26Oct

In this post, Mike Ellis, director at Ellis Winters & Co in March, offers his opinion on a question that is at the forefront of many homeowners’ and buyers’ minds.

 

“Despite the decision to leave the EU, it would appear that the majority of us here in the UK remain positive about the UK housing market. But there is a ‘but’ and that’s the fact that actual price growth will continue at a more moderate pace than previous years. But it will grow nevertheless!

 

“That people are positive is good news all round. It means they still view property as being a good investment – which I definitely agree with – and there are undoubtedly people out there who still want to buy houses. We’re seeing that first hand across all of our three offices but two new pieces of research prove it too.

 

“According to The Council of Mortgage Lenders, 72% of UK adults still aspire to own their own home within two years and not just for financial reasons. Plus, perhaps most interestingly, those who are struggling with affordability are seriously considering other alternatives such as shared ownership. Part ownership is now viewed as a stepping-stone and is regarded as a ‘good idea’ by half of those surveyed.

 

“It’s also a good time to get a mortgage with gross mortgage figures reaching £20.5 billion in September, the highest lending figure recorded by the Council of Mortgage Lenders since 2007.

 

“In summary, the mortgage market is undeterred and has not been deflated as many predicted, lending is increasing and demand for properties is high. So, is the UK housing market suffering from Brexit doom and gloom? No, it’s categorically not!”

17Oct

Last week, Mike Ellis, director at Ellis Winters & Co in March, outlined the reasoning behind the company’s strapline, ‘welcome to better’. In this post, Mike offers a few more reasons…

 

“We never take on a property if we can’t provide the time and effort the sale of a substantial asset requires. Although it would be flattering to be offered 100 new properties to market tomorrow, I know that by accepting these instructions our service standards would deteriorate. It’s far more important to us that every client receives our full attention. I would rather be the company that has 50 homes for sale and sells 45, than the company that has 150 for sale and sells 100.

 

“We always deliver great value for money and our fees are representative of the service and marketing your home will receive. We have a very efficient process and I suspect we offer some of the most competitive fees available.

 

“We promise to be fair and never aim ‘to get away with what we can’ because a client didn’t have the skills or desire to haggle down an extortionate initial quotation. I know I hate being treated this way and wouldn’t want to be associated with a company that found this acceptable.

 

“We spend our time, resources and effort marketing your property rather than our company. Finding the best buyer and achieving the best price is our goal and this is what we do, day in, day out. We never use our time to inundate 1000s of homes with unsolicited junk mail shouting about how great we are nor do we erect Sold boards on every verge with the sole purpose of promoting our company because it’s not about us, it’s about you and your home!

 

“That’s what welcome to better is all about.”

14Oct

Buying and selling property is considered one of the most stressful and emotional times in life. Moving home often coincides with other major events so requires clear decision making as your choices will be important to your future.

 

Ellis Winters & Co have a great deal of experience in selling properties and understand the pressures involved so director, Jan Townsend, has compiled a quick guide to answer some of the questions about the sale of your home.

 

“Selling and buying a property is both complex and time consuming. Excellent communication and good management delivered through experienced professionals is, therefore, essential.

 

“An estate agent’s primary role is to facilitate the sale of your property. They are there to provide regular communication, guidance and support through the more complicated stages of the transaction and are responsible for:

 

·       Accurate valuation of your property, taking into account the economic issues affecting the market

·       Marketing your property including the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), floor plan, photography and brochure

·       How your property is presented, how widely it is promoted and attracting the right buyers. There’s nothing worse than having the wrong buyer  for your property; it can delay the transaction for months and waste money and effort for everyone

·       Managing all stages of the transaction from valuation and marketing, to qualifying purchasers to ensure they can afford the property and liaising with solicitors all the way to final completion

 

Legal requirements

“The EPC must be carried out by a qualified Domestic Energy Assessor and ordered before marketing can commence. It must arrive within 28 days of ordering.

 

Floor plans and photography

“High quality floor plans and photographs are proven to greatly increase interest in a property. These enable potential buyers to build an accurate image of your property before calling to arrange a viewing. Advances in online technology such as videoettes are becoming increasingly popular and will help your property stand out in a competitive market.”

12Oct

“We’re often asked the question: “why ‘welcome to better’?” following the addition of this statement to our company rebrand last year,” states Mike Ellis, director at Ellis Winters & Co.

