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As you are no doubt aware from the recent news articles, the government are proposing three year tenancies for rented properties. Click here to learn more. Having looked at this carefully the proposal is that tenancies will have a minimum fixed term of three years, however, they will have a break clause at the 6 month period … Continue reading URGENT ACTION REQUIRED – Government Consultation on Longer Tenancies →

As a landlord you’ll want to minimise the time your property is empty between tenancies (what we call the void period) so it is essential that your property is looking its best for showing to new tenants both in terms of condition and cleanliness. Although a tenanted property should be redecorated from time to time, … Continue reading Let it Shine! →

We are often asked by our clients whether they should withdraw their property from the market once an acceptable offer has been made. There are a number of angles on this subject which should be considered in the context of each specific set of circumstances.   Firstly, from an ethical perspective, it could be argued … Continue reading Should I Withdraw my Property following an Offer? →

If your property is currently on the market, it may be tempting to assume that your agent is in full control of the situation, and that sooner or later a buyer will materialise. But don’t be so sure! Sometimes an agent will take the same view and simply sit in hope, having apparently exhausted their … Continue reading Waiting in Hope? →

When letting your property, you naturally want your property to look its best, but how far should you go in terms of presentation? Firstly, aim to understand how your property “sits” within the market. Not all tenants have the same criteria, so walk through the house with your letting agent to identify your property’s strengths … Continue reading Touching Up →

Many properties in the Leamington Spa area are as unique and distinctive as the people who buy them. So when selling yours, it is most important that your estate agent has a thorough understanding not only of your property, but also of the needs and preferences of every buyer who views it.     It is … Continue reading Personal Accountability →

You only get one chance to make a first impression! When it comes to letting your home, attention to detail could be pivotal in securing the best possible rent –quickly. Most tenants have a good idea of their preferred location, minimum accommodation needs and ideal style of property. Yet it is often presentation that makes … Continue reading First Impressions →

There can be nothing better suited to the internet than property, and hits to property websites far outnumber those of any other industry. The ability to be able to search in the comfort of your own home, usually without having to provide any personal details, is certainly attractive and has transformed the way the public … Continue reading Will the Internet Replace Estate Agents? →

Some people feel that flats and houses should be able to “let themselves” and do not need to be “shown” by letting agents. Whilst this may be true of certain exceptional properties, or where achieving the optimum rent is not an issue, most properties require the skills of a well-trained letting agent if they are … Continue reading Showing Tenants Around →

Our last article considered the benefits of buying to let in principle. Here we consider some practical elements:    Attitude: Buying to let is a long-term investment. So don’t over-stretch yourself, because if you had to sell in the short term you would almost certainly lose money. Choose well:  Follow your head not your heart. Take … Continue reading Buying to Let (Part Two) →

It is perhaps quite worrying that anyone can start trading as an estate agent, without any qualifications whatsoever. This makes it all the more important that you choose an agency that puts a high value on training.   Better-trained staff gain an intimate understanding of what the customer is going through and are able to … Continue reading Peace of Mind →

It would not be unreasonable to assume that as a property comes onto the market, the instructed estate agent will post the property details on various property portals and wait for the enquiries to roll in.    However, this approach is somewhat simplistic! We take a much more strategic and proactive approach to handling new … Continue reading The Advertising Myth →

As pension funds shrink, many people consider the buy-to-let opportunity as a viable alternative, and with good reason. The effect of low interest rates and a historically rising property market make buy-to-let one of the most attractive investments accessible to the public. And the great thing is – you can use the bank’s money! The … Continue reading Buying to Let (Part One) →

Most lettings agents see their role solely as a “purveyor of tenants”, and they pride themselves on their ability to find the right tenant for a property and to negotiate attractive terms for the landlord.   But lettings agency has moved on. Indeed, finding a tenant is arguably one of the most straightforward aspects of … Continue reading The Meaning of Service →

Most people move house rarely and often have little idea of the etiquette required if the stress of moving is to be minimised. Our job as progressive letting agents is to help landlords and tenants minimise this stress by seeing the world through their eyes and advising accordingly. For example, landlords, especially those who are … Continue reading The Courteous Tenant →

When considering the value of a property prior to putting it on the market, many vendors understandably look at the asking price of other properties currently on the market locally, and draw pricing conclusions based on this research. Whilst this is not an unreasonable way of determining value, there are some traps for which to … Continue reading The Value of FOR SALE →

Unlike their continental counterparts, British tenants do not generally take account of the square footage of a house or flat when renting their next home. Nevertheless, spaciousness is often a priority and invariably comes at a premium. So if you are letting your property, it’s worth making sure you create a feeling of as much … Continue reading A Feeling of Space →

