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Valuations

Q. How much is my house worth?

A. Are you looking to sell but unsure what your property is worth? Or are you just curious as to what competing properties are being marketed for? The key to establishing what your home is worth are the asking price of local properties in and around Norwich with a similar specification and the prices achieved for recent sales. These are called “comparables”. We are extremely proactive in monitoring the Norwich property market and will always obtain relevant comparable evidence before valuing your home. This way you will receive a realistic price that you can have confidence in.


Q. Is a property valuation from Pure Estate Agency free of charge and no obligation?

A. Yes! This Norwich estate agent offers completely free valuations with no obligation. Our qualified sales and lettings staff would love to visit your property to give you their professional opinion on the property value and discuss anything that can be done to improve the marketability. Please call us now on 01603 618618 to book a free property valuation of your property in and around Norwich.


Q. Why should I choose Pure Estate Agency?

A. Our ethos is to deliver the personal service that people are looking for from a Norwich estate agency throughout the sales and letting process. We will always look to be flexible with appointments, offering an out of hours service where possible. Once you instruct Pure Estate Agency, Norwich, we will visit the property, at your convenience, to take high quality marketing photos and to put together a detailed floorplan. We subscribe to a premium listing with Rightmove so your property will go live immediately upon us loading this. Your dedicated senior negotiator from our estate agency base in Norwich city centre will then keep you updated throughout the process of us finding a buyer or a tenant.


Q. Do I need to be at the property on the valuation?

A. Whilst we would love the opportunity to meet you at the property, it is not essential for you to be there if you are unavailable. If you are outside the country or unable to attend, then we can visit the property and then conduct business with you over the phone or via email. We will happily adapt our standard approach to suit you. We are flexible in our approach to helping you as a property seller in Norwich.


Q. How long does the valuation appointment take?

A. Our average valuation does take an hour but this can vary largely depending on the size of the property. We do not like to put a time limit on these initial appointments though and will be led by you. We are committed to providing you with a bespoke service, so we would be delighted to spend as much time as you require at the property discussing the sales and lettings process. We are a professional and independent Norwich estate agency with an enviable track record of success and we want you to be happy from valuation to completion.

 

Sales

Q. How long does a sale of a property take to go through?

A. This question can be difficult to determine. It can depend upon the complexities of the sale, the length of the chain and the compulsory legal searches conducted by solicitors. You can rest assured though that by selling your property through us, you will deal exclusively with our senior sales negotiator, based locally in Norwich. The negotiator will be your dedicated point of contact and provides a thorough after sales service to chase all parties to facilitate a swift completion.


Q. What does “sold subject to contract” mean?

A. If a property is listed as such, it means that the homeowner has accepted an offer from a prospective buyer. However, at this stage it has not completed as there are legal checks being carried out as well as finances being arranged. You can still enquire about properties that are being marketed as subject to contract.


Q. When is the best time to sell a house?

A. The traditional market trends peak from March through to the summer months, and it is traditionally quieter in the winter months. However over the last two years, Pure Estate Agency in Norwich have noticed there is a growing confidence in the market at all times throughout the year and we have even recorded record sales months in November and January. We have an influx of enquiries every month for a range of properties and from a variety of prospective buyers. When a property is listed for sale or let, our extensive database of registered clients across Norwich, Norfolk and beyond are alerted.


Q. Will Pure Estate Agency organise accompanied viewings?

A. We offer accompanied viewings as part of our standard service as an independent estate agency in Norwich. If you would prefer to conduct the viewings yourself, then we would be happy for you to do so. However, we do advise that our negotiators would be best placed to attend so that they can assess potential buyers and ascertain their commitment to buying.


Q. What is an EPC and do I need one?

A. An EPC stands for an Energy Performance Certificate. It is an assessment of the efficiency of your property. This is legally required for the sale of any property. Pure Estate Agency would be very happy to organise this on your behalf.


Q. Why do I need to provide proof of ID and address to an estate agent?

A. We are required to verify any clients that we work with. In line with the money laundering regulations, we are required to obtain proof of our client’s name(s) and their current residential address. We will try to be as accommodating as possible but we do require this to comply with the regulations.


Q. How much does it generally cost to sell a property overall?

A. The figure can vary depending upon the value of the property and the complexity of the sale. We would recommend that you obtain a quotation from an estate agency, a solicitor and a mortgage advisor. These are commonly the charges incurred for a sale and will give you a good basis for the costs involved. Remember the cheapest estate agent is the one who sells your property for the most money.


