Are you planning to sell your home this year? 

Or just curious about what your property may be worth in the current market?

Good news – this article will give you five easy-to-follow tips highlighting how effectively staging your home can boost its appeal to potential buyers.

Styling your home can also potentially speed up the sale and even increase the value of offers you receive. 

Let’s dive into the tips.

Declutter and depersonalise

Start by decluttering each room to make your home appear more spacious and inviting. Remove personal items such as family photos, memorabilia and anything else that might distract buyers from imagining themselves living there. A minimalist approach helps highlight the property’s features rather than its contents.

A fresh coat of paint

Refresh your walls with a lick of paint in neutral colours. Light, airy shades like off-white, beige or light grey can make spaces appear larger and brighter, appealing to a broader range of buyers. This simple update can add value to your home without breaking the bank.

Maximise natural light

Make sure your home is well-lit to make it feel warm and welcoming. Keep windows clean and curtains drawn back to let natural light in. If any area of your home feels a little dark, consider adding mirrors to reflect light and make the space feel larger.

Tidy up outdoor spaces

First impressions count. Tidy up your garden, mow the lawn and ensure bins are out of sight. A welcoming entrance and a neat and tidy garden can make a strong initial impression on potential buyers, making them more eager to see what’s inside.

Address little niggles

Take care of any small repairs around the house – fix leaky taps, squeaky doors or chipped paint. These details might seem minor, but they can suggest a well-maintained home to interested buyers.

Ready to take the next step in your home selling journey? I am here to provide you with personalised guidance, from staging to sale. 

My in-depth knowledge of the market and commitment to exceptional service ensure your property will stand out to the right buyer.

Don’t leave your home sale to chance. 

Contact me today to discover how my expertise can lead to your success. 

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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Harriet George – Matching people with property

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You can always tell when someone is really interested in buying your home by the number of questions they ask.

There are the usual suspects like:

  • Where are the best schools? 
  • What are the neighbours like? 
  • Is it easy to park?
  • And how much is council tax?

But it also pays to prepare for some unexpected questions.

In my experience, those less-asked questions highlight how interested a potential buyer is. It’s the opposite of a ‘tyre kickers’ approach. 

Below are four questions to mull over. 

Delving into the depths

Buyers may dig deeper than the surface, asking about the land’s history or even its geological stability. Did you know that an old well beneath your lawn or the prospect of flooding can raise eyebrows? Prepare yourself with local knowledge to ensure you’re not caught off balance.

Connectivity is key

The fibre-optic era has seen broadband speeds catapult into most homebuyers’ priority lists. Gone are the days when the number of fireplaces in a home was the deal-breaker – today, it’s all about megabits per second. Ask your wi-fi provider for details.

The energy factor

In a world where every watt counts, be ready to shed light on the facts about your home’s energy efficiency. Whether it’s the type of insulation you have or the eco-friendly solar panels you’ve installed, these details can make your home stand out and give you an edge over similar properties.

The secret life of gardens

And then there’s the question that often sees homeowners puzzled: “Which way does the garden face?” Sun-chasers and shade-seekers alike want to know about the light that bathes your garden. Whether it’s south-facing for all-day sun or north-facing for delicate plants, the orientation of your garden can, for some buyers, be a pivotal factor ahead of making an offer.

Are you thinking of selling this spring? Contact me today to have all your home-moving questions answered.

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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Harriet George – Matching people with property

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Springtime is not just when the natural world comes back to life but also when the local property market shakes off any winter blues.

And if you’re mulling over a move in 2024, the spring months between March and May could be the perfect time to sell your property.

Here are six speedy springtime tips.

Kerb appeal: First impressions count – especially in spring’s lighter, longer days. Boost your property’s kerb appeal with well-maintained gardens, a fresh coat of paint on fences and clear paths. 

Spring clean: A thorough clean makes any property feel more homely. Clear away the clutter, wash the windows and let the fresh spring light and air flood your space. A spotless property suggests a well-cared-for home, encouraging buyers to imagine themselves living there.

Seasonal staging: Use spring’s colours to your advantage. Introduce some flowers, decorate with fresh, light-coloured linens and set out bowls of seasonal fruit to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. 

Pricing strategy: An attractive price point is critical in generating interest quickly. Think of the Goldilocks Principle: No one will want it if it’s too hot (overpriced), but if it’s too cold (too cheap), you’ll lose out, so you need to work with an honest, experienced estate agent to get the price ‘just right’. 

Highlight outdoor spaces: After a long winter, buyers are eager to imagine enjoying their own outdoor space. Give your great outdoors some love by ensuring that any gardens, patios or balconies are clean, tidy and staged to highlight their potential as a personal oasis.

Choosing the best agent: Select an estate agent with a proven track record in the spring market. They should be knowledgeable about seasonal trends and skilled in making the most of your property’s springtime appeal. An effective agent will negotiate a great price on your behalf and guide you smoothly through the selling process.

By taking these steps, you can maximise your property’s appeal and increase the likelihood of a quick sale in the competitive spring market. 

To find out how I’ve been helping homeowners sell successfully in spring (and the other three seasons) since 2002, contact me today. 

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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Harriet George – Matching people with property

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The journey of buying or selling a property is often filled with anticipation and excitement. 

However, it can also be fraught with unexpected challenges that might cause a sale to fall through. 

As an experienced local estate agent, I’ve seen my fair share of transactions fall by the wayside.

This article shares insights on why these issues arise but, more importantly, how to avoid them.

Financial hiccups

One of the most common deal-breakers is financial issues. This could be anything from a buyer’s mortgage falling through to unexpected costs cropping up. To safeguard against this, buyers should have a mortgage agreement in principle before making an offer. Sellers should ensure their agent conducts thorough financial vetting of potential buyers.

Chain pain

Property chains can be complex and fragile. If one transaction in the chain fails, it can have a domino effect. Keeping communication open and having an agent with a proactive approach can mitigate these risks. This is why chain-free buyers, who don’t have to sell a property to finance a purchase, are more attractive to some sellers.

Survey snags

Surveys can uncover potential problems, such as structural defects and electrical issues, which might cause a buyer to reconsider. As a seller, consider conducting a pre-sale survey to identify and address potential problems beforehand. Buyers should use survey results as a negotiation tool rather than a deal-breaker if they’ve got their heart set on a home.

Legal delays

Legal complexities can slow down or derail a transaction. Working with experienced, reliable solicitors who specialise in property law is crucial. Ensure that all your documentation is in order before going on the market, and be responsive to any requests for information from your estate agent.

Cold feet

Sometimes, buyers or sellers get cold feet. This is where the ‘contact sport’ element of estate agency comes into play. A good agent regularly contacts and reassures people involved in the deal, which helps keep everyone committed to the transaction.

Staying the course

Remember, knowledge is valuable in property transactions. By being prepared and aware of these common pitfalls, you can navigate the process more smoothly. 

As your local estate agent, I’m here to guide you every step of the way, ensuring your property journey is as seamless and successful as possible.

If you’d like a free market appraisal or advice about marketing your home, contact me here today.

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 01548 859905 | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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They say selling a home is a marathon, not a sprint, but what happens if your sale is progressing at a snail’s pace or going nowhere?

How can you get things back on track and find a buyer who will go the distance?

One option – and it’s a big move – is to switch agents.

Sellers usually take this step when they’ve grown frustrated with a lack of progress and feel that a fresh start is needed.

