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August 13, 2018

Low fee up-front competitor

If you’re thinking of moving, beware of agents who advertise a surprisingly low commission to entice you, as a prospective seller, to invite them to your home with a view to listing your property with them. They might even offer to throw in the VAT, conveyancing and other costs! Smell a rat?

The “deal” is that, in return for the low fixed fee, you are required to pay the agent’s fees up front. This is totally contrary to the concept of having an agent who is 100% on your side and fully motivated to sell your home, as quickly as possible and for the highest price the market will pay. What better way to support a lazy agent!

The agent will of course tell you that buyers come from the internet nowadays. They’ll tell you that their use of technology enables them to achieve cost savings, which they pass on to their clients. Nonsense. Technology frees up time so that expert negotiators can do more of what they do best – sell, negotiate, nurture and facilitate linked property transactions.

But it gets worse! During your meeting, the agent may then try to sell you other services, such as accompanied viewings, negotiation, sales progression support, a for sale board, etc for an additional fee. These costs add up and sellers can end up paying, in advance, the same, if not higher, levels of commission than they would have paid with a regular agent, who would have only charged on results! Some online agents even try to get you to sign a credit agreement to cover their costs! So you now have an unexpected loan agreement as well.

Of course, if you want the reassurance of working with one of the most respected and successful agents in the Chichester area, proven to deliver results, where personal values are sharpened with a contemporary approach, then please feel free to contact me on 01903 885886. No pressure, – just straight talking good advice – and, we only charge when we deliver the results you need!


Tim Wickins

Associate Director

01903 885886







#Propertyexperts #property #propertymarket #blog #blogger #localexpert



August 9, 2018

Kitchens for Tenants

Over the years the kitchen has evolved from a utilitarian workspace to a fundamental heart of the home. It often enhances open plan living areas so that couples and families can interact between preparing food, working at a desk or watching TV.

And just as homebuyers are impressed by a good kitchen, so are tenants too, with a recent survey suggesting that a third of tenants regard the kitchen as the most important aspect of the property they rent.

Good landlords, who achieve the highest yields and the longest tenancies, tend to invest in their kitchens. Here are some of our own tips for maximising the nation’s favourite room to your advantage:

1. When buying a buy to let property, unless the existing kitchen is immaculate, consider putting in a new one.

2. Today’s tenants prefer larger, but fewer, spaces. Don’t be afraid to knock down the odd wall to open the kitchen into the living area (building structure permitting).

3. Avoid the type of cheapo kitchen associated with rented properties from the 1980’s. The best tenants’ standards are no lower than those of homeowners.

4. If the carcasses are clean and solid, you can save money by replacing the cupboard doors, which is easy to do, and there is a huge choice of finishes. Go handle-less and there’s one less thing that can fall off!

5. Take advantage of the storage space offered by kitchen units to conceal clutter in a furnished let. A high wall unit is an ideal place to house a Wi-Fi router.

6. Clever storage solutions like a “magic corner” basket unit is one of those unexpected surprises that can impress a tenant. Good storage also means that there is likely to be less clutter on display when the following tenant looks round the property.

7. Upgrade the look of the kitchen by installing hidden remote colour controlled LED strip lighting for under £30.

8. Unless you have a huge expanse of worktop, consider granite. A granite worktop not only makes the kitchen look a million dollars, but you’ll avoid damage done to a regular worktop by inconsiderate placing of a hot pan.

9. You might be able to increase the useable space of the property by having a “return island” that doubles up as both workspace and breakfast bar, removing the expense and clutter of a dining table and chairs in a smaller home.

10. An obviously well-fitted and appointed kitchen is a sign that you, as landlord, care. In return you can expect a higher rent and a more considerate tenant, ultimately delivering a better return on your investment.

Please feel free to contact us for any advice about how to present your property to attract the right tenant.

Tim Wickins

Associate Director

01903 885886







#Kitchen #tenants #blog #Propertyexperts #propertyblog #advice #blogger



August 6, 2018

August 2018 Market Comment

The heat is on!

Or rather, it has been for the past few months of the glorious summer we have been enjoying. But is the heat on, or off the property market? Here at  Jackson- Stops we have seen consistently strong sales over the summer, although the national picture seems confused. It all depends who you speak to!

