Q. I have just had three very different valuations for my four-bedroom semi-detached house.
Q. I have just had three very different valuations for my four-bedroom semi-detached house. The highest one was from an estate agent who generally sells larger, more expensive properties but he was adamant his valuation was correct. I'm tempted to put the property on at this price as it will give me extra to move on with but is this a mistake?
SH, by e-mail
A. Many buyers make the mistake of being tempted by a high valuation only to find that they have to reduce the price to sell. Ask this agent for evidence of similar properties he has sold or ones that other local agents have for around the same price. As it is supposed to be a buyers' market, ask him who he has on his books ready to view your house who will be in a good position to buy. Ask the other two agents if they would consider marketing your property at this price and if not, the reasons why. A more realistic price will encourage viewings and this may result in a higher offer if a number of people are interested. If you do decide to go for the highest price, make sure your property is "worth" it. It must be in immaculate condition inside and out.
Q. I own a flat that I rent out. Access is via a private, locked and gated entrance that runs alongside the building of shop next door. My tenant has told me that the owner of the shop says they had an agreement with the previous owner that they could have access to their property via this passageway and they want to knock a door through from the shop into this passage. Can they do this?
FM, by e-mail
A. It seems highly unlikely. They may well have had an agreement for access for maintenance to their property, which would be a reasonable request, however you should check your lease for confirmation and a diagram of the boundaries. It's probably best to have a word with the owner to clear up any misunderstandings.
Q. I'm thinking about buying a new property that has been built on land next to a railway station. It's obviously very convenient but I'm just not sure about the noise of the trains. How can I decide if I'm buying a problem?
A. You will have to weigh up the pros and cons. Look at comparable properties away from the railway to see how much the price varies, although buying new does have a premium for reasons of low maintenance, new kitchens and bathrooms. Check what time the first and last trains are and how much noise they make during the day and if you are overlooked. Once the development is well established, trees may well screen the railway. Many very expensive houses in London back on to railways and this doesn't seem to deter buyers.
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