Christmas, Boxing Day & New Years Day! Do We Really Look At Houses Over The Festive Period?

Whether you can believe it or not some of the most recent statistics released from Rightmove have revealed some really surprising and unusual activities over our Christmas holiday’s! I’m not talking about “Pie Face” or “Charades” here, I’m simply talking about online property views.

Rightmove reports show a whopping increase of over 20% activity levels between Christmas and the New Year.

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The last published statistics revealed that on On Christmas Day there were nearly 14 million page views and over 10,000 people took time out from the festivities to send emails to agents.
On Boxing Day it gets traditionally  busier, with page views jumping to over 25 million.

Views peak on New Year’s Day, with an average of over 38 million page views  (This is no doubt due to many being unable to even step out of their armchairs!).

What does this really tell us? Well, unarguably it shows that when we have time, we use it. Christmas and more specifically the New Year, with the hopes and ambitions it promises (who can’t fail to at least have hopes and ambitions for the year ahead whether realised or not!), is time for prediction and planning. Physical viewings are not so common, but planning ahead and looking at what’s available, can be the spark that lights the fire. Having your property on the market over the Christmas period doesn’t mean that Mr and Mrs Smith are going to disrupt your Figgie Pudding and Brandy Snaps. It means simply that they will likely plan to visit your house after Christmas.

Seeing your home for sale may persuade them to sell their own property and enable them to move forwards. Yours could be the property that instigates those decisions. And more importantly, yours could be the property they buy as well.

Don’t Believe Everything You Hear!

There are plenty of times in your life when friends and family tell you exactly what you want to hear. “Did I do well at my School Play Dad?”, I asked nervously, “Of course you did Son, well done”. I was a Barn Door (better than a sheep though!). We’re already ten minutes late and my wife says “Are you sure this looks OK?”…….I think you know where this conversation is heading!

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So if you want to buy a house for £350,000 and you need to sell yours for £270,000 to make this possible please don’t tell the Estate Agent. If you do, you know what will likely happen. The agent will know there is little chance of an instruction without persuading you that your house is genuinely worth, you’ve guessed it, in the region of £270,000.

At Elizabeth Davenport we know that the right advice and what you want to hear  are often two different beasts. What we do know is that in order to attract the most interest and at the highest price possible you certainly don’t need to start marketing unrealistically high. It just doesn’t work.

Rightmove statistics have shown that since 1st January 2016 we have reduced a lower percentage of our properties than any other agent in Coventry and Kenilworth.

As the very bespoke nature of property alludes, we can’t always get it right but we certainly won’t advice you of the impossible just to win your instruction. Beware of listening only to what you want to hear! I’m not talking about my wife now ( I made that bit up!).

‘Just whack it on Rightmove’ not at Elizabeth Davenport!

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Almost all online and an increasing number of High Street Estate Agents attribute far too much importance on getting properties on websites like Rightmove as soon as possible. I see so many properties where the agents have simply just hurriedly taken a few snaps with a point and shoot camera and thrown them on to the web with little care or thought. Floor plans missing, generic descriptions and poor photography are becoming more and more prevalent. There is a view held by some that all you need to do is get the property on Rightmove and the enquires will flood in and a sale will follow! If only it were that simple!

At Elizabeth Davenport we have a specific plan and strategy for every home that we market and we not only put a lot of thought and time into the marketing, we also follow a general three step process that allows us to market your home to its full potential.

Step 1

On the fist day we introduce your property to the market we contact all of our qualified registered buyers that on our database. These are people that we have spoken to and know their buying criteria, often these people are what we class as ‘motivated buyers’. This is because these people are proactive in their search and are often in proceedable buying positions (if this is you please call and register with us if you haven’t already). Your property will then be featured on the homepage of our website so in effect most visitors to our site will see your property straight away.

Step 2

After this we enter the second stage of the process. We upload your property to the ‘New and Exclusive Homes’ section of the OnTheMarket.com website. This is a really good feature as we register all of our prequalified buyers here as do all of the other member agents.

Step 3

Usually 24-48 hours after the initial launch we then release the property to our other property portals including Rightmove where there are larger numbers of buyers but a lower concentration are proceedable. Any leads from this the final stage of introducing your property to the market will be qualified by our negotiators before viewings are arranged.

After all this has taken place advertisements appear in print productions like the Coventry Observer and our own seasonal newsletter.