For example, according to the government’s official house price index, UK house prices have increased by 3% over the past year – the lowest level of growth since 2013. This was, however, skewed by a 0.4% decrease in London values. However, we know that the government’s figures usually trail behind current reality by up to six months, and the Halifax reports annual growth at just 1.8%.

Interestingly, new analysis from Price Waterhouse suggests that house prices are unlikely to exceed 3% until 2025. Although we are passionate about securing high prices for our sellers here in Chichester, at a national level, such price stability would be a good thing. Indeed, there has even been a suggestion from think-tank IPPR that the government should freeze house price inflation for five years, and then peg it to inflation at 2% thereafter (although history has shown that it is usually best for the government not to meddle with the market).

Overall, property has fared reasonably well since the Brexit referendum and anyone thinking of moving need not be deterred by the negative news headlines. It is encouraging to note that bricks and mortar tends to outshine the stock market during times of uncertainty (even long-term, the FTSE100 capital price index has only risen 9% in the past 18 years!) PWC predicts that the UK will be the strongest performing G7 economy until 2050, and MFS revealed that 77% investors think that Brexit is unlikely to affect their long-term investment strategy. More than half of these said they prefer traditional asset classes such as property as a safe and secure investment – as proven by the 6.6% rise in property values since the referendum.

For most people, a property move is more about adapting to a change in lifestyle than poring over investment figures. Life’s too short! If a move helps you with your commuting, your family, your finances or your relationships, then surely these motivators should always take priority. Why not call us today on 01903 885886 to see how we can make a move work for you? We’re here to help.


Andrew Richardson FNAEA


01903 885886






#Property Propertyblog #Marketcomment #Blog #Propertyexperts #localagent



April 16, 2018

Buying on Instinct

Recent research concurs with our own view that most buyers buy on instinct, typically viewing their eventual home no more than twice before making a decision to buy.

Buying a property certainly appears to be a decision of the heart over the head. In other words, the “I’ll know it when I see it” approach turns out to be quite reliable.

Despite the detail offered about their property by sellers when they instruct us to market their home, buyers actually register their preferences with a very broad brush indeed. They seldom, if ever, ask what type of boiler is at the property, or if there is a double wash basin in the bathroom or an aerial point in the sitting room before viewing it. These are small details which have little bearing on whether the buyer will find the property to be a suitable home.

Once certain non-negotiables, such as price, minimum amount of accommodation, and  the general location of the property have been satisfied, buyers are primarily influenced by “How does it feel?” and “Could we be happy here?”. These elements are intangible, but if the right button has been pushed, virtually nothing will stop the buyer from wanting to buy the property.

Of course, the brain then tries to over-rule the heart, forcing the buyer to revisit the property, just to make sure. During this second viewing the buyer will take a more detailed look at the property, and may take more notice of the type of fittings and the structural condition.

The brain will usually decide whether to support the heart solely on the strength of this second visit and the buyer will either make an offer there and then, or decide against. Our job is to facilitate the right decision.

So sellers would be well advised to remember they are selling a home, not just a building, and work with their agent to promote the lifestyle benefits of their property – not just the features.


Tim Wickins

Associate Director

01903 885886







March 29, 2018

March 2018 Market Comment

Spring Fever

Just like the snow, the property market seems a little unsure as to what it’s doing, with the Office for National Statistics reporting a fall in UK property prices of 0.3% last month (0.5% in England), and property price growth slowing slightly from 5% to 4.9%.

However, ONS and Land Registry figures are always out of date by at least a couple of months as they do not reflect current buyer activity, which, in relation to the supply of stock, is the greatest indicator of the future direction of property values. The good news here is that buyer activity is up 20% on last month and 14% on last year.

This increased demand has partly come from a 20% annual increase in first time buyers entering the market as well as, importantly, a 15.3% monthly increase in the number of properties entering the market. It is the sellers of these properties who are some of today’s prospective buyers and these are the wonderful people who oil the wheels of the property market. For the past few years, many prospective sellers have been reluctant to put their property on the market because of worries about finding a suitable new property, but we have certainly turned a corner on this now.

Interestingly the number of investment buyers has fallen by around 14% on the year, but these have been replaced by the increase in first time buyers, which is a healthy position for the market, but less-so for tenants, who now face an average UK rent of £1367. Whilst the government has delivered some great incentives for first time buyers, they still need to find ways of helping those who are not in a position to find the £10,000 – £18,000 deposit required in order to buy a starter home.

