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The Truuli team give a helping hand to Whitechapel Missions

Instead of a 9am team meeting, Olivia, Michael, Leigh and I met at 5:30am at the Whitechapel Mission. Instead of smart wear, it was Truuli T-shirts and aprons with name tags on them. Once we were checked in and introduced to the lovely team it was all hands on deck for the us to prepare the kitchen and ready ourselves to serve the homeless and those in need. 

At 7am the shutters went up. Michael and Leigh on Tea and Coffee duty, with Olivia serving biscuits. I was in given the task of assisting the chef to prep food for the cooked full English breakfast. By 7:30 it was time for the shutters to go down whilst we altered the set up to get ready to serve cooked breakfast. Michael and Olivia took orders and served the hot food and Leigh was on cereal/porridge duty. My task was ensuring all of the serving dishes remained replenished at all times. 

From 7:45 until 11 we rotated and changing roles given everyone an opportunity to interact with our customers and ensuring all hands were on deck at all times. 

The atmosphere and energy in the building was second to none and there was such a positive spirit and drive to help. The staff’s length of service ranged from seven months to as long as 16 years, one common factor within them all was their will to help and personal affection with those in need. Charley was able to reel off a lot of people’s meal preferences before they could even step forward! I also feel the same could be said for those who we served whom greeted each other in enthusiastic ways and socialised whilst enjoying their food before going about their day.

For me it was such a rewarding day and left me with a different kind of satisfaction at the end of the day, very heart warming. The team and I were able to connect and engage with people of all walks of life. I also gained a sense of unity and care between those in need. For me, it was beautiful day to help out and I can’t thank Michelle and the team enough for allowing us to join them for the day… Hopefully they will have us back soon!

Ryan Morgan

Truuli Property Expert

Timely boost from the government for the property market!

“When you speak with any home owner the hardest part about buying a home or getting into a position to buy a home is raising the deposit. We live in a society today where for the average person your cost of living is so high you do not have enough money to save as much you would require each month (especially in London). For a lot of aspiring homeowners they are in a tough predicament where they are paying rent on their current property that in hindsight would be a lot more than  the monthly repayments on a mortgage of their own home. The only thing they lack is the deposit to commence the buying process”.

By the government allowing this scheme to launch to both first time buyers and current home owners this will allow the market to continue to move. This will provide assurance to current home owners who need to sell and/or move along  with also giving faith to those aspiring to own their own home and get on the ladder.

“As a Property Expert working during these estranged times it was such a blessing and a boost to benefit from the stamp duty holiday. However, as the government gave the market a blessing with one hand, the banks took away with another by taking away all 95% mortgage products and temporarily removing 90% products. Over the summer and autumn of 2020 we went through a phase where we had an abundance of properties available but a lack of buyers given the requirement of a larger deposit”.

“The scheme rolling out until the end of 2022 this fills the property market with a lot of faith and confidence until then along with keeping the economy moving which will be vital for the United Kingdom to drive forward”

“We have property experts ready to speak with you about the pricing in their areas and will be able to advise now and into the future. We also have Mortgage partners on hand who we can refer you to, who work with the whole of market and will be able to advise you about the best mortgages tailored to your needs.

“Feel free to get in touch”.

0330 043 0002

Truuli.co.uk

Stamp Duty Holiday - Truuli

How to prepare your property for sale, if you want to take advantage of the current Stamp Duty Holiday

January is usually a popular period which would see sellers come to the housing market in large numbers. Next year, however, may be slightly different as plenty of buyers hope to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday (currently due to end 31st March 2021).

It is now even more important to have all paperwork/documentation relating to the sale of your home ready to provide to your solicitor/conveyancer if you want to sell within the next 18 weeks. For example, if you’ve had any works carried out to your home such as an extension, windows changed, re-wiring etc. then any certification should be made available for your solicitor who will relay this to your buyer’s legal representative.

Solicitors that I am currently dealing with are already reporting that their workload has increased significantly with buyers and sellers alike hoping to take advantage of the government-backed incentive. It is imperative that you notify the solicitor that you intend to use about the timeframe you are working towards and take their guidance (based on their workload) as to whether they’ll be able to meet the 31st March deadline.

The likelihood is that if you are hoping to take advantage of the Stamp duty holiday then getting your property on the market sooner rather than later is advisable.

Tips to aid selling your property

1. First impressions

First impressions count for everything. Get the windows professionally cleaned and replace the worn-out doormat, so prospective buyers aren’t put off before they’ve even walked through the front door. Kerb appeal is crucial.

