Making Sense of Free Online Valuations

I recently decided to check the ‘value’ of my own house by going online to a well known website’s automated valuation system. I was staggered at the figure it gave me.

I bought the property nearly 10 years ago for a bargain £125,000 and I’ve since spent a considerable amount of money on improvements and alterations. At the same time values in the area have gone up due to an influx of investors. I live in an area that is convenient for both universities as well as Coventry city centre and it’s close to lots of good shopping and bus routes. The local schools are also highly regarded and the area has seen a good deal of investment in recent years.

So naturally I was intrigued and excited to see what my property is now worth. And to my amazement I logged onto one of the biggest property portals and was ‘reliably’ informed that my house is now worth a whopping……………………… £127,179  !!  🙁  I mean, come on. Thanks guys, that’s really useful. If I decided to put my property on the market tomorrow, buyers could see this figure and could use it against me when negotiating. Or worse, it would probably just put them off my house altogether. So how did this well known property website arrive at this figure?

It would appear that the figure is automated and has simply taken the last sale price and adjusted it according to Land Registry data for the Coventry area as a whole. No adjustment has been made for all of the work I’ve done to the house or the investment in the local area. But then it’s just a website so what did I expect?

The reality is that no website can accurately value a property with a ‘random number generator’. So I’ll be speaking to an Estate Agent to get a proper valuation done. And if you’re reading this I’d encourage you to do the same. Elizabeth Davenport have experienced valuation experts who provide professional and reliable advice on selling all types of property. Call them today on 02476 010105.

What Drives The Value Of A Property?

Location? Number of Bedrooms? Size of the Kitchen? Local Schools?

What exactly does drive the value of a property? And what exactly is the definition of value?

The market value is what a willing buyer would pay for the property to a willing seller, once the property was adequately exposed to the open market via the correct channels for the correct period of time (up to 3 months). This figure could vary dramatically depending upon the method(s) of marketing and how many buyers are drawn towards the property in the first place. The number of interested buyers in turn is driven by the quality of the marketing details and the asking price. The marketing details are in effect “the bait”. Poor marketing details (eg poor photographs) is like going fishing with no bait on the hook. You simply won’t catch anything.

The asking price is like a magnet for buyers. A competitive asking figure will create excitement and activity amongst potential purchasers, whereas a high asking figure will have the opposite effect and repel the most likely buyers away in the first place.

Both of these crucial elements (asking price and quality of marketing) will be driven by the choice of Estate Agent that you make. A poor agent will overprice (in order to win the instruction) and probably under market (simply because they don’t know how to use a camera). Elizabeth Davenport Estate Agents are experts in getting both of these fundamentals right and as a result have a very high success rate in selling all types of property.

Call today on 02476 010105 to speak to one of our experts about getting maximum market value for your own property.

 

Should We Have A ‘For Sale’ Board?

Many homeowners are unsure whether to have a ‘For Sale’ board when they place their property on sale. There are a number of reasons they might think of to not have one: They don’t want to upset the neighbours. They don’t want people knocking on their door. They think it might be a security risk.

In reality these reasons are unfounded and there are many advantages to having a ‘For Sale’ board put up. If you decide to put your home on the market then you will generally find it easier to sell with a board for the following reasons:

  1. Buyers expect a house that is for sale to have a For Sale board outside it. A board sends a very positive message to buyers by confirming that the seller is committed.
  2. A board helps buyers to locate and identify the property when they come to view, making their experience an immediately positive one.
  3. Many buyers go on a Sunday afternoon drive searching for ‘For Sale’ boards in their preferred locations. I myself have bought 3 properties, all of which I discovered via the ‘For Sale’ boards!!
  4. The neighbours will know that the property is on sale very quickly via the internet anyway so not having a board won’t stop them finding out. It’s best to simply tell them yourself than let them find out the hard way.
  5. If your Estate Agent has an attractively designed board, this can add to the kerb appeal and the saleability of your property.

So if you’re going on sale this year then the message is simple. Choose a high quality Estate Agent like Elizabeth Davenport and get one of our attractive ‘For Sale’ boards mounted outside the front of the property. You’ll be moving in no time.        by George Hartshorn

Exactly What is www.OnTheMarket.com and Why Should We Even Care?