Q. Should I carry out any work to my property before placing my property on the market?

A. If it is simply cosmetic work required, for example decorating, then we recommend that you look to have this carried out. We feel that the presentation of the property can deter some buyers from offering a realistic price for the property, so if they are relatively inexpensive quick fixes, then we would suggest that you carry these out before marketing. If the refurbishments are structural or large scale works, we tend to find the money invested in large works will not be recovered in the price agreed for the sale of the property. It does not tend to add the level of value to the property that you would ultimately be spending. We do have a fantastic contractor who works exclusively with us so if you would like a quotation for any works related to the property then please do feel free to contact me.


Q. Every buyer just looks online to buy a property, so why do I need an agent?

A. It is a fact that online advertising is a crucial part of marketing a property, which is why we subscribe to the largest portals on the market including Zoopla and Rightmove. However, when you are selling a property, it is of the utmost importance to achieve the highest possible offer. Appointing an agency is imperative to encourage prospective buyers to offer the maximum amount of money in the quickest timescale. It is always essential to have a balanced marketing campaign, which includes online and traditional marketing to push your property and find the best purchaser.


Q. Does Pure Estate Agency use social media marketing?

A. Pure have invested heavily in social media marketing, as a way of maximising reach for your Norwich property that is for sale or let, as well as enabling communication 24/7. Rest assured our active and engaging Twitter, Facebook, Instagram accounts make sure more people see your property on their social media apps, tell others and share. We routinely sponsor posts on social media to maximise reach. Social media also means communication can be at your convenience - 24/7 365 days a year - with our social media team responding immediately to any questions you may have, whatever the time of day.


Q. What are the current stamp duty thresholds for buying a house?

A. The current thresholds for purchasing a property are as follows:

£0 - £125,000 = 0%
£125,001 - £250,000 = 2%
£250,001 - £925,000 = 5%
£925,001 - £1.5Million = 10%

Please note that the above values are different if you are already a homeowner. For more information on this, please do contact us.

 


Q. What are the current stamp duty thresholds for buying a house?

Lettings

Q. Why are Pure Estate Agency known as the “buy to let specialist”?

A. We pride ourselves on being the buy to let specialist in this industry. Our qualified staff are knowledgeable about the local market and have years of experience in both residential sales and lettings. We are able to provide advice on the best properties to buy for renting, the potential yield and provide advice to you on the various regulations that impact the lettings business. We know the Norwich property letting market intimately. The senior lettings negotiator always exhibits a judicious approach about the tenants that we select for your property. We will always invest our time in discussing applicants with you to ensure you are happy with the prospective tenants before we proceed. Following this, our in-house management team will ensure that you do not have to worry about a thing and we will look after your property as though it is our own. You can trust Pure Estate Agency, Norwich.


Q. When is the best time to market my property for let?

A. Traditionally, the peak time for rentals is April through to September. However, it is becoming increasingly the case that the lettings market, here in Norwich and surrounding areas, is always buzzing with activity. We have seen an increase in the number of applicants being registered every month. The first two weeks of marketing any property, will normally generate sufficient interest for us to organise a block viewing.


Q. How does Pure Estate Agency choose a tenant?

A. We are extremely discerning about the type of tenant that we select for our clients’ properties. We will assess them at the point of booking a viewing and again at the viewing. We are well-versed at asking appropriate questions that will provide us with in-depth knowledge about them as prospective tenants. It is of paramount importance to us to ensure that any applicants we introduce are reliable and trustworthy. We will always ask for more information than other estate agents in Norwich, as we feel it is imperative to find out exactly who will be living in your property. Once we are satisfied of their sincerity and viability, we will then submit the application to you.


Q. What is a tenant reference?

A. We are very selective about the applicants that we put forward to our clients and we want to ensure that landlords are reassured about their viability as a tenant. It is important to us to provide a comprehensive reference prior to our clients making a decision. We therefore outsource our referencing to a professional and independent specialist firm. When a tenant applies for a property in Norwich or surrounding areas, they will be asked to complete an online form detailing specific information about their employment status, former landlord details and credit checks. This information is then independently verified and a detailed report is submitted to us. We will then review this in liaison with landlords to reassure them that they are getting the right tenant for their property.


Q. What information will be considered on a reference?

A. The information required will vary but the standard criteria will be as follows;

  • A permanent job role that can be verified by the employer.
  • Affordability will be assessed on a multiplier of 30 times the standard rent, which will then be compared to your income.
  • A former landlord will be asked for a reference on an applicant’s reliability as a tenant.
  • An applicant’s credit history will be checked to ensure that there are no outstanding debts or court judgements issued against you.

