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BEHIND THE SCENES: WHAT DOES AN ESTATE AGENT DO FOR YOUR MONEY?

“Put it on the Internet and wait for the phone to ring”. That’s perhaps how many people see an estate agent’s life, and there’s undoubtedly some mystery around precisely what agents do beyond putting a property on the market and showing people around.

While a big part of the day is being out in the neighbourhood and looking at homes, there’s plenty more work that might not be so obvious. A bit like a swan gliding majestically across a lake, there’s a lot of action under the surface to keep things moving smoothly.

To shine a light on all that happens, you’re invited this week for a look behind the scenes of Luxe homes by for a fly-on-the-wall experience. By the time you’ve read this blog, you’ll be armed with insider info and primed to choose with confidence the estate agent that’s right for you.

Remember that you’re always welcome to get in touch for a talk about moving home: just pick up the phone for a chat on 01388 221005 or send an email to hello@luxehomesby.co.uk.  But meanwhile, let’s dive into a typical day of getting the neighbourhood moved.

MATCHMAKING

There’s definitely an art to putting the right buyer together with the right property.

When someone sends in a viewing request for a home they’ve seen on the Internet, they usually don’t end up buying it. Sales come from listening to the hopes and desires of buyers and learning what lies at the heart of their move. Very often, people start looking for one thing but end up choosing something completely different.

Typical moving stories include simplifying a commute, needing more space, wanting to downsize, changing schools or work, finding a permanent solution to working from home, or having somewhere secure to park a prized new car.

But not every buyer needs to move; some of them simply want to. One might like the idea of a new renovation project; another might be looking for a change of scene, and someone else might find themselves with a sudden chance to move up the property ladder through a pay rise, promotion or inheritance.

As well as looking at motivation, matchmaking also means ensuring that anyone coming to view your home is actually able to buy it. Do they have a mortgage agreed in principle; are they really a cash buyer; is their current home already under offer; is there anything else that might affect their ability to move?

These factors are essential elements in pairing people with property, meaning more relevant viewings for buyers and fewer wasted ones for you.

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TIMING YOUR MOVE: HOW TO CHOOSE THE PERFECT MOMENT TO SELL

Have you ever wondered how to pick the perfect time to sell your home? It’s probably the question we’re asked the most when talking to people about their move.

But how do you pick your moment with so much conflicting advice? Should you exploit the new year rush, or sell in the spring when the blossom is on the trees? Is it better to get in before the summer holidays, or wait till the kids have gone back to the school in September, or join the Boxing Day Bounce?

You’re certainly not alone if you’re a little confused, but there’s more to selling your home than picking the time of year. And while it’s not a scientific formula, there are elements worth considering when choosing when to move.

Luxe homes by, is always on hand to discuss your moving plans. If you’re considering selling your property and would like to talk about timescales, current demand or anything else you’re unsure of, call us for a chat on 01388 221005 or email us at hello@luxehomesby.co.uk

Meanwhile, let’s take a look at how you can choose a moment to sell that fits with your plans and finds you the perfect buyer. What you’ll discover is that it’s not just a matter of when you sell, but why and how you do it.

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WINTER GARDENS: WOW YOUR BUYERS WITH A WONDERLAND

WINTER GARDENS: WOW YOUR BUYERS WITH A WONDERLAND

Gardens get a raw deal at Christmas. While everyone’s thinking about getting together with family and friends, gardens and balconies are left out in the cold, cut off and forgotten behind the curtains with not so much as a passing glance before March.

Well, that seems a bit of a shame, doesn’t it? Gardens and balconies were national saviours during the lockdown months of 2020, garnering must-have status among more homebuyers than ever before. But are gardens and balconies really just for the summer months and sunshine?

Look at the people of Iceland, Norway or Switzerland. Does everyone run away from the cold and pretend it doesn’t exist, or do they delight at the prospect of long nights, steaming stews and hot cocktails?

Even without the promise of Alpine landscapes beneath the stars, there are plenty of quick and easy options for adding instant winter magic to your garden or balcony that keep it usable and beautiful, no matter what the weather.

We’re not talking about planning for spring or summer – that’s for a later article. We’re talking instant gratification to enjoy your garden or balcony right now, then through the festive season and out the other side, creating a year-round asset for you and potential buyers.

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HOW TO STAND OUT: SELLING YOUR HOME IN A CROWDED MARKET

The revival of the property market is an inescapable news story right now, with a surge of interest across the UK.

While it’s excellent news for sellers, the high demand from buyers is more than mirrored by the increased supply of property, making it more of a challenge for people to get their home noticed: whether you are about to put your property up for sale, or if your home has been on the market for some time, one thing for sure is that you are certainly not alone.

If you’re on the verge of putting your home on the market, you might be concerned about so much competition. Perhaps your property has been for sale for some time, but nobody is coming to see it. Or maybe you’re attracting viewings, but none have turned into offers. Whatever your current position, we’ve got you covered.

In this week’s blog, we’ll show you how to help your home stand out from the crowd. You’ll find plenty of suggestions that are surprisingly easy to implement and, with even the smallest of changes, could make all difference between being noticed, and being ignored.

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WARM WELCOMES: TURN YOUR COLD VIEWERS INTO HOT BUYERS

There are still two months of winter before spring hits on March 21st, so if you’re selling your home in the chilly season, it’s essential to extend the warmest of welcomes to potential buyers when they visit.

The sensations of comfort and joy that make you glad to be indoors are precisely how your viewers should feel as they enter your home from traipsing around in the cold. By warming their bodies and seducing their souls, you can deliver an invitation to stick around not just for now, but forever.  And if nothing else, you’ll have proved that the heating works!

