What is Rice Chamberlains Do Not Disturb campaign?

“I don’t want to be bothered with people viewing over Christmas..” Well we don’t blame you, we wouldn’t either.. So whats the answer? 

Try our Do Not Disturb Campaign! 

 

Did you know the highest site traffic on the major portals of Rightmove and Zoopla is recorded over the Christmas break, namely Boxing Day and 27th December?  (According to Rightmove research). So… if you are thinking in early 2018 we have a plan for you! 

We run a Do Not Disturb campaign. Where we can do the following…. 

  • Get your property particulars ready, photos before the tree goes up!
  • Make sure you are happy with everything
  • Go to live to market with your property just before Christmas!

Why do this? 

  • All of those people new to the market and searching the portals will see your property and be keen to look in the New Year!
  • You will beat the rush of January – lots more competition, after all as your home is marketed not in isolation but in competition with other home sellers
  • We won’t do viewings until you have enjoyed your Christmas break and had the chance to tidy up!
  • Most importantly – you are top of the search lists at the busiest time!

Want to know more? Please contact your local Branch for more details;

Moseley Office; 0121 442 4040 

Bournville Office; 0121 458 1123 

www.ricechamberlains.co.uk 

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Whats the average price per Sq. Ft of your home? A big variance across the UK

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  • The ONS has just released average house price data per square metre for properties across England. At a regional level, a buyer in London should expect to pay around £6,639 per square metre (£617 per square foot).
  • The average in London is almost double the next region (the South East) where prices average £3,445 per square metre (£320 per square foot). Measuring value based on the size of a property has long been recognised as an important metric for comparing properties in London and is widely used by developers and investors across the country.
  • While possibly less familiar to buyers outside of London, the measure is now becoming more widespread, even if the factors for choosing a home; number of bedrooms, location, condition etc will always remain imperative. It can be particularly useful for comparing the value of flats or properties with no gardens but is more complicated where garden size or other external space can affect a property’s value.
  • We are always looking at new ways to present data and are working on some exciting new developments within Inform which we will update you on soon but Inform users will soon be able to see this information at a local level – watch this space!
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Why not get an instant online valuation of your home! Click Here For Your Valuation!

 

 

What is portal juggling?

 

So what is it all about? There’s been a fair bit in the industry press of late which I am sure many of the public are unaware of, in fact there may even be people in our own industry that might be unaware of what is going on.

In nutshell it is my belief that some agents, wrongfully and illegally, are manipulating facts and figures to distort their company’s listings on the major portals and using this false information to market how ‘well’ they are doing compared to the competition. It is plainly miss-leading the public and in my opinion in breach of both the Consumer Protection Regulations that agents should ad hear to and also Rightmove’s own contractual policies. There are agents out there really fighting the cause and trying to publicise the fact. Chris Wood of PDQ estates in Cornwall is the main guy. He has been exposing this for some time and it’s about time more of us joined his single man fight. Have a look at the link below for some more information;

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Portal Juggling – Chris Wood of PDQ 

So what should the public look out for and how does it affect what you are reading?  Agents will use the ‘juggling technique’ for two main reasons;

  1. Firstly, changing the asking price of newly listed properties to ‘con’ Rightmove’s back office into thinking they have listed two properties instead of one. i.e. you would see a flat, let’s use Wake Green Park in Moseley as an example, come to the market for an asking price of £99,950. Then it will re-appear a week or so later priced at ‘offers in the region of’ £99,950 – thus Rightmove thinking two properties have been listed, very subtle difference but then agents are claiming to be the No.1 agent in a certain area for new listings when clearly it is false. The public would truly be unaware of this.
  2. Secondly – agents are agreeing sales then removing the property from the market and then re-listing at a lower price which is closer to the price achieved in order to state “we sell at 99% of the asking price” – this is simply untrue.
  3. Or claiming the property is ‘new to the market’ when actually it has previously been marketed by another agent or themselves at a different price.

To quote Chris Wood “This is about issues of trust, transparency and fairness. The portals must be able to show that there is parity of data quality enforcement, and that they fulfil their contractual liabilities.”

I most likely sound like a begrudging agent with an axe to grind against other agents. Well no I am not. We work extremely hard and we are proud when we are No.1 in our various areas or have the best sales ratio’s and asking prices achieved through transparency and hard work. When an agent clearly tries to cheat these figures it would clearly upset anyone in any line of work wouldn’t it?

It was reported that the ‘big three’ portals were going to crack down on this in October 2015 – have I seen any proof in this? No – not yet. Will this story run and run – I think it may? As of this Sunday gone a large national newspaper ran a spread on this very topic. 

