sell fast

It is well known that selling your home doesn’t always happen as quickly as you would like. The to-do list is often as long as your arm and getting started is just half the battle. But don’t despair, there are lots of things you can do to help speed up the process of selling your home.

Whether your home is in Belfast, Armagh, Omagh, Antrim, Enniskillen, Derry, Larne or Lisburn, one of the main benefits of using an online estate agent is that things tend to happen a little quicker. The process of signing up to having your property introduced to the market can often only take a matter of days. Once that happens, it won’t be long before viewings and even offers begin to come your way.

The Best time of Year to Sell Your Home

Consider the time of year that you are selling your home, especially if you want a quick sale. Some seasons tend to be more popular for buying and selling, which means your home will be more likely to get snapped up.

As soon as Christmas is over the property market again springs into action. From boxing day onwards expect to see activity boom.

Spring is an ideal time as many people aren’t away on summer holidays, and your home and garden tend to look brighter and more appealing thanks to flowers blooming and more sunshine. Parents also tend to prefer a Spring move so their family is settled in before school starts in September.

Autumn also tends to be a good time to time to sell, as the weather is usually still bright and warm enough. Many people also start to plan out the next few months after the summer.

During the Christmas season, the property market tends to quiet as many of us focus instead on festive activities.

Avoid the height of the summer holidays (July/August) as many prospective buyers will be on holiday.

Be Aware of Local Developments

As well as being aware of the best time of year to sell your home on a national basis, consider what’s going on locally. Are there any development projects that could be either detrimental or beneficial to the sale of your home?

For example, new schools, transport and homes can increase house prices and also your chances of selling quickly, whereas a building site just down the road might put temporality buyers off. Check with your local council as to what proposed projects might be underway when you intend to sell your home.

Choose the Right Selling Price

If your house is too overpriced, getting a quick sale could be tricky. Make sure you work with your agent to get an accurate and achievable asking price that will drive engagement with buyers. It’s good to be ambitious, but make sure you are realistic too, and plan your value with market trends in mind.  The more competitive and realistic you price your home at, the more likely it is a sale will come your way.

Make Sure You Have Adequate Promotional & Supporting Materials

The supporting materials that you provide when selling your home have an enormous impact on your chances of selling. Selling your house is similar to selling a car, you need to showcase the interior, exterior and key features, as well as provide energy efficiency info and a detailed spec.

Make sure that photographs you have collected of the the property are of first class quality. Consider flattering angles of the home, captured at the best time of day to ensure natural light warms your home. You will also need an EPC report, a detailed floor plan and key information about your home.

Present Your Home With Style for Viewings

There’s no point doing all the hard work and creating a fantastic ad for your home if it’s not exactly viewing ready. If you want a quick sale, you need to present your home in the best possible light. Which means making sure every room is spotless and made to look as impressive as possible. When people come to view your home, make sure the lighting is favourable and they come during daylight hours. Make the house feel like a home.

Consider Your Buyer Carefully

If you want a quick house sale, then accepting the first potential buyer that comes along may not always be the best idea. Before accepting an offer, ensure they are ready to move reasonably quickly, and enquire as to whether or not they are they part of a chain, whereby they are in the process of selling their current home. If they are part of a chain then you could be in for a slightly longer wait compared to a potential buyer who is chain free.

Sell Your House Online

As online property experts, we can get you into the best possible position to sell your home fast online. Online Estate Agent NI can help sellers go from ad listing to a sale within a couple of weeks by giving you the power to take control of viewings and manage the sale yourself.

We can help you with everything you need to sell your home, including 360 degree virtual tour, valuing your home, providing a for sale sign, taking photos and giving your property the exposure you need.

We’ve also got a nifty viewing management tool which automatically vets and registers prospective buyers. This happens in real time, with no delays or waiting around, so you can move through the process of selling your home as quickly and efficiently as possible.

To find out how Online Estate Agent NI help you speed up the selling process, get in touch today..


home buyers service

We are now offering a free property finder service. If there is a certain Street, Development or Area you are keen to purchase in but they don’t come onto the market that often, we will actively canvass these areas for you as you just never know who may be considering selling their home in the New Year.

This can only increase your chances of finding your perfect home and all clients will be treated with the upmost privacy.