If your agent has gone from hero to zero in your eyes, here’s a guide to the next steps you should take.

Time to talk

Have a frank conversation. Explain that you’re frustrated and considering taking your business elsewhere.

Ask your agent to identify what they think the problem is and how they’ve tried to fix the issue. Also, ask to see evidence, such as online portal statistics and viewing numbers.

Sales can go cold for reasons such as overpricing or poor presentation. If you think the problem is one of these, you may be willing to make some changes to regain momentum.

But if your agent’s justifications do not convince you, then it’s time to move on.

Check your contract

Read the contract you signed with your agent. Some contracts tie sellers in for a specific period, ranging from weeks to months. If you sever links before this time elapses, you could still have to pay the agent commission – even if a different agent sells the property (so you wind up paying two lots of commission).

Some contracts also stipulate that the agent gets a fee if they ‘introduce’ a buyer to the property (even if the agent doesn’t complete the sale). In this scenario, the agent should provide you with a written list of the people to whom they’ve shown the property.

Choose a new agent

Ask friends and neighbours for recommendations and read online reviews.

Explain your predicament to prospective agents and ask for constructive feedback. Remember, you’ve already been burned by one agent who promised the earth and didn’t deliver. If you hear some difficult truths – perhaps your property needs redecoration, repairs or re-pricing – respect the agent for their honesty.

Ultimately, a successful seller/agent relationship relies on trust. You need an agent who is straight with you and will put in the hard graft to sell your home.

If you’d like to know more about my marketing strategy, contact me here today.

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 01548 859905 | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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Good news: the latest data on buyer demand shows that the number of property hunters out in force is up by 14%*.

So, what’s driving this increased demand? And what does it mean if you plan to buy or sell in 2024?

Let’s take a look.

Interest rates

For a good chunk of 2023, interest rates were high (relative to recent years), and the possibility loomed that they could go even higher.

Many buyers, uncertain about where it would all end, were spooked and put their property-hunting plans on hold.

But in the latter part of the year, things started to shift. The Bank of England held rates steady three times in a row.

Then, a few days into the new year, there was further good news when many lenders dropped their mortgage rates.

Some banks even dipped below 4% on their five-year fixed deals** to woo customers.

With the situation now much clearer – and more positive – expect more wait-and-see buyers to act (especially if they’re renting).

This will not only create more market demand but also increase supply because while some buyers will be first-timers, others will have to sell a property to fund their move. 

And more sellers means greater choice for buyers.

Resilience

Some dire predictions about what could happen in the housing market did the rounds last year.

Brace yourself for repossessions and an almighty price crash, some warned.

Thankfully, the doom merchants were wrong, and the market proved to be far more resilient than some expected.

This may partly be because the government tightened mortgage lending rules after the 2008 banking meltdown. The aim was to stamp out reckless borrowing and suppress housing bubbles, and it seems to have worked.

Recent data (released by Zoopla) shows that the average UK home is worth 18% more now than it was pre-lockdown in March 2020.

So, buyers wondering if property is still a good investment need be in no doubt.

Contact me today if you’d like a free property valuation.

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 01548 859905 | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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* Source: Zoopla, comparing activity in the first week of January 2023 with the same time in January 2024.

** Lending conditions apply.

I’m an estate agent, not a mind magician like Derren Brown, but recently, I’ve been delving into the psychological aspects of home buying.

It’s fascinating stuff.

For sellers, it can offer invaluable insights, helping them better understand how they (and their estate agent) can achieve the best possible price for their home.

Buying a home is not just a financial transaction; it’s a deeply emotional journey influenced by many psychological factors. 

Let’s investigate some of these.

The emotional connection

At the heart of every home purchase is an emotional connection. Buyers are often driven by the vision of their future lives in a new home. It’s not just about the number of bedrooms or the size of the garden; it’s about the potential for creating memories, the sense of safety and the promise of a new beginning. Sellers can tap into this emotional aspect by highlighting features that enhance the lifestyle appeal of the property – a cosy fireplace for family gatherings, a serene garden for relaxation or a spacious kitchen for entertaining.

The impact of first impressions

First impressions are crucial in the home-buying process. A buyer’s initial reaction to a property can set the tone for their decision-making process. This is where home staging and kerb appeal come into play. A well-maintained exterior, a tidy garden and an inviting entrance (think clean welcome mat and uncluttered hallway) can create a positive first impression, making the buyer more inclined to view the property favourably.

The desire for perfection

Many buyers search for their ‘perfect’ home, which often means different things to different people. Some prioritise location, others size or design. Understanding these individual preferences is vital. As estate agents, it’s our job to listen carefully to our clients’ needs and desires, guiding them towards homes that best match their vision of perfection. 

The fear factor

Fear of making the wrong decision can be a significant psychological barrier for buyers. The fear of overpaying, the property losing value, or discovering hidden problems post-purchase can cause anxiety. A good estate agent will provide clients with comprehensive, accurate information and address their concerns, which can help alleviate these fears. This helps the seller achieve the best possible price.

Understanding the psychology behind home buying isn’t just interesting – it’s very valuable.

Of course, I’m not suggesting that people can be psychologically swayed into buying a home – they can’t – and it would be wrong to even try that approach.

But a good estate agent recognises the power of emotions to help buyers realise the true potential of a property they’re interested in.

And if you’re considering selling, that’s serious food for thought.

If you have any questions about selling or buying this year, feel free to contact me – I’m here to help.

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 01548 859905 | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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Harriet George – Matching people with property

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If moving could be on the cards for you next year, now’s the time to set some goals to help turn your property dreams into a reality.

Perhaps you’re feeling squeezed in your current home and want more room. Or maybe you’re an empty nester rattling around a place that’s too big for your needs and costly to heat.

Whatever your motivation, it’s important to remember that selling and buying property requires planning and organisation and can sometimes take longer than expected.

Setting some property goals can streamline the process for you. Here are some tips to help you do so.

Create a timeline of important dates. Include key deadlines, such as the closing date for school applications, and important celebrations, like Christmas. Once you know when you want to be in your new home by, you can work backwards and reverse engineer your selling and buying strategy.

If you’re considering downsizing and moving to a new area, spend time in the location you’re keen to call home. Weigh up the pros and cons of starting afresh and consider issues such as maintenance, costs, storage and proximity to family. Also, speak to a professional about the financial implications of downsizing.

Speak to a few estate agents to sound out the health of the market and get a clearer idea of how much you can realistically expect to get for your property. This will help you to set a budget for your next home and allow you to research properties in your chosen area.

Have a clear-out. Every property looks better and feels more spacious after it’s been given a good declutter and a fresh lick of paint.

And there’s one other option

If space (or lack of it) is your concern, you may be considering extending instead of moving. To get clarity over which option would be best, speak to a few builders and get them to quote for the work (you may be surprised at how inflation has bumped up building costs). You can also talk to an estate agent to see if the works will add value to your property and make it more marketable in the future.

Contact me here for a free valuation or a market update.

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 01548 859905 | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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Harriet George – Matching people with property

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If you’ve decided to put your home on the market in 2024, then there’s one burning question you need to ask yourself.

When should I list my property?

You may have heard that spring is the best time to list, as traditionally, this is when estate agents do the most business due to a surge in buyers and sellers coming to the market.

