Posted on

Sole Agency – Twelve Tips for Better Results

Sole Agency – Twelve Tips for Better Results 1

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! A sole agent has time to negotiate the best deal for you, rather than trying to secure a sale at any price before a competing agent does so.

2. Most agents draw from the same pool of buyers, so more agents does not equal more buyers! In fact, too many cooks spoil the broth.

3. If another agent genuinely has a buyer that is not on our own books then we will happily work with them on a shared commission basis at no extra cost to you.

4. Don’t cheapen your house – appearing to be desperate puts people off.

5. A sole agent is accountable to you and committed to delivering results. Shared accountability is no accountability!

6. A sole agent is willing to invest considerable time, effort and expense in marketing your property as there is a guaranteed commission when a sale results.

7. Buyers are attracted to sole agencies, as they know they will be dealing with the main player and are unlikely to be gazumped.

8. There may be certain security or sensitive issues involved that can be compromised under a multiple agency.

9. Conflicting prices/terms in multiple agents’ adverts can jeopardise a sale.

10. Sole agency avoids potential claims for double commission if there is any confusion over
who actually introduced the buyer.

11. Sole Agency fees are often lower than the commission percentage charged for multiple

12. Statistics show that sole agency properties tend to sell faster.

Most of our properties are sole agency because of our passionate belief in accountability, service and results. So when the time comes to sell, why not call us for a chat on 01227 362248.

Posted By David Jeavons

< Back

Posted on

Should I make an Offer?

Should I make an Offer? 2

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. However, buying a home is much less mercenary, and emotions run high.     

Over the years, homebuyers have become used to the idea of making a “starting offer” below the asking price, but it might be worth considering a few aspects of the implications of making a low offer. 

Firstly what does a low offer say about you to the vendor? That you don’t have the money and that any subsequent increase might stretch you beyond your ability to complete the purchase? Does it suggest you don’t really like their home, risking offence? A low offer can often start off the relationship with the vendor on the wrong foot.

And what if your low offer is accepted? Will the vendors experience regret it and continue to market the property, hoping to find a higher price with someone else? The chances of such a buyer being found are high as people usually want a property that someone else wants. 

It’s about commitment; an offer at, or close to, a realistic asking price tells the vendor you are committed to the property. In return the vendor is likely to demonstrate a level of commitment to you that will result in a successful purchase.

Ultimately, you are buying a home; is it worth losing your dream property for the sake of getting (and possibly losing) some sort of “deal”. Most properties sell for about the “right” price – all you have to be is the “right” buyer! 

Posted By Paul Clarke

< Back

Posted on

November 2020 Market Comment

November 2020 Market Comment 3

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, the stock market, general investment, pensions and of course property transaction volumes and house prices.  Increased certainty generates the confidence on which so much hangs. 

However, although the end of the pandemic is now within sight, it won’t be instant, with continued local lockdowns likely until the whole country is immunised during the latter part of next year. Although the economy rose by 15.5% from July to September, we are by no means out of the woods in terms of redundancies, with unemployment 26% higher than it was this time last year. The extended furlough scheme might help, but people are still unlikely to move house until they have certainty that their future is secure.

Having said that, there is a possibility that the SDLT concession, worth up to £15,000 and due to expire in March next year, could possibly be extended to counter this. We don’t have any inside knowledge on this, but it has been mooted.

Either way, demand still outstrips supply and, according to the Halifax, house prices have risen by 7.5% in the past year to a record £250,547. This is likely to be a more accurate reflection of sentiment than the Land Registry’s reported figures which always lag the market by 2-3 months.

So we can expect to see a slowing down in the rate of growth. That 7.5% is simply not sustainable and in fact last month’s rate was just 0.3% compared to 1.5% in September. Don’t worry though – this is simply a balancing out of this year’s post-lockdown pent up demand. I imagine we’ll continue to see modest growth, which, all things considered, would be pretty remarkable, proving once again how robust the housing market is as an investment.

With this rather mixed bag of variables our advice to our sellers right now is “sure – be ambitious, take advantage of the demand, but think carefully before turning down a serious offer from a well-qualified buyer – you won’t want to be stuck on the market over the winter.”

If you’d like any advice as to how the current climate could affect your moving or investment plans, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01227 362248 for a free overview, with a smile and no obligation, no paperwork, no fuss.  

Posted By Paul Clarke

< Back

Posted on

What About The Children?

