If you’re looking to sell you’ll want your home to give the best possible first impression to house-hunters. Our guide gives you a few tips of what you can do without maxing-out your credit card.

Sold by Granger & Oaks

Your Front Door
It’s one of the most notable features of your property’s exterior and when done right can, really make your home stand out from the crowd. You can put as much effort into this as you’d like depending on the amount of time you have and your budget. Whatever you do though, make sure the door is clean and the furniture is polished. If you have a timber door, give it a lick of paint so it’s fresh and inviting. You could also add a custom house number. They aren’t expensive and will give your home a more unique touch.

The Driveway
At the very least, make sure it is free of weeds, and if you can, give it a blast with a pressure washer. Over time, through natural wear and tear, there is bound to be a crack or two, so try and look at it through fresh eyes. Does it do your house justice, or does it look tired and in need or a re-surface? Resurfacing is a big expense but it could have a really big impact if your drive is looking tired & unloved.

The Fences and Gates
If your property doesn’t currently have a low fence around the property, maybe consider putting one up? It will give your home more privacy and make it stand out on the street. Fencing isn’t hugely expensive and can make a real difference.
Don’t forget to check that any current fences aren’t wobbly & any gates don’t squeak. You don’t want your potential buyer’s to be greeted by a squeaky gate and wobbly fence.

The Garden
This is something that you can choose to blow the budget on, or you can keep things simple. In any event some greenery or flowers at the front is a must. Well stocked hanging baskets can make a big impact. The minimum amount of work required for your front garden is to ensure the grass and hedges are cut on a regular basis and any unwanted vegetation is removed. If you’d like to go the extra mile, add some colourful flowers in your borders
If you don’t have a front garden, then it's worth adding a bit of green to the front of your home. Maybe purchase a few flower pots or pick up a couple of hanging flower baskets.

Add a few defining features
Another way to make your exterior stand out is by adding a feature or two. You don’t to go crazy and start pruning the hedge in to the shape of a chicken, but adding a unique item to give your house character can really make it stand out from the crowd. Think about storm lamps, sculptures, or topiary pots for instance. Something you can take with you to your new home.

For advice on selling your home and presenting it to achieve the best possible price, just drop us a line – we’d love to help.

Granger & Oaks work hard to help our vendors SELL their property, not just advertise it.

Click here for a FREE Instant Valuation of your home.

t. 0115 9629770
e.nottingham@go-ps

Take a look at any 'house' magazine and one thing that you'll notice is that all the lovely homes they profile also have outstanding gardens. Some may be heavily planted and a floral profusion, others might be ultra-modern and be more like an extension of a sleek interior. Either way, they will be lovingly maintained and a huge asset when it comes to selling the house.

Shirley Road, Mapperley Park from Granger & Oaks
As a person who has bought their last two houses with the garden being one of the key criteria, I know how important gardens are to me, and this is echoed by people that I show around properties. A garden that is too small, or too big, or too shaded, or too hilly, too noisy can lose you a buyer, even if the house itself knocks their socks off.


The key is to make the most of what you've got. With most gardens nowadays you can be restricted by the size of your plot, so it is important to make the garden seem bigger than it is. If your house is in an area popular with families, always have part of the garden laid to lawn, so there is room to put up a swing, or somewhere to kick a ball.


If a garden is large, make sure it is easily managed (unless you're selling a property at the upper-end of the market where the buyer will probably have a gardener). Your labour of love may not be everyone's idea of how to spend their spare time, so be careful how labour intensive you make things.


If you live in a new-build house, you have the perfect opportunity. Most modern developments are based around 3 or 4 different designs, and all have very similar sized gardens. In Nottingham many have been bought up by landlords and rented out, or they are owned by busy couples & families with different priorities than tackling the garden. This gives potential sellers a real opportunity to make their house really stand out from the crowd and achieve a selling price their neighbours can only dream of.


It doesn't need to cost the earth to do, and it best done sooner rather than later if you are contemplating selling. Having a nice patio or deck in a sunny spot can make a big difference, and having an interesting path and maybe a pergola with climbers can add a whole new dimension. If your garden is on the small side, maybe having a raised bed for vegetable growing could be really appealing, and then plant bushes in the corners to add a splash of colour.


