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July 14, 2018

Parental help

Parents help first time buyers

First-time buyers are increasingly relying on their parents to help them purchase their first home. Around 27% have either borrowed or were given money by family towards the initial deposit, with an average contribution of around £18,000 in 2018 (down from up from £21,600 last year) with 79% of the money going to people under 30 (source L&G and Cebr).

However, shrinking equity and shaky pensions are making some parents consider more creative ways of helping their children without denting their retirement pot by mortgaging their own home. Here are some suggestions:

  • Guarantor mortgages – Where first time buyers use their parents to guarantee their mortgage payments from the parents’ income.
  • Joint mortgage with parentsWhereby the parents’ income is taken into account in the loan multiples, similar to the way in which a couple might buy a property.
  • Offsets – A parent can invest money into a relevant savings account which offsets the child’s mortgage, thereby reducing the mortgage interest and monthly payments without losing access to their savings if they need it. Whilst the parents would not be earning interest, they would not however be paying tax on interest and the rate saved will usually be higher than the rate otherwise earned.


The age of the average first time buyer has now risen to 35, yet parents are still involved in helping their children take this crucial first step onto the property ladder. Fortunately the institutions are becoming increasingly creative when it comes to mortgages that include some parental backing.

So whether you are a parent or a “grown-up” child wanting to get onto the property ladder, and would like to discuss the options available to you, it’s worth talking to a specialist mortgage advisor. Please fee free to contact us about this and we’ll help you explore your options in detail.



Andrew Richardson FNAEA


01243 786316







#Blog #parents #help #firsttimebuyers #mortgage #homebuyer #propertyblog



July 11, 2018


The Critical Importance of Referencing.

In an ideal world, once a tenant has been found, it would be good to think that you, as a landlord, can simply sit back and watch your investment deliver the anticipated return on investment without further involvement. Indeed, this is one of the reasons why some letting agents only offer a tenant finding service. Simple really – or is it?

Experience is a great teacher, and we have proven time and again that tenants must be fully referenced before signing, including a thoroughly researched rental history.

Unreliable tenants cause landlords the most sleepless nights according to research by the National Landlords Association, with 57% of NLA members saying that unreliable tenants are one of the most worrying aspects of being a landlord.

So what is a reliable tenant? Well obviously one who pays the rent, in full on time, and makes sure all the utility bills are also paid. But reliability goes beyond this. Will they turn out to be anti-social, perhaps making excessive noise, leading to complaints from neighbours? Good landlords are keen to make sure that their tenants behave as ‘good citizens’.

Damage to the premises, fixtures, fittings and contents, creates hassle for landlords as well as significant additional expense, especially when it goes beyond what is covered by the tenant’s deposit.”

Approximately 36% of landlords nationally (source NLA) have, at some point in the past, been obliged to resort to the courts to seek possession of a property from a troublesome tenant, although our own eviction rate is negligible!

Our job as letting agents is to ensure that the right tenant is secured in the first place, and then managed well, so that the landlord can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing your investment is delivering a return on investment, not a headache.

Andrew Richardson FNAEA


01243 786316


#Blog #propertyexperts #localexperts #property #referencing #tenant #propertyblog




July 9, 2018

The Critical Importance of Location

We often hear about the importance of location, location, location when choosing a new home. However, many people overlook the importance of location when choosing their estate agent!

Despite the fact that many agencies appear to offer the same service, there are many different styles of agency, each of which has their own distinctive feel. A major contribution to an agent’s ability to provide its clients with the best possible service is where the offices are actually situated.

A recent survey of over 1600 home-sellers identified that the location of the office was the third most important factor in the choice of agent. (First was a personal referral, and second was being impressed by the individual agent). In fact nearly 17% of vendors would only choose an agent who is situated in a prominent high street location.

Whilst one could argue that the internet has changed the face of agency, we actually find that it is our prominent location in Chichester which enables us to sell increasing volumes of property. This is not only because out-of-town buyers naturally gravitate to the town centre, but also because when people walk into our office, they are greeted with warmth and enthusiasm and their requirements are discussed and fully understood. We are then often able to take them out to view properties within minutes of registering.

This simply does not happen with those agents whose office occupies a secondary location, expecting the internet to do all the hard work!

We have found that technology has freed up more time for us to deliver the results-driven service of which we are justifiably proud, directly from our office.

So why not come in for a chat next time you’re passing? You know where we are!


Andrew Richardson FNAEA


01243 786316








#Blog #propetyblog #location #property #localexpert #propertyexperts #Chichester



July 6, 2018

Stamp Duty on Investment Property

If you’re buying a second home, Buy to Let, or investment property, you should be aware that there is an additional 3% Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on top of the standard SDLT amount payable.

Since this regime was introduced in 2016, the market for second homes has certainly felt the pinch, especially for buy to let landlords who are also being penalized with a reduction in the amount of mortgage interest that can be claimed against tax.

Certainly if you are in a fortunate enough position to be able to buy an investment property or second home, then yes, an average £250,000 purchase will cost you an extra £7,500. This additional expense might ultimately have to be absorbed by the vendor, who may have to accept a lower offer than expected, as the investment buyer will have less in their pocket.