But dig a little deeper and consider what’s driving buyers in December and January, and you may come to a different conclusion.

There are many good reasons why there’s no need to wait – and in fact, delaying listing simply drags out your plans.

To help you make up your mind, here are five reasons why you shouldn’t wait to list in spring.

Stand out from the crowd With more properties on the market in spring, there’s more competition. With a greater choice of homes on offer, buyers may be more inclined to negotiate on price. 

Fewer time wasters – When it comes to buyers, it’s about quality, not quantity. In spring, you can get a fair few ‘tyre kickers’. These are people enjoying having a nosy at a few properties in the sunshine but who haven’t done their homework and aren’t ready to make a serious offer.

Attract more focused buyers  People looking to buy in the colder months are more likely to be driven by a clear purpose. Perhaps they need to move for work or have experienced a relationship breakdown. This means they’ll be more focused and responsive.

New year reset  The seeds of change are often planted over the Christmas period and start to bloom in January. It could be that Christmas at home with the family has made someone realise they need more space, or perhaps the penny’s dropped that it’s time to downsize. Whatever the reason, they’ll be ready to act to bring about change.

Be in a new home by spring  The selling and buying process takes months, so the sooner you get moving, the sooner you’ll be in your new home. That way, you can spend spring settling into your dream property instead of dealing with viewings, surveyors and lawyers.

If you’d like a free property valuation, contact me here today.

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 01548 859905 | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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Harriet George – Matching people with property

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Deciding to sell your home is a big decision that comes with a long list of jobs and responsibilities.

Along with decluttering and last-minute DIY, you need to find a good agent and speak to a broker if you require a mortgage to fund your next move.

But there’s another critical aspect of the process that often gets overlooked: the conveyancing.

So, to avoid unnecessary hold-ups that could make your buyer lose patience, it’s worth getting ahead of the curve and following these five conveyancing tips.

Find a good solicitor

Do this at the start of the process; don’t wait. Ask friends and family for recommendations and get three quotes before you decide. Always check fee proposals thoroughly and remember that the cheapest isn’t always the best. If a solicitor is sluggish at responding to your initial call, it doesn’t bode well.

Be cautious

Consider going with a solicitor who communicates via a secure client portal. There have been cases – albeit they’re rare – where scammers have hacked into emails and used the information they glean from sales correspondence for fraudulent purposes. Be safe rather than sorry.

Get your ID together

You’ll need personal identification, such as a passport or driving licence, along with proof of address, such as bills or bank statements.

Organise your paperwork

Along with locating the title deeds, you’ll need all documentation relating to changes you’ve made to the property under your ownership. The list includes:

  • Planning permissions and building approvals (if relevant)
  • Gas safety checks
  • Energy performance certificates
  • FENSA certificates if you’ve replaced the windows and warranties for things like damp-proofing

You never quite know what information your buyer will ask for, so do the legwork early on to prevent a last-minute panicked search.

Respond promptly 

Your buyer’s solicitor may have some queries about the property; respond to them quickly. When one party goes quiet during the process, it can breed mistrust and ramp up everyone’s stress levels.

If you’re considering putting your home on the market, contact me here for a free valuation.

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 01548 859905 | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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Harriet George – Matching people with property

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Remember those post-lockdown days when selling a property was as easy as putting it on a property portal and waiting for the phone to ring off the hook? 

Those days are behind us. 

The selling market has become increasingly challenging, demanding more than just a ‘For Sale’ sign outside and that property portal listing. 

Today, selling a home requires skill, expertise, hard work and the ability to adapt to an ever-changing landscape and financial climate. 

The good news is if you are thinking of selling within the next couple of months, I’m here to help. 

Below are five ways exceptional estate agents can help you sell your home in this challenging market.

Not ‘one-size’ fits all

A top-notch estate agent doesn’t just list your property; they tailor a personalised marketing strategy to showcase your home in the best light. From eye-catching photography to targeted social media campaigns, they know how to reach the right buyers.

Expert negotiation

Negotiating the best price requires finesse and experience. A skilled agent can navigate the complex world of offers and counteroffers, ensuring you get the best possible deal without scaring away potential buyers.

In-depth AREA knowledge

Understanding the local market trends, pricing and community insights is vital. A knowledgeable agent uses this information to value your home correctly, position it intelligently and ultimately find the right buyer for you.

With you every step of the way

An experienced agent provides ongoing support, answers your questions and guides you through the process, making it as seamless as possible.

Efficient and effective 

A talented agent knows how to navigate and maintain progress through the sale process. From accurate valuations, proper staging, handling the legalities and keeping all parties informed, they ensure everything is in place to sell your home quickly and efficiently.

The difference a skilled estate agent can make is clear, especially when the property market has slowed down.

Thinking of moving?

Don’t navigate these challenging waters alone. 

Contact me today, and let me guide you every step of the way. 

Thanks for reading.

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 01548 859905 | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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Harriet George – Matching people with property

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In this quick read, I delve into the importance of accurate valuations – and how to price your property with precision. 

Don’t be tricked into high listing prices

The saying “stick it on high and wait for offers” is a common myth that doesn’t align with current market trends. A listing will gain the most attention within the first 48 hours of going live. If priced too high, prospective buyers will ignore it, and it may be viewed as an unworthy purchase. Be wise with your pricing strategy; you want to be ‘in’ the market, not just ‘on’ the market.

Estate agent leaflets: Fact or fiction?

You may receive countless leaflets claiming there are numerous buyers for your property, but how often is this true? In slower markets, such claims may be baseless. The key phrase to remember is, ‘Evidence breeds confidence’. This can be in the form of comparable properties in your area that have sold for a similar price and within a reasonable timeframe. If the claims lack proof, save the planet and pop the leaflet in the recycling!

Online valuations: A rough guide

Online valuations, especially on property portals, might tell you your home is worth more than it actually is. These are, at best, educated guesses – hence them being dubbed ‘guesstimates’ by agents in the know. Nothing can replace the knowledge and expertise of an experienced estate agent who can give you an accurate, personalised valuation. 

Beware of next-door syndrome

Just because Bob and Janet’s house next door went on for £400,000 and yours is much better doesn’t mean yours will fetch £450,000. Analyse the complete picture. If their house has reduced its price several times and is still on the market after 11 months, a higher price for yours may not be realistic.

Trust in honest, experienced estate agents

I believe in honest, transparent valuations. 

I’ll guide you through the entire process, present you with comparable evidence and ensure you understand every step.

Don’t let myths take you down the wrong (often painful) path.

Contact me for an accurate and fair assessment of your property. With years of experience in the South Hams housing market, I’m here to help you confidently navigate your property journey.

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 01548 859905 | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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Harriet George – Matching people with property

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If you’re considering listing your property for sale, I have some good news.

Traditionally, there’s a surge in serious buyers coming to the market in autumn after the summer lull – so you’ve timed your move wisely.

But what’s the psychology driving property hunters at this time of year? And how can you, as a seller, capitalise on buyers’ motivations to ensure you secure the best deal for your property? Let’s find out.

A new start

When summer ends, many people view the shift to autumn as a restart or a ‘mini-New Year’. After enjoying their summer break and settling the kids back into school, they’re ready to crack on with any major decisions they’ve been putting off. And for many people, that means finding a new home. Buyers at this time of year tend to mean business as they’ve given themselves a deadline of moving by Christmas.

