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4 TIPS AND TRICKS FOR PUTTING THE RIGHT PRICE ON YOUR HOUSE

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Trying to sell a house is not an easy task, and it’s often made more difficult by the fact that you can’t see what’s going on. Your realtor needs to do their job, and they need to do it well. However, you’re in the thick of things, and it can be easy to get lost in the shuffle. You may find the process confusing, especially if you’re selling your first home. You could walk away with a bit of profit or lose a lot. We’ll help you navigate the process; from prepping your home to getting an offer accepted, you’re in good hands. However, if you are armed with some knowledge, you can find yourself walking away with a fair price from a quick sale.

What Determines Price

The right price for your home will depend on various factors, including the type of property, the neighborhood, the size, and the amenities. There are some factors like which school district your home is located in and what the condition is. There is also the fact that companies that offer cash are usually the best option if you want a quick sale. The downside is that sometimes the offer is lower than a private sale, but these companies are a great option when you want to sell quickly on your own terms. However, which factors have the most significant impact on the sale price?

Neighborhood

Calculating the effects of certain factors on the sale price of a house can be tricky, but one significant factor is the property’s neighborhood. If you live in an area considered a wealthier part of town, you are likely to be offered a higher price for your property. Alternatively, if you live in a poor neighborhood, then there is a high chance that your sale price will be lower. There are caveats, however. For example, if surrounding areas are becoming gentrified, you could find your house price creeping up over time. If this is the case, the best choice is to sit on it until the market levels out.

School District

The place where their kids will go to school can be a determining factor in choosing a home. As a result of an emphasis on improving school performance, homebuyers have become more attentive to their choices. This means that homes near high-performing schools will inevitably have higher asking prices. It is a simple supply and demand point as there are only so many school places to go around. Therefore, you could use this to your benefit if you happen to live near a good school.

Amount Of Available Space And Size

Your home’s value is based on its worth to the buyer and the amount of money you can get for it. The value of your home is determined by five factors: location, size, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage of your house. Generally, the larger the house, the higher its value.

However, most buyers and appraisers are concerned with living space. Typically, homes are valued most highly for their bedrooms and bathrooms, such that homes with more of these rooms are generally worth more. This is a very localized phenomenon, however. For instance, homes residing in urban areas will often have less livable and usable space but will usually cost more than larger houses in the suburbs. Nevertheless, an excellent general rule of thumb is that the more square feet you have, the more you can ask for it.

Condition

Over the years, a house’s condition can lose its original luster, turning from a stately home into a rundown house. Accidents, fires, mold, and water damage can affect a home’s value.

Local Market Situation

No matter how great your home is, how luxurious it is, or how many premium upgrades it has, its value can be affected by the number of other homes in the market and the number of buyers. When lots of buyers compete for fewer homes, it is usually a sellers’ market. Alternatively, a market in which there are few buyers while many homes are on the market is referred to as a buyer’s market. Additionally, if your home is located in an area where a few large corporations provide the jobs if they move away, it could devise the local economy. If this happens, no matter how great your home is, you will have difficulty selling it for what it’s worth.

How Can You Put The Right Price On Your House?

Now that you know some of the factors that affect house pricing, you probably want to see what you can do to boost your home’s value.

1.Make It Energy Efficient

It is well-known that an increase in efficiency correlates to a rise in value. More than ever before, energy efficiency has become the norm, and homebuyers are waking up to the fact that they can save large sums of money on their utility bills.

2. Update Appliances

Another way to make a home appear more valuable is to ease buyers’ concerns about home maintenance. Inspect all of the appliances and systems in your home to ensure they are in excellent working order. Walk around the house to get a sense of what needs fixing. This could be simple repairs like cleaning out and refilling an air-conditioning unit, or it could be more complicated such as replacing the water heating system. Nevertheless, the payoff is often worth the outlay.

3.Landscape The Garden

This is usually an easy win that you can do yourself. You don’t need to go crazy, but adding some features like a fountain and a BBQ pit will add an extra touch of elegance if you have space. This translates into higher asking prices.

4. Deep Clean

Over time, your home can become somewhat grimy. This is not a commentary on your cleanliness or hygiene; it is merely a fact of living. Therefore, you should invest in hiring a professional cleaning agency to come in and deep clean your entire home. The cleaning can be from carpets to curtains and closets to ceilings. It must be thorough, and it must make your home sparkle.

