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Robinson Reade Ltd

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Is a ‘One Off’ viewing too good to be true?
Things to consider before you accept a ‘One Off’ viewing
1.       Do you have a valid Energy Performance Certificate?  If not the agent is putting you in a position where you may be liable to a fine of up to £200 per day from Trading Standards.  It is ILLEGAL to market a property for sale or let without one.  Ignorance is no defence and you are as liable as the agent. 

2.       Have you already signed a ‘Sole Agency’ agreement with an estate agent?  If you have then you will likely still be liable to pay their fee too!  An agent should check whether you have already made this commitment and explain the implications of accepting a viewing from them.  Not to do so is a breach of the Property Ombudsman’s code of practice.  The agent offering the ‘One Off’ is not so cheap now! 

3.       The agent may have a ‘tame’ viewer who they wheel out to all their valuations.  They will then use your consent to try and find a real buyer in the meantime.

4.       All agents have a register of ready, willing and able buyers.  It is very unlikely that a genuine buyer would only register with one agency. 

5.       Agents should provide full written details of their terms and conditions including fees, if they have not done this then they are in breach of the Property Ombudsman’s code of practice.

6.       If you only have one viewing how will you know whether you have achieved the best price possible and/or got the best buyer?  There might be someone who will pay more or move faster, without proper marketing you will never know.

7.       Trust your instincts, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

For more information about the legislation covering Estate Agents see: or call me on 01489 579009 
Jane Burmingham
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Top Tips for Selling Your Home in Winter – by Pauline Ace

The clocks have gone back one hour, daylight hours have diminished. So is this the right time of the year to sell your house?

It certainly could be!  Serious buyers will buy in winter. They could be looking because they ‘have’ to, so it can put you, the seller, in a very advantageous position if you are flexible with timings. There may also be less competition at this time of the year.  

Follow our top tips to make your home ‘The One’.

1. Make a good first impression.
Put on the porch light. Give your front door a makeover, and put some pots with winter plants by the door.

2. Warm the heart and soul
You may like a cool house. Many buyers don’t. A feeling of cosiness and warmth is so inviting, so up the heating, or if you have a fire put it on or if you have a living fire light it!

3. Then there was light. 
If possible, try to arrange to be available for viewings whilst there is some daylight. This is where flexibility comes in. Clean the curtains and the blinds and leave them open. Clean the windows. Turn on the lights if it is gloomy day outside. Invest in some timers for your lamps. You never know when a potential buyer will drive past to check outside before viewing. Your home will look attractive and secure and buyers may decide to arrange a further look.

4. ’ Tis the season to be jolly
Let your home reflect to prospective buyers some festive spirit and how to celebrate in their prospective home. Create a welcoming aroma with candles and flowers.

5.  Freshen up
If your kitchen needs a face lift it may be worth replacing cupboard doors or giving them a lick of paint. If other rooms need brightening up choose neutral autumnal colours, creams and whites to give your home an inexpensive but stunning look. Cupboard space is a great selling point. Declutter cupboards and wardrobes to give prospective buyers the chance to visualise where their possessions can be stored. Carpets and hard floors need to look clean and fresh.

6. Be prepared
Always be ready to accept viewing times the more flexible you are the better. A potential buyer can step through the door at any given time. Clean. Stack away dishes and make the beds.  Your home needs to look spotless. 

7. Outside space
Tidy the garden. Whilst this time of the year is not a great time for gardening, a neat tidy outside space can still give prospective buyers and idea of what can be achieved throughout every season. If fences are looking unstable get then fixed before the winter gales do even more damage and the boundary for the property is no longer clear.

8. And finally
If you have any photos of your garden and property taken in the spring and summer, leave these out so that the buyers can see what their potential home can deliver throughout the year. Outside entertaining and leisure time spaces are very compelling. Pictures paint a lifestyle that buyers can visualise after the cold and damp weather has been replaced by with the warmer months.

If you would like any further advice about selling or presenting your home for sale please drop us a line at or pop into one of the offices for a chat.  
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How to add £5000 to the value of your home!

We know buyers will try to justify why they shouldn’t pay the asking price for your property.  Follow our top tips on how best to present your house for sale and eliminate those excuses from their ammunition.

First impressions really do count.  Step outside your front door and imagine you are seeing it for the first time.  There might be some small jobs that will help make the best first impression for buyers.   For example are there weeds in the front garden, or is that, long dead, hanging basket still there from the summer?  Does the paintwork on the front door & fascia boards paint need a freshen up?

Is a de-clutter in order?  That pile of bits n bobs on the kitchen side needs to go.  It’s likely that your buyers are upsizing so it’s important they don’t feel that you have run out of space.  The vacuum cleaner & ironing board need to be out of sight.  

Overdue odd Jobs? There might be jobs to finish that will help sell your house more quickly and for the best price.  If you had a leak which was fixed but you didn’t get round to re-painting the ceiling it will be the first thing that buyers ask about!  Has your naughty cat scratched the carpet? A wider door runner may be a quick cover it up. Does that wonky kitchen cupboard door still need adjusting?  

How clean is your house? Replacing carpets can be expensive but a professional clean might help make the right first impression for buyers.  Kitchens and bathrooms need to be sparkling, no-one will buy if they can’t imagine taking a step into your grubby tub or the grill pan is covered in bacon grease!  A new set of bedding can give a bedroom a quick refresh.   

Not in my back yard! A few patio pots can brighten up any garden, make sure the lawn is mowed, jet wash the patio and make it look like it’s a space you enjoy spending time in.  

Have a sniff!  Strong smells can be a big turn off!  Fresh air is the best.  Be aware of pet smells, doggy dogs and whiffy litter trays are not pleasant, nor is stale bed linen and smoking inside is a definite No, No nowadays!    

You’re not staying!   Buyers need to be able to imagine themselves in the space, it might be time to pack away the family portraits and de-personalise a bit.  Don’t make it too clinical but neutral décor will appeal to the majority whereas bright colours may deter some.

I hope you have found this quick guide helpful, as you can see there are lots of things that can ‘turn off’ a buyer or give them an excuse to chip the price.  If you’d like to have a chat about how to best market your home please call me, Jane Burmingham,  on 07919 090725  or drop me an email at
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