Think about who is likely to buy your house (often somebody like you when you bought it!) and cater for their tastes. You won't appeal to everyone, but your efforts won't go unnoticed by the person who ultimately agrees to buy it...


If gardening isn't your thing, find somebody who can help. Relatives & friends can often be easily bribed with a barbecue or similar, or if you're feeling flush employ a gardener to do it for you - it doesn't have to cost £000's but it could easily add £000's to the selling price.


If you're short of inspiration, take to Rightmove or On The Market and have a look at gardens of similar properties that have sold. Also, talk to your Estate Agent - they'll undoubtedly have some examples of gardens that have been popular with buyers, and they also have contacts & recommendations for local gardeners that can help if you need it. If you'd like to talk to us about how to present your garden to appeal to the widest market, give me call on 0115 9629770. I'd love to help!


Happy gardening


Jonathan

As summer approaches, and people start thinking towards their summer holidays, getting fit and enjoying the great outdoors can be at the forefront of peoples minds. Countless hours pounding the treadmill in a sole-less gym have less an appeal than ever, but the change in the clocks can mean that the evenings all of a sudden are free to enjoy outside, but what do you do to make the most of it?

Bike riding? It's now more popular than ever before, and in Nottingham the city council is spending over £6million on the Cycle City programme to encourage people onto 2 wheels and make the city safer for cyclists to enjoy. The city enjoys numerous bike routes and we obviously also have the river and canals to cycle alongside, so there is a good variety of terrain and things to keep you interested whilst you pedal.

Jogging? Other than a decent pair of trainers it's free and it gets you out and about and you might see parts of the city that you otherwise would just drive past. The Forest Recreation Ground is an obvious place to head, and on a summers evening you certainly wouldn't be the only one pounding the pavements. Check our Park Runs if you're looking for like minded folk. There are meet-ups on the Forest every Saturday morning, and others in Gedling, Rushcliffe, Beeston, and Colwick. Check it out at http://www.parkrun.org.uk/

A Stiff Walk? It's free, it gets you out of the house, and it's a great way for those that are unfit to start building up the steps. Get yourself a pedometer and you can start tracking how far you go. You can even go as far as getting yourself a smart watch that keeps track of your movement and set yourself some goals. In Nottingham, we have some outstanding countryside right on our doorstep, so there is always somewhere new to go and see, and with the Peak District less than an hour away you can make your walks as challenging as you like.

Magdala Tennis Club Mapperley Park Nottingham

Tennis? For the first time in over a generation, Britain currently has a world number 1 and number 2 tennis player. Now the Murray brothers may be a little better than most, but British tennis is generally on-the-up.  In Nottingham, the Tennis Centre is a fantastic facility, it offers a multitude of courts and an on-site gym, and it's home to the Nottingham Open every June. Closer to home however there is an outstanding Tennis Club open all-year round that you may never have known even existed. Magdala Lawn Tennis Club was founded in 1883 on the Forest, and moved to its current home on Magdala Road in 1888. The club is partially hidden behind a wooden fence, so you may not have know that it's there but it is very much open to trial members that want to give tennis a try.

Granger & Oaks have recently started sponsoring the club, and we're really pleased to be supporting Magdala Tennis Club Open Day on May 16th 2016. The event runs from 2pm til 6, and there will be plenty of events to get involved in, including Cardio Tennis, Competitions, and there will be beginners coaching for adults and juniors on the day. For people interested in giving tennis a try there will be the opportunity of taking up trial memberships on the day.

We'll be there on the day, so why not come along and see if Tennis is for you?

2:00pm Gates open – introductions/sign in

2:30pm onwards: Mini-tennis sessions throughout the afternoon
2:30pm onwards: Mix in doubles and singles tournament. There will be prizes for the top two players with highest overall percentage of games (minimum 12 games)

2:30pm onwards: Mix in tennis for those who do not wish to play in the tournament, interspersed with fitness training

2:45pm - 3:30pm Adult beginner and improver coaching

3:30pm - 3:50pm Cardio tennis

3:50pm – 4:20pm Adult coaching

4:20 - 4:40pm Cardio tennis

4:45pm – 5:30pm Adult beginner and improver coaching

5:30pm – 6pm Tea/cake

 

The summer is coming, so it's time to crank up the mower and dig out the secateurs..

