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!!

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.

The Three Magic Questions

If you’re about to put your property on the market and aren’t sure which Estate Agent to use then here’s a little help:

Invite at least three agents to your property and get them to give you valuation figures. Whilst they are there take the opportunity to give them a real grilling. Don’t let them set the format of the meeting – it’s your house and you have invited them in. Therefore you should decide on the format and structure of the meeting.

There are three essential questions that you should ask each agent:

1. In the current climate, exactly what percentage of properties that you put on the market do you eventually agree sales on? What percentage do you fail to agree sales for and why do you fail?

2. How long does it take you to find a buyer on average?

3. On average, what percentage of the initial asking price do you achieve for the properties that you sell?

Any agent that cannot answer these questions is either hiding some poor results or knows very little about their own business. You should dismiss any agent that cannot provide details of their results – if they cannot demonstrate a good track record then they don’t have a product to sell, period!

Many agents will put up smoke screens, bragging about number of “For Sale” boards, big shop premises, number of branches, etc. These are all meaningless and irrelevant statistics and have no impact on an agents ability to sell your property. The proof of the pudding lies in their recent results and if they can’t be bothered to provide you with evidence of those results then you should give them the sack straight away.

And always remember: the agent that has the most For Sale boards in your area can only brag one thing; they have the largest number of Unsold properties in your area!

Why One in Two Properties Fail To Sell

Statistics show that in the current market your property only has a 52% likelihood of selling. That’s just a 1 in 2 chance of finding a buyer. This is a shocking statistic and sheds light on the real state of the current housing market (outside of London).For Sale

Many homeowners have no idea of the task ahead when they market their property, usually because of poor advice and a string of broken promises  from their Estate Agent. But why should this be the case?

Quite simply, many Estate Agents are afraid to tell you the truth when they value your property. Instead they opt for the easy option and tell you “what you want to hear” promising instant results and recommending an unrealistic asking price. Overpricing is the most common reason that properties fail to sell but other important failures typically include poor marketing details, shoddy photography, poor descriptions, and omission of important information such as dimensions and floor plans.

The good news is that you can instantly increase your chance of selling to at least 84%. This is the percentage of sales achieved by Elizabeth Davenport, Coventry office over the last 2 years. This has been achieved by careful pricing of properties and excellent marketing details including professional photography and high quality printed brochures that show off properties to their best potential.

In the current market don’t leave things to chance with an average Estate Agent. Give your property the best chance of achieving a sale by calling George at Elizabeth Davenport on 02476 010105.

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.