I’d like to finish by saying it is only a select few agents that are spoiling this for the others, the vast majority are working correctly & honestly. Next time you are told how many new listings an agent has or how fantastic their percentage of asking price achieved is just have a little think and perhaps dig a little deeper.

Recent update on proceedings can be seen here; http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/industry-regulator-promises-it-will-fully-investigate-portal-juggling/

Read more blogs at; www.ricechamberlains.co.uk

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Want to know what your house is worth? Why not try our free online valuation tool! 

                                             http://valuation.ricechamberlains.co.uk/

 

 

DO NOT DISTURB UNTIL 2016!

DND The thought of marketing your home for sale just during the festive period is a complete no-no for some. And we can completely understand.

The thought of having people viewing your home over the festive period when everyone has so much to do is just a hassle that most people could do without. 

But did you know the that the major property portals like Rightmove and Zoopla experience their busiest times of the year over the festive period for website traffic for would-be buyers browsing the net ready for the New Year? Well it’s true.. 

Indeed Rightmove feel so strongly they wrote a recent Blog themselves on the matter; 

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/news/articles/the-3-million-reasons-that-christmas-is-the-best-time-to-market-your-property

So what do we propose? Well we can get everything ready for you – photos, wording, floor-plans, EPC’s and ‘quietly’ market your home over the Christmas period so you don’t have the hassle of viewings but we can handle the enquires and you don’t miss that all important website traffic so you are ready to go come January, you’ve beaten the rush! 

Want to know more? Then please feel free to contact us for more details at; sales@ricechamberlains.co.uk or call your local branch!

Traditional Sales, Local Online, Solicitors & Lettings (2) (2)

Where have the sellers gone?

There’s a problem. The sellers have disappeared. Prices are rising and reports from various bodies including RICS state that they are going to continue going upward in 2016. So what does this mean and what are we finding?

Well I am not an economist and there are so many varying factors that can effect house prices that it would take an age to explain and in truth I am not even sure the experts really know themselves. All I know is that each and every market is different, every area is unique and thus every market place is individual but from what I know of our little patch of England and from what I hear from other agents from all over the country the problem is the number of homes coming to the market is desperately low, for all.

To give you an idea – in the same four month period between June and October from 2014 and 2015 our valuations (across our Bournville, Harborne, Moseley and West Heath offices) were down 34%. Houses coming to the market were down 21% across our four branches. Figures echoed by the market as a whole (in the most part). 

So what does this mean?

This year has shown an increase in prices due to a lack of supply and a increase in buyers, mostly in the mid-range market place, which for us would be young professional buyers in the price range of £150,000 – £300,000. For example: Victorian terraced homes in Moseley (pictured below) jumped around 15% and above in value in a two month period at the end of last year and beginning of this year and have continued to rise. We were achieving around £200,000 for a ‘good’ two bed, with prices now jumping to £230,000 and above!

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Prime example – Alcester Road, Moseley. Sold in 2007 for £197,500. Sold again in 2015 for £240,000. No real additions or changes to the house. 20% increase since the peak of the market.

Normal market conditions over the past few years would dictate a ‘few’ properties of the same house type being on the market at any given time. Using my previous example you would expect 3,4 or 5 terraced homes on the market at any one given time. This year that has not been the case. For the most part only one has come to market at any given time, meaning a vast amount of buyers, block viewings and multi offers, sometimes going over the asking price for these homes. Hence the increase in house prices (subject to mortgage valuation of course, but we won’t go into that here!)

So where have the sellers gone?

The simply answer is we don’t know. Usual form is that people see prices rising and look to make the move up the ladder and market their homes. Not this year. The family market still needs to move for schools, work etc but again there is usually a circular effect to this meaning the change from primary to secondary schools and vice versa means a usual flow of these homes coming to the market. Again not this year.

So we now find ourselves with the following problems;

  • Not enough homes for first time buyers (buyers in our areas usually buying as couples with an average age 28-38 and missing the first step on the ladder i.e. the one bedroom flat single occupier where there is still an amount of stock available and these are being bought by investors).
  • Middle market sellers (as above) not seeing or finding homes they want to buy and not selling to the First Time Buyers.
  • Second / Third steppers not finding the homes they want so not selling to the ‘Second Steppers’
  • People down-sizing not finding enough smaller homes around so not moving and effecting the second and third steppers.
  • Add this to the fact mortgage rates are low and people are recovering from a rather lengthy recession, perhaps they enjoying their low mortgage payments and staying put having learnt the lessons of pre 2008? (like me).
  • New homes – well publicised figures about the lack of new homes being built.
  • Birmingham has seen a sharp increase in re-locators from London (see the Independent’s article earlier this year http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/im-one-of-thousands-of-people-who-left-london-for-a-better-more-affordable-city-and-i-dont-regret-it-9901199.html) and the age range of these people – 36. Prime ‘second steppers’ – making an already crowded market place even more crowded.