Q. What is a guarantor?

A. If you should fail the reference criteria, then you may be asked to provide a guarantor. The guarantor will need to be referenced in the same manner but they should also be a UK homeowner if possible. The guarantor will be responsible for paying the rent during the tenancy if you are unable to do so. This is a serious undertaking as they will be required to sign a guarantor deed that legally binds them to the tenancy agreement. We would always recommend seeking legal advice prior to signing any contract.


Q. What does “let subject to contract” mean?

A. This term means that we have secured applicants for the property but that the let has not actually been finalised. At this stage, the tenancy will normally proceed unless either party withdraws from the contract. It also means that all terms discussed prior to the start of the tenancy will only be applicable if they are included in the contract. Please do feel free to contact us about any properties advertised as such.


Q. How do I apply for a property that I like?

A. We do strictly require lettings applicants to view properties before they apply. We will aim to be as flexible as possible with regard to arranging viewings, but we do sometimes need to avoid inconveniencing current tenants. Once a viewing of the property has been carried out, applicants will need to request an application form and return this to us once completed. We will then submit this to the landlord for their consideration. If they are happy to proceed, then formal references will need to be carried out and administration will be undertaken at that point.


Q. Who are the inventory clerk and what is their role?

A. In an effort to ensure a non-biased and professional service, we can organise an independent specialist inventory clerk to compile a schedule of condition at the commencement of the tenancy. The clerk is able to produce a written report of the property condition and will specifically detail any points that are not in a good level of repair. At the end of the tenancy, we will organise the clerk to attend again to complete a check out. This document will be a comparable report based on the original inventory. This report is beneficial to tenants and landlords alike as this will be heavily relied upon to substantiate any deposit claims at the end of the tenancy. The cost of checking the inventory is borne equally by the landlord and tenant.


Q. Who are Tenant Shop?

A. We work with a reputable provider of tenant’s services and comparisons called Tenant Shop. Tenant Shop Limited acts on our behalf to notify the local council, water supplier(s) and energy provider(s) in line with your tenancy start date and secondly to supply notifications to the local council, water supplier(s) and energy providers(s) from the date that that the tenancy ends. They will contact tenants at the beginning of their tenancy to offer their services for switching utility and media providers.


Q. What is the Experian Rental Exchange?

A. This is an optional service that we have elected to subscribe to for our managed clients. We collate rental data every month and submit this to the online exchange. The benefit of this service is that it discourages tenants from getting into rent arrears as the facility can impact their credit rating. Likewise, it can leave an online footprint for the tenants being able to demonstrate to future landlords their ability to pay rent promptly and in accordance with the contractual terms. For more information on this aspect, please do get in contact with us.


Q. How long are contracts for and what are the contractual terms?

A. We will openly negotiate the length of contracts with landlords and tenants prior to the start of a tenancy. Our contracts detail a number of standard and statutory covenants, which we do have to include in a tenancy agreement. If you would like to request a non-standard term to be added, we can normally accommodate this providing it does not contravene any legislation.

Q. What is Right to Rent?

A. The government introduced the Immigration Act 2016, which conferred a new obligation on landlords to obtain proof of a tenant’s right to reside within the UK. This is quite complex as the acceptable documents vary depending on the applicant’s nationality. Our staff are trained to verify an applicant’s right to rent and will obtain proof of this to ensure you are compliant with the legislation.

 

House of Multiple Occupation (HMO)

Q. What are the definitions of an HMO?

A. The existing regulations governing the definition of a House of Multiple Occupation stipulate that a property rented out by at least 3 people who are not 1 ‘household’ i.e. a family and where they will be sharing one basic amenity. This is the test for a basic HMO, which would require a full electrical test of the property. However, there is also another standard of HMO, which is known as a mandatory HMO. These apply to any property that is over three storeys with 5 or more people comprised of more than 1 household. The regulations for these are far more complex and require significant additional work to make sure the property is compliant with regulations. We would love to discuss any issues with you as we have an experienced HMO management lead who can provide you with free and comprehensive advice. Please do call us.


Q. How much is an HMO licence with the Norwich City council?

A. The current fee is £637. If you are successful in applying for a licence, this will be valid for a period of 5 years.


Q. What makes an HMO an attractive investment opportunity?

A. The HMO market can produce one of the most impressive yields on a rental property. However, there are many factors to consider with an HMO and the regulatory requirements can seem overwhelming. We do pride ourselves on our expertise in this field and we are commonly referred to as the “buy to let specialist”. We are able to assist throughout the process, so if you would like any additional advice on the type of property or the regulations governing HMOs, please do call us for free advice.


