Removals Gloucester – Case Study of Advanced Removals
Moving house – seems such an easy thing to do, until you actually are in the process of buying and selling a house. This is a true story of a customer of Advanced Removals and how our Gloucester removals service made the end of the process a lot easier than the buying and selling part.
Advanced Removals customer “Mr L” had a 5-bed house to sell in Kingsway, Gloucester and wanted to move to Thornbury, near Bristol. This is his story (and opinions) in his own words.
Deciding to Sell the House
We originally bought a 5-bed house as I had older children from a previous marriage that stayed with us at weekends. As they grew in to their ‘teens’ and got their own cars they stayed less and drove themselves home. When they got in to their ‘twenties’ they purchased their own houses and stayed over less and less. Although I had a new son, with a new wife, we found that a 5-bed house was simply too big for our needs. Two of the bedrooms had become nothing more than storage areas.
This coupled with the need for a new kitchen in the house and my son turning 6-years old, it seemed like a good time to move financially, and for a change of schools. We decided to sell the house.
Deciding on Where to Move to
Working in Bristol and travelling to and from Gloucester for work was becoming more and more of a chore. Roadworks on the M5, accidents and traffic snarl-ups on the A38 were making more and more journeys lengthy. We wanted to move nearer to work in Bristol, but the “nicer” locations in Bristol were out of our budget. An investigation in to the better performing schools led us to consider Thornbury. We wanted a 3-bed house, with a garden and parking. There seemed to be a few houses like this in and around Thornbury and within our budget. We decided to move to Thornbury!
Putting the House on the Market
Like most people we wanted a number of opinions on the value of our property. Three local Estate Agents were invited to value. We were also tempted by the low value commission rates of an “online Estate Agent” and one of those was contacted for a valuation. As is the norm with Estate Agents you get a “mixed bag”. They either value the property at a low value so they get a quick sale and easy commission or value it above it’s true value, in hope your greed gives them the house to sell (and then after a few weeks convince you to lower the price to get more viewings – as if it were your fault the valuation was “too high” in the first place). The highest valuation was £330,000. Two of the agents valued the property at £315,000.
Interestingly the Estate Agent that valued the house the lowest was trying to convince us that recent reports about house price increases were false and that we should value the property at the estimated value before the recent recession. Giving a valuation of £260,000 – but guaranteed it would sell quickly (I bet it would have!).
You are expecting me to say, as a sensible home owner that we went with one of the Agents that valued it at £315,000 – unfortunately my ‘greed’ kicked in and we went with the Agent at the highest valuation. We were on the market.
Deciding on an Estate Agent wasn’t really a stressful process – the first stressful point of, what was soon to become a very stressful process, was getting the images of the house to our liking. Three attempts the Estate Agent had and still the images of our house made it look dark, small overlooked. Where in fact it was the opposite. We even tok photographs ourselves, but apparently Agents are only allowed to use one they have taken themselves. At the fourth attempt we had images that we thought might sell the house. We were on the market!
First Few Weeks
In anticipation of a flood of viewings we cleared our social calendar. The first weekend proved fruitful with 4 viewings. No offers yet though.
House viewings are one the most stressful part of selling a house. You get up, quick cup of tea and then de-clutter and clean the house top to bottom. The following week has 3 viewings booked in, on 3 separate evenings. This meant 3 evenings of getting home from work to clean the house – and then the viewings didn’t show. I am still amazed by how thoughtless and rude some people are that book a viewing and not only don’t turn up at the appointed time, but don’t even call to say they can’t make it.
A good start, but then we hit a dry period. No viewings at all for a few weeks.
The inevitable telephone call from the Estate Agent was taken – we needed to lower the asking price.
The First Offers to Buy The House
We had instructed the Estate Agents to only book viewings with people who were “proceedable”. In other words they had accepted an offer on their own house and were in a position to move. Otherwise the Estate Agent would have happily shown people around our house who were nothing more than window shopping or enjoying an afternoon looking around other peoples houses.
They suggested that they had a number of people that were proceedable that would be interested in the property if advertised at £315,000. We amended our asking price.
Sure enough, the next weekend we had three viewings booked in. Two on Saturday and one on Sunday (another two mornings of cleaning the house top to bottom). As usual, one viewing didn’t show. The other two were very keen and booked second viewings later that week. Another two evenings of cleaning the house, but success we had an not one, but two offers.
The first offer – lady had a house to sell that she was about to put on the market – would give us full asking price if we could wait for her to sell her house.
The second offer – a gentleman with two houses to sell, one with an offer accepted and another yet to get any viewings.
An Offer on the House
To cut a long and frustrating story of house cleaning and “no shows” short – we finally received an offer from a couple looking to relocate in to the area. The Estate Agent told us they were “first time buyers” with a mortgage agreed. Perfect.
A little negotiation on the price and we had a sale agreed at £310,000
Finding a House
As frustrating as getting a buyer was, this was soon to pale in to insignificance compared to buying a house. We contacted our mortgage company and got an understanding of the money we could borrow and our new house budget.
We lined up 7 viewings over a weekend on every house in Thornbury within budget.
We had a simple criteria for our new house. Fairly up together, as our budget didn’t allow for new kitchens etc., just decorating and perhaps new carpet. 3 or 4 bedrooms with a drive for the car.
