Not always top of peoples lists, especially once they have decided now is the time to move on to a new home, but finishing off DIY jobs around the house can be a huge help when it comes to attracting buyers.

Think about it, buyers are generally looking for an easier life, they might say they want a bigger house but why do they want a bigger house? Because they want to make their life easier by having more room.  For this same reason most buyers prefer to find a home where they feel they don’t need to do anything.  So every little DIY job that remains unfinished can become a serious hurdle for a buyer to get over, too many hurdles and they’ll simply chose another home

So make it easier for your buyers to chose your home and get all those DIY jobs finished off!

10 Essential Tips For Selling This Autumn


  1. De-clutter. Box up all your treasures collected over the years that you want to take with you but can live without for a few months and get rid of anything that isn’t going with you to the new home. There should be ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’
  2. Complete unfinished DIY projects. Clearing the guttering, patching up holes, re-sealing the bath, changing light bulbs
  3. Consider any nice staging props you might want to use for photograph day. New cushions and throws that match the décor, great towels in the bathroom, fresh flowers, attractive ornaments can all make a photo come to life and are worth giving some thought to. We can give you some bespoke hints and tips if you are selling with us and in some cases we can even provide a few props for you if you are struggling.
  4. Mow the lawn, sorry its still been growing these last few weeks, although it probably doesn’t need to many more cuts this Autumn. However, the leaves have started to fall so they’ll be keeping you busy
  5. Make the beds, sounds silly but a neatly made bed makes a bedroom photo look fantastic while a scruffy one can make even the finest of bedrooms look awful.
  6. Turn on lights and lamps. If the photographer doesn’t need them on she can quickly turn them off, but if she needs them and has to wait half an hour for low energy bulbs to warm up we aren’t going to get the desired results
  7. Remove an overflow of coats that always build up this time of year – hide them in the car if necessary
  8. Hide any pets and pet paraphernalia – they can go in the car with the coats, just don’t forget you may need to consider hiding this car!
  9. Put the heating on (not too hot just keep it pleasantly warm), maybe light a fire
  10. One last whizz around to hide toys, the hoover and the ironing board and make sure the beds are made


All estate agents are the same!

I hear this all the time and I actually really enjoy being able to explain to people how all agents are very different and how a pro-active agent can make a real difference, not only to the time it takes to get a sale, but the price you achieve too!

Thinking all agents are the same is like thinking all supermarkets are the same just because they all sell baked beans, but we all know how different they all are from each other! It is exactly the same with estate agents.  Most agents will be able to get your property listed on rightmove and zoopla (although some local agents only use rightmove), but they won’t all have the same attitude to levels of client care and customer service.

Having been selected for entry in the Best Estate Agency Guide by Property Academy and Rightmove we are fairly confident we know how to make a difference to our clients. Over 25,000 branches of estate agents country wide were entered and to choose which agents were listed in the Guide, each branch was scored against a unique set of performance and customer service criteria, using a combination of data analysis and mystery shopping, only the top 20% made it into the guide.

So what makes one agent different to another? You will find the service will vary greatly in areas like; levels of communication, floor plans, portal choice (rightmove & zoopla), pro-activeness, innovation, knowledge, fees, attention to detail, team members, photographs, client testimonials, integrity, professionalism, commitment, to name just a few. Some call centre based agents (or online agents as they are sometimes called) are literally no more than a vehicle to listing your property on websites, leaving you to schedule and carry out your own viewings, negotiate your own offers and providing no assistance during the conveyancing process.

One of the best ways to find out if an agent is right for you is to mystery shop them, by calling and booking a viewing you will see the agent through the eyes of your future buyer and if it the service lives up to the promise of the marketing material and valuers comments. If they fall short with your expectations as a buyer they are unlikely to be any more impressive when you are their vendor client.

If you are already on the market and struggling to sell or if you are thinking about moving then why not schedule me to visit for a free consultation on the saleability of your home and how I can help you achieve your goals, or what I can do differently to your existing agent to reinvigorate the marketing of your home and get you moving again.


