Victor Michael

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Internet automation is a great thing, most of the time. But, at Victor Michael we understand the value of having the best people and the best knowledge possible, so that we can do the very best job when it comes to selling your home. With that in mind, here are just a few of the things that make Victor Michael different from the purely online only competitors out there.


We know the areas we’re selling in.

This is the single biggest thing to factor in when selling your home, because it affects everything else. Ultimately, without the best possible knowledge and experience of the area, it’s impossible to have an easy time selling your home. So, Victor Michael balance having a national database of statistics and clients with also having more local knowledge than you can shake a stick at. Our estate agents come with years of experience and local knowledge which we further develop and enhance. They’re then trained to a nationally consistent standard and pushed to know more and more about the areas they’re selling in. Our agents know not only what other properties in your area have sold for, they also know what can be done to maximise your home’s value. And, although some online agents claim to be in touch with ‘local experts’ there’s no way to know that you’re dealing with the best people possible. Often, with online agents, you never meet the person or people looking after your account, there isn’t the option to go in and speak in person. We know how reassuring it is when there is someone who can offer you a cup of tea and a word of advice.


We don’t leave you to do the viewings.

At Victor Michael we liaise with you the entire time, and this is crucial with viewings, because we know how frustrating viewings can be, and not just for the time it takes you to prepare your house. With online agencies, not only might you have to organise and attend all of the viewings, but there’s also no way to figure out who is truly interested in your property. Because potential buyers deal with us directly, we’re able to make sure that only highly interested parties come to see your property and take up your time. Above and beyond all of this, we accompany every viewing to your home. This way, you can rest assured that your home is being displayed by experienced salespeople, who know how to market your home to its highest potential.


We won’t make you do the legwork!

We know that selling your home can be a stressful time, it’s a big move to make, and it’s not just the practical side you have to deal with — there are a lot of emotions too. Whether it’s help with negotiating your offer or dealing with solicitors, Victor Michael are here to make your sale as smooth as possible throughout the process. So we’ll take charge of communications with the buyers and even offer advice when working with your solicitor, something online agencies don’t always do. Having us do some of the negotiating takes out a lot of the stress involved when selling your home.


 We will get you the best price for your home.

There is no real motivation for online agents to get you the best possible price for your home. Though many claim to get 99% of the asking price, research suggests that some of the most popular agents only secure the initial asking price for between just 30 and 50 percent of sellers. Part of this ties back to the very first point we made, online agencies simply don’t have the experience of the local area you need and deserve. Without a deep understanding of the local area, it’s almost impossible to give you an accurate valuation of your home, which you need to get the best price later on.


These are just some of the things that set Victor Michael apart from online agencies, and trusting anyone with your property is a big step, we know that. So if you have any other questions, if you’re not quite convinced, just drop into your local Victor Michael branch today and ask us — we’ll always be happy to help.

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We’re not going to lie and pretend that selling a home doesn’t come with certain filing requirements. However, if you’re well prepared and allow plenty of time to get your affairs in order, you’ll avoid any last-minute panic. Follow our guide to discover more about what documents you need to move home and make the house-selling process that much easier.


Property title deeds

If you don’t have the property title deeds for your home, don’t worry too much. However, you will need to produce the deeds to prove that you do own the home you’re selling. You’ll be able to obtain these from the solicitor you used when originally applying for a mortgage or buying your existing property, or failing that, you can contact the Land Registry.


Energy Performance Certificate

All domestic and commercial buildings must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and it needs to be available to potential buyers as soon as you put your house up for sale. It is a useful document, which gives information about how energy efficient a property is, according to a rating of between A (very efficient) and G (inefficient). Only accredited Domestic Energy Assessors can produce valid EPCs.


What if my property is leasehold?

If your property is leasehold, you will need to provide a copy of the lease and complete a seller’s leasehold information form. Don’t forget that if you pay a management fee for services and maintenance you will also need to send off for a Management Information Pack. Your solicitor should be able to obtain this on your behalf.


Fittings and contents

Sometimes referred to as the Schedule of Fixtures and Fittings, the Fittings and Contents Form (TA10) specifies what the seller is including in the sale of the home and what will be removed.
In addition, anyone selling a property is required to fill out a Property Information Form (TA6). This is a questionnaire which gathers information about, for instance, planning consent and building regulations.


Anything else?

When dealing with a solicitor you will always need to provide proof of identity, so make sure you have a passport and recent utility bill to hand. You should also collect details of your existing mortgage, along with your account information and the amount outstanding.

