1. Waiting for the Boxing Day Bounce

    18 December 2017

    December is generally quiet in the estate agency world. It’s usually a good time to tidy the office and catch up with filing as families prepare for Christmas. Free valuations tend to dry up and most of us don’t want to be having photos of our houses taken with a Chritmas tree in the living room or a reindeer it the front garden.

    The property management side, however, never lets up; there is always a job to organise or a repair to sort out. Biggest dread is that someone’s heating packs in on Christmas Eve. I can remember dropping electric heaters off on many occasions.

    The Boxing Day Bounce is a recent phenomenon thanks to the emergence of the internet. This is the day that home movers start their online search for a new place to live. The property portals and agents web sites get thousands of visits before  the real activity starts in the New Year.

    Facebook is always open and we can always be contacted one way or another when the ofice is closed. Just look up renownestates.

    We look forward to seeing and hearing from you.

    In the meantime we hope you have a great Chrismas.


  2. Leaseholds. A national scandal.

    29 January 2017

    This issue needs investigation at the highest level.

    Organisations are set up to fight the traps being set by many developers to catch unsuspecting buyers.

    There’s now a National Leasehold Campaign On Facebook,  a web site, Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, as well as our Own Cramlington Leasehold Organisation. Rip Off Britain and the Telegraph are on to it too.

    Please get involved and share.

  3. Banging on about leaseholds… Got to be done.

    20 June 2016

    There are still lots of people unaware of the importance of this Cramlington issue.
    Talking to estate agent friends in other parts of the region the problem they have is similar. The unique situation with our town is that it was developed by Leech and Bell relatively quickly with homes sold on 99 year lease terms.
    Other estates, say in Durham, Killingworth or Sunderland, were developed individually by these builders and form a small part of the total housing stock.
    We have helped owners of leasehold homes save a lot of money by showing them how to negotiate with freeholders.
    Results vary from estate to estate. Several thousands of pounds have been shaved off initial prices quoted.
    In some cases up to 50%.
    Waiting will cost you money.
    It will also lengthen the time it takes for a sale to go through causing frustration and complications.
    We aren’t in this for the money. We don’t charge anything.
    You will have to pay an expert surveyor but the fee is peanuts compared to the savings you could make.
    There’s no price to put on peace of mind.

  4. To lie or not to lie…. ????

    11 August 2015

    It’s best to be honest and to the point when it comes to business isn’t it?

    The problem is that being honest sometimes comes at a price.

    Just as an example..

    An owner recently asked for feedback following  a viewing. ” The person who viewed thought that your house smelled of dogs, which put him off”.  I said, which was true by the way, at which she took a huff and put her house up for sale with another agent.

    Another instance: ” The person who viewed thought that the house needed re-decorating, they didn’t like your colour scheme”.  Same result.

    Surely the feedback given should reflect the prospective buyers view whether positive or negative.

    I could tell a lie and just say that the person who viewed was still looking and would come back to me later but what’s the point.

    Personally, I would rather know what ( if any ) the problem was then I could do something about it.

    Have you ever watched Homes Under The Hammer?

    There are times when a featured property needs major renovation  but there are others when its just a case giving it a  lick of paint and some new carpets, stick it back on the market and make some profit.

    Wouldn’t you rather know how to sell your home quickly for the best price rather than letting someone else make money out of you?

    We were asked to look at a bungalow that had been on the market for two years with another agent without attracting any buyers. With a bit of re-jigging of furniture, some de-cluttering and some new photos (  leaving it at the same price ) we

    sold it within a couple of weeks.

    Not exactly rocket science, just knowing the job and telling the truth.






  5. Secret Agent… Phil’s the man.

    2 January 2015

    It always amazes me that the owners picked for this show don’t actually know why their houses aren’t selling.

    We had Phil at a couple of places in last night’s show. Both were very badly presented, totally cluttered, garishly decorated, needed new carpets, etc etc..

    The guy in one of the properties couldn’t see the problem at all. He didn’t have a proper front door, he had a sliding patio version and a burgundy toilet. It was straight from the seventies. You could have filmed George and Mildred in it quite easily.

    The other family were nice people but had no idea. “We like bold colours!”

    Well no one else does.

    These properties were obviously on the market with estate agents. Why didn’t..

    A. They ask the agents what was wrong.

    B. The agents tell them what was wrong.

    The problem may be that the agent doesn’t want to upset the client by being honest.

    It’s much easier with a camera crew standing behind you.

    I’ve been asked to leave a property in the past by an owner who didn’t take kindly to being told that their house wreaked of cigarettes, cats and dogs, or suggested a mini makeover to assist a sale. I was only trying to help!

    On the other hand there are those who take the advice in good heart and are grateful for the help.

    I’ve lost count of the sales we’ve managed to acheive ( after other agents have failed  to sell ) by making a few tweaks here and there  and re-marketing with new, well taken photos.

    Mind you even if the house is a total hole it will still sell but how much you get for it is another matter.




  6. 2%

    2 December 2014

    According to a property blog I read today about 2% of properties in England are sold by online agents.

    Do the maths.

    The end.

  7. Three seconds to sell your house?

    11 November 2014

    That’s how long you have according to a well known marketing company. Home buyers don’t spend much longer than that looking at an image on the internet.

    When a buyer is scanning so many properties they don’t hang around. There have been many attempts to use videos and mock T.V. channels to enhance sale prospects but if you only have a few seconds then they won’t work.

    The best option is to use well taken photos of the interior with good, natural light. There is a knack to this; getting the correct angle, using flash sparingly and certainly not taking shots in the semi darkness.

    Of course you have to be as tidy as you can be. I’ve seen myself making beds and shoo-ing cats and dogs out of a room on more occasions that I can remember.

    One of the most difficult things to do is make an empty house look interesting. There’s not much you can do with four magnolia walls!

    That’s why builders have show houses. Think about it.


  8. Autumn and energy saving light bulbs. Bright idea.

    17 October 2014

    The weather has been so good recently it is hard to believe that the clocks will be changing soon and your heating bills will be on the increase. The property market is ticking over quite nicely. We’re selling more houses in Cramlington that any other agent,  There’s an active market so you don’t need to put off moving until the New Year.

    One thing for sure is that it will soon be dark at 4 o’clock. When you are showing a buyer around your house in the evening remember that you don’t want it to look dismal. Dim lighting certainly won’t help.

    Energy saving light bulbs take a while to warm up so remember to put all of the lights on well before the buyer turns up. Better still, see if you can find some old fashioned 100 watt bulbs bu them and put them in temporarily.



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