Frequently Asked Questions

  • Selling

    • Why are your prices so much cheaper than high street agents?

      We keep our overheads down by having one main office from where we handle the whole selling, buying, landlord and tenant processes. With no premium priced, high street shop fronts, branded cars and other estate agent gimmicks we can afford to keep our overheads as low as possible without sacrificing the quality of our service.  

    • How do we differ from other Estate Agents?

      The main difference is our dramatically cheaper rates which, as opposed to 1.5% – 4% of your property’s sale figure, enable you to sell a property for as little as £495.  Other advantages are that we provide longer opening hours to high street estate agents, wider marketing (500+ websites), more flexibility of service, as well as more clarity on what you will receive. High street agents may not provide professional photos or floorplans, and there may be additional costs hidden in the small print.

       

    • Is it more effort to sell online?

      Absolutely not! Our processes are all extremely efficient and streamlined and, if you choose our full professional service, we can manage everything for you in the office and are always easy to reach on the phone or by email for any queries you may have.

    • Will my property be on Rightmove?

      Yes we market all of our properties on our full network of portals, including Rightmove, Zoopla and Primelocation.     

    • I have spoken to a high street agent that claims to have a ready made buyer. Can this be true?

      High Street Agents often claim they have buyers looking for properties exactly like yours to win you over.  In some cases they do but, in the age of the internet, these buyers will also be looking on websites like Rightmove and Zoopla etc regardless.   Most buyers also sign up to email alert systems which send an email as soon as there’s something relevant to their requirement on the market.  When you join Housesimple, you are accessing the UK’s biggest property mailing list.

    • But how effective are you at selling houses online?

      Based on sales comparisons with RICS we are 40% more likely than a High Street Agent to sell your property. We sell properties in an average 25 days and the average saving is £5,594. Housesimple has saved clients millions in fees across the UK.

    • With your upfront fees, what’s your incentive to sell my property once you've got my money?

      We rely on happy customers and their referrals to keep our business going, and it would not expand at the rate it has if we did not offer the same high-quality service to all of our vendors, regardless of the service chosen.  In addition we offer a No Sale, No Fee option for those who do not wish to take on the risk of achieving a sale.

    • What's the first step if I decide to sell my property through HouseSimple.com?

      You can either call us on 0330 111 0700, from a mobile on 01787 312401 or just register online and you'll be guided through the process.

    • How long does it take for my property to be online?

      Your home visit can be booked as soon as you have signed up with us, and one of our representatives will confirm an appointment time within 24 hours. After your home visit we will moderate/finalise the details of your listing ready for review within 24 hours, Wwe will then publish this online once you have confirmed you are happy with everything.

    • What is the difference between our Pay Upfront, Pay Later and No Sale, No Fee services?

      All services include valuation guidance, professional photography and floorplans, 24/7 viewings and feedback system and 6 months marketing on over 500 property websites which achieve around 180 million buyer searches per month between them, as well as professional negotiation and sales progression.

      Our Pay Upfront option is payable in full once the free trial has completed and the Pay Later option is paid within 6 months or on completion (whichever comes first).

      The No Sale, No Fee commission is only payable if the property is sold. A refundable ‘Set- up fee’, will be due on completion of your free trial period. If you market your property for sale for a continuous period of 3 months (91 days), and we have not introduced a ready, willing and able purchaser or sold your property you will be entitled to a refund of this set-up fee.

    • Are my personal details secure if I decide to sell my property through HouseSimple.com?

      Your personal details are private and confidential. We do not release your details at any stage to anyone without your consent.

    • Can I market my property with other estate agents?

      We recommend against being on the market with dual agents because with HouseSimple.com you will already be advertised far more widely than any high street agency advertises.  You could also end up paying hugely expensive high street agent fees, but if you choose you can market simultaneously with other agents.

    • Which regions do you cover? Do you include Scotland, Ireland and Wales?

      We cover the whole of the UK, covering England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  As part of our 500 strong network of property websites, including Rightmove and Zoopla, we put your property on hundreds of regional news and property sites covering the whole of the UK.  Regional marketing includes S1homes.com in Scotland and PropertyPal.com and Propertynews.com in Northern Ireland.  

    • How quickly can you visit?

