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The selling/renting your UK property to move to the US thread

The selling/renting your UK property to move to the US thread

Old Sep 9th 2008, 6:16 pm
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Default The selling/renting your UK property to move to the US thread

Ok so there are several of us part-way through the immigration process at the moment who are having a hard time selling etc.

We can collect any tips and experiences here to try and keep each other encouraged while we are trying to wrap things up in the UK.

I'll start.

After 4 months on the market with only two offers (one we accepted but they pulled out, the other was a low offer that I since wish I'd accepted but didn't) I've finished my contract with the estate agent we were with and have another coming around tomorrow for a free valuation.

This one sounded very confident on the phone and does not tie you into a contract, but rather just wants two weeks notice for you to leave them. That appeals to me. They were all like "we don't believe in tieing you into a contract, if you aren't happy with the service you should just call us and tell us why" etc.

Hopefully we'll be back on the internet by the weekend ready for some viewings.
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Old Sep 9th 2008, 6:52 pm
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Default Re: The selling/renting your UK property to move to the US thread

The only general piece of advice I'd give is don't fall into the "I'm not going to give the house away" syndrome. I've seen this many times on this forum and often it seems to mean "my neighbour got x six months ago so I won't sell for less". Unfortunately, markets - especially this market - don't work like that.

Other than that, it's really tricky to give general advice, because so much depends on an individual's financial circumstances. How much equity do they have? Can the property cash flow if rented? Are you going to buy in the US immediately? (likely a bad move in much of the US right now...) etc etc.
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Old Sep 9th 2008, 7:03 pm
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Default Re: The selling/renting your UK property to move to the US thread

Not to mention the exchange rate

My plan is to price realistically, but as high as I think a valuer will wear (which essentially means what local estate agents will wear, as it turns out valuers often just ring round and ask them what it's worth).

Then I'm going to offer to pay 5% deposit for the buyer - some lenders will accept this. I hope that will attract those buyers with wages but low or no deposits.

Finally, I'll try to shave as much as I can off the cost of selling. Using an online EA should save me a grand or more, a cheap as chips HIP will save a couple of hundred (nobody reads them anyway), maybe a conveyancing factory rather than my regular solicitor for another few hundred and so on.

The object is to get as big an emigration pot as possible. If it really looks like we won't be able to sell, then it's renting. That's a game of making the mortgage payments as small as possible (extend the term to the max, possibly go interest only) and dig in for a few years. I don't fancy it though.
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Old Sep 9th 2008, 7:17 pm
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Default Re: The selling/renting your UK property to move to the US thread

Originally Posted by BritishGuy36 View Post
After 4 months on the market with only two offers (one we accepted but they pulled out, the other was a low offer that I since wish I'd accepted but didn't) I've finished my contract with the estate agent we were with and have another coming around tomorrow for a free valuation..
Reapproach the buyer if at all possible (that is what I'd try first and foremost) - or have they moved on and committed towards something else?
"Oh, they weren't serious" is what I hear a lot - well, they were serious enough to put in an offer.

Price & Condition is the determining factor of sucess or failure; a house generally sells itself.

I'd listen to what the other person has to say and compare it to what your previous person was saying to you all along... it may be that you were being told things which you didn't want to hear at the time. Curious, what were the reasons why you didn't renew with your previous person?
(Personally I wouldn't divulge anything about what previous offers were, if that topic comes up, just inform them that you had provisional interest but couldn't get meeting of the minds.)
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Old Sep 9th 2008, 8:20 pm
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Default Re: The selling/renting your UK property to move to the US thread

Originally Posted by chartreuse View Post
Not to mention the exchange rate

My plan is to price realistically, but as high as I think a valuer will wear (which essentially means what local estate agents will wear, as it turns out valuers often just ring round and ask them what it's worth).

Then I'm going to offer to pay 5% deposit for the buyer - some lenders will accept this. I hope that will attract those buyers with wages but low or no deposits.