2. Attention to detail

Have a thorough spring clean and get to the corners you’d normally ignore. Buyers come with a critical eye and will inspect a room from wall to wall – you don’t want them looking up at the ceiling and seeing a collection of cobwebs.

With the evenings getting longer ensure that you generate a ‘cosy, warm feeling’ so look at soft lighting in the reception and bedrooms and don’t forget the heating in your home for when the viewings take place!

3. Maintenance

Some buyers will be put off at the idea of any DIY. Run a quick maintenance check throughout your home and get the toolbox out. Do any bulbs need replacing, or is there a loose door handle that needs to be tightened, for example?

4. Declutter

You need to help prospective buyers imagine where their furniture and family pictures will go. Rooms that look too busy, full of mismatching furniture or an oversupply of personal details, can also make a room look smaller. Prospective buyers always want to check inside cupboards: if they’re packed full, empty them and throw away everything you don’t need, or put things in a suitcase for a few weeks. Hide all those plastic toys which can take up so much space. Demonstrating your home has adequate storage is crucial.

5. Character preservation

If you are de-cluttering, remember not to remove traces of character altogether – thoughtful splashes of colour and a few well-chosen soft furnishings can make a property feel more stylish and individual. It’s useful to remember what it was that made you fall in love with your home when you bought it.

6. A lifestyle setting

Some buyers are looking for a lifestyle as much as a home. Setting the table with a simple white dinner set and some pretty napkins, for example, can help people imagine living in your home.

7. Bathroom details

Another quick win can be in the bathroom. Buyers often want to check the water pressure of the shower so remove any limescale that might have built up, it’s an easy job but can make a big difference.

8. Additional space

Showing buyers how they can create additional space can be an effective way to demonstrate how your property might work for them, without the expense of carrying out any structural work. Investigate what could be done and highlight the possible options.

9. Garden upkeep

The garden can be the most important feature of the house. Now I accept that winter is the most challenging time of the year to keep your garden looking meticulous, however, taking the time to clear the garden, mow the lawn, cut back any trees and bushes, tidy up the garden furniture and tidy the children’s plastic toys will most certainly help with the sale of your home.

10. Get the Word Out

Always have a board up, and tell your neighbours – word of mouth is a powerful tool. You never know who might live just around the corner, waiting for your house to come to the market. Your board will also act as an 24-hour salesperson and help to garner interest.

There is still an opportunity to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday, but you will need to get things moving sooner rather than later! If you would like to have a chat about the steps required to prepare your home for sale or require any property-related advice, please feel free to give our team a call on 0330 043 0002

https://www.flickr.com/photos/housebuyfastworthing/45841713292

Stamp Duty: Housing market receives timely boost

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a stamp duty holiday which will run until 31 March 2021 in a bid to boost the struggling housing market which has taken a hit due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Although the measure is temporary, it could have a lasting impact on people who are looking to buy homes at the lower end of the market.

What is stamp duty?

Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) is a lump sum payment those buying a property or piece of land over a certain price have to pay.

Prior to Wednesday, all house-buyers in England and Northern Ireland had to pay stamp duty on properties over £125,000, or if you were a first-time home buyer you did not need to pay stamp duty unless the property you were buying was more than £300,000.

The rate a buyer has to pay varies depending on the price and type of property – usually you would expect to pay more stamp duty if the property is worth more.

Landlords pay an extra 3% of stamp duty when they purchase a buy-to-let property.

Stamp duty rates are different in Scotland and Wales

What has Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced on stamp duty?

The cost of stamp duty on homes up to £500,000 has been suspended, potentially saving future house buyers tens of thousands of pounds.

Mr Sunak announced he has decided to cut stamp duty, telling the Commons: “Right now, there is no stamp duty on transactions below £125,000.

“Today, I am increasing the threshold to £500,000. This will be a temporary cut running until March 31 2021 – and, as is always the case, these changes to stamp duty will take effect immediately.

“The average stamp duty bill will fall by £4,500. And nearly nine out of 10 people buying a main home this year, will pay no stamp duty at all.”

How much could you save on stamp duty? Experts have said a stamp duty holiday will encourage more home owners to move, enabling a further kickstart to economic activity in other sectors”.

Comments by Chuk Agudosi (Truuli Property Expert)


From my professional prospective, Wednesday 8th July was certainly a significant day for the property industry. The chancellor’s announcement regarding the stamp duty holiday is a welcome boost for both buyers and sellers alike.