Yearning for space

As the days get cooler and shorter, we all spend less time outside and more time indoors. As a result, any issues with space – or lack thereof – will come to the fore. Many people suddenly feel their current property is cramped and start dreading the cold, wet months ahead. As a result, they may conclude that they need more room to move ASAP.

Nesting syndrome

When the leaves turn gold and amber and the temperature drops, it’s a clear sign that the seasons are changing. Many respond to this shift by digging out their winter coats, cranking up the fire (if they have one) and seeking cosy comforts. Knowing how much time they’ll spend indoors over the next six months, they prioritise a comfortable living environment. And if their current home doesn’t pass the snug test, they’ll start looking for a new one.

How sellers can win over autumn buyers

  • Demonstrate that you’re organised, motivated and willing to move quickly to finalise a deal.
  • Give your home a ruthless declutter so it looks spacious instead of cramped.
  • Make your home feel cosy and welcoming by ensuring your lighting is warm and your home smells of autumn (try lighting a few pumpkin or cinnamon-scented candles).

If you’re thinking of selling your home, contact me today for a free market appraisal.

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 01548 859905 | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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Harriet George – Matching people with property

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If your dreams of buying a new home rely on the sale of your existing property, then there’s one fundamental question you need to answer.

Are you going to look for a new home first and then list your property – or do things the other way around?

While both scenarios can work out in the end, I think one option is far more favourable – and that’s getting your current property on the market first.

Here are four reasons why.

Show you’re a deal-maker, not a time-waster 

Competition is strong for the best properties, so sellers can afford to be choosy. If multiple offers are on the table, a buyer who has already listed their property (and is clearly motivated) is a more appealing prospect than one who hasn’t. 

It could save you money

Listing your property first puts you in a stronger negotiating position. If a seller wants a quick deal (perhaps they’ve fallen in love with another property and need to move fast), they may be more flexible on price if they think you can move swiftly.

Streamline the process

Once you have an offer accepted on a property, it will be all systems go with surveyors, lawyers and lenders. But if you haven’t listed your home, you’ll also need to get cracking on this front (by decluttering, tackling any DIY and choosing an agent). Juggling all these tasks at the same time can be stressful and time-consuming – but there is an easier way. To avoid having a multi-tasking meltdown, get all your ducks in a row with your property sale first.

Less chance of losing your dream home

One of the most common reasons property chains collapse is that one party grows impatient. So even if a seller accepts your offer on the understanding you still have to list your home, they may get frustrated if progress is slow – and pull the plug. You could miss out on your dream home because you started the process on the back foot and just can’t move quickly enough. 

If you’d like a free market appraisal of your property, contact me today.

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 01548 859905 | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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Harriet George – Matching people with property

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When it comes to preparing for a property sale, most sellers focus on the early stage of the process: sprucing up their home and choosing an agent to manage the marketing.

But there’s another element to nailing a successful property deal that gets less attention but is just as critical: negotiating the sale.

How do you know when to accept an offer and when to hold out for more? And what should your strategy be if you have more than one offer on the table?

With such large sums of money at stake, making decisions in the heat of the moment can be stressful, so it’s helpful to work with an experienced estate agent.

A top agent will have negotiated countless deals throughout their career and be able to advise you on the best steps to take.

Here’s an explainer of what it takes to negotiate a good deal to help you choose the right agent to manage your sale.

Get the asking price right. If your property is overvalued, you’ll be starting negotiations on the back foot. Savvy buyers won’t be fooled, meaning you’ll either have to backtrack on price or leave the property stuck on the market. An overvalued property is also less likely to attract multiple offers (that generate a bidding war).

Understand the local market. It’s crucial to know what similar properties in your area are currently selling for so you can gauge the competition.

Learn as much as you can about the buyer. Understanding a buyer’s motivation for moving and the timescale they’re working to is important. That way, you can judge the seriousness of their offer and if they have room to move on price.

Stay calm. Don’t let your emotions rule your decision-making. Stay cool-headed and don’t take the negotiation process personally.

Don’t focus solely on the numbers. Yes, you want to secure a good price, but if you have multiple offers, going with the buyer who can move according to your timeframe could save you in the long run. If you’ve already paid for a survey and legal fees for your next property, having your chain collapse could leave you out of pocket.

Stay positive. You may experience ups and downs on your property journey but keep the faith. You’ll get there.

For a free property market appraisal, contact me here today.

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 01548 859905 | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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Harriet George – Matching people with property

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Unless you’re one of those super-organised types who spend the year secretly buying stocking fillers and stashing them under your bed, Christmas is probably the last thing on your mind right now.

And why should it be? It’s summer, the schools are shut (for a few more days at least), and you still have months to dust off your reindeer antlers and Yuletide jumper.

But there is one reason why it may be worth thinking ahead to Christmas.

If you have plans to sell your home and hope to be in a new place by the end of the year, then act now. It can take time to get all the elements in place to finalise a property sale, but if you put your foot on the gas, you can still do it.

Here are four reasons to market your property now.

Active buyers

With the holiday season coming to an end, you can expect buyers to be out in force in September (traditionally one of the busiest months in the property sector). They’ll most likely be hoping to complete a deal by 2023 as well, so they will be proactive and committed.

Conveyancing delays

After you’ve agreed a deal with a buyer, your solicitor will kickstart the conveyancing process. Many people underestimate how long it takes to complete the necessary searches and paperwork. The sooner you get the ball rolling on your sale, the better.

Motivation

As with many things in life, it’s helpful to work to a deadline – otherwise, timeframes can keep drifting further away from you. Having a specific goal will help focus your efforts and give you a sense of momentum.

Puts you in a good negotiating position

If your moving plans also involve purchasing a property, consider how other sellers will view you. If you find your dream home and put an offer in, the seller will take you far more seriously if your current home is on the market. It shows you mean business and you’re not a time waster.

If you’d like a free market appraisal, contact me here today.

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 01548 859905 | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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Harriet George – Matching people with property

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It’s often said that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but then (confusingly), it’s also said that first impressions count… Why are all these clichés so important? Well, when marketing a property, it’s a bit of both: how a property looks will catch a buyer’s eye before they pore over the finer details.

Photos of your property are what hooks the buyer, what drives them to pick up the phone to arrange a viewing, and what helps them imagine living in your home. So, property photography is an essential part of the selling process.

In this quick read, I look at how to prepare your home for photographs and what to expect.

Tidy up

If you know your agent or a professional photographer is coming round, your first move should be a tidy-up. Clear those counters, pack away the clutter, make the bed and give the floors a quick vacuum. Photos of a messy, cluttered home aren’t going to entice buyers. But a sparkling clean and desirable property will.

Quick makeover

Just before you take a selfie, you might give your hair a quick pat down, check your teeth for bits of food and put on your best smile. Well, the same applies to your property. A superficial makeover can make the world of difference to property pics. Open the curtains and let the light in, add some fresh flowers to your coffee table and make sure the dog bed isn’t in the middle of the room.

You might even consider moving the furniture to create more space and putting away all the bottles of shampoo and conditioner that are lined up along the bath.

Don’t be offended

Some property photographers might come in and move things around. They probably won’t start rearranging your sofa and chairs, but they may angle furniture to make a room look bigger or clear a kitchen island of any dishes or piled-up post to get a clear shot.

There’s no need to get offended or upset by these little adjustments – after all, they know what sells and are working with you to achieve the best look for your home.

