Berkley Launch North Leicestershire Office
The ‘will we, won’t we’ uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the debacle of the Tory leadership elections has done little to slow down the housing market in recent months. A general feeling of ‘just get on with it’ is evident throughout the market and as a result, the market is buoyant with both buyers and sellers as we slide in the height of the summer and official reports confidently stating a positive growth rate of 4.9% throughout Leicestershire, with particular hotspots around Charnwood and Leicester City.
One agent reporting strong numbers and growth is Berkley Estate & Letting Agents who have just launched their third estate agency office in Leicestershire; this time in the leafy Charnwood village of Barrow upon Soar. Taking over the former Strawberry Sales & Lettings, it joins Kibworth and Leicester City to create a trio of agencies covering North, Central and South Leicestershire.
We caught up with founder, Scott Burrows:
Scott, congratulations on the launch of your third agency. You’ve clearly spotted a gap in the market in North Leicestershire.
Yes, we’ve found that there is a high demand for properties in the area for sale and lettings. I think the proximity to the major road links and the fact you’re easily commutable for Leicester, Nottingham and Derby along with the fact the area has some great pubs, restaurants and tourist attractions means it continues to be a good area to live and invest in. A number of our existing clients have been moving into the area, so we have been looking to
open a branch in Charnwood for a while. When the office and business in Barrow Upon Soar became available it was an easy decision to move that into the Berkley brand and give us coverage now that spans the A6 throughout the county.
What is it that Berkley brings to the market that’s different to other agencies?
We communicate with our clients constantly, sound simple doesn’t it?! It is, it’s important to keep lines of communication open as we’re all working for the same result, so we need to work together to achieve the goal of selling or letting the property.
What should we be considering when deciding which agent to go with?
When a client is selecting which agent to use; they need to choose the one they feel they can have the best relationship with. We are going to be selling a major asset on their behalf, or looking after the rental of their investment (or pension pot) property so they need to choose an agent who has the experience to achieve the best possible price in the best possible timescale and will manage the process in a professional and proactive manner. Most of our business comes from recommendations from previous clients who have found that we provide all of this for them.
What advice would you give to someone looking to sell their house this summer?
When you place your house on the market ask your agent if they think the property is presentable for viewings and don’t take the response personally. Potential buyers should be able to look round the property and not side-step clutter blocking thoroughfares or furniture in front of doorways.
What is the most common mistake people make when listing their house?
Overpricing. The common misconception is that it’s worth ‘testing the market’ at an overly inflated figure to reduce later, but this often leads to the seller achieving a lower price long term rather than obtaining the correct value sooner by having the right marketing campaign to achieve the best possible price in the best possible timeframe.
What would you generally advise sellers to do to maximise their sale price?
Finish ‘the little bits’ i.e.; light fittings that need putting up, walls that need repainting, door furniture that need refitting etc. Most buyers look at several homes and when they are whittling down their shortlist from the houses they’ve viewed these ‘little bits’ can sometimes mount up in a buyer’s head and make them a factor in why they choose a different house to offer on.
What about if you’re the buyer: whatshould we be looking for on our first viewing?
I think as a buyer you get a ‘gut instinct’ almost as soon as you set foot in a house; if it doesn’t seem right straight away, you can probably rule it out. If you like it then look at the daily practicalities of living there: how do the neighbouring properties look; what’s the proximity of amenities (are they an important factor to you) etc.
What is the rule of thumb in relation to negotiating?
There isn’t a ‘rule of thumb’ that works for every situation, it depends on the motivations of both parties looking to reach an agreement on any deal. That’s the key really: try to identify the motivation of your seller or respective buyer.