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East Kent Property Blog

Kent Property Blog 1
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

October 2021 Market Comment

Here’s a quick overview of the property market this October.

According to the Nationwide, annual house price growth last month was still very strong at about 10%, although this was down from 11% in August, and no doubt supported by the tail end of the SDLT concession which has now come to an end.

It

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Kent Property Blog 2
Landlords Blog
Teresa Henson

Landlord Types

The archetypal multi-property “professional” landlord probably only accounts for about half of all landlords. The rest come in all shapes and sizes. Which of the following are you?

1. The Accidental landlord
This is a homeowner who would ideally have sold, but has decided to rent instead. Perhaps the market is not strong enough to

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Kent Property Blog 3
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Stress-Free Completion

One of the frustrations with the system of property transfer in this country is that moving day invariably coincides with the formal completion of a sale.

Generally, the buyer cannot move out, and the seller cannot move in, until such time as the completion monies have been received by the seller’s bank, or in most

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Kent Property Blog 4
Landlords Blog
Teresa Henson

Summer Rental Rush

The end of the holiday season usually prompts great activity in the rental market and landlords should not only be prepared for this, but also take advantage of it.
The summer holiday not only marks the end of the school year, but also the end of a time of employment, with many people handing in

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Kent Property Blog 5
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Chains

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

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Kent Property Blog 6
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

September 2021 Market Comment

According to the Nationwide, the average house price across the UK is up 11% on last year prompted, as we know, by three things: 1) Pent-up demand following three years of Brexit confusion, 2) The SDLT (stamp duty) holiday coupled with ultra-low mortgage rates, and 3) Lifestyle changes prompted by the pandemic. Interestingly, the average

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Kent Property Blog 7
Landlords Blog
Teresa Henson

The Critical Importance of Referencing

In an ideal world, once a tenant has been found, it would be good to think that you, as a landlord, can simply sit back and watch your investment deliver the anticipated return on investment without further involvement. Indeed, this is one of the reasons why some letting agents only offer a tenant finding service.

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Kent Property Blog 8
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Advertising Myth

It would not be unreasonable to assume that as a property comes onto the market, the instructed estate agent will post the property details on various property portals and wait for the enquiries to roll in.

However, this approach is somewhat simplistic! We take a much more strategic and proactive approach to handling new buyer

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Kent Property Blog 9
Landlords Blog
Teresa Henson

Let It Shine

As a landlord you’ll want to minimise the time your property is empty between tenancies (what we call the void period) so it is essential that your property is looking its best for showing to new tenants both in terms of condition and cleanliness.

Although a tenanted property should be redecorated from time to time,

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Kent Property Blog 10
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Relative Values

Even the most credible authorities tend to disagree on the rate of price change in the property market, leaving the humble consumer somewhat baffled!

The problem is the source of data that is used to make assumptions about the market is fickle. For example, you could look at the latest Land Registry figures. These record

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Kent Property Blog 11
Landlords Blog
Teresa Henson

Safety Regulations

Whilst there are over one hundred pieces of legislation with which a letting agent should be familiar, three come particularly to mind when it comes to advising landlords about the basic responsibility they have to the safety of their tenants, as well as helping landlords avoid a £5,000 fine or six months in prison for non-compliance!

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Kent Property Blog 12
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Declutter

In the current market, if you are to maximise your price, it is more important than ever to ensure that your property is a highly saleable proposition, rather than one that makes another house look good by comparison.

Of course, there are several basics that should be in place. The price needs to be as

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Kent Property Blog 13
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

August 2021 Market Comment

Just as the weather forecasters get it wrong (we never know whether it’s going to rain or shine this summer), so the economic forecasters and property analysts get it wrong as well. Who could have foreseen such buoyancy in the market, and, as we approach the end of the summer, with it’s very mixed weather,

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Kent Property Blog 14
Landlords Blog
Teresa Henson

How Long Has It Been Available?

One of the first things a tenant will ask a letting agent when offered a property is “How long has it been available?” – and with good reason. Moving house is a huge event and it takes courage to commit to undertake such a decision – often with very little support other than pure instinct.

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Kent Property Blog 15
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Personal Accountability

Many properties in the East Kent area are as unique and distinctive as the people who buy them. So when selling yours, it is most important that your estate agent has a thorough understanding not only of your property, but also of the needs and preferences of every buyer who views it.

It is simply

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Kent Property Blog 16
Landlords Blog
Teresa Henson

Viewing Time

Most landlords will recognise the tremendous importance of ensuring that as many prospective tenants as possible see their property. After all, more viewings means more tenant competition thereby maximising your chances of securing the highest rental the market will pay.