Whilst not all estate agents use professional photographers, you can bet that even if it’s someone with a smartphone snapping away, they’ll know how to make your house or flat look its best. Give them a helping hand by making sure they’ve got a clear and clutter-free space to take pics of.

If you’re looking to sell your home, get in touch with me today. I’ll help get the best photos to achieve your asking price.

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 01548 859905 | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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Harriet George – Matching people with property

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Buying a new home is a big step that comes with lots of considerations. Finding the right property in a good location at a price you’re willing to pay isn’t always easy and can take time.

But when you finally move into your new place to start the next chapter of your life, all the hard work is worth it.

Here are some factors to consider if you’re considering buying in 2023.

Shifting market

The property market has made headline news recently, but it’s important to remember that nothing happens in isolation. When interest rates change, so too does property price growth.

For example, 12 months ago, most buyers had no trouble securing a low-interest-rate mortgage but found sellers weren’t budging on asking prices. Skip forward a year, and the mortgage landscape is much tighter, but there’s more wiggle room on price.

It’s important to focus on the bigger picture (after all, the average person in the UK spends 21 years living in the same property*).

Affordability 

Saving for a deposit, working out what you can afford, costs of a mortgage, stamp duty… none of these things have changed.

It’s important to do your homework so you know how far you can stretch yourself. Work with a mortgage broker to understand the financial commitment you’ll be making if you choose to buy in the coming months.

Demand for housing is strong

The UK has a chronic undersupply of housing to buy or rent (and has had for years). This is one of the reasons why the Office for Budget Responsibility predicts prices will grow again in 2025. Long-term property is still a reliable investment.

Hunt down a bargain

In response to changing interest rates, some property owners, particularly buy-to-let landlords, may have decided to sell. If they’re looking for a quick deal, you may be able to negotiate a good price, especially if you’re a first-time buyer and aren’t in a chain.

Strong position

While any offer you make needs to be realistic, in the current market, you might be able to avoid things like bidding wars and competition from other buyers.

If you’re looking for a new property, contact me – I’m ready to help.  

* Zoopla

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 01548 859905 | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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Harriet George – Matching people with property

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The number of downsizers active in the housing market has skyrocketed in recent months*, and is it any wonder?

With steep hikes in energy bills, interest rates and inflation, many people feeling the squeeze are rethinking how – and where – they want to live.

Downsizers are often stereotyped as empty nesters flying the coop to enjoy retirement. But due to economic issues, a wider variety of homeowners are now looking to make a change.

For many of them, downsizing isn’t about starting a new chapter in life but securing financial breathing space by moving to a home (possibly in the same area) that is less expensive to buy and run.

Others looking to downsize may have returned to the office after the Covid working-from-home trend and no longer need as much living space.

Whatever the motivation for making the change, for those thinking about downsizing, here are five factors to consider.

Financial aims – It’s essential to have clear financial goals so you can determine a realistic budget for your next property. Are you looking to reduce your mortgage or become mortgage-free? Or is your aim to free up equity to help a family member? It may be useful to speak to a financial adviser so you can understand all the implications of your move.

Maintenance – If tending to a large garden and handling all the DIY is an unwanted burden, moving to a smaller place might be a welcome move. But bear in mind if you move to an apartment block, you may have to pay service charges and ground rent.

Look ahead – When choosing your next home, consider what your lifestyle is likely to be like five or ten years down the track. Think about issues such as maintenance and accessibility.

Space and storage – Downsizers should prepare themselves for a serious declutter. If you have lots of large pieces of furniture, consider giving some items away to friends or family.

Costs – Before you can enjoy reduced living costs in your new home, you’ll have to pay out on things like stamp duty, legal fees and removal expenses. Make sure you budget for these expenses.

If you’d like a free property valuation, contact me here today.

* Figures show a 53% rise in downsizers active in the market from September 2022 to April 2023, Savills.

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 01548 859905 | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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Harriet George – Matching people with property

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On Monday 17th July, Morrisons Kingsbridge Community Champion have invited our local food bank to hold a fundraising appeal where the challenge is to fill a whole parking space with donations. Anything you can give will help them support the increasing number of people who rely on them.

Each week Kingsbridge Food Bank provides food, hygiene and household products as well as energy top-ups, prescription deliveries and other support to over 167 households in the town and surrounding areas, with numbers increasing daily.

Run by an amazing team of volunteers, they receive no direct government funding and rely on donations of food and money from the community.

The cost-of-living crisis has seen a dramatic increase in the number of people struggling to pay for food and bills, but the good news is that we can all do something to help.

How you can help

Some of the essential, everyday goods that are most popular are:

Breakfast Bars

Belvita Biscuits and Soft Bakes

Snack Bars

Cereals

Tea, coffee, squash, juice, sweet and chocolate biscuits

Jam, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Spread, Marmite

Pasta, rice, and sauces

Dried / Instant Noodles

Beans / Spaghetti

They’re also seeing a dramatic increase in people with food allergies struggling to afford speciality food – which is significantly more expensive than regular groceries. So, Gluten, Dairy, Nut-free products are especially welcome.

Certain products can be donated but with special care taken, including dairy, perishable items like fresh fruit and veg (grown in gardens or on allotments) can be delivered to the centre at The Avon Centre, Wallingford Road, Kingsbridge TQ7 1ND during opening hours.

Homemade cooking or baking can be delivered directly to the centre – but ingredients must be listed, in writing, on delivery, in accordance with Natasha’s Law 2021.

Even the smallest donations add up when people pull together to help their neighbours and their community.

And it’s not just donations of food that are welcomed. Our food bank needs financial support to keep the operation running. So, another way of helping could be to make a monetary donation or set up a standing order. Please let me know if you’d like their bank details.

I feel fortunate that I can support our local food bank, including publicising the excellent work they do and saluting the amazing volunteers who make it all happen. 

Thanks for reading.

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 01548 859905 | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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Harriet George – Matching people with property

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Before selling your home, you might be thinking about ways to add value or unlock potential so buyers can get a feel for what it would be like to live there themselves. But renovations are costly and may not pay off. So, what can you do to make a change without spending too much? 

Whilst it’s always a good idea to spruce up a property before it goes on the market, the key is to know exactly what changes really add value before making any big decisions. 

In this quick read, I look at ways to increase value without spending thousands of pounds. 

Kerb appeal

First impressions count, and if the exterior of a property looks unkempt, buyers are going to be put off before they’ve even stepped through the front door. Whilst tidying up, fixing broken pipes and hiding bins immediately neatens a property up, what other changes could add value? 

  • Paint or replace your front door for an immediate makeover.
  • Add some greenery with hanging baskets. 
  • Repaint the exterior of the property to make it look fresh and welcoming. 
  • Make sure the parking area is clearly marked out.

Redecorate

It might seem counterintuitive to spend money redecorating a home you don’t intend to live in, but freshening up a property’s paintwork can add serious value.

Choose neutral colours to create a light, airy feeling, and pack away clutter to add space. Adding storage solutions such as shelves or cupboards can also make a property feel more spacious. 

Extensions and/or loft conversions 

If you want to add serious value and can spare the cash, consider extending your home or converting the loft or garage. Research has shown that adding an extra one or two bedrooms to a property can boost its value by around 20%, and even more if your property is in a city. 