What About The Children? 4

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 place for most of the child’s life is about to be taken away from them, as they are rocketed out of their comfort zone into unknown territory.

After you have made the decision to move, child psychologists usually advise telling the children as soon as you can. They are certain to find out one way or another and being up front with them will enable you to manage the process better and stay in control.

Parents nevertheless need to be sensitive when discussing the move, and make a point of highlighting the exciting aspects of a new home. Ask your child what they would like to find in their ideal home. They don’t have to have a major influence on your decision, but their apparent involvement in the process will pay dividends.

Likewise, if your children regard the move as a positive thing they are more likely to be co-operative when buyers come to view your property. A stress-related temper-tantrum as the buyer walks through your door is to be avoided at all costs! Indeed, no matter how sweet your children may be, they are more likely to be a distraction to a prospective buyer than an advantage. This is one of the many reasons why we always aim to accompany purchasers around our clients’ property. So our respectful advice is this: ideally, leave the viewing to the trained agent and take the children (and the dog) for a walk! Happy Selling!

For more advice on any aspect of your move, please feel free to call us on 01227 362248

Posted By Paul Clarke

< Back

Posted on


Hesitate 5


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 grip

I watched through my fingers slip.

The windfalls that I should have caught

Were lost, because I over-thought.

I thought of this, I thought of that

I could have sworn I smelled a rat;

And whilst I thought things over twice

Another grabbed them at the price.  

It always seems I hesitate

Then make my mind up much too late

A very cautious man am I

And that is why I never buy.

How Nassau and how Suffolk grew

New Jersey, Statten Island too

When others culled those sprawling farms

And welcomed deals with open arms

A corner here, ten acres there

Compounding values year by year

I chose to think,

And as I thought

They bought the deals I should have bought

The golden chances I had then, are lost 

And will not come again

Today I cannot be enticed

For everything’s so overpriced

The deals of yesteryear are dead

The market’s soft

And so’s my head  

At times a teardrop drowns my eye

For deals I had, but did not buy

And now life’s saddest words I pen

“If only I’d invested then!”



Farm and Land Realtor Magazine

October 1917 – over one hundred years ago!   

< Back

Posted on

Autumn Selling Tips

Autumn Selling Tips 6

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, with our compliments:

• Kerb appeal. You only get one chance to make a first impression – so make it count, as buyers make instant judgements. Make sure lawns are neat and pathways swept.

• How about a coat of fresh paint for the front door, and a new doormat?

• Make sure gutters are free from debris and are draining properly. There are few things worse than waiting outside a house with a torrent of water threatening the back of your neck!

• People in coats are bulkier, so make sure your entrance hall is clear of bicycles, toys and wellies.

• Many people cruise past a property before making an appointment to view. So, on dark evenings, make it look like a home from the outside. Table lamps and soft lighting give an impression of cosiness and should be turned on mid afternoon. A “For Sale” board will also make the house easier to find.

• Ensure your windows are sparkling clean, as recent rain may have left them dirty, and maximise available daytime light by ensuring that curtains are fully open.

• Make sure the house feels warm and cosy inside. You are selling a home after all, not just four walls and a roof.
If you’re keen to move this side of Christmas, why not take advantage of our property marketing advice service? It’s free, and will give you a good opportunity to gauge whether we could be the right agent for you! Please feel free to contact us on 01227 362248

Posted By Paul Clarke

Posted on

Can I Buy My Freehold

Can I Buy My Freehold 7

Buy 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 worth considering buying the freehold now as the cost of doing so in the future will escalate exponentially as the years go by under a process called reversion, alongside an associated depreciation in the market value of your remaining lease.

One important condition of such a purchase is that at least half of the lessees in a building participate in the purchase. Any lessee who does not wish to take part is deemed to have forfeited the right to do so in the future.

Start by calling a lessees’ meeting and appoint a solicitor to draw up a participation agreement and a specialist surveyor to prepare a valuation. A formal notice requiring the freeholder to sell will then be served which must be accepted by the freeholder within two months or the tenants can force the sale through the county court under a Vesting Order.

The issue of valuation can be extremely complex and requires specialist advice as it depends on numerous variables and precedents with over twenty valuation models in use! The freeholder may of course disagree with the valuation in which case the matter can be referred to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal for a decision although this can be costly for both sides.

It is likely that your solicitor will advise that the purchase be made through a trust or limited company whereby shares in the company which owns the freehold are subsequently transferred from seller to buyer whenever the flat is sold in the future.