However, whilst one always has to be fair, there is a lot to be said

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Kent Property Blog 17
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Accept The Offer

When you are keen to move house it can be tempting to accept the first buyer who comes along with an attractive offer. However, buyers come in all shapes and sizes, and it is important to assess your purchaser’s ability to perform before accepting any offer.

We often receive offers from people who themselves have

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July Market Comment
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

July 2021 Market Comment

What a crazy summer to date, with Zoopla predicting a record 1.5m property transactions this year – that’s up 45% on last year! The unexpected consequences of the pandemic and the Stamp Duty concession following right on the heals of that Brexit-related stalling market, pushed the market into a frenzy. (Although it’s interesting to note

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Kent Property Blog 18
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Pet Sale

Sometimes we have to point out a few home truths if we are to enhance our client’s chances of selling quickly, and for an excellent price! Some homeowners spend thousands of pounds improving their property before going to market, yet can be oblivious to issues that prospective purchasers could regard

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Kent Property Blog 19
Landlords Blog
Teresa Henson

The Right People

Despite the fact that many people regard letting agents as more or less the same, there are in fact numerous selection criteria on which to judge the good from the bad, and the remarkable from the mildly indifferent.

For example, there are many services and innovations which can make a

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Kent Property Blog 20
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Showing Buyers Round pt2

Some people feel that houses should be able to “sell themselves” and do not need to be “shown” by estate agents. Whilst this may be true of certain exceptional homes, or where achieving the optimum price is not an issue, most properties require the skills of a well-trained estate agent if they are to sell

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Kent Property Blog 21
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

June 2021 Market Comment

According to e-surv, the average price of a home in England and Wales stood at £343,658 last month – up 0.5% on the previous month and 13.4% on the year, the highest year-on-year growth since 2004. We know the market has been flying – but could this be ambitious reporting designed to capture a headline?

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technology
Landlords Blog
Teresa Henson

Technology

The opportunities opened up by technology in the lettings field have been enormous, yet many lettings agents simply use their website as a glorified shop window. Like any agency window, the properties displayed need to be regularly updated and presented in a way that inspires tenants to take things further.

But a good agency website

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showing_buyers
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Showing Buyers Round pt1

Some estate agents claim that the seller is the best person to show a property to prospective purchasers.

However, apart from the inevitable awkwardness of inviting strangers into your home, there are sound reasons why good estate agents prefer to accompany buyers around, even though the pandemic has prompted many to rely solely on virtual

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Kent Property Blog 22
Landlords Blog
Teresa Henson

Energy Performing Landlords

As part of the lettings process, landlords are required to ensure that their property has an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) available to all prospective tenants (including existing tenants renewing their tenancy) with a minimum performance rating of “E”. This will extend to existing tenancies on 1st April 2020.

An EPC is a certificate issued by

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Kent Property Blog 23
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Smarter Ways of Getting Your Price

One of estate agency’s fundamental tasks is to secure the highest price that an able purchaser will pay for your property in a given market. In an ideal world, we would have a hot-line to The National Lottery who would feed us with a regular supply of winners prepared to pay ridiculous prices for modest

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Kent Property Blog 24
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

May 2021 Market Comment

Welcome to the May 2021 Property Market Comment. The cherry blossom is always a reminder of the very peak of spring, and indeed of the annual boost to the property market. Certainly, this year has seen more intense activity than most of us in the property sector can remember.
However, when we speak about the

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Kent Property Blog 25
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Register Direct

There’s no question about it, buyers visit property portals like Rightmove and 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

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Kent Property Blog 26
Landlords Blog
Teresa Henson

Portfolio Landlords

There are landlords and there are landlords. Some are what we call “accidental” landlords, who decided to let their property as an alternative to selling. Others are somewhat inadequately regarded as “amateur” landlords, who have a single investment property.

However, it is “portfolio” landlords who make up the majority of our clients. A portfolio landlord

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Kent Property Blog 27
Sellers Blog
Paul Clarke

Should Have Sold

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

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Kent Property Blog 28
Landlords Blog
Teresa Henson

Gas – The Landlord’s Responsibility

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

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Kent Property Blog 29
Sellers Blog
Paul Clarke

Accompanied Viewings Essential

You may know your property better than anyone else, but when the time comes to sell it, a well-trained sales negotiator will maximise your chances of success, for the following reasons:
The heart!The buyer’s initial objective is simply to get a feel for the property, asking themselves “could we be happy here?” In order to

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Kent Property Blog 30
Landlords Blog
Paul Clarke

Renting Freedom To Buy

Possibly prompted by a lack of supply, increasing numbers of home movers are renting as an interim measure prior to buying their next property.
If you are selling, it can be tempting to stay put until the right house comes onto the market. However, many people who have done this, and who find the right

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Kent Property Blog 31
Sellers Blog
Paul Clarke

Why Overpricing Is Counter-Productive

As a seller, it is tempting to accept the highest estate agent’s “valuation” you receive. However, there are three sound reasons why you should avoid overpricing your home initially, as overpriced property often ends up selling for less than it otherwise might have.

