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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



December 7, 2017

Old Money’s Influence

Many property commentators point to the first time buyer as a primary stimulus for the property market. Whilst many property related transactions are indeed reliant on somebody somewhere down the chain buying without being dependent on a related purchase, the influence of “old money” is often overlooked.

The value of housing assets left in wills every year may have more than doubled between 2006 and 2020 to today’s equivalent according to a Halifax Financial Services report. The report estimates that £420bn of housing assets will have passed from one generation to another by then, with many of the fortunate recipients splashing out their new-found wealth on a new home.

As the baby boomers begin to retire, so their influence on the market will be felt, with about 27% of the population of the UK (or 15.8million) falling into this category. An older, healthier, more mobile population is also likely to move house more frequently than their parents and grandparents did, and they will play an important part in the intra-generational transfer of housing wealth that is to come.

More baby boomers (78%) own their own home than any other UK age group. In addition, baby boomers have witnessed an extraordinary transformation in British society: the rise of owner occupancy. In 1946, an estimated 31% of households owned their own homes – today’s figure is double that! The wealth held in property is likely to be used to assist the next generation in both housing and pension gaps.

The property market can therefore be stimulated from many angles, and a good estate agent will seek to understand and harness these trends to their clients’ advantage!

Andrew Richardson FNAEA MARLA


01903 885886

#Blog #property #market #blogger #logging #propertyexperts



November 30, 2017

Quick Tips to Maximise your Sale

First impressions are not only important when selling your home, they are absolutely critical. When people come to view a property for the first time, they are unlikely to be scrutinising the unseen. They are simply trying to get a feel for the property. They will be bombarded with mostly visual impressions, many of which you can positively influence.

For example, if your kitchen is looking tired, it can easily be spruced up with new cabinet doors. Even just replacing the handles can look good, or you could even go further and fit a new worktop. Kitchen flooring which may have passed its best is also usually quite inexpensive to replace due to the relatively small surface area.

Bathrooms can look almost as good as the day they were fitted with a bit of work on the grouting. Hack out any discoloured grout between the tiles or sealant around the wash basins, baths and showers, and replace with new. It’s inexpensive, effective, and looks good. Do make sure you polish any chrome as well, using lime scale remover if necessary.

Do declutter. Buyers want to imagine themselves living there, so don’t distract them with too much of your own stuff, although a cosy home can be more appealing than a clinical one!

Outside, flowerbeds can instantly be given a new lease of life with a generous helping of shredded tree bark compost. Freshly-mown lawns with neat edges look great, as do paths which have recently been weeded. Patio areas are more appealing when they have been jet-washed, but also when they look like they are enjoyed regularly – so it’s worth having your garden furniture out rather than packed away. The same applies to children’s play equipment if you are selling a family home.

The key is a neat, but lived-in look, which will appeal to the heart as well as the head!

Andrew Richardson FNAEA MARLA


01903 885886

#Tips #Propertyexperts #property #sellingyourhome #Blog #Blogger



November 28, 2017

Market Comment – November 2017

This November has seen both an increase in interest rates and the abolition of SDLT (Stamp Duty) for first time buyers up to £300,000. Certainly the nominal 0.25% interest rate increase is unlikely to cause most homebuyers a problem. However, this first rate rise in a decade might be regarded as a tipping point for further increases in the coming year and the market remains subdued. This is despite the apparent windfall for first time buyers, which will almost certainly turn out to be inflationary.

Although we remain busier than expected for the time of year there is an atmosphere nationally that we are moving towards a buyers’ market. According to UK Finance, mortgage approvals for purchases are at their lowest for over a year and, according to Rightmove, some 37% of sellers are reducing their asking price (the highest percentage in five years) and new-to-market sellers are being overoptimistic in their pricing. In other words, sellers must price competitively if they are to achieve a respectable sale before the added complication of a further supply of stock hitting the market in the New Year and Spring 2018.

So now, more than ever, sellers should avoid their property becoming stale on the market by quoting a price that buyers will regard as exciting. They should also avoid the mistake of pricing high on the basis that buyers will “make a lower offer”. We employ excellent negotiators and consistently find that we are able to achieve our asking prices (and sometimes even exceed them), but if the asking price itself is too high then there won’t be enough buyers to prompt a sale. This is the type of balancing act that we as experienced estate agents (as opposed to the online alternative) deeply understand, and harness to our clients’ advantage.

Interested in the market? Curious about the current value of your property in context? Why not call 01903 885886 for a confidential chat? You might be pleasantly surprised!