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February ended with a rise in property prices, as the data reveals. We were interested in finding out which of the regions were best seen by buyers…

From the prices table, we can see the leaders that peaked the charts:

North West

East Midlands

South West


South East and London have had prices raise by 2.5%, as this article on Property Reporter states.

It leaves the average value of a home in England & Wales at £299,556, up £1,512 compared to one month earlier, and £1,700 compared to a year ago.

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Anybody in contact with the real estate market in the UK might have noticed until now that the housing crisis. The main issue is the huge gap between supply and demand, but specialists argue that there is more than meets the eye.

However, politicians have stepped in and initiated a couple of measurements that are supposed to increase supply on the market by creating new homes in the future years.

The government’s policy was clearly outlined today during Theresa May’s speech and the main target points seem to be:

  • The creation of up to FIVE New Towns between Oxford and Cambridge to create the UK’s own ‘Silicon Corridor’, an apparent ‘Brain Belt’.
  • Supporting transport infrastructure including an expressway and enhanced rail services between the two cities.
  • The removal of decision making from local councils that continually fail to build adequate homes with the introduction of minimum housing targets for each area and a tough enforcement approach based on the delivery of those homes.
  • A focus on providing geo-targeted ‘affordable’ housing for key workers where there is a shortage of such stock.
  • Continued Green Belt protection.
  • An encouragement for developers to ‘build upwards’ in cities.
  • A ‘use it or lose it’ policy on land owned by developers with planning permission.

All of the above are detailed and commented in a very good summed-up article on Property Reporter.

It seems promising… now let’s hope for the best! And, moreover, let’s hope these measures will suffice for the refreshment of the real estate market.

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Whether a flood is caused by ground water, falling water, or home water system malfunction, there are some best practices you’ll need to employ within the first 24 hours after the flood to ensure the safety of your home and family and give you the best outcome possible with your insurance company.

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Safety First

The first step in any major home disaster is to remain safe. You may be forced to leave your home if the flooding is bad enough. Make sure you are also safe when you return to your home to begin dealing with the aftermath. This may include turning off the power, as water and electricity obviously do not mix. Be sure to wear protective clothing–such as rubber boots and gloves. Not only will you be dealing with the water itself, but also whatever else the water has been in contact with, namely debris or even sewage. It is best to protect yourself against whatever harmful chemicals and items the flooding may have washed in.

Be sure to never eat food that has been contaminated by flood waters, or even in close proximity to the water for an extended period of time. If the water was high enough to reach your refrigerator or any of your pantry cabinets, it is safest practice to go ahead and throw the food away and just buy more. Be sure to thoroughly wash any dinnerware, glasses, and flatware that might have been caught in the house flood before you use it again.


Take Pictures

Before you remove any water or make any repairs, fully document the damage for your insurer by taking photos or video. Digital versions are best, because they can be stored electronically and easily copied. If you start removing water or making repairs before you photograph the damage, you could potentially decrease the extent of your coverage, he says.


Drying Out Your Home

Even if you are successful in removing all of the standing water from your home, everything will remain damp and wet, especially if heavy rains have increased the humidity in your area. If you have power, use your air conditioning and portable fans to help dry the wet areas of your home.

Dehumidifiers are also a big help, especially in closed off spaces such as basements or crawl spaces. Dehumidifiers work by removing excess moisture from the air. This is the easiest way to dry out your home and minimize the potential water damage you might be dealing with, as it does not require you to actively clean. However, in the case of a house flood, dehumidifiers are only supplemental, and you are likely to need multiple methods of action. Dehumidifiers are recommended for anyone who lives in a damp climate or an area that experiences longer rainy seasons, as they can prevent some of the problems associated with this type of weather, both for you and your home.



The aftermath of a house flood can typically take the longest amount of time. You may have broken windows from the water rushing in, flooring that may need to be replaced and broken possessions in need of repair. After your insurance company pays out for qualified damages, you can hire a contractor if one is needed. Be sure to board up any broken windows and remove any harmful debris from flooded areas.

If you have electronics that were submerged in water or were damaged in the flood, make sure to have them checked out by a professional before plugging them back in to a power source. This includes your television sets, stereos, game consoles, computers, and appliances.

If you are unsure about what your first steps for home repairs should be when your house floods, then hiring a construction company that specializes in flood or natural disaster repairs can be helpful. They can determine if walls need replaced or if your floors have been compromised by the flood waters. A professional construction company can help you safely enjoy your home once again.