Buyers buy by comparison. Why should they buy your house if it

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Kent Property Blog 32
Landlords Blog
Paul Clarke

April 2021 Market Comment

Welcome to the April 2021 Property Market Comment. The government’s decision to extend both the stamp duty holiday and the furlough scheme, as well as their new guarantee for high loan-to-value mortgages, have played their part in reducing uncertainty and boosting confidence.

Add to that the easing of lockdown, world-class rollout of the vaccine, impressive

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Kent Property Blog 33
Landlords Blog
Paul Clarke

March 2021 Market Comment

Welcome to the March 2021 Property Market Comment, following a very eagerly awaited budget. Fortunately for the property market, there was no immediate bad news at all, especially in respect of the much-publicised Stamp Duty deadline.
In a nutshell, nine months ago, the government sought to bolster the economy by helping the property market, by

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Kent Property Blog 34
Landlords Blog
Paul Clarke

February 2021 Market Comment

As we all battle through the current lockdown in our own way, the property market is surprisingly buoyant. This is perhaps inevitable as we are still playing catch-up from the restrictions of the first lockdown when sales transaction numbers plunged by around 50%.
But current market activity remains incredibly high, despite the fact that anyone

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Kent Property Blog 35
Landlords Blog
Paul Clarke

Accidental Landlord

The archetypal multi-property “professional” landlord probably only accounts for about half of all landlords. The rest come in all shapes and sizes – The “Accidental” landlord, The “Pension” landlord, The “Parent” landlord and The “Inheritance” landlord.

In this article, we consider The “Accidental” landlord:

The accidental landlord is a homeowner who would ideally have sold,

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Kent Property Blog 36
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Quick Tips

First impressions are not only important when selling your home, they are absolutely critical. When people come to view a property for the first time, they are unlikely to be scrutinising the unseen. They are simply trying to get a feel for the property. They will be bombarded with mostly visual impressions, many of which

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Kent Property Blog 37
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

The Meaning of Service

Most estate agents see their role solely as a “purveyor of buyers”, and they understandably pride themselves on their ability to find the right buyer for a property and to negotiate attractive terms for the seller. But estate agency has moved on. Indeed, finding a buyer is arguably one of the most straightforward aspects of

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Kent Property Blog 38
Landlords Blog
Teresa Henson

Tenant Fee Ban Benefit

Tenant Fee Ban Benefit Legislation now prevents letting agents from charging tenants a fee to process their application to rent a property. In the past,

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Kent Property Blog 42
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Particulars

When you instruct an estate agent to sell your home, you naturally want them to promote it in its best light. But what does this actually mean?

Many people would expect their agent to produce property particulars that are an accurate and comprehensive guide to the property, be this hard copy or online. However, too

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Kent Property Blog 43
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

The Advertising Myth

When a tenant pays a deposit to a landlord or letting agent, the money must by law be “protected” against non-return at the end of the tenancy by one of two schemes –one custodial, and one insurance–based. Letting agencies and landlords choose which they prefer.

The custodial scheme is government-operated and free of charge. Funds

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Kent Property Blog 44
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Auction

Auctions have become recognised as the most effective way of selling a property decisively in the shortest possible period of time. Gone are the days of property auctions only being regarded as a sale of last resort; sellers are increasingly seeing some excellent results – for the following reasons: An auction creates a “day of

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Kent Property Blog 45
Sellers Blog
Paul Clarke

Secret Agent

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

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Kent Property Blog 46
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

Is Tenancy Deposit Insurance Worthless?

When a tenant pays a deposit to a landlord or letting agent, the money must by law be “protected” against non-return at the end of the tenancy by one of two schemes –one custodial, and one insurance–based. Letting agencies and landlords choose which they prefer.