The price you can ask for your house when selling depends on various factors. However, there are several methods you can do that will enable you to increase the value to what you consider it to be worth. If you are simply looking for an immediate sale, numerous companies offer fair prices without the hassle.

 

Wealth Management

DIGITAL NATIVES CAN BE THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND THE BIGGEST TRANSFORMATION IN INSURANCE

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Sam Vickerman, Practice Director, Insurance & Retail, Grayce

 

Often referred to as digital laggards in the finance sector, insurance companies are renowned for being slow to adopt new technologies. Held back by legacy systems and old-fashioned business models, the industry also lacks the technology talent required to speed up innovation. According to Deloitte, just 4% of millennials want to work in insurance, with many more being drawn to exciting roles in technology, consulting or other financial companies instead. Insurtech start-ups are beginning to emerge, who are focused on developing software for the sector. Yet the gap between these fledgling firms and traditional insurance companies is growing. Exacerbating the problem further is the impact of Covid-19 on the sector, with customer demand for more digital products and services growing. If insurance companies are to prosper in the post-pandemic world, they need to find ways to adopt digital technologies at a faster rate. And that must start with changing the next cohort of workers’ perception that the industry is dull and dusty and finding ways to attract and retain this talent.

 

Attracting digital native talent

Immersed in technology since birth, millennial and Gen Z workers are confident in and capable at using digital tools – it’s argued that the brains of digital natives are actually wired differently to ‘digital immigrants’ (those who have adapted to the new world as adults), due to vastly different kinds of early learning experiences. In the workplace, this translates to differing communication and information-gathering styles, and according to Forrester, these workers prefer greater mobility, tech autonomy and software diversity compared to their older counterparts. Insurance firms must find ways to tap into this talent pool more widely if they’re to digitalise their operations and compete with the emerging start-ups in the sector, and they should start by employing individuals that show a curiosity and willingness to continuously learn. These individuals can act as digital champions for their organisations, helping them to embed the latest technologies into their operations and shape the future of their business.

Sam Vickerman

Here are a handful of those technologies that could drive widespread transformation of the sector.

  • Highly personalised services through IoT and social media – traditional risk assessment relies on datasets that consider a range of factors such as the customer’s age, gender, location, marital status and so on. But today, endpoint devices and social media can provide much more personal insights into the individual – in a model that is beneficial to both the insurer and the customer. Wearables, for instance, provide deep insights into a person’s physical health, measuring factors such as blood pressure, temperate and number of steps per day. The business gets a more accurate risk assessment, and the customer gets a more tailored policy that suits their needs. This model is growing in popularity, with a recent study by Accenture finding that more than three-quarters of consumers are willing to share their personal data in exchange for more personalised insurance offers and cheaper coverage.
  • Digitising paper records – the insurance sector is a heavy user of paper-based records, with firms typically keeping thousands of files in paper archives, gathering dust. If files are digitised, analysed and stored in the cloud, documents can be automatically reviewed, helping to reduce inconsistent information or errors.
  • Internal workflow automation with RPA and Machine Learning – automation enables firms to reduce the time spent on routine paperwork and administrative tasks, freeing up employees to focus on more creative, value-add work with their clients. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can help address repetitive work, including preliminary assessment of each claim, data entry and payments. In turn, this results in more efficient decision making, reduced call times to customer service teams and far greater accuracy of data entry.
  • Automated resolutions through AI-powered chatbots – customer service agents spend thousands of hours on the phone, often supporting clients with simple requests. Chatbots can help automate many of these conversations, using AI to filter through the chats and route priority customers that require urgent attention through to human service agents. This can drastically cut costs in customer support and sales.
  • Blockchain implementation – according to PWC, blockchain implementation could cut costs by $5-10bn for reinsurers worldwide. Key benefits include reducing verification and validation time, eliminating errors and minimising reputational risks. Blockchain enables all required parties to be connected by smart contracts, meaning reinsurers don’t have to interact with the insurer to get access to the client’s data.

