All posts by GeorgeHartshorn

George is Managing Director at Elizabeth Davenport Estate Agents. He enjoys writing this weekly blog and hopes that you enjoy reading it!!

Sell Your House For £100 Cash!

Switch estate agent before the end of July and market your property with Elizabeth Davenport. Then we pay you £100. Yes, that’s not a mis-print, we pay you £100!

“But what’s the catch?” Of course there’s a catch. You will have to sign a 12 week sole agency contract and we will have to try really hard to sell your property. After all, having given you money for nothing we will be highly motivated to find you a buyer.

“What’s the risk?” The risk for you is that your property will be sold in the process! The risk for us is that we might lose £100 cash. But we’re so confident that we can sell your property, it’s a risk that we’re prepared to take.

“I’m still not sure. What do I have to lose?” £100 cash. Call 02476 010105 and take up this no-lose offer.

Offer Expires 31/07/13. See our website for full Ts & Cs.



Who Works for Who Here!?

We’ve just been instructed on a property “To Let” because the Agent didn’t do what the “Landlord” told them.

As a Property Manager I have often faced a question. “Can’t you just tell them to do it!?”

The issue may be about access to the landlord’s rented property. It may be the tenants obligation to keep the grass cut, it could even be that a “dog” has been heard in the house! As it happens the instruction was earned because I explained an agents obligations to a landlord when a previous agent had not.  We have simply made sense of the roles all parties play in a successful relationship.

Your agent is bound by regulations not of their making. It may be the Housing Act 2004, The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 or the Consumer Protection Act 1987. The role they play should be to give advice and the simplest solution to whatever problems faced. You, the Landlord, are our “Client”, the Tenant is our “Customer”. We have a duty of care to the tenant, but we work for you.  So, if you have a request to make of the tenant, or a query or concern and the request is legitimate and legal, the agent should support you because you are “The Client”. If we can help with any Property Management or Lettings issues you may face please contact us and we will be delighted to assist.

By Mark Walmsley

Successful Advice for Investors

 I have just finished talking to a “soon to be” landlord who is in the process of completing on her first property investment. She was excited and a  little nervous.

When I called her following her enquiry, I was the only Estate Agent to call her back. She’s secured a three bedroom family house in Coundon for a price of  £125,000. Nervous? She needn’t be. The average price of a three bedroom house in Coventry is currently £676 pcm. I had valued hers at £675.

Interestingly, she could mistakenly have paid £20,000 more to return no greater a yield. Nervous? Why? This lady has clearly been well advised and her research has proved very successful. With a yield of over 6% she has purchased a property to  suit professional residential tenants in an area that will appeal to them. She has decided what sort of tenant she wants to rent to, what areas will fulfil their requirements and secured a property at a price that works. With the security of our nil excess Rent Guarantee policies, free Legal assistance and our honest and realistic advice, this landlord will certainly harvest the fruits of her efforts and time. Where else would you achieve a yield of 6% or more?…..We look forward to hearing from you……author: Mark Walmsley 18/06/13

Good Presentation – It’s Common Sense

Buyers in the current market are particularly fussy so right now it’s more important than ever to get the presentation right when selling your property.

That means the whole property including the exterior, interior and gardens (if any).

Excess furniture and clutter should be packed away and put into storage, childrens’ toys cleared away, any peeling paintwork should be touched up. In bathrooms it’s essential to replace mouldy sealant and revive any dirty grouting. Kitchens need to be ultra-clean and free from grease and grime. Broken cupboard doors must be fixed and dirty carpets should be cleaned or replaced. Bad smells (from dogs or other pets) must be eradicated, they’re a real turn-off for buyers.

Lawns should be cut, hedges trimmed, borders weeded. A few nice potted plants and hanging baskets will really freshen things up. The driveway or front path should be freshly swept and a new front doormat saying “Welcome” will create an inviting first impression.

And if you simply don’t have time to do all of this then you should pay someone to do it for you. It will be well worth the investment. A clean and well presented property will always sell before a similar property that’s messy and untidy. Put quite simply, a better presented property is worth more money.


An Empty Presentation

Selling an empty property presents it’s own particular unique challenges.

A common scenario is when selling property from a deceased estate. This can be a very difficult time for relatives, faced with the prospect of sifting through personal belongings, clearing old furniture, and trying to prepare their loved ones property to go on to the market.Empty Room

Often the property may be in a poor state of repair and their may be lots of clutter and stored items in attics and garages. Many clients tell me that they simply don’t know where to begin and they have little idea what to leave and what to throw away prior to putting the property on sale.

My advice is to clear as much of the clutter and personal items as possible but to leave basic items of furniture in each room (presuming they are in reasonable condition). Also leaving a few pictures on the wall (as long as they are not personal ones) will help to make the place feel a bit warmer and a bit more homely.

Emptying the home completely can leave it looking cold and barren. This can make it difficult to sell and also makes it exceptionally difficult to photograph. Potential buyers will be more attracted towards a picture of a Lounge with a sofa and a coffee table than they would towards a picture of the same room empty with no sense of purpose and just a couple of blank walls and a door to focus on. Maintaining the garden of an empty property is also an important consideration so it is definitely worth employing a gardener during the sale process.

For further advice on selling an empty home or any other kind of property call us today on 02476 010105.