The custodial scheme is government-operated and free of charge. Funds

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Kent Property Blog 47
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

December 2020 Market Comment

What a month – with two major news stories within hours of each other that are likely to have a positive effect on the UK housing market: the US election result, and the discovery of a Covid-19 vaccine.
We know that stability and confidence underpin so much in the economy – jobs, inflation, interest rates, mortgage approvals,

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Kent Property Blog 48
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

Your Winter Check List

Household emergencies generally occur during the depths of winter, but we recommend that landlords undertake a pre-winter checklist now to prevent unforeseen property headaches in the months to come. A tenant will often be less interested in preventative measures, but will of course complain if there is a problem – often too late and costly to

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Kent Property Blog 49
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Optimising Your Sale

In a competitive market, we know that as long as your property is priced attractively, it will sell. However, many people spend a fortune on improving their home expecting at least the cost of the improvements to be returned to them via an increased sale price. This can be a mistake, as around 90% of

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Kent Property Blog 50
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

Showing Tenants Around

Some people feel that flats and houses should be able to “let themselves” and do not need to be “shown” by letting agents. Whilst this may be true of certain exceptional properties, or where achieving the optimum rent is not an issue, most properties require the skills of a well-trained letting agent if they are

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Kent Property Blog 51
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Sole Agency – Twelve Tips for Better Results

We understand how stressful it can be to sell your home, and it is reasonable that prospective sellers may be tempted to appoint two or more agents in the hope of increasing their chances of selling. However, this can be counter-productive, for the following reasons:

1. Build a platform of competition between buyers – not agents!

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Kent Property Blog 52
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

With You All The Way

Many letting agencies simply act as a broking service that matches tenants to property. However, we are acutely aware that there is far more to successful lets than this alone. Indeed, nationally, about 25% of initially agreed tenancies fail to prove satisfactory for one reason or another.

One of the main reasons is that a

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Kent Property Blog 53
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Should I make an Offer?

As a buyer you are in a powerful position, both in terms of the effect your buying decision will have on your own life, and on that of the person from whom you buy.

If a property were some form of commodity like petrol or milk, then you would simply buy the cheapest stock available.

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Kent Property Blog 54
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

Buy to Let update

The property market has historically been fuelled from below, with first time buyers paving the way for sellers to move onward and upward.

However, the dramatic rise in property prices over the past decades, followed by mortgage funding difficulties have combined to mean that there has been a decline in the number of first time

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Kent Property Blog 55
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

November 2020 Market Comment

What a month – with two major news stories within hours of each other that are likely to have a positive effect on the UK housing market: the US election result, and the discovery of a Covid-19 vaccine.
We know that stability and confidence underpin so much in the economy – jobs, inflation, interest rates, mortgage approvals,

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Kent Property Blog 56
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

What About The Children?

Showing your home to prospective purchasers can be stressful enough, but children add an extra dimension, and their needs should be considered.

Moving house might be logical and exciting for an adult, but the fear of the unknown can be upsetting for children. That room or corner of the garden that has been their special

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Kent Property Blog 57
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

The Benefit of Independence

“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

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Kent Property Blog 58
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Hesitate

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!

“PROPERTY INFLATION”

I hesitate to make a list

Of all the countless deals I’ve missed.

Bonanzas that were

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Kent Property Blog 59
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

Mapping

If location is fundamental to a tenancy, then mapping is surely the most obvious way to highlight location.

We choose to use locational maps on our property details/website as they make it easy for tenants to identify the property in relation to its surroundings. This is particularly useful when a tenant is considering a

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Kent Property Blog 60
Sellers Blog
Paul Clarke

Autumn Selling Tips

As the evenings begin to draw in, sellers should take stock of their property if they are to maximise their chances of securing an early sale. Buyer activity is traditionally very good at this time of year, but your property still needs to compete well if it is to sell readily. Here are some tips,

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Kent Property Blog 61
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

Who Chooses

They say a man’s home is his castle – but when a couple is renting together, it is probably not the man who actually chooses it!

94% of letting agents polled in a recent survey confirmed that it is usually the woman in such a relationship who has the last word in choosing which home

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Kent Property Blog 62
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Can I Buy My Freehold

Most lessees (nb not tenants) have the statutory right to purchase the freehold of their building, called Collective Enfranchisement, under the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002.

Such a purchase certainly has its appeal if your lease is beginning to look a little light – say 80 years or less. In this instance it may be

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Kent Property Blog 63
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

October 2020 Market Comment

To say estate agents are busy would be an understatement. The unprecedented uplift in buyer demand over the past three months certainly bucks any notion of pandemic paralysis. Rightmove tells us that buyer enquiries are up 14% annually and sales agreed are just 5% below this time last year – which is pretty remarkable under the

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Kent Property Blog 64
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

The Courteous Tenant

Most people move house rarely and often have little idea of the etiquette required if the stress of moving is to be minimised. Our job as progressive letting agents is to help landlords and tenants minimise this stress by seeing the world through each other’s eyes and advising accordingly.

For example, landlords, especially those who

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Kent Property Blog 65
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Move by Christmas

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 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 year and we have recently

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Kent Property Blog 66
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

The Value of SOLD

Our last article considered some of the dangers associated with pricing your home in relation to other properties available for sale (ie those remaining unsold). This time we’ll look at pricing in relation to properties which have actually sold.