 

Dusty to digital-first

The insurance sector is in much need of a revamp and companies risk falling behind if they do not start investing in digital innovation today. However, by giving ambitious digital natives licence to research and embed new technologies, they can transform their operations and compete with new market entrants. Technology is driving several disruptive trends in insurance, such as personalisation, automation and real-time based assessments. If insurers can get digital adoption right, they will benefit from cost reduction, better communication with their customers on the channels of their choosing and more accurate risk assessment. The next generation of workers can help drive this change – shifting the perception of insurers from dusty to digital-first. It’s time for insurance companies to start investing in these individuals now.

 

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Wealth Management

ROBINHOOD’S IPO COULD TURN THE TRADING PLATFORM INTO A 35 BILLION DOLLAR CONCEPT

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  • US share and crypto trading platform Robinhood is expected to list on the Nasdaq on 29 July
  • The company will trade under the ticker HOOD
  • Stock expected to be priced between $38 – $42 per share
  • Listing would put a value on the company of around $35 billion
  • Robinhood is under the regulatory spotlight following the GameStop craze
  • UK investors can’t participate in IPO but can buy shares when trading begins

 

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown

‘’There is likely to be huge interest in Robinhood’s IPO, given the swirling speculation about the company on social media forums and the media coverage the company received as it became a central figure in the GameStop craze earlier in the year.

The company was set up to help further democratise investing in the US and draw more ordinary traders into the Wall Street world. If the stock does list within the range of $38 – $42 per share, this will turn out to be a $35 billion dollar idea. But the company has come under the regulatory spotlight and that could have a big impact on the company’s future potential as an investment.

The app has come under fire for the so called ‘gamification’ of investing with the use of rewards and celebratory notifications to encourage users to trade more. Its strategy is paying off with the number of accounts increasing to 18 million by March this year from 7.2 million in March 2020.

The way that Robinhood makes money has also come under intense scrutiny. Instead of charging investors a dealing commission, it puts clients’ trades through certain companies, and in return, these companies pay Robinhood a fee. It’s these charges, called “payment for order flow” that make the company most of its money.

Even though each fee is a tiny fraction of a cent per share traded, it soon adds up. Over the last year Robinhood made $720m from payment for order flow – three quarters of its total revenue. That rose to 81% of revenues in the first 3 months of this year.

But this model is now under review, with the US regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) planning to look again at the stock market trading rules, which could include payment for order flow.

The concern is that it stops investors from getting the best price for their deals and could create a possible conflict of interest between firms like Robinhood and their clients. Firms promise to trade at, or at better than, current market price. But the question remains about whether, under the system, there are even better prices available with other market making companies, which they don’t use. If rules do change this could be a big worry for the firm’s revenues and future investors in the company. It was enough for Robinhood to highlight a potential ban on payment for order flow as a key risk in its prospectus.

This isn’t the first time Robinhood has come under fire from US regulators. In December last year, Massachusetts securities regulator accused Robinhood of gamifying investing. The case included a customer, with no investment experience, who traded 12,700 times in six months. More recently, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority fined Robinhood a record $70m. It said the company had caused “widespread and significant harm” to investors.

And there could be more storms gathering on the horizon. The Robinhood prospectus named seven US state and federal bodies investigating the company. All this could add up to potential issues down the line, so investors need to take such risks into the equation when they consider investing right from the start of Robinhood’s listed life.

If Robinhood can bat away these issues, or if the SEC decides not to change the current rule book, the groundswell of support among day traders the company has already gathered could potentially accelerate, leading to further growth for the company.’’

 

How to buy Robinhood shares

UK investors can’t take part in the Robinhood IPO. But HL clients should be able to buy Robinhood shares once they start trading on the US stock market which is expected to be on 29 July. If you believe in the long-term prospects for Robinhood and want to buy the shares, you first need to choose an account to hold the shares in. Once listed on the stock market, you can hold Robinhood shares in a general investment account (Fund and Share Account), ISA or Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP). Before you buy your first US share with HL, you’ll also need to complete a W-8BEN form.

On the first day of trading, it can take several hours to get a live market price. During this time, it isn’t possible to buy or sell the shares. Investors will be able to deal the shares through HL once there’s a live market price, and trading and settlement has been confirmed by the UK clearing and settlement service. This could be after the shares have already started trading on the stock exchange.

 

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