Finally, I'll try to shave as much as I can off the cost of selling. Using an online EA should save me a grand or more, a cheap as chips HIP will save a couple of hundred (nobody reads them anyway), maybe a conveyancing factory rather than my regular solicitor for another few hundred and so on.

The object is to get as big an emigration pot as possible. If it really looks like we won't be able to sell, then it's renting. That's a game of making the mortgage payments as small as possible (extend the term to the max, possibly go interest only) and dig in for a few years. I don't fancy it though.
1. Hardly any mortgage companies accept 5% deposit paid by vendor. They used to if the seller was a builder. Some, like the Abbey, didn't want the lawyer to advise them if up to 5% incentives were paid but that's not the case any more.
2. Conveyancing factories ostensibly seem cheap compared to a high street lawyer. They're not. They reduce their fee to get you through the door and simply make up disbursements. Eg- acting for a mortgagee (i.e paying off your mortgage); charging for co-owners; large bank transfer fees; leasehold supplements etc etc. It's all just their fee. Try your local lawyer first and get a bottom line comnparison.
3. Some agents I know are so desperate they'll charge someone a few hundred quid up front just to put it on Right Move and no commission if it sells.
4. If you rent consider: income tax on the rent; capital gains tax when you do sell; advising your mortgagee, landlord (if any) and insurer; liabilities to put right things that go wrong; how easy it is to get someone out and how you're going to pay the mortgage whilst that happens etc.
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Old Sep 9th 2008, 8:29 pm
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Default Re: The selling/renting your UK property to move to the US thread

Originally Posted by Martin Brown View Post
1. Hardly any mortgage companies accept 5% deposit paid by vendor. They used to if the seller was a builder. Some, like the Abbey, didn't want the lawyer to advise them if up to 5% incentives were paid but that's not the case any more.
As of Oct 1st, this kind of scheme is going to disappear in the US as well. Turns out a disproportionate number of such deals end up in foreclosure down the road. The ability to save a down payment looks like it's a good marker for future ability to pay the mortgage, which makes logical sense if you think about it.
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Old Sep 9th 2008, 8:31 pm
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Default Re: The selling/renting your UK property to move to the US thread

Originally Posted by Tarkak9 View Post
Reapproach the buyer if at all possible (that is what I'd try first and foremost) - or have they moved on and committed towards something else?

I'd listen to what the other person has to say and compare it to what your previous person was saying to you all along... it may be that you were being told things which you didn't want to hear at the time. Curious, what were the reasons why you didn't renew with your previous person?
I has the EA contact the buyer about a week after I rejected their offer. The offer was so low I was hoping it was just a low starting point from which to barter. It appears they were serious and that was the only offer they were willing to put in. They had already offered on another property by the time the EA spoke to them again. To be honest I'm not too bothered that I rejected it as it was too low. Although if someone offered the same again I suppose I'd consider it.

The reason why I changed is because the viewings dried up. One of their local branches in the next area was closed down and while they were still advertising in the local rag they had stopped putting pictures in and were just advertising a page full of descriptions only, to cram as many properties onto the page as they could. Not good signs. Surprise surprise, once I'd given my two week's notice to them I got 6 viewings in a week.... ...can't be a coincidence.
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Old Sep 9th 2008, 10:16 pm
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Default Re: The selling/renting your UK property to move to the US thread

There used to be a very large thread on people having difficulties selling their uk home in the Australia forums. Might be worth having a nose through there for some decent tips etc.
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Old Sep 9th 2008, 10:28 pm
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Default Re: The selling/renting your UK property to move to the US thread

Originally Posted by Martin Brown View Post
1. Hardly any mortgage companies accept 5% deposit paid by vendor. They used to if the seller was a builder. Some, like the Abbey, didn't want the lawyer to advise them if up to 5% incentives were paid but that's not the case any more.
Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
As of Oct 1st, this kind of scheme is going to disappear in the US as well. Turns out a disproportionate number of such deals end up in foreclosure down the road. The ability to save a down payment looks like it's a good marker for future ability to pay the mortgage, which makes logical sense if you think about it.
Yes and as of Sep 1 it was restricted in the UK as well - for housebuilders. There's still no restriction on private sellers, just a matter of finding a lender who's happy with it.