Preparing your home for marketing

There’s that old saying ‘first impressions count’, well I believe that is never truer than when it comes to selling your home. So a little work right from the start is never a bad idea. Before you start ripping out the kitchen and bathroom though just remember to try to view your home through your buyers eyes, although you might have started to move on psychologically already you need to remember that your home might just be exactly what the buyer is looking for.  Its always a great idea to start with a deep clean, not only does a clean home give the right impression it also gives you a great opportunity to de-clutter while you are at it.  Anything you don’t plan on taking with you to your new home might as well go now.  Less is definitely more when it comes to selling your home.  I often say we are ‘selling a dream’, buyers are not going to fall in love with a house that has no storage with wellies and ironing boards floating around in hallways instead of being neatly tucked away.  By getting rid of the junk that we all accumulate you can find better homes for the essentials and in doing so give your buyers the feeling that life will never be better than when they move into your home.  Some people go so far as to rent a storage facility or borrow a friends spare room, if you know you have too much stuff it might not be a bad idea.

Once your home is de-cluttered and sparkling clean its time to tackle any unfinished DIY, unfinished jobs will often create a sense of doubt in a buyers minds and this translates to lower offers (or no offers at all), it is usually far cheaper to get these jobs finished than to have to reduce your price to sell despite them.

When reviewing the condition of your home don’t discount the idea of a bit of re-painting, freshly decorated properties will create a feeling of being able to simply move straight in and these properties time and again sell fastest for the highest price.

Not everyone will find it easy to identify their own need to de-clutter, redecorate and finish off DIY, but we are more than happy to help and will always give you honest feedback on your home and what you can do to improve its saleability. We also work with a home staging professional who will gladly produce a detailed report and then provide the accessories to really show your property off and make it look like its straight off the pages of Ideal Home Magazine or similar.

Why we use professional photos (and maybe you should too!)

In this fast past world buyers are making judgements on property listings within seconds, from talking to hundreds of buyers we know that often they will dismiss a property after no more than a quick flick through the photos, or on the flip side of that they will also decide they want to view! It is therefore so important you get the online presentation of your property right, which is why we only use professional camera equipment and for the majority of our properties use the services of an expert local property photographer.

Professional photos help to illustrate the lifestyle that goes with the house, which helps to present the property in a way the buyer wants to see it, after all when they think of their dream home what they are really dreaming about is the lifestyle that home will give them.

Good photography helps a buyer decide instantly if they want to view your home or not, fantastic photography intrigues them and makes them want to find out more, therefore increasing the chances of more viewers coming through your door.

Below are a selection of some of the photos we have used in the marketing of homes in the last few months


The Chicken or the Egg?

It is a question used in so many different areas of our lives, how do we ever really know which is best for us to do first? As Estate Agents we get asked regularly ‘Should we put our house up for sale first? Or try to find somewhere to buy?’ There is probably no definitive answer. We have heard people explain that they would hate to find a buyer and then feel pressured into finding their next home quickly, also people hate the idea of finding their ‘dream’ home and then losing it because they have not sold their own already.

So very often people decide they are just going to do an initial investigation into the market to find out what they can get for their money, then during this search they find their ‘dream’ home and then convince themselves they need to do everything they can to get it. This then of course means they are in a very weak position as a buyer after all no vendor is going to limit the sale of their property to someone who has not sold their own and that vendor is certainly not going to feel obliged to negotiate. This then means the buyer ends up being forced to sell quickly, possibly at a reduced price, in many cases the difference between the expensive purchase and the cheap sale and cost the buyer as much as 20% more than in a more controlled situation.

Sell from a position of strength, and use your then proceedable position to buy from an even stronger position. A cash buyer, or proceedable buyer is music to the ears of any Estate Agent and their Client and if you are in this position it will help you to secure your ‘dream’ home more quickly and potentially at a better price!