After what feels like a very long winter, spring is now definitely in the air and for many that means it's time to oil the mower, sharpen the shears, and check the gardening gloves for creepy-crawlies that may have moved in over the winter months.

Flowers

The English are well known for our love of gardens, and for many people, a good garden is a deciding factor when buying a house. Interest in the garden used to be the reserve of your parents. It wasn't something people under 30 did, but that has changed over the past 20 years, and people are spending more time outside now than they ever have done before. You don't need to have borders full of rhododendrons or elegant formal lawns to get out and enjoy your garden. A quick look in B&Q or your local Garden Centre will tell you how important gardens are to us Brits.

Garden Centres started sprouting up (see what I did there!) in the 1960's. Prior to that green-fingered types went to a nursery, or ordered seeds by mail-order from a Sunday paper. Now Garden Centres are a multi-billion pound industry with their own awards ceremonies and annual conference. Add to that the space dedicated to outdoor living in your local DIY store, and you get an idea of how important gardens are to us. Whether it's for growing veg, playing football with the kids, or just having somewhere to have a barbecue and a glass of wine, gardens help us enjoy a house. They can be the fun bit, the challenging bit, or the rewarding bit. They can also become a bit obsessive, but let's not go there..

From a property sales point of view, gardens can be a huge asset, or in some cases a deal-breaker. We estate agents love nothing more than a nice south west facing garden - It's a Rightmove bullet point every time and we know it will create plenty of interest. If you are contemplating coming to market, having an appealing front garden is also paramount - first impressions are everything, and a unkempt front garden does nothing for your kerb appeal, or for the marketing photographs.

People thinking of selling sometimes do all the right things internally, but forget to make the most of the garden, yet in most instances the garden is the first thing your buyers will see. The trick is to make the most of what you've got - and start planning early. You often get the best out your garden months after you've done the work, so plan ahead. Hurriedly rushing the mower over grass that's 8 inches high will do nothing for your lawns appearance, and straight away it creates a bad impression to potential buyers. Depending on what you are selling, try to make your garden attractive but requiring as little maintenance as you can. You may be happy spending every weekend pruning and weeding, but your potential buyer may not!

If you're looking for inspiration, why not get yourself to a few Open Garden events over the summer. Here you will see a variety of different styles of garden, and you'll be able to get some handy tips from the homeowner as to what worked and what didn’t. In Nottingham there are a number of Open Gardens, so there is a good choice of different gardens to see and pinch some ideas. Events can be found in Lady Bay in West Bridgford, The Park, Beeston, and in Mapperley Park to name a few. The event closest to home for us is Mapperley Park Open Gardens, the event runs bi-annually and raises valuable funds for a selection of well deserving charities. This years event is being held on Sunday June 26th from 1pm until 6pm. 

Granger & Oaks are pleased to be named as a lead sponsor for Mapperley Park Open Gardens 2016 and we'll be doing whatever we can to make the event a success.

The event has been running for over 30 years and seems to get more popular every time. This year there will be around 15 gardens to visit, and there are a host of things to do with activities for children, and beer and champagne for Mum & Dad, a tombola, tea & cakes, crafts and plant sales. The event in 2014 raised over £10,000 for the chosen charities, and it's hoped that this year's event will achieve even more. Admission is only £4 for adults, and for children it's free, so why not come along and say hello.

Here's hoping that the sun has got his hat on.

sold-sign

There’s a big difference.

Estate Agents have a dreadful rep. Some of it deserved, some of it slightly unfair - we wouldn’t all sell our Grannies, even if we had a good offer. Honest.

We’re blamed by first-time-buyers for pushing prices up, and blamed by sellers for undervaluing, so we can’t really win. Believe it or not, some less scrupulous agents even inflate the prices they quote, just to try and get the sellers signature on the dotted line. Perish the thought….

At Granger & Oaks, we aim to be a little different. If you’re looking for off-the-wall over-inflated valuations, and property sat on Rightmove for months on end, you’ve come to the wrong place.

We’ve all seen the house at the end of the street that has been on the market for so long that the For Sale board has become part of the garden, and the curious thing is, that some agents aren’t bothered – the number of boards up is the priority, not the percengtage that are sold.