It is interesting to note that some sellers are not as committed to moving as they might be, and are prepared to remain on the market until what they regard as an acceptable offer comes along.   Likewise, some buyers, whilst generally remaining committed to a purchase, do not exhibit a great deal of urgency, … Continue reading Might Sell, Might Not! →

Landlords often approach us after an unsatisfactory experience with another agent, particularly in relation to poor levels of feedback following property viewings. Surely, prompt and constructive feedback should be a fundamental part of any letting agent’s service to their clients! Only when agents understand what tenants think of a property can they deliver practical advice … Continue reading What Does Viewing Feedback Really Mean? →

Despite the fact that many people regard letting agents as more or less the same, there are in fact numerous selection criteria on which to judge the good from the bad, and the remarkable from the mildly indifferent. For example, there are many services and innovations which can make a difference to how effectively your … Continue reading The Right People →

There are numerous surveys and research that seek to prove how various home improvements add a certain percentage to the value of a property. There has recently been a marked increase in the number of people undertaking improvements whose motivation is specifically to increase the value of their property prior to a sale. If you … Continue reading Ask the Expert! →

Most landlords will recognise the tremendous importance of ensuring that as many prospective tenants as possible see their property. After all, more viewings means more tenant competition thereby maximising your chances of securing the highest rental the market will pay. However, whilst one always has to be fair, there is a lot to be said … Continue reading Viewing Time →

René Deceuninck shares his exclusive MBA Learn how to read your builder, tenant or agents unspoken words René is hosting preview sessions for Anthony ( Tony) Robbins’ Unleash The Power Within, a 4 day transformational and breakthrough event including the famous Firewalk! René Deceuninck, Master in Body Language, Motivational Speaker, Coach and Trainer, also runs … Continue reading Learn What’s Not Being Said! →

Moving day can be stressful enough, but a bit of forethought can go a long way. For example, many people take the opportunity to clear any unwanted junk out of their homes and lives. Charity shops, car boot sales, and friends can be grateful recipients of some items, and hiring a small skip for a … Continue reading Making Moving Easier →

Just as anyone can open up an estate agency, so they can also start up a lettings business, without any training, experience or qualifications. This should concern landlords, because there is far more to the business than meets the eye. In some ways, finding a tenant is the easy bit! The issues arise over how … Continue reading Getting Rentals Right →

Superficially, lettings could be seen as relatively straightforward, and some firms do indeed regard themselves as a simple broking operation. However, if your investment is going to provide you with peace of mind as well as a great return on investment, then you will want to know that the property is being managed by people … Continue reading Getting the Most out of Your Property Investment →

When you are planning to move house it can be tempting to accept the first buyer who comes along with an attractive offer. However, buyers come in all shapes and sizes, and it is important to assess your purchaser’s ability to perform before accepting any offer. We often receive offers from people who themselves have … Continue reading Should We Accept The Offer? →

Is the property market up or is down? This month, more than ever, the answer depends on who you speak to. For example, according to the Land Registry, a total of 850,281residential properties were sold during 2017, which is a clear 14.6% fall on 2016 (although still 30% up on the low-point of 2008). In … Continue reading January 2018 Market Comment →

Due to the high demand for rental properties, a cultural shift has occurred over the past few years and many people are now consider letting out their property as a profitable alternative to selling it. Indeed, letting out your property has a number of advantages. Firstly, the value of a property is, in practical terms, … Continue reading Why Sell? Let your Home Instead! →

As estate agents, our job is to sell property. Sounds obvious really! However, some people judge an agent’s ability to do the job on the amount of advertising undertaken on behalf of each client, rather than on the strategy behind their advertising policy. Clearly, it is virtually unheard of that someone will buy a property … Continue reading Advertising for Results →

It is well documented that, nationally, around 30% of all sales arranged fail to reach a successful exchange of contracts. Fortunately, our conversion from sales to exchanges in the last 6 months has been 74% so three quarters rather that two thirds. However, the sales cycle can be frustratingly slow and the longer the sale takes, the … Continue reading Holding the Sale Together →

2018 turned out to be a politically turbulent year, but a somewhat lacklustre one for the property market, once again demonstrating the resilience of the British when it comes to home ownership. Indeed, the latest report from LSL revealed that average house prices have seen a return to growth after several months of slowdown and … Continue reading December 2017 Market Comment →

One of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a letting agency is whether or not they subscribe to a Client Money Protection Scheme. There have been several examples of unscrupulous letting agents who have mysteriously closed holding many thousands of pounds in client monies – primarily rental receipts that should have been paid … Continue reading Protecting your Rent…and your Investment →