      Our representative will confirm an appointment as quickly as possible once you have instructed us to sell your property and requested the home visit.  We generally expect them to visit the property within three working days depending on your availability.  It’s then up to a further 3 working days for HouseSimple.com to compile the listing but we will usually upload images from your visit the next day so, it's usually about 7 working days from when you sign up to getting your property online at most.

    • Who will visit my property?

      Once you have instructed us to sell your property and booked a home visit a local HouseSimple.com representative will visit your property to complete professional photographs and floor plans.

    • Do I have to have a photography appointment?

      Yes. Whilst some vendors will already have some photos and information that they would like to use in their advert, we do still always need to complete a verification visit of the property for legal reasons. We take professional photographs and floor plans to ensure we are satisfying our obligation as an agent that we are accurately marketing all of the properties we have on the market. You are under no obligation to use these photos, but as they are professional shots, they often make up the majority of our listings sometimes mixed in with a nice sunny shot of the garden provided by the vendor. 

      We are happy to use any information or photographs that you would like, providing that they are representative of your property.  

    • What if I want a second photography visit?

      A second photography visit can be arranged at an additional cost.

    • How does the viewings process work?

      When using our automated viewings system, a viewer's time request and chain position will be entered into your ‘MyHouseSimple’ viewings system.  They will choose a time based upon the availability you have set within your account.  Their request will then be sent to you. Assuming you don’t need to alter the times you have previously set, you simply confirm and a confirmation of address, directions and timing are sent out. In compliance with the data protection act, no contact details will be given to either party without consent.

    • Do you vet potential viewers?

      Yes, we always take viewer contact information and take down details of their chain position and financial arrangements for buying so that we can ensure we have all of the necessary information vendors may want to know.

    • Who writes the description?

      HouseSimple.com will compile a brief description for your property using the information that we ask you to complete on our property questionnaire but you will need to fill in the main part of the description.  Once this has been prepared, along with the photography and floor plan, you will have the chance to review and approve any information or description before we publish your details live online.

    • Can I use my own photos/description?

      We are happy to use any information or photographs that vendors would like to provide us, provided they are representative of your property, which we will confirm on our property visit to ensure that we comply with the Property Misdescriptions Act.

    • Will you value my property for me?

      Yes, we always complete a home visit for all of the properties that we sell and offer a valuation guide as part of this service using all of the same data that a high street agent would consult as a part of our service. Our valuations consist of analysis of Land Registry data, local house price movements, recent sales and archived (failed) sales. We take all of this into account as well as square footage, layout, work undertaken, condition, build type and plot size.  Of course we will be happy to put your property on the market at a price you decide but it should be a realistic price.

    • I don't know which service to choose. Which is the most popular?

      All services include valuation guidance, professional photography and floorplans, 24/7 viewings and feedback system and access to our full network or over 500 property websites which achieve around 180 million buyer searches per month between them as well as professional negotiation and sale progression.

      If you’re still unsure, why not give us a call now to discuss it on 0330 111 0700.

    • Are there any costs incurred if I want to change the price once the property is online?

      There is no charge whatsoever, however, any price alterations are subject to moderation and approval by HouseSimple.com.

    • How do I make changes to my listing?

      You can make changes to your listing at any time via your client site, provided that any information added is accurate and representative of your property. Before any amendments go live online these will be moderated by the HouseSimple.com team.
    • How long is my property online for?

      All fee options include 6 months of marketing on HouseSimple.com and property portals.

    • What’s a Rightmove/Zoopla premium? Do they really make a difference?

      A Rightmove or a Zoopla Premium Listing is an enhanced listing which alters the way your property advert appears on viewers’ initial search results.  Instead of displaying a single image that you would normally expect to see, a premium listing is highlighted and displays a greater number of photos so that it stands out amongst other listings.  By showing off your best interior shots and giving them an idea of the layout immediately, it is a great way to entice viewers to click on your listing.  

      Rightmove data reveals that properties with a premium listing receive approximately 45% more people clicking through to view a listing compared to one without and early results on premium listing trials done by Zoopla show 70% more page views on average and twice as many enquiries generated than standard listings. 

    • Do I have to pay for a for sale board?

      We provide a for sale board free of charge, however we do understand that not all vendors want one as it is not always the most useful marketing tool if a property is off the beaten track. If you do not want to have one when signing up to market your property with us there is no obligation to do so.