Our record for achieving our marketing price is second to none, and we aren’t in the habit of undervaluing. The trick is to do your research and get the price right 1st time. Properties generally achieve their highest price within the first 3 weeks of coming to market. Fact. So, taking a wild stab in the dark at a price that nobody of sound mind is going to pay, can only be folly.

Selling prices for property can swing considerably, and some properties can see substantial increases from one year to the next, so if you are contemplating making a move imminently, it’s worth revisiting your homes valuation even if you’ve had a quote within the last few years.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Not everything sells in 3 weeks flat – some houses do take a while longer, but they are the exception to the rule. Before you start thinking about reducing the price, it’s important to remember that you’re only looking for one person, and that person may be away when you first come to market, or, they may have already seen it but were put off for some reason.

Whichever stage you are at in your home selling plan, always remember, in most instances, if a house is priced and presented properly, you will find a buyer inside the first few months of marketing. The key is getting the price & presentation right.

If you’re seriously thinking of selling, it pays dividend to choose an agent that gets deals over the line, not just one that’s telling you what (they think) you want to hear.

Talk to a few agents and ask them how many of their properties actually sell. Can they prove it? If you can get a straight answer, you may be a little surprised? Do some research yourself by taking a look on Rightmove – open up an agents listing page and see how old their adverts are. If there is an abundance of unsold property languishing for months, you can fairly safely assume that their market pricing is possibly a little adrift of reality.

Getting the price, and the presentation right, is key to straightforward sale, so if you’d like our opinion of the saleability of your property, we’d love to help you get moving.

Have a great 2016

Jonathan

Is 2016 the year to take the plunge and buy a new house?

If it is, figures from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) suggest that you won’t be alone!

New Year

In their Housing Market report in November, member agents were reporting a 20% increase in the number of registered buyers compared to October with a whopping 403 people per branch looking for a new home to buy. The bad news for buyers is that the shortage of supply is getting more acute, so bagging a bargain is getting tougher and tougher. Reason enough to start looking now maybe?

A recent report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) predicts that house prices could rise by as much as 50% by 2025 unless drastic action is taken. Recently announced incentives by the Government to encourage house-building may make a small difference, but there is widespread comment from within the housing industry that the measures are nowhere near enough to stop the housing shortage.

In Nottingham, the market is quite varied - in some areas, property is selling like hot cakes, in others, things are a little slower. One thing that is definitely happening however is that on the whole prices are starting to rise, and confidence is coming back. Even property that a few years ago, would have been sat on Rightmove for months, is being snapped-up. The good news for First Time Buyers is that mortgages are freely available, and at £130,000, average house prices in Nottingham are well below the national average of £193,000.

2016 promises to be an interesting year for property, with stamp duty changes putting off some landlords from buying, there could be some good opportunities for First Time Buyers to jump into the market. With employment growing, and businesses looking to expand and recruit, we’re predicting a busier year than 2015, so if you’re thinking of making a move this year, you might want to make a start sooner rather than later….

This month, as its autumn and the streets are full of leaves, we have a guest blog from Danny Iwanejko from DJI Property Services. We have worked with DJI for a number of years now and find Danny to be reliable and trustworthy. We use them for the majority of our roofing, chimney, and gutter repairs....

Danny DJI

November is one of my favourite months of the year. It’s when you get your winter coat back out, and the season changes dramatically. Bonfire night comes and goes, and Christmas is just around the corner. The colours of the trees can be striking and it’s made all the more special as you know it could be gone tomorrow if the wind gets up. And, is it just me, but who can resist kicking up crisp dry leaves as you walk down to the pub, or take the dog out for a constitutional.

Mapperley Park in particular is stunning at this time of year with beautiful leafy tree lined avenues and handsome Victorian properties, it’s not difficult to imagine why the area has such an endearing appeal to those living there. Pretty as those leaves are however, their appeal starts to wain as the rains come down and the leaves take on a new life as substitute banana skins and temporary drain covers. In Conservation areas particularly, the leaves can go from hero to zero pretty quickly, so you need a plan of attack…

Let's face it, we can all think of hundreds of other things we would rather spend our time & our hard earned money on rather than clearing up leaves from paths and driveways, and that’s before we even consider the ones on the roof. You’d be surprised by the number of calls we get from homeowners that have got leaks caused primarily by blocked gutters. Ignoring a blocked gutter can be a costly experience. It’s not just the fact that you get soaked as you walk past, it’s more the damage it is causing by water pouring down masonry creating damp patches that can take months to dry out.

