Happy Easter!  Hours of Opening for our St Ives, Chatteris & March office:


Good Friday 14th April – Closed

Saturday 15th April – 9am – 5pm

Easter Sunday 16th April – Closed

Monday 17th April – Closed


Below are all the details of our Chatteris and March office Christmas and New Year opening hours plus emergency contact numbers for tenants. May we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Monday 19th – Thursday 22nd December - NORMAL HOURS

Friday 23rd December - 9am – 4pm
Saturday 24th December - CLOSED
Sunday 25th December - CLOSED
Monday 26th December - CLOSED
Tuesday 27th December - CLOSED
Wednesday 28th December - 9am – 5pm
Thursday 29th December - 9am – 5pm
Friday 30th December - 9am – 5pm
Saturday 31st December - CLOSED
Sunday 1st January - CLOSED
Monday 2nd January - CLOSED
Tuesday 3rd January - NORMAL HOURS

Shaun Amps Plumbing – 07979 711 831
Anglian Water 0845 714 5145
James Locke (Electrician) – 07825 688 350
Chris Wright (Locksmith) – 07776 325 878


One of the most frequently asked questions following “Congratulations, your offer has been accepted” is “what do I need to do now?”


An important item on your checklist should be to make sure your new purchase is as expected with regards to its general condition. This is where an accurate survey report is invaluable. There are several levels of a report that can be commissioned but in this article we concentrate on the ‘Building Survey Report’.


Formerly known as a Structural Survey, a Building Survey Report is an in depth inspection of all accessible elements of a property. It provides an evaluation of the condition of a property and will suggest which aspects might need maintenance or further specialist investigation.


The Reports are compiled by chartered surveyors and usually cost from £600 for a small flat to £1,500 for a larger property. They do not usually comment on the value of the property and they should not to be confused with a Homebuyers Report which is similar to a mortgage valuation which is often required by any company you are using to raise finance for your purchase. Mortgage companies may not require a Building Survey Report but you almost always do!


There are only a handful of occasions when we wouldn’t recommend getting a Building Survey Report but, with all purchases now costing a substantial amount, these are few and far between.


The report’s primary purpose is to draw attention to anything unsuspected or unusual that wasn’t evident to the layman when you viewed the property. That could be, for example, subsidence or a roof at the end of its life.  It is far better to be aware of potential costs as soon as possible so you can buy accordingly.


Building Survey Reports are often long, complex documents so consider meeting the surveyor on site so he or she can talk, and walk, you through any issues. Give yourself plenty of time to read the whole report, highlight any problems and be realistic. Your Building Survey Report is a key ally and it will help you to keep your property in perfect health for years to come.


Mike Ellis, director at Ellis Winters & Co in March sheds some light on why sales transactions can take so long to complete and how to speed them up!


“I've been an estate agent for more years than I care to remember but, throughout that time, there has always been a cloud of mystery over why a sales transaction takes so long.


“In essence a buyer needs three things before they are ready to exchange contracts: a local search, an approved contract and a mortgage offer.


“Let's break these down into their constituent parts because they can actually all be done at the same time. A building society survey should be done within the first couple of weeks of the sale being agreed, with a mortgage offer coming out a week or two later. Local searches take two to four weeks and an approved contract should take four to six weeks. 


“So there should be no reason why contracts should not be ready to exchange within six weeks and yet the average length of time from sale agreed to exchange is 11 weeks. You’d think that with modern communications such as mobiles and email the process would surely be quicker today than 30 years ago. However, you may be surprised to know that the average length of time for a transaction in the 1980s was yes, you guessed it, 11 weeks!


“Because of our increasingly litigious nature, there are more hoops for a solicitor to jump through to ensure things are done properly and therefore less chance of them being sued. But still, these extra weeks cannot be explained.


“So how can you speed this process up? For me it's clear. Instructing the right estate agent who will not only sell your property but is used to dealing with solicitors and has the experience to solve any problems that crop up. 


“Your agent must do a proper job in qualifying the buyer to ensure they can proceed with the purchase; due diligence at this stage is paramount. Instruct your solicitor early i.e. when you first go on the market so they can get the mundane things out of the way such as your ID and formal instructions. Ask your solicitor to email any questions rather than posting them and reply as quickly as you can. Finally, tell you solicitor your expectations of timescales and make sure they stick to them!”


Wondering why your house isn’t selling? Mike Ellis, director at Ellis Winters & Co outlines three of the main reasons and why your estate agent should talk to you about them on a regular basis.


1. Something is wrong with the house


It could be location, condition or accommodation. This is where feedback from viewers comes in. It’s vital to ask their honest opinion about the houses they’re looking at. Is there a recurring theme: “I don’tlike the colour in the dining room”? If so, change the colour! Or it can be as simple as: “there was too much washing-up in the sink” - an experienced agent will cut to the chase and let you know!



2. Something is wrong with the marketing


It always amazes me, when looking on Rightmove, at the number of houses where the photos are extremely poor.  Tea towels left hanging over the oven door, cars in driveways, poorly lit rooms - the list is endless.


Then there are the banal descriptions. Your agent needs to grab the attention of a buyer and instil the ‘need to view’, because ‘it’s unmissable’. Regular reviews will bring to the fore any issues and if the agent doesn’t change their poor details, it’s time to change the agent.


3. Something is wrong with the price


There are three ways to value a property, and your agent should review these at regular intervals to make sure your house doesn’t stand out for the wrong reasons.


The first is to look at the House Price Index. If you bought your house a year ago for £100,000 and the market has risen by 8%, it’s probably worth £108,000. The second is by comparison. If your neighbour has an identical house, and it’s sold for £150,000, the chances are your house isn’t worth £200,000. And the third is: “What does the owner need to achieve to be able to move”? The answer is: to sell, it still needs to be priced in accordance with the HPI and comparable sold prices for similar property.


As we head towards Christmas, there are usually fewer houses for sale but also fewer buyers. People have other things on their minds. However make sure you’re ready for that unexpected viewer, simply by making sure your house is warm and tidy. And don’t forget to do that washing-up!


Over the last 12 months, and following the opening of our office in March last September, our rental property portfolio has grown from strength to strength.


Explains Sue Davies, who heads up the rentals team: “We’re currently managing over 350 properties in March, Chatteris and the surrounding villages with a further 300 properties in the St Ives area.  Over the last 13 years we have built up an excellent reputation for doing the job properly, our landlords trust us to look after their investments and we are proud of the excellent level of customer service we are able to provide.”


The Chatteris and March rentals team comprises Kayleigh Ellis, Tracy Raine, Kim Puckering, Clarissa Duggan, Jane Smith and Sue Davies who between them have unrivalled rentals experience and knowledge.


What’s more, with the current rate of growth Ellis Winters & Co is experiencing, we will soon be recruiting further staff to enhance what is already a very strong team. So, watch this space for some great job opportunities.


If you have any questions or are considering letting your property, please contact Sue or the team on Tel: 01354 694900.