7 viewings and there wasn’t a suitable house amongst them. One Estate Agent suggested a house slightly out of our budget that might be suitable. We agreed to view it and loved it. We telephoned the bank to see if we could squeeze a little more money on to our budget. After a lengthy discussion, going through our income and outgoings they agreed to lend us the money, subject to a full mortgage application. We made an offer and it was accepted.
Getting a Mortgage For a House Move
The last time I moved house was in 2003. At that time you telephoned the bank went through how much you wanted to borrow, your outgoings and 20-minutes later you had a mortgage in principle. Understandably since the recession banks are a little more particular how much money they lend to people.
A telephone appointment was made to review our finances. As we had a 60% deposit I thought this would be an easy process. During the 2-hour telephone interview every aspect or every penny I had spent in the last year was analysed. It transpired that the information given to us that we could borrow more money was wrong – we didn’t have enough money to buy the house we had agreed a purchase on.
This was highly frustrating and embarrassing. We had to ket all parties know we could afford to buy the house as agreed.
Finding a new house
We had to start the whole process again. There were not that many properties to buy in Thornbury and as soon as they came on the market they were sold. One example of this – we were telephoned on a Friday evening by the Estate Agent to say they had valued a house that afternoon and it was just what we were after. They were going back on Monday to take photographs and get the full details. Taking the Estate Agent at their word that it was suitable we booked a viewing for Monday afternoon. One hour later we had another call from the Estate Agent – the property had sold. A neighbour, who was renting a similar property, had seen the “for sale” sign erected and offered full asking price.
We eventually found the perfect property and an offer was excepted.
House Surveys & Paperwork
From my experience over a decade ago of a 20 minutes conversation and the mortgage was agreed, to the post-recession process of 2-hour interviews, waiting 3 weeks for a decision and a further 2 weeks for the paperwork is stressful. More especially has we had previously had one mortgage rejected. Finally the mortgage was in place.
House Buyers – Spanner in the Works
All (finally) moving in the right direction and our buyers throw a spanner in the works. The “first time buyers” actually owned a property and in buying ours they would be subject to the new stamp duty rates that come in to effect on the 1st April 2016. The delay in the process was making them concerned that they would have to pay the additional 3% stamp duty charge for a second property, £10,000 they just didn’t have. A definitive statement was made “either we move in March, or the purchase will be cancelled”.
Now the stress was really on. Early March, just 4-weeks after the initial offer was accepted, and we had to get the sale through. Urgent emails to all Solicitors in the chain and focus was put on the paperwork. Remember, that if the sale falls through, we lose a buyer, but the Solicitors lose any payment for the work they have already completed.
Finally an exchange date and anticipated completion date were set.
Removals Gloucester – Choosing a Removal Company
We decided that moving day will be a lot less stressful if we hired professionals to do the removals, including packing the contents of the house. Three quotes were obtained from removal companies local to me in Gloucester.
Advanced Removals were the removal company we chose. There quote was competitive, but the professionalism of the staff, and available facilities were far and above those of the other two companies. Having a “potential” completion date was a problem for the other two companies as they needed a firm date to make a removal team and lorry available. Advanced Removals have over 30 vehicles and removal teams available on any given day. Taking advantage of their packing service – they came to the house the day before the move and packed all the smaller items, and disassembled the wardrobes and other furniture.
The day of the move finally arrived. The Advanced Removal team arrived on time, and except for the odd round of cups of teas, got on with the task at hand without any input from us.
They moved us from Gloucester to Thornbury by lunchtime, and by tea time the new house was as good as unpacked.
Removals Gloucester – Lessons to Make the Move Less Stressful
- De-clutter – it would have been much easier to clean the house for viewings and made the house more attractive if we had de-cluttered the house before allowing viewings. Advanced Removals have ‘state of the art’ storage facilities in Gloucester. We could have emptied the two bedrooms that are “storage rooms”, packed away photographs, paintings, lamps and other pieces from the rooms. Apparently de-cluttered and de-personalised houses sell quicker and for nearer the asking price. The additional money made on the sale would have paid the low cost of the furniture storage many time over, as well as having less items to clean for viewings.
- Estate Agents – do not be afraid to interrogate the Estate Agent on the position of people intending to view your house. Ensure that if you are doing viewings it is for people that are in a position to move. If you find out they were not – feed back to the estate agents how unhappy you are. You may get less viewings, but from people more likely to buy your house.
- Check and double check with your mortgage company the amount they will lend you. This will save days of wasted viewings.
- As soon as you have a suggested completion date – book the removal company. We had an excellent experience with Advanced Removals and would recommend them. Use their storage facilities in Gloucester for any items that are used less frequently to make moving day that little bit easier.
- Use a packing service. Takes all the stress out of moving day. Advanced Removals are professionals – they pack up houses everyday. They packed all of our itms far quicker than we could have done, without any breakages. Something I am not sure we would have achieved.
Removals Gloucester – Summary
When I started the process of moving house from Gloucester, I thought it would be a simple process up until moving day and then moving would be the stressful part. Relying on professionals such as Estate Agents, Mortgage Advisors and Solicitors would make the process easy. Packing up a 5-bed house and moving to a smaller 3-bed house was going to be the stressful part. However, the reverse was true. Getting to a point where we could move house was very stressful. The actual move, mainly due to Advanced Removals packing and removal service, was stress-free by comparison. Considering the fees the Estate Agents and Solicitors charge – the full packing and moving service from Advanced Removals was great value for money.