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Have a look below at all of our frequently asked questions. If you can't find the answer here, simply pick up the phone and give us a ring.

Q Should I replace the lightbulbs in my house with low energy bulbs to improve the rating?
A Replacing all your bulbs with low energy bulbs will not make a huge difference to the final SAP rating of your home. Although environmentally friendly they are not a favourite of the agent when showing your home as they do take a while to reach their full luminescence and can make a home appear gloomy.

Q Should I improve the insulation of my home before marketing?
A It is not Castles belief that buyers will decide which house to purchase on the basis of its energy rating. The EPC is quite clear in showing a potential purchaser how they can easily improve the rating for little or low cost.

Q Does the selling agent have to give me a copy of the EPC?
A Estate agents are required provide a copy of the EPC certificate on request. This explains why the EPC ratings are where they are and what measures are necessary to achive the 'potential' rating. 

Q What’s the difference between a ‘Freehold’ and ‘Leasehold’ property?
A Simply put, Leasehold means that you do not own the land that the property stands on, usually applicable to a flat or maisonette. Freehold property means you own the property and the land that it is built on. Under the terms of a Lease maintenance insurance and ground rent are usually payable to the Freeholder (or their agent) which can sometimes be owned jointly between the leaseholders. Freehold property can also include maintenance payments (for private roads gardens etc.) so get your solicitor to carefully check your liabilities.

Q What’s the difference between a sole and multiple agency?
A A sole agency is where one agent is appointed. A multiple agency is where two or more agents are instructed - you usually only pay the successful agent - just be wary of the agency terms particularly sole selling rights agreements. Most sellers (and agents) prefer a sole agency where they can act to get the best sale for the client not just the first!

Q Do I have to have a survey on the property I am purchasing?
A There is no legal requirement to have a survey. Be aware the valuation for mortgage purposes isn't a survey and doesn't give you and comeback should you discover previously hidden defects. Houses in the UK are still sold under the principle 'caveat emptor' - buyer beware.

Q What are sole selling rights?
A This is where and agency agreement entails the agent is paid their sales fee regardless, even if you sell to a relative. This type of agreement is becoming more common as more information on houses being sold is put on the internet. Occasionally sellers may be tempted to argue that buyer who knocked on the door was a private sale! (Agents note: decent agents do so much more than just find a buyer!).

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Ella Lavery from Castles was excellent at all stages of process from viewing to completion. Very pleased with all the support and efficiency. Thank you for all your assistance.

- Iris & Ruben

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