• EVENING VIEWINGS: WOW YOUR BUYERS WITH A WARM WELCOME WHEN IT’S DARK AND COLD

    After the clocks go back and the nights start earlier, viewings at your home happen in a whole new light. Most buyers will come for their first look in the evening on their way home from work, so instead of letting the sunshine in to make your rooms feel bright, autumn and winter are all about turning up the cosy. It might surprise you, but longer evenings are one of the advantages of selling at this time of year. Buyers get to feel just how snug your home is after dark – something they rarely experience if they’re looking in spring or summer. With that in mind, this week’s blog…

  • INTEREST RATE RISES: HOW TO KEEP YOUR SALE OR REMORTGAGING PLANS ON TRACK

    Even though many lenders lowered their mortgage rates last week, we all face a bumpy road ahead. The media is battling it out to write the scariest headlines of an imminent price crash and soaring interest rates, but there isn’t a newspaper, market analyst or financial expert who knows the future of the property market. Nonetheless, many homeowners will be affected by rising interest rates. If you’re planning to remortgage within the next year or so, you’re likely to pay a higher rate than you do now. And if you’re looking to sell, you might feel like you’ve missed the boat to move. Fortunately, it’s not all bad news. The…

  • CHANGING ESTATE AGENTS: COULD A FRESH START BE THE KEY TO GETTING YOUR HOME SOLD?

    It doesn’t always work out with your first choice of estate agent. Perhaps things went well at first, but viewings are now thin on the ground. Maybe you sense your agent’s initial enthusiasm has begun to cool. Or you could be wondering if your home was overvalued at the start, particularly if you’re being pressed for a hefty price reduction now. Being stuck on the market is no fun, and when your neighbours are selling their homes and being whisked away by removal vans, there comes a point when you start to think about a new approach. But how can you be sure that changing estate agents will turn your…

  • AUTUMN MARKET VIEW: PLANNING YOUR SPRING MOVE NOW COULD SAVE YOU TIME AND MONEY

    Well, that was quite a week for the property market! Although it’s always a hot topic in the press, the amount of coverage last week was completely off the scale. However, as the dust begins to settle after the mini-budget, you might be wondering what it all means if you’re planning to sell your home, either now or early next year. Autumn has always been an underrated season for selling. The golden leaves make streets and gardens look wonderful for photos and viewings, while the pressures of Christmas and school-holiday deadlines are gone. But is that enough in 2022? Actually, yes! Despite the initial shocks and scary headlines, the mini-budget…

  • SECRETS OF HOME STYLING: TINY LITTLE TOUCHES THAT ADD BIG MONEY TO YOUR SELLING PRICE

    Imagine if you could increase your sale price by up to 8% with just a shopping list and a weekend. Professional styling is proven to help homes sell faster and for more money by consciously elevating the look of every room. From setting the stage to creating a sense of space and those all-important final touches, a stylist’s expert eyes can spot the untapped potential we mere mortals might miss. If you’ve ever visited the show-home at a new development, you’ll have seen how builders spend thousands of pounds on interior designers. They understand the power of careful styling and how it can turbo-charge their profits. But you don’t need…

  • HAGGLE OR HOLD FIRM? HOW TO ACHIEVE THE BEST PRICE IN A CHANGEABLE MARKET

    The property market is a funny old world. One minute estate agents are running out of homes; the next, you’re told the market is running out of steam. What are you supposed to believe? According to Rightmove, prices are up year-on-year by 8.2% but down month-on-month by 1.3% (prices usually fall in August, and this year’s drop mirrors the average of 1.3% over the last decade.) Meanwhile, research by TwentyEA shows that around 26,000 new sales were agreed in the UK every week last month, about the same as the year’s average weekly total. In short, the market is up, down and unchanged, all at the same time! So, has…

  • BROWN, BUT NOT OUT: KEEPING YOUR GARDEN LUSH FOR VIEWINGS IN A HOT SUMMER

    As our parks and gardens bake to a crisp, luscious green lawns are starting to feel like a distant memory. That can be a challenge when selling your home, given that gardens are deal-breakers for more homebuyers than ever. As well as stopping people in their tracks while scrolling through online listings, your garden can be the deciding factor in turning a viewing into a sale. But traditional gardens are beginning to struggle with a changing climate. To keep them green, healthy and resilient through hotter summers and soggy winters, professional gardeners are digging around for alternative planting ideas and sustainable new techniques. Regardless of hosepipe bans, conserving water is…