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This morning one of our clients received a letter from a competitor stating “Did you know your agent have made the commercial decision to reduce our property on line by removing us from Zoopla? “. I read this a few times before realising that the statement wasn’t even English. Once I’d dealt with this I then replied to our client with the facts. Agents try and use any tool for an advantage.  This one was a bit clumsy. If you’re going to state an advantage make sure it is one. I’ll try and explain before they send another letter stating “Did you know your agents car has got a dent on nearside wing and mine hasn’t”.

OnTheMarket.com” should, at the time of going to press, be all over your televisions and in many quality publication’s as well. Many of the features that have made Zoopla and Rightmove “clunky” are not prevalent with “OnTheMarket.com“. If we look at this very simply then the website adapts seamlessly to fit the screen of any device being used to view it. As a “user” as well as an Estate Agent that’s good enough for me to start with. The property search at “OnTheMarket.com” is also slick, simple, fast and state-of-the-art whilst being compatible with all of the latest technologies. There is no clutter from irritating and distracting third party adverts, nor any spam email. The phone number you see will be our own. Users of “OnTheMarket.com“will also have access to “sneak preview” properties exclusive to them for 48 hours!

Even more importantly buyers that register with Zoopla register with Rightmove. Buyers that register with Rightmove do not always register with Zoopla. Why therefore retain the duplication?  If we removed ourselves from Rightmove I would have questioned our commercial decision as well.

Elizabeth Davenport are one of the first of a forward thinking set of Coventry Estate Agents that will be listing on this new agent driven portal from day one. I don’t think I’ll worry about sending  any letters to our competitors clients asking “”Did you know your agent have made the commercial decision to duplicate your listing and not use OnTheMarket?”. They’ll most likely be on it themselves in a few months anyway!

Want To Sell or Want to Sit? There is a Choice!

Well,  Autumn ‘s here and the leaves are falling. Thankfully house prices aren’t. Indeed, thankfully for many, they are not soaring either. Forget London’s Boom, the reality all around us, is that the reports of a Boom have heightened the expectations of sellers throughout Britain.

I had a Seller last week tell me that the agent they were marketing with in Coventry had told them that house prices had risen 10% over the height of the market in 2008. He was bullish about this too by all account. This same agent had not sold the Vendors house. It had sat on the market without viewings for 6 months. That’s because the Agent was talking nonsense. He/She just wanted an instruction to sell the house. Maybe the individual was being pressured by targets. Whomever’s fault it was it wasn’t the sellers yet they were the ones that suffered. You shouldn’t play games like this. You get found out. 

Robin King a Director at “Move With Us” has just compiled a survey of over 100 Estate Agents. “Reports of a housing bubble may be pushing home owners to set unrealistic asking prices,” he said. “Putting a property on market with an accurate valuation is paramount. Our advice to home owners is not to always believe the hype and to listen to their local property expert, the estate agent”.

Good advice if you can trust your Estate Agent. If you can’t your house is going to sit on the portals and no one is going to come.

We have just compiled a list of every Estate Agents current stock and sales performance in Coventry. How much are they selling and how quickly? The results are shocking. Many of the “market leaders”, the household names, the old families and the aggressive corporates, are sitting on stocks of your houses with only very low proportions being sold. They’ve overpriced and for fear of admitting mistake they won’t approach you to discuss it.  They won’t request the reduction in case you decide to venture elsewhere. They’d rather your house just sit there. With that mentality, you will too so don’t wait for that non-existent call. If you’d like to know the statistics just let us know and we’d be happy to show you. We’re not all bad..

Recruit For Service & Standards (Get Your Positive Reviews Here!)

That’s it then! Summer’s over but all’s not lost and being well an Indian Summer will soon begin!

Our Warwick Row office has been open for just over 13 months now and has also seen our sales performance grow by over 150%. This cannot happen successfully without one vital and often overlooked ingredient. Staff. 

This week we are proud to have employed Georgina D’Arcy who brings with her a wealth of Estate Agency, Administration and Accounts experience. Prior to Georgina we placed ourself in the enviable position of working with Greg Irish an experienced Financial Advisor and Estate Agent who although based at our office can be made available for home visits whenever our clients require (Within reason of course, he’s got a life too you know.) Prior to Greg, another team member with Estate Agency experience, Nicki Page, had been employed to support Yvonne Haywood in one of our most important public facing roles. That’s not all. We have also commandeered the approachable and multi tasking Craig Emmerton who not only undertakes viewings in a genuinely helpful manner (Rather than with a  “just opening the door” and “feel free to have a look around” mentality which seems to be industry commonplace) but  also takes responsibility for the painting and erection of our Sign Boards. Then there’s George and Me. Elizabeth, well I’ll can tell you about her when we meet.

