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.

Clinton Trumped or Donald a Lame Duck!

Like the majority of the UK I’m sure, my interest surrounding the US Election is born more out of caution and fear than a desire to see the best candidate succeed. How can two opposing candidates with huge question marks hanging, halo like, over their uniquely manicured barnets create anything other than morbid curiosity?

With the first of the three debates over, Hilary Clinton seems to have taken a substantial lead in the US opinion polls. Why?

It seems like simplicity is again the key. If asked a question, the least the respondent should do is answer with as much integrity and supporting fact as possible. This is where Donald Trump seems to have let himself down. In his commercial life, having so long been able to simply preach demands without explanation, he seems to struggle with anything other than “this is my opinion, therefore it is correct”.

This failure is a lesson to everybody. If you are going to preach, then prove it. If you are going to provide “facts”, make sure they are “correct”.

Nick, George and myself will not even undertake a valuation of anybody’s home without thorough research and  up to date statistics with evidence to prove each point we make.

Loud voices a successful sale do not make. Incidentally we’ve just placed a “White House” on the market. Bit smaller and slightly less prestigious but “White” nonetheless.

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Honey, Lemons and Why Simple Is Best!

HONEY, LEMONS & WHY SIMPLE IS BEST!

Whether you like Lemons or not, Dr Chris van Tulleken’s flawed documentary “The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs” did reveal more about us than originally intended. An over-reliance on taking professional advice and the easiest solution possible seemed to be the standard  medication both prescribed.

“Get some exercise!”, “drink Water!”, “socialize a bit more!”, were the simplistic views offered to the solution of aching joints, depression and headaches. They could be a lot safer thoughEDE-118 than simply taking the advice you are given.

However, keeping it simple and understanding what you’re being asked to do (and why you are being asked to do it!) spoke volumes to me.

How many times are you preached complicated solutions to problems that really aren’t there?

Our industry is full of peculiar language that simply doesn’t need to exist.

The person selling a house is called a “Vendor”. Why? Do you really “Vend” a house? No, you sell a house. Surely the person selling the house is a “seller”?  Then, if you want to buy a house, are you an “applicant”.  Sorry, do you “apply” if you want to buy a house? Is it a job or a gym membership?  If a house is for sale does the process of buying it require an application to do so? If you buy a “Bentley” or a “Sunseeker” I think you’ll find the dealership will refer to you as a “customer” not an “applicant”.

I think sometimes business creates a world of semantics just to make itself seem more important than it is. I think it creates it’s world to simply distance itself from the truth of how simple business should be.

If you make yourself sound complicated you justify your role. Well, I think you need a “holistic and cradle to grave approach that loops back to our initial dialogue”. Mark, stop it man you’ve sold out! “Let’s just keep it simple”. Anyone for a hot Lemon and Honey?

A Sign Of The Times

Selling and Buying property is an ever changing game. The last few years have seen monumental changes to the way that people search for suitable properties to purchase.iStock_000014885905_Medium

With much of the initial searching being done online, buyers can search for their next home or investment from the comfort of their armchair or whilst sitting on a train or perhaps even while at work (heaven forbid!). Just a few years ago the property information would have come in the form of a long winded and tediously long description of the house or apartment in question, with paragraph after paragraph about fixtures and fittings, kitchen worktops and glazing descriptions.

Nowadays of course, these boring write-ups are all but forgotten and have been replaced with high quality photographs and detailed floor-plans, especially from the higher quality estate agents.

The one thing that remains the same is when the buyer actually goes to view the property in person. Modern gadgetry at this point is irrelevant and all that matters then is for the estate agents to show skill and understanding of the buyers’ requirements and help them in making the correct decision. And if the property they are viewing is not suitable, a skilled agent will be able to suggest a suitable alternative. That’s where we come in.

Our viewing representatives have years of experience and will help to get your property sold for the maximum possible value. They also work on Sundays, unlike the majority of Estate Agents, meaning greater flexibility and more sales agreed for you, our customers.

Now that’s progress….

Congratulations to All! Not Just GB Olympians Win Gold!

BPA-Vinyls-OL-AiCC-10-Coventry_BPA_540pxWhen you have an eight week period in any business you expect to have a volume of enquiries that, despite dealing with professionally, do  not lead to genuine fee earning business. Whether fee earning or not every enquiry made about any property and many that are made  to simply to register interest must always be dealt with as courteously and promptly as possible.