In summary we believe that the quality of the viewings is more important than the quantity. Of course many of our properties have both a high quantity of quality viewings which is always our goal! We genuinely take time to think about how best to market your property and provide quality marketing materials to get you the best results possible. This is why we will always provide an alternative from the lazy ‘just whack it online and see what happens’ approach seemingly adopted by so many

 

Proudly Sponsoring Local Schools In Finham & Kenilworth

Kenilworth School plan to conquer all comers in Canada next year with thanks to Elizabeth Davenport Estate Agents. April’s expedition is the biggest single Rugby and Football tour that Kenilworth’s only secondary school has ever undertaken. With a total of 56 children, many partaking in both disciplines, the need for parental and sponsored support is paramount. Two of the Directors of Elizabeth Davenport have a particular affinity for the School with Mark Walmsley having a daughter in Year 8 and Nick Luntley being a former pupil himself. “Having played and toured with both Rugby and Football for Kenilworth School, Mark and I approached George very quickly when we heard about the opportunity to purchase all of the sports kits for the pupils forthcoming trip to Canada” Nick commented.

Year 8’s football team have been very successful and sit currently as district league and cup champions whilst the Year 9 Rugby team are undefeated and have won the prestigious Solihull School Rugby 7’s tournament. “As Kenilworth’s only Secondary School and with the kids genuinely achieving so much success at both Rugby and Football at the moment raising the money for the tour is a massive ask. Pupils and staff are undertaking all kinds of fundraisers to support this trip of a lifetime and any support we can offer we are delighted to do so” Mark Walmsley said.

The purchase of Sports kits doesn’t come cheap with the quality having to be first class. Canterbury, who produce the British Lions and the England & Ireland Rugby kits, have been chosen as the supplier who despite being more expensive than most will hopefully offer the pupils an advantage when it counts. “The choice of kit is vital” stated Paul Flowers, “they’ve got to last, they’ve got stand the wear and the tear they’ll be put through. Our pupils are going to be representing our School as well as the Sponsors and they’re really going to look the part. We can’t wait to see them. They’re due in January so not long to wait!”

“We’ve got a lasting relationship with Kenilworth School now” stated Mark Walmsley. “Nick’s been working with Dave Peacey who used to teach him which is really full circle, and obviously my daughter’s a pupil now too. There will be opportunities for Netball, Athletics and Dancing events too so if we can give the support then we certainly will”.

With children at Finham Park School Elizabeth Davenport have also been supporting the local PTA with donations from completions sold in the Finham area. Every house sold by way of an introduction from parents or relatives at the school will see at £100 donation to this worthwhile cause.img_9463

Best & Final Offer! You’d Better Make Sure It’s Not a Repossession!

What a fortnight that’s been. Three weeks to be exact. From being an Estate Agent to becoming a buyer myself has been an absolute revelation.

A house I’ve been looking at for over three years finally came onto the market. Sure it needed a little work but I was expecting that. It’s being sold “On behalf of a corporate client” was the official line. The viewing staff who showed me round were genuinely lovely. “Is it a Repossession?” I asked. “No, we’re just selling on behalf of a corporate client” was the reply. A Repossession it indeed was. If the word, Halloween like, fills you with dread (think Grim Reaper & Exorcism) then you’d have nailed it. After the fourth time of being asked for a best and final offer myself I felt like I had become a summoned corpse.

I do not blame the agent. To handle a repossession correctly and respectfully I would suggest no one other than investors get involved. The emotional roller coaster would not have been prevalent if the entire process was purely finance motivated.

This is where the law needs to change. Is a buyer a buyer? If they indeed are then why should be treated differently simply because the seller is a Financial House rather than a Mr Smith or a Mrs Khan. What gives a Financial institution, a Bank or Building Society and the companies that execute their debt collection for  them, the right to act contrary to a genuine, human home owner.

What homeowner would sell to an investor rather than an owner occupier if the price agreed was the same? Where is the consideration to the neighbours? Why isn’t the sense of community a consideration? These are questions that are morally & socially unanswerable.  And I had agreed to pay more. Sour Grapes you might say. Try Watermelons.

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Clocks go back but the times move on !!

Dark at 4.30pm. That’s the sad reality now that the clocks have gone back for the winter. And that means trying to get things done after work can be really difficult (unless you work nights of course!!)

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At Your Service

And if you’re house or flat hunting that can make trying to view prospective properties very difficult indeed, especially with many agents closing down for most of the weekend. Looking round a property in the dark is a futile experience, you can’t make a buying decision under such conditions.

And what if you’re selling a property? Exactly the same applies. It can be difficult to find a buyer if your Estate Agent doesn’t do weekend viewings when demand is at it’s highest.

One of the reasons we are now the market leader for sales agreed in the area is our attention to details and this includes arranging and overseeing access to our properties during weekends and this includes Sundays.

So if you serious about buying or selling this winter, don’t get caught in the dark, give us a call and move a full step closer to that next home move. Talk to Coventry’s favourite Estate Agents on 02476 010105 today.

Now Is The Right Time!!

There is No Such Thing as a Wrong Season to Sell! Just The Wrong Light Bulbs!

