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!!

Is It Time To Replace Your Agent?





 1. Has your Estate Agent agreed a sale yet?


2. Are they getting plenty of buyers through the door and offers on the table?


3. Are they keeping you fully up to date with progress?


4. Are you completely happy with your Estate Agent?


5. Do you honestly believe they are trying as hard to find you a buyer as they could be?



If the answer to at least two of these five questions is “No” then it’s time to appoint a new Estate Agent.





Take control again and call me today on 02476 010105 or mobile 07850 848799. I will devise a strategy to get your property sold within weeks.



The Secret Of Selling Your Home

Selling your property swiftly and for full market value is not rocket science. It is quite straight forward. And here is the secret:

Only two things matter when selling: PRICE & PRESENTATION

Presentation tails in a distant second. Get the price wrong and the presentation becomes irrelevant. Getting the price right coupled with decent presentation WILL result in a steady flow of viewings and offers, even in today’s so-called “sterile” market. Where many home-owners fall down is by choosing the agent that comes in with the highest valuation. This is a fundamental error and will lead to failure.Secret Of Selling Property

Today’s shrewd buyers are well informed and will recognise an overpriced property immediately. They will ignore it and look elsewhere. So the secret is to price competitively, thereby attracting lots of viewings and ultimately more (and hence) higher offers. And when the offers come you will be able to cherry pick and select the buyer who is in the best position to proceed (perhaps a cash buyer with no chain if you are lucky). This will give you a much higher chance of reaching completion without risk of collapsed chains or failed mortgage applications.

As I said, it’s not rocket science.


Choosing a Conveyancing Solicitor

Once we’ve found a buyer for your property, the process can begin of transferring the legal title over to the buyer. This process takes on average around 10-12 weeks depending upon a number of factors including the type of tenure (eg Freehold or Leasehold) and the number of links in the sale chain.

ConveyancingEntrusting the legal work over to a suitable solicitor or conveyancer is an extremely important decision. This is probably the largest purchase or sale you will ever make and with today’s property prices could run into hundreds of thousands of pounds (or more). A smooth conveyancing process can be vital to ensuring the sale eventually goes through and good communication from the solicitor helps to keep all parties informed of progress.

Hunting around on the internet to locate the cheapest conveyancer you can find makes no sense at all. You may find that you could save yourself a couple of hundred pounds but in relation to a transaction of say £200,000 you would be best advised to use a locally based solicitor who comes recommended. Elizabeth Davenport Estate Agents deal on a regular basis with many of the Coventry Solicitors and are happy to make a recommendation if you do not already have a solicitor in place.

We regularly work with Sarginsons Law who are based at number 10, The Quadrant just a few doors from our own city centre office. Their service is second to none and good communication means that we are always able to keep buyers and sellers in the chain regularly updated. For a quote, give them a call on 02476 553181 and speak to Andrea Nailor.

Christmas Shopping

As the temperatures drop and the nights close in again, Christmas is just round the corner. Will your festive shopping include a visit to the local Estate Agents office to see what’s on offer? If not then it should do!

November and December are traditionally a very quiet period for the housing market with many buyers going into hibernation or hiding away under the mistletoe. Shrewd buyers will see this as a great opportunity to hunt for bargains and find a good property without the hindrance of competition.

So if you’re thinking that you should wait until the new year then it may be worth thinking again. As sure as day follows night, the market will pick up momentum again come January and you could find you’ll be competing with lots of other buyers when the desirable properties come to market. With the average conveyancing period being around 10-12 weeks, an accepted offer at the end of November will  mean a completion date in February, so any worries of having to move prior to Christmas are unfounded and not really a consideration.

So pop down to your local Elizabeth Davenport office and after we’ve given you your free mince pie we’ll see if we can find you a suitable dream property to buy.

Low Stocks Lead To Healthy Sales Figures

As the children head back to school for the new term, Estate Agents are looking back at their results for the summer period. At Elizabeth Davenport, we’re no different and have dug out some interesting results for the holiday season.

And in fact the sales figures for July and August have been very good, up on the same period for 2011. By contrast, new instructions are down and overall stocks are currently low. This appears to be consistent with the current market place – several buyers have commented to me how they cannot find what they are looking for and that there is little to choose from. So the market right now is leaving buyers with a lack of choice and plenty of competition for the best properties.

So if you’ve got a property that you are considering putting on sale, now is the time to go against the grain and take the plunge. Traditionally September and October are busy months before the Christmas “hibernation” takes place. New properties to the market right now will undoubtedly attract a great deal of interest and if marketed correctly will attract plenty of offers and ultimately a sale.

As the adage goes “There’s no time like the present”, so why not get a free valuation on your home right now. Call me on 02476 010105 and I’ll be happy to drop by and give you some free professional advice without obligation. The act of taking the first step is what separates winners from losers.

Overzealous Estate Agents Stifling Property Market

The property market has fragmented into two clearly defined places.

One is the place where houses go on sale at a sensible, current market value figure. The moment they go on sale the phone begins to ring and viewings are booked in. After approximately 6-10 viewings an offer is received, negotiations follow, a sale price is reached and finally the “Sold” Tab goes up outside the front of the property. Painless.

