Frequently Asked Questions
As a first-time buyer, you currently don’t have to pay any stamp duty on a property worth up to £425,000 – this policy is in place until March 2025, at which point the figure will drop to £300,000.
If you have the cash to buy a property outright, you won’t need a mortgage. However, most people don’t have that kind of money available. When you make an offer on a house, you will need to provide proof of available funds, whether in the form of your own savings or a mortgage offer from a lender.
Stamp duty is a tax levied on property purchases that applies to properties sold for over £250,000. The current rates are:
Purchase price of £250,001 to £925,000: 5%
Purchase price of £925,001 to £1.5 million: 10%
Purchase price of over £1.5 million: 12%
These rates are incremental, so if the purchase price is £1 million, you pay no tax on the first £250,000; 5% on the next £675,000 (=£33,750) and 10% on the last £75,000 (=£7,500). That would make a total of £41,250.
One of the most important things you’ll need to do is appoint a solicitor to act on your behalf. They’ll be able to guide you through most of the processes involved in buying a house. You also need to ensure your funding is secured – let your mortgage provider know you’ve had an offer accepted so that they can carry out their own checks. You’ll also need to arrange for a survey to see if there are any structural issues with the property that were not immediately apparent at the time of viewing.
When you see a property that you are interested in buying, just give us a call with your offer. We’ll pass it on to the seller and let you know their response as soon as we hear back from them.
Yes! We work exclusively in and around Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire and have been providing independent estate agent services to the area for over 35 years.
We will market your property to a wide range of prospective tenants and all viewings will be conducted by our experienced team. We’ll also carry out all the necessary background checks, draw up the tenancy and hold their deposit once the tenancy is agreed.
Council tax is the responsibility of the tenant unless stated otherwise in your rental agreement.
We make regular inspections of all properties rented through us and can advise you as to any maintenance or remedial works that may be required. At the end of a tenancy, we’ll carry out a more detailed inspection against the original inventory.
A good property management company can take all the stress and time out of renting a property. It also means that you’ll be properly advised regarding the numerous legal responsibilities you have as a landlord. We can handle everything from finding new tenants and collecting their rent to organising gas safety checks and managing any necessary maintenance needs.
Our experienced Lettings Valuers will help you find the right rent to charge based on the state and size of your property, the rental market in your area and recently agreed lets. When you let with us, our aim is to make sure you get the best possible value, keep void periods to a minimum and attract the right sort of reliable tenant.
We do not provide mortgages at Robert Ellis, but our sister company The Mortgage Company does act as a mortgage broker and can help you find the best mortgage for your situation. Their expert advisors can search through over 80 different lenders to help you find your ideal mortgage, and then guide you through every step of the process to make it as smooth and trouble-free as possible.
How much you can borrow will depend on a number of factors, such as your income, your credit history and your regular outgoings. Most lenders will allow you to do a soft credit check to get an idea of how much you could borrow without affecting your credit rating.
A mortgage in principle is a statement from a lender saying that they will lend you a certain amount, based on details such as your income, debts and regular outgoings. It is intended to help you see what you can afford when looking for a property. When you have an offer on a property accepted, you’ll need to provide more detailed information for the lender to finalise your mortgage offer.
A mortgage is a long-term loan secured against the value of the property you are buying. If you keep up the payments as agreed, at the end of the term of the loan, the property is wholly yours. However, if you fail to repay the money, your lender can seize your home to recover their money.
We don’t ask for a personal or professional reference, but we will ask for your previous addresses, employment details, credit history and contact details for your current landlord (if applicable).
If you’re interested in renting one of the properties on our website, download and complete our Tenancy Application form. Return it to one of our offices together with proof of your current address, photo identification (passport or driving licence), and three months’ bank or building society statements, payslips or other proof of earnings.
You must have the written agreement of the landlord to keep pets at a rental property. The government is currently looking into new legislation that would allow a tenant to request the right to keep a pet in a rental property, which the landlord must “consider and not unreasonably refuse”. If you have pets and are looking for a new home, ask us about any pet-friendly properties we have available to rent.
If white goods have been supplied by your landlord, they are responsible for their repair and replacement and for ensuring that they are safe to use. Any white goods that you introduce into the property are your own responsibility. Your tenancy agreement should detail what is included.
Assured shorthold tenancies can run for any length of time, but you have a legal right to stay in a property for at least six months. The agreement automatically renews when it expires so that the landlord cannot evict you without giving proper notice – usually four weeks, or longer if you’ve been in the property for more than two years.
All deposits must be protected by being placed in a government-approved tenancy deposit scheme (TDP) and should be returned to you within ten days of you and your landlord agreeing how much will be reimbursed at the end of the tenancy.
There are a number of factors that go into determining the asking price when you put your house on the market. Our experienced valuers will be able to provide you with expert advice regarding the state of the local market, taking into account recent sales in the area and whether your preference is to get the best possible value or achieve a quick sale.
Our experienced team carries out free valuations across the area – you can request a free valuation for your property by filling in our online form, giving us a call or popping into one of our local branches.
Once you’ve accepted an offer, you can usually expect the full process to take another 12 weeks before completion. Remember that a leasehold property will nearly always take longer to complete because of the third-party involvement of the freeholder. Having said that, every sale is different – some can go through quickly, while others seem to throw up new delays and problems at every turn. We’ll make sure you’re kept fully up to date with any developments and will work hard to see your sale go through as smoothly as possible.
From getting a professional valuation to using the very latest marketing tools available, Robert Ellis will be there to help make selling your house as straightforward and stress-free an experience as possible. Our extensive local knowledge and proactive approach to selling mean that we’re committed to achieving a quick sale at a price that you’re happy with.
While it is theoretically possible to sell a house without a solicitor, we would always strongly advise you to engage the services of an experienced conveyancing solicitor. That’s because there is a lot of complex legal work involved in transferring property and the costs of getting it wrong could be substantial.