We are offering our free home buyer service to all areas of Northern Ireland including: East Belfast, West Belfast, North Belfast, South Belfast, Greater Belfast, Lisburn, Armagh, Dungannon, Portadown, Craigavon, Lurgan, Omagh, Derry, Londonderry, Strabane, Enniskillen, Lisnaskea, Irvinestown, Newry, Banbridge, Dromore, Carrickfergus, Ballymoney, Antrim, Magherafelt, Portrush, Coleraine, Moira, Larne etc.

Get in touch today for further details:


save money when selling

An incredible 95% of people are wasting thousands of pounds when they sell their house. This is everything you need to know to dodge those fees yourself.

Using a traditional estate agent means throwing away enough money to pay for a new kitchen or bathroom. Or a fantastic holiday. Really fantastic. And you’re doing it for no reason at all.

That’s because estate agents charge sellers a fee as a percentage of the value they sell the home for. Which means, rather than paying according to what a set of services cost, you’re paying based on how high house prices have risen.

Considering the average house price in the UK is £204,674, that would mean handing the sharp-suited estate agent in charge up to £5,116.85 in commission. Or, roughly, £4,621.84 more than you need to.

Why? Because you can now pay someone to just do the job, rather than reward them for rising UK house prices.

Read more at:


house price increase 3%

House prices in the UK will see an average increase of 3% over the course of next year as the number of transactions stabilises, according to the RICS housing forecast for 2017.

Forecast in brief:
– Transactions set to stabilise in line with recent trend, but fall short of full year 2016 outturn
– Supply shortfall to continue pushing prices higher with prices to increase by 3%
– Rents likely to increase by 2-3% across the UK in 2017

Need for more properties in Belfast, Derry, Armagh, Lisburn, Enniskillen, Omagh & across Northern Ireland.

Following on from the 2016 forecast, the supply pipeline or lack of it is at the forefront of the analysis and dominates the residential market.  While there is an improvement, the legacy of building on an insufficient scale has left the average inventory on estate agents books close to a historic low*.

What’s in store for 2017?

Looking forward, transaction activity will stabilise and is likely to come in between 1.15 and 1.2 million, a little below the 1.25 million likely to be recorded for the whole of 2016.  The prediction for 2017 reflects the trend over recent months.

Good news for anyone thinking of selling their house in Northern Ireland.



2017 house rates stable

Nationwide House Price Index (HPI) released today headlines ‘Steady start to the year for UK house price growth’

Annual house price growth is broadly stable at 4.3%, slightly down from last month (Dec 2016) at 4.5%, there was a 0.2% rise month-on-month in January compared to 0.8% for Dec 2016.

Commenting on the figures, Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist, said: “The annual rate of house price growth remained broadly stable at the start of 2017 at 4.3%, only modestly below the growth rate in December of 4.5%. House prices increased by 0.2% over the month, after taking account of seasonal factors.
“The outlook for the housing market remains clouded, reflecting the uncertainty surrounding economic prospects more broadly”.



December sales

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) have released their Monthly UK Housing Market report for December 2016.

In the report they state: Number of prospective buyers registered per branch last month was the highest in 13 years for the month of December and record December sales to first time buyers (FTBs) since 2001.

The number of properties available to buy on estate agents books in December was 41, up slightly on November when there were 39.

Mark Hayward, Managing Director, National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) comments: “In November we saw a seasonal slowdown; typically it’s uncommon for people to buy and move close to Christmas. Yet, our December findings have completely bucked this seasonal trend. With demand at an all-time December high and sales to FTBs at their highest on record, 2016 closed on a positive note following several months of uncertainty. However, despite an encouraging December, there remains a clear shortage of homes. We await the government’s housing white paper to see how it intends to tackle this and hope the market continues to improve for both buyers and sellers.”



Belfast construction

Construction in Belfast is at its highest level in almost a decade, according to a new report.


11 new development schemes were completed in the city last year, including two hotels.

A further six hotels are currently under construction, set to deliver more than 1,000 new hotel rooms.


A total of 30 schemes are under construction or just recently completed in the city, including the eight hotels, four new educational facilities, seven new student accommodation projects and six office developments, according to the first Belfast Crane Survey report produced by Deloitte Real Estate.

Simon Bedford, partner in Deloitte’s Real Estate practice, said the report shows that Belfast is on an upward trajectory as a location for investment and development.

Ulster University’s move to a larger campus in Belfast has seen a number of student housing schemes already being built.

The report calculates that almost 2,500 student accommodation bed-spaces across seven major projects are currently being built in the city centre area.

This is in addition to 413 bed-spaces that completed in 2016.