Some people say there is no wrong weather, only wrong clothes. I don’t know about this. I really don’t like the dark evenings or the dark mornings. I don’t like mud stained carpets either!
_dsc3981-hdr-copyAutumn has always been a popular time to place your home on the market for sale. With the onset of the new season we’d like to present a few exciting tricks and treats (get it!?) that can be implemented to make your house attractive for buyers as the nights draw in.

I used to have friends who had a very neutrally decorated home but contrasting soft furnishings for Summer, Autumn and Winter. The grey and blue Rugs, Scatter Cushions and the throws would all be replaced by oranges and browns and although it seemed such a hassle, the effect was executed perfectly.

Don’t neglect your Gardens and your frontages either. Everyone can say “My Garden looks great in the Spring and Summer” but if in Autumn your Garden is clean and tidy, cut back, dead headed and presentable you don’t need pretty flowers. Just make it look cared for. Remember if the competition hasn’t bothered then you’re one step ahead already!

Think about your lighting. In the Summer, natural light is the order of the day. Properties with bright and airy rooms draw the most attention. Now, in the Autumn and Winter, we can do cosy and warm. Uplighters, Lamps and fireplaces are welcome but let’s make sure that your floorings, having suffered Summer long abuse with inside out living, have been steam cleaned or mopped ready for the new season.

We’ve got some real tricks up our sleeves for stunning dusk and night photography as well so don’t be put off! There are lots of buyers who need to be resettled for Christmas and the New Year and we’d be delighted to help you find them.

For Sale Boards! To Do Or Not To Do! Now That’s A Question!

A common discussion with absolutely no rights or wrongs is the value of a “For Sale” or “To Let Board” at your home. “To Let” Boards are more straightforward as the emotional factor of telling your neighbours and the passing public that your house or a house you own is “available” is far less relevant. The percentage of owner occupiers renting there own home is obviously less than the number of  investment properties on the market. The issue regarding security though may still be a relevant one. If the property you own is empty then does a board signal “Empty! Easy Opportunity”. Well, Ne’er-do-wells don’t burgle empty houses.  So a Board does not a burglary make. These security issues are the most common negatives that a seller or buyer will concerned about, and quite fairly too.

The positives though can of course can be great. Desirable areas will lead potential buyers to drive around and research where they hope to live. If there is no “For Sale” board then they may not see your house. No matter how impressive the brochures and web details, no one should buy a home without seeing it in the light of day. A “For Sale” Board isn’t just helpful for the seller of course. It’s an immensely powerful marketing tool for the Estate Agent too.  If your agents For Sale boards are faded, in bad repair  or remain fallen down or broken, what does this say about them as well?

Present Well and See the Returns!

 

 
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One of the most popular questions I am asked at valuations is “Is there anything I can do help my property sell?”. The answer is normally yes! One of the main aspects of our service that we are often complimented on is the quality of our photographs. There is strong evidence that suggests the higher quality of the photographs directly translates into more enquires from potential buyers.


There are many techniques together with the clever use of technology that help capture great photographs but the most obvious element is the subject matter itself. We often advise our clients on how best to stage their property to help us capture the best possible images. Everything from giving rooms a fresh lick of paint to arranging for fresh flowers to be present on the day that we come round to photograph, all help us achieve the desired results – better photographs!

At Elizabeth Davenport we like to think we are different from most other agents, different in the sense that we go the extra mile to help you present your home to get you the best results. All the evidence suggests that a well presented home reflected well with top quality marketing will sell for a higher price due to the increased level of buyer activity.

Please give us a call if you would like some free advice on how to best to present your home and we would really welcome the opportunity to show you some of the results we have achieved.

Securing Finance For Your House Purchase

The announcement of the end of the ‘help-to-buy’ scheme this week raised a few eyebrows and even surprised some commentators. In reality, the volume of property sales that involved help-to-buy was marginal. iStock_000002696243XSmallOver the course of the scheme, our agency was not involved with a single sale that utilised the government backed scheme.

The good news is though now that there are lots of mortgage lenders that are offering 95% mortgages again so it is possible (though not easy) for many first time buyers to get together their deposits without the need for such schemes.

Generally it is more difficult to obtain finance now than it was 8 or 9 years ago before the credit crunch came. There are many more hoops to jump through (including more rigorous means testing), more paperwork to fill out and you won’t find any self certification mortgages nowadays as there were at the height of the boom in the late naughties.

That said it is still easier to get a mortgage today than it was 30/40 years ago, and with interest rates historically lower than ever before, repayments are small by comparison to those from years gone by. And if you really hunt around there are lenders out there that are offering interest only mortgages again (you’ll have to venture off the high street to find them though).

So whilst today’s generation of buyers think they’ve got it tough, buying a home is generally cheaper than renting and is an excellent long term investment for the future.