Frequently asked questions
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There are several costs involved in selling a house. These include estate agency fees, a home report, conveyancing fees (i.e. transferring the legal ownership of the house), and Land and Building Transaction Tax. You can read a full overview of our fees here.
You’ll also need to think about the costs involved in preparing your house for the property market. This often involves making your house look nice for photos and viewings, as well as other small DIY jobs which could increase the value of your home. Don’t forget about removal costs and other costs involved in moving! Check out our latest news for more on what to expect when selling your home.
The time it takes to sell a house can vary dramatically – some houses sell within days, while others might take months and months. It is often influenced by a range of factors, from the wider property market to the processes directly involved in selling your home. If you’re looking to sell your house as quickly as possible, our local property experts will talk you through where your home should sit in the market.
Each neighbourhood and home is different. If you would like advice on when it is best to sell your home, please get in touch with our team.
That’s up to you. If you have loved living in your home and want to tell others about why they’ll love it too, you may feel that you’re the best person to show off your house. Want us to take care of it? We also offer hosted viewings.
We’re here to help sell your home, in whatever way works best for you.
This varies with each person viewing your house. Some viewings might only last five or ten minutes, while others can take longer. Larger houses may need longer viewings, and some people are more thorough than others.
Don’t fret when people move through your house quickly. It doesn’t mean they’re not interested – just as long viewings don’t always result in an offer. Some viewers do an initial quick viewing and then come back with a friend.
There’s many online calculators that will use basic information about your house to give you an estimation. For a more accurate idea of the market value of your home, we recommend an in-person valuation. We offer free valuations with a local property expert and no obligation to sell with us.
Adding extensions and other additions to your house may add significant property value. If you’re not looking to invest a lot, general and easy-to-do home maintenance (e.g. a fresh coat of neutral paint, weeding garden) can make your house more desirable without the huge investment. Speak to one of our property experts to see what changes you could make your home to add value.
Six months is the average time it takes to buy a house, but there are many factors involved which can slow down or speed up the process. Delays with surveys and being stuck in a chain can add to that time. On the other hand, things can move more quickly if you’re a cash buyer and everybody is motivated. Each sale is different.
Ultimately, it’s your decision. As with any long-term financial commitment, you should think carefully before making a move. Don’t base your decision on mortgage rates and property values, which is almost impossible to predict. Our mortgage advisors are available if you’re looking for more information and support.
If you’re looking to buy a property, Empire has houses and flats available for sale in Wishaw, Motherwell, Hamilton, Bellshill, Carluke, Glasgow, Larkhall, Uddingston, Shotts, Allanton, Newmains, Cleland, Lanark and all across Lanarkshire.
In most situations, yes. This is the day your solicitor takes the funds they’ve received for the house (either from you or your mortgage provider) and transfers them to the seller’s solicitor. Once they confirm the funds have been received, you get the keys and can move in.
In the event that the transfer is delayed for whatever reason, they might not receive the funds early enough to release the keys that day. Your estate agent will be able to talk you through this process in more detail.
Each lender decides their own criteria for lending money. This means that some lenders might turn you down, while others may not. Lenders will generally look at the following factors when considering your application:
A mortgage is a loan taken out to buy property or land. Most run for 25 years, but can be shorter or longer depending on what has been agreed with the lender. The loan is secured against the value of your home until it has been paid off. If you’re unable to keep up with your repayments, the lender can repossess your home and sell it to get their money back. So it’s important to think about what is affordable for you before making any financial commitments. An advisor can help you with this.
There are many online mortgage calculators available which will show you how much a lender might offer you, as well as whether you’re able to afford the monthly payments based on your income and outgoings.
A buy to let mortgage is given specifically to people who want to buy a property as an investment, rather than as a place to live.
For an interest only mortgage, you’re only paying the interest and not any of the capital. The payments will be low. At the end of the mortgage term, you’ll still owe the overall balance of what you initially borrowed. You will need to show the lender that you can pay off the mortgage once the term is up.
If you’re looking to rent a property, Empire has houses and flats available to let in Wishaw, Motherwell, Hamilton, Bellshill, Carluke, Glasgow, Larkhall, Uddingston, Shotts, Allanton, Newmains, Cleland, Lanark and all across Lanarkshire.
Only with the landlord’s written consent.
No, rent must be paid via standing order, generally on the date you moved into the property. Late payment of rent and subsequent rental visits will be subject to charges.
Most of our tenants are signed on a SAT (Short Assured Tenancy). This must run for 6 months or more, and is a joint and severally liable lease. What this means is explained further in the next FAQ.
Every tenant is responsible for any amount due to the landlord (e.g. rent, or money for damage to the property).
This means that, regardless of who ‘actually’ owes money to the landlord, the landlord is legally allowed to pursue any tenant for any money owed. An example: if one tenant doesn’t pay the rent, then if joint and several liability applies, all the other roommates are liable to the landlord for payment of that person’s share (or they can all be evicted for non-payment of rent). In this situation, it’s up to the other tenants, not the landlord, to collect from the non-paying tenant (say by suing them for damages).
The existence of joint and several liability means that, the more people you sign into a joint tenancy with, the more likely you are to be liable for more rent than you ‘should’ owe. Any guarantor for someone tied into a joint and several liability contract will also be potentially liable for the full sum owed for any rent payments or damages.
This is dependent on your individual landlord and how they decide to deal with repairs. Some landlords opt for a ‘tenant find’ service, which means they will deal with their own repairs. Alternatively, if they decide for a ‘fully managed’ service, then Empire manage the property and you will deal with our maintenance team. When viewing a property, you will be advised if the landlord or Empire will deal with the repairs and maintenance.
Yes, please contact our team and we will forward you a copy.
Yes, but all applicants must undergo our credit check procedure. The outgoing tenant must provide written authorisation of new incoming tenants (fee applies).
No, tenants are responsible for utility bills and council tax (full time students must apply for a full exemption – you can find out more here).
Check out our Testimonials page to read what our tenants have to say about their experience with us.
Have a question about maintenance? Find our FAQs about property maintenance here.
As part of our landlord packages, we offer a fully managed service. This is ideal for landlords who don’t have the time or want to avoid any hassle involved in managing their own property. We can act as a buffer should any form of dispute arise between you and the tenant, as well as stay on top of any new housing legislation for you.
Yes, but you need to give the tenant appropriate notice. This is generally stated in the tenancy agreement.
The tenant is liable for any damage that is caused during the tenancy which is deemed avoidable. These costs are deducted from the security deposit we collect at the beginning of the tenancy.
In general, you are responsible for any major repairs to structure and installations as the property’s landlord. The tenant is responsible for minor interior repairs and decoration. The tenancy agreement should state who is responsible for what. For more information about this, please contact us.
Tenants will set up a standing order prior to moving into the property. The rent will be collected on the same day each month and processed into you, the landlord’s account.
Ensuring timely payment is part of our service. However, during a tenancy, people’s circumstances can change. In the event of late or non-payment, our team of professions will advise you on the best course of action to take.
At the lease signing, the tenant is required to pay a full month’s rent and security deposit before they can move in. This is used as a guarantee against damage to the property, cleaning bills if the property is left in poor condition, unpaid bills or unpaid rent. The deposit funds are held within a tenancy deposit scheme, approved by the government.
If the property is vacant for any period of time, we advise that you contact your insurance company, who will explain what happens.