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… but don’t give up easily!

The profile of a first time buyer (FTB) is clear: around 32 and with an income of £66,000. They want a home and usually turn to mortgages to become homeowners, but still have a hard time getting what they want.

First time buyers still struggle to get on housing ladder in London

However, another advantage of a young first time buyer is that they don’t give up easily. So, despite the challenges, first time buyers seemed to get the loans they needed in January. The figures rose compared to December and November, which is a good sign…

Home loans to first time buyers in the UK increased in January

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Every buyer must have had this dilemma in their minds at one point: is it cheaper to rent or to buy?

Those in Scotland can almost be convinced that it is better to buy than to rent. It’s the statistics there for the last 9 years, time in which the cost for buying a property actually decreased.

First time buyers are better off in terms of cost than those who rent in Scotland

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Shared Ownership

This scheme allows you to buy a share in a property and then pay rent on the remaining part.  This means you can start of paying the mortgage that you can afford and then overtime buy a bigger share of the property when your finances allow, this process is called ‘staircasing’.


To be eligible to buy a home through Help to Buy: Shared Ownership in England you’ll need to:

Have a household income of £80,000 a year or less outside London, or £90,000 a year or less in London.

Own no other property (you cannot be a homeowner or be named on the deeds of another property).

Have no outstanding credit issues.

Properties that can be purchased through shared ownership are from Housing Associations and can either be new builds or resales of existing shared-ownership properties.  When purchasing a shared ownership property you will work with a Home Buy agent, who will manage your application.

Other shared ownership schemes

There are other schemes that offer shared routes to shared ownership and are focused on particular groups.


Key Worker Housing Eligibility:


Each housing association will have a specific allowance of properties that are reserved for key workers. Each local authority will have their own specific list of key workers and eligibility criteria but as a general rule you must be employed in a qualifying key worker profession and have a minimum of 5 years to serve before reaching retirement.


Eligible key worker job roles include:




Prison Service

Probation Service

Local Authority

Fire Fighters

Ministry of Defence (MoD)

Environmental Health Officers

Highways Agency Traffic Officers


HOLD (Home Ownership for people with Long-Term Disabilities)

This scheme helps assist people with long-term disabilities to purchase a home and live independently. As with other shared ownership schemes, you buy an initial share and then more shares as you can afford it from the Housing Association or Registered provider.  The difference, however, is that if the properties available are not suitable to accommodate your needs, you may be able to buy a property from the open market.  This requires a referral to a specialist provider and your local authority to validate the application.  It is a voluntary scheme and as a result not necessarily available throughout the UK.


OPSO – Older People’s Shared Ownership

Supporting people over 55 to home ownership, it follows the same principles as other shared ownership schemes but the properties available are exclusively for those over the age of 55. The maximum you can own however is 75% of the property and if you do so, you will not have to pay rent on the remaining 25%.

If you already have a property this will need to be sold before applying to the scheme.

Extra Care is an extension provided by some OPSO schemes and is a Sheltered Shared Ownership scheme, which provides the added benefit of onsite care. This allows residents to live independently in self-contained, modern homes with access to tailored care package and support programme.


Rent to Buy is another route to shared ownership for those who haven’t yet been able to save the 5% deposit that is required.  Housing Associations and registered providers offer homes to rent, the rents are typically about 20% less than the open market rent, giving you an opportunity to save a deposit.  You will also be given the option in the future to purchase a share of your home and staircase up as you are able to invest more in your home.


Starter Homes is a new scheme which is due to launch shortly aimed exclusively at people 23-40 looking to get on to the housing ladder.  As part of the planning conditions, developers will be required to supply specific ‘starter homes’ which will then be sold through an approved scheme, priced at least 20% below market value.  The maximum property price outside London will be £250,000 and inside London £450,000.


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If 2018 came with some extra courage for you, we have some ideas on how to materialize it! Start a business in real estate for some extra monthly income and good use of your spare time. And there might be months when the money are just going to come, without any effort.

As any other business idea, becoming an entrepreneur in the real estate domain is tricky. Might not seem easy at first, but things are not very complicated. Just ‘do your homework’ in advance, as this article on Property Division says and you should be prepared.

Do Your Homework Before Investing in Real Estate

Feeling ready? We’re here if you have any questions and you can go to our website to search for types of properties that are worth investing in. 

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