When considering what asking price to quote, common sense dictates that the price of other homes

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Beware the sub-let
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

Beware the Sub-Let

An unfair quirk in the law can leave landlords substantially out of pocket, as highlighted by the recent case of Cheryl Roux, the former wife of Michelin star chef Albert Roux.

A bogus tenant, introduced by a fake London letting agency, rented Mrs Roux’s £5m Knightsbridge property. That tenant then advertised the property to legitimate

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Don't Look
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

Don’t Look

When looking to rent a property, it is natural to want to see as many properties as possible before making the “right” choice and common sense dictates that you should view a handful of alternatives before deciding which to rent.

Our job as professional letting agents is to help tenants make decisions that are genuinely

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The Value of The For Sale
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

The Value of For Sale

When considering the value of a property prior to putting it on the market, many vendors understandably look at the asking price of other properties currently on the market locally, and draw pricing conclusions based on this research.

Whilst this is not an unreasonable way of determining value, there are some traps for which to

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September 2020 Market Comment
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

September 2020 Market Comment

We’re not surprised that house prices, according to the Halifax, rose 1.6% last month That’s nearly 20% per annum when annualised (but don’t do that)! The combination of at least three months of pent-up demand, coupled with stalling supply as people hunkered down during lockdown made such an increase inevitable, especially when compounded by the

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Tenants Choose By Comparison
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

Tenants Choose By Comparison

Typically, most tenants will look at about half a dozen properties before making a decision as to which one they should rent. Some people look at just a couple, and others spend months considering each and every one of the dozens of properties that come on the market within their price range.

Even though many

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NAEA Propertymark
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

NAEA

It seems amazing to us that almost anyone can open up an estate agency and commence trading without any training, qualifications, proof of minimum standards, or certificate of competency.

The sale of your property is far too important to entrust to just anybody. Those who claim to work on your behalf may simply be out

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Kent Property Blog 67
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

A Word to Landlords about Presentation

When the time comes to sell, there is usually a need for speed. Isn’t it always the case that the minute you start to think about selling, you see the ideal property you want to buy? The problem is that the chances of getting a chain-free sale on your own property to coincide with your

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Kent Property Blog 68
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Affordability

House prices may have risen beyond expectation in recent years but, interestingly, affordability is at a new high too! These factors might seem diametrically opposed, yet the opposite is actually true. Could this be why demand has remained strong throughout the Brexit-related political and economic uncertainties (thankfully now at an end)?

Affordability, or the relationship

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Kent Property Blog 69
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

A Profitable Way to Secure Your New Home?

When the time comes to sell, there is usually a need for speed. Isn’t it always the case that the minute you start to think about selling, you see the ideal property you want to buy? The problem is that the chances of getting a chain-free sale on your own property to coincide with your

Read More »
Kent Property Blog 70
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Buy First? or Sell?

For homeowners wishing to sell their property and buy another, it’s the classic dilemma; which do you do first – buy or sell?

Typically, people initially investigate the market to find out what they can buy for their money. Inevitably, during this research they fall in love with the “ideal” property. As they have yet

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Kent Property Blog 71
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

August 2020 Market Comment

As soon as the Brexit decision was “concluded” late last year, we were hit by the pandemic. Four years of uncertainty was condensed into a bottle neck of demand, which was then frustrated by three months of lockdown – and longer hair! But three months of hair growth does not require three haircuts – yet

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Buy To Let Part 2
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

Buy To Let (Part 2)

Our last article considered the benefits of buying to let in principle. Here we consider some practical elements:

Attitude: Buying to let is a long-term investment. So don’t over-stretch yourself, because if you had to sell in the short term you would almost certainly lose money.

Choose well: Follow your head not your heart. Take

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The "V" Word
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

The V Word

Estate agents’ market valuations are usually free, and because of this, it is very tempting for prospective sellers to invite a number of agents to comment and then select the agent that suggests the highest likely sale price for the property.

However, we advise caution on this issue. Some agency “valuers” are paid bonus on

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Buy To Let part1
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

Buy To Let (Part 1)

As pension funds shrink, many people consider the buy-to-let opportunity as a viable alternative, and with good reason. The effect of low interest rates and a historically rising property market make buy-to-let one of the most attractive investments accessible to the public. And the great thing is – you can use the bank’s money! The

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Friday Move
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Friday Move?

Friday is overwhelmingly the most popular day of the week to move house as it provides new homeowners with a long weekend of moving “fun” – unpacking boxes, hanging pictures and all the DIY that tends to accompany a move.