NB check latest rates before publishing. Correct as of 22nd November 2017 Stamp duty originated in the 17th century when duty stamps could be purchased and attached to a transactional document to prove that any tax due on the transaction had been paid. Today, tax relating to the purchase of land is known as “Stamp … Continue reading Stamp Duty →

One of the worries that many landlords understandably experience is the possibility that a month or more will pass between lets when their investment property remains unoccupied. This can be a serious problem that can adversely affect the short-term cash-flow you so meticulously planned as a route to longer term investment success. Even worse, each … Continue reading Avoid the Void →

There is no doubt that the Internet has simplified the property searching process as one way or another it effectively holds a fairly comprehensive list of all available stock from most of the agents. But it is only a tool – just like the property advertising pages in the local newspaper. In these times of … Continue reading Seven Days →

In these uncertain times it can be very difficult to know exactly when your property will sell – especially if you are reluctant to drop your price. However, there is a solution that many sellers often overlook! If you are not living in your property, or have alternative accommodation, why not rent out your property … Continue reading The Short Let Solution to Finding a Buyer →

If location is fundamental to a property purchase, then mapping is surely the most obvious way of highlighting location. We choose to use locational maps on our property website as they make it easy for buyers to identify the property in relation to its surroundings. This is particularly useful when a buyer is considering a … Continue reading Finding the Right Property →

This November has seen both an increase in interest rates and the abolition of SDLT (Stamp Duty) for first time buyers up to £300,000. Certainly the nominal 0.25% interest rate increase is unlikely to cause most homebuyers a problem. However, this first rate rise in a decade might be regarded as a tipping point for … Continue reading Market Comment – November 2017 →

Many people whose property is on the market now would ideally like to move by Christmas, yet only those who are prepared to price realistically to reflect the current market are likely to be successful. Buyers who are currently active in the market are now getting increasingly keen to move before the end of the … Continue reading A Move by Christmas →

One of the most effective ways to maximise your property investment is to appeal to sharers as the combined price paid by two or three co-tenants can often be greater than the rent paid by just one. Rising rents have priced out those who could not stretch to their ideal property without going halves with … Continue reading Sharers →

We recently came across this poem about investing in property, and thought you might find it interesting. Once you have read it, and only then, take a look at the date of first publication. Makes you think! I hesitate to make a list Of all the countless deals I’ve missed. Bonanzas that were in my … Continue reading Property Inflation →

There’s no question about it, buyers visit Rightmove and Zoopla/OnTheMarket because they provide easily-searched access to properties currently available for sale. Or do they? Certainly property portals are efficient and estate agents have embraced them for many years as being an important addition to their marketing toolbox. On the surface, people no longer apparently need … Continue reading What’s wrong with Rightmove? →

Some would-be sellers are reluctant to sell their home in view of the high cost of moving, or selling for what they regard as too low a figure to enable them to fulfil their plans. Others may be moving abroad and don’t necessarily want to commit to selling their UK home just yet. Maybe you’re … Continue reading The New Landlord →

There is a very different vibe to the property market from last month, with a number of reports suggesting that the market is rapidly changing from being a sellers’ market to what is starting to look a lot like the beginning of a buyers’ market in some areas (although nobody has told our office yet…shhh!) … Continue reading Market Comment – October 2017 →

Many estate agents will flatter you and promote themselves by claiming that they’ll get you the “highest price in the shortest possible time”. This is easy to say, but not so easy for most agents to justify or indeed deliver! Effective property sales involve a combination of great presentation, attractive pricing and effective marketing along … Continue reading Your Secret Agent? →

Many estate agents put substantial emphasis on their ability to find a buyer, and they highlight this as a primary reason to sell through them. However, we believe in going far beyond this. In many ways, finding a buyer is the easy bit! Most switched-on agents have access to most of the buyers in the … Continue reading It’s Not Just About Selling →

Many estate agents put substantial emphasis on their ability to find a buyer, and they highlight this as a primary reason to sell through them. However, we believe in going far beyond this. In many ways, finding a buyer is the easy bit! Most switched-on agents have access to most of the buyers in the … Continue reading It’s Not Just About Selling →

“Location, location, location” may be the cornerstone of wise property investment, yet many people are unaware of the importance of location in making the right choice of letting agent – whether as landlord or tenant. Letting agency is an intensely local business. It is essential that letting agents are fully conversant with the issues of … Continue reading The Benefit of Independence →

According to the Department of the Environment about half of all landlords have had cause to ask a tenant to leave on at least one occasion, usually because of arrears, noise, damage, violence, or abusive behaviour. Around thirty percent of these end up having to go to court. When you let your property, you hope … Continue reading A Problem Tenant? →

Estate Agents are generally an up-beat type. Selling property to the right buyer, quickly and at an impressive price requires a “can do, will do” approach that is unlikely to be found in a pessimist. Agents with a positive attitude are more likely to be able to identify opportunities on behalf of our clients. Combine … Continue reading A Proactive Approach Essential →