Please feel free to contact us on 01227 362248 for our considered opinion as to whether your lease might be worth extending and the values involved.

Posted By Paul Clarke

Posted on

October 2020 Market Comment

October 2020 Market Comment 8

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 circumstances. Considering the market was stagnant for most of 2019, the last quarter’s 8.5% increase in buyer demand is extraordinary and has contributed to an annual 5% uplift in house prices. This will be a relief for any homeowners who were wondering if last year’s house price plateau was here to stay. Bizarrely, Covid-19, along with some government intervention has certainly overcome that, at least for the time being, because when activity rises, house prices follow.

Nevertheless, research from PwC suggests that up to 20% of people say they are now less likely to purchase a home over the next couple of years compared to pre-Covid-19 figures, due to the ongoing pandemic and economic uncertainty. This is partially balanced by the 10% of people who say they are now MORE likely to move than before, possibly due to the stamp duty holiday worth up to £15,000.
Don’t forget that maximum £15,000 SDLT saving is on a £500,000 property – the average saving is about £4,500 but only until March next year when the concession is due to expire. So if you’re thinking of moving next year – do bring it forward!
Interestingly first time buyer sales agreed are up 36%. Additionally, the good news for first time buyers is that the government is planning to help young people become “Generation Buy” by helping them onto the property ladder with just a 5% deposit. It’s essential not only to power the property market from below, but it’s also good for society to make home ownership available to all. Having said that, government intervention in the economics of supply and demand usually ends in tears.

Although buyers are certainly buying, a potential difficulty is the length of time it is taking for local authority official searches to come back due to Covid-19 related staffing issues. Some are taking up to two months, which could really frustrate buyers hoping to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday. So a key word of advice here is that if you are a seller – order the searches yourself – even before a buyer is found – it could just save you your sale! Please feel free to speak to any of our agents about how to go about this.

On the investment side, landlords will be pleased to hear that, according to ARLA, the number of new prospective tenants registering, is the highest on record with over 100 applicants per branch, breaking the last record set in 1997! Average tenancy duration is also at an all-time high, with tenants staying in their properties for an average 21 months.

If you’d like any advice as to how the current climate could affect your moving or investment plans, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01227 362248 for a free overview, with a smile and no obligation.

Posted By Paul Clarke

Posted on

Move by Christmas

Move by Christmas 9

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 noticed a significant ramping- up of activity.

Despite this increase in activity, your choice of agent is paramount as too many agents are currently making rash promises. If you are selling, beware of the agent who tries to flatter you with promises of an inflated price, or entices you with a commission rate so low (sometimes with hidden charges) that they cannot provide a decent level of service or train their staff effectively.

Whilst the market is in fact quite stable, buyers do have a choice. Buyers buy by comparison, and they will always buy the property that offers them the best value in relation to alternatives available nearby.

So don’t fall into the trap of assuming that because your property is slightly wider than the one on the market next door, or because it has better views or a bigger garden, that you should quote a higher asking price. By doing so, your price offsets these benefits. Likewise, if your house is similar to next door, then you should undercut their price if you are to achieve an early sale.

If you’d like to move this year, the rule of thumb for this market is to choose a strong, independent, locally-based agent, listen to their advice, and quote a competitive asking price. With the wind behind you, you might just be in your new home by Christmas. And we’d love to help you achieve this – it’s what we do! Please feel free to call us for a confidential no-obligation chat on 01227 362248.

Posted By Paul Clarke

Posted on

The Value of SOLD

The Value of SOLD 10

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 which have sold locally could be a good indicator of the price you should be quoting. However, your research could well prompt you to price your property at a level which could under- or over-estimate your optimum sale price.

Irrespective of national trends, the property market is very sensitive to imbalances in supply and demand even on a street by street basis. When there are many qualified buyers all seeking a rarely-available house in a popular street the price goes up. If fate dictates that the following week five such houses become available in the same street, the price will inevitably fall.

Likewise there can be situations where a property is sold at a record price to an individual who particularly wanted a specific property for personal reasons. Conversely a situation could arise where a desperate seller, who might otherwise suffer repossession, agrees a sale at a very low figure for a quick sale.

Only the estate agent involved in any of these transactions knows how the individual circumstances of sale can affect a property’s value. So a word of caution – leave the science of valuation to an experienced local estate agent who is highly active in the market and has a good track record of achieving swift sales at or close to his/her suggested asking price. Time for a chat? We’re here to help.

Posted By Paul Clarke