Gutters left blocked up can rapidly worsen, costing far more in the long term. Water needs to escape and be directed to drains or a soak-away or it can damage masonry, cause penetrating damp & harmful efflorescent salt build-ups. Having gutters cleared isn’t as expensive as you might think, and it’s something we cover in our FAQ’s. Adding gutter clearance to your annual, or bi-annual maintenance plan is something we always recommend, particularly if you are surrounded by a lot of trees.

One thing you should also contemplate is roof maintenance. The roof of your house takes the full force of the weather, and things obviously deteriorate over time. A roof maintenance survey is something we recommend and we can do it at the same time as we look at your gutters – we will do a basic inspection included in the price and we’re happy to quote for a more detailed survey if you wish. We don’t just make things up either. We’ll take photographs whilst we’re there so you can see for yourself what needs to be done.

Only last week, whilst working on a the gutters of a house in Arnold, I spotted a chimney pot that had come loose from its mounting and was looking decidedly dangerous. It wouldn’t have taken much of a storm to send it crashing down to the ground, and if you’ve seen the size of a Victorian chimney pot, it could have been disastrous. As it was, I was in the basket of our cherry picker, so within an hour the chimney was re-seated in fresh flaunching and the house is ready for some toasty fires over the winter.

If you have any blocked gutters, or roofing concerns, drop me a line and I’ll pop over. Why not have a look at our website to see what else we do! www.dji-uk.co.uk

Danny

For many families, the decision to move house can take a long time and feature many twists and turns, an unhealthy dash of uncertainty and a variety of emotions along the way. I should know, I'm just moving house, I am that soldier… 

In the current market with very little choice of property on the market to purchase, many potential vendors are sat on their hands, unable to move because there is nothing to buy, or unable to move because they think they can’t sell. From conversations we’re having with buyers and sellers, the biggest issue in Nottingham is simple, it’s the lack of supply and the lack of choice.

sold-sign

Many people deep down really do want to move, and they’ve outgrown their current home but there is simply nowhere to go. The same problem applies to downsizers – they’re rattling around the family home with the kids now married off and living elsewhere, but there is nothing suitable that jumps out that has convinced them that they can make the switch.

Shortage of new houses for sale in Sherwood, Carrington, & Mapperley Park.

In Nottingham, the problem is getting quite acute with very little in the way of new homes being built for the past 10 years. Take Carrington & Sherwood for instance. Here, you can probably count on your hands the number of properties built in the last 10 years, and if you look at new properties sold in Mapperley Park the problem is even worse - you can probably quite safely put one hand in your jacket pocket whilst you count!

Picking up a new build property currently means heading further out of town to Edwards Lane near the City Hospital, or moving a mile or two further out of town to Mapperley Plains. You can be adding a good 10 to 15 minutes onto your rush-hour commute.

The chicken and egg approach to moving house (find a buyer first and then go and buy what is available at the time) isn’t suitable for many people, as they need to stay close to family or schools. Renting somewhere short-term doesn’t appeal to most people, and with the same shortage of stock now affecting the rental market, it’s often not achievable anyway, so what on earth should you do?

Take strategic approach and do some research

Know what you want, and get real – The key to moving at the moment is knowing what you want, and also knowing the market. You may want 4 bedrooms, a swanky kitchen, good schools, a garage, and a large garden, but that maybe unrealistic in the area that you want to move to – have a look at your wish list and separate the ‘must-haves’ from the ‘would-likes’. You might find that your list of possible homes just doubled.
Get Creative – Can you in fact purchase a 3 bed that has a large plot and make it into a 4?
Make the most of what you have – I don’t mean stay-put, I mean can you improve your own home and add extra value that will increase its saleability? If you can, maybe you’ll have a bit more equity as well as a higher budget.
Does your dream move need to be done in stages? – If you’re looking to move up the ladder, and particularly if you’re chasing the best schools, have you considered a short-term move to get you at least into the right catchment. Areas with good schools are particularly sought after so you can buy in the confidence that you will always have a very sellable asset. Maybe consider purchasing something smaller than you’d like initially, add a loft conversion or an extension to add value, and then move again in a few years’ time?
Talk to your IFA – Is there a different way of skinning the cat? Maybe you can rent your house out temporarily so you aren’t in a chain scenario?