Due to this preference, it is therefore quite likely that other buyers and sellers in

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Manage Your Investment
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

Manage Your Investment

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,

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might sell
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Might Sell, Might Not

It is interesting to note that some sellers are not as committed to moving as they might be, and are prepared to remain on the market until what they regard as an acceptable offer comes along.

Likewise, some buyers, whilst generally remaining committed to a purchase, do not exhibit a great deal of urgency, and

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Benefit of Pets
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

Why Let Your Property To A Pet Owner

Almost half the UK population own a pet, yet many landlords are reluctant to accept pets! According to research by The Dogs Trust, some 78% of pet owners reported that they had experienced difficulty finding rented accommodation that would accept pets.

However, if you are a landlord, agreeing to accept pets can help you maximise

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Covenant
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Covenants

A covenant is a term you might hear when discussing a property during the conveyancing process. Covenants are a form of legal obligation that is binding on the owner of a property and passes from owner to owner whenever the property is sold. They form part of the deeds of a property and are recorded

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July 2020 Market Comment
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

July 2020 Market Comment

Finally, after the pent-up frustrations of lockdown, we have some very good news to report:

Firstly, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has announced a substantial boost for the housing market with the raising of the SDLT (Stamp Duty) threshold from £125,000 to £500,000. This really is quite incredible and will save buyers up

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Tenants Garden
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

The Tenant’s Garden

Landlords often ask us what they should do about their garden and what they can reasonably expect of a tenant in terms of maintenance.

Having a well-cared for garden can definitely help to attract good tenants, particularly if they arrive on a sunny summer’s day. However, if the garden is just too magnificent and obviously

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floorplan
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Floorplans

Our research has shown that buyers overwhelmingly prefer floorplans on property details in addition to the usual description and written dimensions. There are several good reasons behind this preference, which is why we always feature floorplans on our particulars:

Firstly, where several properties are competing for a buyer’s attention, a floorplan always makes an immediate

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Right to Rent
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

Right to Rent

Immigration legislation means that all private landlords have to check that new tenants have the right to be in the UK before renting a property, although this responsibility can be given to your letting agent as part of a written agreement.

The penalties for ignoring the new legislation are severe. For the first time an

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Independence Day
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Independence Day

On 4th July each year Americans go to town on celebrating their national pride on Independence Day.

And well they might, as independence is a wonderful thing. As independent estate/letting agents, we experience daily what it is to be free of the constraints of corporate governance, number crunching, management reports and toeing the party

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Upbeat Rentas
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

Upbeat Rentals

Superficially, lettings could be seen as relatively straightforward, and some firms do indeed regard themselves as a simple broking operation.

However, if your investment is going to provide you with peace of mind as well as a great return on investment, then you will want to know that the property is being managed by people

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Getting Personal
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Getting Personal Through Technology

The opportunities opened up by technology in estate agency have been enormous, yet many local agents simply use their website as a glorified shop window. Like any agency window, the properties displayed need to be regularly updated and presented in a way that inspires buyers to take things further.

But a good estate agency website

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Stamp Duty
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

Stamp Duty on Investment Property

If you’re buying a second home, Buy to Let, or investment property, you should be aware that there is an additional 3% Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on top of the standard SDLT amount payable. Since this regime was introduced in 2016, the market for second homes has certainly felt the pinch, especially for buy

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Peace of Mind
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Peace of Mind

It is perhaps quite worrying that anyone can start trading as an estate agent, without any qualifications whatsoever. This makes it all the more important that you choose an agency that puts a high value on training.

Better-trained staff gain an intimate understanding of what the customer is going through and are able to help

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June Market Comment
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

June 2020 – Market Comment

It might be tempting to believe that the pandemic has been destructive and all-consuming on all fronts, especially in relation to the property market, which virtually ground to a halt a few weeks ago.

But we British are a resilient lot! Our compliant “keep calm and carry on” mentality has meant that we have/continue to

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meaning of service
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

The Meaning of Service

Most lettings agents see their role solely as a “purveyor of tenants”, and they pride themselves on their ability to find the right tenant for a property and to negotiate attractive terms for the landlord.

But lettings agency has moved on. Indeed, finding a tenant is arguably one of the most straightforward aspects of letting

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Will the Internet Replace Estate Agents?
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Will the Internet Replace Estate Agents?

There can be nothing better suited to the internet than property, and hits to property websites far outnumber those of any other industry. The ability to be able to search in the comfort of your own home, usually without having to provide any personal details, is certainly attractive and has transformed the way the public

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Happy Landlords
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

Happy Landlords!