If you’re hoping to buy a property then there is of course an obvious saving especially for those in London where the cost of purchasing a home is so much higher than in the rest of the UK. In fact the saving could be as much as £15,000!

It is however also really good news for those homeowners who are selling and potentially upsizing as they stand to profit twice. Firstly they can expect to see an increase in potential purchasers looking at their home. They also then profit  on their onward purchase (with a saving with from the Stamp Duty Holiday) as well as the likelihood of potentially more properties available for them to consider as more homeowners look to take advantage of the Stamp Duty Holiday.

Let’s not forget that the recent housing market has been disadvantaged firstly by the ‘Brexit cloud which had been hovering for the best part of 4 years then just when there appeared to be clearer skies (Jan/Feb 2020) the Coronavirus Lockdown came into effect.

So great and welcome news from Rishi Sunak and a fantastic opportunity for anyone who was considering buying or selling to take advantage……remember the Stamp Duty Holiday is only available to March 31 2021.

Chuk Agudosi – Truuli Property Expert

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Our number one priority remains the safety and wellbeing of our people and our customers. Despite the obvious challenges, we are committed to keeping our office open during these difficult times.

To help minimise the risk and in consideration of others, if you have any of the symptoms below we ask that you do not attend any viewings until you have been symptom-free for 14 days.

  • High temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • New, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

During the viewing

  • Avoid touching surfaces and bring your own hand sanitiser. 
  • Practice social distancing in line with public health advice.
  • A face covering is recommended.

Thank you for your support, trust and patience during this uncertain period. Please do not hesitate to contact us about any concerns or issues you might have, and we wish for you all to be safe and healthy during this difficult time.  

Please refer to the NHS website for further guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Truuli Smash the Crystal Maze

The Crystal Maze Experience was definitely a great day out for the Truuli team and myself. It was so nostalgic to go back to the days of watching the show on Channel 4 or Challenge…. It felt like like the only thing missing on the day was the ovals and the camera crew! 

As a team it was refreshing and revitalising to change the environment and circumstances. We stepped out of our daily routine of working together to deliver an outstanding service to achieve the best possible prices for our vendors to working collaboratively on a variety of physical, mental, mystery and skill challenges to get as much time as possible in the infamous Crystal Dome!  It was a fun filled night allowing us to grow closer as a team and get a deeper understanding of each other’s strengths as we were working together in a more time pressured environment. It is vital for any team to be versatile in the way they work together and spend time together and I am grateful to be part of a company that invest their time and money in more ways than resources within the working hours. 

With an “impressive score of 362” it also shows that at Truuli we do work hard and play harder whilst staying successful and triumphant at all times.

Phil Spencer reveals the estate agent advice you must avoid when selling a property

PHIL SPENCER, 49, is a presenter and journalist who is well known for presenting shows including Location, Location, Location and Relocation, Relocation. He often shares his property buying tips and revealed the estate agent advice you must beware of when buying a property.

Selling a house is not an easy task and enlisting the help of an estate agent can make the process easier. As the co-founder of Move iQ, Phil Spencer often shares his property expertise and offers advice for those looking to buy or sell a house.

Most people will look to the advice of an estate agent when purchasing a property but sellers should beware if they get a certain piece of advice. Speaking to Express.co.uk, Phil explained why sellers should be careful of estate agents overvaluing their property.

When it comes to selling a house, some estate agents will be quick to give your property a high valuation, but this is not always what it seems. He explained those looking to sell a property should be wary when given a high estimation. 

Phil told Express.co.uk: “When you’re selling your home, it’s vital to choose an estate agent you’re happy to work with.

“It’s extremely important to look for someone who is experienced, enthusiastic and helpful. And you don’t automatically choose the agent that suggests the highest asking price.” He explained sellers should not necessarily believe a high valuation if it seems too good to be true.

“I would also be wary of making a decision based purely on the asking price of the property. Quite often I see properties that don’t sell simply because the asking price was too high from the outset,” Phil added. “It’s off-putting to buyers. As time goes by, the house doesn’t sell and buyers assume there’s a problem with the property.

“In these instances, the house is sold for less than if it had been realistically priced in the first place.”

To avoid losing out, vendors should make sure they ask about to get the most accurate valuation for their property before it goes on the market.

He told Express.co.uk: “It’s vital that you get at least three separate asking price estimates from agents before picking one. Beware automatically choosing the one who quotes highest.