So if you are contemplating a move – somewhere bigger, smaller, quieter or more convenient, now would be an excellent time to take advantage of the up-swell in demand this spring. Why not call us for a friendly no-obligation chat on 01903 885886 and let’s get you moving.

Andrew Richardson FNAEA MARLA


01903 885886

#Propertyexperts #Blog #Property #JacksonStops #Spring



February 19, 2018

Might Sell

Might Sell, Might Not!

It is interesting to note that some sellers are not as committed to moving as they might be, and are prepared to remain on the market until what they regard as an acceptable offer comes along.

Likewise, some buyers, whilst generally remaining committed to a purchase, do not exhibit a great deal of urgency, and believe that they are entitled to submit a relatively low offer in the hope that the seller might just take it.

There are two issues here and we would advise caution to buyer and seller alike. Firstly, if, as a seller, your house fails to sell for whatever reason and you are on the market with a proven good agent, then it is probably priced too ambitiously for the current conditions. If you allow it to remain on the market at that price, it could become stale on the market, resulting in an inevitable fall in price greater than a minor repositioning effected now.

From a buyer’s perspective, we suggest you focus on securing the right home for your needs, within your budget, more than on finding the greatest bargain. A percentage off the asking price is irrelevant if the asking price is too much to begin with, but a well-priced property is always in demand. Unless you act decisively, you could miss out.

So the rule of thumb is this; if you see a property that you can afford, which offers you the accommodation you need in an area you like, and you could be happy there, then snap it up, as the chances are that most of the other buyers in your price range will also want that property. Good value is good value – in any market.

Tim Wickins

01903 885886

Associate Director

#Blog #Propertyexperts #Property #Local #experts



January 22, 2018

Peace of Mind

It is perhaps quite worrying that anyone can start trading as an estate agent, without any qualifications whatsoever.

This makes it all the more important that you choose an agency that puts a high value on training. Better-trained staff gain an intimate understanding of what the customer is going through and are able to help you endure the inherently stressful process of moving more readily. Training in buyer psychology is also very useful when it comes to knowing why people buy which property, how they negotiate, and the reasons why they sometimes withdraw from a purchase.

Good staff development also provides the added benefit of having happy, fulfilled and loyal staff who take a pride in their work – which is a real asset to our customers. It also means they are at the cutting edge of estate agency, and we make a point of fostering a spirit of innovation and continuous improvement in all aspects of our work.

Whilst being passionate about professionalism, this does not mean that the traditional values we cherish are in any way old fashioned. Indeed, we are proud to be different, and our approach will not suit everyone! For example, we do not have a formulaic approach to the way in which we work. Instead, we encourage each of our staff to play to their strengths. So in many ways, our business is a reflection of the personalities involved – a far cry from the systemised approach adopted by the corporate estate agency chains!

We are excited about our contribution to the Chichester property scene, and have a real energy and love for the business of creating a moving experience about which people are delighted. After all – we’re on your side! Why not call us for an informal chat about the sale of your own property on 01903 885886. You might be pleasantly surprised!

Andrew Richardson FNAEA MARLA


01903 885886

#Blog #Propertyexperts #Property #Arundel






January 9, 2018

Tips for Landlords

A raft of new legislation has been introduced recently and more is to follow in 2018.

This has put an added responsibility on landlords and being “compliant” has become the watchword. From gas safety checks, EPC certificates, carbon monoxide alarms, to anti-money laundering regulations, and Right to Rent checks, introduced by The Immigration Act in 2014 letting, quite rightly, is no longer a question of just finding a tenant and signing an agreement. For many landlords the new regulations and extra paperwork has proved too much and they have already elected to hand the letting and management of their properties to Jackson-Stops, as they have the expertise to be able to help at all levels.

Today many potential tenants start their search online so making sure the property is well photographed, correctly decorated and where appropriate furnished is critical from the outset. The old adage a “picture tells a thousand words” is never so true. Jackson-Stops is in constant touch with market trends and can advise landlords on how best to present their property to obtain the optimum income. Many tenants look for a high specification but like period details, particularly the overseas tenants renting in the capital who see period features as part of “the London experience”, whilst those renting in the countryside often opt for the quintessential country cottage. Several of our offices are affiliated to local design and furniture hire companies which can provide comprehensive advice and bespoke packages at short notice.