    • How long does an EPC last for?

      An EPC is valid for 10 years.  If you already have one for the property there’s no need to order another.  If you’ve done extensive work on the property to improve the energy proficiency rating it’s advisable to redo your EPC as this may improve your rating.

    • Do I have to have an EPC?

      In general an EPC report will be required to market a property for sale, although some buildings are exempt from having to have one (e.g. listed buildings).  If not exempt an EPC report is obligatory.

    • Can you organise my Home Reports?

      Yes we will be happy to provide a quotation for a home report and have partners across Scotland whom we work with to complete home reports for our vendors.

    • Once I’ve had an offer, do you do the sales progression?

      Yes we undertake the sales negotiations and sales progression, whichever of our services you choose.

    • What’s the average timescale from sale to completion?

      Once you've put your property online, to get to the sold stage takes on average approximately 25 days, this depends on how realistic the price is, local demand and the competition you're up against. Once a sale is agreed, it is very difficult to accurately put a timescale on the conveyancing process. The average for this is around 8 – 12 weeks, but every property sale is different and it often depends on the complexities of the other property sales involved in the chain.

    • I haven’t got a solicitor to sell my property, can you help?

      Yes, we have a number of conveyancing partners whom we work with on a regular basis, and can offer a fixed fee of £595 + VAT (and disbursements) per transaction regardless of your property price for their service.

    • What happens when there’s an offer on my property?

      We will let you know of all offers immediately, regardless of which service you choose. If the price isn’t right then we’ll do everything we can to negotiate a price you’re happy with. 

  • Buying

    • What is the difference between buying a house through HouseSimple.com and buying through a traditional High Street Estate Agent?

      The main difference buying a house through HouseSimple.com rather than a High Street Estate Agent is that our viewings are usually hosted by the vendors themselves.  We feel that the vendors are the most qualified to do this since they know the property best! 

       

    • Who shows me around the property? Why not an estate agent?

      Usually our vendors will host their own viewings.  We feel that they are the most appropriate people to do this since they know the property best!  This is also part of the way in which we are able to offer such low fees for selling.

    • How does the viewings process work?

      Viewings can be arranged directly with vendors through our bespoke, online viewings system on our website.  Once you’ve found a property you’re interested in click ‘Book a viewing’ on the listing.  This will take you through to see the vendor’s viewing availability.  Select when is convenient for you.  Enter in your details as well as your chain and financial position and click ‘Book Viewing’.  An email will be sent to the vendor with your request.  If they are available the booking will be confirmed.  The vendor will then meet you at the property and show you around.

    • Will there be someone I can talk to at the various stages of the buying process?

      Yes. One of the team will always be able to help with any queries you may have. Our office hours are Monday to Friday 8am until 8pm, Saturday from 9am to 5pm and Sunday from 10am until 4pm.

    • How do I make an offer?

      Once you have seen a home that ticks the right boxes simply contact us to make an offer. We’ll go through some details with you (if you’re in a chain, information regarding your mortgage etc) and put your offer to the owner straight away.  Some of our vendors prefer to do their own negotiating but we suggest contacting us with the offer first so that we can direct your call appropriately.  

       

    • What costs will I incur when buying a house?

      When buying a property if you have used a solicitor or conveyancer, you will obviously incur solicitor’s fees and also stamp duty (if applicable).

    • What is stamp duty?

      Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is charged on land and property transactions in the UK. The tax is charged at different rates and has different thresholds for different types of property and different values of transaction. The tax rate and payment threshold depends on whether the property is in residential or non-residential use, and whether it is a freehold or leasehold. The % amount of stamp duty paid below only applies to the part of the property price that falls within the band.

      Residential land or property SDLT rates and thresholds –

      Purchase price/lease premium or transfer value

      Up to £125, 000 - Zero

      Over £125, 000 to £250, 000 - 2%

      Over £250, 000 to £925, 000 - 5%

      Over £925, 000 to £1.5 million - 10%

      Over £1.5 million - 12%

    • What does ‘No Chain’ mean?

      ‘No chain’ means that the vendor selling the property will not be making an onward purchase that is related to the sale of their own property.  In practice this usually means the sale is likely to go through more smoothly as there are fewer properties involved in the process.