You’re always welcome to get in touch if you have a property in Durham, Darlington or the Dales and would like to chat about moving or selling. Our team are here to help you in any way we can, so call us for a chat on 01388221005 or email us at hello@luxehomesby.co.uk.

Meanwhile, let’s take a look at how you can capture a feeling of irresistible cosiness – the Danes call it hygge – throughout every corner of your home. Read on and discover how cold viewers can be turned into hot buyers, compelled to contact your agent with a full asking price offer and determined to make the place where you live, the place they call home.

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SWIFT, SAFE AND SURE: THE GUIDE TO SELLING YOUR HOME IN LOCKDOWN

If you’d been waiting until the new year to put your moving plans into action, you might be wondering whether to put them back on hold. But if you do that, when will you be able to think about moving again?

Let’s start by saying that 2021 is very different from the first lockdown of March 2020. This year, the housing market has been allowed to remain open, and not just because of its economic importance: our wellbeing is equally vital, and life doesn’t simply stop. (You need only look at how children have continued to grow, regardless of a national lockdown and global pandemic.)

With clear government guidelines in place around every aspect of buying and selling a home, most businesses connected with the housing market have adapted well to keep people moving. Estate agents, photographers, energy assessors, conveyancers, lenders and removals companies have all found ways to operate safely and efficiently to help you get to where you want to go. On top of all that, the market is really good!

So this week’s blog is about the current realities of getting your move in place. From putting your home on the market and managing viewings to the legal process and moving day itself, you’ll be pleased to know that you can capture the market’s momentum and move safely and swiftly in lockdown.

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DECLUTTER FOR GOOD: START YOUR 2021 WITH A ROOM-BY-ROOM RESET

The weeks either side of New Year always involve some sort of clearing out. Whether you’ve hosted over the season, been a guest somewhere else or stayed at home for a quiet one, there are cards, wrapping, boxes and bottles to throw out, and decorations to take down and put away.

New Year is also a catalyst for change and the increase in energy makes it the perfect time to declutter your home, regardless of whether you’re staying or selling.  It’s one of those jobs that gets easily put off, but once you begin, you’ll find the sense of accomplishment quickly grows.

Before you get overwhelmed, a quick note on what decluttering really means. It’s not about becoming a minimalist or having everything correctly displayed, but neither does it mean filling your loft, cellar or garage with things you no longer use.

Author and TV star Marie Kondo began a whole new trend with her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which helps people identify items that “spark joy. Taking her stance, decluttering means keeping what you love, giving it a place to shine and having more space in your mind, as well as your rooms.

However you do it – selling, donating, or rearranging (yes, it can sometimes come down to simple presentation) – there’s no need to read an entire book to get your house in order: all you need is our room-by-room guide to decluttering your home for good.

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CHRISTMAS PRESENCE: IS YOUR HOME PRIMED FOR THE BOXING DAY BOUNCE?

There is no doubt that Christmas 2020 will be unlike any other. Holidays abandoned; family gatherings reduced; office parties cancelled. Even a quick festive drink at the local pub is far from a certain date. But while there are many things we can’t do this Christmas, it doesn’t mean that everything will stop.

If you look at the data from Rightmove and Zoopla, Christmas is very much the season to sell your home. Every year, visitor numbers to the portals skyrocket during the festive period, substituting The Wizard of Oz and one last game of charades for scrolling through listings in search of that special somewhere.

Such is the surge in activity that Rightmove and Zoopla are now as synonymous with Christmas as mince pies and mistletoe. Property searches more than double over the holiday season, and the portals have reported increases in activity up to 231%, with the flurry beginning on Boxing Day and continuing beyond New Year.

The first lockdown gave us a sneak peek of what we can expect. In May, Rightmove recorded six-million views in one 24-hour period, its busiest day since launching in 2000. The figures this year could easily surpass that number, with the nation bracing itself for a digital Christmas at home.

Now that bringing the family together from all corners of the country is officially off the cards, many of us will be settling down with Skype for the virtual pulling of crackers and wishing our loved ones season’s greetings. With so much of our time inevitably spent online, we’ll all have carte blanche to bury ourselves in smartphones, tablets and laptops. And without the accompanying guilt, imagine how easy it will be to click onto Rightmove or Zoopla when they’re just one browser tab from the family Zoom call!

If there’s one thing we do know for sure this Christmas, it’s that more people than ever will be at home and online. It all adds up to a boom time for the portals, so if you’re planning to sell your home in the new year, the Boxing Day Bounce could give you the perfect springboard to a successful sale.

Here are our tips to make it work for you.

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ROOM AT THE TOP: ADD SPACE & VALUE WITH A LOFT CONVERSION

Spending so much more time at home this year has left many of us looking at our living spaces in a whole new light. Every spare corner has been pressed into service as a home office, classroom, gym or art studio, often juggling multiple roles at the same time.

But one space that remains underused, is the attic. Most homes with a pitched roof have some sort of roof space that can be converted into practical, comfortable and even luxurious rooms, but lofts are often reduced to storing dusty suitcases and Christmas decorations.

If you’re exploring how to add value to your home, converting your loft is a proven and effective route, adding extra bedrooms or spaces to attract more affluent buyers. But a loft conversion can also give you the home you want in the place you’re already settled and love: if your children are happy at school, or you have good friends and neighbours around you, a move might not be right just now.

From an estate agency point of view, taking people up into a skilfully converted loft is often the icing on cake at viewings, garnering oohs and ahhs from the mixture of character, light and surprise: there’s something about being in the roof space that makes people smile.

So this week’s article is all about eaves! We take a detailed look at the types of loft conversion you might consider, along with the practicalities, procedures and permissions in taking that empty space at the top of your house to a whole new level