Talk to your Estate Agent

If you’re thinking of moving in 2016, talk to your Estate Agent now! Ask them for some honest advice. Don’t feel as though you shouldn’t speak to them now, even if you’re not planning on moving for a while. Your Estate Agent will be able to tell you the best time to come to market, and they’ll be able to give you indicative prices if you’re thinking of extending your home. A good Estate Agent will understand what you’re going through, and they should be able to offer you some sage advice.

Even in a tough market, there are still opportunities for people to move home. It just might take a bit of creativity to make it happen.

Give me a call if you’d like to talk. A problem shared is a problem halved, so they say.

Jonathan

Regulation, Recession, Tax Changes, Licensing, Bills, More Regulation, Deposit Disputes, More Regulation.....

Life as a landlord in Nottingham has hardly been a bed of roses for some time, and it shows no sign of letting up with the government's recent announcement on tax changes that could have massive impacts for many buy-to-let landlords that have mortgages on their properties.

Interestingly, for many the constant hurdles are seen as nothing new and just part of the job, and we are finding that there are almost as many landlords looking to buy as there are looking to sell, which is good news for tenants looking to rent in the current housing shortage. 

We are also finding that, post-recession, we now have a healthy run of first time buyers returning to the market, and they have a different shopping list. For many years, in Nottingham, First Time Buyers bought a little terraced house and then spent their next two years of weekends at Do-It-All, that's just what you did. 

Old fashioned terraces don't top First Time Buyers shopping lists.

Fast Forward to 2015 and we have a City Centre full of flats, Changing Homes is thankfully no longer on the telly, and many First Time Buyers have a war chest they've been building up for the past 8 years.

Swanky flats with built-in appliances, or larger, more flexible homes are very much the order of the day. Good news for landlords at the end of their tether...

Landlords - Thinking of Selling-jpg

 

Over the past 4 years, we have represented many landlords that wanted to sell, and in many instances we've been able to sell their properties either to First Time Buyers, or onto other investors with a tenant in situ. In either case, there has been some rare good news for the landlord as they have been receiving rent right up until completion.

Don't panic Mr Mainwaring

If you are thinking of selling, we'd recommend talking it through with one of our specialists so we can advise you of the best route to achieve a sale. Jumping ship straight away often isn't the best solution.

Let me know if we can help?

Jonathan  

When it comes to selling houses, to achieve the best price, kerb appeal is a must. Now admittedly, not every house is as pretty as a picture, but even an ugly duckling can be spruced up to make the most of what you’ve got. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder 'n' all that!

If you’re thinking of coming to market imminently, put yourself in a buyers shoes and take a subjective look at your home from the kerbside. You may be surprised at what you see, and it may remind you of those nagging jobs that you’ve been putting off!

Nottingham house with no kerb appeal

(wheelie bins and weeds don't tend to be top of buyers shopping lists) 

Make a note of what you think you need to change, or even better, take a few pictures and compare yours to other houses that you like on Rightmove – How does it compare?

It might not come as a surprise that buyers of premium houses in Mapperley Park expect premium presentation, but the all-important kerb appeal can often be overlooked at the expense of interior décor.

Take a photograph yourself and imagine you're a buyer.

It’s what thousands of potential buyers will see on the internet, so it needs to be spot-on. Take a picture of your house from the road at the best time of day – when the sun is low and facing the house. Make a note of the best time to gather that picture, and then try and imagine what a potential buyer will see. Other than the paintwork, which will obviously be spick and span, wont it, do the chimney stacks need pointing? Are there any loose slates, or is the aerial at a jaunty angle? Does the garden need attention, and is the drive free of moss? Well-tended gardens, nicely stocked pots, and hanging baskets can really help create a great 1st impression and will drive more visitors to your advertisement and drive viewers through the door

Kerb appeal is super important. Your mission is to make your home best in show. Take a look at the neighbours properties and see if you can make yours look better. Re-house the bins, have the windows cleaned, and jet-wash the driveway. Add an attractive outside lamp maybe, or position some storm lamps ifd they're appropriate. Try and imagine what your buyer will see - the first impression really does count.

