Blog

Houses prices flattish except in London

A new report shows that house prices are up a tiny 1.1% in past year nationally, but the picture is very different in London with the market there up 7% year on year. It is certainly true that the London market is driving house sales in Hertford as London salaries are paying for Hertford mortgages! They flow up the railway lines to Hertford north and hertford east every evening!

http://bit.ly/TwmzKK

The RICS gets it wrong on regulating the estate agency industry

Estate Agent Today reports today that the RICS says it would like to see all estate agents forced to sign up to a professional regulation scheme. It said this would provide better safeguards for buyers and sellers and be ‘clearer than the current regulatory regime which is unnecessarily complex’.

Peter Bolton King, RICS global residential director, said:

“Clearly, when people are making the biggest purchase of their lives, they want to know that they can trust their agent and the advice they’re given. People who are buying or selling a house should always check that their agent is a regulated member of a professional body, such as RICS, who abide by ethical codes. By using an unregulated estate agent, people are potentially dealing with someone who doesn’t understand their obligations to consumers. Although all estate agents must have a redress scheme, these only deal with complaints once something has gone wrong.”

This…

Special Offer for anyone connected with the Isabel Hospice

I recently visited the Isabel Hospice in Welwyn Garden City and was kindly shown around by Emma Lippiat who is their Corporate Relatins manager. It was a very inspirational visit to see the amazing work that this local charity does for terminally ill adults and children in Hertfordshire. What came across is how fantastic the staff are and how dedicated they are as well as the work done by volunteers of whom there are over 1000! At BigBlackHen.com we would like to help raise money for such a good cause which is why we are happy to donate 25% of our fee to any staff member, volunteer or members of their immediate family who wish to sell their homes with us and we will raise this to 50% of our fee to residents of the hospice or their friends and family. Hopefully we can help get you moved and…

Selling by Informal Tender – When is this the best approach?

Informal Tender can be a really effective way to sell properties that need complete modernisation or any other kind of development opportunity such a houses with planning to significantly enlarge or building plots. Take for instance this large four bedroom detached house that we recently agreed a sale on through informal tender:

It was in a prime location and clearly had scope to significantly improve and extend so I advised the client to go the Informal Tender route. What we did was set a deadline for buyers to get their bids in by, usually four or five weeks after you start marketing, and then agree a guide price range, in this case £500,000 – £550,000. The range gives buyers an indication of the sort of price you expect to achieve, though it is quite common for the winning bid to beat the top end. You then arrange a couple of…

Lesson 2 in killing your house sale – choose a cut price solicitor.

We have just managed to rescue a house sale that nearly fell apart because the buyer had agreed to use a cut price solicitor recommended by their High Street estate agent. These companies are the bane of our lives because in order to cut costs to a minimum they often cut corners. The one in question wasted three weeks while they worked out whether they were or were not instucted (their client kept calling to ask them to act for him but to no avail). They even threw away the first lot of paperwork we sent them as it arrived a couple of days after the sale was agreed and they din’t have a case number opened. Unbelievable. You see people think they are going to save money, but it can end up with them losing their dream home as sellers lose patience with them. The problem is that…