The last eight weeks have seen this service rewarded with the team at Elizabeth Davenport earning us our own Gold Medal from the  British Property Awards! With this success we’ve now been entered into the Regional and National Event so if you don’t read a blog about  them then clearly we’ve still got more work to do!

So, for speed of answering calls, email enquiries, answerphone call backs, integrity of reviews, in fact with a judging criteria of 25 separate  factors, this Coventry award really is quite special.

Massive credit to all of our colleagues, Chris, Jan, Jo, Kate, Lauren, Nicki and Shelina for being so personable and efficient in each and  every way. Having fun, enjoying your job and generally caring about what you do make the Monday blues a thing of the past. It really is a  pleasure to go to work! This Award is proof that Red tape and over zealous Management are simply out of fashion and not what it takes to  win a Gold Medal in 2016!

Now we’ve got to retain it!

 

Every Home Can Be Your Castle!

Researchers at Cambridge University have recently undertaken a study revealing British new homes to be amongst the smallest in Europe. New homes being built at sizes potentially detrimental to our health are  one of the claims the research suggests. With the average new build in the UK being measured with 76 sq metres of living space comparing to Ireland at 87.7, Germany at 115.5 and Denmark at 137 sq m the evidence does appear to overwhelmingly support the findings as well.

Pre loved, second hand, used or nearly new are not phrases associated with house buying or owning but every house has a tale to tell and older properties have assets all of their own. Mature Gardens with trees and hedges rather than seeded rubble strewn turf  are the external equivalent of high vaulted ceilings versus energy efficient light fittings. The emotion evoked when purchasing a period building cannot be replicated in other than the most bespoke new build.
The space available in many a 1960’s detached home together with it’s driveway and traditionally generous plot should always compensate for it’s not so aesthetic façade. Two up, two down, Victorian houses, found abundantly throughout Coventry offer two terrific double bedrooms and two reception rooms and can be easily modified to incorporate two bathrooms if the mood takes. You’ll have period features, more floor space and real character for less than your average starter home! Look around, take your time and use your imagination. You don’t have to own a Castle for it to be a lovely home.

Team GB, second in the world. Who needs Europe?

After an amazing Olympics in which Great Britain beat everybody out of sight (bar USA), team GB arrive home to a hero’s welcome. Richly deserved, it was an amazing achievement.

And the performance went a long way to showing how our little island can perform on the world stage, both in sporting terms and also in economic terms. After some of the post Brexit negativity, this is a real boost to the nation and should inspire everybody to rally together now and get onScreen Shot 2016-08-23 at 15.06.19 with the business of finding our way in the world, without the ties and regulations of the European Union.

Team GB won more Gold medals than Germany and France put together. Which goes to show when we organise things ourselves, we get the job done.

My money is on more of the same in Japan, 2020 and by then Brexit and Europe will be long forgotten as our economy and property market grow in strength. We’ll show everyone that our little island can make it’s own way and become a truly global sporting and economic force.

Congratulations everyone!

As London Property Falters Much Of The UK Bucks The Trend!

When we have written about London pricing soaring and the rest of us catching up, the London marketplace may have smirked. Now, the boot seems to be on the other foot with active growth and non deterred sellers coming to the market in the majority of regions outside of the Bubble. If we take a snapshot over the  last six weeks of activity we can see that the two weeks prior to the Referendum saw a like for like drop in instructions by 8% while interestingly the first two weeks post Brexit saw instructions rise by 6%.

Regionally Estate Agents report that the property market continues to build momentum due to the lack of property coming onto the market. The interesting dynamic here is that prices will likely continue to rise unless the volume of instructions increase. With Mortgage rates remaining low and buyers experiencing a degree of panic that further “suitable” properties will “not” come to the market, the higher prices are being,in the majority of cases, offered.

At Elizabeth Davenport we like to see what the public really feel about the price of there ideal home. Our goal is to generate as much interest as possible and not just to sell, but to find the very best buyer; have a choice if you like. This is not going to happen if you price the buyers of your property out of the equation. If the advertised price isn’t cynical the public will appreciate it and multiple buyers can be found. As I’m sure you can see, this does not occur from demanding a price above that which the property is worth. Our Sold to For Sale ratio reflects this with over 65% of our stock consistently sold.

Brexit has not affected the market place in Coventry and Warwickshire because there is not enough stock for sale. Whilst the demand outweighs the supply the prices will, for many of us, remain too high for comfort. But everyone does need to live somewhere. Possibly not London though.Board Images