A recent survey of over 500 residential landlords reports that landlords are overwhelmingly satisfied with the service they receive from their letting agent and find them an invaluable resource. Some 92% of landlords reported a positive experience with their letting agent.
The market for lettings is of course relatively buoyant that the moment and agents

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Chain Chasing
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

What Agents Do – 8 Chains

The adage that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link could not be more aptly demonstrated than in respect of property transactions in the UK.

Whilst a lot of agents focus on finding a buyer, which is obviously important, it is the quality of that buyer and their situation that will determine

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What Agents Do - 7 Negotiate
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

What Agents Do – 7 Negotiate

Good negotiation is a skill that adds real value to the service you receive from your estate agent. After all it can be the make or break of a sale.

Many agents focus on “getting the maximum price” for their client, the property vendor. So do we. However, we also recognize that the vendor’s main

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Kent Property Blog 72
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

Landlords Beware!

Smart investors are keen to snap up bargains, and the buy to let market remains surprisingly active. However, whilst it is tempting to go out and buy, buy, buy – a word of caution, because it might not be so easy to let, let, let.

Finding a tenant is only one aspect of the venture which

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Kent Property Blog 73
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

May 2020 – Market Comment

The housing market has been an obvious casualty of the Coronavirus lockdown. Yet the desire to move is strong, once the decision has been made. Indeed, as soon as the government announced that people could once again move house, Rightmove buyer enquiries doubled within 24 hours. They were even 4% higher than the same day

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problem tenant
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

A Problem Tenant?

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

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offers
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

What Agents Do – 6 Offers

One of the most important aspects of your estate agents role is not only to negotiate a price (or ideally secure the full asking price of course) but actually to generate an offer in the first place! Too many agents simply see themselves as people who show buyers around property, hoping that an offer will

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getting_rentals_right
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

Getting Rentals Right

Just as anyone can open up an estate agency, so they can also start up a lettings business, without any training, experience or qualifications. This should concern landlords, because there is far more to the business than meets the eye. In some ways, finding a tenant is the easy bit!

The issues arise over how

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accompanied_viewings
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

What Agents Do – 5 Accompanied Viewing

The layman’s view of an estate agent is simply someone who shows prospective buyers round properties. Whilst understandable, this simplistic perspective belies the fact that the well-trained agent knows how to maximize the viewing opportunity with the specific objective of prompting a sale.

Whilst “showing someone round” might appear straightforward, vendors who do this themselves

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inventory
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

A Proper Inventory

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

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what_agents_do_qualify_buyers
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

What Agents Do – 4 Qualify Buyers

The phrase “Willing and Able” is seldom heard today, as it no longer appears on estate agency documentation. However, it remains important to discover if a prospective buyer for your property is indeed willing and able to proceed, should they express interest in your home.

This is especially the case today, when people are finding

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rent arrears
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

Rent Arrears

Apart from actually finding a tenant and agreeing the rent, the one headache about which many landlords are concerned is, “will the rent be paid – on time?” Many landlords have stretched themselves in order to purchase a buy-to-let investment and even one month’s rent in arrears can put strain on the finances as mortgage

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advertising
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

What Agents Do – 3 Advertising

In the old days, a property ad in an estate agent’s window and the local newspaper were all that was required to promote a property. Today we also have our website and numerous portals ensuring that our clients property receives the maximum exposure to the right people – or ideally thousands of them! Plus, of

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Kent Property Blog 74
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

Consent To Let

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

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Kent Property Blog 75
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

What Agents Do – 2 Valuation

Valuation is possibly the most contentious aspect of estate agency, and emotions run high when discussing most people’s most valuable asset. It is natural that the vendor of a property will want as much as possible for it, as does the agent.
However, vendors should be careful about opinions, especially when everyone seems to have

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Condensation
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

Condensation

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”.

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Kent Property Blog 76
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

What Agents Do – 1 Advice

Straight-talking sincere advice can be invaluable in a world where too many people would just tell you what you want to hear! For example, the oldest trick in the book is for an agent to suggest an inflated suggested asking price in order to impress you enough to secure your business, only for tears to

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New EPC Landlord Regs
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

New EPC Landlord Regs

The onus on landlords to provide energy efficient accommodation has once again stepped up a gear, now that part three of the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 has come fully into effect.
It is now (since 1st April 2020) illegal for landlords to continue to let a property, or grant

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April 2020 Market Comment
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

April 2020 Market Comment | Herne Bay & Whitstable

What a difference a month can make! Our March Market Comment was very positive and full of the joys of spring. Indeed, the Halifax subsequently reported that house prices were 2.1% higher at the end of March than they had been at the end of December 2019. The “Boris Bounce” was very much in evidence,

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Save the Sale
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Save the Sale

It is well documented that, nationally, around 30% of all sales arranged fail to reach a successful exchange of contracts. Fortunately, our success rate is much higher than this!