“Some agents have been known to quote a high initial asking price, in order to win your business, but will then urge you to start dropping the price soon after you’ve signed up.

“Getting several different valuations will give you a truer picture of the current market value of your home and what potential buyers are likely to pay for it, which will later help you judge whether to accept an offer.”

Sellers should look to other properties in their area to get the most realistic valuation.

Phil added: “It’s important that you trust your instincts. Look at what other similar properties in the area have sold for.

“When you do settle on an estate agent, be sure you aren’t tied into an exclusive marketing period for more than four to six weeks. Most of all, do your research and be realistic.”

Comments by Ryan Morgan (Truuli Property Expert)

Working in the property industry for over six years I have seen it as a regular occurrence for vendors to pick agents due to price and then be left disappointed as the weeks progress. No estate agent can guarantee the exact amount your home will achieve, therefore it is important to ensure your estate agent is able to provide a detailed marketing plan on how they will go about achieving you the best possible price. 
 
Whilst I do not want to pick flaws in direct companies, from my experiences, it is mainly those within a corporate set up whom are encouraged to over price properties in order to win business. Of course a vendor wants to hear the highest price possible for their humble abode/prized asset so impulse will entice vendors to sign up with the belief of achieving the price they have been convincingly told. However, once the manager/lister has promised the world with a high price, fee and a contract which in some instances last for five months, they then delegate to the rest of the sales team to work the price down.
 
Phil has advised vendors to look at the terms and conditions of how long they are committing to which a lot of vendors don’t do when signing. Once the agent starts insisting a price reduction is the only resolution it is only then a vendor’s conscious kicks in and they wish went with the agent whom came across as experienced, enthusiastic and helpful.


On the other hand, it does not hurt to try the higher price or go for the agent and price that came in higher if it is justified and deployed in the right way. The market has evolved and pricing is vital more now than ever, so it is important that your property has the most exposure. The more people that see your home, the more viewings your agent should conduct which will result in the best possible price. 

Here at Truuli we will happily discuss and agree on a flexible agency agreement length with you to coincide with the pricing strategy we agree with you. We are proud to say that we can get your home exposed and seen by more buyers than any other agent and would advise our pricing in line with the market conditions and recent sales achieved.

Ryan Morgan (Truuli Property Expert)

Truuli complete Vertical Rush skyscraper challenge

It felt so amazing to reach the top. It’s fair to say we were all exhausted and had totally underestimated the effort involved – this was worse than a sprint, worse than a marathon… And worse than giving birth! (just kidding ladies).”

Michael Fyffe – Truuli Property Expert

“Well done to my colleagues who took part in this fantastic event. The money is still rolling in and we would like to thank everyone who has donated to this great cause so far.

Michael Fyffe – Truuli Property Expert

Shelter would love your support; please donate by clicking the JustGiving link below.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

House viewing tips and tricks

It’s essential that you make the most of a property viewing to ensure that you’re as informed as you possibly can be when it comes to making an offer

The average viewer spends 20 minutes viewing a property before making an offer, Don’t remember the things you should have looked for after you have left.

1. Is there damp?

The main giveaway signs are a mouldy smell, flaky plaster, and watermarked walls or ceilings. It sounds obvious, but make sure you look closely near the ceiling and around the skirting boards. Another clue might be if the room has just been repainted – possibly covering any damp

2. Is the building structurally sound?

Big cracks are what you are looking for – but you should expect some hairline cracks. Look especially around where extensions join, end-of-terrace walls, and bay windows, all of which can start to fall or bow away from the rest of the house. You’re looking for issues now that you can ask the homeowner or estate agent about and then ask your surveyor to investigate later. But you can only look for what you know; a chartered surveyor with years of experience is trained to spot risks and know what needs attention. For more information on whether you need a surveyor see What sort of survey should I have?  

3. How much storage space is there?

Storage space is a valuable but often overlooked asset. Where will you keep your vacuum cleaner, towels, spare linen, and boxes of junk? Is there room for cupboards or shelves to be built in? Especially in newly built houses, storage space can be scarce.

4. Which way does the house face?

In winter, during a cloudy day or at night, it is difficult to tell the difference between a north and south facing house or garden – but in summer it can make the difference between a home that is full of light and warmth, and one that is frustratingly dark. Your favourite plants might notice too, and protest by dying. Don’t be shy about taking a compass with you to the viewing – you might have one on your phone. With bi-fold doors all the rage, be aware that in moments of sunshine the solar gain can make the room unbearably warm, so try to visit and spend some time in that room when the sun’s out.