Here are our 5 top things that put buyers off.

1) Flaking paint to doors and windows
2) Overgrown and unkempt gardens
3) Damaged or blown render
4) Broken gates, fences, and crumbling walls
5) Wheelie Bins with large painted-on numbers

Happy gardening, painting, and jet washing...

Jonathan

It should be simple, right?

In the olden days you'd pick up the paper, or you might even have let your fingers do the walking (remember that - I wonder what JR Hartley's upto nowadays?), or maybe you'd have a wander into town and see who's the flavour of the month, and you'd then invite a few round and choose the nicest/cheapest/sharpest/most aggressive/whatever it was that hooked you in. It used to be a fairly easy thing to do, and all this new technology was supposed to make things easier..

Fast forward to 2015 and there is so much information out there that choosing an Estate Agent just got harder. They used to be in a nice row all together, in town on the high street, but today's picture is much different. There are still some on the high street, but some now work from home, some work out of offices on industrial estates, and some appear to operate from Timbuktu. It can be difficult to see the woods for the trees, and know which way to jump.

So, where do you start? 

First of all, you need to think about how much you're happy doing yourself? Some people love it and are brilliant photographers and know how to write a good ad, they've also watched enough episodes of Phil & Kirsty to be able to show somebody round, no problem. Most people however, aren't, so you need to decide which camp you're in. For the sake of this piece, I'm going to assume that you aren't Phil or Kirstie, and you're looking for a traditional Estate Agent in Sherwood to do the do, so first things first..

You need to do some research

Who's selling property near you is an obvious one, and maybe it's worth popping to see a few agents on your high street to see how you're looked after as a potential purchaser. The newspaper is old hat, so I wouldn't look there, and the same can be said for Yellow Pages - that's why it's now so tiny - it takes up less space in the recycling bin, so instead you take to Google but that's a blur in itself so what do you do?

One of the great things about Google is the ability to look at a map and see businesses in the area - don't just look at the two or three map listings that are previewed when you search, but open the full map up and look. Try searching Estate Agents in Mapperley Park, click on Maps, and then narrow the areas down. You are then presented with all the local agents with a red dot and white square inside. If you hover over the dot, a preview window opens up displaying an image and also showing the number of reviews the agent has had, and giving an aggregate score out of 5 for them.  

Estate Agents in Sherwood Google Map

 

Whilst the Google review score isn't the be-all and end-all, it's a good barometer of how the agent takes their customer service, and you should treat the reviews as you would on Trip Advisor. You can then take a look at the different agents websites and weigh-up if you like the look of them. Do they come across as honest? Do they publish their fees? Do they take a nice photograph and have well written advertisements?

Draw up a shortlist

From your research, start to draw up a shortlist. People tend to see three agents, and invite them to come and see you. 

Before they come, you should decide what you want to ask - you want to ascertain what price they think you'll achieve, what they'll do to achieve it, and what they will charge for doing it. 

Be careful here - unscrupulous agents have been known to inflate their valuations to win your instruction, and you are then encouraged to reduce the asking price to something more reallistic after a few months with little activity.  

Prepare your questions

Get yourself ready, prepare your questions, and make notes. As a guide, I'd suggest asking each agent how long they take to sell houses? - The figures are available on Rightmove, so they should be able to tell you. Boards breed boards, so it may be the case that they have hundreds listed but none of them are selling very quickly. Do you want to just be another unsold instruction?  

You may also ask what percentage of their sales actually complete? Sometimes, selling the house is the easy bit - getting the sales through to completion can be an art-form.

Ask if they are members of RICS or the NAEA? It's no guarantee of service, but it should at least give you confidence in their ability. Would you holiday with a non ABTA travel agent?

Choose the agent you like - the one that you trust.

There are obviously many other questions, but primarily, decide what is important to you. Get the answers you want and have them backed-up and don't just be sold by the price!

Ultimately you should choose an agent that you trust. One that you can work with! Selling a property is fraught with complications, so you need somebody who is in your corner. 

Google reviews, recommendations from friends & family, and testimonials from other clients are all useful. If you can couple that with a verified statistics, and great customer service, you should be on to a winning choice!

If you want more tips on choosing an agent and marketing your property successfully,  you can download our Selling Tips book for free here. 

Good Luck!

Jonathan

 

 

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