Please don’t just take our word for it. You can’t keep selling houses successfully without the right support and good staff are what any business needs to retain it’s quality of service. Our reviews on www.allagents.co.uk and google say it much more succinctly than we do! Please have a look when you are thinking about which agent you’d like to work with. They can be very revealing!

How To Cash In Your Family Gold

The largest investment most of us make is the home that we live in. The value of your property investment is driven by a number of factors including current demand and supply of similar properties. So when you decide to cash in on your home how do you claim back the true value of your investment?

If you decided to sell your family gold you would take it to a specialist gold buyer and they would weigh it and work out an exact value and you would receive the correct amount. Simple. But for bricks and mortar this method isn’t available. A house cannot be weighed. There is no prescribed value per kilogram. There is no formula for working out the correct figure.

Instead the value of your property investment is decided by potential buyers. They visit your property and make offers to you, at which point you either accept or reject their figures, but eventually it is the buyers (or market) that decide the value. The higher the demand (more buyers) the higher the value, the lower the demand (less buyers) the lower the value.

So the biggest risk to the value of your property is a poor Estate Agent that cannot attract enough potential buyers. Budget Estate Agents will offer you a low fee but by definition they will offer a poorer service and provide you with less potential buyers. This translates into a lower property value and a poor return on your lifetime investment. You may save a few hundred quid in fees by using a budget Estate Agent but the huge danger is that they will undersell your property and cost you many many thousands of pounds.

Elizabeth Davenport are High Quality Estate Agents and are able to provide the maximum amount of potential buyers for your property, neutralising any possibility of it selling for below market value.

Don’t take a risk with your lifetime investment. Call Elizabeth Davenport for expert advice, a high quality service and the maximum return on your most valuable asset.

New Home Shock and Pre-Loved Favourites!

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.

Coventry – Euston – Sales Express!

Although I can’t see Coventry becoming North Londonshire any time soon it is worth bearing in mind that local government development agencies have come up with such bizarre  concepts in London’s more popular commuter towns in recent years.

With a travel duration of 60 minutes from Coventry Station and annual costs being in the region of £7500 it is no wonder we are finding more and more buyers visiting from the Big Smoke. This annual cost of travel is as little as 1% of the average price difference between  houses in London’s Zone 1 and 2 and Coventry itself.

With Nationwide showing a 26% growth in central London and a steady but not so spectacular increase circumnavigating its core, the ability to commute can offer both a healthier lifestyle and a happier wallet as well. With the opportunity to own more substantial property at a fraction of the cost, the once traditional lure of towns such as Reading, Hatfield and Luton can be bettered at even lower cost by travelling just a few miles further.

Kettering, Peterborough, Luton and Basildon are in the top five most cost-effective towns within a 70-minute commute to central London. Coventry sits even closer if we use the Coventry – Euston line.

We have seen tremendous interest in properties within easy access to Coventry Station. Styvechale, Cheylesmore and Earlsdon are all appealing to Londoncentric buyers wishing to spread their wings.

What with the new FriarGate development dramatically improving the entire Station area we could soon see Coventry and its surrounding Villages become a genuine commuter hub. Seemingly this city is certainly becoming one to to invest in and one that should see more families making it there own. Now that can’t be bad for anyone can it.

Rubbish English Football = Time to Buy Property

Every time the football World Cup comes round, expectations are high and “England Expects”. A good run in the tournament for the men in white translates into a long happy summer and the onset of the “feel good factor”. 

And in the past, statistics have clearly shown that when England do well and reach the late stages of the competition, a happy buzz is created throughout the land which causes people to go out and spend money, whether it be on cars, electrical goods, holidays, and even property.

Well sadly this time that hasn’t happened. Two dismal results against mediocre opposition has dumped England out of the tournament and (at time of writing) a pending third game that could prove to be embarrassing. No feel good factor.  🙁

Here’s a sneaky tip: If you’re in the market place to buy a property then go and buy something right now. Whilst everyone else is sitting at home feeling sorry for themselves and dreaming of Italia 90 or Euro 96 you can go and put an offer in on that dream home and with no competition to outbid you, that house could be yours!  🙂

And when Euro 2016 starts, all of your friends will want to come and watch it at your place (if we qualify!). For more tips on football & buying and selling property visit our website or call 02476 010105.