The more discerning tenants will come direct to us, bypassing the property portals, to tap into our expertise and extensive local knowledge. We aim to help them find the right property and advise them on suitable locations whether it is for a business posting in London, or leisure and a means to enjoy the theatres and shopping in London, or a quiet weekend retreat.

The rental market is an extremely important part of the UK property market but it is not without its pitfalls and ignorance is certainly not bliss. Before purchasing a buy-to-let property an investor needs make certain there are no constraints on letting, particularly if it is a block of flats, that a mortgage provider is aware the property is to be let and insurance is suitable for a rental property. If you need advice you are always welcome to call on 01903 885886 us for expert guidance.

Andrew Richardson FNAEA MARLA


01903 885886

#Blog #Propertyexperts #Property #JacksonStops



January 8, 2018

Tips for buyers

The property portals are the most frequently used place to start a search for a property, but if you want to get ahead of the crowd it’s worth registering your requirements with a Jackson-Stops’ office within your search area.

We can then alert you to suitable properties before they are even entered on the websites and make sure you don’t miss out. A number of houses and flats are sold before appearing on the property portals, particularly where vendors want a low-key sale and little or no publicity.

In getting to know the key agents who are likely to be selling the type of property you are interested in can certainly pay dividends. Our offices are run by professional individuals who have an in-depth knowledge of their areas, with experience they have amassed over many years and in certain cases decades. Our primary objective is to assist in finding you the right property.

Although you may start looking in a specific price bracket and location, in our experience many purchasers buy outside that initial search criteria. By speaking to us we can help you find the right property and possibly broaden your search without taking up more of your time. This is particularly true when it comes to a specific type, style or period of property.

The banking crisis in 2008 resulted in most of the high street banks and building societies tightening their lending criteria. You need to make sure your funding arrangements are up to date. For more unusual properties or if you are self-employed it may be necessary to approach a specialist lender. If you need help speak to us and we can put you in touch with independent private financial advisers who are used to helping with clients and those looking to purchase houses that do not fit the new lending criteria. Most sellers will consider an offer much more carefully if confirmation of finance is available!

At Jackson-Stops many of our buyers eventually become our vendors when they come to sell as they know we provide both vendor and purchaser with a level of service and expertise which takes much of the stress away from buying and selling. For further help or advice please contact 01903 885886

Andrew Richardson FNAEA MARLA


01903 885886

#Blog #Propertyexperts #JacksonStops #Property



January 4, 2018

Tips for Successful selling

The key to a successful sale more often than not is down to good planning.

Today this is even more essential as recent legislation requires both vendors and their agents to be far more diligent.

Before offering a property for sale there are several practical steps that need to be put in hand. Obviously it is important the property you are selling will look at its best. This means checking whether it would be sensible to have the exterior re-decorated; the entrance gates painted; the drive or footpath resurfaced or any outstanding repairs undertaken.

First impressions really do count and the very first thing a buyer is likely to see are the photographs of the property. Where possible these need to be taken at both the right time of year and right time of day. A buyer or their solicitors will need copies of any planning permissions, building regulations, listed building consents if relevant, not to mention service records for installations such as heating and alarm systems, utility bills and other installations, so it is worth collecting all this paperwork together at the outset.

At Jackson-Stops we are constantly advising our clients on what data they need to collate together and checking the solicitors acting for the vendor have the information they require. It is also helpful for us as your agent to be aware of any unusual conditions or restrictions in a lease, rights of way or boundaries which are unclear so that these can be resolved or at least clearly understood before a sale is agreed.

Whether you are looking at a full marketing campaign or a quiet low-key testing of the market we know how to target the serious buyers who appreciate advance notice of properties coming to the market and ahead of them appearing on the websites. Quality buyers can benefit from a bespoke service from Jackson-Stops; they value the experience and guidance our staff are able to offer in helping them find the right location and style of property as well as the other factors such as schools, travel or lifestyle changes that drive a purchase.

Selling your property, particularly if it is your principal family home, is undoubtedly going to be one of the most important financial and emotional decisions you are likely to make. Jackson-Stops is there to advise and guide our clients every step of the way regardless of size or value.

Andrew Richardson FMAEA MARLA


01903 885886

#Blog #Property #Propertyexperts #JacksonStops #Localexperts



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