    • What does ‘Shared Ownership’ mean and how does it work?

      Shared ownership means that only a portion of the property is owned and can be re-sold by the vendor.  The remaining share will be owned by a housing association who will rent this back to the vendor at what is considered a fair rate, enabling the owner to save for a deposit for a larger property, or buy a greater share of the shared ownership property.

    • Why can’t I find out what other peoples’ offers are?

      As agent, our obligation is to act in the best interests of our vendors and disclosing the offers that other people have made are not in their interest.

    • How do I pick up the keys once I’ve completed?

      We usually arrange for the vendor and the purchaser to meet at the property on the day of completion and exchange keys.  Alternatively, if the solicitor is locally situated, it can be arranged for the keys to be collected from here.    

  • Tenants

    • Does renting through HouseSimple.com differ to renting through a High Street agent?

      The main difference is that at HouseSimple.com each landlord chooses how much or how little they are involved in the rental of their property. Some landlords will opt to do as much as possible including hosting all the viewings and arranging the tenancy including all the administration. Other landlords will ask HouseSimple.com to take care of everything from start to finish. Simply ask our team which category the property you are interested falls under.

       

    • Who shows me around? Why not an agent?

      Usually our landlords will host their own viewings.  We feel that they are the most appropriate people to do this since they know the property best!  This is also part of the way in which we are able to offer such low fees for renting.

    • What costs will I incur? Are there any agency fees?

      HouseSimple.com doesn’t charge agency/administration fees to the tenant.  The only costs which you may be required to pay are for the reference and credit checks if the landlord requests that we have these completed.

    • How do I view one of your rental properties?

      Viewings can be arranged directly with landlords through our bespoke, online viewings calendar system on our website.  Once you’ve found a property you’re interested either call us or click ‘Book a viewing’ on the listing.  This will take you through to a calendar with the landlord’s viewing availability.  Select when is convenient for you.  Enter in your details and click ‘Book Viewing’.  An email will be sent to the landlord with your request.  If they are available the booking will be confirmed.  The landlord will then meet you at the property and show you around.

    • What is the process for completing a reference?

      If your landlord has requested that you complete credit and reference checks, please contact our office directly on 01787 312401 and we can advise on the information required to complete these.  The process will include a credit check, as well as seeking references from a previous landlord and your current employer.

    • Who do I speak to if I have problems with my tenancy?

      You will need to refer any issues directly to your landlord, unless they have chosen to use our managed lettings service in which case you will need to contact our managing agents directly.

    • How do I pay my monthly rent?

      This will need to be confirmed directly with your landlord; unless they are using our managed lettings or rent collection service payment where payment would normally be made directly to your landlord.

    • I’m interested in renting one of your properties. How do I go about doing this?

      If you’ve found one of our properties you want to rent simply contact HouseSimple.com and we will guide you through the next stages of the process, the credit and reference checks.  

       

  • Landlords

    • Where will my advert appear? Will it be on Rightmove?

      With our Pay As You Go fee option your marketing is renewed on a weekly basis and can continue for as long as you want. Your property will be marketed on HouseSimple.com as well as over 500 other property websites including market leaders Rightmove, Zoopla and Primelocation.

    • How long will it take to get my property online?

      Your property listing can be advertised live online as soon as you have completed the advert information that we need from you. If you have paid for us to complete photography and floor plans as an additional service we will usually have these completed and ready to upload to your account asap and usually within 3-4 working days of requesting the appointment, but you do not need to wait for these to be done if you wish to advertise in the meantime with any of your own images that you can provide.

    • What documentation do you need from me to advertise my property?

      Before we put your listing online we will need an EPC and your Gas Safety Certificate, both of which we can organize for you. Please note you will need to have a new gas safety certificate completed at least every 12 months, as well as having regular boiler maintenance and servicing completed in accordance with the manufacturers instructions to ensure that this is safe.

    • How long will my advert be online for?

      With our Pay As You Go fee option your marketing is renewed on a weekly basis and can continue for as long as you want. Your property will be marketed on HouseSimple.com as well as over 500 other property websites including market leaders Rightmove, Zoopla and Primelocation. Our fixed fee marketing option includes 3 months of marketing time on property portals.