A further frustration for investors is that the extra money may have to be found in cash if the additional amount pushes the buyer over their Loan-to-Value ratio as purchase costs such as SDLT may not be included in any mortgage borrowing.

Nevertheless, property remains one of the most reliable investments available and we are continuing to see strong yields for the savvy investor in this area. The old adage of “not letting the tax tail wag the investment dog” is probably worth considering!

You can be assured that our local knowledge and property expertise will guide you both through the process towards a successful outcome, irrespective of SDLT as our role as investment managers is to help you maximize your return on that investment. Please feel free to contact us today for straight-talking investment advice on 01243 786316.

Andrew Richardson FNAEA


01243 786316

#Propertyblog #propertyexperts #property #localexpert










July 5, 2018

Anyone For Tennis?

The thwack of tennis balls, the clink of a cup of tea and the slurp of a sucked strawberry are sounds that are synonymous with the perfect English summer – weather permitting of course.

It seems that everyone in this area enjoys the Wimbledon season as a sporting event as much as a lifestyle aspiration. As estate agents, we often accompany buyers around a property and the tennis is inevitably on TV as we arrive. The seller will usually offer to switch it off during the viewing, but we say “no – please leave it on”.

On many occasions the buyer, seller and estate agent have been fascinated by the tennis during a viewing, and while it might appear that this could be a distraction to the serious business of selling a property, the opposite can actually be true.

After all, a house is only a home when moments are shared, and where excitements and disappointments are experienced together. Sport is a great way of bringing strangers together, so what better way to introduce a buyer to a property?

So often there is an awkward silence between buyer and seller – or worse – the seller tries too hard to promote their property and the buyer responds by telling the seller what they want to hear. But break the ice with a bit of light tennis and friendships, and possibly a sale, can be made.

In most cases the demographic make-up of a buyer will reflect that of the seller when they themselves bought the property. There is therefore likely to be a natural synergy between the two, so why not encourage buyer and seller to meet in this way, facilitated by the skilled estate agent who is trained to steer the conversation in the right direction of course!

Thinking of selling? The ball’s in your court!


Andrew Richardson FNAEA


01243 786316









#Blog #Wimbledon #Wimbledon2018 #propertyexperts #propertyblog #localexperts



Deciding on Price (Part Two)

Establishing an accurate asking price that will optimise your chances of selling at the highest likely price within a reasonable timescale is both an art and a science, particularly during a time when buyers are especially price sensitive.

Estate agents’ valuations can vary tremendously. Some agents attempt to win your instruction by flattering you with a high but unrealistic suggested asking price -beware! Some, due to inexperience or unfamiliarity with current buyer trends, get it plain wrong – which can cost you time and money. Some are more responsible and advise the right price from day one.

We take the pricing issue very seriously, and much consideration is involved before we recommend an asking price.

As a rule of thumb, ask two or three reputable agents to suggest the optimum market value and base your pricing decision on these valuations. It is important that you quote the right price from day one and achieve or exceed it, rather than quoting a high price and then encouraging low offers. The wrong price attracts the wrong buyers, and fewer suitable buyers view the property – thereby minimising the chance of receiving an offer in any event.

Ultimately the critical part is to select your estate agent on the strength of their service, reputation and marketing plan – not simply on their valuation or commission rate. After all – you’re going to be working in close partnership with them – so choose the agent you prefer!

If you are considering selling your property and would like a carefully considered and qualified view of the likely sale price of your property in the current market, then we’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact us on 01243 786316.

Andrew Richardson FNAEA


01243 786316

#property #propertyexperts #guideprice #blog










July 4, 2018

Deciding On Price

Whatever anyone might say about location, condition, proximity to schools, size, etc., it is the price at which a property is initially marketed that is the key to a successful sale.

But emotions often cloud good judgement. The chance to secure a high price can prompt sellers to quote too much, and the house then misses the early buyer activity that is most likely to produce a sale. Quote too little and the resulting immediate sale can fuel resentment as you might feel you could have sold for more.

So the heart must not rule the head here. You may have put a lot of time, love and money into the property and naturally you want your asking price to reflect this. Maybe you need a certain amount to secure another property, or you simply want to track national house-price trends. Perhaps you are taking your guide from a similar property that has recently sold nearby.

However, the only thing that really counts is the supply of able buyers in relation to the supply of comparable properties, and what those buyers are prepared to pay in view of such competition. Local estate agents are the only people who have a handle on both aspects. Armed with this information your agent can make an informed recommendation as to an asking price that will maximise your chances of selling at an attractive figure within a realistic timescale.

If you are considering selling your property and would like a carefully considered yet upbeat and well-qualified view of the likely sale price of your property in the current market, then please feel free to contact us on 01243 786316

Andrew Richardson FNAEA


01243 786316


#property #propertyblog #propertyexperts #localexpert









July 3, 2018

July 2018 Market Comment

The national housing market paints a picture of the “summer doldrums” with mortgage approvals for house purchases at their lowest this year and 23.3% below their long-term average.

