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It is well documented that, nationally, around 30% of all sales arranged fail to reach a successful exchange of contracts. Fortunately, our conversion from sales to exchanges in the last 6 months has been 74% so three quarters rather that two thirds. However, the sales cycle can be frustratingly slow and the longer the sale takes, the … Continue reading Holding the Sale Together →

NB check latest rates before publishing. Correct as of 22nd November 2017 Stamp duty originated in the 17th century when duty stamps could be purchased and attached to a transactional document to prove that any tax due on the transaction had been paid. Today, tax relating to the purchase of land is known as “Stamp … Continue reading Stamp Duty →

One of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a letting agency is whether or not they subscribe to a Client Money Protection Scheme. There have been several examples of unscrupulous letting agents who have mysteriously closed holding many thousands of pounds in client monies – primarily rental receipts that should have been paid … Continue reading Protecting your Rent…and your Investment →

2018 turned out to be a politically turbulent year, but a somewhat lacklustre one for the property market, once again demonstrating the resilience of the British when it comes to home ownership. Indeed, the latest report from LSL revealed that average house prices have seen a return to growth after several months of slowdown and … Continue reading December 2017 Market Comment →

There is no doubt that the Internet has simplified the property searching process as one way or another it effectively holds a fairly comprehensive list of all available stock from most of the agents. But it is only a tool – just like the property advertising pages in the local newspaper. In these times of … Continue reading Seven Days →

One of the worries that many landlords understandably experience is the possibility that a month or more will pass between lets when their investment property remains unoccupied. This can be a serious problem that can adversely affect the short-term cash-flow you so meticulously planned as a route to longer term investment success. Even worse, each … Continue reading Avoid the Void →

If location is fundamental to a property purchase, then mapping is surely the most obvious way of highlighting location. We choose to use locational maps on our property website as they make it easy for buyers to identify the property in relation to its surroundings. This is particularly useful when a buyer is considering a … Continue reading Finding the Right Property →

In these uncertain times it can be very difficult to know exactly when your property will sell – especially if you are reluctant to drop your price. However, there is a solution that many sellers often overlook! If you are not living in your property, or have alternative accommodation, why not rent out your property … Continue reading The Short Let Solution to Finding a Buyer →

This November has seen both an increase in interest rates and the abolition of SDLT (Stamp Duty) for first time buyers up to £300,000. Certainly the nominal 0.25% interest rate increase is unlikely to cause most homebuyers a problem. However, this first rate rise in a decade might be regarded as a tipping point for … Continue reading Market Comment – November 2017 →

Many people whose property is on the market now would ideally like to move by Christmas, yet only those who are prepared to price realistically to reflect the current market are likely to be successful. Buyers who are currently active in the market are now getting increasingly keen to move before the end of the … Continue reading A Move by Christmas →

One of the most effective ways to maximise your property investment is to appeal to sharers as the combined price paid by two or three co-tenants can often be greater than the rent paid by just one. Rising rents have priced out those who could not stretch to their ideal property without going halves with … Continue reading Sharers →

We recently came across this poem about investing in property, and thought you might find it interesting. Once you have read it, and only then, take a look at the date of first publication. Makes you think! I hesitate to make a list Of all the countless deals I’ve missed. Bonanzas that were in my … Continue reading Property Inflation →

There’s no question about it, buyers visit Rightmove and Zoopla/OnTheMarket because they provide easily-searched access to properties currently available for sale. Or do they? Certainly property portals are efficient and estate agents have embraced them for many years as being an important addition to their marketing toolbox. On the surface, people no longer apparently need … Continue reading What’s wrong with Rightmove? →

Some would-be sellers are reluctant to sell their home in view of the high cost of moving, or selling for what they regard as too low a figure to enable them to fulfil their plans. Others may be moving abroad and don’t necessarily want to commit to selling their UK home just yet. Maybe you’re … Continue reading The New Landlord →

There is a very different vibe to the property market from last month, with a number of reports suggesting that the market is rapidly changing from being a sellers’ market to what is starting to look a lot like the beginning of a buyers’ market in some areas (although nobody has told our office yet…shhh!) … Continue reading Market Comment – October 2017 →

Many estate agents will flatter you and promote themselves by claiming that they’ll get you the “highest price in the shortest possible time”. This is easy to say, but not so easy for most agents to justify or indeed deliver! Effective property sales involve a combination of great presentation, attractive pricing and effective marketing along … Continue reading Your Secret Agent? →

“Location, location, location” may be the cornerstone of wise property investment, yet many people are unaware of the importance of location in making the right choice of letting agent – whether as landlord or tenant. Letting agency is an intensely local business. It is essential that letting agents are fully conversant with the issues of … Continue reading The Benefit of Independence →

Many estate agents put substantial emphasis on their ability to find a buyer, and they highlight this as a primary reason to sell through them. However, we believe in going far beyond this. In many ways, finding a buyer is the easy bit! Most switched-on agents have access to most of the buyers in the … Continue reading It’s Not Just About Selling →

Many estate agents put substantial emphasis on their ability to find a buyer, and they highlight this as a primary reason to sell through them. However, we believe in going far beyond this. In many ways, finding a buyer is the easy bit! Most switched-on agents have access to most of the buyers in the … Continue reading It’s Not Just About Selling →