Speak to an agent if you are considering a large renovation project to see how much real value an extra room could add. Remember, extending or adding a dormer could require planning permission. 

Kitchen focus 

Replacing a kitchen is costly, but as one of the most used areas of a property, it could be worth the investment. Minor renovations to add the wow factor include painting or replacing cabinet doors, changing door handles, fixing superficial defects, descaling and thoroughly cleaning all appliances. Open shelving adds a sense of space, whilst new lighting could completely transform the whole appearance.  

Garden makeover 

You don’t need to completely redesign the garden to add value, but making sure it looks its best is a must. Hire a gardener for a one-off revamp if you don’t have the time (or patience) to do it yourself. Make sure buyers see the potential of the garden by adding furniture or a BBQ so they can imagine spending their summer in the sun. 

Are you looking to sell your home? Contact me so I can value your property and get things moving.

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 01548 859905 | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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Harriet George – Matching people with property

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Appointing the right agent to handle the sale of your home is crucial; for most people their home is their biggest asset so it’s imperative to get it right.  Selling a property can be a stressful and complex process.  You need an agent who has the experience to market your property correctly, the skill to handle negotiations as well as co-ordinate solicitors, surveyors and mortgage providers along with every buyer, seller and agent in the chain.

The first few weeks on the market are key when it comes to generating interest and securing a buyer at the optimum price.  As soon as a property is reduced the momentum has been lost so appointing an agent with the correct pricing strategy is imperative.  In my experience properties that come to the market at too much money end up selling for less than they would have done had they been realistically priced in the first place.

Here’s my guide which will hopefully ensure you get it right!

1. Ask for recommendations from friends, family and colleagues.

Speaking to someone who’s had first hand experience of a particular agent is invaluable although it’s important to get the name of the person they dealt with as often it’s the individual not the firm who did the great job.  A good reputation is hard to achieve as an Estate Agent so pay particular attention if a name crops up again and again.

2. Independent vs Corporate.

It’s important to make sure when it comes to selling a property that it’s presented in the best possible light and reaches as many buyers as possible.  Any agent can list your property on Rightmove or Zoopla but an independent agent with a trusted reputation and excellent local knowledge will provide a more tailored and specialist service which will help maximise the full potential value of your home.

3. Do your own research before speaking to any agent.

Zoopla has a great tool which estimates what your home is worth however it doesn’t take into account any work you may have carried out nor does it have the inside track on the circumstances when you bought, perhaps it had been on the market a long time and you got a bargain!

Look what your competition is, how many homes like yours are on the market and how long have they been available, have they been reduced etc.

Consider properties that have sold, again Zoopla has this information readily available.

Identify agents who are used to handling properties such as yours and have the right experience to guide you through the process.

4. Online presence and social media.

A strong social media presence is extremely important for estate agents today.  It enables an agent to portray their brand and provide impeccable customer service by dealing with enquiries swiftly.  Spend some time looking at an agents profile on Instagram and Facebook, how do they present themselves, are they the right agent to handle the sale of your property?

It’s also important to look at google reviews – are they all 5 star and do they have up to date reviews as opposed to ones from several years ago.

5. Invite three agents to value your home.

Pay particular attention to punctuality, politeness, professionalism and knowledge.

Have a chat with the agent first and be honest about your circumstances, needs and timescales.  A good agent will give thought to your position and tailor their recommendations accordingly.

Take the time to show them round your home, it’s a good time to build rapport, see if they ask interesting and sensible questions and establish whether you feel you could work with them.

Offer them a drink and once they’re ready to present their proposal invite them to sit at a table – it’s so much less awkward than them getting off the sofa every time they want to show you something!

Try not to be swayed by the one who comes up with the highest price and offers the lowest fee.  A good agent should be able to show you comparable properties which have sold in the area to demonstrate how they arrived at the figure for yours.  If they don’t show you any examples then ask how they’re justifying the value.  Many agents will show you what they’re currently listing but it’s the properties they’ve sold that are important.

Keep in mind that the person you’re meeting may not have very much involvement once the property is not the market.  You may think they’re fabulous but what about the rest of their team?  Ask who you’ll be dealing with on a day to day basis and who’ll be carrying out viewings.  Don’t be afraid of asking to meet those people before you make a decision.

An experienced agent should talk you through the selling process, how they’ll market your property, the type of brochure they’ll produce, content etc. but if they don’t then ask.

Don’t be afraid of asking lots of questions – what’s the market like at the moment.  How many buyers do they have on their books who could be interested in your property?  How often will you get feedback and what will it comprise?

Establish what will happen once a sale is agreed, does the negotiator personally handle the sales progression or does it get passed across to a centralised team?

Also ask whether there’s anything you can do to make the house more saleable / enhance the value.  Just as you’ve been honest about your position take note if the agent is comfortable giving you sincere advice.

6. Fees.

Agents normally charge a % of the selling price plus VAT.  There may be additional costs for advertising, professional photography or if you withdraw the property from sale.  A good agent will normally give you a detailed breakdown and there should be no hidden costs.  Don’t assume cheapest is best, it rarely is.

7. Teamwork.

It’s important to remember that you’re working with the agent not against them.  You’re both looking for the same result – the best price in your desired timeframe.  Having taken the time to do your research and select the agent you feel comfortable dealing with, if you’re working together you’re most likely to get the best result.  Take on board any advice they may give, at the end of the day they’re the expert and you’ve engaged them to steer you smoothly through the process.

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 01548 859905 | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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Harriet George – Matching people with property

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Picture this: After a long and exhausting property search you finally find the home that’s just right for you. But then the estate agent mentions that it’s a ‘probate property’ and you’re left scratching your head.

While it’s a term that you’ve heard before, you’re not entirely sure what it means and if it could scupper your homebuying plans.

Well, let me explain.

What is probate?

When a person dies, the assets that they owned in their sole name can’t immediately be sold off or distributed. It’s a case of waiting until the government has granted ‘probate’.

Usually, it’s the executors of the will that apply for probate (if there’s no will there’s a slightly different procedure).

Once probate has been granted (and inheritance tax and debts have been paid) the executors can distribute assets according to the deceased’s wishes.

What does it mean for a buyer?

It’s common for executors to market a property before probate is granted. So if you find yourself viewing a property where probate is pending, it’s all above board.

The executors are acting in the expectation that by the time both parties are ready to exchange contracts, probate will have come through.

You can’t complete a property transaction until probate has been granted, but you can get much of the paperwork sorted in the meantime.

You might have to be patient

There’s quite a lot of paperwork to be done, and documentation to find, before the executor can file for probate. And once the actual application has been lodged, it can take between six to 12 weeks to be granted (it’s tricky to be precise because there have been processing delays recently).

Ask the right questions

To get a realistic idea of timescale, it’s useful to find out how advanced the executors are in the process (discuss this with the estate agent). If the application has been lodged, then there’s a good chance things are ticking along nicely. If the application hasn’t gone in, you may be in for a longer wait.

Be sensitive

If by some chance a relative of the deceased is present when you view the property, be sensitive. It may be that you’re viewing their childhood home or a property that has a lot of emotional significance to them. If you have questions, direct them to the estate agent.

Benefits of probate properties

Renovation opportunity

If you’re looking for a doer-upper, a probate property might suit your needs. It may have been some time since any renovation work was carried out so you can put your own stamp on the home.