Andrew Richardson FNAEA MARLA


01903 885886

#propertyexperts #localexperts #property #blog #November #report



November 23, 2017

When to Pack

You have decided to sell, but the thought of packing your home up can be daunting, especially if you have lived in the same property for many years.

It is well known that a property sells more readily when it looks and feels like a home, rather than just bricks and mortar, so it could be argued that you shouldn’t start packing until you have actually found a buyer.

However, many people find that much of the stress of moving can be reduced if they start to prepare for the move early in the sale process and there are additional benefits. For example, whilst a property certainly needs to look lived in, an overly cluttered house can be off-putting. It is important that the buyer can see themselves living there, not just you!

On the other hand, it would not be a good idea to have packing boxes scattered around the house. This could look like you are just about to move out and are therefore desperate to find a buyer.

A reasonable compromise is to take advantage of having time on your side and start to pack things which are either cluttering or otherwise unseen. This would include surplus children’s toys, photographs, books and clothes as well as the content of cupboards which can be packed into boxes and then stored in those cupboards.

Garages and sheds can usually do with a good tidy. Charity shops are a great way of lightening your load whilst making your storage areas neat, which in turn reflects well on your property overall. Garage or car-boot sales can be a lucrative alternative.

Once you have exchanged contracts then you can really go to work on your packing, and it doesn’t matter what your property looks like during the time immediately prior to completion. But hopefully your advance planning will by this time have paid dividends!

Andrew Richardson FNAEA MARLA


01903 885886

#Packing #Moving #propertyexperts #property #blog #propertyblog



November 16, 2017

Agents’ Skills in Demand

The overall shortage of housing stock in relation to demand suggests that finding a buyer should not be too difficult irrespective of which agent you choose to sell your property. So it’s tempting to become less discerning over your choice of agent and simply choose the cheapest!

However, in this market, this approach usually turns out to be a considerable false economy, as the difference between a good agent and a mediocre, or internet-only one, can be highly significant.

First, the difference between the cheapest and the most expensive agent is probably only about 1% of the sale price. However, the ability of a good agent to negotiate the highest price the market will pay (which is probably about 4% more than the average buyer would pay) is clearly worth far more than this.

Cheap agents rely on turnover of stock, rather than the actual amount of fee charged to make their money. With a shortage of stock in a fast moving market, they feel the pinch more than the higher quality agents and are therefore more interested in arranging the sale at any price, rather than negotiating the best terms for their client.

However, the better agents have a reputation to protect, and they are passionate in their quest to secure the asking price wherever possible. Indeed, we often secure figures in excess of the asking price for our clients.

It’s your equity. So when choosing the right agent to sell your home, what is more important to you – low fees, or the most money in your pocket, and the security of a well-managed sale?

Please feel free to contact us on 01903 885886 if you’d like sincere advice about how to maximise your selling prospects – and your price!

Andrew Richardson FNAEA MARLA


01903 885886

#propertyexperts #property #blog #blogging



November 9, 2017

Identity Caution When Moving House

Recent research has shown that about a quarter of home-movers leave themselves open to some form of identity theft when they move, simply by failing to redirect their post promptly.

Indeed, almost half of all identity theft cases involve a previous address, and 70% of new occupants receive mail addressed to a past occupant. This often includes sensitive personal information, which can be used by a fraudster to obtain credit in your name.

As some organisations can take several weeks to amend their details, we suggest you start to compile a list of those who will need your new address as soon as you begin marketing your property. This might include schools, the Inland Revenue, banks, credit card companies, the Local Authority, the DVLA, Premium Bonds, clubs, etc.. Then, as soon as you have a moving date, contact them formally with your new details.

Arrange the Royal Mail redirection service for at least a year and register with the Mailing Preference Service to have your name taken off most direct mailing lists. This will ensure mail-shots from lenders aren’t sent to you at your old address. It’s also a good idea to do the same at your new address, in both your name and that of the previous occupier – if only to avoid heaps of junk mail landing on your doorstep!


If you are concerned that you could be at risk from identity theft, you can set up a credit monitoring service with companies such as Experian, Equifax or CheckMyFile.com which will alert you to any significant changes to your credit report, so you can take any necessary action as soon as possible.

We hope you find the above useful, and don’t forget – we’re here to help you with your move, not just your sale!





Andrew Richardson FNAEA MARLA


01243 786316

#Blog #Blogger #localexpert #propertyexperts #property



June 26, 2017

Market comment for June

“A fine balance”

Anyone with an interest in the property market generally understands the influence of supply and demand on house prices. Just like any other “commodity”, if everybody wants something that is in generally short supply, the price tends to rise. In the property sector, the media often describes a rising market good and a falling market as bad.
(read more…)



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