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New home buying and selling service launches for the over-55s

New home buying and selling service launches for the over-55s

An equity release finance specialist is launching a new national business that will work closely alongside estate agents.

Key Retirement Solutions has unveiled a national house buying and selling service for the ‘worried’ over-55s.

The hand-holding service is aimed at people who are likely to be downsizing, and will be charging 2.5% of the property’s selling price, with a fee of £299 paid upfront. While the fee is undoubtedly hefty compared with a normal estate agent’s fee, the service aims to take away all hassle and includes help with finding the next property and negotiating on its purchase price.

The price also includes valuation help, independent help with finding the right estate agent, all negotiations following offers, and estate agency and conveyancing fees, as well as a property finding service for the next home.

Key says that the service – a significant expansion and a major departure for its own business – is being launched after its own research showed that 78% of older people are worried about the home buying and selling process.

The same research showed that 18% of over-55s  are considering downsizing, and need to raise £78,000 from the sale – usually to relieve their own financial worries, or to give to their children. Nearly one in five say that the running costs of their present home are too high, while 3% have interest-only mortgages with no ability to repay the loan unless they sell up.

Unsurprisingly, getting the best sale price for their home is a worry for many older people, although the fear factor of moving home is their biggest concern – for 60% of those coming up to, or past, retirement.

The research, carried out among just over 1,000 older people, showed strong demand for the launch: 59% of those questioned said they would be interested in finding out about a service which can handle the entire buying and selling process for them.

Key Retirement has appointed Vic Pegna, previously of Countrywide and Your Move, to head up the new initiative.

Pegna said: “A number of our customers [inquiring about equity release] would like to move but are daunted by it. Most of our customers have been in their house for 20 years or more.

“If the house is costing too much to run, then it will still be too expensive even after equity release, so the best option would be to downsize.”
 
Dean Mirfin, group director at Key, said: “The launch of Keymove Property Services is the logical next step for the Key Retirement Solutions, and builds on our expertise and experience in equity release and annuities and estate planning.
 
“We regularly advise customers not to proceed with equity release as their real preference is to look at downsizing as an alternative, and Keymove Property Services offers comprehensive advice and help.

“There is huge demand for downsizing, with nearly one in five, or around a million people, planning to do so in the next five years.
 
“But there are real fears about moving house and the problems involved, which is not surprising considering many older people will not have moved for years. The risks of getting it wrong or losing money are real too, as it is a decision they will literally have to live with.”