No onward chain

You’ve obviously heard about people getting caught up in complicated chains because they’re buying off someone who is buying off someone else and so on. With a probate property there is no onward chain so you might have more flexibility regarding matters like completion dates.

If you’re looking to buy a new home, contact me here today.

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 01548 859905 | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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Harriet George – Matching people with property

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Post pandemic, having outside space has taken on a whole new level of importance and can add significant value to a property. But what happens when your garden oasis threatens the chance of selling your home?

Some lush green plants might look nice but could signal trouble for a house sale.

In this quick read, I look at the plants that may impact your selling price.

Japanese Knotweed 

The number one culprit for knocking value off homes is Japanese Knotweed, which can grow up to 10cm in a day and is illegal to plant. The powerful root system can weaken the foundations of a property, damage drainage systems and uproot paving slabs. It’s been labelled an ‘invasive’ plant and can knock as much as 15% off house prices because of the utter chaos it can cause.

In the past, properties with Japanese Knotweed have struggled to get mortgages, and buyers often require a special survey to assess potential for damage. You’ll need a specialist to remove it.

Giant Hogweed 

Although this plant is quite attractive, it can cause serious skin irritation and requires expert removal. Bizarrely, it’s part of the carrot family but is so dangerous it can cause burns to the skin. Once removed, it’s classed as controlled waste and needs to go to landfill.

Understandably, gardens with Giant Hogweed will also affect how much your property sells for and ethically, you should let potential buyers know if you’ve spotted it in your garden.

Bamboo

Just like Japanese Knotweed, bamboo plants can grow incredibly quickly and wreak havoc on a property’s foundations and brickwork. Whilst not illegal to plant, the roots can spread to neighbouring properties, and if it starts causing damage, you could be liable for costs. Whilst it may not affect your house price, it could cause future problems for buyers depending on the type of bamboo and its root system.

Large Trees (Oak, Poplar and Willow)

If you’ve got one in your back garden or close to your home, be warned it could impact your house price. Roots of large trees can spread out up to 40m, wriggling their way under building structures and paving stones, and causing general damage. It’s best to consult an expert tree surgeon if you’ve got a large tree in your back garden or speak to the Local Authority if you have one out front.

Other plants that could hamper your house sale include:

  • Ivy: whilst nice to look at, it can get into cracks, lift roof tiles and damage pipework.
  • Himalayan Balsam: don’t be fooled by the beautiful purple flowers; this is illegal to plant. It grows so fast it can quickly kill off other plants and cause a nuisance.
  • Leylandii trees: typically grown as a hedge, apart from annoying neighbours and blocking light, the fast-spreading roots can cause damage.

When selling a property, people always tend to deal with interior issues before going to market. But it’s a good idea to also assess the front and back gardens for any concerns that could arise. That way, you won’t be caught off guard as a potential sale progresses. 

If you’re looking to sell your home, contact me today.

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 01548 859905 | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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Harriet George – Matching people with property

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If you’re selling a property, you might think that selling to one of your nearest and dearest is the answer. After all, they know what they’re buying, you’ll save on professional fees, and the home you love will be left in good hands. 

But is it really that simple? Unfortunately, no. 

In this quick read, I look at some of the things that could go (very) wrong if you’re thinking about selling to a family member or friend. 

Why sell to family/friends? 

There are plenty of reasons for selling to family or friends. Perhaps you want to help a child get onto the property ladder, or you want to keep the property in the family for future generations. Maybe you think you can avoid costs associated with selling a property on the wider market, or maybe you just want to help someone out financially. Whatever the thought process, be prepared for possible fall-outs. 

Selling privately

If you think selling your property without an agent is the way to go, you may want to think again. Yes, you will save money on agency fees, and you won’t have the hassle of viewings. But, on the other side of the coin, you might not be getting the best price for your home by selling to someone you know, as there’ll be no other offers. 

Without the professional expertise or marketing skills of an established agent, you’ll never know what you could have got on the open market.

Tax implications 

Did you know, it’s perfectly legal to sell your home to a loved one for just £1? Something lots of people have done in the past to help younger generations out. However, this act of kindness comes with huge tax implications for both the seller and buyer. 

Without diving into the ins and outs of UK tax laws, it is definitely an area that needs careful research if you decide to sell to someone you know to avoid the wrath of HMRC. 

Fall-out 

With any property sale, there’s the potential for things to go wrong. Add a personal relationship into the mix and it could make things very uncomfortable. 

For example, a property survey is a must, but what happens if this turns up something you weren’t expecting? Relations could become strained if both parties can’t agree on the price. 

How much do you know about your friend or loved one’s financial situation? Could you get stuck in a chain if they’re unable to sell? What about their credit history – will they be eligible for a mortgage? Just because you’re good friends doesn’t necessarily mean you’d make great business partners. 

By selling through an agent, you’re removed from this part of a property purchase, and they get the answers you need without it feeling like you’re prying. 

If you’re looking to sell your property, talk to me. I take on the stress and hassle, so you don’t have to. 

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 01548 859905 | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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Harriet George – Matching people with property

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Want to guard against the disappointment of having your property deal collapse? Then go with an agent who is skilled at sales progression. 

Selling a property is a bit like a football match – it’s a game of two halves.

The first half centres on finding a buyer and agreeing a deal, and the second half is about making that deal a reality.

Most buyers are familiar with the wheeling and dealing that goes on in the first part of the process but underestimate what it takes to get an offer to completion.

But with industry insiders estimating that 30% of deals collapse before completion, it’s clear that having an expert handle sales progression is important.

Here’s a list of how a good agent can help get a deal across the line.

Manage expectations

A good agent ensures all parties have realistic expectations about dates and timescales.

This is because deals often fail when buyers and sellers aren’t on the same page or don’t understand the complexity of the process.

Anger and frustration can scupper a deal if one party grows impatient or feels things are moving too quickly.

Communicate with all parties

They say no news is good news, but in the property world, radio silence breeds mistrust and suspicion.

So, it’s vital to keep all parties regularly updated on the progress of surveys and searches and to keep the lines of communication open. A proactive agent checks in with solicitors, sellers and buyers and liaises with other agents in the chain.

If you’ve never bought or sold a home, or are a bit rusty on what’s involved, having a professional steer the process can make all the difference.

Keep sellers and buyers motivated

When deals drag on, fatigue can set in. One party may wonder if moving is worth all the hassle or start scrolling property portals to see if an alternative property catches their eye.

A good agent steps in before things reach this critical state by reminding buyers and sellers that progress is being made, and the importance of staying positive to realise their property dreams.

Choosing an agent

When choosing an estate agent, go for an all-rounder – one who is skilled at marketing and negotiating but will also help you see the deal through to completion.

Contact me today if you’d like a free property market appraisal.

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 01548 859905 | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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Harriet George – Matching people with property

View the properties that Harriet George currently has on the market here

When you’re selling a property, getting a valuation is the first step. You need to know what a home is worth before you can plan your next move, but what if the value you’re given is completely inaccurate?

If your property has been intentionally overvalued (priced more than it’s worth), it’s probably down to the agent hoping to win your business and bag more commission once sold. Of course, if the overvaluation was what the agent genuinely believed it to be worth, ultimately, the price might have to be reduced for sale. 

Whatever the reason, time and time again, properties are put on the market at an over-inflated price. Sellers are forced to lower the asking price or have to accept a much lower offer. So, why do people still fall for overvaluations? 