The Halifax is one such lender, and also offers 95% LTV...
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Old Sep 9th 2008, 10:31 pm
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Default Re: The selling/renting your UK property to move to the US thread

Originally Posted by MsElui View Post
There used to be a very large thread on people having difficulties selling their uk home in the Australia forums. Might be worth having a nose through there for some decent tips etc.
Ta, that sounds well worth a look
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Old Sep 10th 2008, 4:24 am
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Default Re: The selling/renting your UK property to move to the US thread

Originally Posted by chartreuse View Post
The Halifax is one such lender, and also offers 95% LTV...
I'll remember not to invest in the Halifax then
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Old Sep 10th 2008, 7:17 am
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Default Re: The selling/renting your UK property to move to the US thread

The Halifax is one such lender, and also offers 95% LTV...[/QUOTE]

I had a case last week where the Halifax refused such a scheme. Possibly it turns on the individual case. In any event a deposit paid scheme, even if they did accept it, presupposes that the buyer will want, and be able to get, a mortgage with the Halifax and, as the original poster said, that the valuer thinks its worth it.
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Old Sep 10th 2008, 8:00 am
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Default Re: The selling/renting your UK property to move to the US thread

We sold our house before coming here but the market was in a good state then, and although we thought we were only coming for 2 years, I did not want to return there. We bought a 2 bedroom house which was successfully rented in that we had tenants but the leasing agent was a nightmare!!! We sold the house to get the equity out of it when we bought here but in retrospect I wish we had kept it.
My advice would be if you do not need the equity, sell and buy a rental with as little of a mortgage as you can. My logic here being if you are realistic on your selling price you may be able to pick up a smaller property in not such a great area as you are in at the moment. If you do rent out your current home make sure that you look into the tax implications and inform your mortgage company what you are doing.
The reason why we sold our house was that everyone we spoke to told us they could not guarantee a rental of more than 7/12 months. The smaller house gave us 11/12 months.
From what I have read the housing market is very gloomy in the UK at the moment so if you sell you may need to lower your expectations with regards to value to get a quick sale.
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Old Sep 10th 2008, 8:31 am
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Default Re: The selling/renting your UK property to move to the US thread

OOps, just re-read your post. Why not ask your new agent to do an open house, as they do here in the US. My MIL did this after her house was on the market for weeks, 2 days later she got an offer which she accepted. Other thing you may want to consider is, make the estate agents do the viewings. I don't know how much % wise they charge at the moment but make them work for their money! We paid 2K in 2004 and essentially our house was sold before it was put on the market. Stupid us!!!!!!
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Old Sep 10th 2008, 8:38 am
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Default Re: The selling/renting your UK property to move to the US thread

A lot of people I know who have emigrated regret selling their UK house. Primarily, I guess, because house prices in the UK rocketed over the last few years. However, most agent's and conveyancing businesses here are down at least 70% on last year so prices must level out and probably fall. The agents in my area are saying there are just no buyers around. They think even if a seller dropped the price a bit it'd make no difference because they just don't have the buyers. That may change a bit once the stamp duty holiday kicks in- we'll see.
Agents where I am do carry out accompanied viewings, and charge no extra for it. I'm personally not sure that makes much difference though. I remain to be convinced that the agent actually sells the house, rather just points people toward a bunch of homes and then asks them what they thought.
If selling becomes more of a problem then perhaps consider remortgaging to get some equity out - to enable a US house purchase- and then let the UK house to pay the cost. Plenty of thoes remortgage deals around at the moment. The letting market, in the South East at least, is booming. It works great provided you get a decent tenant and are prepared for the pitfalls- speak to a recommended letting agent. We sold our house in June and we're renting whilst we wait to go. In our town there wasn't one 4 bed house available at the time so we ended up moving out of the area and paying much more rent than we should've.
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