  • TEMPERATURE CONTROL: FUTURE-PROOF YOUR HOME’S VALUE WITH OUR CLIMATE-PROOFING TIPS

    After 2022’s heatwave with temperatures over 40°C, and 2021’s freeze where the mercury dropped as low as -23°C, our homes are having to deal with changing weather. Property developers have been busily installing extra insulation, high-performance  glazing and comfort cooling for years, building homes that stay warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Buyers are more mindful than ever of energy efficiency and skyrocketing bills, so it’s time for our beautiful older homes to catch up, and not just for evenings and weekends. The rise in remote working means far more of us are at home during the hottest part of the day. Aside from the heat causing our brains…

  • CHAIN REACTION – BEAT THE CURRENT LEGAL DELAYS AND STOP YOUR SALE FALLING THROUGH

    We might be in the middle of July with the hottest temperatures on record, but did you know it’s only 153 days until Christmas Day? If you think it’s too soon to mention it, bear with me! The average home sale is currently taking 171 days from offer to completion, with chains suffering from legal delays, overstretched conveyancers and expiring mortgage offers. Nonetheless, many sales can proceed much faster than they do, so you could still be decking the halls in your new home this year. Chains are a normal and integral part of the moving process as people scale the property ladder toward their forever home. They’re not to…

  • HOME & AWAY: HOW TO KEEP YOUR HOME READY FOR VIEWINGS WHILE YOU’RE ON HOLIDAY

    With the summer holiday season fast approaching, you’re probably looking forward to getting some sun, having a rest and exploring somewhere new. As well as a chance to escape, relax and recharge, holidays can be a brilliant and convenient time to have your home on the market. It’s the only time of year when a single round of tidying lasts so long, and your agent can bring a buyer at any moment without interrupting your daily life or schedule.  Homes and gardens look their absolute best in the summer, so why lose out on a couple of valuable weeks? With demand for property in Stourbridge and nearby still riding high,…

  • LET THE SUNSHINE IN: ADD THOUSANDS TO YOUR HOME FAST WITH EASY SUMMER STYLING

    Long summer days aren’t only for sizzling barbecues, seaside escapes and watching Wimbledon; they’re also when homes look their best.  Everything is in your favour at this time of year: flowers in bloom, warmer weather and sunny blue skies put everyone in a good mood, and there’s still nowhere near enough property for sale in Stourbridge and nearby to satisfy demand. While finding a buyer quickly has become the new normal, you really can’t beat the summer for adding many more thousands to your home without a single major purchase or renovation. With some expert help in creative dressing, evocative photography and showcasing the best of your neighbourhood, you can…

  • THE PRICE ISN’T RIGHT : HOW TO SPOT AND STOP YOUR HOME BEING OVERVALUED

    With prices still rising and very few homes on the market, it seems incredible that 1 in 20 asking prices were slashed in May. The figures from Zoopla show an average drop of 9% (or £22,500); the biggest discount margin for 18 months. House prices rose by 11.2% year-on-year in May, slightly down on the 12% from April to April but still a substantial increase. So why are homes being reduced in price? Unfortunately, overvaluing is being used more and more to get homes on the market. Differences in opinion of a few percent between estate agents are perfectly normal, but the need for more stock is seeing homes hit…

  • MOVING MISTAKES: WHY FINDING A HOME BEFORE YOU HAVE A BUYER IS A BIG RISK

    If you’ve decided you want to move, you could be thinking the same as thousands of other homeowners: there’s nothing on the market, so you’ll wait to put your home up for sale until you find your next one. It’s an entirely understandable view, but, from talking to many sellers, it’s clear that they aren’t necessarily aware of all the risks and potential costs of trying to find a property without being under offer first. A lot of people are missing out on their dream home without ever hearing about it, because they aren’t yet ready to move and can’t compete with other buyers. Meanwhile, for anyone trading up, the…