Flattery

Of course, it feels great to think your home is worth a huge amount. All the years you’ve spent living there, making improvements – to you, your home is priceless. But you’re not a property professional. You’re emotionally attached to the memories of a property and can easily be blindsided by a high valuation. Unfortunately, falling for flattery can tie you into a contract, delay the sale of your home and stop you from moving on.  

What the overvaluation represents 

More money means more opportunities for your next home. It could represent an extra bedroom, a bigger garden or two bathrooms instead of one. When a property has been overpriced, you could be lulled into a false sense of security about what your buying power is. 

Yes, you’ll still need a mortgage and to sort out your finances, but if you think you’re going to achieve more than you originally thought, it’s only natural to set your sights higher. 

Lack of research 

Selling a property isn’t as simple as contacting an agent, setting a price and getting viewings. You need to know what’s on the market, how much similar properties in the area have been sold for, how long properties take to sell and so on. If you don’t research the local market, there’s no way of knowing whether your property has been valued accurately. 

Naivety 

If you get a couple of agents round and one gives you a much bigger number than the other, you’ll probably go for the one that is promising a higher return. But are they the right agent for you? Have you spoken to other local agents? What’s their success rate? What are their terms and conditions? 

All good agents know that those coming in with overvaluations and inflated promises very rarely deliver. An ethical and experienced agent will give you an honest and accurate property valuation based on hard evidence that clearly demonstrates the value. They will compare similar properties, similar sizes, and similar styles too, giving the most realistic figure. They may suggest making small improvements to add value or to make the property more appealing. What they won’t do is promise you something that is unrealistic and leave your sale in limbo for months to come. 

Are you looking to sell your home? I pride myself on providing accurate, well-researched valuations. Get in touch with me today to hear how I can help you achieve the best possible price for your home.

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 01548 856992 | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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Harriet George – Matching people with property

View the properties that Harriet George currently has on the market here

Just the thought of moving home can make you break out into a cold sweat. It’s a life experience that many people think of as one of the most stressful things you can do. So how can you minimise those feelings of panic? 

April is Stress Awareness Month, and if you’ve got a move coming up, you’ll need to keep your wits about you to get it all done. 

In this quick read, we look at ways to make selling your home a little bit less stressful and more manageable. 

Start packing early

Whether you’ve found a property or you’re still looking, getting ahead of packing is always a good idea. Start with decluttering your space. Reducing the amount of stuff you take with you is the first step, and you could always make a few extra pounds by selling items you no longer need. 

Pack the items you rarely use first. Clearly label boxes with what items have been packed away and where they belong. Work room by room to try and keep some order. 

Find an agent you trust 

It’s essential to work with an agent you trust. A good agent is invaluable and will help with a realistic valuation, marketing your property and proactively organising viewings. 

I like to do block viewings, so you can get a whole load of viewings done at once without the need for frantic tidy-ups every few days. 

Unfortunately, you might not find a property through the same agent, but it’s always worth talking to them about what they have available, so you can keep things more streamlined. 

Appoint a solicitor and broker early 

Getting a good solicitor on board before you actually need their services reduces the panic of having to find one at short notice. The same applies for a mortgage broker. Instead of looking for a mortgage yourself, use the services of a professional. They’ll have access to deals that you might miss or that aren’t widely advertised. 

Make it easier for kids 

If you’ve got little ones, you’ll know that change can be quite overwhelming for them. Make them part of the move by creating their own special moving box with all their favourite things in it. If you can visit the property you’re moving to with them, show them their new bedroom, ask them how they’d like it decorated or where they want to put their toys. 

If you’re searching for a new home, I can help. I’ve got the experience and know-how to reduce your worries about moving.

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 01548 856992 | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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Harriet George – Matching people with property

View the properties that Harriet George currently has on the market here

It’s every seller’s worst nightmare. You’re on the cusp of finalising the sale of your property when your buyer gets cold feet and runs for the hills.

Just like that, your plans go out the window. If you’re part of a chain, the whole deal could collapse, meaning you need to find a new buyer for your property and a new place to buy.

And it’s even more frustrating if you had several offers on the table but opted to go with a buyer who was adamant that your home was ‘The One’ for them.

So how can sellers avoid this sad scenario and recognise the committed buyers from the chancers?

While no sale comes with an ironclad guarantee, here are four signs that your buyer means business.

Still wants in after a second viewing

It’s great if a buyer makes an offer at the first viewing, but you need to be sure they’re not just getting carried away in the moment. Always arrange a second viewing so the buyer can take another look at what the property offers. These viewings are also a good opportunity for your agent to quiz the buyer about their plans and motivation.

Knows what they want

You’re looking for a buyer who knows the area and wants to move there for a reason – such as the schools, family connections or access to transport. A buyer with vague search criteria may still be figuring out what they really want. That means they could decide your property is just right for them – until they see something else a few weeks later and change their mind.

Is organised

A committed buyer has researched the local property market and knows how much they can afford to borrow. They already have a mortgage-in-principle, if required, and a solicitor, details of which they should be able to share.

Keeps you in the loop

If a buyer is genuine, they’ll be eager to keep you informed of progress on surveys and paperwork. That’s because they’re just as worried about the sale falling through as you are.

I meet EVERY buyer so do my utmost to ensure they’re as committed as possible and it’s the right property for them. Contact me to arrange a free market appraisal of your property.

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 01548 856992 | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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Harriet George – Matching people with property

View the properties that Harriet George currently has on the market here

If your dreams of a speedy property sale have hit the skids, it’s time to change strategies. Read on to discover the best way to get your sale back on track.

No one likes admitting they’ve got something wrong. But if your home has been on the market for some time and interest has gone cold, it’s time to reassess the situation. Before you can determine your next move, you need to identify if:

  • The price is too high and you need to reduce it; or
  • Your agent isn’t up to scratch and you need to replace them.

Consider dropping the price if: 

  • Lots of buyers have viewed your property, but there have been no offers.
  • An open house generated lots of footfall – and raised eyebrows at the asking price.
  • Something has changed in your local area that has negatively influenced the market, such as a controversial building project getting the go-ahead.
  • A buyer withdraws an offer because their lender thinks the property is overvalued and won’t greenlight a mortgage deal.
  • The asking price breaks the ceiling for your road/local area. Unless there’s something exceptional about the property (for example, it’s much bigger than neighbouring ones), the price could be unrealistic. Recent interest rate hikes mean buyers are cautious about over-extending themselves.
  • You need an urgent sale for personal or work reasons and a cash buyer is driving a hard bargain.

Consider dropping your agent if: 

  • Your home is well presented but you’ve not had much buyer interest.
  • The marketing is lacklustre. The photos look amateur, and your agent is less active on social media than your great granny.
  • They’re slow to return your calls and always seem to be full of excuses.
  • You’re underwhelmed by their people skills and drive.

But wait, there’s one more important thing…

While a modest reduction might be justified in some circumstances, if a drastic price drop is required, you’re entitled to ask how your agent got it wrong in the first place (and are they the person to turn things round now). 

In some cases, a seller might need to drop their price and their agent to get their sale moving again.

Contact me here for an honest valuation and no-nonsense selling advice.

www.harrietgeorge.co.uk | 01548 856992 | 07919 526786 | harriet@harrietgeorge.co.uk

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Harriet George – Matching people with property

View the properties that Harriet George currently has on the market here

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