Local estate agent answers your most commonly asked questions

There are several schemes currently available that can help you save money when buying property. Picture: GETTY

There are several schemes currently available that can help you save money when buying property. Picture: GETTY - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

We speak to Barry Butler from Butler Residential esate agents about the current housing market and his top tips for buying and selling

Is now is a good time to buy/sell?

There will always be different reasons for wanting to move or buy a first home and there is never a right or wrong time to do this. At the moment there is the stamp duty holiday, which for many will help save thousands of pounds. Mortgage rates are also still low, making it affordable for many, subject to having a good deposit.

The launch of the new government Help to Buy scheme for first time buyers should also help and hopefully mortgage lenders will bring back the lower deposit mortgages to the market soon. We have also seen an increase of people wanting to move away from larger, populated cities and their suburbs to the Cambridgeshire area, so the demand is certainly there.

How have you overcome the challenges of Covid-19?

Like many industries, Covid-19 has certainly changed how we do things. Our 360 virtual tours have proved to be very popular alongside our lifestyle videos. We offer these as standard for all properties we market at no extra cost in our complete package. They enable prospective buyers to get a feel for the property from the comfort of their own home. If they happen to have a pair of virtual reality goggles, they can go one step further and have a fully immersive tour.

We also offer virtual valuations via video call for those who don’t feel comfortable having anyone in their home but want to discuss any moving plans.

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What do you think the housing market will look like next year?

It is always difficult to predict what the future holds as we don’t know how 2021 will look. I can’t see the demand for people moving to this area dropping, therefore house prices should hold and if the lower mortgage rates do come back into the market that will help. Ultimately, people will always want to buy and sell property no matter what the world throws at us.

What advice would you give to someone looking to buy a home?

Firstly, get yourself in a position to be able to proceed if the right property appears. You can do this by getting a mortgage agreement in principle in place, which will give you the comfort that the lender will lend to you and that you are comfortable with the repayments. You will also then know exactly what your budget is.

Research the areas you want to move too. Look at what is important to you or your family in terms of location. How good are the schools, local parks, nature reserves, transport links? What amenities are close by? Talk to us as well – we are here to help find you a property in the right location.

What should I look for when choosing an estate agent?  

Honesty, trust and transparency. These three things are so important when looking to instruct an estate agent. Do your research, talk to a few different agents and look at how and where they market their properties. What advice do they give and how will they support you through what can be for many, a very stressful time. You want honest advice on how to get your property ready for marketing and if there is anything you should do to make the process easier or to attract a buyer and get the best price.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and challenge the agent on things you may not be sure on. Above all, you must trust they have your best interests at heart. We have an open-door policy on advice for anyone – just give us a call, we are always happy to help. Reviews are also a great way to see how other people have felt working with the agent before.

Why should I choose Butler Residential? 

Selling a home isn’t an event, it’s a journey and the agent you instruct must be committed to being with you every step of the way. That start-to-finish approach is something we enjoy and are proud of providing.

We take our role in helping people move onto the next chapter of their lives very seriously. If you entrust us with the responsibility of getting you a premium price, within the best time scale that suits your aims, you can expect: total transparency, experienced advice, hard work, respect and availability.

The communities we work in are where we live and where our children go to school, so it is important for us to give back where we can. We are the principal sponsor of Buckden Juniors Football Club and give a percentage of our fee to the club if anyone refers us which goes towards equipment.

We are also currently collecting coats on behalf of The 3 Pillars charity in Eaton Socon to help the most vulnerable this winter. If you have a coat in good condition you no longer need, you can pop it down to our office at The Conservatory Village in Little Paxton until December 18.

For more information, contact Butler Residential on 01480 775355 or hello@butlerresidential.co.uk. Alternatively, visit butlerresidential.co.uk.