Estate Agents are generally an up-beat type. Selling property to the right buyer, quickly and at an impressive price requires a “can do, will do” approach that is unlikely to be found in a pessimist. Agents with a positive attitude are more likely to be able to identify opportunities on behalf of our clients. Combine … Continue reading A Proactive Approach Essential →

According to the Department of the Environment about half of all landlords have had cause to ask a tenant to leave on at least one occasion, usually because of arrears, noise, damage, violence, or abusive behaviour. Around thirty percent of these end up having to go to court. When you let your property, you hope … Continue reading A Problem Tenant? →

Estate Agents are generally an up-beat type. Selling property to the right buyer, quickly and at an impressive price requires a “can do, will do” approach that is unlikely to be found in a pessimist. Agents with a positive attitude are more likely to be able to identify opportunities on behalf of our clients. Combine … Continue reading A Proactive Approach Essential →

When letting your property, you naturally want your property to look its best, but how far should you go in terms of presentation? Firstly, aim to understand how your property “sits” within the market. Not all tenants have the same criteria, so walk through the house with your letting agent to identify your property’s strengths … Continue reading “A Word to Landlords about Presentation” →

All residential tenancy deposits must by law be protected by being lodged in a government-recognised scheme, such as the Deposit Protection Service (DPS), which is evidence based. This means that the decision to either return or withhold a deposit at the end of a tenancy is made by considering any differences between the condition of … Continue reading “A Proper Inventory” →

Whilst both gas and electricity can be lethal, from a landlord’s perspective, the law relating to gas safety is more stringent than it is for electricity with substantial fines or even imprisonment for of the breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. These regulations impose a duty on landlords to use a … Continue reading “Gas – The Landlord’s Responsibility” →

We are often asked to look at properties that really should have sold, but haven’t, and we understand the disappointment of vendors whose experience of the sales process has fallen short of their expectations. This disappointment can sometimes be the result of simply not knowing where you stand. We find that enthusiasm and good communication … Continue reading Should Your House Have Sold by Now →

Why is it that tenanted properties appear to be damper than those that are owner-occupied? Firstly, we’re talking about condensation here, not rising damp. Condensation is caused when warm air, which holds more water vapour, meets a cold surface, forming water droplets. This may attract fungal growths such as Mildew leading that “that damp smell”. … Continue reading “Something in the Air?” →

Many property transactions form part of a chain of related sales. Of course a chain is only as strong as its weakest link and, as a national statistic, unfortunately one in every three chains will fall apart, often at the eleventh hour. This happens for a variety of reasons from one party’s mortgage glitch to … Continue reading The Weakest Link →

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a 3% hike in Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on buy-to-let properties and second homes in the 2016 Autumn Statement. This was met with “outrage” from various quarters, such as the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) and others who describe it as “the nail in the coffin of … Continue reading Stamp Duty Hike Means Act Fast for Investment Buyers! →

Many of our current clients have approached us to sell their property following a less-than-impressive performance by an online alternative to “proper” estate agency. Although it is always tempting to say “I told you so”, we wouldn’t be so harsh with someone who has just been through the mill with the wrong choice of agent. … Continue reading Low up-take of online estate agents →

For many homeowners, letting provides an obvious investment opportunity as an alternative to selling. With the right expert help from your letting agent, the matter should be quite straightforward, although there are certain consents that should be obtained if you are to avoid some potentially costly problems. You will certainly need the consent of your … Continue reading Consent to Let →

Perceptions-v-reality in property can confuse even the best-informed of armchair economists. The latest House Price Sentiment Index from Knight Frank and HIS Markit suggests that approximately twice as many households believe their property value has risen, than fallen, yet the measure of sentiment is still nearly 15% lower than its previous peak in May 2014. … Continue reading Market Comment – July 2017 →

There is a strong argument for creating maximum exposure for a property during its time on the market, and much of our effort and resources are spent achieving the right exposure in the right places. However, one of the most powerful ways of securing a fast sale at a high price can actually result from … Continue reading Pre-Marketing →

You’ve made an offer on a property. You might have had to negotiate a bit, but that’s OK because this is your perfect home and you can’t wait to move in. You then get a rather awkward call from the estate agent to say that unfortunately the seller, (whom you took to be a gentleman) … Continue reading How to Avoid Being Gazumped →

“A fine balance” Anyone with an interest in the property market generally understands the influence of supply and demand on house prices. Just like any other “commodity”, if everybody wants something that is in generally short supply, the price tends to rise. In the property sector, the media often describes a rising market good and … Continue reading The Current Property Market – June 2017 →

Some landlords, especially those who are new to the experience, understandably wish to use a letting agent simply as a route to market in order to find a tenant. However, whilst a return on investment is one thing, sleeping well at night is quite another! A managed service is not just about chasing late rent, … Continue reading Manage Your Investment →

Great news for local homeowners; Jaguar Land Rover has just announced plans to recruit 5,000 new employees. With three of JLR’s four UK plants being on our doorstep, this is bound to put extreme pressure on the local property market over the coming months – inevitably leading to even higher prices being achieved. As 1000 … Continue reading Jaguar Land Rover announce 5000 new jobs! →

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