So where do we go from here?

Well until there is a significant shift in homes coming to the market there will continue to be an imbalance of supply and demand and prices will continue to rise. Good news for sellers or not?  Time will tell where the market continues to go from here but all we know is that it will need to change significantly if the rise is to be arrested.

Hope you enjoy reading, unless of course you are an agent suffering the same issues as us or a buyer looking for one of these much sought after homes.

As always I’m happy to answers any questions you may have about your own individual needs or requirements or if you want to find out if your home, like some of the ones mentioned, has jumped in value to the same degree!

Thanks for reading and hope to hear from you soon!

James Llewellyn

Director of Rice Chamberlains Estate Agents in South Birmingham with offices in Moseley, Harborne, Bournville and West Heath  

E: james.llewellyn@ricechamebrlains.co.uk or T: 0121 427 7442 

Web: www.ricechamberlains.co.uk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ricechamberlain

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ricechamberlains/

 

Traditional Sales, Local Online, Solicitors & Lettings (2) (2)

As I write this piece, my first bit of ‘blogging’, I sit and fear the reprisals I may attract. After all I am “one of those” an Estate Agent. One of the most despised professions, sitting snugly (or smugly depending on your view) between bankers and traffic wardens, vying for No.1 spot in some straw poll of the countries ‘most hated’. No doubt, as the housing market returns to health, we too will rise back to our rightful No.1 position!

Now I get it, after all I have been to many a conference or awards day and the thought of spending a whole day in a room full of ‘agents fills me with complete dread. The stuffy, arrogant, shiny suited (I own one) agent still exists, in abundance and they are alive and kicking. But there is a new breed emerging.. slowly I am seeing a shift, a pleasant and refreshing wind of change sweeping through the industry….

You see there are those of us who love what we do. There are those of us who love the area we work in. There are those who have our own businesses and want to be proud of what we deliver to our local community, which we are part of. Believe it or not there are those of us who take legislation seriously, train and qualify, read self-development books, take training courses, believe in proper professional marketing and ultimately put the customer first because they are the ones who entrust us to sell or Let their homes and we do not want to break that trust, ever. We are the ones who don’t change jobs and companies every five minutes, we are in it for the long haul. We are the ones that are the trusted specialists driving our industry forward and are embedded in our local community.

I fear I’m ranting a touch. But the truth is I love what I do and those that know me and my colleagues know that we do care, we do give everything and we do value our customers. You see in this day and age of super-fast internet where everything can be researched and purchased with a click of a button one thing still remains; the need for the personal touch and to have a relationship with someone you know is doing the best for you.

Why do we love it? It is in our blood and after all of the cursing, slamming down off phones, ripping our hair out chasing all parties and basically making sure everyone can complete when they want to (sometimes it feels we are the only ones driving the transactions) something wonderful happens. No it’s not getting paid – although that’s a nice side obviously but completion day comes around. We had a fair few completions this Friday just gone. One young couple in particular summed it up for me. They were so excited to be getting the keys to their first home they actually screamed and jumped down our our office steps in excitement! It was lovely to see and gives you a really ‘warm’ feeling. Couple that with their lovely comments about how helpful and great we had been (no, they really did) and then the owners e-mails of praise and thanks and you know what – we have added value, we have made the experience all the better for all parties concerned. This is what we do, this is part of why we love the job. We maybe “one of those” but we add value and when you make people happy you can sit back safe in the knowledge that these people will come back to you as their agent of choice.

This is who we are at Rice Chamberlains.This is what we do.

So you now know a little bit about me and us, I am “one of those” but you know what; I love what I do and along with other like minded folk I hope to add more value to our profession.

My first blog written and yes a tad self-publicising I must admit but please do keep a look out for further entries of a more light hearted and helpful nature. Tips on moving, selling, renting and buying all to come! Plus local market updates and perhaps the odd funny story thrown in.

See you soon

James.

see our reviews at http://www.agent-tracker.co.uk/ or follow us on Twitter @Ricechamberlain or @MosChamberlains and soon you can come visit us on Facebook.

http://www.ricechamberlains.co.uk/