The Bank of England’s monetary policy committee has also been advised that, by the end of the year, house prices will have risen by just 2%, which would be well below inflation and its slowest pace for five years.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has indicated that the UK should prepare for ‘a few interest rate rises over the next few years, although house prices will continue to be supported by high levels of employment, and low-interest rates (even if these increase slightly later in the year) as well as, primarily, a shortage of stock.

However, there is demand out there, and 66% of a survey* of 2,000 renters said that they would buy, but that homes were too expensive, despite the monthly mortgage repayment often being lower than their rent.

We are certainly finding that even more buyers, wealthy and well-qualified, would also move, but they feel there is too little choice of property, so they don’t put their own on the market, thereby feeding the problem. This is a shame as we always have a good supply of properties that are not formally on the market, but where the owner has indicated a willingness to sell “off-market” if a buyer were to materialise.

At this time of year, some people also consider removing their house from the market for the summer. Our strong advice is “DON’T”. Whilst the football, the weather, and imminent holidays may be distracting for some, for a good buyer, these are just irritations. Let other people withdraw their home and yours becomes even more desirable due to temporary local scarcity.

Whilst we don’t have a magic wand, we do have some fabulous people with some very creative solutions for those who are serious about buying or selling. Why not put us to the test? Please call 01243 786316 today.

*Source: HomeOwnersAlliance.


Andrew Richardson FNAEA


01243 786316








#Blog #Property #localexperts #propertyexperts #propertyblog #propertymarket




June 26, 2018

May/June 2018 Market Comment

May/June 2018 Market Comment

This month’s market comment comes with a degree of optimism, but also with a gentle warning. But let’s get the bad news out of the way first. According to HMRC, UK residential property transaction volumes plummeted by 12.5% last month, down 2% on the year. This time last year, month-on-month sales were up 16.7% equating to 19.5% on the previous year. So this is a major adjustment. As ever though, government figures tend to be out of date before they are even published!

The good news comes from Rightmove, whose finger is firmly on the daily pulse, who say that record numbers of buyers are searching the property portal – an indication if ever there was one, of a healthy market. These buyers are, however, increasingly price-aware, with the average property selling for just 96.7% of its last asking price (which might well have already been reduced from the original asking price).

During these slightly confused times, it is inevitable that sellers will take an optimistic view of the market, while buyers become more cautious, hence the widening asking price/sale price gap. This certainly reflects Zoopla research of almost 2000 homeowners, 84% of whom expected their property to grow in value this year (up from just 14% in November).

Nevertheless, Rightmove reports that the average amount of time on the market is now 59 days, slightly longer than the 55 days this time last year.

In summary, the market is good, bad or flat, depending on what you want it to be! There are certainly enough figures around to argue your case either way, whether you are buying or selling, and we make it our business to harness these stats for our clients’ benefit. Please feel free to contact us to find out precisely how we can use this information to help you move – profitably!



Andrew Richardson FNAEA


01243 786316

#property #Propertyexperts #Blog #Propertyblog #propertyadvice










May 22, 2018

Chichester Cathedral Festival of Flowers

Jackson Stops are proud to support the Chichester Cathedral Festival of Flowers and are lucky to have one of their staff, Pat MacDonald, involved in the set up and design of this year’s expanding Festival. As well as being one of our delightful viewing ladies, Pat thoroughly enjoys flower arranging in her spare time and is delighted to be involved again this year.

Pat at the Flower Festival at Boxgrove

Having been a Wren and then marrying a Naval Officer, Pat has had a lot of experience of fine dining and always loved the beautiful flower arrangements placed on the tables.  Once the children had left for university, Pat decided to follow her passion and qualified as an Area Demonstrator for the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies.  She visits Flower clubs in Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire demonstrating and teaching how to create beautiful flower arrangements.  She explained how these club demonstrations involve creating 5 to 6 designs based on a chosen theme which are then raffled off at the end of the event. Many of the clubs support local charities and raise money for them every year.

The Chichester Festival of Flowers exhibition is held every two years inside Chichester Cathedral .The title for this year’s Festival, which runs from 31 May to 2 June, is “This Earthly Paradise.” Pat  is very excited that she will be involved for the fifth time and is jointly responsible for designing the arrangements to decorate the Lady Chapel.  Whilst she could not divulge too much, as it must remain a secret, Pat kindly shared a photograph (see below) of a previous year when she decorated this section.


Photograph from the Festival of flowers in 2014: The Lady Chapel

Unsurprisingly, it can take the Flower Festival Committee up to 18 months to plan the whole event and then takes two and half days to set up and decorate the whole Cathedral.  Once finished, those involved are responsible for daily watering and replenishing of flowers to keep the displays in perfect condition.  All proceeds are in aid of the Cathedral Restoration Development & Trust for the ongoing upkeep of the Cathedral.  In 2016, approximately £170,000 was raised.  As the Cathedral copper roof must now been replaced by lead, a whopping £5.5 million is needed over the next few years for this work.  This event is run every two years and boasts the most stunning and colourful flower displays not to be missed.  For further details and to purchase tickets please visit…







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