Estate Agents are generally an up-beat type. Selling property to the right buyer, quickly and at an impressive price requires a “can do, will do” approach that is unlikely to be found in a pessimist. Agents with a positive attitude are more likely to be able to identify opportunities on behalf of our clients. Combine … Continue reading A Proactive Approach Essential →

When letting your property, you naturally want your property to look its best, but how far should you go in terms of presentation? Firstly, aim to understand how your property “sits” within the market. Not all tenants have the same criteria, so walk through the house with your letting agent to identify your property’s strengths … Continue reading “A Word to Landlords about Presentation” →

All residential tenancy deposits must by law be protected by being lodged in a government-recognised scheme, such as the Deposit Protection Service (DPS), which is evidence based. This means that the decision to either return or withhold a deposit at the end of a tenancy is made by considering any differences between the condition of … Continue reading “A Proper Inventory” →

We are often asked to look at properties that really should have sold, but haven’t, and we understand the disappointment of vendors whose experience of the sales process has fallen short of their expectations. This disappointment can sometimes be the result of simply not knowing where you stand. We find that enthusiasm and good communication … Continue reading Should Your House Have Sold by Now →

Whilst both gas and electricity can be lethal, from a landlord’s perspective, the law relating to gas safety is more stringent than it is for electricity with substantial fines or even imprisonment for of the breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. These regulations impose a duty on landlords to use a … Continue reading “Gas – The Landlord’s Responsibility” →

Why is it that tenanted properties appear to be damper than those that are owner-occupied? Firstly, we’re talking about condensation here, not rising damp. Condensation is caused when warm air, which holds more water vapour, meets a cold surface, forming water droplets. This may attract fungal growths such as Mildew leading that “that damp smell”. … Continue reading “Something in the Air?” →

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a 3% hike in Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on buy-to-let properties and second homes in the 2016 Autumn Statement. This was met with “outrage” from various quarters, such as the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) and others who describe it as “the nail in the coffin of … Continue reading Stamp Duty Hike Means Act Fast for Investment Buyers! →

Many property transactions form part of a chain of related sales. Of course a chain is only as strong as its weakest link and, as a national statistic, unfortunately one in every three chains will fall apart, often at the eleventh hour. This happens for a variety of reasons from one party’s mortgage glitch to … Continue reading The Weakest Link →

Many of our current clients have approached us to sell their property following a less-than-impressive performance by an online alternative to “proper” estate agency. Although it is always tempting to say “I told you so”, we wouldn’t be so harsh with someone who has just been through the mill with the wrong choice of agent. … Continue reading Low up-take of online estate agents →

For many homeowners, letting provides an obvious investment opportunity as an alternative to selling. With the right expert help from your letting agent, the matter should be quite straightforward, although there are certain consents that should be obtained if you are to avoid some potentially costly problems. You will certainly need the consent of your … Continue reading Consent to Let →

Perceptions-v-reality in property can confuse even the best-informed of armchair economists. The latest House Price Sentiment Index from Knight Frank and HIS Markit suggests that approximately twice as many households believe their property value has risen, than fallen, yet the measure of sentiment is still nearly 15% lower than its previous peak in May 2014. … Continue reading Market Comment – July 2017 →

There is a strong argument for creating maximum exposure for a property during its time on the market, and much of our effort and resources are spent achieving the right exposure in the right places. However, one of the most powerful ways of securing a fast sale at a high price can actually result from … Continue reading Pre-Marketing →

You’ve made an offer on a property. You might have had to negotiate a bit, but that’s OK because this is your perfect home and you can’t wait to move in. You then get a rather awkward call from the estate agent to say that unfortunately the seller, (whom you took to be a gentleman) … Continue reading How to Avoid Being Gazumped →

“A fine balance” Anyone with an interest in the property market generally understands the influence of supply and demand on house prices. Just like any other “commodity”, if everybody wants something that is in generally short supply, the price tends to rise. In the property sector, the media often describes a rising market good and … Continue reading The Current Property Market – June 2017 →

Great news for local homeowners; Jaguar Land Rover has just announced plans to recruit 5,000 new employees. With three of JLR’s four UK plants being on our doorstep, this is bound to put extreme pressure on the local property market over the coming months – inevitably leading to even higher prices being achieved. As 1000 … Continue reading Jaguar Land Rover announce 5000 new jobs! →

Some landlords, especially those who are new to the experience, understandably wish to use a letting agent simply as a route to market in order to find a tenant. However, whilst a return on investment is one thing, sleeping well at night is quite another! A managed service is not just about chasing late rent, … Continue reading Manage Your Investment →

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