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Written by David Rook Dec 11th

Posted from www.whosoldwhere.co.uk

People always ask Estate Agents: “When is the best time of year to sell a house?”

The answer is always: “When someone wants to buy it.”

It sounds obvious, but many people delay putting their house on the market until spring, believing that more people will be looking at buying around Easter time as the weather starts to warm up; daylight hours increase and gardens start to bloom. Old wives’ tales suggest a bank holiday weekend is the best time to sell a house, as though prospective purchasers only want to see houses on eight days of the year and won’t be interested at other times.

With the media marketing avaialble today the buiness is 24/7, 365 days a year.

House buyers do not hibernate or come out on particular days; they are active now and the market is as buoyant today as it has been for a long time. Those peaks and troughs are increasingly becoming a thing of the past, so why not take advantage of the opportunity to sell now before everyone else catches on?

By waiting until spring to market your house, you risk missing the people who want or need to buy now. For some people, moving house is not something they can take their time over. They may have sold their own home, or they may be relocating for work, so waiting until spring just isn’t an option.

Not only that, but you will have far more competition in the spring from all the other sellers who wait until then to put their homes on the market. Prospective purchasers will have more choice as the number of properties on the market increases, so you have less chance of them choosing to buy your home.

As I say to anyone who asks about selling at this time of year, what do you have to lose? Your house may be on the market a few weeks earlier than you had planned – but you might just catch the right buyer at the right time, and start the New Year in the knowledge that you have already sold your home and are ready to move on.


So, if you are ready to sell or rent your home now, why not give the team at DREAMVIEW ESTATES a call. 

We are here on 24/12 and back in the office on 27/12 to deal with all your enquiries for 2014

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year


The latest surge in housing activity is provoking some interesting questions about how to market your home.

A well known high street agent or a simple web based option.

It is clear that non-high street estate agents are going to increase in prominence if the activity in the market remains high.

For high street estate agencies such as my own, how important is it that you are in the middle of a prominent site. I think the advantages are clear in the following ways

1. A local presence – What customers want from the agent is expert local advice about what local buyers want. This obviously translates into what price, but also a knowledge of qualified buyers who are active at that point in time. This can't be achieved from a national 'call centre' model of agency.

2. A 'hub' to keep an effective pro-active and reactive service. A 'one man band' working from his bedroom can offer the local knowledge but he can't offer a group of staff who can answer queries from buyers and sellers as they arise. If he or she is on the phone or not working then the calls don't get answered.

When I set up our first office in Golders Green in 1994 we picked the most prominent location possible to give ourselves the best chance of success.

It's clear that it's an advantage to be prominent in the same way that extensive marketing exposures buyers and sellers to your brand.

We still had lots of walk in traffic to the business but as ways of communication have changed the level of 'off the street' traffic has diminished. This trend will obviously continue and businesses will have flexibility in how they set up and profile their businesses. The models will become more diverse with high street, personal agent and national models all competing for space within the market.

There is a key question that is often missed in this debate and that is – what do customers want? I think the answer is a better and more flexible service from their agency. Reduced fees? Yes, but not at the expense of service.

Every decision we make as an industry should be informed by how we can improve our offering to our customers. If the direction of travel is in a race to the bottom on fees then the reputation of agencies will get worse not better.

I followed the example when I opened Dreamview Estates on the High Street in Golders Green. I wanted a well located position (we are by a busy bus stop) and a bright and welcoming office that attracts people through the door with an impressive window display to catch the eye. I think we have achieved that and still get a lot of passing enquires. This cannot be achieved from on-line marketing.

In the end both options have merits but at Dreamview Estates we believe the personal approach bounded with good staff and experience cant be beaten.

Why nor come along and see us to find out for yourselves....we are easy to find!


5 tips we hope will help your house sell more quickly.

Had hundreds of viewings and no one made an offer on your property yet?

Or maybe you are looking to sell but don't want to spend the next couple of years having to hide things away with 15 minutes notice from the estate agents!

Whatever your situation, it's important to prepare ahead of putting your property on the market so you don't waste your valuable time and money.

1) Choose your target market

It is only natural that any buyer will want to picture him/herself living in your property before they make an offer. The first step therefore in selling as quickly as possible is to consider your target market. For example, if you feel a professional couple would be ideal, then turn a spare bedroom into an office.

Conversely, if you think it’s a young family who will be most interested in your property then clear out the spare room of any junk and perhaps consider putting a bed in it so buyers can see it can be used as a children’s bedroom.

2) Get the price/timing right!

Easier said than done maybe. But there is absolutely no point putting the house on the market for considerably more than other homes in your area unless you are 100 per cent confident that it is worth considerably more!

You should invite three local estate agents from different sized companies to give an opinion of likely selling price and discuss with them ways of maximising saleability. It is usually best to instruct one as a sole agent for a limited period or two from different parts of your local area in order to generate broader coverage.