5. Are the rooms big enough for your needs?

We’ve heard of new build home developers putting smaller furniture in rooms to make them seem bigger. Be warned! Assuming you won’t be buying all new furniture as soon as you move in, will your existing furniture fit?

Buying a new build home? Get a snagging surveyor to check eveything is up to scratch

6. Have you been fooled by staging?

Cleverly placed mirrors, strategic lighting, delicious smells, cosy fires, and fresh licks of paint are all tricks sellers use to make their home more appealing. It’s nice to feel you can move straight in without having to do a thing, but try to remain objective. And if their furnishing make the space, take photos and ask what they are leaving behind. Perfect light fittings, for example, can take an age to find and replace!

7. Do the window frames have cracking paint? Is the double-glazing intact?

The state of the external window frames is a great indicator of the state of the house – if people have invested in and looked after those, they are likely to have taken great care of the rest. If you can easily push your finger into wooden window frame, they are usually rotten. If there is condensation between double-glazed window-panes it means that they are faulty. New windows need to be installed by a registered approved inspector so you should get a FENSA or similar certificate, which often come with guarantees. Ask if this is the case.

8. How old is the roof?

Replacing a roof is an expensive business, and newer roofs have a life expectancy of only 15-20 years, depending on the materials

Also, if the property has a flat or nearly flat roof, check out the material with which it sealed. Nowadays a membrane is used and is better than asphalt and gravel, which can leave seams and edges unsealed

9. Are there enough power points and what condition are they in?

Dodgy wiring can be dangerous, and rewiring your new home can be an expensive business. Also check out the fuse board – often an indication of the state of the wiring but a survey will confirm if it needs replacing. Having enough plug points is apparently a big selling point in our increasingly gadget driven world so worth taking note on the way round.

10. Is the plumbing up to scratch?

Run the taps to check the water pressure. Ask if the pipes are insulated, and ensure they are not lead which would have to be replaced. Do the radiators actually work? How old is the boiler? If the hot water tank is situated in the roof it is probably an old one, and may have to be replaced soon

11. Is the property adequately sound-proofed?

If the sellers have the radio or television on ask for it to be turned down to ensure that you can’t hear your neighbours’ every word.

12. What’s the attic like?

People often ignore the attic, but it is an important part of the house. How easy is it to access? Is there much storage space? Could it be converted into extra rooms? Is there insulation? The latter can make a huge difference to your bills and general comfort in winter.

13. What’s the area like?

  • Are you near a pub or bar or kebab shop that becomes rowdy in the evening?
  • Can you walk to shops to get a pint of milk, or do you have to drive?
  • Is it easy to get to public transport?
  • Are there noisy roads or train tracks nearby?
  • Are you underneath a flight path?
  • Is there a local dump in smelling distance?
  • Are you near a school that makes it impossible to get out of your drive at school run time?

And most importantly, does it feel like you could make it your home?

If you do like a property, arrange another viewing for a different time of day, and scout out the local area a bit more. If you can, take somebody with you who might be able to notice things you don’t.

Croydon Oxygen Freejumping £50 voucher giveaway

Fancy Freejumping then we have a fantastic competition for you.

We are giving away a £50 voucher for use at Croydon Oxygen Freejumping, South London’s No.1 Trampoline Park!

Head over to our twitter page @truuli and retweet one of our promotional tweets to enter or use the entry form on our facebook page

Good Luck!

Truuli.co.uk competitions have the following Terms and Conditions (see below). If you have any questions regarding our competitions, please contact our marketing department at marketing@truuli.co.uk.

Terms and Conditions

  • The prize on offer in this competition is a £50 Croydon Oxygen Freejumping voucher
  • There is one gift voucher in total
  • Only one entry applicable per username
  • Entrants must be at least 18 years of age and must be a resident of the UK
  • The competition is not open to employees associated with Truuli.co.uk, their immediate families or associated companies
  • Prizes may not be transferred to any other person and there are no cash alternatives or alternative prizes available
  • Winners will be randomly selected from all valid Facebook entries, Twitter retweets or new followers on Twitter: mention tweets do not count
  • The competition winners selected must respond within 7 days of confirmation to claim their prize
  • The decision of Truuli.co.uk is final and no correspondence will be entered into
  • The competition end date is Thursday 14th February 2019; Truuli.co.uk reserves the right to close the competition early

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