    • Can I edit my advert once it’s gone live?

      Yes, using your online client site you are free to make any changes that you like to your listing, provided they are accurate.  Any changes you do make will be subject to moderation before they go live on your advert.

    • Can I use HouseSimple.com and my local lettings agent?

      Yes, whilst we do not recommend this given the extensive marketing network that HouseSimple.com uses and our confidence in our service, you are free to use a local agent in addition if you are using our tenant finding service.

    • I run a small lettings agency. Can I use you to advertise on the big portals?

      No, we are not able to market on behalf of any other agents on the portals that we market on.

    • Once I have found a tenant, do you offer a management service?

      Yes, we offer a full management service as well as a full range of other lettings services.

    • Do you offer rent guarantee insurance?

      Yes, we offer rental guarantee insurance when all tenants have had successful credit and reference checks completed through ourselves or our agents.

    • How does the viewing process work?

      When using our automated viewings system, a viewer's time request and chain position will be entered into your ‘MyHouseSimple’ viewings system.  They will choose a time based upon the availability you have set within your account.  Their request will then be sent to you. Assuming you don’t need to alter the times you have previously set, you simply confirm and a confirmation of address, directions and timing are sent out. No personal contact details will be given to either party without consent.

       

    • Should I pay for the tenant reference service and credit checks myself or get my tenants to pay?

      The tenant will be charged as the default for the full reference and credit checks.  However, you can choose to pay for this product yourself, the benefit of doing so is that you can then highlight in your advert that no extra charges will be incurred by the tenant.

    • What are 'right to rent' checks, and is this something I need to worry about?

      It is your obligation as landlord to check that a tenant or lodger can legally rent your residential property in England before their tenancy starts.  If you have any queries about these checks please do not hesitate to contact a member of the team on 01787 312401.

  • General

    • How does HouseSimple.com save their clients money?

      As we operate from central offices rather than high street shops we don't have as expensive over-heads which means that we can offer you the lowest commission fees in the whole of the UK.

    • Will there be someone at HouseSimple.com that I can talk to for help and advice?

      Yes, there is always a human voice at the end of the phone to answer any questions you may have. We promise you won't have to muddle through an automated system to get through to us.

    • What happens if I have technical problems?

      If you have forgotten your password or if you are experiencing technical problems please email our customer support team on support@housesimple.com

    • Where will my home be advertised?

      Approximately 95% of potential buyers start looking for property via the internet. 90% of these potential buyers look at more than 1 property portal to find a home. That's why we will advertise your property on all the major property portals including Rightmove, Zoopla, Findaproperty, Primelocation, Globrix, Propertyfinder, Fish4homes and many more. These websites generate around 180 million buyer searches per month.

    • How long is my property online for when I am selling?

      Both pricing options includes 6 months of marketing on HouseSimple.com and over 500 other property websites including market leaders Rightmove, Zoopla and Primelocation.

    • Do you provide the same service for each full service fee option?

      Yes. We treat every client and the sale of each property exactly the same, no matter which fee option has been chosen.

    • Will there be someone at HouseSimple.com that I can talk to for help and advice?

      Yes. Our team is always ready to answer any questions and help in any way.  Our office hours are Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturday 9am to 5pm and Sunday 10am to 4pm.  Email us or leave a message if we are closed and we will respond to your query as soon as possible. 

    • What are your opening times?

      Our office hours are Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturday 9am to 5pm and Sunday 10am to 4pm.  Email us or leave a message if we are closed and we will respond to your query as soon as possible.

    • How long have you been trading for?

      HouseSimple.com was founded in 2007 as a Partnership. In 2011 we became HouseSimple Ltd. We have now been trading for 8 years, have sold and let thousands of properties and have - so far - saved our clients approximately £20million in fees across the UK.

       

    • Which professional bodies are you affiliated with?

      We are members of The Property Ombudsman redress scheme, and are also registered members of UKALA, National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), TDS, mydeposits.co.uk and the safe agent scheme.

    • Do I deal with just one person?

      The team at HouseSimple.com are extremely helpful and whilst we all deal with different parts of the selling process to make the service as efficient as possible, we can all generally assist with any enquiries you may have when you get in touch.

    • Where are we based?

      Our office is based in Suffolk, but we operate across the whole of the UK.

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