Queen’s University is also continuing its investment in new teaching facilities and supporting new student residential development in the city centre.

Suzanne Wylie, chief executive of Belfast City Council, said: “The report demonstrates that private sector developers and investors see the opportunities being created by a growth in tourism, new companies locating here, growth in our own business base and more people, including students, wanting to live in the city centre.”

Ms Wylie claimed that over the next five years more ambitious targets will create 15,000 new jobs, double tourism spend and encourage another £1.5 billion of investment in more buildings and regeneration projects to meet demands.

According to the report, retail and leisure investment is also healthy, with Deloitte noting that the business rate revaluation is leading to more store openings and new brands coming to the city, filling space in Ann Street, Castle Lane and Castle Court.

However, office and residential development activity was subdued. The report said that 84 residential units were completed in the city centre in 2016, but none are scheduled to come to the market in 2017.

“Office development has proved difficult to finance in the market, which is unfortunate as the corporate demand for Grade A office space is on the increase.

“It is also clear that city centre living has yet to really take off in Belfast, but growing student numbers will, we believe, drive this market forward before 2020,” said Mr Bedford.

He added that it was highly encouraging to note the direct investment being made by Belfast City Council in the city centre – most notably in 2016 through the joint acquisition of the historic former Belfast Telegraph building on York Street.

“Belfast’s popularity as a business and leisure destination continues to rise and this is having a direct impact on the local property and construction sector, which is attracting significant investment to meet demand.

“Belfast’s development pipeline is in good shape and we therefore expect to see even more cranes on the skyline in 2017 and 2018,” he said.



market survey presents huge challenge

Survey in brief:
– UK house sales still lack momentum in January.
– Prices and rents continue to rise; shortage of stock is a key factor.
– Buy-to-let investment anticipated to decline given current policy landscape.

Lettings market

Landlord instructions

In January, new landlord instructions in the lettings market failed to improve for a fourth consecutive quarter across the UK. Moreover, respondents predicted that this issue would worsen over the medium term and indicated that they expected landlords to decrease the size of their portfolios over the next three years.

Changes to Stamp Duty in April, alongside scheduled cuts to mortgage interest tax relief, were both seen as important factors diminishing the attractiveness of buy-to-let as an investment as 28% more respondents felt that landlords were likely to decrease the size of their portfolio over the next twelve months. Over the next three years, 26% more contributors expected landlords to scale-back their portfolios. It is, however, worth noting that the sentiment survey was obtained prior to the latest housing announcements.

Tenant demand

During the three months to January, tenant demand for rental properties continued to increase at the national level with the continued imbalance between supply and demand expected to squeeze rents higher. The exceptions to this pattern across the UK are to be found in London and Scotland where tenant demand is slipping back a little. Rent expectations essentially remain flat in Scotland, but are more downbeat in the capital.

Over the next five years, rental projections point to a cumulative increase of just over 25%, outpacing house price inflation over this time period (respondents anticipate prices will rise a little under 20% on the same basis).

Sales market

House purchases

New buyer enquiries were more or less unchanged during January, although, with only 5% of surveyors reporting an increase in demand, this is the lowest reading since August 2016. New instructions, having remained flat for the past few months, deteriorated in January and have now failed to post a positive reading in eleven consecutive months. 11% more chartered surveyors saw a fall in new instructions in January rather than a rise, leaving average stock levels on agent’s books still close to historic lows.


At the same time, sales were flat for the second month in succession with 1% more chartered surveyors seeing a fall in sales over the month. This headline reading does mask regional variation with the sales balance rising firmly in the South West while at the other end of the scale, it declined in central London.

Sales are however predicted to improve in the near term with 15% more respondents expecting a rise over the next three months nationally. What’s more the balance of respondents predicting that sales will increase over the year to come reached a one-year high (+37 net balance).

Price balance

Meanwhile, 25% more respondents saw a rise in prices, rather than fall in January, as prices tick back up. Looking across the UK, the past price balance deteriorated slightly in central London for the second straight report and has now been in negative territory for eleven consecutive months. Most other parts of the UK continue to see prices rise, with the North West returning the highest net balance for a third survey running.

Prices are expected to continue to rise over both the next three and twelve months across the UK in all regions except central London.

Main findings in Northern Ireland

Buyer interest remains strong and houses are selling, but the supply of new properties coming onto the market continues to fall. Indeed, new instructions to sell were broadly flat for the second month in a row.