Whosoldwhere.co.uk shows you which agents have sold which property in your area. Remember a bigger agent doesn’t necessarily mean better. Often smaller independent agents are better for selling particular types of homes or maybe specialists in particular areas. Also just because an estate agent flatters you with the best valuation it doesn’t mean they will be able to sell it for that price!

Key times for selling your property are Spring (Feb/May) and Autumn (Sep/Oct). This is when traditionally demand outstrips supply and therefore prices are usually at their most buoyant.

3) Get rid of any unpleasant smells!

In a recent survey carried out by website A Passion For Homes bad smells were voted the biggest single turn off when viewing a home by nearly one in three of us (32 per cent) of us.

You may think your loveable pooch smells lovely or the cat litter tray in the kitchen isn’t really that much of a big deal, but the chances are any prospective buyer won’t!  Obviously it goes without saying that any pets should be removed from the house during viewing (it’s amazing how many children are scared of animals, especially big dogs) but there should also be air fresheners in place to neutralise any pet smells.

Similarly, rubbish should be removed from the bins and kitchen pots and pans cleaned and cleared away so there aren’t any lingering food smells.

“Smells are the biggest negative factor we have to deal with, and on a regular basis,” says Michelle Wilden, from JDG Estate Agents covering Lancaster and Morecambe. “People’s noses are sensitive.”

If it’s summer time, then maybe open the windows to get some fresh air in. If it’s too cold outside then maybe get some coffee brewing or, even, bread baking!

4)  Reduce ‘personality’ by decluttering/repainting

It’s become a bit of a cliché about painting your house magnolia but it really does work (which is probably why so many show homes have neutral décor). Although buyers like to see the potential in a home in terms of what each room can be used for they also need to view the property as a ‘blank canvas’.

Bright colours, like pinks, oranges and reds are often quite personal and buyers will be put off if they think they have to redecorate the whole house as soon as they move in whereas most people can live with neutral colours.

Getting rid of ornaments and photos completely is probably not a good idea (buyers like to see a bit of personality in a home) but reducing the number is wise, especially if they make the room look overly cluttered and smaller. Obviously it goes without saying that clothes need to be tidied away – apart from smells there is really nothing much more off putting than climbing over a teenager’s dirty underpants!

Large pieces of furniture should also go into storage as this will make rooms feel much bigger while coats and shoes need to be cleared out of the hallway in order to give more space (hallways are traditionally quite small in UK homes anyway) and to prevent any potential trip hazards - never a good start to a viewing.

 5) Let the agent do their job!

 You might think you are being helpful, but it is nearly always best to let the estate agent show the buyer around. Not only are they more experienced, research shows that buyers of properties can often be put off if the owners are present. This is because the presence of sellers makes it difficult for prospective buyers to take their time or talk openly with their partner and agent.

If possible, make sure all family members are out of the house – perhaps walking the dog if you have one. However failing that, make sure they are up and dressed! One of the big turns offs is for buyers arriving at your house and finding they can’t go into a particular room because there is someone asleep.

If you absolutely must show your property yourself, then decide beforehand what order you will show the rooms – either best room first or best room last. Guide viewers around the property once and invite them to take a view of the house by themselves at the end. Don’t burble away giving them too much detail about the property (especially if much of it is in the brochure), but be responsive if they ask you any specific questions.

And if after all that you still haven’t sold your property, what do you do?

There is absolutely no shame in changing tack if things don’t work out. Start by looking at the property dispassionately and perhaps asking a good friend honestly whether they would buy the property for that price if seeing it for the first time.

Then maybe go back to your agent after three months and ask them what they think the issue may be. Is it just lack of potential customers, in which case it may be worth considering other agents or trying to market it privately?

Or is there something more fundamental that is putting people off like traffic noise or neighbours playing their music loudly – in which case you either need to consider viewings at different times of day or talking to your neighbours when you have viewings planned. Most people are quite understanding if you remain polite and explain the reasons to them.

It may also be worth considering new marketing techniques such as ‘Open House’ (see our article here). We are finding that setting up an open day for sellers as part of property marketing is becoming increasingly popular. Many prospective purchasers find it difficult to tie themselves to fixed viewing times so prefer more flexible arrangements from an “open house”.

On the other hand, sellers aren’t always able to make themselves available for viewings at relatively short notice so sometimes like the idea of concentrating on specific dates when we can show visitors around.

Dreamview Estates are always happy to give advice so please feel free to call us in to help!



Estate Agency review website AllAgents.co.uk announced yesterday the results for this years awards from their review website

We were very pround to receive the GOLD award for overall "BEST CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE"                                                                                             and the SILVER award for "BEST LETTING CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE".

Having received these awards after only our 1st year of trading came as great surprise and we were delighted to know that all the hard work we have put into making Dreamview Estates the best estate agency on the local area.

We will use these awards to make sure we continue to provide the best service to all our clients.

Why not contact us to see what a pleasurable experience it can be dealing with estate agents.

Please feel free to check out the link to all the reviews we have received


Once on the page please scroll down to see the reviews.

Thank you to all the clients who helped us reach the GOLD award