The other place is on the edge of Sanity where common Over Pricedsense and reasoning have no place. Properties are over-valued as standard by overzealous Estate Agents who have no Unique Selling Points other than their silly high prices. Absurd initial asking prices followed by long periods of no interest and no viewings are followed by systematic price slashing. Weeks, months or even years follow before the property begins to attract a decent level of interest and eventually offers. By the time a sale is agreed, the vendors have lost all motivation but gained plenty of grey hairs. The over-zealous Estate Agent still walks away with their fee, despite the fact that they gave their client very poor, if not downright reckless advice in the first place. The client ultimately could well have lost thousands.

You may think this all sounds rather extreme. But this is truly the current state of the market. In all seriousness I can say that I moved house myself in 2004. We went on sale at a reasonable figure and sold to the first person that viewed. The neighbour by contrast put his house on sale at the same time for too much money. He is still there in the same house 8 years later. I have moved house twice more since then!!!

If you are considering putting your property on the market Correct Price and Salethen give me a call. I will visit you at your home and talk through carefully with you recent SOLD prices in the area and suggest a sensible asking price to get you moved quickly and for the market value figure.

Confidence is Key

Plans for the future always depend upon ones state of mind and current outlook. So when it comes to purchasing a new property (or renting one) mental positivity and confidence can be key to the way forward. And in a world where the media tends to report all of the bad news and good news seems to be completely ignored it can be difficult to focus on reasons to move forward.

But lets face it, life goes on and everybody has to live somewhere. So if you’re hoping to move to a new home then there’s no time like the present. And after all, it makes much more sense to purchase property at the bottom of the market than at the top so if you can get the finance you will surely be making a smart move.

Everyone was buying in 2007 and at the time thought that they were being clever. But in years ahead people will look back and realise that the sensible time to buy was between 2010 and 2014 when prices had fallen back and bargains were readily available. So why not be one of the confident, clever buyers and strike while the iron is hot (or stone cold in the case of the housing market!!!)

If you have access to a deposit of 10% and a mortgage then in my humble opinion you would be mad not to buy during the current economic downturn. And at Elizabeth Davenport we price our property to sell and in keeping with market conditions. So you would be a shrewd buyer to look at one of our properties. And if you are a seller then you would be smart to market your home through us. Call me on 02476 010105 and I’ll be happy to offer you advice, whatever your circumstances.

George Hartshorn   21st June 2012


Successful Selling

Last year Rightmove reported that only 50% of properties put on the market went on to sell!

That’s an amazing statistic and one that all homeowners should take note of. If you are thinking of making the move in the coming months and are about to put your property up for sale, is there anything you can do to make sure you’re one of the successful 50% that finds a buyer?

The good news is that the answer is yes, you can definitley increase your chances of achieving a sale by following some simple rules:


Sold Board

i) PROMOTION – Is your property reaching the right audience? Is your agent advertising it through the best channels and getting you the best exposure?

ii)PRESENTATION – Is the photography and presentation up to scratch. You can have the nicest house in the world but if the cameraman used his mobile phone to take the pictures then you’re missing out.

iii)PRICE – The most important aspect of your sale. You can get the other two Ps right but if your property is overpriced you will not attract any interest. You should try and get the price correctly set from day 1 of the process. In today’s market there’s no such thing as a “try-it-and-see” price. You’ll be wasting your own time and in the long run it will cost you. The best way to get the most money for your home is to sell quickly during the first weeks of marketing when there is lots of fresh interest and competition amongst buyers.

Follow these simple rules and you have a good chance of being in the successful 50% of sellers. Get anything wrong and you could well be left scratching your head.

Selling in 2012

“Go on sale now or wait and see?”

This is the question that many homeowners seem to be asking themselves at the start of 2012. The hesitancy is most likely down to economic uncertainty and worry about jobs, etc. The result is that the market is seeing a void in the number of good properties currently for sale and estate agents are finding themselves short of stock with too many buyers on their books.

Rightmove have recently revealed a 27% increase in search traffic for the start of 2012 compared to the same time last year. Estate Agents on the other hand are desperate for valuations and new instructions.Estate Agent

The one big plus from all of this is that if you do decide to market your property this year and indeed market it at a realistic asking price, you will probably have buyers queuing down the street to take a look. With little for buyers to choose from, any decent property correctly priced will almost certainly be inundated with enquiries and ultimately will sell relatively easily. And with prices predicted in many circles to fall further, now could be a shrewd time to sell.

George Hartshorn, Managing Director of Elizabeth Davenport Estate Agents says, “If you want to find a new home the best place to start is by getting a valuation on your own property first and then getting it on sale. Those that wait and see or try and fine a suitable property to buy first will be left in the starting blocks.”

Elizabeth Davenport have recently revealed their 2011 sales results and are understandably pleased with the figures. “We agreed sales on 74% of the property that we marketed last year” says George. “We achieved this by realistic pricing and through great presentation of all of our properties. If you are serious about selling then give us a call and arrange for your free valuation. We also have  some of the lowest selling fees in the Warwickshire area!”

You can reach Elizabeth Davenport on 02476 010105 or visit their website at