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Happy New Year!
As we welcomed in 2016 many of us turned our minds to our resolutions and how we will start changing our lives for the better.
A national newspaper recently published a survey of the top 50 New Year’s resolutions made by the British public.
Rather than cover the entire list here’s the top five things people wanted to change about themselves. (By the way, number 32 could have applied to our office – eat less biscuits.)
- Exercise more.
- Eat more healthily.
- Cut down on alcohol.
- Stop smoking.
- Spend less time on Facebook /the internet.
At Cowling Estate Agents as much as we’d love to, we can’t help you with those, but we can definitely ably assist you with number 14 on the list – move to a new home.
Contrary to a general misconception January is a good time to put your property on the market for several reasons. Firstly the turn of the year, as shown by the aforementioned survey, is when people take stock of their lives and think of moving.
Secondly, many people wait to the spring before putting their property on the market and in doing so they join what’s traditionally a very congested market place. Your property will stand out from the crowd because at this time of the year there isn’t much of a crowd to speak of.
Last, but not least, potential buyers are surfing the internet daily looking for their next new home. In our experience spring and summer viewers can be made up of a lot of ‘window shoppers’. People who aren’t sure of their moving plans but are just having a look at what’s out there.
People who are looking for property in the winter tend to fall into the serious buyer category and we find more places are sold with less viewings during this time.
So good luck with your 2016 resolutions, and if moving tops your to do list give us a call at Cowling Estate Agents as we’d be delighted to help.
Thanks for reading,
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It’s not that long now until December 25 as the TV, internet and radio reminds us on an almost by the minute basis.
Excited kids, family gatherings, too much food, Sir Cliff Richard songs and repeats on the telly.
A time full of traditions, some good, some not so good.
A fairly new tradition among the collection of festive must dos is people reaching for tablets on Boxing Day.
Not to cure excess enjoyment. No, the type of tablets we’re referring to are of the electronic variety. Think swipe rather than swallow.
For the past five years the property websites in the UK have recorded huge amounts of visitors on December 26.
Well people are at home, with time on their hands and want to have a look to see what properties are up for sale. It’s either that or sitting through the 101st showing of the original Wizard of Oz.
It’s also a time people start to think about moving. For many a new home is at the top of their New Year Resolutions list. It turns from being a might do to a must do.
While the big day is indeed getting nearer you still have time to give yourself a great chance of being seen by those Boxing Day browsers.
If you want to sell in the New Year get us to list your property now before any festive decorations go up. Photos in January showing Christmas trees tend to make a property look a little odd.
Obviously you don’t want people walking round your home while you tuck into your turkey, or as the family sits around playing board games or with heads buried in their new gadgets.
But having your property on the property portals over Christmas gives it a much better chance of selling earlier in the New Year.
I’ve often seen that the first two weeks of January can be very busy with people visiting properties they have seen on line during the Christmas break.
So now’s a great time to call us at Cowling Estate Agents in to value your property and let’s get your New Year off to a great start before it’s even begun.
Thanks for reading.
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Estate agents’ fees for selling a property can vary wildly.
The average fee in our area is around 1.25%, but I’ve seen some agents advertising fees as low as 0.25 % or even a flat rate of £500.
There is no way any agent doing their job properly can charge £500 and make money. They would have to cut more corners than a Grand Prix driver in several key areas just to break even or reduce their losses.
For a property to achieve its best price in the shortest possible period of time it needs to be well marketed. Online portals aren’t cheap, neither are professionally designed marketing materials. However, the area where the vendor can get really short-changed by a ‘cheap’ fee is the level of personal service they receive.
When an agency bases its business on charging rock bottom fees there’s no way they can attract the best level of staff because good people won’t work for low wages. The saying ‘if you pay peanuts you get monkeys’ springs to mind.
Remember selling your home is probably one of the single biggest transactions you will make in your life. You want to get the best possible price for your property. The difference between a quick sale and a good sale could be tens (even hundreds) of thousands of pounds.
At Cowling we’re flexible on our commission fees to a point. We’re not a ‘pile them high, sell them cheap’ agency but we do understand it’s a competitive market and we always aim to be competitive.
But one thing we never compromise on is our commitment to looking after your property needs as best we can.
Thanks for reading,
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One thing the team here at Cowling Estate Agents has in common is that we’ve all been involved in the sale and purchase of our own homes in the past.
This means we have walked a mile in our clients’ shoes and can see our business from their perspective.
We were discussing this in our office this week. One of the biggest frustrations we had with our individual dealings with estate agents was how hard it was to speak with them. Basic stuff, but very important when you’re making what will probably be the biggest purchase/sale of your life.
I remember when I was in the process of buying my first home and leaving messages for the agent to call me but only getting a response two or three days later.
It was one of the things I vowed to do differently when I started Cowling Estate Agents.
That’s why we include our mobile numbers on our business cards. That’s also why we operate an ‘out of hours’ service where if a client wants to contact us after usual office hours they can.
In the age of the internet we could have gone down the route of being an online only estate agency, having a virtual office somewhere and doing the majority of our work over the phone or via email.
But from our own buying and selling experience we all agreed that having offices in prominent local locations would help us deliver even better client service.
We get lots of people popping into our office to discuss how their sale is progressing or to book a valuation. For me that face to face interaction is incredibly important.
When you instruct an agent to work on your behalf you want there to be trust and rapport. We believe the best way to achieve that is by meeting with and talking to people about their needs.
Thanks for reading,
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As the weather gets colder and darker, and the heating and lights stay on longer, there’s one thing I can predict with even more certainty than the Queen’s Speech broadcasting on Christmas Day.
The arrival of my energy bills will make my heart sink. Is there an alternative to this pain apart from moving to sunnier climes?
Well one option is installing solar panels on your property. There are two main types of solar panels. Some can save you money by converting the sun’s light into electricity. This can be used to power your home while excess electricity can be sold back to the National Grid.
Others heat your hot water and, yes, save you money on your bills too.
It’s generally estimated that the return on your investment is around 10 per cent over a ten year period. Plus it’s sustainable energy and that’s good for the environment.
At Cowling we’re often asked if investing in solar panels influences a property’s value. The answer isn’t clear-cut, it depends on the type and age of the solar panels. One thing I would say is a home with solar panels is a home with an added selling point, as the prospect of reduced energy bills is an attractive one to potential buyers.
If you think you may sell your property within five years of solar installation then possibly it won’t make financial sense to you in the short term.
However, if see your home as your castle for at least the next ten years or more it should represent money well spent.
Thanks for reading,