  • PHOTOGRAPHY SECRETS : TOP PRO-STYLING TIPS TO GIVE YOUR HOME THE EDGE

    “As soon as I saw the photo, I knew it was the one!”  Such is the power of photography, and as a potential buyer’s first introduction to your home, it can make or break a sale. Given how influential photos are, it’s surprising how many property listings have wonky, blurred or dark images – worse than many selfies! In fact, poor photography regularly crops up whenever I meet someone who’s having trouble selling. When it comes to showing your home at its absolute best, professional photos are nothing less than essential to stand out from the crowd and capture the imagination of serious viewers. Nonetheless, even with a specialist photographer…

  • MOVING WITH CHILDREN? HOW TO SELL AND BE SETTLED BEFORE THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR

    If you thought you’d missed the boat for a family move this year, the good news is you’ve still got time. With the speed of the current market, you can sell your home and be in your new one by the end of the school holidays. The Times recently reported that the average conveyancing time in the UK is now 59 days. Given that property is selling faster than ever – often within a week or even days after hitting the market – it’s perfectly possible to move within 2-3 months from the date your home goes up for sale. But there’s no time to waste, and this week’s blog…

  • FLOWER POWER: CREATE A GARDEN YOU LOVE AND A GARDEN THAT SELLS

    With the end of April comes the end of frosts, so now’s the perfect time to lay the groundwork of a beautiful spring and summer garden. Being in a natural green space is always delightful and hugely positive for our well-being, while gardening itself has proved a healthy and joyous activity. On top of all that, gardens have become a bigger selling point than ever. Post lockdown, outside space remains a high priority for buyers, so it really pays to make the most of whatever you have, from a bijou balcony to rolling lawns. The good news is that you don’t need to be an expert or wait for months…

  • SELLING THIS SPRING? WHAT TO EXPECT, NEW STYLE TRENDS AND TOP VIEWING TIPS

    As the spring 2022 property market begins, Nationwide Building Society has reported a 14% year-on-year price increase for March, up again from the 12% already reported in February. Spring is famously the busiest season for buying and selling, and not just because our thoughts turn to spending more time outside in summer. Now is when families start planning their move for the next school year, an immovable and non-negotiable deadline that brings more homes to the market. Zoopla has already seen a slight increase in the number of properties for sale, up 3.5% in the four weeks to 20th March. That’s a welcome relief for buyers who’ve been waiting in…

  • KILL YOUR BILLS: TURN A PERIOD PROPERTY INTO A HIGH-PERFORMANCE ECO HOME

    Have you ever known the costs of utility bills to be such a massive conversation? As well as being a hot topic at home and at work, the news is full of stories about soaring energy prices, future supply questions and the environmental impact of gas, coal and oil. With fossil fuels all finite resources, the Government is also on the case with a target for the UK to be carbon neutral by 2050. Traditional homes are our pride and joy, but they’re as leaky as they are beautiful. The UK has the least energy-efficient housing in Europe, with the average Victorian property having an EPC rating of E. Compare that…

  • BIGGER AND BRIGHTER: HOW TO MAKE YOUR HOME FEEL LIGHTER AND MORE SPACIOUS

    Of all the different things buyers ask for when looking for a home (from the style, to the location, to the price), two things transcend everything: light and space. Both are precious commodities, and not just when it comes to property in Stourbridge and nearby. Natural light is good for all of us and fuels a positive mood, while space and comfort provide a sense of permanence and peace. As winter begins to fade, the opportunity is here to fling open the curtains once more and capture the extra daylight of the new season. Spring brings budding flowers, blossoming trees and welcome sunshine, all of which affect the appearance of…

  • YOUR VIEWINGS: SHOULD YOUR AGENT SHOW BUYERS AROUND YOUR HOME, OR YOU?

    Nobody knows your home better than you, but does that make you the best person to show buyers around? There’s a whole lot more that goes into viewings than simply taking people from room to room – what happens before and afterwards can have a dramatic effect on the offers you get and how quickly you sell. Aside from the obvious savings to your time, using an agent who accompanies every potential buyer has multiple benefits. So this week’s blog includes all you need to know about how we bring the right people to your home, and how you can be sure that your viewings are in good hands. TEST…