You Get What You Pay For

Buying the cheapest product available is a poor choice in most given situations. Don’t get me wrong, everyone likes a bargain including me. But if we all just made our buying decisions based on price we’d be buying some pretty shoddy goods. The prospect of living in a cheap prefabricated house, going to work in a Reliant Robin car wearing a Primark suit and a plastic watch from Poundland, eating lentils and rice every mealtime, drinking Tesco Value champagne………………not a very enticing lifestyle is it?

In actual fact when you think about it very few people choose this lifestyle. Most of us aspire to buy expensive goods of a higher quality when we can possibly afford it. Most of us would choose a BMW over a Vauxhall Corsa or stay at the Ritz rather than at a Travelodge if our budget could possibly stretch that far.

So now that we’ve cleared that one up…………….WHY ON EARTH  do some homeowners phone round all of the Estate Agents prior to going on sale and ask what fees will be charged with the sole intention of choosing the cheapest one to sell their most valuable asset?? Are they completely mad? An Estate Agent provides a personalised, professional service and the standard of that service can vary dramatically from one agent to the next. The better the service provided, the higher the price one can expect to achieve for one’s property and in the shortest time-frame.

So if you like your BMW’s then why not give us a ring today. If on the other hand you do all your shopping at Poundland then please save yourself the money on the phone call.

Don’t Sign Your Life Away!

I recently employed a plumber to fit a new heating system into my house. We agreed that he would remove the old system and then fit a new boiler, pipe-work and radiators.

What’s so unusual? Nothing, except……….  the day work was due to start nobody turned up at the house. In fact work didn’t begin for another 2 weeks. When the job did finally begin it quickly became apparent that the plumber had no idea what he was doing and wasn’t up to the job.Cowboy Plumber The pipework leaked, the radiators were fitted at wonky angles and the boiler gave off dangerous fumes. The job dragged on for many weeks and in the end I decided that I needed to sack the plumber and get somebody else in to do a proper job.

But when I phoned the company to tell them I was firing them they told me that I was tied into a six month contract and wasn’t allowed to use the services of another plumber until the six months was up!

In actual fact this is an imaginary scenario but doesn’t it sound ridiculous? But this exact sequence of events happens on a regular basis in the world of property sales. The homeowner realises that they have employed an estate agent that is professionally inadequate but instead of being able to fire them and move on, they are tied into an unfair & lengthy contract.

A good estate agent knows that it’s not necessary to tie his clients into a contract because he is confident he can sell any property quickly and for full market value. And for that very reason if you market your home with Elizabeth Davenport there will be no minimum term contract. Call us today for your free appraisal.


Why All HomeBuyers Will Soon Be Unemployed

Ok I admit it’s been about five years since I last bought a property but what I can remember distinctly is this:

Both myself and my partner were at the time working long hours through the week and so going to view properties on sale was difficult. It was summer so we could do late evenings (while it was still light) but weekends were best for both of us. That meant Saturdays & Sundays.Out Of Work

If this is similar to your own situation then you might be wondering why nearly all of the independent Estate Agents in town are closed at the weekend beyond Saturday lunchtime. Well let me explain the reason. It’s perfectly simple………….They don’t like working weekends so they don’t bother staying open!! This is despite the fact that many buyers require weekend viewings.

That’s very bad news if you’re about to put your property on sale because you are going to miss a lot of opportunities and your lazy Estate Agent could cost you a sale. Unless that is you manage to find a buyer who is unemployed and can come and view on a Tuesday afternoon.

The other option is to sell with Elizabeth Davenport. Our office is open until 4.30pm on a Saturday but we answer the phone on Sundays and are happy to organize accompanied viewings throughout the weekend and late on weekday evenings. Call us today for a free consultation.

Why Brazil Always Win The World Cup

The most common fear I hear from vendors is that their property might sell for less than full market value.

This is perfectly understandable but often leads to a defensive pricing strategy when their home goes on sale. Their “defence” is to set a high asking price because they are worried that buyers will try to knock them down. The high price leads to a muted response from buyers and a long slow sale. Eventually, after many months on sale and a couple of price reductions they are forced to let the property go……………….for less than full market value. A defensive strategy is counter-productive.

The offensive pricing strategy comes from confident vendors who are prepared to overcome their natural fears. Their “offence” is to set a competitive asking price (less than other similar properties in the area) because they know this will attract lots of buyers and give them the initiative. The competitive price brings a flood of viewings and lots of offers. The frantic buyers then desperately try to outbid one another and the vendor gets to cherry pick a buyer who can proceed quickly. The property often sells within days and for………………full market value. The offensive strategy works.

Great offence always beats great defence and that’s why Brazil always win the World Cup.

Selling Property Is Simple!

Question: When is a property unsaleable? 

Answer: Never.

Put quite simply, every property has a market value and can be sold in a matter of days or weeks. This may sound incredible, especially if you have been on the market for months (or even years) but it is absolutely true.

If a property is stuck on the market then it is for one of 3 reasons. Firstly, the vendor is not motivated to sell, secondly the property has not been marketed correctly or thirdly the property is not being advertised at the right price. There is no other reason why a home will not sell.

Bad neighbours, busy roads, railway lines through the garden, poor decor, old fashioned kitchens, not enough bedrooms, pink bathroom suites, unfinished extensions, holes in roofs, lack of parking, too many bedrooms, no heating system, poor location……………………….. THESE ARE NOT VALID REASONS FOR A PROPERTY TO BE STUCK ON THE MARKET. They are simply factors that negatively affect the value of a property.

So if you have a property that has been stuck on sale for a long time and you think it’s not selling because of the motorway at the bottom of the garden, think again. It’s simply the wrong price.