 

“Well, from day one, Ellis Winters & Co was set up and has been run to provide the very best service, advice and value. After years of experiencing various agents’ service as a landlord and vendor following the completion of a project or development, we decided it was imperative that should we decide to offer our own estate agency service, it must really strive to be different in its attitude to landlords and sellers.

 

“As a consumer I hate being sold to. It completely switches me off and I quickly lose interest in the product or service being pushed onto me.

I’m a grown up…explain what you offer, what the likely results will be, why the service or product is right for me and if it’s good value for money I will be happy to use you! Just the facts and no false promises please!

 

“Ok, so I know this doesn’t often happen in real life but we can all dream or, in our case, try to meet this heady goal. So, at Ellis Winters & Co we will not sell to you. We will offer sound advice on all aspects of marketing your home and be completely honest with our appraisal along with the pitfalls and difficulties that you may encounter during the process.

 

“We will never overvalue your property just to gain an instruction but we will advise you, honestly, of the best price we feel that can be achieved if we can secure the perfect buyer. This is after all why you employ us, to put as many £s in your pocket as possible.

 

“Selling your home is usually a life changing event and as such may be stressful. Don’t believe anybody who says different. The system we use in this country to buy and sell property is flawed and sadly Ellis Winters & Co can’t change this. What we promise, and do, is to pre-warn you of the bumps along the road that may be encountered during the process and use our experience and common sense to advise you how to keep moving forward so that the transaction completes successfully.

 

06Oct

Our director, Sue Davies, has over 20 years experience of property and residential lettings and in this post she offers her top advice on how to choose a Letting Agent.


“It’s a big decision to let out your property whether it’s been your family home or you’ve bought it for investment purposes. Either way, you need to make sure that your property is in good hands and that it’s being managed professionally.


“It can be very daunting if you have never rented before but there are key things you can put in place to give you peace of mind and ensure your investment is secure and being looked after correctly.


“Firstly look for an agent who has experience in the lettings market and ask the right questions. How many properties do they manage locally? The numbers will speak for themselves – if they only have a few properties, they are either new to letting or they are doing something wrong. How many full-time staff do they have specialising in rentals? Do they have experienced and trained staff and if so, what qualifications do they have – are they accredited to a professional training body or is it just something they have done on-line? This is very important when selecting a letting agency as it’s vital that your agent is up to date with all current legislation.


“What are their opening hours and how do they cover out-of-hours emergencies – are these dealt with locally or will your tenant have to phone a centralised telephone number miles away? Do they produce comprehensive inventories and how are the tenants’ deposits registered and protected?


“It sounds like the questions are endless but actually a good agent should be able to answer them all with ease. They should also be transparent, with their fees clearly displayed and their terms of business simple to understand so that any potential landlord can hand over the keys to their property and feel reassured that they are in good hands.


“Stress free lettings is what you should be aiming for and with the right agent, this is exactly what you should get.”

30Sep

What’s on your ‘to do’ list when it comes to buying a house? Is there a note about seeking independent advice? If not, then there definitely should be and here’s why.

 

Mark Scott, an independent financial advisor with 17 years experience runs his own business, Positive Impact Financial Services, and has worked with the team at Ellis Winters & Co in St Ives for 10 years.

 

“When we meet with prospective buyers, we always start with the end game in mind,” explains Mark. “Rather than solving the problem of getting the best mortgage, we discuss exactly what buyers want to achieve in the long-term from their property purchase. Where do they see themselves living when they’re retired? Is this a stepping stone property? Is this their dream house? There are lots of life steps to think about and that helps us to find the right mortgage for the job.

 

Continues Mark: “If I were to survey 100 different people who’d just taken on a mortgage I would estimate that 80% of them will have signed up for a two year fixed rate deal. The reason? It’s an easy sell for mortgage brokers but there’s no solid financial planning behind the decision. What happens after the two years are up? It’s a key question that more often than not the buyer can’t answer.

 

“That’s why finding the right independent financial advisor rather than someone who can get you the mortgage you think you want or that sounds like a good deal, should be a top priority when purchasing a property. You need someone who can explain all the positives and negatives and support those individual life steps to ensure the end game result is exactly what you want it to be.”