We know that purchasing a house can be stressful! With average house prices now standing at an average of £270,027¹ there is no wonder that people are turning to Google to answer their burning property questions.

Using Google Search Data², experts at GoodMove  have revealed the most Googled property questions from 2021, answering them to help homeowners with their property concerns.

Can you sell property after probate? (400 per cent increase in searches)

Probate is the process of dealing with somebody’s assets after they die. If you’ve been named as executor of the property, you’re not tied to any specific time restrictions when it comes to selling property after probate. However, the courts will determine an appropriate deadline to complete the probate house sale process.

You might feel that it’s important to complete a house sale quickly, but there are numerous factors that can delay the process. While it’s possible to put the house on the market, and even accept an offer, at your own pace, it’s impossible to exchange contracts and complete a sale before executor of property status is confirmed.

What property can I afford? (100 per cent increase in searches)

Getting onto the property -ladder in today’s economy is a massive commitment, so it’s important to assess whether you have the finances to make such a big investment right now.

Preparation is essential in this respect, when entering the property market buyers should know exactly what they want and what to expect. Make sure you consider all financial commitments when deciding on an appropriate deposit, and mortgage payments.

Are property prices going down? (75 per cent increase in searches)

2021 has been an especially volatile year for the property market – growing demand from lockdown savers coupled with less houses going up on the market had led to an upset equilibrium between supply and demand. However, heading into the new year buyers can expect a gradual decline in property prices.

As we head into the Christmas period there is a less property going up on the market, as people are reluctant to move over the festive period. Therefore, buyers should hold off until early in the new year as supply begins to level off with demand.

How do property auctions work? (68 per cent increase in searches)

Auctioning is the process of buying and selling goods, or services, by offering them for bidding. Bids are taken, and the items are sold to the whoever bids the highest amount. This can be a great way to receive the best deal on your property as interest fuels demand.

At an auction, interested buyers will bid for your property and the highest bid wins the auction. The property is deemed under offer when the hammer strikes, and the winning bidder is obligated to purchase the property by putting a 10 per cent deposit down to secure the sale. The sale will then be completed within a month, when the remaining 90 per cent of the funds are transferred.

How is a property valuation done? (49 per cent increase in searches)

A property valuation is an assessment of your property’s value, based on the location, condition and multiple other factors. Your valuation will be carried out in person by a professional surveyor who will take notes and photographs, and then send you a valuation report.

What should I include in my property viewing checklist? (27 per cent increase in searches)

When viewing a property, it’s easy to get sucked in by the fantasy of your dream home. However, to prevent any future expensive regrets it’s important to have a viewing checklist ready to go.

Firstly, it’s important to ask questions on how long the house has been on the market, how much interest there has been on the property and how long the owners have lived there. This is a good indication of any property red flags, as lack of interest can suggest problems within the area or the property itself.

During the house viewing make sure you ask questions about the neighbourhood, the average asking prices nearby and transport links. If you are planning on raising a family, it is also recommended you ask about the quality of the schools in the area.

Where do property taxes go? (26 per cent increase in searches)

In the UK there are two main property taxes – Stamp Duty Land Tax and Council Tax. As with all taxes these are used to fund government programmes and activities. Stamp Duty Land Tax is applied if you buy property over a certain threshold in England and Northern Ireland. This applies to most sales and transfers of land or property, with the threshold being £125,000 for residential properties and £150,000 non-residential land and properties.

The other form of UK property tax is Council Tax. This local municipality tax is stepped or banded just like income tax. Each municipality assesses the properties in their jurisdiction annually and determines applicable taxes based on the assessed value

Nima Ghasri, director at GoodMove says: “Property purchase is a big landmark in anyone’s life and can rightly so raise a lot of questions. The internet can be full of misinformation and outdated information, so we hope that by providing some clarification we can assist we can help property buyers achieving their dream home with reduced stress!”

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