Q. What are the common compulsory requirements of a mandatory HMO?

A. When you apply to the local authority for a licence, they will send an officer to assess the condition of the property. They will be looking at a variety of points to ensure the property complies with certain health and safety standards. The most common points assessed are fire doors, interlinked smoke alarm systems, adequate waste disposal facilities, adequate bathing facilities for as many occupiers as permitted and the potential for overcrowding. There can be other factors considered and the property will be assessed based on the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). Please do contact us if you have queries about the different categories imposed by these regulations.


Q. What limitations will a licence place upon me?

A. The licence will place restrictions upon the number of people you can have residing in the property at any one time and it will detail how many people the individual rooms are suitable for. It is important not to overcrowd these properties and if you are found to contravene the licence then the local authority can impose unlimited fines.


Q. I need additional advice on HMO properties.

A. Please download our free advice leaflet using the link below:


Considerations for Buy to Let Investors

 

Property Management

Q. What checks do Pure Estate Agency carry out on their maintenance contractors?

A. We exercise due diligence when vetting contractors’ credentials by checking previous references and by requesting a copy of their public liability insurance. We endeavour to protect our clients by only using appropriately qualified and competitively priced contractors. To that end, we have also appointed the services of an experienced project manager to work exclusively with our company. This ensures that the tenants receive a swift response to repairs and landlords receive reassurance that their property is in capable hands.


Q. What is the deposit return process?

A. The deposits have to be protected with a government recognised scheme. We submit all our deposits to the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) custodial scheme. At the end of the tenancy, we will require the landlord’s written instruction as to whether there is a claim from the deposit. We will then upload the details of any claim or confirmation of the full return to the DPS website. The tenants will then receive a unique code for them to authorise the deposit return. If a tenant wishes to dispute any claim made by the landlord, they will be given the opportunity to do so online. If the owner subscribes to our fully managed service then we will negotiate settlement of the deposit on their behalf. If not, then the landlord and tenant will have to negotiate directly with each other.


Q. What is the renewal of a contract?

A. At the end of the initial fixed term, we will contact both parties to establish whether they wish to continue the tenancy. If so, it is in the interest of both parties to have a new fixed term agreement in place rather than allowing the tenancy to continue unchanged. This guarantees security for the term of the contract and will provide peace of mind. We do charge an administration fee for preparing a renewal contract of £50 plus VAT.


Q. What notice period is applicable for tenants?

A. This can vary depending on your contractual situation. If you are in a fixed term without the provision to give notice, then you would be tied in for the duration of the term stated in the contract. If you have a break clause then these are commonly two months’ notice. If the tenancy is continuing on a periodic basis, then you are required to provide one month’s notice in line with the anniversary date of the contract. For clarification on giving your notice, please do call us.


Q. What notice period does a landlord have to give?

A. The notice period for landlords can be quite complex. It is governed by both of the Housing Acts and the Deregulation Act. You would be unable to serve notice during a fixed term contract, unless there is a significant breach of contract on the tenant’s part. We would be very happy to provide comprehensive advice on this matter, irrespective of whether we manage your property or not. Please do feel free to contact us for clarification.


Q. Can I redecorate my rented property?

A. This depends on whether the landlord is agreeable with this. The standard contract that we issue will place restrictions upon decorating the property. However, if you wish to paint or make any changes, you will need to contact us for permission. We will then seek the landlord’s approval and if they are in agreement then we will issue an addendum to formally alter the contract.

 

General

Q. What are Pure Estate Agency's opening hours?

A. Our standard opening hours are Monday – Friday 9am- 5.30pm and Saturday 9am – 1pm. However, we are very flexible and we will always aim to accommodate out of hours appointments by request. Our office managers are also contactable outside of office hours by email or mobile. Our social media channels are open 24/7 with a human social media management team always available.


Q. How long has Pure Estate Agency been established?

A. We have been established since 2006 and we have gone from strength to strength. The office is now under new leadership and we looking to continue our success. Our clients do not need to be concerned that the service level will diminish as we get larger, we will always value our existing customers.


Q. Where is your letterbox?

A. We know this sounds an unusual question but we do get this regularly. Our letterbox is located in-between the two offices at 64-66 Westwick Street. It is right at the rear of the building to the left hand side as you walk through the car park. It is in the furthest office, located at the bottom of the glass door.

 

If you have any more questions that are not covered here, please contact us at any time.