In terms of prices, these continued to move upwards in January and the expectation is that this trend will continue in the three months ahead. Surveyors also anticipate that sales activity will edge upwards in the short term, despite supply constraints.

“The Northern Ireland housing market appears to have begun 2017 much as it ended 2016, with prices edging upwards and with reasonable demand evident. However, supply remains a challenge, with no sign of the number of properties coming onto the market picking up. Surveyors expect transaction activity to hold up in the short-term, but unless supply improves, this won’t be sustained. It remains to be seen if sellers are holding off until the spring months before marketing their properties.

We enter 2017 with the anticipation of growth in both prices and transactions. Our own expectation at Ulster Bank is for strong mortgage demand, with the ongoing very low interest rate environment and peoples’ desire to own their own home.”

Sean Murphy, Managing Director, Branch Banking at Ulster Bank



buy to let Tax crackdown

Government plans to strip buy-to-let landlords of mortgage interest tax relief have been branded ‘terrible’ by former Bank of England economist David Miles.

From April, landlords will start to lose the right to claim back their mortgage interest costs at the rate they pay income tax – currently up to 45 per cent. Instead, they will see this drop over the next three years and replaced with a 20 per cent tax credit.

Landlords have already slammed the move as disastrous, claiming it will result in rent hikes for tenants across the UK.

Now Miles, an eminent economist and former member of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee, has dubbed it ‘a terrible tax change’.

Together with the introduction of a 3 per cent surcharge on stamp duty payable on buy-to-let purchases since April 2016, Miles has calculated rents would have to rise substantially to make up for landlords’ higher costs.

Speaking at an event in Westminster this week, Miles said: ‘If you are a landlord who is affected by both of these changes and you are a higher rate tax payer, then you might need your rental income to rise by somewhere between 25 and 30 per cent to maintain your return.

‘I don’t expect rents to go up by anything like as much as that, partly because tenants can’t afford it, but I suspect there will be a fairly chunky rise in rents.’

Miles also warned that the tax change would exacerbate the plight of would-be home owners trying to save for a deposit for their first home by forcing them to spend even more of their income on rent.

‘That makes life for those people who hope to be owner occupiers but are still in the rental sector unambiguously worse off,’ he said.

‘I think it’s a terrible tax change for what it’s worth, but we seem to be pushing on.’

The removal of tax relief on buy-to-let mortgage interest has been widely criticised by landlords, with the chairman of the Residential Landlords Association, Alan Ward, calling on the Chancellor to U-turn on the proposed changes earlier this week.

He warned that landlords, faced with significantly higher costs, will be forced to pass on at least some of the pain to tenants.

Recent research from buy-to-let lender Kent Reliance suggests a third of landlords expect to increase rents in the next six months by an average of 5.4 per cent – equivalent £571 per year for households.

Currently landlords are taxed on their profit because existing mortgage payments can be deducted from rental income before that income is declared.

A higher rate tax payer paying 40 per cent income tax can deduct their mortgage costs (buy-to-let loans tend to be interest-only) and therefore they pay only income tax on their rental income above that.

From April this tax relief – currently available up to 45 per cent for top tier taxpayers – will be reduced over four years down to 20 per cent.

It also won’t be a relief. It is being replaced with a tax credit which must be claimed back meaning landlords will find 100 per cent of their rental income is taxable and they are then in line for a credit payment of 20 per cent back.

It’s estimated that the changes will push half a million landlords into a higher income tax band – hitting their profits even harder.


For further information on how its worked out, including case studies visit:


repossession rates low

Fewer homes were repossessed last year than in any year since 1982. A total of 7,700 UK homes were repossessed last year compared with 10,200 in 2015, figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show.

Homes are seized in this way if borrowers are consistently unable to meet their mortgage repayments.

The CML said that falling mortgage interest rates had eased the burden.

The figures reveal that the proportion of buy-to-let properties that are being repossessed has risen significantly.

At the recent peak of home seizures in 2009, about a tenth of the homes repossessed were in the buy-to-let sector. Although the total number of home repossessed from landlords has fallen, this now represents a third of the total.

The number of homes repossessed overall fell in the final three months of the year, down from 1,900 in the third quarter of the year to 1,800 in the fourth quarter.

Mortgage-holders falling into arrears on their home loans also fell compared with the previous year.

The were 94,100 mortgages with arrears of 2.5% or more of the outstanding balance by the end of 2016, the CML said, compared with 101,700 at the end of 2015.

This was slightly up on the 93,300 mortgages in this position by the end of September.