However, the sales cycle can be frustratingly slow and the longer the sale takes, the greater the chance of it falling through. This makes it particularly

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Tenants Let Us Help You
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

Tenants – Help us to help you!

Letting agents love the challenge of helping you find your ideal home. Sometimes however, it can be more of a challenge than need be. So if you are looking to rent a property, here are a few guidelines that will really help us to help you:

• Turn up for viewings at the agreed time.

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When To Pack
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

When To Pack?

You have decided to sell, but the thought of packing your home up can be daunting, especially if you have lived in the same property for many years.

It is well known that a property sells more readily when it looks and feels like a home, rather than just bricks and mortar, so it could

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Fair Wear And Tear
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

Fair Wear and Tear

The terms “fair wear and tear” appears on most tenancy agreements. But what is fair to a landlord may not necessarily appear fair to a tenant, and vice versa.

In general terms it is usually understood that fair wear and tear means that in regard to any apparent damage done to part of a landlord’s

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New Landlord
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

New Landlord

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

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Scruffy Homes
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Scruffy is the new Smart!

There is a lot of talk and numerous TV programmes about home improvement and the benefits of presenting your property at its best when the time comes to sell.

However, if you are thinking of selling and your property is not necessarily the prettiest in the street, or perhaps it is a bit tired, needs

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An Agent's Response To Coronavirus
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

An Agent’s Response To Coronavirus

As the country gears up for the potential prospect of a pandemic, what are the implications for home movers and how are we, as estate agents, rising to our responsibilities?

The property market is currently enjoying renewed strength following years of Brexit doldrums, during which it proved highly resilient. Is it also immune to Coronavirus?

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The First Steps in Letting
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

The First Steps in Letting

When letting your property, your primary objective is simple – you want to find a reliable tenant who pays the rent regularly and looks after your property as you would yourself.

The reality is usually more complex than this. Letting your property comes with legal obligations and social responsibilities, many of which are unknown to anyone

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Identity Caution When Moving House
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Identity Caution When Moving House

Recent research has shown that about a quarter of home-movers leave themselves open to some form of identity theft when they move, simply by failing to redirect their post promptly.

Indeed, almost half of all identity theft cases involve a previous address, and 70% of new occupants receive mail addressed to a past occupant. This

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What About My Deposit
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

“What About My Deposit?”

One of the greatest areas of dispute in lettings is the issue of deposits and the fair return of money at the end of a tenancy. An unscrupulous landlord could claim that minor damages justify the non-return of the deposit, which usually amounts to between four and six weeks’ rent.

However, tenancy deposit protection legislation

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Help Your Agent
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Help Your Agent

Buyers often waste an inordinate amount of time viewing property that is either too expensive or blatantly wrong in other critical ways.

Additionally, more than 30% of property sales fall through due to buyer or seller suddenly changing their minds. Both these annoyances could be attributed to the agent not having gained a good understanding

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March 2020 Market Comment
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

March 2020 Market Comment

Building on the increase in January activity we reported last month, the local market has been just as frenetic during February with intense buyer activity continuing to play “catch-up” following years of mild depression.

According to the National Association of Estate Agents, there has been a 25% year-on-year rise in the number of active buyers,

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Catch 22
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Catch 22

Many sellers who receive a good offer for their home turn it down because they have not yet found “the right property” and worry that they will in effect become homeless should they sell first (although we have never known this to happen!)

Of course, the problem would become a self-fulfilling prophecy if everyone were

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Kent Property Blog 77
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

First Impressions

You only get one chance to make a first impression! When it comes to letting your home, attention to detail could be pivotal in securing the best possible rent –quickly.

Most tenants have a good idea of their preferred location, minimum accommodation needs and ideal style of property. Yet it is often presentation that makes

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Kent Property Blog 78
Landlords Blog
P Clarke

Working In Partnership With Your Letting Agent

When the time comes to let your property it is important to ensure that you entrust the sale to a reputable letting agent if the stress involved in finding a tenant, managing the property and maximising you investment is to be minimised.

However, the most successful lets tend to be those where the seller and

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Kent Property Blog 79
Sellers Blog
P Clarke

Take Advantage Of The Leap Year

This year is a leap year – the 29th February only occurs every four years – which is about as frequently as many people used to move house during the heady days of property speculation that sparked the boom market.

Nowadays most buyers and sellers are more level-headed and don’t leap from place to place

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Know Your Housing Market

Landlord Know Your Housing Market: With the government seeking to tip the balance towards owner occupiers and away from buy to lets the prospects appear to be relatively unfavourable for landlords.

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