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Do I need an EICR when moving house?

The short answer is no, but sometimes it can be a good idea to carry out an EICR. It might even help you haggle over the asking price.

What is an EICR?

EICR stands for electrical installation condition report. When electricians carry out an EICR they check the condition of the property’s electrics for faults, wear and tear, safety concerns and adherence to the IET wiring regulations.

When should I consider getting an EICR?

An EICR is not included in your average building survey that most people have when they purchase a property. Although a surveyor may recommend one if they find evidence of potential electrical safety issues as part of their building survey. The main situation you should consider getting an EICR carried out is if you are purchasing a property that is quite old.

When viewing a property look out for these signs that indicate an outdated electrical installation and that you should consider an EICR:

  • A wooden backed fuse board
  • A fuse box with cast iron switches
  • Fixed cables coated in lead or fabric
  • Braided flex on ceiling roses
  • Older round pin sockets

If the property you’re moving into has a modern electrical installation or has recently been replaced it is less likely you’ll need an EICR.

If you’re moving into a new build, you won’t need an EICR as it should come with an electrical installation certificate (EIC).

How much does an EICR cost?

According to My Local Toolbox an EICR costs in the region of £100 - 300. The main factors that influence the price of an EICR are the size of the property, the age of the electrics and where you live (London and the South East tend to be more expensive).

How often should I get an EICR?

Electrical Safety First recommends you should get an EICR at least every ten years.

What are the benefits of an EICR?

The main benefits of an EICR are twofold when purchasing a house.

First off, you’ll be more aware of potential electrical defects and can plan for an electrician to resolve them straight away when you move in. This’ll give you peace of mind that your home is a safe place to live in.

Secondly if the EICR highlights problems that should be addressed then it gives you some bargaining power when negotiating on the price of the property. Or you could request that the current owner has the work done as a condition to purchase the property.

At what stage should I get an EICR?

In short, before you buy the property. You should wait until after your offer has been accepted so you know you aren’t wasting money. But you should do it before you exchange contracts so you can haggle on price should any serious faults be discovered.

Where can I find suitable electricians?

You can find local electricians using a site like My Local Toolbox.

Do you need an EICR when purchasing a buy to let?

If you’re planning to buy a property to rent out, there are specific legal requirements you need to adhere to regarding electrical safety.

Essentially you must get an EICR carried out and it should be done again every five years to remain compliant. Check the government's guide to electrical safety in the rented sector for more information.

Do I need an EICR to sell my house?

No, it is not a legal requirement to have an EICR to sell your property.

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How has the Pandemic Affected House Prices?

The Coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on everyday life and continues to leave its mark on our finances, freedom and fun, but what impact has it had on the house prices and what is predicted to come next?

What’s Happening with Property Sales in the UK?

When COVID-19 hit, there was an almost immediate impact on the rate at which houses were being sold, causing concern for the economy and the housing industry. However, this reduction in sales was short-lived, with more than double the number of houses being sold in March 2021 than in March 2020.

Estate agents used online viewings to help keep people interested in the property market, and a lack of supply where people chose to stay put rather than sell has helped to move properties off the market quicker than ever, resulting in positive outcomes for sellers, mortgage providers and estate agents.

Stamp Duty Holiday Kept Houses Selling

One of the key components to keeping the housing market afloat during the pandemic was the introduction of the stamp duty holiday. Each of the UK nations offered their own version of this tax break with an initial deadline of March 31st 2021, in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. However, this has now been extended until the end of June for England and Northern Ireland. Wales offered their tax break until the end of June 2021.

The Introduction of New Mortgage Deals

It remains true that the larger your deposit, the better deal you will get on your house purchase. However, it is clear that not everyone can afford a big deposit. So the government have responded with a 95% mortgage scheme that gives buyers who have a 5% deposit a guarantee that they will get a mortgage.

Announced in March 2021, the government have promised to guarantee the part of the mortgage that is over 80%, giving banks more security if the buyer later defaults on their purchase.

Predictions for the Rest of 2021

When you consider that the property market has enjoyed an ongoing boom during the pandemic, then working out where it will go as the world slowly recovers is fascinating. The general consensus is that the time from agreeing on a sale to completing will remain low, with the average at just 45 days currently, compared to 87 days in May 2020.

However, there is also a belief that once the tax breaks and support schemes cease, then the growth of house prices could stall once more, although Savills predicts that by the end of 2021, there will have been a further 4% increase in prices and that the lack of houses going onto the market will help to keep prices at a high. One thing seems certain; the housing market seems set to enjoy a steady and healthy period ahead.

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Choosing the Right Estate Agent

Choosing the right estate agent is an essential step when selling a property, but how do you know which one to choose? We've shared some top tips so that you can be confident that the estate agent you choose offers everything you need!

Ask the Right Questions

When you first start looking at estate agents, then it is important to shop around and ask a range of questions to see what they offer. Some of the best things to ask include:

  • How quickly do your transactions take to complete on average? It is also worth asking about their track record with achieving the asking price.
  • Are they a member of the Property Redress Scheme or the Property Ombudsman? They must be a member of one of them.
  • Will you work with one team member, or will the whole team be briefed on your sale or purchase needs? This is important because if you need a quick answer, then being able to talk to any team member will help.
  • What are their opening times? Many estate agents don’t open on weekends, making them less accessible.

Find Out About Fees

When you sell a property through an estate agency, you will need to pay a fee for their service. Unfortunately, these fees are not universal and can be anywhere between 0.75% and 3.0% plus VAT of the selling price.

There is always room for fee negotiation, and your aim should always be to go no higher than 1% plus VAT if your house is worth less than £500000. If your house is valued at higher than £500000, you may even be able to get the fee below 1% plus VAT!

Read the Small Print

Each Estate Agent sets terms and conditions, meaning that you will need to read the small print before you agree to a contract with them. Some of the key things to check include:

  • Whether the contract includes the sale boards and professional photos.
  • Do they offer sole selling rights, or can you use more than one agency? If they insist on sole selling rights, you must ensure that this is only for a limited time and reviewed regularly.
  • What time limit do they offer on their agreement. Many estate agents will push for twelve weeks, but it is worth negotiating for less.
  • Is their commission based on a sale or on finding a buyer? If it is the latter, you need to be aware that you will still be liable for the commission if you pull out of the sale.

Online or In-Person

Finally, working out whether to choose between an online and in-person estate agent can be difficult. Online agencies tend to offer lower fees, but they are generally fixed rather than based on a successful sale. Plus, you may find that you have to pay more for accompanied viewings and sales negotiation when you choose an online agency. Work out what you need from an estate agent, and then select the one that offers the best price for what you are looking for.

Remember, you do not have to use the conveyancers or solicitors recommended by your estate agent. To get a competitive conveyancing quote use our free tool here.