As for this ‘dream’ home have you ever noticed how the house of your dreams, the place that ticks all your boxes, the one that could never be equalled and will certainly never be surpassed just happens by coincidence to be on the market the same exact time you think you might start looking to move? There will always be another one just around the corner and that one might be even better! And if by some strange chance you don’t find another one around the corner then nobody is going to through you out on the streets, you cannot be forced to finalise the sale until you are ready, it is entirely your decision. This is somewhere that your agent should be able to help you too. My own staff are trained to not just focus on selling our clients properties but to help with every aspect of the move, they’ll give advice on things you could do to try to improve your chances of achieving the price you want, they’ll help negotiate the purchase of that next ‘dream’ home for you and they’ll even speak to other agents to find out what they have available that might match what you are looking for, while at the same time keeping your buyers reassured that the sale is still proceeding and helping to maximise their patience while you find your dream home.

So our answer to the chicken or the egg question in Estate Agency it is most definitely the Chicken!

Commercial Property Service with a Difference

The Property Shop independent estate agents are seeing a huge increase in demand for their ‘local’ commercial property service. Due to the ever increasing popularity of property investment by private individuals more and more commercial properties are owned by landlords with only a few properties in their portfolio. These landlords, unlike the big investment companies and pension funds, cannot afford to leave their property empty while they wait for their commercial agent to tie up a 25 year lease with a bluechip company. Instead they are turning to the more hands on flexible approach offered by local estate agents The Property Shop.

The Property Shop will act quickly when instructed to market a property with adverts appearing on websites and in the local papers within days of the instruction, but where they are really making a difference is in the accessibility of their staff and the flexibleness of the leases on offer. Many landlords are more than happy to take relatively short term leases, with many agreeing terms on a three year basis and some agreeing a lease as short as twelve months. The Property Shop will negotiate all the terms and iron out all the creases before handing over to solicitors, helping to keep their clients costs to a minimum. Not only that but because they are so active with their marketing they will not allow clients to leave their property sitting empty in the hope of tying up a deal at a unrealistic rental, Daniel Thomas from The Property Shop explains the strategy ‘Many of our clients would prefer us to negotiate terms to agree a lease at a discounted rate than leave the property empty so to safeguard their long term return from the rents we build into the lease regular rent reviews which give our clients the chance to put the rent back up in the future.

For more information or to arrange a sale or rental valuation of your commercial property or your business contact your local branch of The Property Shop who will be more than happy to arrange a meeting with one of their commercial specialists.

10 Top Tips to Avoid Rental Void Periods

1) See to repairs promptly. If repairs are needed make sure they are carried out quickly – happy tenants stay longer. If you treat small problems as seriously as big ones your tenant will feel valued. A good managing agent can help take away the hassle and deal with these things for you

2) Keep the rent reasonable. In the current financial climate it makes sense not to rock the boat too much by putting up the rent. If you are happy with your tenants and they are reliable payers then keeping the rent the same could pay dividends long term

3) Find Out Why? If your tenant is thinking about moving out, try to find out why. If they want a bigger or smaller place you might be able to offer them something from your portfolio, or if they are struggling to afford the rent it might be worth working out a short term solution by offering a temporary reduction in rent – it could be cheaper than having a property sitting empty for a couple of months!

4) Redecorate. Keep your property fresh and attractive by redecorating every couple of years – or better still allow your tenant to do it for you!

5) Renew your tenancies. By renewing your tenancy after the initial fixed term period you give yourself the benefit of a committed tenant

6) Reward committed tenants. Reward committed tenants who have been loyal and reliable for years. Some landlords give their tenants Christmas presents or treats such as flowers, vouchers or even meals out.

7) Go the extra mile. As a landlord it is your duty to know your legal obligations on a whole range of areas – but going the extra mile helps a good tenant feel valued. Installing Carbon Monoxide detectors or window locks although not always legally required help to make a tenant feel cared for and safe.

8) Be highly visible. When tenants do leave your property (even following these tips you will find your property becomes empty sometimes) make sure you use an agent that will get your property seen. Make sure they advertise on & as an absolute minimum.

9) Get the picture. When your agent advertises it is essential these days they use lots of pictures. Research shows that a property advertised with photographs generally receives three and a half times as much interest as one with out any.

Might sound silly but treating others the way you would like to be treated yourself is generally a good maxim for life and it holds true in the rental market.