solicitor you used when you bought the property. This way, you’ll have a definite answer; no room for doubt.
‘My full property is not in the title – what do I do?’
A recent home buyer asked Phil what to do after discovering her porch and garden were not included in the title.
The result? A hefty weight of extra, unexpected costs.
The responsibility of this falls entirely with the conveyancer solicitor. It appears there may have been an oversight.
Here – the advice is to get back in touch with your solicitor as soon as possible.
Issues such as these highlight the importance of getting a conveyancer. Get your solicitor quote below – for free.
Ask Phil episode 2 – renting before buying, small rooms & freehold vs. leasehold
Episode two featured a variety of property-related questions. Here’s a closer look at what these were and Phil’s responses.
‘Is renting before buying a costly mistake?’
One user had been advised by others that renting in an area before deciding whether to buy there would be an unnecessary expense.
But, what did Phil have to say on the matter?
There’s a little more to it than that. For example, can you afford to save for a house deposit while renting?
But, if you’re unfamiliar with an area, renting can be a good idea. After all, you want to know you’ll enjoy living somewhere before you part with a huge amount of cash.
‘How can we make our living room look bigger?’
Phil received a query from a family trying to sell. It explained that their living room was considered too small, and putting off potential buyers. They wondered if there were any ways around this?
Make the room feel bigger by taking a few things out. Decluttering can go a long way!
Also – lighting can make a huge difference to the look and feel of a space.
‘Leasehold or freehold?’
Should you buy a leasehold flat or a freehold house as a first-time buyer?
Time to weigh-in on the age-old freehold vs. leasehold debate!
A freehold house will offer more freedom, but you’ll be responsible for the entire property alone. Despite some flats having long leases, problems can arise when it comes to leasehold properties. You need to consider your individual situation and what’s best for you.
One tip from Phil: look for opportunities to add value. How can you make the property bigger and better? It’s likely this will be easier in a house than a flat. But, don’t rule out your options!
Ask Phil episode 3 – neighbours, exchange/completion & selling during Christmas
Here’s Phil answering round three of your property questions and queries!
‘Neighbour issues are causing me problems trying to sell my home. What can I do?’
The inability to access the side of the property was causing one seller huge problems – as potential buyers were being put off.
How can they resolve this?
This requires a discussion with the neighbours. Approach the issue carefully – hopefully a resolution can be found. A bit of negotiation can go a long way!
Remember to register any changes with the land registry.
‘Should you sell at Christmas?’
Should you sell towards the end of the year – or wait until January/February?
Christmas isn’t the busiest the time in the housing market, however this all depends on how keen you are to sell. Re-launching in spring can feel like a fresh start.
However, buyers will be able to see how many times a property has been taken off the market and put back on – which can be off-putting. So, it might be best to leave it on at the right price – with the help of the right agent.
‘What is the difference between exchange and completion?’
Many people are unsure of the exact differences between these two stages in the property-buying process.
So, unsurprisingly, Phil received a question about it!
Exchange of contracts details the first time the sale becomes legally binding. Contracts are signed and the buyer puts down a deposit.
Only after this, when all parties are tied in, can the date for completion day be set. This is when the buyer takes the keys and owns the house for themselves.
‘Should you add value or move home?’
Is investing in your property worth the money? Or, is it simply better to move?
This all comes down to whether adding value through property refurbishment will allow you to stay there longer or not.
There are both pros and cons to this – so you need to decide what’s the right option for you.
Do you have a question for Phil?
Clearly – Phil Spencer is here to solve your property woes! Whether you’re buying, renting or selling, if you have a question, head over to Move iQ’s Twitter and use the hashtag #AskPhilMoveiQ to get noticed. You might just find yourself in our next video!
To make sure you don’t miss it – subscribe to our YouTube channel. We post regular updates covering all things property!
Last Updated: July 19th, 2021